Methods in 1st segment
Methods in 3rd segment
- The Lent Without Borders campaign held a vigil (including hymnal singing) outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Haven
- The Lent Without Borders campaign performed a hymnal sing-in outside of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Haven
- Unidad Latina en Accion and Yale Seminarians for a Democratic Society protested against the high rates of deportation. The protesters gathered outside of the New Haven Courthouse on the same day as the inauguration of President Obama's second term.
- Unidad Latina en Accion and Seminarians for a Democratic Society co-hosted a faith-based dinner to discuss deportation issues and organizing strategies to combat the "Secure Communities" enforcement program
Methods in 4th segment
- Workers testified about their conditions at the 1 March Lent Without Borders gathering
- United States Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal wrote letters to the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, asking that the deportation proceedings against Jose Maria Islas be dropped
- Lent Without Borders protesters held vigil and prayed at the 1 March protest in Kimberly Triangle Park in New Haven
- Lent Without Borders protesters held a prayer vigil on 8 March at the Bridgeport Police Station
- Lent Without Borders protestors prayed and held vigil at the Federal courthouse in Hartford, the State Capitol
- Lent Without Borders protesters sang hymnals in both English and Spanish at the 1 March Kimberly Triangle Park protest in New Haven
- Lent Without Borders protesters sang hymnals on 8 March at the Bridgeport Police Station
- Lent Without Borders protesters sang hymnals at the 15 March protest at the Federal courthouse in Hartford
- Members of Unidad Latina en Accion and others protested the deportation of Jose Maria Islas outside the federal courthouse in Hartford.
- The National Keeping Families Together bus tour stopped in New Haven, and organizers held a day of grassroots organizing workshops and storytelling
- Four protesters sat down and held hands to create a human chain blocking the doors of the courthouse where Islas' deportation hearing took place
Methods in 5th segment
- Unidad Latina en Accion members Carina Guevara and Rafael Zamora made speeches about the conditions immigrants face when crossing the border
- Governor Molloy and others spoke at the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition's 16th annual Immigrant Day in the state capitol
- The Brazilian Immigrant Center of Bridgeport and Connecticut Students for a DREAM organized a 25 March prayer vigil outside the Danbury public library
- Lent Without Borders organized a prayer vigil on the New Haven Green
- At the New Haven march organized by Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. led the crowd in chants
- 100 People marched in the 9 April protest in Bridgeport
- 250 people marched between the Hartford old State House and the State Capitol building on 10 April, in a protest organized by the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance
- Protesters placed 179 white crosses on the New Haven Green to represent people who had died crossing the US/Mexico border
- The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance organized simultaneous protests on 9 April in Bridgeport, Danbury, and New Haven
- The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance organized twin protests in Hartford, Connecticut, with rallies at both the old State House and the State Capitol building
- 30 protesters gathered outside the offices of U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro to protest her inaction on behalf of Jose Maria Islas and others facing deportation as a result of "Secure Communities"
Methods in 6th segment
Involvement of social elites
Groups in 1st Segment
Groups in 3rd Segment
Groups in 4th Segment
Groups in 5th Segment
Groups in 6th Segment
Success in achieving specific demands/goals
In 2008, the Federal Government of the United States launched a
program called “Secure Communities” that would allow Immigration and Customs
Enforcement to review records of suspects in the custody of local and state
police. In cases where officials found
out that prisoners were in the country illegally, officials could issue
detainer orders for local police to keep the prisoner in custody and begin
deportation proceedings. The effect of this enforcement policy was that
undocumented immigrants arrested on minor traffic infractions—or even
individuals reporting a crime that they had witnessed or been victim of—risked
being deported, regardless of whether they had family in the United States or
In April 2012, Connecticut governor Dan Molloy guided the state
department of corrections to institute new protocols about immigration and
customs enforcement’s “secure communities” program. In particular, he agreed to
review detainer requests on a case-by-case basis and to only honor detainer
requests in cases where the individual involved represented an active threat
due to their history of violent crimes or violent gang involvement. Officials
in the governor’s office also expressed that immigration and customs
enforcement should only issue detainer requests for violent criminals. They expressed that fear of deportation among
undocumented immigrants was discouraging them from reporting crimes that they
had witnessed or been victim of, and that this in turn prevented police from
serving these communities effectively.
Police arrested Jose Maria Islas on 2 July 2012 and charged him with
attempted robbery—a crime that he did not commit and that occurred during a
time when he was at work. After detaining Islas for four months, a judge
reduced the charge against him to a misdemeanor charge of breach of the peace,
which Islas settled. Islas entered the state’s accelerated rehabilitation
program, which would clear the charges from his record after three months, as long
as Islas met certain conditions.
On 31 October, court marshals turned Jose Maria Islas over to
immigration and customs enforcement. Because court marshals operate under the
judicial branch (rather than the department of corrections) they were not restricted
under Governor Molloy’s April guidelines for honoring immigration and customs
enforcement detainers. Even though Islas was not guilty of a violent crime,
immigrations and custom enforcement described him as a “high priority”
deportation because he had been caught crossing the border four times
previously. Members of Unidad Latina en Acción held a press conference at City
Hall in New Haven on 1 November, calling on the governor to ask federal
authorities to halt Islas’ deportation and voicing their protest.
Unidad Latina en Acción and Yale University’s Seminarians for a
Democratic Society organized a rally outside of the New Haven courthouse on 21
January 2013, the same day as the inauguration ceremony of President Obama’s
second term. The protest was co-sponsored by a number of secular and religious
organizations, including Amistad Catholic Worker, Comunidad Inmigrante de East
Haven, Junta for Progressive Action, the New Haven People’s Center, and the
Immigration Rights Task Force of the Unitarian Society of New Haven. The next
day, Seminarians for a Democratic Society and Unidad Latina en Acción co-hosted
a faith-based dinner for community members to discuss deportation and the federal
Immigration and Customs Enforcement “Secure Communities” Program that had led
to the deportation of more than 375 New Haven residents.
On 15 February 2013, a coalition of faith-based and secular organizing
groups launched a “Lent Without Borders” campaign. In reference to the custom
of “giving something up” for Lent, the community groups declared that they
would be giving up national borders, as well as engaging in direct action on
each Friday during the 40 days of Lent. Their first action was a hymnal sing-in
at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Haven.
On 21 February, a federal immigration judge ordered that Jose Maria
Islas should be deported back to Mexico within 30 days. Approximately 60
protesters, including members of Unidad Latina en Acción, rallied outside of
the courthouse. Four protesters sat down and linked arms in front of the
courthouse doors, blocking them, until they were arrested by federal marshals.
On 25 February, State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield introduced
the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools (TRUST) act into the
Connecticut house of Representatives.
The bill limited Connecticut law enforcement’s compliance with
Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests to cases involving
violent and serious crimes. The California state legislature had previously
passed a similar bill, but the governor had subsequently vetoed it.
That same day, a coalition of 25 community organizations formed a new
coalition, the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance. The Alliance released a
statement of its goals, which included promoting paths to citizenship for all
undocumented immigrants and ceasing deportations until federal immigration
reforms were finalized.
On 1 March, approximately 36 Lent Without Borders protesters gathered
at Kimberly Triangle Park in New Haven for hymnal singing in English and
Spanish, as well as workers’ testimonies. Protesters included members of
Ascension Church in the Hill, Amistad Catholic Worker, and Seminarians for a
On 3 March, the national Keeping Families Together Bus Tour stopped at
New Haven City Hall as a part of a day of grassroots workshops organized by
Junta for Progressive Action and the Ascension Church in the Hill. Seventy-five
people, including some members of Mecha de Yale, attended the public meetings
The Lent Without Borders campaign also
continued, with protests, prayer vigils, and singing on 8 March at the
Bridgeport Police Station and 15 March at the Ribicoff Federal Courthouse in
Hartford. Reports from these protests indicate that many armed police were
present and monitoring them.
The Brazilian Immigrant Center of Bridgeport and Connecticut
Students for a DREAM organized a prayer vigil in Danbury, Connecticut on 25
March. Local congregations and interfaith organizations, including the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Danbury and the St. James Episcopal church,
sponsored the gathering in front of the Danbury Public Library.
On Good Friday (29 March 2013), the Lent
Without Borders campaign organized a protest and vigil on the New Haven Green,
a major public square. Spiritual and community leaders, including Unidad Latina
en Accion members Carina Guevara and Rafael Zamora, made speeches and described
the life-threatening struggles of immigrants attempting to cross into the
United States. Protesters placed 179 white crosses on the green to represent
the lowest available estimate of the number of immigrants who had died at the United
States/Mexico border from 2011 to 2012.
On 2 April, approximately 30 protestors
gathered outside of the New Haven offices of United States Representative Rosa
DeLauro to protest Representative DeLauro’s inaction with regards to
deportations in Connecticut. Protesters remained outside DeLauro’s offices for
three hours, stating that they wanted concrete actions in support of Jose Maria
Islas and other immigrants facing deportation proceedings. Protesters then left
to attend a news conference with United States Senator Richard Blumenthal and
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., where both leaders stated their opposition
to the federal “Secure Communities” program.
The Connecticut Immigrant Rights
Alliance organized simultaneous protests for 9 April, with rallies in
Bridgeport, Danbury, and New Haven. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. helped
to lead the New Haven marchers in chants. State Representative Roland Lemar and
Undersecretary of Criminal Justice Mike Lawlor both spoke at the rally, stating
their support for the state-level “Safe Driving” bill that would permit
undocumented immigrants to obtain legal driving permits and auto insurance. 100
people marched in the Bridgeport protest.
State Senator Andres Ayala Jr. gave a speech in both English and
The 9 April protests were then followed
by even larger protests the next day, as part of a national day of action on
immigration reform. The Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance organized a
protest in Hartford, the Connecticut state capitol, with rallies at both the
old State House and the State Capitol building connected by a march of 250
people. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra joined the march as the protesters passed
City Hall. College students presented State Representatiaves Juan Candelaria
and Gary Holder-Winfield with an immigration reform petition with more than 900
signatures. Legislators, including State Speaker of the House J. Brendan
Sharkey, voiced their support for both the safe driving act and the TRUST act.
On 11 April, the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition organized
celebrations for its 16th annual Immigrant Day in the state capitol
in Hartford, which included speeches by Governor Molloy.
Lawmakers began to act directly to
intervene in the case of Jose Maria Islas. On 15 April, U.S. Senator Chris
Murphy sent a letter to the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
John Morton, stating his support for Jose Maria Islas and opposing his
deportation. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal followed suit, sending his own
letter opposing Islas’ deportation on April 18.
Jose Maria Islas was due to be deported on 29
April. The day before, the Amistad Catholic Worker House held a prayer vigil
for him in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven.
Maria Islas was able to remain in the United States past this date, as a
federal judge granted a temporary deportation reprieve. Islas was therefore able to participate in a
major demonstration in New Haven on 1 May. This protest march included United
States Representative Rosa DeLauro and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy in
addition to Islas. More than 700 people marched and attended a
rally on the New Haven Green. The key organizers included Junta for Progressive
Action, CT Students for a DREAM, Communidad de East Haven, and the Latino
Advocacy Foundation of Bridgeport. Marchers also carried signs featuring
“Keeping Families Together” slogans.
Islas’ reprieve from deportation was
short-lived, and on 20 May a Judge denied his request for a stay of
deportation. Islas was sent to Bristol County House of Correction in South
Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to await deportation back to Mexico. This deportation
was again temporarily put on hold as Islas’ lawyer, Danielle Briand, requested
that the judge re-open Islas’ case on constitutional grounds. Briand argued
that deportation was a disproportionate and unjust penalty for the crime of
undocumented entry into the country. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal sent a
second letter to John Morton, asking again that Morton stay Islas’ order of
deportation. Blumenthal pointed out
recent judiciary and legislative measures that would have prevented cases like
Islas’ from being passed on to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The two state-level immigration reforms
under consideration progressed quickly. The TRUST act passed the Connecticut
House of Representatives on 22 May and the Connecticut Senate on 31 May. Both
votes were unanimous. The Safe Driving act passed the House on 23 May and the
Senate on 30 May.
A federal immigration judge granted Jose
Maria Islas a one-year stay of deportation on 6 October 2013.
TRUST act introduced by Gary Holder-Winfield very similar to TRUST act that had been passed (and then vetoed by the governor) in California. (1) The Connecticut TRUST and Safe Driving acts went on to be models for other states, including Massachusetts (2).
Amarante, Joe. “Crowd Marches for Immigration Reform.” New Haven Register (CT) 10 Apr. 2013 : a3. Print.
Appel, Allan. “700 Rally For Rights.” New Haven Independent. N. p., 2 May 2013.
Bellmore, Michael. “Good Friday Marked with Immigration Rally in New Haven.” 29 Mar. 2013. Web.
Bhatt, Alok. “People’s Blog for the Constitution » CT Breaks the ICE between Immigrant Communities and Local Police.” 5 June 2013. Web.
Buffa, Denise. “INTERFAITH GROUP LEADS ON CIVIC ISSUES \ SOCIAL ADVOCACY.” Hartford Courant, The (CT) 27 May 2013.
Chinapen, Rachel. “Immigration Protest Comes to DeLauro’s Door?” New Haven Register (CT) 3 Apr. 2013.
Chinapen, Rachel. “Major New Haven Figures Lead Movement for Immigration Reform.” New Haven Register (CT) 16 June 2013. Web.
Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. “Rally for Immigration Reform Now! Monday January 21st, 2013 4 PM Outside the Federal Courthouse in New Haven | Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.” 17 Jan. 2013. Web.
De La Torre, Vanessa. “A CALL FOR CHANGE \ IMMIGRATION ACTIVISTS SEEK A MORATORIUM ON DEPORTATIONS \ STATEWIDE.” Hartford Courant, The (CT) 27 Feb. 2013.
De La Torre, Vanessa. “BLUMENTHAL, ACTIVISTS PUSH FOR IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL \ HARTFORD.” Hartford Courant, The (CT) 5 Feb. 2013.
De La Torre, Vanessa. “Immigration Activists, Faith Groups Rally Outside Hartford Federal Building.” Hartford Courant 15 Mar. 2013. Web.
De La Torre, Vanessa. “VOICES FOR CHANGE \ MARCHERS URGE FEDERAL REFORM, DENOUNCE IMMIGRATION ‘RAIDS’ \ HARTFORD.” Hartford Courant, The (CT) 11 Apr. 2013.
FitzGerald, Eileen. “Rally to Call Attention to Deportations.” News-Times, The (Danbury, CT) 26 Mar. 2013. Web.
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MacMillan, Thomas. “4 Arrested As Feds Order New Havener Deported.” New Haven Independent 21 Feb. 2013. Web.
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“‘Secure Communities’ Suffers A Setback.” New Haven Independent. N. p., 19 Feb. 2013. Web.
MacMillan, Thomas, and Hugh McQuaid. “ICE-Snared Immigrant Will Go Free -- For Now.” New Haven Independent 29 Nov. 2012. Web.
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New Haven People's Center
Unitarian Society of New Haven
Centro do Imigrante Brasileiro Bridgeport
Greater New Haven Peace Council
United Church on the Green
Shalom United Church of Christ
First and Summerfield United Methodist Church
Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven
Additional Groups Joining in Segment 4:
Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission
Center for Latino Progress
United Action Connecticut
Oficina Catolica de Justicia Social de la Arquidiocesis de Hartford
Center for New Economy
American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut
Apostle Immigrant Services
Connecticut Coalition to Stop Indefinite Detention
African American Affairs Commision
International Institute of Connecticut
New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Additional groups joining in Segment 5:
Unitarian Universalist Church of Danbury
St. James Episcopal Church, Danbury
John DeStefano Jr., Mayor of New Haven
UNITE-HERE Local 217
Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut
Mike Lawlor, Connecticut Undersecretary of Criminal Justice
Connecticut State Senator Roland Lemar
Connecticut State Senator Andres Ayala Jr.
Pedro Segarra, Mayor of Hartford
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Connecticut Speaker of the House J. Brendan Sharkey