I’m sure you want to know.
Firstly, I want to thank the ACLU for co-counseling my suit against the Sheriff.
They have worked for months on this case and they have every reason to believe in a positive outcome.
My personal suit separated from the class action.
I am suing the Sheriff’s Department for a considerable amount of money.
I arrived early at the ACLU office down town. I met with my lawyers. I watched the 30 or so cameras being set up from TV stations all over the USA.
Jennie Pasquarella spoke first. A more eloquent speaker one could not hope to listen to. A more brilliant lawyer one could not hope to meet.
Like all of the lawyers who work for the ACLU she is motivated by fairness for all.
The principle of bail is something so fundamental, that you shouldn’t be held until you’re found guilty.
I waited my turn.
I listened again to this startling fact: The Immigration Department is mandated to deport 400, 000 people a year from the USA.
This fact alone never ceases to shock and amaze me. The implications, I’m sure, are not lost on any of you.
The last time I faced a barrage of press like that I was at the Sundance Film Festival. It was all about me.
Yesterday I was representing thousands of the disenfranchised, the oppressed and the wrongly imprisoned.
In light of Jerry Brown’s veto of the Trust Act and set against the back drop of a recent, damning report documenting violence and abuse in The Men’s County Jail, this case could not be more relevant.
Sheriff Lee Baca has been effectively told that he is incapable of running a jail by the board of supervisors.
Humiliatingly the Supervisors, not the Sheriff, will find someone more competent to run the jail.
Within minutes of the end of our press conference the Sheriff’s representative disputed the charge that the Sheriff’s Department has denied bail to anyone because of ICE holds.
“If you are able to post bail — say it’s $10,000 — and you’re an immigrant from wherever. With or without an ICE hold, we accept that,” said the spokeswoman, Nicole Nishida.
An outright LIE.
A report by prison expert James Austin cites data from Baca’s office indicating that at least 20,000 Los Angeles County inmates, nearly all of them Latino males, were subjected to ICE holds in 2011.
Latino males arrested, held in the MCJ, forced to accept spurious guilty pleas and deported equals: ethnic cleansing.
Nobody cares about them. Nobody gives a damn about undocumented workers. They are treated like animals. Even by my most (so-called) progressive friends.
Latinos spending their lives doing jobs white people don’t want to do, refuse to do in SoCal. They are the real victims of the economic catastrophe.
During the good times, we turn a blind eye to these men and women working at our behest for minimal wages.
When things get bad they are thrown out like yesterdays trash, rounded up like cattle to satisfy immigration deportation quotas.
It’s the same everywhere, when things get tough: blame the immigrants.
I heard my own mother blame Eastern Europeans for ‘taking our jobs’ back at home in Britain.
The Spanish-speaking press asked me: “Do you think Lee Baca is anti-immigrant?”
“You mean, do I think Lee Baca is a racist?” I replied. ”Well, he is just part of the racist problem in the USA but he gets to be the executioner.”
In a country where most people are enslaved by debt, lack of education, obesity, religious/corporate ideology and hubris it is very easy to forget about ones own enslavement and think nothing of enslaving and demonizing others.
The primary reason I would never vote (if I could) for a second Obama term, regardless of his so-called pro gay marriage smokescreen (designed largely to melt liberal hearts) is his appalling deportation record.
The Obama administration’s deportation policies, which rely on cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, have already been challenged in California.
Legislation that would have prohibited sheriffs and police departments from enforcing ICE holds in most cases was, as I have already written, vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month.
Barrack Obama has deported more people from the USA than any other President in this country’s history.
It goes without saying that the Gay media and my local Malibu newspaper will totally ignore this story. I am neither pretty enough nor non-controversial for either to cover the story.
Even though it may be of interest to both communities.
Most gay men are unaware that if they fell in love with a non-American their state marriage certificate or their Foreign marriage certificate would mean absolutely nothing to the Federal Immigration Department.
Their husband/wife would risk deportation.
The gay men I know think that deportation happens to other people… you know… brown people. Not people like us.
Those same gay men run the gay media.
Scott McPherson from The Advocate told me recently that he totally supported The President’s immigration policy and (after I explained to him what a drone was and who was being killed by them) he told me he had no interest in who drones were killing.
All Scott wants is marriage equality. Apparently, only for Americans to marry other Americans.
You might think that Malibu is a liberal, open-minded place…. with all those rich über gays living down there on the beach… but I have endured more homophobia in Malibu than even my small home town village of Whitstable in Kent where one might expect the crushingly narrow-minded.
My Armenian neighbor was so vile about me and my young gay renter, her invective so shocking… it almost took my breath away.
So. It has begun.
Where the runes fall… is none of my business.
Somehow the very act of laying ones self bare, open to all sorts of scrutiny, is a relief.
Regardless of the outcome, I am very happy to be of service to those who can least help themselves.