An Open Letter to Loretta Sanchez by the Orange County Dream Team

Photo by either Josue Rivas or Gabriel San Román--or someone else?
The Dreamers in action...
Here at OC Weekly, we're a proud Aztlanista front, so we're more than happy to run the following open letter by the Orange County Dream Team, that amazing group of undocumented students and their supporters who have been advocating for amnesty for (relative) ages. Their target this time around? Their favorite whipping pendeja: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Take it away, kiddos!

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Mexican Says He Violated U.S. Immigration Laws Only To Be With His Three American Kids

Photo by Josh Denmark & courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
A line in the . . . concrete at San Ysidro, California
At the age of eight in 1987, Puebla, Mexico resident Lamberto Pedraza Sanchez saw his father abandon him to live in the United States.

Two years later, Sanchez's mother joined her husband and left the boy with an aunt, who ordered him to quit school in the sixth grade, refused to allow him to play soccer and forced him to work on a farm.

Without government permission, his parents brought him into the U.S. when he turned 14 years old and he still would be working Orange County menial jobs undetected by immigration officers if not for a family dispute.

He allegedly caught his girlfriend (and mother of his three kids) cheating on him in 2011, assaulted her in a moment of outrage and won a domestic violence conviction that ended with jail time and a 2013 deportation to Mexico.

Having been abandoned by his own parents at an early age, Sanchez refused to stay away from his own kids and, believing his 20-year residence here meant he didn't need a visa, returned to California, where fate handed him another ugly twist.

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Laguna Beach Human Smuggler Wins Mercy From Federal Judge

City of Laguna Beach
Human smuggling port?
About two hours before sunrise in Laguna Beach on June 13, 2013, a Mexican man stood on the shoreline and used his cell phone light to signal the landing spot for a boat loaded with 23 foreign nationals--including a drug dealer--who wanted to enter the U.S. illegally.

But Jose Ricardo Paleta Tula's story isn't simply one of an organized crime soldier in a human smuggling operation.

Over the years, Tula repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally to help improve his family's impoverished condition, worked jobs, saved money, stayed crime-free except for lying to get a California driver's license, and eventually built his own small business in Mexico.

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OC May Day Coalition Renews Call for Santa Ana to End City Jail Contract With ICE

Coalition member Theresa Dang poses with Chief Rojas as he gets photobombed!
Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas took his oath of office at last night's city council meeting, becoming SanTana's 20th police chief and the first Latino top cop in the city's history. But soon after the swearing in ceremony, Chief Rojas publicly acknowledged OC May Day Coalition members present in the chambers and alluded to the policy fight that awaits.

"We have our issues," Rojas said, pointing to activists standing up against a wall. In the packed house, they held protest signs calling on the city to end its collaboration and contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Evan Smith, Stanton Stepfather of an Army Soldier, Slated to be Deported Anyway

Courtesy of Francisca Smith
Smith family photo
Evan Smith returned to his Stanton home last week after an overnight shift at the DoubleTree hotel. Rather than catch some sleep, the undocumented immigrant from Belize got taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite having a U.S. soldier stepson. Agents arrived earlier on the morning of April 30, startling sleeping family members with a rude awakening.

"They came knocking on the door," Francisca Smith, Evan's wife, says. "We were all asleep." Her daughter-in-law answered to agents asking for the man of the house--only he wasn't there.

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Santa Ana Officials Seek to Make Even More Money Off Immigrant Detainees in City Jail Contract with ICE

JoEse Gloria
Getting the protest signs ready
The Orange County May Day Coalition (OCMDC) is all set and ready to go for its annual march in SanTana. Marking International Workers' Day, the downtown demonstration starting at 2 p.m. in Sasscer Park kicks off a political campaign with a familiar goal--ending the city's collaboration and contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There's only one problem for activists revving up to continue last year's fight. According to documents obtained by the Weekly, city officials are looking to increase the amount of money they make off granting bed space for ICE detentions at Santa Ana City Jail to cover deficits.

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An A to Z Guide to Being Undocumented

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Click to enlarge



Term used by the federal government and legal system to refer to all immigrants, legal and otherwise, in the U.S. Also used by bigots (in combination with "illegal") to try to seem clever. Silly bigots!

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ICE Special Agent Admits Guilt In Lengthy, Immigration Bribery Scheme

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent today admitted guilt for his role in a bribery scheme that illegally funneled confidential Department of Homeland Security records to a Los Angeles immigration lawyer, doctored information in secret databases and sanctioned sham marriages involving foreign nationals.

Inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, James Dominguez changed his original plea from not guilty in front of U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford, a move that will likely win him a reduction in punishment.

Dominguez, a Ventura resident, faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison, a three-year period of supervised probation as well as a $250,000 fine.

The plea deal was a bargain for the special agent, who only admitted to making false statements.

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Activists Rally Around Kareli Barerra, Long Beach Immigrant Scheduled for Deportation After Shoplifting

Kareli and family
A clothing store employee in Long Beach called the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) on Kareli Barrera last Monday. They arrested the woman on suspicion of shoplifting. Nervously, she gave deputies a false name as she's an undocumented immigrant.

Later that night, they booked and jailed Barrera for the misdemeanor offenses. When she went before a judge, she pleaded no contest to petty theft, but instead of being released, the mother of an American citizen remained detained at Lakewood Sheriff's Station until being transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) early Monday morning.

The move angered activists, stating she should've been protected by California's TRUST Act, a law that is supposed to command local police agencies to tell la migra to fuck off when it comes to immigrants arrested for non-violent crimes.

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DREAMer Confronts Loretta Sanchez on Deportations, Loretta Walks Away (VIDEO)

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Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has probably had her fill of DREAMer activism for the week--and it shows! On Monday, a trio of OC DREAM Team activists staged a sit-in protest at her D.C. office until they were arrested by U.S. Capitol police.

After that bad look, a Dream Action Coalition member squared off with a clearly unnerved Congresswoman Sanchez at a rally.

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