Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Movement and the Money

What’s behind the recent rise in wages for undocumented workers? It could be immigrants’ rights activism.
Graffiti on the Mexican side of the wall. Photo: Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr
David L. Wilson, Jacobin
October 16, 2017
Last Sunday, Trump’s White House released a list of immigration demands that Democrats must meet if they want to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. The demands, if met, would mean more criminalization, more surveillance, and more fear for undocumented immigrants.

Republicans justify this punitive approach by insisting that immigrants are “taking our jobs,” driving down wages for citizens and making the economic situation more desperate for all.

But a look back at a decade of data shows that if Republicans’ goal is to bolster wages, they’re going about it all wrong.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Immigrant Shielded From Deportation by Philadelphia Church Walks Free

Since Mr. Trump was elected, 34 people facing deportation have publicly taken refuge inside of churches, including four this week…

By Laurie Goodstein, New York Times
October 11, 2017
Facing deportation to Mexico and fearing separation from his children, Javier Flores Garcia took refuge last year in a Methodist church in downtown Philadelphia. Members of the congregation prepared a makeshift bedroom for him in the basement, and promised to give him sanctuary, no matter how long he needed it.

On Wednesday, after nearly 11 months, Mr. Flores walked out of the church for good, a rare winner among the tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who have fought battles over deportation this year.[...]

Read the full article:

Javier Flores Garcia. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Protect the Dreamers, but Don't Fall for an E-Verify "Compromise"

Liberal commentators have written favorably about the program in the past.... But E-Verify isn't really any better than Trump's "big beautiful wall."

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
October 12, 2017
E-Verify is back on the political agenda.

For years, politicians have wanted to force all of the country's 7.7 million private employers to check new hires against this online system -- which compares employees' documents with government databases in order to catch immigrants without work authorization -- but so far, the efforts to impose a universal E-Verify requirement have failed. Now the idea has been given new life by a tentative agreement that President Trump and Democratic leaders made on September 13 to promote legislation protecting the immigrants previously covered by President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).[...]

Read the full article:

Janet Napolitano touts E-Verify in 2011. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

More Trump News: The Raids, the Hotline, the Parole Denial Policy

Border art: image from JR, the artist
For the moment media coverage of immigration policy is mostly focused on the whether Trump and the Democrats can make a deal on a new DREAM Act, but some outlets have been reporting on the little-noticed results of Trump policies from earlier in the year.

Below are links to The Intercept covering internal ICE emails about the nationwide raids last February, the American-Statesman reporting on the murder of a Mexican immigrant detained in March, Splinter News giving examples of the calls received by Trump’s Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline, and a report from Human Rights First showing how the administration has increased the detention of asylum seekers—and that as of April an average of 40,000 immigrants (both asylum seekers and others) were being held in detention each night.—TPOI editor

Internal Emails Show ICE Agents Struggling to Substantiate Trump’s Lies About Immigrants

UPDATE, October 17, 2017: The Intercept now reports that then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, currently Trump’s chief of staff, personally directed ICE agents to hype up the “criminality” of the people detained in the February raids.

By Alice Speri, The Intercept
October 4, 2017
As hundreds of undocumented immigrants were rounded up across the country last February in the first mass raids of the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials went out of their way to portray the people they detained as hardened criminals, instructing field offices to highlight the worst cases for the media and attempting to distract attention from the dozens of individuals who were apprehended despite having no criminal background at all.[…]

Read the full article:

Immigrant taken by ICE from Austin courthouse was killed in Mexico

By Ryan Autullo and Taylor Goldenstein, American-Statesman
September 19, 2016
Juan Coronilla-Guerrero’s wife warned a federal judge this spring that her husband would be killed if the U.S. government followed through with his deportation.

Her prediction came true last week. Three months after the former Austin resident was taken back to central Mexico by federal authorities, his body was found on the side of a road in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, near where he had been living with his wife’s family.[…]

Read the full article:

This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors

By Daniel Rivero and Brendan O'Connor, Splinter
October 3, 2017
In April, the Trump Administration launched what it called the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) hotline, with a stated mission to “provide proactive, timely, adequate, and prfessional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens.” But internal logs of calls to VOICE obtained by Splinter show that hundreds of Americans seized on the hotline to lodge secret accusations against acquaintances, neighbors, or even their own family members, often to advance petty personal grievances.[…]

Read the full article:

Judge and Jailer: Asylum Seekers Denied Parole in Wake of Trump Executive Order

By Human Rights First
September 29, 2017
On January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allocate “all legally available resources” to construct and operate immigration detention facilities and hold immigrants there for the duration of their court proceedings. In the eight months since, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has largely refused to release asylum seekers from detention on parole, leaving many locked up in immigration detention facilities and jails.[…]

Download the report: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NYC, Oct. 11: Panel Discussion on Immigration

Note: Politics of Immigration co-author David L. Wilson will be signing books at this panel.

Deportation, DACA, and the Sanctuary Movement
Socialist Action Panel on Immigration

Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 6:00 to 8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria,
2113 Amsterdam Avenue, at West 165 Street (1, A, C stops)

Father Luis Barrios, the priest at Holyrood Church in Washington Heights, where Guatemalan immigrant Amanda Morales-Guerra has been in sanctuary at Holyrood
Ninaj Raoul, co-founder and community organizer at Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR) in New York.
Diana Eusebio, New York State Youth Leadership Council, the first undocumented youth led organization in New York.
Marty Goodman, Socialist Action member and former board member of the Haitian Refugee Center of Miami..

Sponsored by Social Action - http://www.socialistaction.org/, 212-781-5157

Monday, October 9, 2017

Trump Announces His DACA “Deal”: The Full Hard-Right Immigration Agenda

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

White House to Congress: we'll legalize DACA recipients if you crack down on most other immigrants
Trump’s “priorities”: restrict asylum, limit family-based legal migration, and build the wall — in exchange for giving legal status, but not citizenship, to 700,000 people.

By Dara Lind, Vox
October 8, 2017
When President Donald Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, he said he was giving Congress six months to find a legislative solution that would allow the 690,000 young unauthorized immigrants currently protected from deportation under DACA to stay in the country legally.

It turns out his White House has very specific ideas about what they want that solution to be.[…]

Read the full article:

Trump Hands Democrats an Opportunity on Immigration

By Laura Litvan  and Toluse Olorunnipa, Bloomberg News
October 9, 2017
President Donald Trump’s renewed demands for a border wall and dramatic changes to immigration laws in exchange for deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants may help Democrats by keeping the issue alive in the 2018 election year.

Polls show voters side with Democrats on shielding the immigrants, known as Dreamers. By adopting a hard line, Trump is setting the stage for a prolonged fight in Congress that could help Democrats gain seats in the House and Senate.[…]

Read the full article:

NAACP Responds to Trump’s Immigration Principles

NAACP Press Release
October 9, 2017
BALTIMORE (October 9, 2017) – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest social justice organization, released the following statement in response to the immigration principles proposed by the Trump Administration yesterday.

“Despite his insistence on preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the immigration reforms proposed by President Trump last night prove once again that we cannot trust his hollow assertions.”[…]

Read the full press release:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: Save the Tule Lake site

By Resistance at Tule Lake
September 27, 2017
This is an urgent call to help save historic Tule Lake.

Tule Lake is where more than 24,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. The proposed three-mile-long, eight-feet-high, barbed-wire fence would cut off Japanese American access to the site upon which they and their families were incarcerated. They say a fence is necessary to protect the site from wildlife, but birds are the major form of wildlife at the airport and a fence is ineffective in preventing bird strikes.


We have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10 to write to Modoc County and tell them we oppose the construction of a three-mile-long fence that will close off an airport that sits on two-thirds of the former concentration camp site.

If built, it will permanently close off access to the barracks area where most people lived. A national civil rights site will be irreparably damaged.[…]

Find out how to help (addresses to write, sample letters, etc.):
Sign the petition:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

NYC, Oct. 8, 4 pm: Haitian Community Forum with the authors of the book The Politics of Immigration

Join Mobilization for Amnesty for All this Sunday, October 8, for a book presentation and open discussion with Jane Guskin and David Wilson, the authors of the newly published second edition of the book The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers.

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 4pm - 7pm

PS 399 - Stanley Eugene Clark Elementary School
2707 Albemarle Rd
(Corner of Rogers Ave & Albemarle Rd.)
Brooklyn, NY 11226

Come learn and share your thoughts about:
  • The history of immigration in the United States
  • Common misconceptions in the US about immigration and immigrants
  • Why the term “illegal aliens”?
  • General Amnesty
  • Why not just have an open border?
  • Why are some undocumented and out of status immigrants too afraid to come out of their homes right now and others in similar situations unconcerned?
Come with your questions and your contributions.

The event is free and the book will be available for sale. Refreshments will be served.

For more information: Mobilization for Amnesty for All, mailto:generalamnestyforall@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Milk with Dignity Agreement Signed!

By Migrant Justice
October 3, 2017

Just moments ago, farmworker leaders from Migrant Justice and the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s jointly signed the Milk with Dignity agreement.  The legally-binding contract establishes Ben & Jerry’s as the first company in the dairy industry to implement the worker-driven human rights program.  This momentous occasion marks the beginning of a new day for dairy, one that provides economic relief and support to struggling farm owners, in the form of a premium paid by Ben & Jerry’s, while ensuring dignity and respect for farmworkers.

Do you use social media? Help us spread the word about this incredible victory by sharing and retweeting!

Before putting his signature on the document, Migrant Justice spokesperson Enrique “Kike” Balcazar spoke to those assembled: “This is an historic moment for dairy workers.  We have worked tirelessly to get here, and now we move forward towards a new day for the industry.  We appreciate Ben & Jerry’s leadership role and look forward to working together to implement a program that ensures dignified housing and fair working conditions on dairy farms across the region. And though this is the first, it won’t be the last agreement of its kind.”

Ben & Jerry’s CEO and farmworker leaders sign the Milk with Dignity agreement in front of the company’s flagship scoop shop

Today’s signing ceremony brings to a close more than two years of public campaigning by dairy workers and their allies, as well as intensive negotiations between Migrant Justice and Ben & Jerry’s.  The agreement follows the “Human Rights Can’t Wait” speaking tour -- which brought dairy workers to a dozen cities along the east coast -- and comes just two days before the October 5thNational Day of Action.  Migrant Justice is calling off the actions that were to take place at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops around the country in order to focus on the coming work of implementing this ground-breaking agreement in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain.

Ben & Jerry’s implementation of the Milk with Dignity program will result in transformational changes to a troubled industry.  
  • Farmworkers will see concrete improvements in wages, scheduling, housing, and health and safety protections
  • Farm owners will receive a premium on their milk and support in improving working conditions
  • Ben & Jerry’s can sell a product made with cream produced free from human rights abuses
  • Consumers -- thousands of whom have called for this change -- will be able to see their solidarity with farmworkers bear fruit in the form of a major company’s concrete commitment to promoting human rights through worker-driven social responsibility.

This watershed moment is only the beginning.  As the program rolls out on the farms in Ben & Jerry’s supply chain, dairy workers will be preparing to expand Milk with Dignity to other companies.  Your support over the past years was crucial in getting to where we are today -- join us for this next phase in the Milk with Dignity campaign!

In solidarity, 
Migrant Justice

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Thu Oct 5: Tell Ben & Jerry's: Human Rights Can't Wait!

UPDATE, October 3, 2017: Ben and Jerry's has signed the agreement and Migrant Justice has called off the National Day of Action. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who supported this effort!

Please spread the word!
Go here for actions in cities other than New York
[español abajo]

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Ben & Jerry's Store at Times Square
200 West 44th Street, New York, New York 10036

Join us in calling on Ben & Jerry’s to respect the human rights of workers in its dairy supply chain by signing the Milk with Dignity agreement now!

This is part of a national day of action on Oct. 5, called by Vermont dairy workers of Migrant Justice / Justicia Migrante (https://migrantjustice.net/) who have been calling on Ben & Jerry’s to ensure protections for workers in its dairy supply chain for nearly three years.


Ben & Jerry’s has deferred and deflected on its responsibility to ensure protections for workers in its dairy supply chain.

Since 2010, Vermont dairy workers have been educating Ben & Jerry's about serious human rights violations in the industry.

In 2014, VT farmworkers called on Ben & Jerry's to join their Milk with Dignity program to ensure respect for farmworker rights its supply chain.

In June 2015, after over a dozen actions were planned at its scoop shops across the country, Ben & Jerry's publicly committed to join the Milk with Dignity program. But after two years of talk and no action, hundreds of farmworkers and their allies re-launched the public campaign in spring 2017-- including a historic 13-mile march to Ben & Jerry's Vermont factory in June.

Ben & Jerry's CEO welcomed the marchers, assuring the passionate crowd of supporters that Ben & Jerry's is "ready to go.” Nearly two months have passed since then, and Ben & Jerry's has still not made a legally binding commitment to the Program.

For more information about the Milk with Dignity campaign:

Digamosle a Ben & Jerry's: Los Derechos Humanos No Se Pueden Esperar

Jueves 5 de octubre, 2017
Tienda de helados Ben & Jerry's, en Times Square
200 West 44th Street, New York, New York 10036

Únanse con nosotros en hacer el llamado a Ben & Jerry's a respetar los derechos humanos de los trabajadores en su cadena de surtidores de leche en firmar el acuerdo de Leche con Dignidad ahora!

Esta acción es parte de un día nacional de acción el 5 de octubre, llamado por los trabajadores de las lecheras de Vermont de Justicia Migrante, que han estado haciendo el llamado a Ben & Jerry's para asegurar protecciones para los trabajadores en su cadena de surtidores por casi tres años.

Ben & Jerry's ha retrasado y ha negado su responsabilidad para asegurar protecciones para los trabajadores en su cadena de surtidores de leche.

Desde 2010, los trabajadores en las lecheras de Vermont han estado educando a Ben & Jerry's acerca de las violaciones graves de derechos humanos en la industria.

En 2014, los trabajadores empezaron a llamar a Ben & Jerry's a unirse con el programa de Leche con Dignidad para asegurar el respeto para los trabajadores en su cadena de surtidores.

En junio de 2015, después de que se había planeado más de una docena de acciones fuera de sus tiendas por todo el país, Ben & Jerry's se comprometió publicamente a unirse con el programa de Leche con Dignidad. Pero después de dos años de platicas pero sin acción, cientos de trabajadores y sus aliados lanzaron la campaña pública de nuevo en la primavera de 2017 -- incluyendo una marcha histórica de 13 millas a la fábrica de Ben & Jerry's en Vermont en junio.

El CEO de Ben & Jerry's dio la bienvenida a los participantes, asegurando a todos que Ben & Jerry's estaba "listo." Pero casi dos meses han pasado desde entonces, y Ben & Jerry's todavía no ha hecho un compromiso al Programa.

Para más información sobre este evento:

Para más información sobre la campaña de Leche con Dignidad:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Trump News: DACA Trade-Off Proposals, Dreamer Data Not Protected, Wrong-Headed Gang Policy

This is what the White House wants in exchange for saving Dreamers from deportation

By Anita Kumar, McClatchy DC Bureau
September 26, 2017
WASHINGTON The White House is expected to ask Congress to approve a Republican wish list of
immigration policies as part of a deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young people brought into the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers, according to a preliminary document obtained by McClatchy.

Talking points written by the president’s Domestic Policy Council and given to some members of the conservative Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill include a dozen proposals grouped into three broad areas — border security, interior enforcement and merit-based immigration.[…]

Read the full article:

DHS Chief Can’t Promise She Won’t Hand Over Dreamer Data to ICE

By Sam Sacks, The District Sentinel
September 27, 2017 
The acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday that sensitive information about Dreamers could soon be handed over to federal deportation forces.

Under questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), DHS Secretary Elaine Duke said she could not guarantee a promise made by the Obama administration to those who registered with the DACA program—known as Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals.[…]

Read the full article:

The Wrong Way to Fight Gangs

Trump's MS-13 rant. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
By Lauren Markham, New York Times
September 28, 2017
Oakland, Calif. — Young migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador come to this country fleeing violence and lives that are often dictated by savage gangs. It’s expensive to get here. They often arrive with thousands of dollars of high-interest debt and little or no English skills. And they face an administration that insists that they are gangsters bringing bloodshed and gang warfare to American cities.

In fact, these young people are often fleeing gangs. And the challenges they face in the United States make them particularly vulnerable for recruitment into the same violent gangs they left home to escape.[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Join WFP, SOA Watch, COPINH & More at the Border Encuentro Nov. 10-12!

September 28, 2017
This year, from November 10-12, Witness for Peace staff, along with human rights activists, torture survivors, anti-war veterans, students, families, union workers, artists, and educators will converge in Eloy-Tucson-Ambos Nogales for the SOA Watch Border EncuentroRegister for the Encuentro HERE!

We hope you'll join us and our partners SOA Watch for three days of vigils, workshops, rallies (including at the Mexico-US border), music, and other collaboration to deepen the resistance against US-led militarism and other harmful policies throughout the Western Hemisphere.

WFP will be hosting a happy hour, to connect with our teams from around Latin America, meet our grassroots organizers from across the US, and learn more about our work on both sides of the border.  Join us on Saturday, November 11th from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the Quality Hotel Americana in Nogales, Arizona: 639 N Grand Ave, Nogales, AZ, 85621.

Here's just one of the speakers (a partner of both WFP & SOAW) who'll present at the Encuentro:

Since 2014, Gaspar Sánchez has served on COPINH's leadership team as the Sexual Diversity & Rights Equality Coordinator. COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) is the first Indigenous organization in Latin America to establish LGBTQI+ issues as a pillar of its work. Gaspar is a popular educator who works to shape the next generation of young Indigenous leadership, and serves as a spiritual guide for the Lenca people in their collective efforts to recuperate historical memory through the processes of life, land defense, and ancestral practices. Gaspar has represented COPINH all over the world: from Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil, to the United States and the United Nations. He will be on tour throughout the US this fall--including with WFP in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and New England regions.

See you at the border in November!

In solidarity,
Witness for Peace

Thursday, September 28, 2017

ICE arrests hundreds of immigrants in 'sanctuary cities'

Talia Inlender, a senior staff attorney at Public Counsel, which advocates for immigrants, criticized the focus on sanctuary cities. “It’s clearly a political move that is not actually geared toward public safety,” she said.

By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
September 17, 2017
Immigration officials on Thursday announced hundreds of arrests in an operation targeting communities where police and elected officials have refused to fully cooperate on enforcing federal immigration laws.

ICE said it arrested 167 people in and around Los Angeles, a region in which several cities and counties have been tagged by justice officials as being so-called sanctuaries — a loosely defined term used to describe local governments that restrict police from assisting immigration authorities identify and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Arrests were also made in San Francisco and San Jose. Overall, ICE said it arrested nearly 500 people across the country over the last few days.[...]

Read the full article:
Photo: popularresistance.org

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Arellano: Pelosi Sorprendida/ Pelosi Surprised

Pelosi Sorprendida

Photo: Lea Suzuki, Associated Press
Por Elvira Arellano, Sanctuary Movement
21 de Septiembre, 2017 
(English version follows below)
La congresista y lideresa de la bancada del Partido Demócrata en la Cámara de Representantes, Nancy Pelosi, se manifestó realmente sorprendida cuando un grupo de soñadores se apoderaron de su conferencia de prensa.  Los manifestantes exigieron que Pelosi y los Demócratas dejen de utilizar a los soñadores como una ficha en el juego de pactar un acuerdo con Trump que daría amparo a los soñadores a cambio de sacrificar sus propios padres y madres y los demás 11 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en este país.

Esta reacción no debe haber sorprendida la congresista.  La propuesta ley DREAM durante años ha sido usado por muchos demócratas y algunos republicanos para esquivar la demanda popular de poner alto a la deportación de las familias. Durante años hemos escuchado a los demócratas decir que los soñadores no violaron las leyes migratorias a propósito, pues eran demasiado jóvenes cuando sus padres cruzaron la frontera, pero sus madres y padres sí.[...]

Lea el artículo completo:

Pelosi Surprised

By Elvira Arellano, Sanctuary Movement
September 21, 2017
Congresswoman and Leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, looked genuinely surprised when a group of dreamers took over her press conference. They demanded that Pelosi and the Democrats stop using the dreamers as a bargaining chip in a deal with Trump that would win security for the dreamers but seal the fate of their parents and the eleven million undocumented.

The Congresswoman should not have been surprised. The Dream Act has long been used by many Democrats – and some Republicans – to sidestep the popular demand to stop the deportations of the families. For years we heard Democrats say that “the dreamers, unlike their parents, did not “knowingly” cross the border because they were too young when their parents brought them.”[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Miscellaneous News: Detention Center Lawsuit, Suppressed Refugee Report, World Citizenship Poll

Victory for Immigrant Hunger Strikers: Lawsuit Challenges Slave Wages at Private Jail

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout
NWDC protest. Photo: Thomas Soerenes/The News Tribune/AP
September 22, 2017
For three years now, incarcerated immigrants have staged hunger strikes and work stoppages to protest conditions at the Northwest Detention Center, an immigration jail in Tacoma, Washington, run by a private prison company that pays detainees as little as $1 a day to work in the jail.

"This week folks were offered chips or a soup for several nights of waxing the floors, so not even $1 [per] day," one person incarcerated in the jail recently reported to NWDC Resistance, an immigrant-led group fighting to end the deportation and detention of immigrants.

Five hunger strikes have been held so far this year, with participants and whistleblowers facing solitary confinement, threats of forced feeding and other forms of retaliation from prison authorities, according to NWDC Resistance.

Their efforts paid off on Wednesday when Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit against GEO Group, a massive private prison firm that runs the Northwest Detention Center under a federal contract.[…]

Read the full article:
For earlier coverage of the Northwest Detention Center, go to:

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Somini Sengupta, New York Times
September 18, 2017
WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

The draft report, which was obtained by The New York Times, contradicts a central argument made by advocates of deep cuts in refugee totals as President Trump faces an Oct. 1 deadline to decide on an allowable number. The issue has sparked intense debate within his administration as opponents of the program, led by Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, assert that continuing to welcome refugees is too costly and raises concerns about terrorism.[…]

Read the full article:
World Citizenship Is More Popular Than You Might Think

A poll of more than 20,000 people in 18 countries, conducted by GlobeScan for the BBC World Service from December 2015 through April 2016, found that 51 percent of respondents saw themselves more as global citizens than as citizens of their own countries.

By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network
September 17, 2017
Has nationalism captured the hearts and minds of the world’s people?

It certainly seems to have emerged as a powerful force in recent years. Trumpeting their alleged national superiority and hatred of foreigners, political parties on the far right have made their biggest political advances since the 1930s. After the far right’s startling success, in June 2016, in getting a majority of British voters to endorse Brexit―British withdrawal from the European Union (EU)―even mainstream conservative parties began to adopt a chauvinist approach. Using her Conservative Party conference to rally support for leaving the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared contemptuously: “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.”[…]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ICE in NYC Courtrooms: “Secret Police” Nab Alleged Gang Members in Brooklyn

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents continue to detain immigrants in New York City courthouses. Go here for an earlier report.—TPOI editor

ICE Agents Make Arrests at Brooklyn Courthouse

Democracy Now!
September 15, 2017
In New York City, plainclothes ICE agents arrested four undocumented immigrants at a Brooklyn
Photo: Cameron Mease/Brooklyn Defender Services
criminal court building Thursday morning, in an unusual move targeting a courthouse for immigration enforcement. An ICE spokesperson later confirmed the arrests, saying the four men were suspected of gang activity. ICE policy prevents officers from making arrests at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals and places of worship, without approval from supervisors. Courthouses are not included on the list, but the practice is unusual and has been criticized by prosecutors, police and defense attorneys.

This is Katherine Poor of the Legal Aid Society: "It makes people very scared when they hear things like this happening, because they are told by the court that they have to return for their court dates. That’s something that they are ordered to do, and if they don’t do it, a warrant can be issued for their arrest. On the other hand, if people hear that there is ICE coming into the courthouse, if there’s ICE coming outside of the courthouse, and they have fear for their own immigration situation, that puts people in a very, very difficult position."

New York is a sanctuary city.

Watch the day’s headlines:

Secret Police
ICE agents dressed in plainclothes staked out a courthouse in Brooklyn and refused to identify themselves.

By Leon Neyfakh, Slate
September 15, 2017
Cameron Mease, a senior staff attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services, was walking in downtown Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday morning when he saw a group of six or seven men shove someone against a fence, put him in handcuffs, and drag him into an unmarked van. The men were dressed in jeans and T-shirts. Given their behavior and attire, a passerby would’ve had good reason to think he’d just witnessed a kidnapping.

But Mease had seen such scenes unfold before, and he was pretty sure he knew what he’d just seen. He believed these were plainclothes agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and that they’d come to the Brooklyn courthouse to take someone into custody who they knew would be there for a court date.[…]

Read the full article:

Federal Immigration Officials Will Continue Nabbing Suspects at New York Courthouses to Subvert Sanctuary City Status

By Linley Sanders, Newsweek
September 15, 2017
Federal immigration officers in New York doubled-down on arresting undocumented immigrants as they make appearances at courthouses this week—a decision that the local district attorney says is an "outrageous" tactic that "sends a chilling effect" and "undermines public safety."

Defying New York's status as a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officers aggressively snatched four men outside a criminal court building in Brooklyn on Thursday.

“This was the most visible they’ve ever been,” Scott Hechinger, an attorney with the Brooklyn Defender Service, which provides legal representation to individuals who cannot afford a lawyer, told Newsweek. “It’s the most brazen that we’ve seen them be.”[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Labor Unions Are Stepping Up to Fight Deportations

Organized labor is finding creative ways to protect immigrant members and families vulnerable in the Trump era.

By Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post
September 12, 2018
Yahaira Burgos was fearing the worst when her husband, Juan Vivares, reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in lower Manhattan in March. Vivares, who fled Colombia and entered the U.S. illegally in 2011, had recently been given a deportation order. Rather than hide, he showed up at the ICE office with Burgos and his lawyer to continue to press his case for asylum. 

Vivares, 29, was detained for deportation. That’s when Burgos’ union sprang into action.

Prepared for Vivares’ detention, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ gathered for a rally outside the ICE office that afternoon, demanding his release. Union leadership appealed to New York’s congressional delegation, enlisting Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) to reach out to ICE leadership. The union president even disseminated the name and phone number for the ICE officer handling Vivares’ deportation and urged allies to call him directly.[…]

Read the full article:

The national organization Mijente is offering new “defend your rights” materials:
A new "know your rights" booklet from Mijente

Monday, September 18, 2017

DACA Update #3: Will There Be a Deal, and What Would It Look Like?

DACA supporters march in San Francisco. Photo: David Bacon
President Trump had dinner with Democratic Congressional leaders Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) and Representative Nancy Pelosi (CA) the evening of September 13. Afterwards the two Democrats issued a statement saying they’d made a deal with Trump to protect the nearly 800,000 young immigrants currently enrolled in President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Trump administration is terminating as of next March. “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Schumer and Pelosi wrote.

As has been usual with this administration, the next day the president contradicted himself several times, but in the end it appeared that Trump and the Democrats had at least made, as Republican senator John Cornyn (TX) put it, “a deal to make a deal.” So passage of a new law to protect young undocumented immigrants is possible, although far from certain.

What Would Be Traded Off?
To steer such a law through Congress the Democrats would need to make compromises in order to get enough Republicans legislators on board.

On September 14 the National Review published an article outlining a mainstream Republican negotiating position for possible talks. The author, National Review deputy managing editor Robert VerBruggen, isn’t especially interested in increased border security. Instead, he wants Republicans to push for an expansion of the E-Verify program, through which employers use an online connection to government data bases to check the legal status of new hires. Making E-Verify mandatory for all private employers should be non-negotiable, VerBruggen writes. And he insists that if DACA recipients are given access to legal status or citizenship, they should be barred from applying for green cards for their parents. Finally, he wants changes to legal immigration, moving away from the current priority for family unification toward greater emphasis on bringing in highly skilled workers. (Although he doesn’t mention it, this would not only add valuable technical workers to the U.S. work pool—it would also lure them away from other countries that might be economic rivals.)

How much of this would the Democrats accept? Many of them already back mandatory E-Verify. It’s true that Chuck Schumer has objections to the program—but only because he wants something tougher. In a 2010 Washington Post op-ed, he and Republican senator Lindsey Graham (SC) called for a biometric Social Security card. “Prospective employers would be responsible for swiping the cards through a machine to confirm a person's identity and immigration status,” Schumer and Graham explained. “Employers who refused to swipe the card or who otherwise knowingly hired unauthorized workers would face stiff fines and, for repeat offenses, prison sentences.”

Will the Democrats Cave?
The Democrats don’t actually have a good record on helping youthful immigrants like the DACA recipients.

Proposals to legislate legalization for childhood arrivals began with the bipartisan DREAM Act in 2001, but the bill stalled in Congress for years. From 2009 to 2011 the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency; they could have passed the bill then, but didn’t. Pressed by the “Dreamers”—young immigrant activists supporting the DREAM Act—in June 2010, Schumer claimed that passing the bill would hurt the chances for passing comprehensive immigration reform later. The Democrats finally brought the DREAM Act up for a vote in December 2010. It passed the House, but the Senate never voted. Supporters couldn’t come up with the 60 votes necessary to block a filibuster by opponents. Three Republicans backed the bill, but it was opposed by five Democrats: Max Baucus and John Tester (MT), Kay Hagan (NC), Ben Nelson (NE), and Mark Pryor of (AR).
Photo: National Immigrant Youth Alliance/The Dream Is Now
Will Trump’s Base Desert Him?
Schumer and Pelosi's claim that Trump was making a deal with them stirred outrage among some of Trump’s loudest supporters. “Breitbart News called the president ‘Amnesty Don,’” Politico reported. “Commentator Ann Coulter mused about impeaching Trump. And hard-line immigration hawks in Congress like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) called the contours of the deal an ‘irreparable’ betrayal of Trump's base.”

But it’s not clear that the far right was really breaking with Trump. It seems more likely that people like Coulter are temporarily distancing themselves from the president while stirring up their backers to help push for strong anti-immigrant measures in any potential legislative compromise. A New York Times op-ed by Eric Cantor, a former House majority leader for the Republicans, suggests the latter course. “It is well past time for Republicans to stand up to those on the right who are quick to denounce any sensible solution as amnesty,” he wrote, “and for Democrats to stand up to those on the left who rail against any meaningful steps toward border security and immigration enforcement.”

In other words, the Republicans can hold back the Breitbart types if the Democrats agree to hold back pro-immigrant activists.

(People might wonder why Cantor and Breitbart News see “amnesty” as a pejorative term. This is a reference to the last major legalization of undocumented immigrants, in 1986, which was widely referred to as an "amnesty." Ever since then the right has claimed that the 1986 legalization caused the sharp increase in unauthorized immigration during the 1990s. But there’s no evidence for the claim. Asked to produce evidence, rightwingers generally refuse to answer; an effort to cite the argument in a 2015 lawsuit was laughed out of court. So “amnesty” as used by Cantor and Breitbart is simply a far-right fantasy like “death panels” and the threat of Sharia law. Nevertheless, media like the New York Times still let it be employed in this sense.)

What Do the Dreamers Say?
While reporting extensively on the reactions of pundits and politicians, the media haven’t said much about the views of the people actually affected—the DACA recipients themselves.

One exception was NPR’s Morning Edition on September 15. NPR correspondent Richard Gonzales reported on interviews with Dreamers:  “[T]hey don't want a deal that would, let’s say, implement the E-Verify system, which requires employers to check the legal status of people they hire. To the Dreamers, that’s just another way of increasing the threat of deportation to their undocumented parents. And they also don’t want a deal in which their DACA status is a tradeoff for enhanced border security. That, they say, would further what they consider the militarization of the border.” (Even in this otherwise excellent report, Morning Edition host Mary Louise Kelly persisted in using in the far right’s sense of “amnesty” as a pejorative term.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Complaints: Border officers engaged in pattern of 'egregious' abuse against minors

In December 2014, the ACLU requested the full investigative files on complaints filed by minors “in order to shed light on longstanding allegations of abusive treatment of children by Border Patrol.” A year ago, after filing suit, the ACLU began to receive thousands of pages of documents from the case files of 408 complaints filed from early 2009 through mid-2015…

By John Carlos Frey and Brian Epstein, ABC News
September 14, 2017
Jahveel Ocampo. Photo: ABC News
In December of 2009, 15-year old high school student Jahveel Ocampo, her boyfriend and a few of his family members decided to drive east from Encinitas, California, up into the mountains to see the first big snowfall of winter.

They pulled over to a rest stop to use the bathroom and were suddenly blocked by an unmarked truck. A man in a dark blue jacket shouted from the vehicle, Ocampo would say later, directing her and her boyfriend to get out of the car with their hands up.

Ocampo says she had no idea what was happening – until the man asked her where she was born. When she replied, “Tijuana,” she says the man demanded to know whether she was an “illegal.”

He slapped handcuffs on her and her boyfriend and within minutes they were surrounded by several Border Patrol vehicles. Ocampo was separated from her boyfriend, loaded into the back of a car and driven away.[…]

Read the full article:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why do we still have employer sanctions?

The AFL-CIO was one of the main supporters of employer sanctions back in 1986. It only took 13 years for the labor federation to learn its lesson: in February 2000 it officially called for the elimination of the policy.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
September 13, 2017
It’s now more than three decades since Congress created employer sanctions, a feature of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that imposes fines on employers who hire undocumented workers. The measure’s proponents said the sanctions would slow unauthorized immigration by removing the “job magnet” thought to be drawing migrants to the United States. The House Education and Labor Committee wrote at the time that by reducing the number of undocumented workers the measure would limit “the depressing effect on working conditions caused by their employment.”

If that was the goal, employer sanctions have been a spectacular failure.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Don’t Punish the Dreamers—Punish the Corporations Driving Forced Migration

By David Bacon, Working In These Times
September 11, 2017
The "dreamers," young recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—are the true children of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). More than anyone, they have paid the price for the agreement. Yet they are the ones punished by the administration of
Photo: David  Bacon
President Donald Trump, as it takes away their legal status, ability to work and right to live in this country without fear of arrest or deportation. At the same time, those responsible for the fact they grew up in the United States walk away unpunished—and even better off.

I’m not talking about their parents. It's common for liberal politicians—and even Trump himself, on occasion—to say these young people shouldn't be punished for the "crimes" of their parents, who brought their children with them when they crossed the border without papers. But parents aren't criminals any more than their children are. They chose survival over hunger, and sought to keep their families together and give them a future.

The perpetrators of the "crime" are those who wrote the trade treaties and the economic reforms that made forced migration the only means for families to survive. The "crime" was NAFTA.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Long Island Teamster's deportation is a wakeup call: Unions must protect their immigrant members

"We deserve our share of the blame for not doing more to engage our members on issues of racial justice and immigrant rights in recent decades. When we fail to talk to our members about these issues, bigotry festers."

By George Miranda, New York Daily News
September 9, 2017
Hundreds of immigrants are being deported every day, and have been for years, but the impact hits home when it happens to one of your own.

Over the last two weeks, my union, the Teamsters, watched as one of our long-serving members was taken from his family and deported. The experience was a wakeup call that deportation can happen to any of our immigrant members or neighbors.

In just 13 days, the family that Teamster member Eber Garcia Vasquez labored to build and support over three decades was ripped apart.[…]

Read the full article:
Teamsters Local 813 member Eber Garcia Vasquez

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ICE Plans, Then Postpones, “Largest Operation" in Its History

On September 7 NBC News reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was planning to carry out “Operation Mega,” a nationwide series of raids in the middle of the month targeting 8,400 immigrants. Soon afterwards, ICE announced it was cancelling the raids in response to major hurricanes hitting the U.S.—although some speculate that the real reason was the fact that the plan had been leaked. Was this a cancellation or a postponement? Why was ICE planning the escalation? How do mass raids fit in with Trump’s claim that DACA recipients don’t need to worry? And are we ready to resist?—TPOI editor
Milwaukee Protest, February 2017. Photo: The Progressive
Homeland Security Cancels Massive Roundups of Undocumented Immigrants

By Julia Ainsley and Andrew Blankstein, NBC News
September 7, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security had planned nationwide raids to target 8,400 undocumented immigrants later this month, according to three law enforcement officials and an internal document that described the plan as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But after NBC News reported the plans late Thursday, the agency issued a statement saying it had cancelled nationwide enforcement actions due to Hurricane Irma and the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.[…]

Read the full article:

Austin Immigrant Advocates Demand ICE Release Details on Planned 'Mega Raid'
Reports leaked earlier the immigration enforcement agency plans to root out up to 10,000 undocumented residents; advocates wants specifics.

By Tony Cantu, Downtown Austin Patch
September 8, 2017
AUSTIN, TX — Immigrant advocates in Austin are demanding that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials disclose details of the agency's planned "mega-raid" designed to ensnare members of undocumented communities nationwide for deportation.
On Thursday, details emerged about the agency's "Operation Mega" initiative targeting up to 10,000 undocumented immigrants nationwide. Sources suggested the operation would intentionally target anyone in the country currently undocumented.

Now, Austin immigrant advocates are calling on ICE to release documents revealing the scope of the operation.[…]

Read the full article:

Trump Plans Massive Raids on Immigrant Communities Starting Mid-September
Horrific Plan to Target 6,000 - 10,000 for Mass Deportation is Part of Escalating Attacks on Immigrants

By Detention Watch Network
September 7, 2017
Washington, DC — Detention Watch Network (DWN), the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream (UWD) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) condemn Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) plan to conduct a nationwide immigration enforcement operation from mid- to late-September. Multiple sources within and close to ICE have shared information with advocates about the operation, which ICE is calling “Operation Mega.”   In addition to apprehending targeted individuals prioritized in the president’s January 25 Executive Order, ICE agents will apprehend undocumented or otherwise removable individuals encountered during the operation, per ICE policy under the Trump administration. These raids are intended to be historic in size, targeting between 6,000 and 10,000 immigrants.

Operation Mega is part of a wholesale and escalating attack on all immigrants. In the wake of the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program on Tuesday, it is clear that this administration will not exercise restraint in enacting an anti-immigrant and white supremacist agenda. In fact, earlier this year, Trump’s top immigration agent declared that “no population is off the table.”[…]

Read the full statement: