Friday, December 18, 2009

Celebrate International Migrants Day! Enjoy Digital Stories from Migrants & Allies ONLINE!

On 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day (resolution 55/93). On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (resolution 45/158)…

Today, please reflect on the many diverse stories of migrants part of YOUR community.

On the Coloradans For Immigrant Rights blog, you can watch 10 digital stories created by 6 immigrants and 4 allies from the Denver area. We screened the 3-5 minute films at the Bug Theater last Saturday. Thanks to YOU over a 150 people filled the theater to honor the truly moving films created during a 3 day workshop facilitated by the Center For Digital Storytelling in partnership with the American Friends Service Committee. The digital stories combined narration, original art, music and images to share their challenges and successes with immigration and creating community in the United States. If you missed the films, enjoy them on our blog or join us at the Rights for All People annual posada from 5:00 – 9:00 pm at Aurora Central High School where the films will be shown before the play.

Here is a teaser, with photos from the workshop:

If you were lucky enough to be at our premier, you’ll LOVE this KGNU interview…

Yesterday, two participants and their stories were featured on the KGNU Denver public radio program, The Morning Magazine. Maeve Conrad, an Irish immigrant herself, asked excellent questions and Daniel Weinshenker and myself, Jordan, enjoyed ourselves as well. You can listen to the radio program here:

The digital stories are produced in English and in Spanish and are available on DVD to share with faith communities, schools and community groups. We are currently working on a discussion guide to go with the stories, so they can be most effectively to help educate and organize around immigrants rights.

Thank YOU for making this project such a success!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The court held that the Weld County District Attorney’s office
violated the Fourth Amendment when seizing tax files

Denver, CO [December 14] – The American Friends Service Committee and Al Frente de Lucha applaud the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to uphold fourth amendment search and seizure as well as privacy protections.

“Today the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed that the Constitution protects everyone residing here from illegal searches and seizures, regardless of immigration status. The Court found that the search warrant executed by the Weld County Sheriff and used by the Weld County District Attorney in this case lacked any individualized probable cause to justify the search of Mr. Gutierrez’ files, while affirming that taxpayers have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their tax returns and return information,” explained criminal defense and immigration lawyer Hans Meyer. “Finally, the Court found that the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant in this case was so lacking in indicia of probable cause that no reasonable officer could have relied upon it.”

The Court recognized that the Weld County District Attorney’s office circumvented the law in the case of Gutierrez. District Attorney Ken Buck failed to prove individual probable cause and violated the taxpayer’s privacy rights based on federal and state laws that protect the confidentiality of tax returns and return information.

The Weld County District Attorney’s office illegally seized more than 1,300 tax records from Amalia’s Tax and translation service in October of 2008. The District Attorney’s office then began a fishing expedition aimed at criminalizing immigrant taxpayers.

“The case never would have gone this far if the tax documents had been seized from Arthur Anderson,” stated James Merson the criminal defense lawyer at the trial and Supreme Court levels.

“Al Frente de Lucha lauds the Court’s decision to uphold the rule of law under the constitution. The DA’s office unjustly charged and prosecuted working, taxpaying members of our community, divided the Weld County community, and has since spent hundreds of thousands of Weld County dollars defending these misguided policies” says Ricardo Romero, co-founder of Greeley’s Al Frente de Lucha.

“We believe that everyone in our community benefits when all our rights are equally protected. Now that we have had a reaffirmation of our constitution, we hope that the focus will be on passing a just and humane immigration reform in 2010. Key components of this reform should include: a clear path to permanent residence, family reunification a top priority, protection of labor rights for all workers, and respect the civil and human rights of immigrants,” stated Gabriela Flora, Project Voice Regional Organizer of the American Friends Service Committee.

For more details on what just and humane immigration reform looks like, please see AFSC’s A New Path: Toward humane immigration policy

# # #

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Digital Storytelling Premier!

Featuring stories from immigrants & allies…

Saturday, December 12, 2009
5:00 Reception with light refreshments
6:00 Film Showing, followed by a Q & A

The Bug Theatre Company
3654 Navajo Street, Denver, CO 80211

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights & the American Friends Service Committee invite you to the FREE premier film showing of 10 digital stories created by six immigrants and four allies unpacking their own personal stories about immigration.

Thanks to genius facilitation from the Center for Digital Storytelling

DVDs will be available for $5 donation. Perfect for schools, faith communities & community groups.

This event is part of the Shine a Light from Coast to Coast— National Days of Interfaith Action for just & humane immigration reform!

Also SOON to be on found online!