Other National Policy

We work to shape policies and laws that better protect immigrants who have been accused or convicted of crimes and to turn the tide against growing mass deportation/enforcement programs. We provide trainings and other resources to help communities fight back against programs like Secure Communities, Criminal Alien Program, and 287(g) and to advocate for broad changes that affirmatively assert the rights of immigrants with criminal histories. We also work with our partners in the Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) to provide legal, technical, and communications and messaging support, with a current focus on expanding the rights of immigrants within the federal immigration reform proposals.

Below are some of the recent materials we have produced.

Deportation 101 Manual

Our highly-acclaimed manual offers basics on the detention and deportation system and provides guidance on how to organize communities directly impacted by deportation. Created by community organizers, legal experts, and advocates, this manual helps immigrant families, loved ones, and communities to understand and develop individual and community responses to this system – inside and outside the courts. This manual accompanies our free, 1- or 2-day long Deportation 101 trainings, through which we have reached thousands of advocates, service providers, and immigrant community leaders. Available in English and Spanish.

“Secure Communities” Campaign

Together with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, we spearheaded the New York campaign to end ICE’s “Secure Communities” mass deportation program. We formed a broad coalition known as the New York State Working Group Against Deportation, through which we have created and disseminated written materials to lay out our concerns and demands, conducted Know-Your-Rights and educational programs to raise awareness, organized public events to express our outrage and galvanize energy around this program, created messaging and engaged in media advocacy to help shape public opinion about this issue, and negotiated with public officials to stop the program in our State. In June 2011, we succeeded in getting Gov. Cuomo to suspend S-Comm in New York! We are working now on protecting this decision and promoting a nationwide termination of the program.

We hope the materials we have generated through this campaign will help support other efforts across the country to stop S-Comm:

  • Toolkit, which we just revised in March 2012 and which includes a range of organizational and electeds sign-on letters, fact sheets, and public statements
  • Op-Ed published on August 30, 2011 in New America Media in response to ICE’s announcement on prosecutorial discretion
  • Response by IDP and other groups across the country about why the “tweaks” to S-Comm announced in June 2011 fall short.
  • Our survey to help communities share their personal experiences about ways in which ICE is using the police to help deport immigrants

Fighting for the Rights of ALL Immigrants in the Era of the “Criminal Alien:” Strategies to Stop S-Comm and Detention Expansion

We presented this workshop with Families for Freedom, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, and Detention Watch Network at the 2011 Detention Watch Network Member Conference. Here’s the workshop description:

The Obama Administration and DHS have identified the so-called “criminal alien” as the primary target of the current deportation machinery. In announcing record-breaking deportations in 2010 (over 392,000 people), DHS has continued to emphasize the critical role played by programs like “Secure Communities,” which now blankets 1080 jurisdictions across 39 states. This workshop will provide the historical and political context for the current enforcement-first/only policy. It will explain how changes to immigration law and the War on Drugs and the War on Terror – and their accompanying use of language such as “criminal,” “alien,” and “terrorist” to garner support – have been used to dramatically increase rates of deportation. And it will link how mass deportation programs (such as 287(g), CAP, and S-Comm) are being used to fuel the detention crisis we currently face. We will discuss campaigns across the country that fight back against the enforcement regime – including the New York campaign that aims to protect ALL immigrants regardless of their criminal records, rather than reinforce the idea that only dangerous “criminal aliens” should be deported. Finally, we will talk about organizing in communities that are at the crosshairs of the War on Crime and the War on Immigrants. This workshop is critical for laying the groundwork towards fair and just immigration reform and for highlighting the fundamental flaws of our current system of detention and deportation.

ICE ACCESS Webinars: Secure Communities??? (2010)

These webinars (Part 1 and Part 2) were designed to refine our collective understanding of the rapidly expanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS programs that involve state and local law enforcement in federal immigration enforcement; foster greater collaboration among national, local and community groups; and share effective strategies to respond to the threats these evolving programs pose to our communities. IDP developed and conducted these webinars with Detention Watch Network, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Washington Defender Association’s Immigration Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Law Center, and Rights Working Group.

ICE ACCESS Webinars: Denying ICE ACCESS (2011)

These webinars build off 2010’s two-part webinar: “Secure Communities???” This series aims to give advocates tools to fight the increasing involvement of state and local authorities in federal immigration enforcement, to lay out strategies for collaboration amongst different groups, and to highlight examples of successful campaigns. It is designed for local groups and community members from diverse fields – including immigration, labor, faith, and criminal justice – interested in working against mass deportation in their communities.

Part One discusses tools for building a campaign, focusing on information gathering strategies, from public records requests to documentation of violations and abuses. It outlines different methods advocates can use to map the particulars of ICE’s presence in an individual community, describes typical obstacles to the data collection process, and suggests ways to overcome those obstacles.

Part Two presents ideas for how to use the information gathered through the tactics described in Part One to mount impactful campaigns against ICE ACCESS programs. It describes strategies in policy, legislation, litigation, and messaging, and offers examples of ways that other communities have combined these strategies to target particular audiences in particular political climates.

IDP developed and conducted these webinars with Detention Watch Network, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Washington Defender Association’s Immigration Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Law Center, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Rights Working Group.