Sunday, January 21, 2018

‘Dreamers’ could give US economy – and even American workers – a boost

Here’s new research supporting our contention that most native-born people in the U.S. would benefit from the passage of the DREAM Act. How would it affect the DREAM Act fight in Congress now if there was more distribution of this sort of material?—TPOI editor
Rally in support of DACA. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
Amy Hsin, The Conversation
January 19, 2018
Earlier this month, hopes were high that a bipartisan deal could be reached to resolve the fate of the “Dreamers,” the millions of undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children.

Those hopes all but vanished on Jan. 11 as President Donald Trump aligned himself with hard-line anti-immigration advocates within the GOP and struck down bipartisan attempts to reach a resolution.

As we enter the final hours before a potential government shutdown, many Democrats are insisting that any short-term funding agreement must include a resolution for Dreamers.

One of the arguments advanced by those who oppose giving them citizenship is that doing so would hurt native-born workers and be a drain on the U.S. economy. My own research shows the exact opposite is true.[…]

Read the full article:

Download the research paper:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The immigration debate at the center of the government shutdown, explained

This article from Vox gives a pretty clear idea of how the immigration impasse is playing out in Washington. The Democratic politicians are generally willing to give away a lot—too much, most activists would say—to get some protection for DACA recipients. The Republicans, by contrast, are very divided. Some Republican legislators are willing to compromise, some are not, and their president is constantly changing his positions—and doesn’t understand those positions. (As the Daily Show noted, Trump may think the diversity visa involves an actual, physical lottery drawing!)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, DACA and TPS recipients are left in a limbo that’s painful for themselves, their families, and their communities.—TPOI editor

By Tara Golshan and Dara Lind, Vox
January 20, 2018
President Donald Trump sits at the center of the fight to re-open the federal government, and it’s posing a major problem.

“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor on the first day of the government shutdown.

Republicans and Democrats are stuck in a standoff over the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the Trump administration has promised to fully sunset by March 5. Frustrated with Trump’s unwillingness to accept a bipartisan proposal to address the nearly 700,000 DACA recipients in legal limbo, Democratic — and some Republican — senators voted against the short-term spending bill on Friday to force a sense of urgency over immigration negotiations. The conversation about reopening the government has become hopelessly entangled with the conversation about what to do on immigration.[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Inside ICE’s Police State

More and more evidence is accumulating: ICE is using its policing powers in an effort to shut down resistance to the immigration system. So far, the effort seems to be backfiring. As the repression intensifies, the resistance seems to keep on growing. One example: nearly 600 people turned out in the cold at Washington Square on MLK Day for a Jericho walk sponsored by the New Sanctuary Coalition; this came four days after ICE detained the organization’s executive director, Ravi Ragbir. We can expect still more grassroots activism as political class inaction continues in DC.—TPOI editor

I Stood Up to ICE, and Now They’re Trying to Deport Me
With the letter delivered to my house, ICE has officially made the leap from a law enforcement agency to a political repression agency.
Photo courtesy of Maru Mora Villalpando
By Maru Mora Villalpando, Yes! Magazine
January 17, 2018
When I imagined U.S. immigration authorities coming for me, I never thought it would be by certified mail. And yet this is how it happened—a few days before Christmas, a knock on my door led to the delivery of a letter, informing me that I was being placed in deportation proceedings.

My daughter, who opened the letter, started to cry. I immediately saw this for what it was: their way of trying to intimidate me. I felt a mix of emotions, but mostly I felt angry.[…]

Read the full article:

No Sanctuary: As ICE Targets Immigrant Rights Activists for Deportation, Suspicious Vehicles Outside Churches Stoke Surveillance Fears

By Nick Pinto, The Intercept
January 19, 2018
When word came down from the upper floors of Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was taking custody of Ravidath Ragbir and intended to deport him, hundreds of his supporters, standing outside on the cold sidewalk, raised up their hands to the monolithic building and screamed.

Ragbir had entered the building willingly, on his own steam, accompanied by his wife and family, his legal team, and a handful of elected officials. Now, his friends outside learned, Ravi — as everyone knows him — wouldn’t be coming back to them. They had planned for this possibility even as they hoped it wouldn’t come, but the plans soon gave way to a spontaneous gesture of resistance. As the ambulance carrying a handcuffed Ragbir — he had briefly fainted when he was taken into custody — pulled out of the Federal Plaza garage, supporters attempted to stop its progress. Friends, colleagues, clergy, and city council members put their bodies in front of the vehicle, blocking it with their lives.[…]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ICE Targets Activists—Take Action!

New Yorkers arrested as ICE detains Ravi Ragbir. Joana Toro /VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images
There can now be little doubt that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is targeting immigration activists and their families for detention and deportation. Today's Democracy Now! program, linked to below, devoted much of its time to coverage of these cases. We are also providing links to other coverage.

It’s important to stay informed, but it’s just as important to act. New Yorkers can support Jean Montrevil and Ravi Ragbir on Thursday, January 18, by coming out for one or both of two actions, and everyone can support Washington state activist Maru Mora-Villalpando by signing a petition:
We’ll try to update you as we learn about other support actions.—TPOI editor

NYC Immigration Activist Jean Montrevil Speaks Out After Deportation to Haiti: “My Heart Is Broken”

By Democracy Now!
January 17, 2018
On Tuesday, immigrant rights leader Jean Montrevil was deported to Haiti after residing in the United States for over three decades. He came to the U.S. from Haiti with a green card in 1986 at the age of 17. During the height of the crack epidemic, he was convicted of possession of cocaine and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He served that time. Upon his release, he married a U.S. citizen, had four children, became a successful small businessman, as well as an immigrant rights activist. He has had no further interaction with the criminal justice system. Joining us from Haiti is Jean Montrevil, who was deported to Haiti on Tuesday. We are also joined by Jani Cauthen, Jean’s former wife and the mother of three of his children.[…]

View this and subsequent segments, or read the transcripts, starting here:

ICE tracks down immigrant who spoke to media in SW Washington: ‘You are the one from the newspaper’
After talking to The Seattle Times about his girlfriend’s arrest by immigration officials, a Pacific County man was detained himself. He said an agent told him it was because of what had been written.

By Nina Shapiro, Seattle Times
December 3, 2017
A man who recounted his longtime girlfriend’s arrest in a Seattle Times story about ramped-up immigration enforcement in Pacific County last month has now been detained, and says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents told him the arrest was because he was in the newspaper.[…]

Read the full article:

Husband of Peruvian woman taking sanctuary at Boulder church detained by ICE

By John Bear and Jenn Fields, Denver Post
January 11, 2018
When Ingrid Encalada Latorre’s husband, Eliseo Jurado, stopped by a Westminster Safeway on Thursday to pick up some items for his 9-year-old stepson, Bryant, and 2-year-old son, Anibal, she didn’t anticipate that six agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement would snatch him.

“This is an attack on me,” Encalada Latorre said through an interpreter inside the Boulder Unitarian Universalist Church, where she has taken sanctuary for less than a month to avoid deportation to her native Peru.[…]

Read the full article:

What Deportation Really Means

When Deportation Is a Death Sentence
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. may face violence and murder in their home countries. What happens when they are forced to return?

Laura S. Photo: Carolyn Drake / Magnum/New Yorker
By Sarah Stillman, New Yorker
January 9, 2018 (posted)
On June 9, 2009, just after 2 a.m., Laura S. left the restaurant where she waitressed, i
Pharr, Texas, and drove off in her white Chevy. She was in an unusually hopeful mood. Her twenty-third birthday was nine days away, and she and her nineteen-year-old cousin, Elizabeth, had been discussing party plans at the restaurant. They’d decided to have coolers of beer, a professional d.j., and dancing after Laura put her three sons to bed. Now they were heading home, and giving two of Laura’s friends a ride, with a quick detour for hamburgers. Elizabeth said that, as they neared the highway, a cop flashed his lights at them. The officer, Nazario Solis III, claimed that Laura had been driving between lanes and asked to see her license and proof of insurance.

Laura had neither. She’d lived in the United States undocumented her whole adult life.

“Do you have your residence card?” Solis asked.

“No,” Laura said, glancing anxiously at her cousin and her friends. Solis questioned them, too. Only Elizabeth had a visa, which she fished out of her purse. Solis directed the others to get out of the car. “I’m calling Border Patrol,” he said—an unusual move, at the time, for a small-town cop in South Texas.[…]

Read the full article:

What the Salvadorans Being Kicked Out by Trump Face Back Home

By Jonathan Blitzer, New Yorker
January 9, 2018
Patty is a thirty-eight-year-old Salvadoran mother of two who has lived in the United States, on Long Island, since 1998. Her father was killed during El Salvador’s civil war, in the nineteen-eighties, and her mother fled to the U.S. to seek asylum as a refugee. Patty had initially thought that she would be eligible for residency in the U.S. through her mother, but that didn’t work out. “I never understood what happened with my papers,” she told me Monday night, when we spoke by phone. “But then there was another option.” In 2001, after a string of earthquakes had struck El Salvador, Patty was among the thousands of Salvadorans who qualified for temporary protected status, or T.P.S., a federal designation that allowed her to live and work legally in the U.S. She has renewed her T.P.S. status every eighteen months for the last seventeen years. During that time, she got married; had her two sons, who are U.S. citizens; went to community college; and found a job as a secretary at a financial-services firm.

On Monday morning, the Trump Administration announced its decision to cancel T.P.S. for Salvadorans.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Humans, “Aliens,” and “Shithole Countries”

There is no evidence that Donald Trump has ever in his life performed a single selfless act, let alone any act of heroism. Probably he wouldn’t be able even to imagine the nobility of character I witnessed among Port-au-Prince residents after the earthquake, and among “alien” activists like Ravi and Jean here in New York.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
January 14, 2018
Exactly eight years ago, on January 12, 2010, I happened to be in Port-au-Prince when a major earthquake struck southern Haiti, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

That night and in the five days that followed I saw a few Haitians acting selfishly, but mostly I watched and interviewed people trying to help each other, many of them digging through rubble with hand tools or bare fingers, sometimes endangering themselves in attempts to rescue friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers.[…]

Read the full article:
Miami commemoration of the 2010 earthquake. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

NYC, 1/15/18: Stand Up for Immigrants and Against Racism

1. Stand With Us on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
as we proclaim “Immigrant Rights are Human Rights”. Ravi Ragbir, Jean Montreveil, and others have been unjustly detained. Join us Monday as we stand together and demand their immediate release.
New Sanctuary Colation's Ravi Ragbir

Monday, January 15, 2018
12pm: Jericho Walk, Washington Square Park, NYC
1pm: Press Conference, Judson Memorial Church, NYC
Information: New Sanctuary Coalition

Earlier events at Judson Church:
9am: Breakfast at Judson Memorial Church, NYC
10am : MLK Service with Ruby Sales,Judson Memorial Church, NYC

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., faith leaders, elected officials, and immigration and legal advocates will come together to condemn the institutional oppression of marginalized communities and hold a "Jericho Walk" in Washington Square Park, around Ai Wei Wei's “Arch” migration sculpture. A press conference will be held following the vigil to call for Mr. Montrevil and Mr. Ragbir’s release, and to honor the 18 people who were arrested putting their bodies on the line in the tradition of peaceful civil disobedience in defense of Mr. Ragbir.

In the face of Trump’s unprecedented assault on immigrant communities and blatant racism, the fight for the rights and dignity of immigrants is more important than ever. Trump’s recent disparaging remarks about Caribbean and African countries, like Mr. Ragbir and Mr. Montrevil’s homelands of Trinidad and Haiti, respectively, highlight the critical need for continued resistance and unity.

Speakers: New York City Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, who were among the 18 people arrested in an act of civil disobedience during Thursday’s solidarity vigil; Rev. Kaji DouĊĦa, whose grandfather stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial; Rev. Donna Schaper, civil rights leader and senior minister at Judson Memorial Church; Alina Das, Professor at New York School of Law and legal counsel to Ravi Ragbir; and loved ones of Jean and Ravi.

2. Rally Against Racism: Stand Up for Haiti and Africa
Haitian workers rally, Port-au-Prince, 2012. Photo: Marty Goodman/Socialist Action
Monday, January 15, 2018
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Information: 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

President Trump's racism was on display yet again this week with his hateful comments about Haitian and African immigrants. We will not let bigotry divide us, and we will welcome and defend all immigrants! WE ARE AMERICA!