Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Grassroots Vision for U.S. Immigration Policy—and Beyond

Now is the time to act. The status quo has shifted, and people are energized and open to new ideas.

by Jane Guskin and David Wilson, NACLA Report on the Americas
January-February 2009

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the situation for immigrants in the United States has turned increasingly insecure. Every week hundreds of immigrants are arrested in raids on their homes and workplaces. Hundreds more are arrested on the street by local police for the crime of “living while Latino” and often handed over to the immigration agency for deportation. People are detained, deported, faced with impossible choices, and then blamed for it all. Children are separated from their parents or jailed in special “family” detention centers. Workers are exploited and abused on the job, stripped of their rights to organize, then punished with federal prison sentences for complying with their employers’ demands for fake IDs. Young people who don’t remember the country where they were born are denied any options to legalize their status and are stuck without a future—as high school graduates unable to attend college, or as college graduates forced into low-wage, off-the-books labor.[...]

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