Immigration

How you can help the 1,900 Central American child refugees in the Bay Area

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There are 1,900 child refugees in the Bay Area from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, according to federal immigration data. These teens and young children are fleeing gang violence, kidnapping, and countries that have the highest murder rates in the world.

"We need to keep in mind the reason why these children left," Clarisa Sanchez, a legal representative at Catholic Charities CYO told us. "They didn’t want to leave their pueblos and small cities, they’re coming here by force."Read more »

More funding promised to Central American child refugees, Lee warns of new influx

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Thousands of Central American children fleeing drug wars and poverty are overwhelming the San Francisco nonprofits who care for them, but new information from the mayor shows this may just be the beginning.

Yesterday, just hours before Supervisor David Campos' resolution to bolster funding to aid the incoming refugees passed, Mayor Ed Lee warned the Guardian and other journalists that San Francisco is bracing for another influx of even more children in need.Read more »

Home brew

New docs probe where the heart is — and isn't

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Jose Antonio Vargas' grandparents — who raised him in Mountain View after he was smuggled into America at age 12 from the Philippines — expected him to grow up, blend in, and live a perfectly ordinary life in his new country. He'd work a "menial job," as both of them had, and eventually legalize his immigration status by marrying an American woman.Read more »

Happy May Day, San Francisco

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Happy May Day, comrades, and what a fine May day it is even if the urgent mayday spirit on this International Workers Day doesn’t seem as strong as some recent years past in the Bay Area.

While Russia seems to be rediscovering its previous practice of massive May Day marches marked by anti-Western propaganda, spurred on by renewed nationalism from the standoff in Ukraine, May Day has never been very big in the US.Read more »

Law students denounce Napolitano commencement speech

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University of California President Janet Napolitano deported thousands of undocumented citizens in her time as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Now, UC Hastings College of Law students want Napolitano deported from their graduation ceremony. Read more »

Immigration reform protest snarls downtown SF, 23 arrested

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Today [Fri/4] at 11am, the SF Bay Coalition for Immigrant Justice held a protest and rally to urge President Obama to halt all deportations and keep his promise of comprehensive immigration reform.The protest included a group of 23 people, some of which are undocumented immigrants, which took part in a peaceful act of civil disobedience.Read more »

Breaking the fast

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Vincent Pan barely had the energy to speak, and seemed to fall asleep before the eyes of the 30 or so activists gathered in Chinatown last night.

Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, was on the 11th day of a fast he’d started in solidarity with immigration activists who fasted for 22 days in Washington DC, all with a common goal -- to push Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Last evening, Mon/9, marked his last night depriving himself of food. Before taking his first bite in nearly two weeks, he reflected on what the fast meant for him.Read more »

Obama speech interrupted by Bay Area immigration activists

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Ju Hong just wants to see his family for Thanksgiving, and that may be why he shouted down the president of the United States.  

Hong interrupted President Barack Obama’s nationally televised speech in Chinatown today, shouting for justice at the tail end of the president’s call for immigration reform. Read more »

Richmond resident saved from deportation at the last moment

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Felipe Valdes has lived and worked in the United States for 23 years. Two weeks ago, he received a letter ordering his deportation. Valdes reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown San Francisco yesterday (Mon/18) morning as he instructed and prepared to say his final goodbyes to his family before boarding one of ICE’s deportation buses at noon. Instead, he was released after five hours and allowed to return to his home in Richmond.Read more »

On the line

Undocumented young activists risk arrest to block a deportation bus and call for immigration reform

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rebecca@sfbg.com

Nobody knew exactly when the bus would leave. It was the afternoon of Oct. 17, and a group of about 60 immigrant rights activists were gathered in the shade of some tall trees in a park by the TransAmerica Pyramid in downtown San Francisco.

Many were young, Latino or Asian Pacific Islander, dressed in hooded sweatshirts, baseball caps, and slim-fitting jeans. They chatted and milled about, perhaps trying to ease a gnawing sense of anticipation over what was about to happen.Read more »