Saturday, May 25, 2013

 Cruz Reynosos

President Cruz Reynoso delivered the introductory remarks a LULAC (League of Latin American Citizens) sponsored student and community meeting entitled “Realizing the Dream: Immigration Reform in 2013.”  .

Reynoso summarized the current status of Congressional hearings but he stressed the background to the current debate.  President Carter appointed Reynoso to the Commission on Immigration and Refugee policy in the late 1980’; the work of the commission resulted in the l986 reform including the successful amnesty program which permitted the undocumented to legalize their stay in this country.  The Commission concluded that most of the undocumented came to this country to work.  Control depended on the employers.  Accordingly, the Commission recommended that employers be sanctioned.  However, in the course of history since l986 the law was enforced contrary to the Commission recommendations.  It was the undocumented who suffered and the law was not enforced against the employers.  They recruited the undocumented with impunity, yet it was the undocumented who were arrested. The employers had political influence to prevent enforcement.  Thus, until recently the country had a de jure law ( a written law) which told the undocumented “do not come” and a de facto law (the actual practice) which told them “please come.”  Courts consider the de facto law the actual law.

With respect to the process in Washington it seems clear the new law will protect the Dreamers, the farm workers, and the skilled workers.  All other matters are still up in the air.  Groups like LULAC, the Mario G. Obledo National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, and a multitude of persons and organizations must continue to urge Congress to pass a fair and humane law.

The meeting took place at the University of California at Davis, California.  LULAC is sponsoring such conferences throughout the country.  The University meeting was supported by the Department of Chicana/o Studies as well as other University departments and student organizations. After the introductory remarks Reynoso took on the role of moderator for the five distinguished panel members including a law student, the Dean of the Law School, a representative of LULAC and several other organizations.

 Cruz Reynosos


On Friday May 10, 2013 Cruz Reynoso, president of the Mario G. Obledo National Coalition of Hispanic Organization (NCHO) was invited to the University of California to meet with students, including a luncheon with Latino students, participating in a class dealing with the Second Amendment, and attending a showing of the film “Cruz Reynoso, Sowing the Seeds of Justice” at a community session sponsored by UC Riverside.   Reynoso participated in an extensive question and answer program after the showing.  During the meeting with the Chicano students the conversation turned to the importance of Latinos attending graduate schools.  Only about three percent of Latinos who earn of BA go on to graduate school. 

The next evening Reynoso was the Keynote Speaker at a dinner sponsored  by the Inland Empire Scholarship Fund.  Over 100 Latino students attending community colleges, San Bernardino State College, some private colleges, and UC Riverside received scholarships.  I believe that effort has helped make UC Riverside the most ethnically diverse campus of the UC system.  Two energetic folk have spear headed this effort, a retired dentist and her husband, a retired engineer.  They have helped raise over $2,000,000 since the organization was form ten or twelve years ago.  Over 750 persons attended the dinner.

On a different note, during the day Reynoso attended a “Reynoso Day” sponsored by Fullerton Community College in celebration of its 100th anniversary since its founding.  It is one of the first community colleges established in California.   Reynoso received his AA degree from Fullerton a few years ago (1951) and served as Student Body president.  An extensive historic display was prepared for the Fullerton Museum which includes, as a small part, a video and display of Reynoso.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Viewpoints By Cruz Reynoso

Viewpoints: Discretion should rule in immigration cases
By Cruz Reynoso 

Special to The Bee
Published: Friday, Sep. 21, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 17A
When I hear about injustices like the near-deportation of the "tamale lady," my heart sinks. I'm relieved common sense eventually prevailed in her case, but sadly, many more immigrant Californians are not so fortunate.
In July, the same month local mom Juana Reyes went public with her story of facing deportation due to an arrest for selling tamales, immigration authorities expelled about 650 California residents with no criminal record.
Only after she became internationally known were Reyes' deportation proceedings closed.
It's a rare reprieve. Despite promises from immigration officials to use "discretion" to prioritize serious cases for deportation, less than 2 percent of the hundreds of thousands of deportation cases pending nationally had been closed as of June, according to an analysis from Syracuse University.
Federal authorities aren't the only ones who seem to be acting like discretion doesn't exist. The immigration hold request that caused Reyes' 13-day detention in the county jail, when she otherwise would have been released within hours, is purely optional under federal law. But many sheriffs appear to be misinformed about this key legal principle.
These parallel failures of discretion are wasting local resources, souring community confidence in law enforcement and breaking up families.
But there is one person who can immediately bring balance and clarity to this mess: Gov. Jerry Brown.
By signing the TRUST Act, Brown will remedy the damage caused by this absence of discretion. The bill will save local resources and rebuild community confidence in police and sheriff's departments.
The TRUST Act – Assembly Bill 1081 by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco – will set a reasonable standard for local law enforcement across the state, ensuring people may be held for extra time at immigration authorities' request only if the individual is charged by a district attorney or convicted of a serious or violent felony.
This is a legally sound alternative to the discriminatory approach taken by neighboring Arizona. And it's entirely within the state's purview to prioritize local resources to advance community policing.
The TRUST Act also brings California's participation in the flawed federal deportation program "Secure Communities" back in line with the program's original intent.
Under the program, fingerprints of all arrested are automatically sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, regardless of innocence or how insignificant the charge. ICE then asks local police to hold anyone it believes might be "deportable" for additional time, at local expense.
While ICE purports to prioritize those with "serious convictions," according to ICE's own data, about 7 in 10 of the nearly 80,000 Californians deported to date had no convictions or minor offenses.
Despite these troubling impacts, some sheriffs, including Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles, have claimed ICE's hold requests are "mandatory."
That's simply incorrect. And this misunderstanding underscores the need for this bill.
In a recent letter to Brown, more than 30 of my colleagues from law schools across the country explained that ICE holds are not orders carrying the force of law, but completely optional requests. California's effort to limit them is entirely within its power.
I concur.
My colleagues' letter also highlights another serious consequence of unchecked immigration holds: wrongful detentions of U.S. citizens.
At the University of California, Davis, immigration clinic, attorneys have represented five people in ICE detention who were later determined to be U.S. citizens or nationals. Most were placed in ICE custody via hold requests.
The problem is not limited to Northern California.
In Los Angeles, Antonio Montejano, a U.S. citizen wrongfully detained for several days by local authorities on a hold last November, fielded a striking question from his son:
"Daddy, can they take me (too) because I look like you?"
No child should have to ask that.
Nor should any child be separated from hardworking parents who contribute greatly to our state, but lack documentation due to Washington's inability to develop a reasonable immigration process.
Despite the many advances I have seen during my career as a litigator and jurist, the basic principles of equality and fairness under the law are clearly at risk.
In fact, the question by Montejano's son reminds me of the injustices I see based on the federal government's rush to deport, much like my family's experience during the Depression when I was a small child. Though my brothers and I were American-born, we too ended up in Mexico due to a now-discredited "repatriation" program during the Depression.
I have faith that Brown will move us closer to a future of fairness and equality by signing the TRUST Act.