Category Archives: Immigration

June 30 Families Belong Together rally on video

If you missed that memorable rally, or even if you were there, your time will be well spent listening to the video of the rally, courtesy of Chester County Community TV Live, on YouTube.

For three other posts on the rally, search “Families” in the Search box in the right sidebar of this site or click here.

About a Chester County family separated by ICE (and Families Belong Together)

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, July 6, 2018

It’s not all in Texas! Over 600 people gathered at the June 30 Families Belong Together rally in West Chester. They heard, among many other speakers, Dida Gazoli of Kennett Square speak about the separation of a Kennett area family whose father and husband was taken in May by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) at his immigration interview for permanent resident status. Jaime Aguilera Valencia now sits in a cell in a federal prison in Philadelphia, awaiting sentencing for re-entering the U.S. from Mexico to care for his American wife and children, who were and are facing urgent medical and financial circumstances.

As the family’s friends and now advocates, Dida Gazoli and her husband created a public group on Facebook for emotional support and the Statement of Communal Support page where community members can use their voice and supporting statements to work against the separation of this family.

Quoting the latter site:

“Jaime was taken into ICE custody on May 9 at his Immigration interview for the I-130 Petition (for “Alien Relative” to establish permanent resident status aka Green Card). According to ICE officials, Jaime was scheduled for deportation on May 14, even though he’d been actively seeking legalization for well over a year. Five days after he was apprehended and incarcerated by ICE, his I-130 Petition was approved by Immigration. Then, on June 5, his immigration attorney’s request for an “emergency stay” was denied. In other words, the same government agency (U.S. Immigration) that approved the first step in legalization, after over a year’s time, abruptly took it away because they do not consider the family’s extreme medical hardship to be an ‘urgent humanitarian reason’ for Jaime to remain with his American wife and children….”…

keep reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

PS Most of Dida Gazoli talk is at 1:18:15 of video of the rally by Chester County Community TV Live, here, and Sofia Soto speaks about her father at 1:23:05.

The Mexican Revival of Small-Town America

By Alfredo Corchado, New York Times, June 2, 2018

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. — Amid all the anti-immigrant fervor, nativists have overlooked a fundamental fact: In recent years, Mexican immigrants and their Mexican-American offspring have been rescuing the most iconic places in America — its small towns.

In the past 10 years, the number of Mexican immigrants living in the United States has declined by more than one million; some left by choice but tens of thousands more left through deportation. Americans who dream of an America without Mexicans should consider Kennett Square.

A town of more than 6,000 people, about an hour outside Philadelphia, Kennett Square proudly calls itself the mushroom capital of the world. The $2.7 billion mushroom industry in southeastern Pennsylvania employs 10,000 people. On New Year’s Eve, Kennett Square drops a bright mushroom cap. These days the festivities are overshadowed by fear.

“Mexicans are leaving, and that’s bad news for everyone,” Chris Alonzo, president of Pietro Industries, one of the biggest mushroom companies, and a third-generation mushroom farmer, told me. “All the negativity, the fearmongering, the anti-immigrant feeling is hurting our small town. We’re seeing labor shortages, and that threatens the vibrancy of our community.”

Kennett Square isn’t an anomaly….

keep reading at New York Times

House Democratic Women’s Caucus denounces child separations, which are especially offensive to women

Women’s Caucus, June 20, 2018, from Rep. Carolyn Comitta’s site

HARRISBURG, June 20 – The Democratic Women’s Caucus, which includes 21 diverse women from across the state, has condemned President Donald Trump’s actions separating families at U.S. borders.

“Trump’s immigration policy is inhumane and a national embarrassment. Many of our colleagues have co-sponsored H.R. 1000 urging the president to immediately reverse this outrageous policy,” the caucus said in a joint statement.

Trump today signed an executive order expressing some level of desire to keep families together, but will not renounce so-called zero-tolerance border patrol policies.

State Rep. Emilio Vazquez, D-Philadelphia, is one of several key co-sponsors of the House resolution, as this policy adversely affects Latinos disproportionately. He and state Rep. Helen Tai worked on the resolution. Tai, who is the prime sponsor of the resolution, is the newest member of the Women’s Caucus, a woman of color and only the second Asian woman to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly….

keep reading at Rep. Carolyn Comitta’s site