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:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ossining HS student arrested by immigration agents

By Michael P. McKinney and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, The Journal News
June 9, 2017, updated June 10, 2017
OSSINING - A 19-year-old Ossining High School student was taken into custody by federal immigration authorities on Thursday, the same day as his senior prom.

The arrest of Diego Ismael Puma Macancela, an Ecuadorean national, came just one day after immigration agents took his mother into custody for deportation.

Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested the high school senior based on a Nov. 16 deportation order against him, according to Rachael Yong Yow, public affairs officer for the federal agency.[...]

Read the full article:

Sign the online petition:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Preview: The Politics of Immigration 2nd Edition

Google Books now has a limited preview of the second edition of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers, which was released in late May. The preview is searchable; it’s made available by the distributor, New York University Press.

Click here to order the book directly from Monthly Review, the publisher.

Ellis Island in the early 20th century

'Anti-Sharia' Marchers Met With Counter-Protests Around The Country

Despite all the media attention the Islamophobes get, their "anti-Sharia" rallies turned out to be pathetic little affairs overshadowed by counter-protests.--TPOI editor
Seattle counter-protest. Photo:Ted S. Warren/AP
By James Doubek, NPR
June 11, 2017
Protesters who gathered on Saturday to denounce Islamic law were met across the country with equally sized or larger counter-protests.

Organizers called the "March Against Sharia" rallies to protest what they say is the threat to U.S. society posed by the set of traditional Muslim practices, which they say includes oppression of women, honor killings, homophobic violence, female genital mutilation and other abuses.

But reports and pictures show large counter-protests around the country, with activists accusing the "anti-sharia" marchers of racism and Islamophobia.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Judge Slams Trump’s Immigration Crackdown: “Even the ‘Good Hombres’ Are Not Safe”

“We are unable to prevent Magana Ortiz’s removal, yet it is contrary to the values of this nation and its legal system. Indeed, the government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz diminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice.”

By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate
May 30, 2017
On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Andres Magana Ortiz’s emergency motion to stay his deportation, allowing the government to deport him to Mexico. Although Magana Ortiz entered the country illegally, he has lived in the United States for 28 years. His wife and children are American citizens, and he is a businessman in Hawaii who has worked closely with the U.S. government to help fight pests that destroy coffee crops. Under the Obama administration, Magana Ortiz was permitted to remain in the U.S. and pursue a path to legal residency. But shortly after President Donald Trump took office and ramped up deportations, Magana Ortiz was ordered to report for removal.

Magana Ortiz sued, but because he is undocumented the 9th Circuit had little choice but to permit his deportation. One member of the three-judge panel, however, refused to let the case go quietly.[...]

Read the full article:
Read Judge Reinhardt's concurrence:
Magana Ortiz and family. Photo: KHON2 TV

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Detention Roundup: Deaths in California, Cruel Conditions in Atlanta, “Worse Than Death” in Texas

In 3 Months, 3 Immigrants Have Died at a Private Detention Center in California
Members of Congress have cited the Adelanto Detention Facility for "egregious" medical errors.

By Madison Pauly, Mother Jones
June 2, 2017
A Honduran immigrant held at a troubled detention center in California's high desert died Wednesday night while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Vincente Caceres-Maradiaga, 46, was receiving treatment for multiple medical conditions while waiting for an immigration court to decide whether to deport him, according an ICE statement. He collapsed as he was playing soccer at the detention facility and died while en route to a local hospital.

Caceres-Maradiaga's death is the latest in a string of fatalities among detainees held at the Adelanto Detention Facility, which is operated by the GEO Group, the country's largest private prison company.[....]

Read the full article:

The cruel but usual conditions inside two Georgia immigration detention centers
Also worrisome are recent reports about the administration’s plan to erode the already deficient detention standards and further expand the immigration detention industry.

By Azadeh Shahshahani and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, The Hill
May 18, 2017
Paul is a Nigerian asylum-seeker who was until recently detained at the Irwin County Detention
Center in Georgia (“Paul” is a pseudonym to protect his safety).

Paul is thirty-six-years-old and was healthy before being taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. During the summer of 2016, Paul had experienced tooth pain and ultimately was brought to the dentist on August 10.[...]

Read the full article:

Immigration Detention: Worse Than Death?
“I would rather die than spend one more day in detention.”

Martin Méndez Pineda
By B. Shaw Drake, Huffington Post
May 24, 2017
Martin Méndez Pineda was held in U.S. immigration detention for over 100 days. As a journalist, Martin reported on federal police violence in one of Mexico’s most violent states. He received multiple death threats and was beaten by police, eventually forcing him to flee to the United States to seek asylum.

Asylum seekers have a right to seek protection at the border, but some U.S. border agents are blatantly disregarding the law. Some Customs and Border Protection officials have systematically turned away asylum seekers from U.S. ports of entry. Those who are processed for protection consideration are sent to immigration detention facilities, where some officers are intentionally exacerbating punitive detention conditions in order to pressure asylum seekers to drop their cases, and limiting due process protections.

I first learned of Martin’s case while documenting instances of U.S. border agents illegally turning away asylum seekers for Human Rights First’s report, “Crossing the Line.”[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Panels on Immigration at Left Forum in New York City, June 2-4, 2017

If you are able to attend the Left Forum conference in New York City this weekend, you might be interested in these panels dealing with immigration or related subjects. If we missed any panels, please tell us.

For more information on the Left Forum go to:

SATURDAY,  June 3rd

10:00am - 11:50am
Room 1.127, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 1: 10:00am - 11:50am
Discussion of the successful strike by 1,000 mainly Mexicana workers at the largest plant in what was, at the time, the "frozen food capital of the world." With Peter Shapiro, Gene Carroll and Lucia Gomez.

Room 1.75, Saturday June 3rd Session 1: 10:00am - 11:50am
U.S. citizens will learn specific actions and measures they can take to assure that human and civil rights are maintained for individuals, families and the immigrant community in general and help welcome immigrants facing injustice here and abroad. With Dena Fisher, Ross Upshaw and Nathan Yaffe.

12:00pm - 1:50pm
Room 1.73, Saturday June 3rd Session 2: 12:00pm - 1:50pm
The panelists will examine the relationship between neoliberalism, NAFTA, socio-economic devastation in Mexico and immigration. They will also look at the scapegoating of immigrants for the consequences of neoliberalism in the U.S. With Richard Roman, Edur Velasco Arregui, Andrés Barreda Marin and Juan Carlos Ruíz.

Room 1.75, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 2: 12:00pm - 1:50pm
What will it take to build the infrastructure and political capacity necessary to effectively resist raids and deportation? Panelists will discuss efforts to build emergency response networks in different communities. With Sandra Merlim, Denise Romero, Yasmeen Kamel and Sherry Wolf.

3:30pm - 5:15pm
Room 1.75, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 3: 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Explore the work that is currently being done in the City, examine ways in which we can collaborate and consider the difficult steps needed to dismantle this cruel and inhumane system that is unworthy of the United States. With Robb Burlage, Shruthi Rajashekara, Homer Venters, Lauren Quijano, Anthony Feliciano and Tasher Losenegger.

Room 3.78, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 3: 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Short film and discussion about the hotel housekeepers who unionized a DoubleTree hotel owned by Harvard. These women fought the first female president of Harvard to gain a union. With Rebecca Rojer and Sarah Leonard.

Room 1.107, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 3: 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Discuss resistance to neoliberalism, repression, and racism both in the U.S. and Mexico. It will have two activists from Mexico, two from the U.S. and one from Canada. With Richard Roman, Edur Velasco Arregui, Andrés Barreda Marin, Juan Carlos Ruíz and Cinthya Santos.

5:20pm - 7:10pm
Room 1.73, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 4: 5:20pm - 7:10pm
Racism, xenophobia, and immigrant-bashing are not new, but many people seem to be more aware of the deportation regime under the Trump administration. Does this provide an opportunity to shift public opinion on immigration? With Angy Rivera, Lupe Ambrosio, Ravi Ragbir, Aly Wane and Jane Guskin.

Room 1.75, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 4: 5:20pm - 7:10pm
Panelists discuss their experience working with and as documented and undocumented immigrants and how it has shaped their hopes and fears and perspectives on life in the United States and the need for immigration reform. With Alan Singer, Pablo Muriel,  Eblin Acosta, Firuza Uddin and Dennis Morales.

Room L 2.80, SATURDAY June 3rd Session 4: 5:20pm - 7:10pm
Speakers on the linkages between imperialism, migration, and anti-colonial and anti-capitalist struggle right in "the belly of the beast." With Alejandro Reuss, José Laguarta Ramírez, Jawied Nawabi and Zoe Sherman.

SUNDAY,  June 4th

10:00am - 11:50am
Room 1.75, SUNDAY June 4th Session 5: 10:00am - 11:50am 
Immigration attorneys & advocates will lead a discussion on acts of resistance by immigrant detainees and grassroots organizing. Examples from both anecdotal observations and reports from other outlets. With Stephanie Ramos, Miriam Lacroix and Jonathan Campozano.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

‘We were used, abused and exploited’

Trump With Stolen Lives Families. Photo: AP
Victims of immigrant crime say they were taken advantage of by Trump and a non-profit group backing him.

By Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico
June 1, 2017
More than a dozen families involved in the Houston-based Remembrance Project — including two who spoke at the Republican National Convention and several more who spoke at Trump’s rallies or were featured in his campaign ads — have parted ways with the organization, according to people familiar with the situation, including six of the families.

Several of the families say they feel let down partly because the charity has done nothing to help them financially, despite suggesting that the money it raised — including $52,000 or more raised with Trump’s help — would be used to assist victims’ families. A handful of the families are planning a new group through which they intend to provide such assistance. Several others have demanded that the Remembrance Project refrain from using their names and likenesses — as well as those of their deceased loved ones — in its marketing materials, and some discussed legal action to force the group to comply.

“We were used, abused and exploited, and what’s worse is that my son was used abused and exploited and is still being used, abused and exploited,” said Brenda Sparks, a former Remembrance Project participant.[...]

Read the full article:

Coming to the 2017 Left Forum?

Drop by the Monthly Review book tables!

Friday, June 2 - Sunday, June 4
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W 59th St, NYC 10019
Pick up discounts on new MRP books, classics, the Monthly Review magazine, the Socialist Register, and Merlin Press books!

Attend Monthly Review & Socialist Register panels!
Hannah Holleman, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, John Womack, Jr., John Hart
Saturday, 12:00 - 1:50pm
Room 1.127

Immigrant Rights in 2017: Crisis & Opportunity
Jane Guskin, David L. Wilson, Guadalupe Ambrosio, Ravi Ragbir, Aly Wane,  Angy Rivera  
Saturday, 5:20 - 7:10pm
Room: 1.73

Building the Socialist Community in a Moment of Transition: Putting Meszaros's Ideas into Practice
Michael Roberto, Irv Kurki, Chris Wood
Saturday, 12:00 - 1:50pm
Room 1.117

Agriculture and Capitalism
Elizabeth Henderson, Eric Holt Giménez
Saturday, 10:00 - 11:50am
Room 1.67

Greg Albo, Leo Panitch, August Nimtz, David Schwartzman, Pierre Beaudet
Saturday, 3:30 - 5:15pm
Room: L2.85