Tags >> immigration
Oct 27
2009

Auto Impounds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , rights , public safety , protest , poverty , policy , law enforcement , justice , jail , immigration , government , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers is a discretionary call for police officers, one that can be an expensive hardship for immigrant workers in Sonoma County.

Once a vehicle has been impounded, the law dictates that it will be held for the full 30 days, but the owner can request a hearing to get it released soon. Sgt. Dough Schlies of the Santa Rosa Police Department, explains how that process works.

Here's the full explanation of the Santa Rosa Police Department policy governing the release of impounded vehicles.

While acknowledging that the law grants police officers individual discretion to decide whether or not to call in a tow truck when they find an unlicensed driver, Davin Cardenas, an activst and organizer with the Committee on Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County is concerned that those decisions often vary widely. And he suspects that in at least some cases, ethnic profiling is involved.

"Vehicle impoundment" is governed by Section 14602.6  of the California Vehicle Code. This is the California Highway Patrol's explanation of that law.

From the announcement of the Halloween Day march in Santa Rosa:

"On October 31st, the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County will sponsor a march and symbolic Trick or Treat at City Hall to bring awareness about the impounding of immigrants automobiles. We want to let people know what we are asking for, as well as what our responsibilites are in order to bring change about. Bring the kids! Bring a costume! We will also be promoting the usage of safer forms of transportation, such as carpooling, bicycles (bring your bikes!), and walking. There will be face painting prior to the march, as well as a whole lot of candy. Where: Begin at 665 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, Ca (Dollar Tree parking lot)
            End at Santa Rosa City Hall
When: Saturday October 31st
           3pm - 6pm (rally and face paint begin at 3pm, march at 4pm)
For more information, contact the Committee for Immigrants Rights of Sonoma County at
(707) 571- 7559.

Oct 08
2009

The Immigrant Paradox

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , students , speaker , Santa Rosa , resources , poverty , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , medicine , jobs , immigration , housing , healthcare , Health , government , food , finances , families , events , employment , education , economy , community , children , California

Bruce Robinson

What segment of California’s population is healthiest?  It’s probably not what you would think.

As Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Anthony Iton (left) directed efforts to correlate data from death certificates, parole offices, income reports from the national census and other sources and see where they overlapped in his county. And he found a high correspondence to the areas where poverty is most prevalent.

Taking their cue from the social support systems that many immigrant families enjoy, Dr. Iton suggests that public health departments also instigate informal gatherings of residents in impoverished neighborhoods, as an additional tool for improving their collective well-being.

Dr.  Iton  also co-authored this report (pdf, 87 pages) detailing the relative medical and social factors that shape health outcomes among the population of Alameda County. Similar results apply in Sonoma County and much of California.

 

Jul 26
2009

Okili's return

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Santa Rosa , policy , justice , international , immigration , government , children , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

Three months after he was seized and nearly deported, a Santa Rosa man has been released to rejoin his family, and recover from his experience inside the privatized detention facility.

  KRCB previously reported on Okili's arrest on May 21, here.

Because Okili has not only tried to play by the rules as far as his visa was concerned, but has also become an active and constructive member of the community, Sabrina Krause remains convinced that when they are finally able to explain his circumstances to a judge, that background will make a convincing case for him.

At one point during his detention in Eloy, Arizona, Okili was very nearly deported in spite of the frantic efforts to obtain his release. He recalls that he was actually at the airport, just minutes away from boarding the plane that would have taken him to Europe, when he was spared by a last-minuts intervention.

The treatment of detainees at Eloy was subtly abusive, Okili says, from barely edible food to ill-fitting shoes that took weeks to get replaced.

The profit motive affects many aspects of the operation of that privatized detention facility, from policies that prolong the detainees stay there, boosting per diem revenues, down to exorbitant charges for telephone contact with the outside world.

May 20
2009

Okili's Deportation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , rights , policy , news , justice , international , immigration , government , families , events , community , children , Africa

Bruce Robinson

Belated enforcement of an African student's expired visa, more than 20 years later, is now threatening to tear apart a Santa Rosa family.

There will be a benefit concert, featuring many of Okili's musical friends and supporters, Friday night, May 22 at the Sebastopol Community Center, to raise money for his legal defense (more details below). Donations can also be made directly here.

It's been a full month since Okili was taken away from his home and family  including his son, Olembe, who is now 17. During that time,his wife, Sabrina Krauss, has managed only limited telephone contact with him.

Sabrina Krauss says the couple made what they felt were good faith attempts to obtain legal immigrant status for Okili, even consulting with Congressal representative.

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