Thursday, November 29, 2018

Immigration Dialogues: Fall 2018 Calendar

“The Money Question," with Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration. The three-part series is an exploration into our immigration laws and how they have been applied over the years, the role immigration has played in our country, and the reality of immigration today.

Thursday, November 15, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm, at Forest Hills Public Library, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375718-268-7934.  Sponsored by Let's Talk Democracy    

November 29: Immigration Dialogue: Enforcement, Detention & Deportation
Join Families for Freedom for a participatory dialogue around immigration enforcement, detention and deportation with Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers. We will discuss the state of immigration—with a focus on enforcement, detention, and the relationship between the immigration and criminal legal systems—in our current political environment. Come with questions!

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm, at The People's Forum, 320 West 37th Street, New York, New York 10018. Hosted by Families for Freedom. Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1893919017329269/ .

Earlier this Fall...
October 10Immigration Dialogue at Suffolk County Community College
Delve into tough questions about immigration with the authors of The Politics of Immigration.

Wednesday, October 10, 9:30 am-10:45 am and 11:00 am-12:15 pm, at I-115, Islip Arts Building, Suffolk County Community College, Ammerman Campus, 533 College Rd, Selden, NY 11784. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Office of Campus Activities, Student Leadership Development, and Foreign Languages and ESL. For information, call 631-451-4117 or the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, Facebook.com/CSJHU.

October 29: Deep Dive Into Immigration, Part 1
Immigration history with Columbia University professor Mae Ngai, a national authority on the subject,. The three-part series is an exploration into our immigration laws and how they have been applied over the years, the role immigration has played in our country, and the reality of immigration today.

Monday, October 29, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm, at Forest Hills Public Library, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375718-268-7934.  Sponsored by Let's Talk Democracy         

Bring your questions and thoughts about immigration to this participatory workshop facilitated by Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers.  Together we will strengthen our skills to engage more effectively in productive dialogue.

Friday, November 2, 6:30 pm, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Soul Cafe, 7420 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11029. RSVP: Southwest Brooklyn Lutheran Council, southwestBLC@gmail.com.

“Getting at the Roots, with Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration. The three-part series is an exploration into our immigration laws and how they have been applied over the years, the role immigration has played in our country, and the reality of immigration today.

Thursday, November 8, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm, at Forest Hills Public Library, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375718-268-7934.  Sponsored by Let's Talk Democracy  

For more on immigration dialogues:
https://thepoliticsofimmigration.org/our-immigration-dialogues/

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The US Must Take Responsibility for Asylum Seekers and the History That Drives Them

Anyone who has followed the history of US involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean knows that the current crises in the region are absolutely “our problem.”

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
November 10, 2018
Most people are capable of holding two or more conflicting ideas on any given issue. Immigration is no exception.

A large segment of the US public was horrified in May and June when they saw the Trump administration snatching toddlers away from Central American mothers who arrived at the US border seeking asylum. Many would still be appalled if they knew that the White House is seeking to continue the practice in a different form. Most undoubtedly feel genuine sympathy for young people trying to escape violent gangs or abusive partners. Still, a lot of these same sympathetic Americans don’t actually want the asylum seekers to come here.[...]



Photo: Pedro Pardo, AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Book Excerpt: Is Birthright Citizenship a “Magnet” for Unauthorized Immigration?

On October 30 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that he would introduce legislation to challenge birthright citizenship for the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. “[I]t has become a magnet for illegal immigration in modern times,” the senator claimed. Many immigration opponents have asserted this, but they’re rarely challenged to provide proof.

We take a look at the available evidence in The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers, second edition, Chapter 4, “Why Can’t They Just ‘Get Legal’?”:

Children born in the United States are U.S. citizens, even if their parents are out-of-status immigrants. Opponents of immigration like to call such children “anchor babies,” implying that immigrant parents use their U.S.-born children as a way to establish themselves here. In July 2010 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed on Fox News that unauthorized women come to the United States simply to “drop and leave” their babies.

Most citizen children of undocumented immigrants are actually born some time after their parents have settled in the United States, according to a study of babies born to immigrants from March 2009 to March 2010. Just 9 percent of the out-of-status parents had arrived in 2008 or later; most had been in the United States for a number of years when the babies were born—30 percent had arrived between 2004 and 2007, and 61 percent arrived before 2004. For its October 2005 survey, Bendixen & Associates asked undocumented immigrants to give their reasons for migrating to the United States. The respondents overwhelmingly cited work opportunities; having “anchor babies” didn’t even rate a mention.

In any case, having a U.S. citizen child doesn’t help undocumented immigrants gain legal status, or even protect them from deportation. U.S. citizens have to be at least twenty-one years old to sponsor their parents for legal residency. Each year, thousands of people who have U.S.-born children are deported, leaving families shattered. A 2012 study by the New York University School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic found that 87 percent of New York City immigration cases involving parents of U.S. citizen children between 2005 and 2010 ended in deportation….

If we ended birthright citizenship, what status would the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants have? Would they also be undocumented? In that case, ending birthright citizenship would increase the number of undocumented people in the country; the undocumented population would be at least 44 percent larger by 2050, according to a projection by the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute project. In other words, revoking the country’s long tradition of granting citizenship to everyone born here would expand and make permanent an underclass of vulnerable, easily exploited people without full rights—very much like the U.S. South under Jim Crow laws or South Africa under apartheid.

[We’re occasionally posting excerpts from the second edition of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers. You can order here or from your favorite bookseller.]

Friday, October 26, 2018

How can we make “Abolish ICE” a Reality?

Two of the immigrant rights movement’s historic demands provide a basis for actually closing the agency, and beyond that for building a movement to demand more fundamental changes.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
October 25, 2018
Over the past few months immigrant rights activism has come to be defined largely by a demand to “abolish ICE.” The drive to close down Immigration and Customs Enforcement—a Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for internal enforcement of immigration laws—has figured in headlines, garnered support from activists and a few Democratic politicians, and provoked furious denunciations from conservatives. But despite the attention there seems to be little agreement on what’s meant by the phrase, or on how to turn it into a reality.[...]

Read the full article:

DSA members protest in New York, June 2018. Photo: Marty Goodman

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Immigration Dialogue: Enforcement, Detention & Deportation


Join Families for Freedom for a participatory dialogue around immigration enforcement, detention and deportation with Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers.

Thursday, November 29, 2018
6:30 pm–8:00 pm
The People's Forum

We will discuss the state of immigration—with a focus on enforcement, detention, and the relationship between the immigration and criminal legal systems—in our current political environment.

Come with questions!

Hosted by Families for Freedom
Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1893919017329269/

For more on immigration dialogues:
https://thepoliticsofimmigration.org/our-immigration-dialogues/

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Families For Freedom: “Fight to Win”



This is an excerpt from the Families For Freedom newsletter for September, treating the important issue of activist approaches to local ICE detention contracts. To subscribe, email info@familiesforfreedom.org; you can contribute to FFF here.)—TPOI editor.

Fight to Win
September 28, 2018

In early September, Hudson County announced their intent to phase out their detention contract with ICE by 2020. The news came after concerted efforts by local faith-based and advocacy groups to end the contract, and a lawsuit filed by the ACLU that targeted the Freeholders' shady actions in trying to get the contract renewed without community input.

The potential cancellation of ICE's contract in Hudson represents political strength: it would not be possible without growing support in our movement against immigration detention, if ICE's name did not now correctly represent malice and evil to the general public. Yet at the same time, it counteracts another win that also represented political strength, the establishment of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project. On the one hand, the win of access to indispensable legal representation; on the other, the win of building political power among allies outside.

Critics of the phase-out are concerned that people detained in Hudson will be moved to remote detention centers, far from their families and attorneys. NYIFUP lawyers have come out in strong opposition to the planned phase-out on these grounds. In support of their position stand previous incidents, like when trans women incarcerated by ICE in Santa Ana City Jail, close to a dense network of support and services groups, were moved far away to a remote facility in rural New Mexico. Supporters of the Hudson contract ending—and of the growing number of other similar successes around the country—are behind it because of the political momentum it both creates and represents.

Beyond these two positions, there is also the question of efficacy. One of the organizations involved in the campaign against the Hudson contract stated that in order to abolish ICE "we must destroy ICE's capacity to incarcerate people." The statement is noble but the problem with it lies in the fact that this political win does not affect ICE's ability to incarcerate people. Anything that we can do to hinder ICE—to make 'em bleed—is absolutely worth doing, but we must understand that contracts with local jails and private prison companies come and go, whether in scandal or in silence.

Back in 2009-10, after people detained in Varick Street in Manhattan went on hunger strikes to draw attention to horrific conditions there, the jail stopped incarcerating people, many of whom would not be jailed in Hudson. But this decision was made by ICE, and its purpose was to get away from local scrutiny. More recently, in the wake of an 18-month-old baby being killed by her contact with the detention and deportation system, the City of Eloy pulled their contract with ICE for a family detention in South Texas. This too was a decision supported by ICE, and the contract has now been redrawn, this time with the city of Dilley, TX.

Across the country, more counties and cities are folding detention contracts with ICE, both under public pressure and without it. But as long as ending such contracts doesn't get people free, we have to ask ourselves what value these closures have. In contrast to ending contracts that promote information sharing between local law enforcement and ICE, or legislation barring ICE from certain areas, cancelling detention contracts more than likely just means relocating jails. Abolition doesn't mean the transporting of incarcerated people from county to county, nor the opportunity for new profit to be spun from immiseration; it means no more people locked up. What value do these campaigns have if the results resemble ICE's own past actions, and fail to promote political power among those incarcerated in these facilities?

To that point, it is noteworthy that in the debate that has unfolded about whether this closure is of value, the voices of the directly affected have been relatively absent.

Lawyers in movement are often correctly criticized for failing to see the forest for the trees, for working timidly within what's presently possible instead of pushing the boundaries of what is possible. But the concerns and criticisms raised by the lawyers here need not lead to a purely reformist attitude, focused only on procedural justice instead of actual justice. The concerns invite us who believe in abolishing ICE and the entire prison industrial complex to continue asking the question: how can we be effective? How do we ensure our fights are changing the conditions people suffer under, and not providing an outlet for the moral outrage of spectators? How do we fight to win?

Deep Dive Into Immigration, Part 1: Mae Ngai on the History of Immigration

Please join us for an important and timely exploration into our immigration laws and how they have been applied over the years, the role immigration has played in our country, and the reality of immigration today.

Monday, October 29, 2018, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
At Forest Hills Public Library
(718) 268-7934
E F M R to 71/Continental Ave.
LIRR | Q23 Q60 Q64

Mae Ngai, a national authority on the history of immigration and professor at Columbia University, will kick off our three-week series on immigration.

Sponsor: Let's Talk Democracy