Call out for Guest Bloggers in March for the SAALT Spot – FOCUS ON IMMIGRATION RAIDS AND DETENTION

SAALT wants to hear from activists and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers about the rel­e­vant issues of the day through our blog, the SAALT Spot.

For the month of March, we are focus­ing on the top­ic of immi­gra­tion raids and deten­tion and their impact on the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. You don’t need to be an immi­gra­tion expert; we are inter­est­ed in what peo­ple through­out the coun­try and com­mu­ni­ty are think­ing and talk­ing about.

Things you can con­sid­er when com­pos­ing a blog post:

-Immi­gra­tion enforce­ment has been on the rise in recent years and include both work­place and res­i­den­tial raids. In fact, a recent raid, the first since Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s inau­gu­ra­tion, took place on Feb­ru­ary 24th in Belling­ham, WA, where 28 work­ers were arrest­ed by Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment at a engine man­u­fac­tur­ing plant.

-Immi­gra­tion raids tear fam­i­lies apart, often sep­a­rat­ing U.S. cit­i­zen chil­dren from their immi­grant par­ents.

-There are now approx­i­mate­ly 400 deten­tion and depor­ta­tion facil­i­ties all around the coun­try (an inter­ac­tive map can be found here).

-A group of the Indi­an guest work­ers who allege they were exploit­ed by their employ­er in the Gulf Coast and are engaged in a strug­gle for jus­tice were caught up in an immi­gra­tion work­place raid in North Dako­ta. 23 work­ers were arrest­ed dur­ing that raid.

- Oth­er sto­ries of South Asians in deten­tion and depor­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings like Har­vey Sachdev, a diag­nosed schiz­o­phrenic deport­ed to India who has since gone miss­ing

As the issue of work­place raids and immi­gra­tion deten­tion con­di­tions becomes the top­ic of Con­gres­sion­al leg­is­la­tion and con­ver­sa­tions around the coun­try, blog posts could focus on:

-How have immi­gra­tion enforce­ment pro­ce­dures affect­ed South Asians?

-What issues and pro­vi­sions should South Asians look for in gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion and poli­cies that address immi­gra­tion enforce­ment?

-How can the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty make our posi­tions heard around immi­gra­tion enforce­ment poli­cies?

Ide­al­ly, blog posts will be between 1–3 para­graphs and each guest-blog­ger will write 2–3 entries in the course of the month. If you want to link to inter­est­ing arti­cles or blog posts, please include them in the text of the com­po­si­tion. All entries should be emailed to mou@saalt.org on the Tues­day of each week in Feb­ru­ary that you can con­tribute. Entries may be edit­ed for length.

Mentally Ill Man with Open Case, Deported back to India 2 days After Obama Inaugurated, is Now Missing

This case came to our atten­tion through Dim­ple Rana at Deport­ed Dias­po­ra. In a trag­ic turn of event, Har­vey Sachdev, who has lived in the Unit­ed States for more than 40 years, was deport­ed to India even though his case is still open on appeal. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Sachdev suf­fers from schiz­o­phre­nia and has been miss­ing since his arrival in New Del­hi. Read the press release about Sachde­v’s case below.

Want to do some­thing to to demand human rights for immi­grants who are in deten­tion and who reg­u­lar­ly face due process vio­la­tions? Take a minute to sign this peti­tion to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma encour­ag­ing him to con­sid­er these vio­la­tions as he staffs and restruc­tures the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (the Exec­u­tive agency that over­sees many key oper­a­tions includ­ing Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment) here <http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/?q=DHSPetition>

PRESS RELEASE:
Men­tal­ly Ill Man with Open Case, Deport­ed 2 days After Oba­ma Inau­gu­rat­ed, is Now Miss­ing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 28, 2009

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:
Neena Sachdev, nks29@cox.net
Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW, (213) 389‑2077, ext. 19, gpleasants@mhas-la.org
Dim­ple Rana, (781) 521‑4544, dimple.scorpio@gmail.com

Wash­ing­ton DC Area Fam­i­ly of Men­tal­ly Ill Man Fears for His Life as He is Miss­ing in India Fol­low­ing Depor­ta­tion
ICE exe­cutes depor­ta­tion of schiz­o­phrenic man on Jan­u­ary 22nd, despite his case still being under review, that he is the son, broth­er and father of U.S. cit­i­zens and that his depor­ta­tion could result in his death.

Wash­ing­ton D.C.  —  Jan­u­ary 28, 2009 — The Sachdev fam­i­ly is liv­ing a night­mare as Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) deport­ed their fam­i­ly mem­ber, Har­vey Sachdev, to India on Jan­u­ary 22nd. Har­vey was a res­i­dent of the Unit­ed States for near­ly 40 years, and is diag­nosed with schiz­o­phre­nia. Har­vey is a son, a broth­er and a father of U.S. cit­i­zens. His case is still open on appeal before the Fourth Cir­cuit court. Nev­er­the­less ICE deport­ed him to India on Jan­u­ary 22nd, 2009.

The trau­ma of Har­vey’s pro­longed deten­tion and recent depor­ta­tion made him high­ly unsta­ble. He is now miss­ing in New Del­hi, India, a city of 11 mil­lion peo­ple. It is an unfa­mil­iar city to him, where he has no fam­i­ly and no access to med­ica­tion. Accord­ing to his broth­er and sis­ters, “Our broth­er’s depor­ta­tion is like­ly a death sen­tence for him, and we also fear our moth­er’s life. The stress and the wor­ry has put her life in per­il.”

Hav­ing pushed his depor­ta­tion date back sev­er­al times, ICE ini­tial­ly noti­fied the fam­i­ly of the sched­uled depor­ta­tion, but failed to con­firm it, so nec­es­sary arrange­ments could be made in India. After repeat­ed calls on the day of his depor­ta­tion, ICE only told the fam­i­ly he was no longer in deten­tion. The fam­i­ly also repeat­ed­ly attempt­ed to get con­fir­ma­tion from the India Con­sulate Offices and Embassy, which had to issue trav­el doc­u­ments, but received no infor­ma­tion.

Har­vey came to the U.S. with his par­ents at the age of twelve. He was vale­dic­to­ri­an of his high school and earned a schol­ar­ship to col­lege. Trag­i­cal­ly, in his late teens he devel­oped schiz­o­phre­nia and has bat­tled men­tal ill­ness for all of his adult life.

Due to his men­tal ill­ness, he was con­vict­ed of inap­pro­pri­ate and aber­rant but non-vio­lent crimes. The most seri­ous was inde­cent expo­sure, but he was not guilty of any phys­i­cal con­tact with any per­son, nor of any vio­lence. There is no indi­ca­tion that any court thought that the pun­ish­ment for his crimes should result in depor­ta­tion to a coun­try that he can’t remem­ber, where he has no friends or fam­i­ly or any con­nec­tion what­so­ev­er.

His par­ents and his fam­i­ly are U.S. cit­i­zens. Two of his fam­i­ly mem­bers are serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, with one com­plet­ing two tours of duty in Iraq. He mar­ried a U.S. cit­i­zen and has a U.S. cit­i­zen daugh­ter who is now twen­ty-two years old.

Mr. Sachdev is men­tal­ly ill and requires care, which his fam­i­ly is able and will­ing to pro­vide. He has no one in India and does not have the abil­i­ty to sur­vive on his own.

Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW, an Equal Jus­tice Works Fel­low and Staff Attor­ney at Men­tal Health Advo­ca­cy Ser­vices, Inc. states that “Peo­ple with men­tal and devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties who are deport­ed can also face a grave risk of harass­ment and even per­se­cu­tion in their home coun­tries — harass­ment and per­se­cu­tion based sole­ly on their dis­abil­i­ties.”

“With­out fam­i­ly or med­ical sup­port, depor­ta­tion can become a death sen­tence. Sui­cide and attempt­ed sui­cide are not uncom­mon among deport­ed peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness­es. Access to med­i­cine can be lim­it­ed and peo­ple are often deport­ed with­out any infor­ma­tion on their med­ical back­ground.  Depor­ta­tion of the men­tal­ly ill is cru­el and unusu­al pun­ish­ment,” says Dim­ple Rana of Deport­ed Dias­po­ra, an orga­ni­za­tion work­ing with peo­ple deport­ed from the U.S.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:
Neena Sachdev — Har­vey Sachde­v’s sis­ter, nks29@cox.net
Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW — Equal Jus­tice Works Fel­low and Staff Attor­ney at Men­tal Health Advo­ca­cy Ser­vices, Inc. (213) 389‑2077 ext. 19, gpleasants@mhas-la.org
Dim­ple Rana, Co-Founder and Direc­tor, Deport­ed Dias­po­ra, (781) 521‑4544, dimple.scorpio@gmail.com