Dec 5, 2017
Houston Chronicle

Caravan supports immigrant seeking church sanctuary in Austin

"It has been three months since Salvadoran immigrant Alirio Gámez claimed sanctuary from deportation by entering a north Austin church.

On Wednesday, Gámez will step out of the First Unitarian Universalist Church for the first time to ask for a deportation stay. Faith leaders and members of the Austin Sanctuary Network will then lead a caravan from Austin to San Antonio to file a stay of removal application and meet with ICE officials.

'We are telling ICE to respect my right to safety,' Gámez said in a press release. 'We are going to show ICE our strength in unity, and we expect to have a victory in our hands."' [node:read-more:link]

Dec 5, 2017
North Austin Patch

Advocates Call On Deportation Halt For Austin Asylum Seeker

"Dozens of immigrant advocates will gather on Wednesday in a rally calling for a stop on deportation proceedings against an asylum seeker taking sanctuary at an Austin church for the past few months.

The gathering is designed as a show of solidarity for Alirio Gámez, who has taken sanctuary inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave., to avoid his deportation. An asylum seeker from El Salvador, Gámez was denied asylum in the United States after being in three detention centers and now faces deportation to certain harm in his country of origin, advocates said.

... 'We are going to demand that Alirio stay in the country and be granted a stay of removal,' added Alejandro Caceres, immigration organizer with Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based immigrant advocacy group. 'We have built a network that supports him and is enriched by him. Because of this, we also believe that ICE has no authority to come into our city and deport anyone from our community.'" [node:read-more:link]

Nov 10, 2017
Austin Chronicle

Activists Out to Derail Police Contract

Grassroots Leadership and local coalition partners are advocating to end meet-and-confer negotiations between the City of Austin and the Austin Police Association. We have hosted forums in districts 5 and 9 to educate the public about the broken contract and the need for city council members to vote 'no' on the contract. "Really, the goal is to get people in those districts to understand the issue, and more specifically to tie it to the role the union contract plays into the issue of police brutality and misconduct," said Chris Harris of Grassroots Leadership. "Then for them to go their to council members, because ultimately the Council is going to decide what happens." [node:read-more:link]

Nov 2, 2017

Con un altar de muertos activistas locales honraron a inmigrantes fallecidos

"El jueves, varios activistas se unieron a miembros de la comunidad para participar en una celebración del Día de los Muertos en honor de a todos aquellos que perdieron la vida en su intento por llegar a los Estados Unidos.

Los organizadores del evento recalcaron su compromiso con todos aquellos que se sienten vulnerables a la deportación. Entre ellos estaba Claudia Muñoz, quien enfrenta una orden de deportación.

'Grassroots Leadership en los siguientes días va a darle una propuesta a los concejales, en relación a política local. Esta propuesta de política local da recomendaciones de cómo deben de interactuar los policías después de que se hace un arresto y también como limitar los arrestos contra la comunidad indocumentada', dijo Muñoz." [node:read-more:link]

Oct 19, 2017

Social justice groups take a knee at Austin City Council meeting

KXAN covered the #TakeaKnee protests during the Austin City Council meeting on Thursday, October 19. Organizers are urging City Council to reject the police contract and end meet-and-confer negotiations with the Austin Police Association. "'What we have today is faux oversight, in name only,' said Harris. Grassroots Leadership and the Austin Justice Coalition want the city to place more power in the hands of civilians. The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition released a report that no civilian recommendations for police policy in Austin have ever become reality." [node:read-more:link]

Oct 20, 2017
Univision 62

“Vete de aquí”, el grito de manifestantes a Jeff Sessions durante su visita a Austin

"La organización proinmigrantes Grassroots Leadership organizó una protesta llamada 'No en nuestra ciudad' a las afueras de la Oficina de la Fiscalía de los EE.UU. para el Distrito Occidental de Texas para rechazar la visita del Jeff Sessions.

 'Sabemos que la verdadera razón por la que Sessions viene a Austin es para desafiar a la comunidad mientras luchamos para asegurarnos de que Austin sea una Ciudad Santuario para todos', dijo Claudia Muñoz, directora de programas de inmigración de la organización Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]

Oct 20, 2017
The Patch

AG Sessions Touts Trump's Immigration Policies During Austin Visit

"Officials at Grassroots Leadership, a civil rights watchdog, also had harsh words against Sessions ahead of his visit. Officials there noted Sessions, in testimony before Congress on Oct. 18, threatened to strip federal funding from so-called 'sanctuary cities' seen as too welcoming of immigrants. 'We know that the real reason Sessions is coming is to defy the Austin community as we are fighting to ensure that Austin is a sanctuary city for all,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'Even as we continue to be attacked by Paxton, Abbott, and the Trump administration, we will show Sessions that he will not break us and we will resist any and all steps he takes against us. He is not welcome in our city.'"
Oct 4, 2017
The Intercept

Internal Emails Show ICE Agents Struggling To Substantiate Trump's Lies About Immigrants

"AS HUNDREDS OF undocumented immigrants were rounded up across the country last February in the first mass raids of the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials went out of their way to portray the people they detained as hardened criminals, instructing field offices to highlight the worst cases for the media and attempting to distract attention from the dozens of individuals who were apprehended despite having no criminal background at all. ...Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based civil rights group, said the emails show just 'how aggressive and desperate and duplicitous ICE was during these raids.' 'Essentially this is ICE trying to gin up a case for its actions, when really this isn’t at all about public safety,' he told The Intercept after reviewing the correspondence. 'We can thoroughly expect that’s what they’re going to try to do again.'" [node:read-more:link]


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