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Peaceful Occupy Oakland Protester Faces Deportation

Saturday, 19 November 2011 08:09 By Jorge Rivas, ColorLines | Report

An Occupy Oakland protester who was detained during Monday’s police sweep of the movement’s encampment outside City Hall is being held without bail as federal immigration authorities determine whether to move forward with deportation proceedings.

Francisco “Pancho” Ramos Stierle is a 36-year-old Mexican immigrant who came to the United States six years ago to study astrophysics at UC Berkeley, friends told the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s been living in the country without legal status since he overstayed his student visa.

As the world rises up against economic injustice, Truthout brings you the latest news and analysis, free of corporate influence. Help support this work with a tax-deductible donation today.

Stierle was one of 32 people detained during Monday’s sweep, but he’s the only one being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin because he’s an undocumented immigrant.  The San Francisco Chronicle has more details:

Stierle was booked on suspicion of two misdemeanors, refusing to disperse and loitering - charges that would carry a $10,000 bail if not for the immigration hold. Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said his agency had no control over federal immigration holds.

Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed her agency had “lodged an immigration detainer against Mr. Stierle,” but declined to comment further. The detainer requires Alameda County to give immigration authorities a chance to take custody of Stierle before he is released.

Stierle was actually meditating when he was arrested on Monday. Friends say he’s a very spiritual person who “practices silence” every week. Video of his arrest shows Stierle   sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed and communicating with a police officer by writing on a notepad.

Stierle detainment is just the latest and more high profile instance in which the federal government’s controversial immigration enforcement program has come under fire. The program, Secure Communities, allows immigration officials to check the fingerprints of everyone who’s booked into local or county jails against federal immigration records. The administration has touted the program as an initiative that’s successfully led to the deportations of violent criminals. But advocates argue that many of the people who end up being deported are people convicted of non-violent offenses, like Stierle.

Several counties have tried to opt of the program, but it’s an effort that’s proved difficult. The program has become a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s immigration agenda, as record numbers of immigrants have been deported since the president took office in 2008.

Supporters have started a Change.org petition calling on Congresswoman Barbara Lee to intervene and force ICE to drop the immigration hold on Stierle immediately.

“Pancho has become an icon of peaceful protest against the unnecessary force the city of Oakland is using against the 99 percent,” supporters wrote on the petition.

Reprinted with permission of Colorlines.com. Sign up to receive Colorlines Direct, a weekly email digest of key stories on Colorlines.com. You'll get award-winning news from our multi-racial team of writers covering hot topics and a broad range of issues from a racial justice perspective

Jorge Rivas

Jorge Rivas is multimedia editor and pop culture blogger for Colorlines.com. A firm believer in the power of visual communications to inform and move people into action, Jorge uses multimedia presentations to help readers build stronger connections to stories. Jorge has covered the public housing crisis in a post-Katrina New Orleans, the effects of deportation on families, and brought live images of the President Obama's inauguration to Colorlines.com readers.


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Peaceful Occupy Oakland Protester Faces Deportation

Saturday, 19 November 2011 08:09 By Jorge Rivas, ColorLines | Report

An Occupy Oakland protester who was detained during Monday’s police sweep of the movement’s encampment outside City Hall is being held without bail as federal immigration authorities determine whether to move forward with deportation proceedings.

Francisco “Pancho” Ramos Stierle is a 36-year-old Mexican immigrant who came to the United States six years ago to study astrophysics at UC Berkeley, friends told the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s been living in the country without legal status since he overstayed his student visa.

As the world rises up against economic injustice, Truthout brings you the latest news and analysis, free of corporate influence. Help support this work with a tax-deductible donation today.

Stierle was one of 32 people detained during Monday’s sweep, but he’s the only one being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin because he’s an undocumented immigrant.  The San Francisco Chronicle has more details:

Stierle was booked on suspicion of two misdemeanors, refusing to disperse and loitering - charges that would carry a $10,000 bail if not for the immigration hold. Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said his agency had no control over federal immigration holds.

Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed her agency had “lodged an immigration detainer against Mr. Stierle,” but declined to comment further. The detainer requires Alameda County to give immigration authorities a chance to take custody of Stierle before he is released.

Stierle was actually meditating when he was arrested on Monday. Friends say he’s a very spiritual person who “practices silence” every week. Video of his arrest shows Stierle   sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed and communicating with a police officer by writing on a notepad.

Stierle detainment is just the latest and more high profile instance in which the federal government’s controversial immigration enforcement program has come under fire. The program, Secure Communities, allows immigration officials to check the fingerprints of everyone who’s booked into local or county jails against federal immigration records. The administration has touted the program as an initiative that’s successfully led to the deportations of violent criminals. But advocates argue that many of the people who end up being deported are people convicted of non-violent offenses, like Stierle.

Several counties have tried to opt of the program, but it’s an effort that’s proved difficult. The program has become a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s immigration agenda, as record numbers of immigrants have been deported since the president took office in 2008.

Supporters have started a Change.org petition calling on Congresswoman Barbara Lee to intervene and force ICE to drop the immigration hold on Stierle immediately.

“Pancho has become an icon of peaceful protest against the unnecessary force the city of Oakland is using against the 99 percent,” supporters wrote on the petition.

Reprinted with permission of Colorlines.com. Sign up to receive Colorlines Direct, a weekly email digest of key stories on Colorlines.com. You'll get award-winning news from our multi-racial team of writers covering hot topics and a broad range of issues from a racial justice perspective

Jorge Rivas

Jorge Rivas is multimedia editor and pop culture blogger for Colorlines.com. A firm believer in the power of visual communications to inform and move people into action, Jorge uses multimedia presentations to help readers build stronger connections to stories. Jorge has covered the public housing crisis in a post-Katrina New Orleans, the effects of deportation on families, and brought live images of the President Obama's inauguration to Colorlines.com readers.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus