Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ash Wednesday 2015 Teach-In at St. Peter's University's King-Kairos Cent...

Kathy O'Leary leads a Teach-In as part of the annual Ash Wednesday Day of Actions for Immigrant Detainees from Liberty State Park in Jersey City (under the shadow of #TheStatueOfLiberty) to the Elizabeth Detention Center - at the King-Kairos Center at St. Peter's University in Jersey City, NJ.

On Wednesday, February 18th, people from across New Jersey representing over a dozen faith based, community youth and immigrant rights groups, including members from Pax Christi NJ, First Friends, American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program, and NJ Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, gathered in Jersey City and Elizabeth to call for the dismantling of the detention and deportation machine that is feeding the prison industrial complex.  For the sixth year in a row a group of pilgrims and well wishers congregated in #LibertyStatePark in Jersey City in front of the bridge to Ellis Island.  The pilgrims walked from Ellis Island to point out the hypocrisy of a country which claims to celebrate immigrants yet incarcerates so many. The days events are called “Our Justice Knows No Mercy”.

Participants drew attention to the interconnectedness of our county’s lack of mercy in the criminal justice system and the mass incarceration of immigrants and people of color.  “Whether it is the disproportionate treatment of citizen charged with a minor drug crime or an immigrant suspected of being in violation of civil law the argument of the ‘rule of of law’ allows legislators and ordinary citizens turn a blind eye to the disproportionate and inhume treatment of removing people’s liberty. As Thomas Acquinas said ‘justice without mercy is cruelty.”

Community & faith leaders, immigrant rights activists, community members, family of current detainees, former detainees and their families came together to hold vigils, rallies and protests including prayer, music and testimony to call attention to our country’s foreign policies that force people to migrate, to call for a halt to the detentions and deportations that are tearing apart families and to call for an end to prison profiteering. There was a vigil on Freedom Way in Liberty State Park, a teach-in at St. Peter’s University, King/Kairos Social Justice House, a prayer service with distribution of ashes at the Elizabeth Detention Center, & a soup supper and teach-in at St. Joseph’s Social Service Center in Elizabeth, NJ. The day concluded at the 19th annual vigil at the Elizabeth Detention Center, a for-profit facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) where ICE first started incarcerating immigrants in NJ almost two decades ago.

The event was organized by Pax Chrisit NJ and First Friends and co-sponsored by: Casa Esperanza, Action 21, New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees (NJAID), American Friends Service Committee - Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC), Marianist Social Justice Collaborative - Racial and Immigrant Justice Team, Decarcerate the Garden State, St. Peter's University Social Justice Program, Peruvian American Coalition, Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast; Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth,  Dominican Sister's of Caldwell; Wind of the Spirit, Justice for Immigrants Task Force-Archdiocese of Newark

First Friends is accepting ‪#‎donations‬ of toiletries, gift cards, and materials for our Stamp Out Despair Campaign

For More information or to co-sponsor contact: First Friends at 908-965-0455 /

Pax Christi USA is a national Catholic organization, representing the Catholic peace with justice movement in the United States. Pax Christi reaches over a half-million Catholics directly every year with over 400 local groups throughout the United States, over 100 bishop members, 700 parish sponsors, 600 religious communities, and 50 college and high school chapters.

More information on the King-Kairos Center & The Social Justice Program at St. Peter's may be found here:

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Roberto Gonzales (Harvard) at Princeton on Undocumented Immigrant Youth ...

Gonzales, Ph.D., of the Graduate School Of Education at Harvard
University gave a presentation on “The Law and the Clock: Undocumented
Immigrant Youth and the Transition to Illegality” at the Center For
Migration And Development at Princeton University, on February 26, 2015.

Roberto Gonzales is a qualitative sociologist whose research focuses on
the ways in which legal and educational institutions shape the everyday
experiences of poor, minority, and immigrant youth along the life
course. He is recognized as one of the nations leading experts on
undocumented immigrant youth and young adults. Over the last decade he
has been engaged in critical inquiry regarding what happens to
undocumented immigrant children as they make transitions to adolescence
and young adulthood. His West Coast Undocumented Young Adults Research
Project in Los Angeles and Seattle has collected in-depth qualitative
data on over 300 undocumented young adults who have lived in the U.S.
since childhood. This research has helped scholars, policymakers, and
educators gain a better understanding of their educational trajectories,
how they come of age, and how a segment of these young people engages
in civic and political activity. He is currently engaged in two projects
aimed at better understanding the effects of the Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program: the National UnDACAmented Research
Project, a longitudinal study to assess the effects of widened access
among undocumented immigrant young adults; and a companion study to
assess DACA implementation in schools and community based organizations.
He is also carrying out a comparative study of immigrant youth in the
U.S. and the UK. His work is being supported by MacArthur, Irvine, and
Heising-Simons Foundations. Gonzales serves on the editorial board of
Social Problems and the City of Chicago Office of New Americans Advisory
Board. In addition to top social science journals, his work has been
featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,
TIME, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, The Chronicle of
Higher Education, CNN, and NPR. He is currently completing a book
manuscript based on his 10 year study of undocumented young adults in
Los Angeles. Prior to his faculty position at the Harvard, Gonzales was
on faculty at the University of Chicago and the University of
Washington. He received a B.A. from Colorado College, an M.A. at the
University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the
University of California - Irvine.


This presentation came from a series of lectures which The Center for
Migration & Development at Princeton University is hosting this
spring on a variety of topics around the issues of migration &

Established in 1998, the Center for Migration and
Development (CMD) sponsors a wide array of research, travel, and
conference programs aimed at linking scholars with interests in the
broad area of migration and community with national development.

Of particular interest to CMD research is the relationship between
immigrant communities in the developed world and the growth and
development prospects of the sending nations. The Center's data archive
and working papers series provide readily available resources based on
recent research conducted at Princeton.

You can find out more about them here:


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