Immigrant Rights Commission
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS COMMISSION
COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
DECEMBER 12, 2005
Chair Diana Lau convened the meeting at 5:15 p.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Commissioners Diana Lau, Elahe Enssani, Solomon Jones, Felix Levy, Samira McCoy, Sonia Melara, Zina Specktor, Jamal Dajani.
MEMBERS ABSENT: Commissioners Gilberto Alexander, Deborah Escobedo (excused), Svetlana Kaff (excused), Ivy Lee (excused), Sam Ng (excused), Phu Nguyen.
STAFF PRESENT: Dang Pham, Executive Director, Marie Mitchell, Commission Secretary.
GUEST PRESENT: Mr. Leomid Nokhodriu, United Humanitarian Mission; Mr. Kim Singh, Asian American Public Policy Institute.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM NOVEMBER 14, 2005
Commissioner Melara moved that the Minutes be tabled until the meeting of January 9, 2006.
Mr. Leomid Nokhodriu, President, United Humanitarian Missions asked for the Commission’s endorsement regarding his organization. Commissioner Diana Lau explained that the Commission does not endorse organizations.
Mr. Kim Singh, Executive Director of Asian American Public Policy Institute reported that INS is illegally detaining individuals for deportation. Since San Francisco has no detention facility, detainees must be taken to Yuba County, Bakersfield or Santa Clara County Jails with a traveling time of 3 hours each way in small vans without windows.
Other problems that the detainees experience: lacking of medical treatment, no translation services, and inadequate legal representation.
EQUAL ACCESS TO CITY SERVICES
Review and Approve of the Draft Report on the Status of the Implementation of the EAS Program Access Committee & Policy and Legislation Committee.
Commissioner Melara stated that the draft report is near completion. Commissioner Escobedo is drafting the Executive Summary and the conclusion of the EAS Report. Commissioner Lau asked Commissioners to notify Commissioner Escobedo on or before the January 9th meeting if they have any changes for the final EAS draft report.
1. “Not In Our Town”
KQED convenes a small leadership group to focus on what concrete measures might be in place to encourage a unified response to hate crimes and build safe communities for everyone.
A key resource in the discussions will be “Not in Our Town” a landmark PBS series and national anti-hate campaign now entering its second decade. At this gathering KQED-TV will share with the participants the campaign’s effective work on racism and anti-Semitism along with the issues of hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
2. Cultural Competency Task Force
The Cultural Competency Task Force held its first meeting on December 6, 2005 at City Hall.
3. DREAM Act Updates
On November 18, 2005 a bipartisan group of United States Senators introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2005 (Senate Bill S.2075). This proposed legislation would allow undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least 5 years and have graduated high school or received a graduate equivalency diploma (GED) to legalize their immigration status, thereby making them eligible to Federal financial aid, and allow states to consider these students as state residents for tuition purposes at state universities or colleges. The bill will become law if passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President before the end of 2006.
4. Day Labor Program Updates
The reimbursement checks for July, August and September 2005 have been issued to the Contractor, La Raza Centro Legal.
At the time of the deadline for submission of the Day Labor proposals, the City had only received one proposal. The current city contract with the La Raza Centro Legal will expire on February 28, 2006.
On November 28, 2005 Mr. Pham met with Mr. Kevin Matthews of the Assessor-Recorder’s Office to coordinate the first Cultural Competency Task Force.
On December 2, 2005, Mr. Pham participated in the WE THE PEOPLE …THE CITIZEN AND THE CONSITUTION Annual Mock Hearings sponsored by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s District Office in San Francisco.
NEXT MEETING’S AGENDA
Discussion of Neighborhood Meetings
Review the draft of EAS Report
Moved by Commissioner Melara and seconded by Commissioner Alexander, the meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.