U.S. Justice Meets LatinoJustice re: Suffolk County Injustice

Investigators from the U.S. Justice Department met in New York with LatinoJustice regarding allegations of anti-Latino bias in Suffolk County.

LatinoJustice's complaint charges Suffolk County government officials with violating the equal protection clause in its treatment of Latino residents; stirring up anti-Latino resentment, indulging bigots and promoting hate speech through its anti-Latino immigrant proposals -- culminating in the hate killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue.

While the DOJ has not yet launched a formal investigation, their presence last week in New York is reassuring.

As for the response from Suffolk officials, the usually ultra chatty Steve Levy has gone silent--as have his co-conspirators in the legislature. However, the county police are said to welcome any investigation--although spokesman Tim Motz claims that Suffolk's "hate crime statistics are essentially the same" as in other jurisdictions.

In addition to insulting the intelligence of county residents, the Long Island Latino community, the memory of Marcelo Lucero, as well as most U.S. counties without official campaigns against Latino immigrants, Mr. Motz misses an essential point: that the county's numbers are totally out-of-whack with reality -- reflecting the possibility of a systemic failure to protect Latinos residents.

Recommendation for Mr. Motz: Read the LatinoJustice complaint to learn about what's really happening in Suffolk County.

Moreover, the concern is not that hate crimes only happen in Suffolk County. No one is saying that. The concern for Latinos in Suffolk is that authorities are actively fomenting anti-Latino hostility. And it's not just the county. DOJ should also look at the embedded biases in the code enforcement, provision of services, staffing, and policing practices of a number of towns and villages--often in coordination with the county.

So, Mr. Motz and Mr. Levy should also welcome more 'sanctuary' sessions of the sort held at the church in Patchogue in which residents can step forward and tell the truth without fear, right? At least 20 hate victims came forward in Patchogue. How many more are out there that the bright lights of Suffolk County don't know about?

And while they're at it, perhaps DOJ should look closely at the embedded practices and attitudes which systematically undermine the rights of racial "minorities". For example, why are at-large election districts which ensure African American and Latino political under representation allowed? Why are racially segregated and unequal public schools condoned? How is it that Long Island manages to remain one of the most segregated places in the country even though people of color are a significant portion of the overall population?


Virgil The Loser Joins Growing List of Defeated Nativist Politicians

Incumbent Virgil Goode -- islamophobe and nativist -- was proclaimed the loser in the recount of the Virginia 5th Congressional district race. Democrat Tom Perriello bested Goode by a very close margin in a district which had been a reliably Republican.

Goode is one of a number of lackluster politicians using fear and nativist appeals to score cheap political points. Among other vile tactics, in '06 Goode chose to denounce--instead of honoring--the election in Minnesota of Keith Ellison to the U.S. Congress. Why? Because Ellison is a convert to the Muslim faith.

Thankfully, Goode and his ilk are joining a growing list of politicians associated with nativistic and xenophobic politics to be defeated. Often representing solid and/or leaning GOP districts, the list includes: George Allen, Elizabeth Dole, Lou Barletta, Thelma Drake, Tom Feeney, Ric Keller, Robin Hayes , Randy Graf, John Hostettler, J.D. Hayworth, John Shadegg -- as well as Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney who were crushed in the GOP presidential primaries.

Perriello Declared Winner In VA-5
More immigration losers
A Clash between the Old and New America
Virgil Goode on Why the US Should Refuse Immigrants From the Middle East
Republican Congressman Refuses to Apologize for Islamophobic Remarks


LatinoJustice brings international charges against U.S. for violating human rights of Latinos

The United States is violating the human rights of Latinos living within the country’s borders, according to a petition filed today with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by LatinoJustice PRLDEF. The rarely-used international procedure charges that the U.S. Government is failing to protect its Latino residents.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF's Petition Against the U.S.

Supporting Documents
Petition Alleging Violations of the Human Rights of Latinos by the United States of America

Juridical Condition and Rights of the Undocumented Migrants, Advisory opinion

Declaration by John Doe 1

Declaration by John Doe 2

County of Suffolk, Police Department Memoranda

Attachment D: Brentin Mock, Immigration Backlash: Hate Crimes Against Latinos Flourish, Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Attachment E: Anti-Latino Hate Crimes Rise for the Fourth Year in a Row (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Attachment F: Anti Defamation League, Extremists Declare Open Season on Immigrants

Attachment G: Anti-Defamation league, Immigrants targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream

Attachment H: International Association of Chiefs of Police, Project Response, Police Chiefs Guide to Immigration Issues

Attachment I: Major Cities Cheifs, Immigration Committee Recoemdnations: For Enforcement of Immigration Laws by Local Police Agencies

Attachment J: Mark Hugo Lopez and Susan Minuskin, 2008 national Survey of Latinos: Hispanics See their Situation in the Unites States Deteriorating

Attachment K: UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Report of the Special Rapportuer on the Human Rights of Migrants

El Diario: A petition for human rights

Una petición por los derechos humanos

A petition for human rights

The responses to the latest act of hate have included calls for tolerance. They must also continue to push for the delivery of justice.

Over five years, hate crimes against Latinos have increased by 40 percent. That’s happened alongside a hostile immigration debate that has singled out Latinos, and amid federal policies that pander to anti-immigrant zealots.

Hispanic organizations have long sounded an alarm about this trend and the tenor of the immigration debate. Yet, hate claimed another victim earlier this month.

We were still reeling from the hateful murder of Marcelo Lucero in Long Island in November when news came of an attack in Brooklyn. There, a group of men descended on Ecuadorian immigrant and businessman Jose Sucuzhañay with an aluminum bat.

In response to the attack and murder of Sucuzhañay, New York City Council members and community leaders took to the streets to denounce this hate crime. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also denounced the murder of Sucuzhañay, who was with one of his brothers when the attackers brutally beat him.

After meeting yesterday with Sucuzhañay’s family, Governor David Paterson committed to ensuring that hate crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This should help set a tone for leaders across the state and nation, too many of whom continue to engender anti-immigrant sentiment.

Other officials are pushing for toughening hate crime laws. But Latino Justice PRLDEF is going a step further. The civil rights organization has filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, charging the United States with failing to protect its Latino residents.


A Climate of Hate

The hate killing of Jose Sucozhanay shortly after the similar murders of Marcelo Lucero and Luis Ramirez, prompted Elbor Ruiz (DailyNews) to declare that "it is open season" on Latinos.

Q: How is it that in today's America a person's ethnicity can be the reason for their murder?

Ruiz' answer:

The climate created by paramilitary raids that treat workers and families like criminals; the unconscionable spreading of lies and distortions by some politicians and media personalities that dehumanize immigrants, and the growing climate of hate surrounding the immigration debate have proven to be an ideal breeding ground for racism.
I couldn't agree more!

Stop dehumanizing immigrants (including referring to people as illegal and alien). Stop treating Latino immigrants like criminals. Cut the anti-Latino hate talk by politicians and rightwing commentators by fining their employers for inciting hate. And prosecute all small and large hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law. Only then will we begin to see the crimes and abuse begin to diminish.

A climate of hate ends innocent life


The War on Latino Immigrants Escalates: Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhañay Slain in Bushwick

Another Latino has been murdered in the glacial moraine known as Long Island.

Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhañay and his brother Romel were savagely attacked early Monday morning by a gang wielding beer bottles and bats. Jose was pronounced brain dead yesterday. The attack occurred in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn (Southwestern Long Island).

As in the killing of Marcelo Lucero a month earlier in Patchogue, Long Island, and the earlier slaying of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA, the attackers were a hate-filled pack of thugs prowling the night in search of victims. In all three cases, the gangs zeroed in on Latino immigrants walking home.

Unlike the other murders, the attackers in Bushwick were Black and they escaped in an SUV. In addition to using anti-Latino slurs, the attackers used anti-gay slurs in the mistaken belief that the brothers were a gay couple.

The domestic war against Latinos escalates with Jose and the Sucuzhañay family as its latest victims. But while nativists focus like a laser beam in waging their ugly war, the larger community of decent Americans are asleep at the switch. The result is that it's lietrally open season on Latinos--especially on the most vulnerable working late hours and travelling on foot or bicycle.

Photo: Diego Sucuzhañay, brother of Jose, addressing the media

Attack on Ecuadorean Brothers Investigated as Hate Crime
Brooklyn victim of bias attack Jose Sucuzhanay taken off life support
Task force hunting Brooklyn thugs in hate attack on immigrant