Overzealous Prosecution, Not Marijuana Could Get NorCal Teen Deported

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Out of the country for weed
Wingnuts are frothing at the mouth today over the plight of a Northern California teenager, whose life is seriously fucked up right now, thanks to a marijuana charge.

The possible deportation of Saira Munoz "back home" to Mexico is in headlines across the world, with the New York Daily News and UK Daily Mail picking up her story: short of cash for a prom dress, the 18-year-old Yuba City high school senior tried to make money by selling pot brownies.

The restaurant worker sold some to a friend, who sold some to other people -- one of whom went to the hospital after eating a "small piece" and freaking out. That brought in the cops, who arrested her in March 2013.

She could have done two years in jail... "for marijuana," it was breathlessly reported by local television news (in full-on, melodramatic Anchorman-like style).

Instead -- before she was reported to immigration officials -- the local District Attorney charged her with a felony. There's so much wrong here, but that's where the wrong began.

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Sergio Garcia: California Supreme Court Grants Law License to Undocumented Immigrant

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Change.org
Sergio Garcia, now a bonafide California lawyer.
Sergio Garcia's protracted battle with the Cal State Bar ends today, with a unanimous state Supreme Court decision to grant the undocumented immigrant his law license.

"We conclude that the fact that an undocumented immigrant's presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the opinion, citing a new state law that permits the court to grant licenses to immigrants who aren't citizens.

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Nude Wedding Forces Hasty Rescheduling of Immigration Rally

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Everyone cleared out before this could happen again
It was a small crowd that gathered at 11 a.m. on the City Hall steps, but a well-clothed one. Or, at least, a clothed one.

That would soon change.

A very serious press conference hosted by the Labor Council, labor unions, and Supervisors David Campos, David Chiu, and Scott Wiener was hastily rescheduled from noon today to one hour earlier so as not to conflict with the midday au naturel nuptuals of ubiquitous nudist Gypsy Taub and twentysomething Jaymz Smith.

"We've got 25 minutes to get the hell out of here!" said one of the immigration presser's featured speakers.

And, lo, that happened.

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Win a Chance to Nosh on Sergio Romo's "It Only Tastes Illegal" Chocolate Flavor Ice Cream

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Tonight, Three Twins ice cream is launching the long-awaited new Mexican Chocolate flavor inspired by Giants' pitcher Sergio Romo, who's made his share of statements, both fashionably and politically, over immigration reform.

Last year, at the World Series parade, Romo caught his fair share of attention sporting his "I just Look Illegal" t-shirt. Not only did he make headlines with that shirt, but the NorCal-based Three Twins Ice Cream decided it was the perfect tagline for a Mexican chocolate flavor treat. And thus "It Just tastes Illegal" was created.

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Sergio C. Garcia: Supreme Court Hears Case of Immigrant Lawyer Fighting for Admission to Cal State Bar

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Change.org
Sergio C. Garcia
Sergio C. Garcia, a 36-year-old Chico man who came to the U.S. illegally as an infant, has spent the last 19 years of his life in a vexing, seemingly horizon-less legal limbo. After gaining U.S. citizenship in 1994, Garcia's father requested an immigrant visa for his son, which was approved in 1995. Nearly two decades hence, Garcia is still waiting, in undocumented status, for a visa to become available.

During that interim he attended college, finished law school, passed the Cal State Bar Exam, received a positive moral character assessment from the Committee of Bar Examiners, and was told he could be sworn into practice law.

But then state bar officials retracted their invite, after the California Supreme Court demanded that it show cause for licensing an undocumented immigrant. With a similar case pending in Florida, immigration status has become a hot-button issue in state bar admissions. Many legal experts believe that no matter what his qualifications, Garcia will still face major hurdles when the Supreme Court hears his case tomorrow in San Francisco.


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While Congress Stalls, San Francisco Gets Ready for Federal Immigration Reform

Categories: Immigration

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On their way ... to becoming citizens
When the GOP-majority House finally moves forward on immigration reform -- or not -- San Francisco will already have the machinery in place to help shepherd thousands of undocumented immigrants through the sea of bureaucratic red tape to quickly become citizens.

But first the city has to hone its outreach methods. For that, Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu announced this week that the city will launch a three-year initiative to help "inform and support" the city's 100,000 "citizenship-eligible immigrants" to gain citizenship.


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San Francisco Restaurant Workers Recover Unpaid Wages

Don't give them reason to spit in your food
Those hardworking cooks and servers who have been getting stiffed by their employers will finally get the money they rightfully earned.

Wage and Hour Division investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor conducted comprehensive reviews of payroll records and employment practices in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, in addition to employee interviews, and found that restaurants were violating minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions.

As a result, 273 restaurant workers will divvy up $672,333 in unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation, according to the feds.

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Christopher Stender: Court Upholds Injunction Against Attorney Accused of Scamming Immigrants

Categories: Immigration

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Martin Guajardo, the former San Francisco immigration lawyer accused of scamming his clients, remains at large since City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against him in November 2010. In the meantime, Christopher Stender, an attorney whom the city has accused of aiding and abetting Guarardo's alleged fraud, has continued to practice law.

Stender's job is about to get much harder though.

Yesterday, the California Court of Appeal upheld Herrera's March 2011 injunction that Stender and his now-closed San Francisco law firm, Immigration Practice Group (IPG), must inform all their clients that Guajardo is not allowed to practice law and must turn over the case files for any clients who wish to find new representation.

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Berkeley Police to Disregard Immigration Status

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The Berkeley City Council broke ranks with the federal government this week, ordering their police department not to participate in immigration policing.

The council, bowing to demands from the Coalition for a Safe Berkeley, voted to instruct its Police Department to ignore the immigration status of anyone it comes in contact with.

This move brings them shoulder to shoulder with Santa Clara County which, almost a year ago, ordered its Sheriff's Department not to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests.


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Feds to Ease Up on Deporting Gay Immigrants With American Partners

Categories: Immigration, LGBT
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Two years ago, SF Weekly highlighted the sad story of gay immigrants who were being forced to choose between love and leaving the U.S.

But it appears that conundrum is no more. According to Washington reports, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided that gay and lesbian partners will be deemed "family members" when immigration agents consider deportation.

Essentially, that means gay immigrants with American partners won't be automatically deported, just as heterosexual couples are spared.

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