Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sign Here to Support Chipotle Workers

Demand Chipotle Treat Workers With Integrity, Apologize, and Pay Up petition campaign

Chipotle strives to make its popular burritos with fresh, sustainable ingredients. The company motto is, after all, “food with integrity." So why is Chipotle treating its immigrant workers like trash?

When the federal government presented the company with immigration warnings (known as "I-9 audits"), Chipotle began laying off entire stores full of workers. They gave long-time employees no warning, no time to prove their status, no respect, and even insufficient pay. Now, the way the company is firing workers in Washington, DC, is so appalling that City Council Members are speaking out publicly, saying they may be forced to hold hearings into the matter.

Read about the campaign and sign the petition:

OAS Commission Criticizes US Migrant Policies

By Frontera NorteSur
March 20, 2011

In a new report, the Washington, D.C. -based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States lays out a detailed critique of US policies and practices that involve the detention of undocumented migrants as well as the growing trend of local and state police enforcing federal immigration laws.

In its report, the IACHR expresses serious concerns about due process, home and workplace raids, racial profiling, immigration “sweeps,” medical care in detention facilities, and the lack of legal representation for unaccompanied children and persons with mental disabilities.

Read the full article:

Monday, March 28, 2011

8,000 Rally against Georgia Anti-Immigrant Bills

By Gloria Tatum, Atlanta Progressive News
March 25, 2011

(APN) ATLANTA -- Over 8,000 activists rallied outside the State Capitol on Thursday, March 24, 2011, to show their outrage and disgust over Georgia's Arizona-type immigration bills.

As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, legislation, HB 87, has already passed the State House. A similar bill, SB 40, has also passed the State Senate. While the vast majority of protesters at the Capitol were Hispanic, opposition to the bills came from a wide spectrum of constituents including immigrants, students, religious groups, peace groups, veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Asian groups, GLBTQI activists, labor, artists, musicians, business owners, elected officials,and others. "Thousands of Georgia immigrants and allies came together today to say no more to racial profiling and no more to the dangerous and unfair targeting of immigrant communities and communities of color," Adelina Nicholls, Director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) and one of the rally’s central organizers,said in a statement.

Read the full article:

Thousands protest Georgia anti-immigration bills
By Kate Brumback, Associated Press
March 24, 2011

ATLANTA — Thousands of people gathered at the Georgia Capitol Thursday, waving signs and chanting to protest legislation that targets illegal immigrants.

Javier Mendez, his wife and their 18-month-old son were among the crowd that police estimated at roughly 5,000 people. The 35-year-old waiter, who lives in Roswell, said he came here from Mexico about five years ago to seek a better life.

"We are fighting for something we believe is fair," said Mendez, who works as a waiter. "We're not the criminals they say we are. We're just looking for a better opportunity."

Read the full article:

Immigration rally in Atlanta draws thousands, organizers say
By Andrea Castillo,
March 24, 2011

ATLANTA - About 30 Middle Georgia Hispanics are among thousands from across the state attending a rally at the state Capitol Thursday to protest two immigration bills before the Legislature.

Thursday's rally drew 9,000 people, according to organizers.

Read the full article:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Wisconsin Means for Immigrant Rights

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
March 27, 2011

A few weeks can do a lot to sweep away old assumptions. Last year U.S. leftists were wondering why the worst economic crisis in 70 years hadn't inspired a stronger response from its victims; now Arabs have toppled neoliberal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and U.S. workers have fought cutbacks and union-busting in Wisconsin with massive rallies and threats of general strikes. The unexpected uprisings early this year may well mark the start of a period of sudden and surprising changes in political consciousness.

There hasn't been much talk about immigration so far in 2011, but this may be another area where the old assumptions are about to give way. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Triangle Fire: Still Burning Before Our Nation

Immigrant workers, then and now...
By Tula Connell, The Nation
March 24, 2011

When word got out that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had ordered the windows of the state Capitol building bolted shut during the protests against his attacks on public employees, it was a chilling reminder of how employers of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company had locked their factory doors, preventing the young, mostly immigrant women from escaping the deadly fire that killed 146. Employer groups like the Manufacturers’ Association had fought legislative efforts to install sprinklers in buildings, and garment manufacturing owners had resisted attempts by workers to form unions and gain bargaining rights so they could address job safety issues and improve wages and hours.

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on March 25, it’s sobering to realize many of the lessons we thought had been absorbed must be learned again—and again. The Triangle fire, a symbol of unfettered Gilded Age greed, still stands burning before us. From the lack of job safety and health protections to the treatment of immigrant workers to the attacks on the right to form a union and bargain for a better life—the issues raised by the Triangle fire still have not been resolved.

Read the full article:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Police Chiefs Wary of Immigration Role

By Julia Preston, New York TimesMarch 3, 2011
As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by a police research group.

Dozens of police department commanders who participated in the report recommended that local officers should be explicitly prohibited from arresting people solely because of their immigration status, and should have orders to protect victims and witnesses regardless of that status. [...]

Read the full article:

Read the report:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Divide and Deport: On Immigration, Thom Hartmann and Lou Dobbs Have Much in Common

When the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 criminalized work for undocumented immigrants, it was a subsidy or gift to employers. When working becomes illegal, it's much harder for workers to organize unions, go on strike, and fight for better conditions

By David Bacon, In these Times
February 28, 2011

Radio host and author Thom Hartmann has a new book, Rebooting the American Dream. Hartmann has a progressive reputation, and his book supports unions, calls for eliminating tax cuts for the rich and advocates other sensible ideas. But like many liberals, when it comes to immigration his tune changes. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The battle of the US-Mexico frontier

The United States has built a huge fence to keep Mexican immigrants out. It has cost billions, split communities – but does it work?

By Chris McGreal, The Guardian (UK)
February 20, 2011

Charlie Bruce was a Texas police chief of the old school. In more than four decades on the force he gave homegrown criminals good reason to steer clear of Del Rio, his small town on the United States's southern border, but held no grudge against the steady flow of Mexicans across the frontier in search of opportunity. He admired them for their hard work and the chances they took to better themselves. Besides, some of them built his house. [...]

Read the full article: