Monday 5/19 – Criminalizing Immigrants: The Case of Rasmea Odeh

In the early morning of Tuesday, October 22, 2013, sixty-five year old Rasmea Odeh, was arrested at her home by Department of Homeland Security agents. She was indicted in federal court that same morning, charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answer she gave on a 20 year old immigration application. Rasmea is the Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and has dedicated her life to serve and empower the Arab American and immigrant communities. Earlier this year, Rasmea received the “Outstanding Community Leader Award” from the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Learn more about the case of Rasmea Odeh, and the selective prosecution of key activists in the Palestinian and anti-war solidarity communities. Rasmea’s criminal trial starts on June 10, 2014 at the U.S. District Courthouse in Detroit.


Media Links:

Info on trial/petition:

Discussion about Puerto Rico and Oscar Lopez Rivera on 5/2!

More information:
Wilma Reverón: human rights activist and attorney practicing employment, civil rights and family law in Puerto Rico. She is a member of the Board of Advisors of the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) Puerto Rico National Chapter and past Senior Staff Attorney. She is member of the Commission on Constitutional Development of the Puerto Rico Bar Association that is dedicated to the study of the political relationship between the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States. Since 1980, she has made numerous appearances before the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization on the question of Puerto Rico and before Caribbean Regional Seminars sponsored by the Committee as an expert on decolonization. She has delivered papers and participated in conferences at universities, book fairs and  seminars  related to the decolonization of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean Territories, such as the Saint Marteen Book Fair and the “50/50 UCCI/UWI Conference: Surveying the Past and Mapping the Future”  on political and constitutional developments in the Caribbean Overseas Territories and the Island Nations.  She has also made presentations in special tribunals on human rights issues such as Vieques and police repression in Puerto Rico. Her articles appear in Puerto Rico newspapers such as Claridad and El Nuevo Día and international magazines and publications such as Tricontinental (OSPAAL),  Correos del Orinoco (Venezuela) and De Igual a Igual in Argentina. She is currently co-president of the National Hostosiano Congress Independentista Movement, in charge of international relations.
Attorney Alejandro Torres Rivera received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Social Sciences Department at the University of Puerto Rico in 1973, with a major in Political Science. He attended law school at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, graduating in 1976.
His first job was as a Hearing Examiner at the Labor Relations Board of Puerto Rico. He has been in private practice since 1977, focusing in labor law as an attorney for workers and unions.
He is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Labor Relations at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus and at Interamerican University School of Law. He also gives workshops and courses as an instructor in the Worker Education Program at the Institute of Labor Relations. He is a frequent columnist at the weekly newspaper Claridad and has published many political, professional and historical essays in professional journals and in the academic community in Puerto Rico and elsewhere. He has been a member of the Commission for the Study of Constitutional Development of the Bar Association of Puerto Rico since 1996, and has chaired the Commission since 2012.
Attorney Torres Rivera is the author of several books, including Militarismo y Descolonización: Puerto Rico ante el Siglo 21 [Militarism and Decolonization: Puerto Rico in the 21st Century];  El Derecho a la Libre Determinación en Puerto Rico: los derechos de un pueblo colonizado ante el proceso de militarización de la sociedad puertorriqueña [The Right of Self-Determination in Puerto Rico: the rights of a colonized people in the face of the process of the militarization of Puerto Rican society]; El Trabajo por la Unidad Independentista: el desarrollo histórico del Congreso Nacional Hostosiano [The Work for Independentista Unity: historical development of the National Hostosiano Congress]; Independencia, Soberanía y Libre Determinación en el Caribe: el caso colonial de Puerto Rico y sus repercusiones para la región [Independence, Sovereignty and Self-Determination in the Caribbean: the colonial case of Puerto Rico and its repercussions for the region]; Visión de Vieques: el uso del territorio nacional puertorriqueño por parte de la Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos (noviembre de 1999 a diciembre de 2003) [Vision of Vieques: use of the national Puerto Rican territory by the United States Armed Forces (November 1999 to December 2003);  El Alca y los peligros para las economías de la región del Caribe [ALCA and the dangers for the economies of the Caribbean region]; La Asamblea Constitucional de Status [The Status Constitutional Assembly]; and the latest book, Los Conflictos entre el Mundo Musulmán y Occidente, ¿qué es lo nuevo?, ¿qué es lo viejo?: apuntes generales [Conflicts between the Muslim World and the West, what’s new, what’s old: general points].
He has participated with other scholars and investigators in the production of the following books: Vieques ante el 2003: posibilidades y peligros [Vieques facing 2003: possibilities and dangers] and El Trabajo y las Relaciones Obrero-Patronales [Work and Worker-Boss Relationships]. He is also the author of many essays and articles about professional and political topics.
Attorney Alejandro Torres Rivera is also a member of the National Board of the National Hostosiano Congress Independentista Movement and its Executive Commission. Since 2013 he has chaired the Board of Directors of the Francisco Manrique Cabrera Foundation. He also participates actively as a panelist in several analytical radio programs. Since May of 2008 he has directed the international analytical weekly radio program Window to the World… from Puerto Rico, on WKAQ 580.

NextGen Happy Hour Friday May 2!

The next Happy Hour has been set for First Friday May 2nd!  In honor of the date’s proximity to May Day this month’s Happy Hour is co-sponsered by Chicago NLG’s Labor & Employment Committee!

We are first meeting at The Haymarket Memorial: 175 N. Desplaines St. Chicago, IL 60661 at 5:30 PM.  Many people haven’t seen it and it will be a nice reminder of the rich history of Labor in Chicago!

Then we will be walking over to the nearby Dylan’s Tavern and Grill for the rest of the festivities!  Dylan’s is located at 118 S. Clinton St, Chicago, IL 60661 for anyone who can’t make it to the memorial.

We hope to see you there!

Upcoming CLE: Litigating Workplace Sexual Violence Cases

Save the date for an upcoming CLE co-sponsored by TUPOCC!

Building Your Arsenal: Tools for Successfully Litigating Workplace Sexual Violence Cases

Learn more about successfully representing clients in sexual harassment cases. Filing a discrimination complaint may only be one component of an effective representation strategy. This interactive session will provide tools to better represent clients struggling with post-traumatic stress and encourage participants to use the law creatively to empower survivors.

Where: Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

             300 N. LaSallle, Room 7KLM

When: April 17, 2014

            1:00pm – 5:00pm

4 hour CLE credit will be given!

Discussion will include an analysis of:

  • The Illinois Gender Violence Act
  • Immigration relief for survivors
  • Survivor centered litigation
  • Anti-trafficking laws, and more


Sheerine Alemzadeh, Staff Attorney with Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

Karla Altmayer, Equal Justice Works Fellow with LAF

Allison Creekmur, VISTA attorney with LAF

*RSVP to with your name and organization name by April 4, 2014



Chicago Torture Survivors Reparations Ordinance

Please Support the Chicago Torture Survivors Reparations Ordinance!

This past fall, on October 16, 2013, Aldermen Howard Brookins and Proco Joe Moreno introduced an Ordinance seeking Reparations for the Chicago Police Torture Survivors drafted by the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials Project (CTJM) and the People’s Law Office. The ordinance has since been sent to the finance committee of Chicago’s City Council.

Please sign the  on line petition at:

On (HEARING POSTPONED, TBD) Tuesday, March 4, 2014, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., the Finance Committee will be having a hearing on the reparations ordinance. Join us at the hearing in the City Council chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall. A large turnout of supporters at the hearing will have a profound impact on how the Alderpeople hear our appeal and consider their support.

The Ordinance calls for a formal apology to the survivors; creates a Commission to administer financial compensation to the survivors; creates a medical, psychological and vocational center on the south side for the survivors and their family members; provides free enrollment in City Colleges for the survivors and family members; requires Chicago Public schools to teach a history lesson about the cases; requires the City to fund public memorials about the cases; and sets aside $20 million to finance this redress, the same amount of money the City has spent to defend Burge, other detectives and former Mayor Richard M. Daley in the Chicago Police torture cases.

The torture survivors continue to suffer from the psychological effects of the torture they endured; many without any compensation or assistance or legal recourse for any redress. The City of Chicago is responsible for these undeniable human rights violations and it must make amends to the torture survivors, family members and communities of color affected by these racist, police practices. The Ordinance is an important and lasting way for it to do so.

You can read the entire ordinance at or


Fred Korematsu Day

Thursday, January 30th, 11:45am-1pm
DePaul College of Law, 25 E. Jackson Blvd, Room 903
Fred Korematsu is the Japanese-American man who would not consent to being interned after President Roosevelt ordered that all Japanese-Americans be interned as World War II began. He is also the individual responsible for the landmark Korematsu v. United States case.
Join us for a screening of the brief film “Of Civil Rights and Wrongs” about Korematsu’s life and a discussion about the racial profiling he endured then and the racial profiling too often experienced by people of color today.
Reflections by:
Kiyo Yoshimura 
Former internee in Japanese-American internment camps
Rabya Khan
Staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Sponsors: CAIR-Chicago, National Lawyers Guild-Chicago TUPOCC, Japanese American Citizens League, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, The Chicago International Social Change Film Festival, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum-Chicago 


Student Group Sponsors: DePaul NLG, DePaul APALSA, Northwestern University South Asian Law Student Association, and Northwestern University APALSA, Chicago-Kent APALSA