Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Immigration Reform Has to Go Hand-in-Hand With Stronger Labor Rights

...Maybe Washington fears immigration reform not only because it might damage their electoral prospects but because it might set in motion a process of social reckoning. Just imagine if the country’s most dispossessed workers finally got a chance to stand up and lay claim to what they’re owed. Instead of seeing the law as a force of oppression, they’d wield it as a tool for seeking justice....

By Michelle Chen, The Nation
September 8, 2014

This weekend, President Obama again pushed away the issue of immigration. Despite growing pressure to take executive action to curtail deportations, Obama again swept the lives of millions of immigrants off this fall’s agenda—enraging advocacy groups by heeding his party’s fears of angering right-wing voters before key mid-term elections.

But while politicians dismiss immigration as a third rail, they cruelly ignore the fact that another major election issue, the economic woes plaguing workers, is also an immigration issue. [...]

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

16 Reasons Why Opening Our Borders Makes More Sense Than Militarizing Them

By Roque Planas, Huffington Post
September 2, 2014

What would happen if the United States suddenly stopped building walls and instead flung open its borders, not unlike the European Union has done among the member countries of the common market? Conservatives malign the notion and liberals, even radical ones, haven't exactly embraced the "open borders" concept.

But the idea isn't as radical as it may seem. For most of its history, the United States has had, for all practical purposes, open borders, according to University of San Francisco law professor Bill Hing.

"Really, the United States was an open-border situation, worldwide, up through the early 1900s -- except for Asians," Hing told The Huffington Post. "There were Asian-exclusion laws. But if you put that aside, it was open borders for the rest of the world." [...]

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Helping Young Migrants Navigate Immigration Court

By Nancy Ayala, Voices of NY
August 25, 2014

For the thousands of recently arrived Central American migrant children now in New York, avoiding deportation begins when the juveniles show up for their first immigration hearing in federal court.

“It’s a very complicated law and no pro se or unrepresented child should be asked to try to navigate the complexity of at least three or four agencies in courts [without a lawyer],” Lenni Benson, director of the nonprofit Safe Passage Project and a professor of law at New York Law School, told Voices of NY.

On Friday, August 22, Safe Passage Project offered a two-hour evening training session, “Getting Started Representing Child Migrants,” in an auditorium at the New York Law School, where the pro bono advocacy group is based. [...]

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, What's at Stake in the Border Debate

By Aviva Chomsky, TomDispatch
August 24, 2014

The militarization of the police has been underway since 9/11, but only in the aftermath of the six-shot killing of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, with photos of streets in a St. Louis suburb that looked like occupied Iraq or Afghanistan, has the fact of it, the shock of it, seemed to hit home widely. Congressional representatives are now proposing bills to stop the Pentagon from giving the latest in war equipment to local police forces. The president even interrupted his golfing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to return to Washington, in part for “briefings” on the ongoing crisis in Ferguson. So militarization is finally a major story.

And that’s no small thing. On the other hand, the news from Ferguson can’t begin to catch the full process of militarization this society has been undergoing or the way America’s distant wars are coming home. We have, at least, a fine book by Radley Balko on how the police have been militarized. Unfortunately, on the subject of the militarization of the country, there is none. And yet from armed soldiers in railway stations to the mass surveillance of Americans, from the endless celebration of our “warriors” to the domestic use of drones, this country has been undergoing a significant process of militarization (and, if there were such a word, national securitization). [...]

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Five Children Murdered After They Were Deported Back To Honduras

By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Think Progress
August 19, 2014

Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras, a morgue director told the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers have yet to come up with best practices to deal with the waves of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol agents, but some politicians refute claims that children are fleeing violence and are opting instead to fund legislation that would fast-track their deportations.

San Pedro Sula morgue director Hector Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that his morgue has taken in 42 dead children since February. According to an interview with relatives by the LA Times, one teenager was shot dead hours after getting deported. [...]

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Judy Ancel: Never mind the border — President Obama should visit Honduras

By Judy Ancel, Kansas City Star
Auguest 5, 2014

After a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently, President Barack Obama said that politics, not philosophy, divided him from Republicans on how to respond to the mounting numbers of children fleeing Central America and Mexico.

Both men want more border patrol and quicker processing for expulsion. Obama calls the situation a humanitarian crisis, but his solution is to “humanely” deport the kids back to the disaster areas from whence they came.

Neither Republicans nor Obama ask why the kids come. Instead, Obama smugly blames their parents saying, “I’ve asked parents across Central America not to put their children in harm’s way in this fashion. [...]

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Friday, September 5, 2014

How US Intelligence Distorted Its Own Data on Child Migration

The claim that the child migrants came because of DACA and the possibility of immigration reform has met with a vigorous response.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
September 4, 2014

On July 14 the Tea Party-oriented website Breitbart.com published what it said was a leaked July 7 document from the US government's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) assessing the recent increase in unauthorized immigration by unaccompanied minors and adults with young children.

Entitled "Misperceptions of US Policy Key Driver in Central American Migrant Surge," the EPIC report seemed intended to contradict claims by immigrants and human rights workers that violence and poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are the main forces behind the rise in border crossings. Citing interviews with 230 Central Americans detained at the Texas border, the report blamed the current influx on "misperceptions of recent US immigration policies," notably the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) memorandum, President Obama's program suspending deportations for many young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.[...]

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