Learning from history

Learning from history

Pasadena temple and Jews for Justice to host forum on immigration

By André Coleman 04/25/2013

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On the heels of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold a lower court’s ruling prohibiting law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants indefinitely, the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center and the Greater Pasadena Jews for Justice will present an evening of learning and discussion on immigration reform beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center, 1434 N. Altadena Drive.

The evening will feature a panel of speakers that includes Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and immigration rights activist Simon Burrow. The panel will be moderated by Janice Markham, co-producer of “Press for Democracy,” which airs on Free Speech TV.

“We are very mindful of our history as immigrants and minorities,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, co-chair of the Greater Pasadena Jews for Justice. “And we want to start a dialogue to help people understand the issues today.”

The forum will also feature Pedro Benitez, a student at Blair International Baccalaureate School who has been attending school under provisions of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which allows students to obtain conditional permanent residence in the US if they graduate from high school and stay out of trouble with the law.

Last week, a three-judge panel in Pasadena ruled that the government must hold hearings and release hundreds of nonviolent immigrants illegally detained for six months. About 2,000 immigrants have been detained without a hearing since 2011. Since the lower court’s ruling last November, 400 of those people have received hearings, and 266 of them have been released according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. Immigrants could be subjected to electronic monitoring until an immigration judge decides their fate.

Golden-Krasner told the Weekly that although she was not aware of the decision, it is the kind of topic she hopes will come up at Tuesday’s event.

“We don’t know the questions we will be asking our panel yet,” said Golden-Krasner. “But that is timely. Hopefully it will come up. We need to talk about how it will impact people at the local level.”

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