Rally with Southern 32 at Court Hearing, Call to End ICE Abuse in New Orleans

Despite Obama Administration Directive to Protect Labor and Civil Rights Defenders,
Southern Immigration Office Continues to Push for Wrongful Deportations in Cover Up of Agency’s Own Abusive Practices
New Orleans, LA –  Two years ago, Joaquin Navarro Hernandez was merely standing on the day labor corner when he became the victim of a botched Border Patrol raid<http://m.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/new-orleans-immigration-battles/Content?oid=2049876&issue=2049665>.  in the chaos that ensued, Joaquin was pursued several blocks by car and assaulted by a bystander.  When a neighbor attempted to report the wrongful mistreatment Joaquin had faced, the New Orleans Police Department instead took custody of Joaquin and turned him over to Border Patrol. Even though Joaquin stood up to expose the misconduct and cover up,  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to push for his deportation-- all in an attempt to cover up their own abuse and avoid a potential scandal.

Joaquin, a devoted father was one of the many day laborers who was called upon to help in the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina..  Since his arrest, Joaquin has been an active leader and spokesperson for the “Southern 32<http://www.makejusticereal.org/>,” a group of immigrant leaders facing deportation for speaking up about civil and labor rights violations.  In early May, the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice launched the Stand Up 2012: Make Justice Real <http://www.makejusticereal.org/> campaign to demand that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) follow its own policy directives and end the practice of deporting labor organizers and civil rights defenders in the South.  However, as Joaquin’s case shows, the New Orleans ICE office has done a deplorable job when it comes to upholding their own agency’s policies.

At his court hearing tomorrow, Joaquin will continue to fight against the egregious abuse and cover up that led to his arrest and stand up for his own civil rights.  Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled in favor of Joaquin, noting that the issues of targeted immigration enforcement and local police involvement in immigration raids are of "substantial public interest in the City of New Orleans, where the plight of the large population of immigrant workers who have assisted in rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina has been a matter of particular concern."  However, despite the opinion of the court, ICE continues to push for Joaquin’s deportation.

Tomorrow’s hearing coincides with the fourth stop in the tour of the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice<http://nopapersnofear.org/>, a delegation of undocumented people of all ages, from all over the country and their allies, including mothers, fathers, day laborers, students, and others who face threats of deportation, harassment, and death while simply looking for a better life in the United States.  Immediately following tomorrow’s trial at 10:30 am CDT, undocumented migrant riders will gather outside the courtroom to hold a press conference and rally lifting up the cases of the Southern 32 and urge ICE to follow their own policies and protect these defenders of civil, labor and human rights.

WHAT: Press conference and rally with undocumented migrant riders from the ‘No Papers No Fear, Ride for Justice’

WHENFriday, August 10, 2012, 10:30 AM CDT (Trial scheduled from 8:30-10:00 AM)

WHERE: Outside the U.S. Immigration Court, One Canal Place, 365 Canal Street.

WHO: ‘Southern 32’ Workers and ‘No Papers No Fear’ Riders, expert witnesses, and community supporters.

VISUALS: ‘No Papers No Fear’ delegation traveling across the country, signs made by community organizers, demonstrators.
For more information on Stand Up 2012: Make Justice Real, visit www.MakeJusticeReal.org<http://www.MakeJusticeReal.org>
and NoPapersNoFear.org

Follow @undocubus for live updates from the rally
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