After the Taliban took over the Afghan government, a massive evacuation effort began, but thousands are still waiting at the airport in Kabul. Tyler Solorio, an Army veteran deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and a policy analyst for the veterans nonprofit Swords to Plowshares, said the U.S. government has made it dangerously complicated for Afghans to get out.
San Francisco’s office of the public defender has a unit dedicated to defending immigrants in court. In most states, they often have no representation because there is no right to counsel in immigration cases. Francisco Ugarte, managing attorney of this unit, talked with “Civic” about how handoffs between agencies work and what happens to someone who is arrested by immigration enforcement in San Francisco, as well as a class action suit the unit helped litigate over COVID-19 outbreaks in detention facilities.
In October, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — began implementing an expansion of rapid deportations, in which undocumented immigrants may be removed from the country without a hearing before an immigration judge. While such deportations have been conducted for decades, the new policy expands who might be affected.
Difficult and painful history connects gang violence and severe policing in Central America and in the United States, as well as mass migrations of refugees. In his new memoir, “Unforgetting,” Roberto Lovato teases out these connections with research and reporting, but also by telling his own story of coming of age as a U.S.-born child of Salvadoran parents and the stories of his family and friends. Lovato, born and raised in San Francisco, is an educator, journalist and writer. His book “Unforgetting” will be released Sept. 1.
In late March, a cell phone video made by detainees was leaked to the public from Mesa Verde Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center in Bakersfield, Calif. Dozens of men in orange jumpsuits walked past the camera while Charles Joseph read a petition. “Many of us have underlying medical issues,” he said. “This turns our detention into a death sentence, because this pandemic requires social distancing and that is impossible in this environment. We request that you give us parole or bond so we may return to our families.”
Joseph’s plea caught the attention of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, which joined a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and two law firms — Lakin & Wille, and Cooley LLP — seeking the release of detained immigrants with pre-existing health concerns.
The San Francisco Bay Area has a reputation for being a kind of “queer promised land,” says filmmaker Tom Shepard. In the documentary “Unsettled,” that notion is put to the test. The film follows four LGBT refugees as they try to build new lives in San Francisco after fleeing violence and discrimination in their home countries.
Refugees who arrived in the Bay Area around the time shelter-in-place orders were issued, as well as those who have been here for an extended period, are struggling to stay afloat, organizations who serve them said.
Teachers in San Francisco have begun pledging their federal coronavirus relief checks to undocumented members of their communities.
Years before charting the evolution and diversity of Latino political life in the city, a historian came here to become an activist. His book recalls major battlegrounds from the 1930s to the 1970s: union campaigns; civil rights organizing; elections; Great Society mobilizations; and feminist, gay and lesbian activism. Read an excerpt from “Latinos and the Liberal City” by Eduardo Contreras.
One American city has gone further than any other in creating a workable solution to the current inadequacy of surveillance law: Oakland, which has pushed a pro-privacy public policy along an unprecedented path. Its Privacy Advisory Commission acts as a meaningful check on city agencies — most often, police — that want to acquire any kind of surveillance technology.
They are the latest immigrants whose fortunes have changed for the worse under President Donald Trump: More than 200,000 people from Central America and the region who are losing Temporary Protected Status after legally living, working and raising families in the United States for years.