Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center (FCIRC).
Compañeros: FCIRC is a non-profit organization with the purpose of protecting and expanding Latino and immigrant rights and dignity in Southwest Colorado.
Our History: Founded in 1999 as a community response to the Immigration and Naturalization Service plan to open a deportation center in Durango, Colorado. Founding members led a grassroots campaign to protest building while aligning with the Durango City Council to publicly denounce the facility. After a successful outcome, Compañeros became a formal program under the fiscal sponsorship of San Juan Citizens Alliance, a social and environmental justice organization. In August of 2011, we filed to become an independent 501c3 non-profit and today we are one of the only area organizations serving Latinos, immigrants, and their families and allies in Southwest Colorado.
Our Mission: To create positive social change by supporting all immigrants and their loved ones through advocacy, education, and integrative programs.
Compañeros is effecting positive changes for the entire SW Colorado community by meeting with county sheriffs and community leaders to discuss relationships between law enforcement and minority groups, including immigrant residents. The following article highlights the recent changes in county policy regarding ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) holds and reflecting the pressure by the American Civil Liberties Union, Compañeros, and immigrants themselves to get County Sheriff's and jails to not honor ICE detainers.
Immigration Counties rightly stop holding those suspected of undocumented status Durango Herald Article Last Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:51
The Obama administration’s immigration enforcement efforts have been nothing if not beleaguered, pleasing no one on either side of the political spectrum while being particularly harsh on individuals and families in the country illegally. Under a program known as Secure Communities, federal immigration officials have been asking for cooperation from local law enforcement in determining detainees’ immigration status. The landscape is changing dramatically in Colorado – and elsewhere – and La Plata County is among the localities to have stopped the practice in the past weeks. It is a wholly positive move for law-enforcement and community safety.
The cooperation between local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement involved county sheriffs being asked to hold people they have arrested for an additional 48 hours while ICE determined the detainee’s immigration status. Previously, federal law required sheriffs to cooperate with ICE’s detention policy. That language changed, and it became a matter of choice – one that, if exercised, could leave sheriffs liable for Fourth Amendment violations because those immigration-related detentions were not authorized by an arrest warrant. Three federal court decisions this year affirmed the problem with ICE detentions, and counties are being asked to stop the practice.
La Plata County has done so. Sheriff Duke Schirard said that after learning last week of the changing legal landscape surrounding the detentions, he asked county attorney Sheryl Rogers for an opinion. Rogers concurred with the finding that the immigration detainers are not sufficient to hold people beyond the time it takes to settle a given local warrant. The practice ended immediately, Schirard said.
“Once you really get to thinking about it, that’s what the Constitution protects against,” he said. “We have no problem with that whatsoever.”
Schirard said the policy change meant that between six and eight people who were being held on ICE detentions at the La Plata County jail would not remain in jail longer than the time it took to adjudicate their local matters.
The ICE detention practice has drawn criticism for its implications for community safety, as well as the constitutional question about warrantless detentions in general. Domestic-violence victims, in particular, have faced treacherous ordeals wherein calls for help to the police resulted in ICE detentions. That risk was surely sufficient to prevent those needing help from seeking it, fearing they might find themselves detained. Safety suffers as a result – for people and the larger community.
Colorado’s counties have been incredibly responsive to the news that ICE holds do not pass legal muster, with at least 16 of 64 agreeing to end the detentions in the last two weeks. La Plata County is among the counties quick to change their ways. Schirard deserves credit for his fast remedy of this bad practice. The Obama administration would be wise to stop asking local law enforcement for the favor.
Check out the full article on our News page.
Thanks to Jade Masque & Dolores River Brewery for a fun and successful fundraising event. Gracias a Jade Masque y Dolores River Brewery para un evento exitoso y divertido.
A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site for Spanish speakers, call today for an appt.
Ayuda gratiz con los impuestos!! Martes y Jueves de 4-7pm en nuestra oficina. Llame al 970-375-9406 para hacer una cita.
Thanks to our volunteer, Diego, and Alpine Bank of Durango for supporting this program.
Executive Director Nicole Mosher takes advantage of an invitation to a recent Southwest Republican Women's brunch, to meet face to face with our Representative Scott Tipton. This was the second time in the past year she has pressed him for a comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth, agricultural and service industry workers, and those families who have been long time law-abiding residents in the U.S. Tipton says he's compassionate towards the youth who were brought here when they were young, but he also seems more focused on border security than creating a policy directly dealing with the millions of undocumented people already on this side of the border. Without fast and active effort on the part of the House of Representatives, the problems of immigration will only get worse. You've heard it before, this country was founded by immigrants and simply because of that, it will continue to be a desired destination for future immigrants. No other outside race can claim historical roots in this country or any of the Americas earlier than the native peoples, so regardless of your political or social beliefs, background or heritage, you must remember to be humble as you too (your ancestors) started out as a guest in this foreign land. The best way to deal with immigration reform is to be proactive, focus on the positive, have an open dialogue, be welcoming and encourage immigrants to participate in our communities and democracy so it can be a better nation for liberty and justice for All.
Welcome to our new office! Bienvenidos a nuestra nueva oficina!
Last summer's visit by Mexican Consulate promotes Compañeros for successful fundraiser.
On July 27th we hosted a fundraising event at Sacred Heart Church in Durango while the Mexican Consulate attended to over 200 people seeking to renew passports and identification cards. Thanks to CJs Diner and Durango Joe's Coffee for donating 100 breakfast burritos and 50 cups of coffee to Compañeros so we could raise some money from the community. Thanks also to Vicente y Teresa from Chiquita's Mexican Tiendita for donating very delicious homemade horchata which was a huge hit with adults and kids alike. Compañeros raised one thousand dollars from the event proceeds and were able to spread the word of our work towards immigration reform at the local and state level as well as nationally.
Thanks to the crew of ACS who made contributions and came out to show their support.
Thanks to the crew of Advanced Concrete Solutions for your support of Compañeros!!
Talking with our Senators >>
Board President Deedee deHaro-Brown and CIRC Development Coordinator, Karen Sherman-Perez, have a good laugh with Senator Mark Udall in between serious discussion on a comprehensive immigration reform plan.