Seith, Anuja

Anuja Seith writes for New America Media in San Francisco, the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2,000 ethnic news organizations.

Will 'S-Comm' Turn California Cities into Mini-Arizonas?

By Anuja Seith
New America Media

Even as the Obama administration seeks to block Arizona’s SB 1070 from taking effect, federal authorities are pushing cities in California and elsewhere to adopt a new “voluntary” program that will lead to the same kind of racial profiling as the Arizona law, immigrant rights advocates charged Wednesday.

The Secure Communities program, or S-Comm, was introduced in California in April 2009 and became active in San Francisco last month.

Counties around the Bay Area have been compelled to adopt the program, which requires local law enforcement to automatically and instantly share with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the fingerprints of any immigrant who is arrested, even if that individual is later proven to be innocent or is found guilty of an extremely minor offense.

Holding Banks Responsible By Community Organizing

By Anuja Seith
New America Media

Last Friday, when the Bank of America opened a new branch on King Road in East San Jose, protestors holding white flowers in their hands gathered outside the building. The flowers, organizers said, symbolized the community’s loss of faith with the bank.

East San Jose is at the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis in the Bay Area.

People Acting in Community Together (PACT), an affiliate of the People Improving Communities through Organizing- (PICO) National Network, organized the event, and brought about a dozen people together who planned to divest from the Bank of America. While PACT is focusing on San Jose, PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations, is taking initiatives in other parts of the country. Vice Mayor Judy Chirco and candidates running for district 5 City Council attended the event.