Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AZ ACLU free immigration forum tonight

Note there is no one representing the other side on the illegal immigration issue. Guess the ACLU would prefer not to put on a fair and balanced debate.

ACLU of Arizona Central Chapter Presents a community forum entitled:

Immigration: A Civil Liberties Perspective

to raise awareness about state and federal immigration policies that impact the constitutional rights o f immigrants in Arizona.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 27th at the Grace Lutheran Church, 1124 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

The following prominent, local immigration advocates will speak on these topics: Prop 100/State Anti-Smuggling Law: Tracy Friddle, a Deputy Public Defender at the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Before moving into the trenches of criminal immigration defense at the Maricopa County PD, Friddle worked as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Tucson and Phoenix for over 2.5 years, defending immigrants and others accused of federal crimes, including immigration and alien-smuggling offenses. She is currently challenging the constitutionality of Prop 100 through a petition for special action filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals. Friddle filed the petition on behalf of Melvin Omar Hernandez, who was arrested for an open-container violation, prosecuted for possession of false work documents, and then denied bail because of Prop 100. The new law makes undocumented immigrants who commit certain offenses ineligible for bond. While the referendum was originally approved by voters to deny bond to undocumented immigrants who commit serious felony offenses, people are being denied bond for minor offenses such as forgery. Friddle is arguing Prop 100 violates immigrants due process and equal protection rights under the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions.

Racial Profiling in Immigration Enforcement: Judy Flanagan, an immigration lawyer in Phoenix who represented the "Wilson Four. Flanagan will discuss the cases of four students who were detained in June 2002 by immigration officials at the U.S.-Canada border while on a Wilson Charter High School field trip in Buffalo, N.Y. A judge later threw out their convictions bec ause of racial profiling and coercion. The four students were brought into the United States from Mexico by their undocumented parents. Students Luis Nava and Manuel Espinoza-Vazquez both of whom were victims of racial profiling by police also will attend the forum. Luis was a member of the Wilson Four and Miguel is an Arizona State University who is facing deportation after a Gilbert officer stopped him on March 9th for making an improper right turn. He has lived here for most of his life, never missed a day of high school, earned a scho larship to ASU, and is now being deported to a country he knows nothing about.

Immigration Detention/Conditions of Confinement: Raha Jorjani, Staff Attorney Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, will discuss issues related to conditions of confinement of immigrants in detention, including lack of medical care, mental health issues and indefinite detention. The event will be moderated by Bob McWhirter, an expert on immigration law and a public defender with the Maricopa Legal Defenders Office.

Following the presentations, there will be a short question-and-answer session with audience members. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLUs local chapters are often the first line of defense against civil liberties violations. Consisting of volunteers who donate their time and energy to combat civil liberties abuses in their communities, the ACLU of Arizona has active chapters in Phoenix and Tucson, where most of our 8,500 members and supporters reside.

No comments: