Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Movement and the Money

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

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

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

Read the full article:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Immigrant Shielded From Deportation by Philadelphia Church Walks Free

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

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

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

Read the full article:

Javier Flores Garcia. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

Read the full article:

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article:

Immigrant taken by ICE from Austin courthouse was killed in Mexico

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

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

Read the full article:

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

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

Read the full article:

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

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

Download the report: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NYC, Oct. 11: Panel Discussion on Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

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

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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

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

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

Read the full article:

Trump Hands Democrats an Opportunity on Immigration

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

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

Read the full article:

NAACP Responds to Trump’s Immigration Principles

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

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

Read the full press release:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: Save the Tule Lake site

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

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


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

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

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 4pm - 7pm

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Milk with Dignity Agreement Signed!

By Migrant Justice
October 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity, 
Migrant Justice

Sunday, October 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

For more information about the Milk with Dignity campaign:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Para más información sobre este evento:

Para más información sobre la campaña de Leche con Dignidad: