Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Supreme Court won't let Trump travel ban hit grandparents

Several analysts said the signals from the high court increase the possibility that the case may never be argued or decided on the merits. The 90-day period for the six-country ban is set to run out in late September and the refugee halt is scheduled to expire soon thereafter. The justices also said last month they want the parties to address in their briefs whether the dispute could be moot.
By Josh Gerstein, Politico
July 19, 2017
The Supreme Court has rejected the Trump administration’s effort to subject foreigners who are grandparents or cousins of Americans to the president’s travel ban executive order, but the justices will allow the administration to block many refugees for now.

The Trump administration said grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts did not qualify for a travel ban exemption, which was required by the high court for foreign citizens with close ties to U.S. people or institutions. But a federal judge in Hawaii disagreed with the administration’s interpretation and ordered officials to exempt a broader set of relatives.

The Hawaii judge also said refugees assigned to a U.S. resettlement organization were exempt from the ban. However, the justices put that part of the decision on hold Wednesday pending an appeal.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Activist: Threat to DACA Is a Reality Check

Mixed message from Trump on DACA sparks frustration from Dreamers as well as critics of illegal immigration

Serrano-Taha said some DACA recipients became complacent and stopped fighting for others left behind by the program, despite the growing numbers of deportations during the Obama administration.…“It created a sense of entitlement,” Serrano-Taha said. “DACA has always been in danger, ever since it started. This should be a wake-up call. It’s a reality check.”

By Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2017
DACA recipient Melody Klingenfuss, a 23-year-old who lives in North Hills, feels like her immigration relief is under threat. Klingenfuss came to the U.S. on a tourist visa when she was 9.
Ever since Donald Trump was elected, Melody Klingenfuss has known her time in the United States could be limited.

The 23-year-old has temporary immigration relief under President Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which seemed imperiled amid Trump’s vowed crackdown on illegal immigration.

But instead of clear policy, Klingenfuss and thousands of other DACA recipients have faced mixed messages, contradictory leaks and a lack of clarity about their future. Inside the administration, there has been talk of deportations, only to have the president himself sound a less dire tone.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Could the DACA Threat Set Off a Big Immigration Fight in September?

February protest in Seattle. Photo: Ted S. Warren AP
A threatened lawsuit by anti-immigrant hardliners could put DACA on hold or even end it completely unless Congress takes action or the Trump administration decides to defend the deferred action program. The hardliners set the deadline for a response on September 5, the day Congress resumes, so it’s clearly an effort to spark a showdown on immigration policy the Congress within the administration.

What’s less clear is how immigrant rights activists are going to respond. Democrats in Congress are apparently looking for a compromise. McClatchy reports that Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ Senate leader, is “asking if [immigrant] advocates will give in on any other parts of the immigration fight in order to save DACA.” Others are wondering why we would need to "give in to save DACA" when a poll last November found that the public already opposes efforts to repeal the program by a margin of more than two to one. –TPOI editor

The future of DACA suddenly looks very shaky
If Trump makes 780,000 young immigrants vulnerable to deportation again, all hell might break loose.

By Dara Lind, Vox
July 14, 2017
President Trump looks like he might be gearing up to touch the third rail of immigration policy in 2017: ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed young unauthorized immigrants to work legally and protected them from deportation.

Democrats are bracing for a second wave of an immigration crackdown this fall: White House adviser Stephen Miller is reportedly working with members of Congress on a bill to curb legal immigration, while Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly refused to assure members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about the future of some immigrants currently protected from deportation.

But it’s DACA that could open the floodgates.[…]

Read the full article:

Democratic leaders to secretly huddle over strategy to save DACA

By Franco Ordoñez, McClatchy DC
July 11, 2017
Senate Democratic leaders will huddle secretly with immigration advocates Wednesday to find out what measures they will — and won’t —support as the clock ticks down on immigration issues that must be decided in the next 50 to 90 days, including the Obama-era policy that grants temporary legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Knowing that the deferred action program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — could be eliminated if it ends up in court, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leaders are expected to hold a conversation with advocates on the realities of the political fight, pressing for unity and asking if the advocates will give in on any other parts of the immigration fight in order to save DACA.

“Schumer is a good person to be meeting with right now because he has to hold his guys together to block some of this stuff that is coming from the House,” said a congressional staffer who could not speak publicly about Democratic strategy.[…]

Read the full article:

Correction, July 18: The posting has been corrected to reflect the fact that the lawsuit against DACA  is threatened, not actually in progress.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

There Is No Evidence of an Illegal Immigrant Crime Wave: Why the “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” Is Flawed

This blog post by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, presents an important response to claims about a supposed “illegal alien crime wave.” In 2015 Fox News tried to counter the generally accepted research showing that immigrants are less likely to be convicted of crimes than the native born. Nowrasteh points out obvious errors in the Fox News report—such as a common misunderstanding of county jail statistics that we pointed out in 2008—and shows the questionable reliability of references to a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) report which is not publicly unavailable. (The references originate in a blog at the far-right PJ Media site. Rightwing provocateurs Gavin McInnes and Ann Coulter are responsible for similar distortions of Texas DPS data.)—TPOI editor
Rightwingers used dubious stats as "evidence" in debate on Kate's Law (H.R. 3004
By Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
July 7, 2017
The House of Representatives recently passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) and Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) to tighten immigration enforcement in response to the fear that illegal immigrants are especially likely to commit violent or property crimes.  Both laws stem from the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant named Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez after he had been deported multiple times.

Debates on the House floor over both bills veered into the social science of immigrant criminality.  The majority of research finds that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives and that increases in their population in local areas are correlated with lower crime rates – even for illegal immigrants.

Despite that wealth of empirical evidence, a two-year-old Fox News piece entitled “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” by investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman was offered as evidence of illegal immigrant criminality.  Ms. Zimmerman’s piece makes many factual errors that have misinformed the public debate over Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 14, 2017

NYC, July 19: “Resistance at Tule Lake” East Coast Premiere

"A dominant narrative of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans is that they behaved as a 'model minority,' cooperating without protest and proving their patriotism by enlisting in the army. Konrad Aderer’s documentary overturns this history, telling the story of the 12,000 Japanese Americans labeled “disloyal” who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration at Tule Lake Segregation Center... Resistance at Tule Lake brings to surface stories of dissent and noncooperation marginalized for 70 years—ever more vital today amidst new threats to the rights of immigrants and minorities."

Resistance at Tule Lake at JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film
Japan Society
333 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 6:30PM
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Konrad Aderer!

Tickets $14 / $11 Seniors & Students / $10 Japan Society Members

Resistance at Tule Lake in the News:

From Hiroshima to Tule Lake, Films About Japan and America
By Mike Hale, New York Times
July 12, 2016
"Interviewing survivors, and traveling on a pilgrimage to the desolate remains of the Tule Lake relocation camp in far Northern California, Mr. Aderer shows that the narrative of stoic obedience in the face of repression and imprisonment is radically incomplete... Toggling among fascinating, often sorrowful film and photographs from the period, and the still vivid anger of the now elderly former prisoners, 'Resistance at Tule Lake' is a potent piece of history at a time when the United States is once again feeling less than hospitable."[…]

Read the full article:

Resistance at Tule Lake: Film Looks at WW2 Internment
Tom Brook interviews Konrad Aderer, BBC
July 13, 2017
More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were held at internment camps in the US during the 1940s because they were viewed as a security threat.  New documentary, Resistance at Tule Lake, looks at some of the internees’ resistance to incarceration at one California detention camp. BBC Talking Moves’ Tom Brook reports.[…]

Watch BBC interview:

Film Review: Konrad Aderer’s “Resistance at Tule Lake”
By Rex Baylon, Meniscus
June 7, 2017
"For many viewers, 'Resistance at Tule Lake' will not be an easy watch... The newsreels showcase the complete obliviousness of the American public’s perspective on Japanese [incarceration]. The interviews from surviving Japanese internees are maddeningly depressing as they nonchalantly tell of their experiences in the camps. They fight back tears as they tell their story, yet they end each harrowing tale of deprivation and humiliation with the same sentiment: that they stilllove this country and are proud to be Americans."[…]

Read the full article:

#SDAFF Spring Showcase: RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE Demonstrated How the Struggle Is REAL
By Erin Chew, YOMYOMF Network
May 10, 2017
"This particular film directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer provides a deep insight into the resistance movement of the Japanese Americans incarcerated at the Tule Lake Segregation Center, and quashes the idea that Asians are obedient, non-confrontational, don’t voice their dissent and are happy to be apart of the model minority myth."[…]

Read the full article:

Interview with Konrad Aderer: Telling a dramatic story through real-life experiences is a very powerful way to engage people in an issue
By Panos Kotzathanasis, Asian Film Vault
April 26, 2017
"When I was making my first film 'Enemy Alien' about a Palestinian activist Farouk, I was looking for a parallel in Japanese-American history. I found it in Tule Lake. Pretty much everything that he did: conduct hunger strikes, reason with his captors, fight illegal cases on base of constitutional principles—that’s all the things that Japanese Americans did at Tule Lake. And they had the same kind of consequences—beating, torture, deportation, yet they still persisted, which is why I felt this story was invaluable to tell because it was so little-known."[…]

Read the full interview:

“Resistance at Tule Lake” at San Diego Asian Film Festival 2017
By Sam Velazquez, UCSD Guardian
April 23, 2016
“'Resistance at Tule Lake' reifies both the strength of people and the inexcusable, illegal actions of a government that has made a tradition of subjugating its citizens. The proud Americans dragged to this camp fought for their constitutional rights and were rebuked for it... As a nation of immigrants and contradictions, we must establish the fight for equality and justice as an active goal — not a pipe dream." […]

Read the full article:

Konrad Aderer Interview
By Andrea Chase, PRX
March 11, 2017
An interviewee in Konrad Aderer’s Resistance at Tule Lake compares that militarized internment camp to Guantanamo. It’s a connection that I had not made before, but which is just one of the many enlightening moments in the documentary.  When I spoke with Aderer on March 11, 2017, it was just before Resistance’s world premiere at CAAMFest, and my first question was about that comparison.[…]

Listen to the interview:

Konrad and team are grateful to announce that Resistance at Tule Lake was awarded the Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice by the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gutiérrez Warns Those With DACA or TPS to Prepare for the Worst

“This was a wake-up call that Trump, Sessions and Kelly are serious about mass deportation and are anxious to get started.  It is a call to action for people who oppose mass deportation and turning the documented into undocumented so that they can be deported.”

Press Release, Office of Rep. Luis Gutiérrez
July 12, 2017
Washington, DC – On Wednesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) was among the Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to meet with Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security.  In the closed door meeting that lasted more than an hour, Sec. Kelly was questioned about the continuation of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); ICE arrests targeting the parents and family of children seeking refuge; detention and deportation of those with no criminal record and/or stays of deportation; the renewal of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for numerous countries; and the deportation of U.S. veterans.

The following is a statement from Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, a Member of the Judiciary Committee and Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

I think we have to prepare for the worst and get ready to fight mass deportation.  We showed up at airports to fight the Muslim and Refugee Ban and now DREAMers and people who have lived here legally for decades with TPS are in imminent danger.

Secretary Kelly determines the future of TPS and basically told us he is not sure if he will extend it for hundreds of thousands of people. He also said that the future of DACA is up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, America’s leading advocate against immigration, so Kelly was basically telling us DACA is facing a death sentence.  They actually want to take millions of people who are documented – with our own government – make them undocumented, and then go after them and their families.

So, I fear for anybody currently with DACA or TPS.[...]

Read the full press release:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Here’s What Violence Along the U.S.-Mexico Border Really Looks Like

Northern Mexican cities are among the hemisphere's most violent. Across the border, it's a different story.
Border fence between San Diego and Tijuana. Public domain.
By Juan Carlos Garzón-Vergara, openDemocracy
July 3, 2017
Part of the justification for President Donald Trump’s “great wall” is that it is needed to keep America protected from what lies below – northern Mexico is rife with drug violence and there exists a very real risk of that violence spilling over into American cities and towns.

But the dynamics of the drug trade – and the numbers – point to a different reality.

At the Igarapé Institute, we’ve compiled the most up-to-date official homicide data from both sides of the border. The results show that towns along the U.S. side are among the safest in the country; northern Mexico, meanwhile, is one of the most violent places in the hemisphere. They also suggest that the threat of spillover violence is unlikely to increase or decrease with the presence of a physical wall.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Books on Immigration: Two Recommendations

Here are two books on immigration for which we’ve received recommendations from reliable sources, so please check them out..—TPOI editor

Elvira's Faith and Barack's Challenge: The Grassroots Struggle for the Rights of Undocumented Families

By Reverend Walter L Coleman (Author), John Womack (Editor), Elvira Arellano (Contributor)
Wrightwood Press (September 6, 2016)

John Womack, author of the acclaimed Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, writes this about Elvira’s Faith:

I can testify that it really is a wonderfully clarifying book, also a deeply encouraging book. It is about a young woman from Maravatío, Michoacán, intent in the economic wreckage of Mexico in 1995-96 just on making enough money to pay for her aged, unwell parents’ medicine, migrating north for work in Mexico, finally heading alone al Gran Norte, sin documentos, eventually for good in the US labor market, bearing a son here, eventually finding herself in Chicago, working in the crews cleaning planes at O’Hare, arrested in the typically hysterical post-9/11 raids to catch working people without papers, released, but under the constant threat of deportation—and then meeting the great Pilsen organizers, Emma Lozano and her husband, Rev. Walter Coleman, and joining their terrific fight for justice for undocumented migrants here.

Elvira is really the first of the great, conscious, brave, public champions of Sanctuary in the USA in the 21st century. She spent the year 2006-2007 living with her son in Rev. Coleman’s church, living every day protected night and day by the local community, then by plan, hers and the local underground’s, escaping “Homeland Security” to get secretly from Chicago to Los Angeles to begin a national campaign there for justice for the undocumented.

The rest you can read in the book, and hopefully colleagues, friends, and many students will too, learn from it, and act bravely on it. La lucha sigue.

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte

By David Bacon
University of California Press; Bilingual edition (May 23, 2017)

UCLA African American Studies lecturer Paul Von Blum writes in Truthdig on June 30:

A new bilingual book by David Bacon offers both a dramatic antidote to the deplorable reality of racism and a majestic life-affirming view of these hidden women, men and children. "In the Fields of the North" is a landmark fusion of journalism and documentary photography. Bacon is an accomplished writer and photographer, with a long record of union organizing for the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and others. He has effectively documented the impact of globalization, the degrading conditions of workplaces for many immigrants, the human consequences of migration, the political struggles for workers' and human rights, and many related topics in his books and commentary.

But above all, Bacon is a documentary photographer of extraordinary power, insight and skill. In his introductory comments to the book, he is modest-too modest-about contributing to the long history of socially conscious photography: "I hope my work contributes to this tradition today." I have had the privilege and pleasure of teaching and writing for many years about some of the giant American figures of this tradition, including Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks.[...]

Read the full review:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

ICE Officers Told to Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants Encountered While on Duty

A directive from the head of ICE’s enforcement unit appears to push for tougher action than the Trump administration has publicly promised.

By Marcelo Rochabrun, ProPublica
July 7, 2017
The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests.

In a February memo, Matthew Albence, a career official who heads the Enforcement and Removal Operations division of ICE, informed his 5,700 deportation officers that, “effective immediately, ERO officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties.”[…]

Read the full article:

ICE agents detain a father of four as his family watches

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Immigration Practices Challenged in Court: Can They Detain Kids? What About Citizens?

A Ninth Circuit panel has ruled that the government needs to abide by its 1997 agreement to grant immigrant children bond hearings—for instance, the nine-year-old who was held in detention for 18 months. And now advocates are suing Miami-Dade County for holding a U.S. citizen overnight on an ICE detainer. (It was actually the second time immigration authorities mistook this person for an undocumented immigrant.)—TPOI editor

Detained Immigrant Children Are Entitled to Hearings, Court Rules

By Miriam Jordan, New York Times
July 5, 2017
LOS ANGELES — Undocumented immigrant children detained by federal authorities are entitled to
Border Patrol arresting kids. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
hearings to determine whether they should remain confined, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that immigration authorities must abide by a 1997 legal settlement that established a policy for the detention, release and treatment of minors in immigration custody.

That agreement, named the Flores settlement after the teenage girl who brought the original case, stipulated that a child in deportation proceedings be afforded a bond hearing before an immigration judge.[…]

Read the full article:

U.S. Citizen Detained by Mistake Sues Miami-Dade Over Immigration Enforcement

By Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times
July 5, 2017
Immigration lawyers in Miami-Dade County are challenging its practice of jailing people on behalf of federal immigration authorities, in a case that could test the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure so-called sanctuary cities and counties.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Federal District Court in Miami, lawyers representing a local resident, Garland Creedle, argued that the county had violated his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful seizure.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Are liberals having second thoughts about immigration?

For Democratic politicians and pundits this resistance to Trump might at first have seemed like a good thing, but Beinart’s article and the reaction to it suggest that liberals are starting to have second thoughts.
Anti-Trump Protesters in New York. Photo: Marty Goodman
By David L. Wilson, MRonline
July 3, 2017
On June 20 The Atlantic posted an article by Peter Beinart claiming that the Democrats had “lost their way on immigration.”

Beinart is a respected liberal centrist—of the sort that supported the 2003 Iraq invasion until it started going bad—so the article created a stir among opinion makers. Rightwingers at Breitbart and National Review gloated. Liberals took Beinart’s thesis to heart: Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum endorsed the article, and Thomas Edsall quoted it in the New York Times. A Chicago Tribune columnist cited it as an “important essay.”

It’s true that Beinart makes some good points.[…]

Friday, June 30, 2017

A New Farm Worker Union Is Born

Indigenous Oaxacan farm workers win themselves a union in the Pacific Northwest.

David Bacon, American Prospect
June 26, 2017
Bob's Burgers and Brew, a hamburger joint at the Cook Road freeway exit on Interstate 5, about two hours north of Seattle, doesn’t look like a place where Pacific Northwest farm workers can change their lives, much less make some history. But on June 16, a half-dozen men in work clothes pulled tables together in Bob's outdoor seating area. Danny Weeden, general manager of Sakuma Brothers Farms, then joined them.
A worker votes to ratify the contract. Photo: David Bacon

After exchanging polite greetings, Weeden opened four folders and handed around copies of a labor contract that had taken 16 sessions of negotiations to hammer out. As the signature pages were passed down the tables, each person signed. Weeden collected his copy and drove off; the workers remained long enough to cheer and take pictures with their fists in the air. Then they too left.

It was a quiet end to four years of strikes and boycotts, in which these workers had organized the first new farm-worker union in the United States in a quarter-century—Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ).[…]

Read the full article:

Read previous coverage of the struggle at Sakuma Brothers:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

‘Clear Victory’ for President Trump on Muslim Ban 2.0? Hardly.

By Cody Wofsy, ACLU
June 26, 2017
After the Supreme Court ruled today that it would hear arguments on the Muslim ban that a number of lower courts have ruled against, the president claimed “clear victory.”


In fact, the court handed the government a sweeping, but not complete, defeat. It rejected the government’s blanket ban and recognized what all the lower courts in two separate cases saw: The ban would be devastating to families, organizations, and communities across the United States. The court also allowed the government to implement only a narrow version of the ban, explaining that anyone with a “bona fide relationship” to people or organizations in the United States cannot be barred. To view that decision as “clear victory” is wishful thinking.[…]

Muslim ban protest, JFK airport, January 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Your immigrant ancestors came here legally? Are you sure?

A good article, but the quote from historian Mae Ngai must have been cut short. Ngai, the author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America, the definitive history of U.S. immigration policy between 1924 and 1965, clearly didn’t mean that just any able-bodied person with a little money and some mental ability could enter the country before 1924: most Asians were excluded.—TPOI
Ellis Island, early 1900s. Photo: National Park Service
By Michael Matza, The Inquirer
June 25, 2017
Passions rise, tempers flare, and sooner or later someone says: Why don’t they just come here legally, the way my grandparents did?

In any debate about illegal immigration, that argument, with its implied moral distinction between prior generations of purportedly law-abiding immigrants, and anyone here illegally now, invariably comes up.

But although many people think their ancestors came legally, says immigration historian Mae Ngai, most families can’t know that with certainty. And the criteria for admission to the United States have changed so much since the late 19th and early 20th centuries that most comparisons of then to now are like apples to oranges.[…]

Read the full article:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fighting for the Sanctuary Workplace: Unions Mobilize to Protect Undocumented **UPDATED**

This important new article from David Bacon describes ways unions can move to protect workers from ICE raids—and “silent raids”—at the workplace.

By David Bacon, Truthout
June 24, 2017

Sanctuary workplaces?

Albeit far from its intentions, the Trump administration has put the idea of sanctuaries on steroids -- spaces free from the threat of raids and deportations. As immigrant workers, unions and their allies look for creative ways to counter anti-immigrant onslaughts, they're adopting the sanctuary framework to deal with the dangers faced on the job.

This is not just a recent response to administration threats of increased enforcement. Immigrant workers have been battling jobsite raids and firings for many years, seeking ways to prevent la migra (immigration agents) from using their employment to sweep them into the enforcement net.[…]

Read the full article:

Update, June 29, 2017: International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 810 in New York City has now declared itself a "sanctuary union," becoming the first Teamsters local to do so. Read the article at

Local 2850 members and organizers in anti-Trump march. Photo: Truthout/David Bacon

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Apple Pickers of the Yakima Valley: A photo essay

More excellent photographs from David Bacon (we used his work for the covers of both editions of our book). But the analysis is also important. Bacon shows that, at least in Washington state, growers are switching from the exploitation of immigrant workers to the exploitation of guest workers. “Growers are increasingly recruiting Mexican workers to come to the U.S. on H-2A visas,” he writes. “….In 2006, Washington growers brought in 814 workers on H-2A visas, mostly to pick apples. Last year they brought in 13,641—about a quarter of the state’s farm labor force that year.”—TPOI editor

Farmworkers march on May 1. Photo: The Atlantic/David Bacon

By David Bacon, The Atlantic
June 22, 2017
Even after having worked as a farmworker for a few years, Eva Chavez still had trouble coping with how exhausted she was after a day of picking apples. “I’d barely make it home because I was so tired,” she remembers. “I’d just park the car outside my house and sleep in the car. I didn’t even want to go inside.”

She saw her fellow farmworkers get similarly worn down. She said she worried when she saw someone in charge of a job distribute pain pills and Coca-Cola. Some of her friends drank cans of Red Bull or Monster Energy so often that if they stopped, they got sleepy and lost their motivation to work. “We put our lives out there in the fields for a job that will never give our health back,” says Chavez. Another farmworker I talked to, who once picked tobacco on a farm in Kentucky, said that the exposure to the nicotine in the leaves left him with a sensation “like a hangover multiplied by 10.”[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, June 23, 2017

As Temperatures Soar in Southwest, Border Patrol Puts Migrants in Greater Danger

Border Patrol Raids Humanitarian Aid Group Camp in Arizona

By Fernanda Santos, New York Times
June 16, 2017
  Photo: No More Deaths/Carrot Quinn

PHOENIX — The Border Patrol raided a humanitarian aid group’s base camp in the Southern Arizona desert on Thursday and arrested four men who had crossed into the United States illegally, officials with Customs and Border Protection said.

Volunteers with the group, No More Deaths, which gives water and first-aid care to migrants, said the men were from Mexico and were receiving emergency medical care at the camp, which had been raided by agents in the past. But this was the first time border agents had used a search warrant to gain entry, the group said in a statement, suggesting a change in strategy by the Border Patrol leadership in the region at a time when temperatures are soaring. Despite a history of tense relations with No More Deaths, the agency had previously abided by an informal, Obama-era agreement allowing migrants to seek medical help at the camp without fear of arrest.[...]

Read the full article:

Appeal From No More Deaths/No Más Muertes

June 20, 2017
The high-temperature forecast for Arivaca, Arizona on June 21 is 108 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be even hotter, 116 degrees, in the Devil’s Highway region of Ajo, Arizona.

In this heat, a 150-pound person needs three to four gallons of water to remain hydrated if walking all day. Migrants and refugees heading north often trek for many days or weeks and are unable to carry the water that is minimal for survival.

In Arizona alone, over three thousand people have died a migration-related death since 1999. We do not stand idly by. No More Deaths volunteers are in the desert today and every day providing food, water, and medical aid to border crossers in distress.

Today, in the wake of an unprecedented raid on our camp by the US Border Patrol (see coverage in the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Intercept, the Guardian, and the Arizona Republic), we need your support more than ever.

On June 21, when the sun is highest in the sky and daylight at its longest, we want to raise $10,000 to support our work. We’re calling this solstice effort our Longest Day Campaign.

Whether you donate today or on the longest day of the year, your contribution enables us to work towards ending death and suffering in the US–Mexico borderlands.

You can donate online or write a check to “UUCT/No More Deaths” and mail it to:

No More Deaths DonateNow
PO Box 40782
Tucson, AZ 85717

We are ever-grateful for your support in the face of the ongoing crises of death and disappearance at the border.

In solidarity, 
The No More Deaths community

Watch "Desert of Death" for more information on No More Deaths and the group's humanitarian work:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ICE in NYC Courtrooms: Agents Target Queens Human Trafficking Court

ICE continues its practice in New York of detaining immigrants when they make scheduled court appearances. In the latest case, ICE agents were spotted waiting near a  special court intended to help human trafficking victims; the agents were planning to detain a young Chinese woman charged with working without authorization as a masseuse. ICE claims the agents are just trying to help protect the public. “Tell me,” Lauren Evans writes at Jezebel, “which strikes you as a greater threat to public safety? A young woman potentially working as a masseuse, or ICE agents so drunk on power they arrested a 19-year-old on the day of his high school prom?”—TPOI editor.

Outcry After Immigration Agents Seen at Queens Human Trafficking Court

By Beth Fertig, WNYC News
June 16, 2017
Public defenders and the state's top judge were rattled Friday after federal immigration agents were present in a Queens criminal courtroom for human trafficking victims.

A WNYC reporter was in the building when Legal Aid lawyers huddled frantically in the hallway: Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had been spotted in the building. The lawyers approached one of the agents, and he acknowledged there were warrants for several people in the building.

The lawyers said they learned from the judge that ICE wanted a young Chinese woman in the Human Trafficking Intervention Courtroom. They said she'd been charged with working illegally as a masseuse, and was about to receive an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal after completing a program with a community group — a goal of human trafficking court.[...]

Read the full article:

The Immigrant Defense Project has provided the following summary of ICE courtroom practices in New York as of June 2017:
  • ICE is targeting multiple people in court in multiple court parts. When they face delays, or are unable to apprehend a person in one part, they are going to other court parts to pursue people.
  • ICE is targeting visa overstays with no prior criminal history who are facing a wide range of charges including misdemeanors.
  • The physical arrests seem to be occurring farther from the courtroom; some have been in the hallways, by the elevators, and just outside of the courthouse. ICE may be sitting in court parts and identifying people when they're called and then following them out of the courtroom.
  • Court officers continue to play a role in assisting in some cases. We have reports of court officers blocking doors, delaying the calling of cases, and communicating with ICE agents.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DACA: Trump Leaves Dreamers in Suspense

Damocles and the sword
On June 16 the Trump administration rescinded Obama’s DAPA policy but left DACA in place, shielding some 800,000 younger immigrants from deportation for now. But the White House refused to say whether it would try to eliminate the program in the future.
Trump pledged during the campaign that he would rescind DACA. Probably his waffling on the issue reflects the programs popularity and demonstrates once again the strength of the Dreamer movement, the young activists whose protests pushed Obama to grant DACA in the first place. Trump's failure to kill the program seemed to upset some people in the anti-immigrant right, while others suggested that Trump could use threats to DACA as a bargaining chip to push other parts of his program. As usual the rightwingers insisted on calling DACA an “amnesty.” Someone should tell Ann Coulter and the National Review how to use an online dictionary. An amnesty is a pardon; DACA simply puts off the possibility of deportation for a period of time, and provides no protection against arbitrary detentions by ICE agents. The appropriate comparison for DACA is to the sword of Damocles.—TPOI editor

‘Dreamers’ to Stay in U.S. for Now, but Long-Term Fate Is Unclear

“With Trump, we can expect anything. Tomorrow he can say that he wants to deport us,” he said. “I don’t know what to make of this, or what to believe.”

By Michael D. Shear and Vivian Yee, New York Times
June 16, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Trump will not immediately eliminate protections for the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as small children, according to new memorandums issued by the administration on Thursday night.

But White House officials said on Friday morning that Mr. Trump had not made a decision about the long-term fate of the program and might yet follow through on a campaign pledge to take away work permits from the immigrants or deport them.[…]

Read the full article:

A day of rumors over deportation policy highlights divisions within the Trump administration

“There’s been a lot of work to change minds and hearts. So I don’t think it’s easy for Donald Trump to just end this program,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns for the American Civil Liberties Union.

By Michael A. Memoli and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times
June 16, 2017
A flurry of rumors, conflicting reports and divergent statements on Friday highlighted deep divisions within the Trump administration over a major element of immigration policy — the fate of the roughly 750,000 so-called Dreamers who are shielded from deportation by an Obama-era policy.

The rumors began after Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, moving to meet a court deadline, issued a memorandum late Thursday evening that formally ended the legal fight over former President Obama’s 2014 DAPA program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. That initiative sought to temporarily remove the threat of deportation for more than 4 million immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.[…]

Read the full story:

Trump Killed A Key Obama Immigration Program. But What He Didn’t Do Matters More.
Dreamers aren’t entirely safe, but the program created to protect them is still intact.

By Elise Foley, Huffington Post
June 16, 2017
WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration formalized an immigration policy shift on Thursday evening that was notable for what it didn’t do as much as what it did. The Department of Homeland Security rescinded DAPA, a never-implemented program that would have allowed some undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to stay in the country.

But more significantly, it left in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a policy that President Donald Trump promised to eliminate, and one that has shielded hundreds of thousands from deportation.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another Death in ICE Detention: Groups Demand Information on Case

Salvadoran immigrant Carlos Mejía Bonilla (or Bonilla Mejia, according to Univision) died of gastrointestinal bleeding on June 10, two months after being placed in immigration detention at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, New Jersey. His daughter says he had been denied medication for a cirrhosis condition. ICE seems not to be answering media inquiries.—TPOI editor

Salvadoran Immigrant Dies in ICE Custody as Detainee Deaths Rise
This fiscal year’s deaths of ICE detainees are the most since 2011.

Carlos Mejia Bonilla
By Roque Planas and Elise Foley, Huffington Post
June 13, 2017
A 44-year-old Salvadoran national died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody on Saturday, the 10th detainee to die in ICE custody since this fiscal year began Oct. 1. That’s the same number who died in the entire 2016 fiscal year, and the most since 2011.

Carlos Mejía Bonilla, 44, was admitted to Jersey City Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit with gastrointestinal bleeding on June 8. He died two days later, according to a statement ICE released on Tuesday.[…]

Read the full article:

"No es justo que no le estuviesen dando su medicamento", reclama la familia del salvadoreño que murió bajo la custodia de ICE
Carlos Bonilla falleció el 10 de junio a causa de una hemorragia interna en un hospital de Nueva Jersey, de acuerdo con ICE. El hombre de 44 años había sido detenido el 1 de abril.

Por Univision
14 de Junio, 2017
Carlos Bonilla Mejía, el salvadoreño que murió por un shock hemorrágico la semana pasada bajo la custodia de ICE en Nueva York, padecía de diabetes, cirrosis y anemia, aseguró su hija Joanna a Univision Noticias. Sin embargo, la joven reclamó que su padre presuntamente no estaba recibiendo los medicamentos adecuados en el centro de detención.

Bonilla fue arrestado el 1 de abril por el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE por su sigla en inglés). Ese día, según su hija, iba camino al trabajo cuando el auto en el que viajaba junto a otros tres pasajeros fue detenido por las autoridades.[…]

Lea el artículo completo:

Press Release: Rights Groups Call for Transparency and Accountability in Latest ICE Detention Death

June 14, 2017, New York — Immigrant rights organizations, Center for Constitutional Rights, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project (IDP), and Detention Watch Network (DWN) are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carlos Mejia-Bonilla. Mejia-Bonilla, 44, died on Saturday while in the custody of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This tragedy marks the 10th death to occur in ICE detention since the start of the fiscal year. In the case of Mejia-Bonilla, ICE has yet to reveal the New York area detention center where he was held prior to his death.

“ICE must publicly reveal the detention center where Mejia-Bonilla was held prior to his death,” said Ghita Schwarz of Center for Constitutional Rights. “It is unacceptable that they would deliberately withhold crucial information as we try to understand what led to this tragedy.”[…]

Read the full press release:
Download the report 2016 Fatal Neglect, How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention:

Friday, June 16, 2017

It’s Official: ICE Head Says “Bad Hombres” Aren’t the Only Target

Acting ICE director Thomas Homan has now admitted that the government’s goal is to make all undocumented immigrants “uncomfortable.” The reality behind Homan’s statement is that even the Trump regime knows it can’t deport all 11 million of the unauthorized; the goal is to keep the 8 million with jobs terrorized so that they can be even more easily exploited. This in turn drives down wages for the immigrants’ citizen fellow workers—what employers mean when they talk about “making American great again.”—TPOI Editor
ICE Chief Says Undocumented Immigrants "Should Be Worried" and Looking Over Their Shoulder

Homan's response came after questions from New York Rep. Nita Lowey, who questioned the ICE director about the detention of 19-year-old Diego Ismael Puma Macancela who was detained hours before his senior prom and days before his high school graduation.

By Salvador Hernandez, BuzzFeed
June 13, 2017
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan told a congressional committee Tuesday all undocumented immigrants in the US "should be uncomfortable" and "looking over (their) shoulder" when it comes to who could be deported by the federal agency.

"In the country I grew up in, if you're violating the law you should be uncomfortable," Homan testified Tuesday before the Homeland Security subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. "He should be looking over his shoulder if he's in this country in violation of the law and ordered removed. He should be worried that he's going to be arrested."[…]

Read the full article:

ICE Director To All Undocumented Immigrants: ‘You Need To Be Worried’
Non-criminals won’t be spared from deportation, Thomas Homan said.

By Elise Foley, Huffington Post
June 13, 2017
WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration will continue arresting undocumented immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes and won’t apologize for it, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday.

“If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable,” Acting Director Thomas Homan told the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee. “You should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried.”

Following up on Trump’s campaign promise to drive out more undocumented immigrants, ICE arrests rose significantly during the president’s first 100 days in office, compared with the same period the year before. About one-quarter of those arrested ― more than 10,800 people ― were non-criminals, meaning they did not have authorization to be in the U.S., but had not been convicted of a crime. (Being in the U.S. without legal status is a civil offense, although it is a crime to cross the border illegally.)[…]

Read the full article:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Immigrants, Wage Theft, and Trump

Undocumented immigrants are easy targets for employers who want to rip their workers off. The situation seems to be getting worse under Trump—which doesn’t mean it wasn’t bad before.—TPOI editor
Dairy workers protest. Photo: New York Upstate
How Trump Made Wage Theft Routine

…[W]ith Donald Trump as president, more employers think wage theft is even easier to get away with.

Eric Cortellessa, American Prospect
June 5, 2017
Enrique is a farmworker in California. He has a wife and two sons living in Mexico who depend on the money he sends them. For parts of the year—from May to November—he goes north to Washington to pick apples and cherries. Sometimes, he says, he isn’t paid for all the work he does. On one such occasion, he and his coworkers wanted to complain. Stiffing employees, after all, is a federal crime.

But it’s not so simple. Enrique is worried that reporting the crime could backfire against him by exposing his immigration status.

“When we get paid—sometimes we get paid and sometimes we don’t—we notice that there are hours missing, and we just fear saying anything, because we’ve been told repeatedly that if we say anything, they are going to call immigration on us,” he says.[...]

Read the full article:

Upstate immigrant dairy farm workers report injuries and intimidation

By Patrick Lohmann, New York Upstate
June 1, 2017
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Immigrant dairy farm workers who spoke to researchers in Upstate New York reported hazardous working conditions, wage theft and intimidation, according to findings published in a report by workers' rights groups and Syracuse University professors.

Researchers interviewed 88 immigrant workers at 53 Upstate dairy farms in 2014 and 2015. They did so without the farm owners' knowledge and granted the workers, most of whom came to the country illegally, anonymity for fear of being deported, the authors said.

Nearly half of the workers said they were bullied or intimidated by their bosses, and two-thirds said they'd suffered at least one injury. […]

Read the full article:

Download the report:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Shows the Supreme Court How to Strike Down Trump's Travel Ban

On June 12 a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision upholding a Hawaiian court’s order temporarily halting enforcement of Trump’s travel ban. In contrast to other circuit decisions upholding similar injunctions, the Ninth Circuit panel didn’t rely on arguments about the ban’s constitutionality. Instead, they ruled that Trump’s executive order may have violated provisions of immigration law. For example, the banning of people from six specific countries seems to go against  the requirement in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)  that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”—TPOI editor

Protest against Muslim ban at JFK airiport, January 2017

By Garrett Epps, The Atlantic
June12, 2017  
In mid-June of a typical year, Supreme Court justices and their clerks are burning the midnight oil in the comforting knowledge that soon all involved will be happily winging off to vacation destinations, leaving controversy temporarily behind.

That happy prospect is complicated this year, however, by the June 1 arrival in the Court’s in-box of Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Program, the East Coast-based challenge to what President Trump himself adamantly insists on calling his “travel ban” on entry of persons from six majority-Muslim countries. The Court almost certainly will have to decide before leaving town whether to hear the case (hint: it will) and if so, when.

Justices contemplating this case may feel that they are staring into a labyrinth of potential missteps and institutional dangers. On Monday, their fellow judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw them a map of an escape route, if they care to take it.[...]

Read the full article:

Dowload the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What Does It Take to Solve a Statelessness Crisis?

The situation in the Dominican Republic gives some insight into what happens when a country with a large immigrant population decides to end birthright citizenship. Read more here and here.—TPOI editor

By Robin Guittard, IPS
May 23, 2017
Photo: Upside Down World
MEXICO CITY, May 23 2017 (IPS) - Three years ago today, authorities in the Dominican Republic
passed a law seeking to address a statelessness crisis that has effectively stripped thousands of people off their Dominican nationality and with it,  denied them a range of human rights.

The crisis exploded in 2013, after a ruling by the Dominican Republic’s top Court that retroactively applied to anyone born after 1929 to undocumented foreign parents. In practice, it disproportionately affected Dominicans of Haitian descent in a context of an island shared by two nations: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The largest statelessness crisis ever seen in the Americas was unleashed, with four generations of people being legally erased from the map and turned into ghost citizens, with no rights and no future – unable to enroll in school, apply for regular jobs or facing difficulty in seeing a doctor. An international outcry followed.[…]

Read the full article: