Monday, January 28, 2019

Why don’t the media fact-check “amnesty” claims?

"The practice of citing conservative agitators is often characterized as “bothsidesism,” but here the news outlets only presented one side—the one on the far right—without even a hint that the claims might not have a factual basis."

By David L. Wilson and Jane Guskin, MR Online
January 28, 2019

On January 20 Donald Trump actually said something accurate about immigration.

Anti-immigrant pundits like Ann Coulter were attacking the president because he appeared to be offering to extend DACA protection for three years. They took to the airwaves and social media to denounce any DACA extension as an “amnesty.” “No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” Trump tweeted back, and for once he was right.[…]

Read the full article:

Photo: David Bacon

Saturday, January 26, 2019

NYC Immigration Events, 1/28/19, 2/1/19 and 2/2/19

Support for Ravi Ragbir: Press Conference and Jericho Walk

Monday, January. 28, 2019, 9 am
Immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir has been scheduled to report to ICE on Monday. Ravi cannot be deported because he continues to have stays of removal from the Federal District Court of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. But instead of cancelling this report date, as ICE has done in the past, ICE has changed it from a deportation date into a “check in.” 
ICE aggressively targets New York community members, and during the government shutdown continued spending its resources on requiring Ravi and countless others to check in. But we know the power of community. In the spirit of New Sanctuary’s accompaniment program, the Ravi Defense Committee asks that we all join in accompanying Ravi and in a Jericho Walk, starting at 9:30am.
Two Screenings of “Undeterred”
New York will be hosting two screenings of Undeterred, a documentary about community resistance in the rural border town of Arivaca, Arizona. Undeterred is an intimate and unique portrait of how residents in a small rural community, caught in the cross-hairs of geo-political forces, have mobilized to demand human rights and to provide aid to injured, oft times dying migrants funneled across a wilderness desert.
Friday, February 1, 2019, 5:45 pm
Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center, Theater 101

Doors open at 5:30 pm. There will be a panel discussion at 7 pm following the screening. Featured will be filmmaker Eva Lewis and community organizer Carlota Wray. Both Eva and Carlota volunteer with People Helping People (PHP), an Arivaca-based community organization that provides crisis relief and advocates for border demilitarization.

Saturday, February 2, 2019, 5 pm
The People's Forum

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Families For Freedom: “Divide and Conquer”

Families For Freedom Newsletter
January 19, 2019
In a recent address regarding the border wall at the beginning of this month, Donald Trump made an attempt to pit American minorities against immigrants. Most likely reading words written by Stephen Miller, the President directed his demonization of black and brown non-citizens to black and brown citizens: “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.” This calculated artifice wants to continue the marginalization of the most oppressed in this country.

The argument has two goals: first, to bait the general public into hardening or developing inherently anti-black and brown views on immigration; the second is to limit the power of oppressed people by hindering their ability to form a collective front.[…]

To read more, subscribe here.

Monday, January 21, 2019

How Central American migrants helped revive the US labor movement

[Immigrant rights supporters should never forget that immigrants aren’t just victims: they are also subjects, actors in their own lives and communities. Here Elizabeth Oglesby, a professor of Latin American studies, describes some of the achievements by immigrant labor activists in the 1980s and 1990s. This phenomenon isn’t new. Immigrants were often leaders of struggles in the past, as with the Uprising of the 20,000 in New York more than a century ago, and immigrant labor organizes continues now in efforts like the Fight for $15. Important coverage of some of these struggles is available from journalist David Bacon at his blog, The Reality Check.—TPOI editor]

By Elizabeth Oglesby, The Conversation
January 18, 2019
In the United States’ heated national debate about immigration, two views predominate about Central American migrants: President Donald Trump portrays them as a national security threat, while others respond that they are refugees from violence.

Little is said about the substantial contributions that Central Americans have made to U.S. society over the past 30 years.[…]

Read the full article:

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January 14: Radio Interview With Politics of Immigration Co-Authors

The Politics of Immigration’s co-authors talk with Building Bridges hosts Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash on NYC's WBAI from 7 to 7:30 pm EST, Monday, January 14, 2019. Topics include what's new under Trump, what's the same, and what we can do about it.

Listen NYC area: WBAI, 99.5 FM
Listen online:

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report           
Twitter: @bbridgesradio

Thursday, December 20, 2018

“Politics of Immigration” Co-author Featured in Swiss Weekly

Jane Guskin is quoted extensively in an article run in August by the Swiss German-language newsweekly WOZ. The full article is available in German at

Below is a translation of the section where Guskin is quoted.

The "Coming Out" of an Undocumented Immigrant

Ever since Donald Trump became US President, the eleven million paperless people have been living in greater fear than ever before. A lot is at stake, especially for undocumented youths like Cecilia.

By Caspar Shaller, WOZ
August 16, 2018
...Many [undocumented immigrants] have had bad experiences with going public, says Jane Guskin. She researches global migration at the City University of New York, has been active in the asylum rights movement since the 1980s, and is co-author of the book The Politics of Immigration, which is considered a standard leftist reference book on US immigration policy. She suggests meeting in a Bengali restaurant in Queens, the urban district with the highest foreign-born population density in the country.

"When Daca was introduced, there was great skepticism in the community," says Guskin. "To qualify, you had to tell the state where you live and work, where you go to school." Many were afraid that this information could be used against them. "It turns out they were right," says Guskin grimly. "Some people go to the immigration office for their annual appointment and are picked up and deported by the ICE agency!"

American media are full of reports of the consequences of this uncertainty: Mexican citizens storm the consulates to renew their passports so they can quickly leave the US in an emergency. The head of a large New York hospital reported at a press conference that migrants were shunning health care institutions. Instead, they would place injured or sick relatives in front of the emergency room door and run away. And because the hurdles are high, the number of new applications for Daca has fallen sharply. "It costs $ 500 to apply. How can you pay for it if you have to work off the books?" Guskin asks. In addition, the forms are so complex that only lawyers can fill them out.

Anyway, Daca is just a poor compromise, says the longtime activist Guskin. There is no path to naturalization. No one is really willing to improve the legal situation of migrants. For decades the Republicans have been presenting themselves as protectors of an idealized America "from the foreign hordes," but in practice they have shown increasing interest in allowing a steady influx of cheap labor -- "completely disenfranchised, of course," says Guskin. "No one sets up a union or demands a minimum wage if the boss can threaten to call the immigration police."

This deception of the xenophobic Republican base was one of the reasons for Trump's electoral success. The Democrats, on the other hand, like to see themselves as defenders of minorities. But in reality, hardly any concrete action followed the inclusive rhetoric. At most there might be some little goodies before elections, if Democrats wanted to secure the votes of Latinos and Latinas. This is one of the reasons why many young migrants feel that the concept of "Dreamers" has become politically exploited. In the last elections less Latinas and Latinos voted for Hillary Clinton than expected.

"Obama, a Democrat, was the president who has deported the most people in US history," says Guskin. During his tenure, more than three million people were expelled. These mass deportations, the extension of the prison system and the militarization of the borders do not make Obama appear in the eyes of many migrants as the savior he is for many liberal Americans. He even introduced a fingerprint for migrants. The director of a migration organization told the New York Review of Books magazine: "Obama built this machine and then handed the keys to a maniac."...