Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is Trump an Aberration? The Dark History of the “Nation of Immigrants”

The policies he’s promoting are, in an eerie way, a logical continuation of centuries of policymaking that sought to create a country of white people.

By Aviva Chomsky,
September 13, 2016.

Liberal Americans like to think of Donald Trump as an aberration and believe that his idea of building a great wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent immigrants from entering the country goes against American values. After all, as Hillary Clinton says, “We are a nation of immigrants.” In certain ways, in terms of the grim history of this country, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Donald Trump may differ from other contemporary politicians in so openly stating his antipathy to immigrants of a certain sort. (He’s actually urged the opening of the country to more European immigrants.) Democrats like Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton sound so much less hateful and so much more tolerant. But the policies Trump is advocating, including that well-publicized wall and mass deportations, are really nothing new. They are the very policies initiated by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and -- from border militarization to mass deportations -- enthusiastically promoted by Barack Obama. The president is, in fact, responsible for raising such deportations to levels previously unknown in American history.

And were you to take a long look back into that very history, you would find that Trump’s open appeal to white fears of a future non-white majority, and his support of immigration policies aimed at racial whitening, are really nothing new either.[...]

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why unions embraced immigrants – and why it matters for Donald Trump

In his speech on immigration, the Republican presidential candidate echoed hardline stances once voiced by unions. But decades of union campaigns have drawn immigrants and minority voters into their fold.

By David Iaconangelo, Christian Science Monitor
September 2, 2016

After seeming to debut a more forgiving stance on immigration last week, Donald Trump arrived in Phoenix on Wednesday brandishing a resolutely hardline plan, warning of an undocumented criminal menace and promising deportations on an unprecedented scale.

"We will begin moving them out Day One. As soon as I take office. Day One. In joint operation with local, state, and federal law enforcement," he said, according to transcripts.

As he has in the past, Mr. Trump tied his promise to carry out deportations to anti-globalist economic ideas. But he also drew a direct line between the fortunes of the country's native-born laborers and the presence of undocumented immigrants – a connection he has rarely made in his remarks on the topic.[...]

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No Other Way Than to Struggle: The Farmworker-Led Boycott of Driscoll's Berries

By Felimon Piñeda, interviewed by David Bacon, Truthout
August 31, 2016

Felimon Piñeda is vice president of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the independent farm workers union in Washington State. He was one of the original strikers when the union was organized in 2013. The union, together with the union of striking farm workers in Baja California, Mexico, has organized a boycott of Driscoll's Berries, the world's largest berry company. They demand that Driscoll's take responsibility for the conditions and violations of labor rights by the growers whose berries they sell. Piñeda describes the life of a farm worker producing Driscoll's berries, and his own history that brought him into the fields of Washington State. He told his story to David Bacon during an interview in Linden, Washington.

Our town in Oaxaca is Jicaral Coicoyan de las Flores. We speak Mixteco Bajo. I am 33 years old, but I left at a very young age. In 1996 I got to San Quintin [in Baja California] with my older brother. After four nights in Punta Colonet, we found a place to stay in a camp. There were a lot of cabins for people and we stayed there for six months. We planned to go back to Oaxaca afterwards, but when we'd been there for six months we had no money. We were all working -- me, my sister, my older brother and his wife and two kids -- but we'd all pick tomatoes and cucumbers just to have something to eat. There was no bathroom then. People would go to the bathroom out in the tomatoes and chiles. The children too.[...]

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Neighbors Question Cuba Migration Policy

“Encouraged by the U.S. ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy, Cuban migrants often become victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and violence.... It is time for the United States to change its outdated policy for Cuban migrants, which is undermining regular and safe migration in our continent.”

Editorial, New York Times
August 31, 2016

Nine Latin American governments this week called on the United States to end its preferential immigration policy for Cubans, calling it “discriminatory” and a boon to human smuggling networks in the region.

In a rare public letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, the foreign ministers of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru requested a high-level meeting to discuss a policy that they said is fueling the “disorderly, irregular and unsafe” migration of Cubans through their countries.[...]

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

La Confusión Calculada de Trump/Trump’s Calculated Confusion

La Confusión Calculada de Trump
Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
30 de agosto, 2016

(English Version follows below)

No Sr. Trump, no somos tontos.

El hecho de que la mayoría de los votantes latinos no apoyan a Trump, sino que se oponen a él, ha producido una reacción de su parte de rodear su ‘plan migratorio” en una neblina de confusión. Con esto piensa confundir, no a los latinos, sino a los votantes republicanos no extremistas de raza blanca quienes se han opuesto a su plan de deportación masiva. Este hecho es un tributo a nuestro movimiento que ha ganado los corazones de la mayoría de los ciudadanos norteamericanos, a causa de nuestro esfuerzo de mantener unificadas a nuestras familias.

Esta “neblina migratoria” de Trump no es otra cosa que el mismo mecanismo de la derecha republicana ha empleado para estancar todo progreso en el Congreso. La diferencia es que si Trump fuera el presidente, los resultados serían desastrosos.[...]

Trump’s Calculated Confusion
By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
August 30, 2016

No Mr. Trump. We are not Stupid!

Trump’s lack of support – indeed his opposition – by Latino voters is driving him to surround his “immigration plan” in a fog of confusion. His target is not Latinos – it is white moderate Republican voters who opposed his mass deportation plan. That is a tribute to our movement which has won the hearts of the majority of U.S. citizens with our effort to keep our families together.

Trump’s “immigration fog” is really the same stall that right wing Republicans have been using in Congress. The difference is that if Trump were President the results would be disastrous.[...]

Lea el artículo completo/read the full article:!topic/sanctuarymovement/rl468APdgFw

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Being a Mexican Migrant Worker and Female, a Recipe for Double Discrimination

During the 2015 financial year - which runs from October 2014 to September 2015 – the United States government issued a total of 108,144 H2A visas and 69,684 H2B visas. Male Mexican workers benefitted from 94 per cent of the H2A visas and 74 per cent from the H2B visas.

By Emilio Godoy, Equal Times
August 26, 2016

“I want to go back but they won’t let me. When I called the employer, they told me the quota had already been filled,” forty-five year old Leonor Rodríguez, from Ixtacuixtla (in the state of Tlaxcala, some 11 kilometres south of Mexico City), tells Equal Times. This Mexican woman is not able to work in Canada. Each time she submits an application for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), established by Canada and Mexico in 1974, she is denied a place.

On 2 February, Rodríguez went to the National Employment Service of Tlaxcala to request a place on the SAWP. An employee informed her that she couldn’t work in Canada, because “there were no requests for women” and that, if she wanted, he would put her “on reserve in case any places for women came up”.

A single mother with five children, she had worked under the SAWP between 2005 and 2011 in greenhouse floriculture and strawberry growing in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Colombia.[...]

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

22 Migrant Women Held in Pennsylvania Start a Hunger Strike to Protest Detention

On Wednesday Ms. Alberto and 21 other women who call themselves “Madres Berks,” or “Berks Mothers,” restarted a hunger strike they had conducted for 16 days in August.

By Liz Robbins, New York Times
September 2, 2016

Margarita Alberto cannot forget the tantrum her 6-year-old son threw several months ago. One afternoon he started shouting that he wanted to leave the Pennsylvania immigration detention center for families, where they have been held since Oct. 28, 2015, “He said, ‘It’s your fault that we’re here, your fault!’” Ms. Alberto said.

And then, she recalled, he tightened the lanyard holding his ID card around his neck, threatening to choke himself if they didn’t get out.

Ms. Alberto and her son, migrants from El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States, are still detained, along with 65 other women and children at the Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pa., about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia.[...]

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