Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Watch Trailer for "Resistance at Tule Lake"

Resistance at Tule Lake
A documentary by Konrad Aderer
first public screenings in February-March 2017
premiering at CAAMfest 2017

RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 Japanese Americans who dared to resist the U.S. government's program of mass incarceration during World War II. Branded as "disloyals" and re-imprisoned at Tule Lake Segregation Center, they continued to protest in the face of militarized violence, and thousands renounced their U.S. citizenship. Giving voice to experiences that have been marginalized for over 70 years, this documentary challenges the nationalist, one-sided ideal of wartime "loyalty."

This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

Support was provided in part by New York State Council on the Arts.

Additional funding has been made possible by the Puffin Foundation.

Resistance at Tule Lake’ is a presentation of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Resistance at Tule Lake is a project under the fiscal sponsorship of Third World Newsreel (aka Camera News, Inc.), an alternative media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and dissemination of independent film and video by and about people of color and social justice issues.

Watch trailer:

The Suspected Quebec City Mosque Attacker Was a Right-Wing Troll and Trump Fan

But Fox News and the White House quickly pointed toward Islamic terrorism.

By Mark Follman, Mother Jones
January 30, 2017

Late Monday, Canadian authorities charged Alexandre Bissonnette, a white 27-year-old university student, with multiple counts of murder for an attack on a mosque in Quebec City that left six dead and many others injured. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the 27-year-old Bissonnette "was known in the city's activist circles as a right-wing troll who frequently took anti-foreigner and anti-feminist positions and stood up for U.S. President Donald Trump." He also reportedly became a fan of far-right French leader Marine Le Pen after she visited Quebec City last March; a childhood friend and fellow student told the Globe and Mail that Bissonnette had become a xenophobe and was "enthralled" by racist nationalism.

With every mass shooting, the initial news is almost always riddled with inaccuracies—misidentification is common, and rarely is there more than one attacker. By now this is very well-known in newsrooms. Earlier on Monday, an additional suspect was reportedly in custody: a man of Moroccan origin. Sure enough, Quebec officials soon clarified that this second person was considered a witness, not a suspect in the attack.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, January 30, 2017

President Trump’s First Defeat

The immigration order creates an international mess—and a political embarrassment.

By Blake Hounsell, Politico
January 29, 2017

It's working out very nicely,” President Donald Trump said on Saturday afternoon as he signed his latest batch of executive actions. “You see it in the airports.”

It was the usual confident swagger from a man accustomed to getting his way. But by then, a revolt against the president’s immigration order was already brewing, led by refugee rights groups, the American Civil Liberties Union, Democrats and liberals on social media, who had woken up to reports suggesting it was not working out very nicely at all. By 7:30 in the evening, protests at major airports across the United States had swollen, a federal judge was hearing a legal challenge, and cable news networks—with one notable exception—were covering the stunning events live. Passions ran so high that New Yorkers, many joked, were actually volunteering to go to JFK Airport to show solidarity with those detained by bewildered immigration officials.

Was this what Trump had in mind?[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Protest Grows ‘Out of Nowhere’ at Kennedy Airport After Iraqis Are Detained

By Eli Rosenberg, New York Times
January 28, 2017

It began in the morning, with a small crowd chanting and holding cardboard signs outside Kennedy International Airport, upset by the news that two Iraqi refugees had been detained inside because of President Trump’s executive order.

By the end of the day, the scattershot group had swelled to an enormous crowd.

They filled the sidewalks outside the terminal and packed three stories of a parking garage across the street, a mass of people driven by emotion to this far-flung corner of the city, singing, chanting and unfurling banners.

This was the most public expression of the intense reaction generated across the country by Mr. Trump’s polarizing decision. While those in some areas of the country were cheered by the executive order, the reaction was markedly different for many in New York. References to the Statue of Liberty and its famous inscription became a rallying cry.

Similar protests erupted at airports around the country.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

EMERGENCY ACTION: JFK Immigration Detention Rally and Vigil, 6 pm, 1/28/17

Statement from the organizers

In direct coordination with the Port Authority we will be meeting outside of JFK Terminal 4 Arrivals on the outer roadway.

Holocaust Remembrance Day was Friday and today Trump's racist executive actions have already resulted in people being detained at JFK (without access to their legal representation) because of their country of origin. Let's put action behind words and meet at JFK Terminal 4 Arrivals at 6PM to hold a vigil and rally against the detentions. NO BAN, NO WALL, SANCTUARY FOR ALL!

We know there are many folks that are heading straight to Terminal 4 right now. We are working with community organizations to arrange for peaceful demonstrations throughout the day culminating with a havdalah ritual lead by Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer at 6PM. Speakers to follow.

Please use hashtags: #NoMuslimBanJFK and #Terminal4; no more than two at a time on Twitter becase more supresses tweets!

Special Thanks to support from:
- Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
- Councilmember Carlos Menchaca
- Councilmember Mark Levine
- Councilmember Brad Lander
- Make the Road New York
- Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ]
- Jewish Voices for Peace - New York
- New York Civil Liberties Union - NYCLU
- The New York Immigration Coalition
- Human Rights First
- MPower Change
- Community Development Project of Urban Justice Center
- Working Families Party

For updates and to RSVP:

Friday, January 27, 2017

Courts and Congress may crimp Trump's immigration plans

Opponents are already lining up to litigate the sweeping moves — and Congress would need to shell out money to pay for parts of it.

By Seung Min Kim, Politico
January 25, 2017

President Donald Trump’s expansive immigration plans are about to crash into reality.

His vow to revive a controversial Bush-era immigration enforcement plan could trigger major conflicts between local cities and the feds. He’ll need help from Congress to carry out his border security wish list, which will prompt a significant political battle on Capitol Hill. And advocacy groups are already threatening litigation over Trump’s ambitious enforcement plans.

While Trump’s far-reaching directive — rolled out in two executive orders on Wednesday — fulfills, for now, his chief campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration, whether Trump’s vision will ultimately come to life largely depends on two institutions out of his control: Congress and the courts.[...]

Read the full article:

Marchers Across the Country Turn Out In Support of Immigration Reform

By Oliver Ortega, The Progressive
January 16, 2017

With less than a week until Donald Trump takes office, tens of thousands of immigrant activists in cities across the country rallied on Saturday against the president-elect, whose promise of mass deportations and hateful rhetoric have terrified communities of color.

In Chicago, 1,300 people packed into the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters on the West Side to hear how they can resist in the Trump era.

Poetry, live music, personal testimonies, and prayers injected a dose of hope and energy into the event, one of many actions occurring simultaneously in fifty cities in what's the first large-scale immigration demonstration since the election.

“We will lock arms together and say no to the politics of divide and conquer,” Ron Taylor, a Chicago-area pastor and executive director of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, told the cheering crowd. “We will resist, we will stand together in unity, and we will win. And there is no wall that can stop us from standing together.”

Fear and uncertainty punctuated the event, however, as speakers shared their worries about the future of the country.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Trump Can and Can’t Do to Immigrants

The rise of a Trump enforcement wave spells the death of the liberal centrism that proposed trading increased enforcement and labor supply programs for a limited legalization of undocumented people. Under Trump, the illusion that there is some kind of “fair” enforcement of employer sanctions and “smart border enforcement” will be stripped away.

By David Bacon, Dollars and Sense
January/February 2017

People make their own history, but they do not make it as they please;
they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under
circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.
—Karl Marx, “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” 1852

While the government officials developing and enforcing U.S. immigration policy will change on January 20, the economic system in which they make that policy will not. As fear sweeps through immigrant communities in the United States, understanding that system helps us anticipate what a Trump administration can and can’t do in regard to immigrants, and what immigrants themselves can do about it.

Over the terms of the last three presidents, the most visible and threatening aspect of immigration policy has been the drastic increase in enforcement. President Bill Clinton presented anti-immigrant bills as compromises, and presided over the first big increase in border enforcement. George W. Bush used soft rhetoric, but sent immigration agents in military-style uniforms, carrying AK-47s, into workplaces to arrest workers, while threatening to fire millions for not having papers. Under President Barack Obama, a new requirement mandated filling 34,000 beds in detention centers every night. The detention system mushroomed, and over 2 million people were deported.[...]

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The Deportees Taking Our Calls

How American immigration policy has fueled an unlikely industry in El Salvador.

By Jonathan Blitzer, New Yorker
January 23, 2017

Eddie Anzora was sitting in his cubicle at a call center in El Salvador one day a couple of years ago, making a hotel reservation for an impatient American customer, when he spotted someone he knew from a past life. The man, who was part of a group of new employees on a tour of the office, was tall, with a tattoo of a rose on the back of his neck. His loping stride caught Anzora’s attention. Salvadorans didn’t walk like that.

“Where you from?” Anzora asked, when the man reached his desk.

“Sunland Park,” he replied. It was a neighborhood in Los Angeles, more than two thousand miles away, but Anzora knew it. A decade earlier, when the two men belonged to rival street crews, they had got into a fistfight there. Now they were both deportees, sizing each other up in a country they barely knew.

Anzora, who is thirty-nine, is thick-armed and barrel-chested; his hair is trimmed to a fade. He was born in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, but he lived in California between the ages of two and twenty-nine, when he was deported for drug possession. “I got real American-culturized from the beginning,” he told me recently.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mexico or America? A Couple, One of Them Undocumented, Weigh the Risks of Where to Live

By Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times
January 16, 2017

When Donald J. Trump announced he was running for president in a 2015 speech calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, Rachel McCormick declared to her husband, Irvi Cruz, “If he wins, we’re leaving.”

She was an American-born high school teacher from the Philadelphia suburbs; he was a doting stay-at-home father who had immigrated illegally from Oaxaca, Mexico.

The night after the election, sitting in their Harlem apartment, Irvi was confident about the move south.

“I need to start building something and I think if we wait longer it’s going to keep getting harder,” he said of the decade they had been together, all along believing that a policy would eventually be enacted allowing him to legalize.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What Americans Really Believe

But it is Trump’s signature “Build a Wall” issue where polling produces the most counterintuitive results. When asked if they supported such a project in September of 2015, a few months into the Trump campaign, the public split almost evenly. But a poll taken this August showed a precipitous drop in support for this idea, to 34 percent in favor and 62 percent opposing.

By Roger Smith, Washington Spectator
January 12, 2017

Since the dawn of the internet and the concurrent surge of Fox News and right-wing talk radio, the various forces on America’s right and far right have cleverly and disingenuously labeled themselves “conservatives.” They have then successfully cemented two “big lies” in the consciousness of a majority of the American public: first, that the media in this country is an almost total captive of card-carrying “liberals” who impose their views through reporting as well as opinion; and second, that a solid majority of Americans shares the radical Social Darwinism that has been successfully peddled since the dawn of Reagan as conservative views.

The first falsehood can be—and has been—easily debunked by simply examining the even-handedness that selfsame American media applies to what it labels “Right” and—absurdly—“Left.” But the second big lie is more insidious, and has found its most receptive host among its intended target, liberals or, as current parlance now requires, “progressives.” It is the pervasive belief that America is a “conservative country.” What follows should effectively demonstrate the falsity of that view—by the carefully weighed and collated opinions of the American public.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Labor Organizing in 2017: Looking Beyond Trump's Lies on Jobs

If we think of manufacturing as a source of good jobs now, it's only because working people made it that way -- angry, militant working people who united to fight the bosses and the politicians.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
January 22, 2017

Donald Trump's well-publicized deal with the Carrier Corporation last fall was "wildly popular" with US voters, according to Politico. A survey by Politico/Morning Consult on December 1 and 2, 2016, found 60 percent of respondents viewing Trump more favorably because of the November 30 agreement, which the real estate mogul claimed would save 1,100 jobs that the air-conditioner manufacturer had been planning to move from Indiana to a facility in Mexico.

As so often is the case, reality didn't match up with the president's assertions. The actual number of jobs saved turned out to be more like 730, and the deal involved a $7 million tax break for Carrier, a brand of United Technologies Corporation. Chuck Jones, the president of the Steelworkers local at the affected plant, told The Washington Post that Trump "lied his ass off." More recent claims that Trump has already started saving US jobs are equally questionable. But Trump's duplicity is nothing new; there's a more important problem with the popularity of Trump's Carrier deal. The focus on trade and offshored jobs is distracting us from the main issue: the jobs we still have.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

How Kitchen Raids In Buffalo Sent Shock Waves Through Immigrant Rights Community

By John Burnett and Marisa Peñaloza, NPR Weekend Edition
January 8, 2017

The morning of Oct. 18, 2016, the employees at La Divina, a taqueria and Mexican grocery in Buffalo, N.Y., were prepping for the lunch crowd — making salsa, grilling chicken and stocking the shelves with Mexican Cokes and Corona beer. Suddenly, agents from Homeland Security Investigations rushed in.

"I heard someone shouting, 'Don't move! Don't move!' It was ICE," says Jose Antonio Ramos, a 29-year-old Mexican cook working illegally, in Spanish. ICE stands for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "I was in shock. I was complying with their orders, but they were mistreating us," he says. "They pointed guns at our heads. They pushed us on the floor and handcuffed us. They brought in dogs."

Beefy federal agents hauled out computers and cash registers while local news crews filmed. The raid of La Divina and three other restaurants under the same owner became one of the nation's biggest immigration worksite actions in recent years.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Canadians traveling to Women's March denied US entry after sharing their plans

After telling border agents their plans to march, group’s cars were searched and phones examined, and each person was fingerprinted and had their photo taken. The group was also warned that if they tried to cross the border again during the weekend, they would be arrested.

By Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian
January 20, 2017

Would-be protesters heading to the Women’s March on Washington have said they were denied entry to the United States after telling border agents at a land crossing in Quebec their plans to attend the march.

Montrealer Sasha Dyck was part of a group of eight who had arranged online to travel together to Washington. Divided into two cars, the group – six Canadians and two French nationals – arrived at the border crossing that connects St Bernard de Lacolle in Quebec with Champlain, New York, on Thursday.

The group was upfront about their plans with border agents, Dyck said. “We said we were going to the women’s march on Saturday and they said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to pull over’.”

What followed was a two-hour ordeal. Their cars were searched and their mobile phones examined. Each member of the group was fingerprinted and had their photo taken.

Border agents first told the two French citizens that they had been denied entry to the US and informed them that any future visit to the US would now require a visa.

“Then for the rest of us, they said, ‘You’re headed home today’,” Dyck said. The group was also warned that if they tried to cross the border again during the weekend, they would be arrested. “And that was it, they didn’t give a lot of justification.” [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

House GOP, Trump team hatch border wall plan

The emerging proposal would rely on a law signed by George W. Bush and potentially spark a government funding showdown with Democrats.

By Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan, Politico
January 5, 2017

House Republicans and Donald Trump's team are coalescing around a multi-billion dollar plan to make good on the president-elect's campaign vows to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, according to top Republican lawmakers and aides.

Republican leaders, in tandem with Trump’s transition staff, are considering using a 2006 law signed by former President George W. Bush that authorized the construction of 700 miles-plus of “physical barrier” on the southern border. The law was never fully implemented and did not include a sunset provision, allowing Trump to pick up where Bush left off — with the help of new money from Congress.

Yet the plan could potentially provoke a showdown with Democrats over government funding. Republicans are considering whether to tuck the border wall funding into a must-pass spending bill that must be enacted by the end of April. GOP lawmakers and aides believe they could win a public relations war over the matter by daring Democrats — particularly vulnerable red-state senators up for reelection next year — to shutter the government over one of Trump’s most popular campaign pledges.

Bolstering their cause is a long list of Senate Democrats who voted for the border measure a decade ago, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — making it harder for Democrats to say no now, Republicans believe.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Family Life Under the Stigma of Undocumented Immigration

By Rebecca Schneider, CounterPunch
January 4, 2017

“You have reached the voicemail box of…”

“You have reached the voicemail box of…”

“You have reached the voicemail box of…”

Panic set in. I was supposed to get dinner with him at Chili’s, my pregnancy cravings running wild for those honey chipotle chicken crispers. We had just talked about it on the phone less than an hour before. After a few minutes of waiting in the car, his family saw me, came outside and said, “He was pulled over by the police driving home in the work truck and they took him.” I sped back home, tears streaming down my face, and frantically told my parents what was going on.

We rushed to the police station, even though he told me not to come. He didn’t want me to see him there under those circumstances. When we got there, an officer told us he didn’t have any documentation, so there was no way they could release him. I went back to his apartment, scrambling to find anything I could that would show that he had lived here a long time – his high school diploma, his bartending license, some cash he had, thinking maybe it would help. When I got back, the officer sneered, “I couldn’t release him if I wanted to.”[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Raids of Illegal Immigrants Bring Harsh Memories, and Strong Fears

By Amy Chozick, New York Times
January 2, 2017

NEW HAVEN — Anthony Barroso was 13 and getting ready for school when they came for his father.

As soon as Anthony opened the door, he knew the half-dozen men outside were not local police officers. They carried heavy weaponry, and their bulletproof vests read “ICE,” short for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

They arrested and deported Anthony’s father, an Ecuadorean who had been illegally working as a contractor here for over a decade. One officer warned Anthony, as his infant sister cried, that they would soon return for his mother.

“Everything fell apart after that,” said Anthony, whose single mother fell deeper into poverty after the family breadwinner was deported. He is now a student at a community college and was allowed to stay in the United States under a reprieve signed by President Obama.

The 2007 raid was one of the hundreds of coordinated federal sweeps targeting illegal immigrant workers carried out during President George W. Bush’s second term.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Ways Unions and Workers Centers Can Defend Immigrant Members

By Sonia Singh, Working In These Times
December 20, 2016

This article was first posted by Labor Notes.

As the reality of a Donald Trump presidency sets in, unions and workers centers are gearing up for a massive fight to defend immigrant members, building on lessons from the past decade.

Undocumented workers are at risk both from the government and from their employers. Sometimes employers are under government pressure themselves. Other times they’re using the threat of immigration enforcement to discourage organizing or keep workplace standards low.

Besides workplace or home raids, over the past decade workers have faced:

I-9 audits, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigates employers to ensure workers have the right documentation to work legally
No-match letters, where the Social Security Administration notifies employers that the name or social security number on a worker’s W-2 form doesn’t match its records
E-Verify, an online system that checks workers’ eligibility to work, mandatory in some states and voluntary in others

The president-elect campaigned on promises to deport millions of undocumented workers and to target immigrants from Muslim countries. While we don’t yet know Trump’s game plan for attacking immigrant workers, here’s a checklist of five questions to ask as your union or worker center prepares to defend members.[...]

Read the full article:

Trump faces hurdles turning immigration pledges into reality

By Scott Glover, CNN
January 4, 2017

CNN)President-elect Donald Trump will face several significant hurdles if he attempts to quickly make good on a campaign promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States, according to multiple immigration experts and law enforcement officials interviewed by CNN.

The likely obstacles to any mass deportation effort include required congressional approval for increased spending, vows of resistance by leaders in several major cities that are home to large numbers of potential deportees and long waits for removal proceedings in US immigration court.
"He's hamstrung," said Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan Washington-based think tank. "He did not understand that we don't have a monarchy. We did not elect King Trump."

As Trump's inauguration approaches, there has been widespread handwringing among undocumented immigrants and their advocates as they wait to see how US immigration policy may change under a Trump administration. But there is mounting evidence that whatever actions he takes will not match the harsh rhetoric of the campaign trail.[...]

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border

“It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees.”

By Ron Nixon, New York Times
December 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — In 2012, Joohoon David Lee, a federal Homeland Security agent in Los Angeles, was assigned to investigate the case of a Korean businessman accused of sex trafficking.

Instead of carrying out a thorough inquiry, Mr. Lee solicited and received about $13,000 in bribes and other gifts from the businessman and his relatives in return for making the “immigration issue go away,” court records show.

Mr. Lee, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, filed a report saying: “Subject was suspected of human trafficking. No evidence found and victim statement contradicts. Case closed. No further action required.”

But after another agent alerted internal investigators about Mr. Lee’s interference in another case, his record was examined and he was charged with bribery. He pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Women the United States Is Detaining and Deporting

Horrific conditions in the Northern Triangle led to a major policy crisis for the Obama administration. A new wave of refugees could do the same for Trump.

By Emily Gogolak, The Nation
December 26, 2016

Time passed slowly inside the detention center. It was the after noon of June 3, 2015, and the oppressive heat of South Texas reminded Lilian Oliva Bardales, a 19-year-old mother from Honduras, of home. For 239 days, she and her 4-year-old son, Cristhian, had been held inside the Karnes County Residential Center, a family immigration detention facility an hour southeast of San Antonio. Inside that day were 604 women, some of them pregnant, and their children, some of them still nursing, virtually all of whom were asylum seekers from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, the violence-plagued region of Central America known as the Northern Triangle. Two hours west, a detention center in the small oil town of Dilley held another 1,459 mothers and children. Lilian had been informed the previous day that she and her son would soon be deported.

“I write you this card so you know how it feels to be in this damned place for eight months,” Lilian wrote in a small notebook, dotting her “i”s with open circles. She had been deported once before, in May 2014, when she came north without her son. “You humiliate all of us who have come to this country for the second time. If I do this it is because only God knows what I have suffered in my country. I come here so this country can help me, but here you’ve been killing me little by little with punishment and lies in prison when I haven’t committed any crime… I do this because I don’t feel any life going back to my country.” She signed her name and identification number, and left the notebook on her bunk bed.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

After 10-year Legal Battle, a Victory for Undocumented Workers Injured on the Job

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) finds the U.S. violated the workers' human rights.

Sarah Mehta and Jamil Dakwar, American Civil Liberties Union
December 22, 2016

In 2004, Leopoldo Zumaya was working as an apple picker in Pennsylvania when he fell from a tree, breaking his leg and leaving him with permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. A treating physician said Zumaya’s injuries were among the worst he’d ever seen. Most workers in Zumaya’s position would have received workers’ compensation benefits. But instead of disbursing his rightful worker’s compensation, his employer reported his immigration status to the insurance company, which then refused to pay his benefits, leaving him unable to access medical care.

Zumaya hired a lawyer, but due to his immigration status he reluctantly accepted a settlement for less than one-third of the money he would have received had he been authorized to work in the U.S.

The next year, Francisco Berumen Lizalde, an undocumented worker from Mexico, was working as a house painter in Kansas when he fell from scaffolding, severely injuring his hand. Shortly after filing for workers’ compensation benefits, Berumen-Lizalde was arrested by immigration enforcement officers, prosecuted for visa fraud, jailed and deported in what appeared to be retaliation for having filed for workers’ compensation. He was unable to pursue his claim for disability or to secure payments for medical care.

Both men have been waiting more than a decade to undergo necessary medical treatment and the compensation to which they are entitled.[...]

Read the full article:

Read the IACHR decision:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trump Seeks Path for Mexico Barrier. But Will It Be a ‘Big, Beautiful Wall’?

By Amy Chozick and Manny Fernandez, New York Times
December 22, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team has asked federal border protection officials for guidance on where a new wall separating the United States from Mexico — a signature promise of Mr. Trump’s campaign — can be erected, according to a Democratic congressman from Texas who opposes the idea.

But the officials exploring possible paths for such a barrier also appear to be considering fencing and other options short of the “big, beautiful wall” that Mr. Trump regularly vowed to erect, at Mexico’s expense, along a border of more than 1,900 miles.

The discussions with federal border officials, along with separate talks with city officials in Laredo, Tex., one of the busiest crossings, come as aides to Mr. Trump maintain that construction of a border wall will be a top priority of his administration.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Radical Proposal for Radical Times

A growing coalition of worker and immigration activists are demanding that President Obama issue a general pardon for immigration status infractions.

By Aviva Chomsky, NACLA
December 14, 2016

Donald Trump’s election left many immigrant rights activists in a panicked thought loop. What did he actually say he would do? If he was saying he would deport “criminal aliens” and “build a wall,” is that really any different from what we’ve already seen under the Obama administration? Could he really deport 11 million people? Would he really eliminate President Obama’s signature successful pro-immigrant action, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth? If he did, what would happen to these young people? Finally, could there be any way to connect the struggle for immigrant rights to a larger campaign committed to challenging Trump’s extreme version of kleptocratic neoliberal capitalism?

In the immediate wake of the election much of the attention with respect to the future of U.S. immigration policy has focused on the uncertain status of Dreamers and DACA recipients. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Undocumented Immigrants Brace for the Trump Administration

By Jonathan Blitzer, New Yorker
December 19, 2016

One night late last month, Antonio Alarcón, a twenty-two-year-old senior at cuny, came home to the apartment he shares with his uncle and aunt, who are undocumented, and found a pile of boxes and bags stacked by the door. “We want to be prepared,” they told him, in case immigration authorities raided the residence. Then they all sat down to eat dinner.

Many immigrant families have been living in similar states of anxiety since the Presidential election. Donald Trump has vowed to deport undocumented immigrants en masse, and no one knows what will happen after he is sworn in next month. “We’re expecting the worst,” Alarcón told me recently, when we met at a café near his house, in Queens. Dealing with so much uncertainty about the future has had both psychological and physical consequences, particularly for young people. Suicide hotlines catering to immigrants have reported significant upticks in phone calls in the past few weeks. There have been widespread reports of depression and heightened stress among young immigrants. “We always get lost in the politics of the election,” Luba Cortés, an organizer from Queens, told me. “We don’t think about the emotional toll on the people who are going to be most affected.” According to Julie Linton, the co-chair of a group that specializes in immigrant health at the American Academy of Pediatrics, “There have been complaints from young patients about stomachaches and headaches, body aches and joint pain. Kids are depressed. Some are having trouble focussing in school.”[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Deportation Profits

El Salvador’s call-center industry is profiting off US deportees.

by Hilary Goodfriend, Jacobin
December 16, 2016

I had chosen a Mr. Donut café in San Salvador to meet Raúl. An agent in El Salvador’s burgeoning call-center industry, Raúl had been a member of the so-called 1.5 Generation of immigrants who were born abroad but spent their formative years in the United States, before he was deported. The donut shop sits in the shadow of the iconic Salvador del Mundo monument, now dwarfed by several towering call centers. That day, they were giving out two-for-one donuts to celebrate Civic Month, which marks the country’s independence from the Spanish Crown, in a deal that has become a patriotic ritual in El Salvador.

Raúl was taken off guard by the festival of patriotic gluttony. Like mine, Raul’s civic education had taken place elsewhere. In effortless English, he tells me, “Growing up pledging allegiance to the American flag, it sinks into you . . . To this day, for example, I hear the national anthem at a football game, I’m not gonna lie, I get teary-eyed. I mean, when I hear the Salvadorian national anthem it’s like, okay.”

He laughs and shrugs his shoulders. “I mean, it’s my country, I know I’m born here, but my life has been over there.”[...]

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Prosecutions of illegal entry a driving force in mass incarceration in US – report

Mexican nationals account for 15% of federal prison population as illegal entry prosecutions make up half of all criminal cases in US federal court system in 2015

By Renée Feltz, The Guardian
July 14, 2016

The Obama administration’s prosecution of immigrants who cross the border into the US is a driving force in mass incarceration, according to a new report.

Cases against immigrants for having illegally entered the country, known as illegal entry and re-entry, accounted for half of all criminal cases in the US federal court system last year, a report from Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership found. Non-citizens currently make up nearly a quarter of the total federal prison population, with Mexican nationals alone accounting for 15%.

Now several US judges who sentenced thousands of immigrants say the zero-tolerance policy for such cases they helped enforce was ineffective and should end.

“The only thing we have done is destroyed the lives of many people whose only crime is a desire to exercise their human rights to feed and care for themselves and their families,” said retired judge Felix Recio, who served as a federal magistrate from 1999 to 2013 in Brownsville, Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico.

Recio is one of five retired federal judges, along with former prosecutors and public defenders from border districts in Texas and Arizona, who are featured in the report that critically examines a decade-old immigration enforcement initiative called “Operation Streamline”.[...]

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017



Teníamos fe, y además, entendíamos que nuestra seguridad dependía del grado que el mismo pueblo podría educarse y movilizarse. Cada día en que marchábamos, manifestábamos o dábamos testimonio, cada día que pasábamos en el santuario, supimos que estábamos frenando la deportación de algún joven y la separación de una cariñosa familia.

Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
9 de diciembre, 2016

Como se empieza a conversar del asunto de “santuario” en la nación entera – ciudades, universidades, y iglesias como santuarios – me parece oportuno aclarar lo que es el santuario en este caso, y lo que no lo es. Cuando, en 2006, entré en el santuario con mi hijo Saúl, un ciudadano de los Estados Unidos, lo hicimos en una forma totalmente pública, abierta. Entre la gente se hablaba si era cierto que una iglesia, en realidad, podría ofrecer, por medio del santuario, alguna protección legal, como era el caso hace siglos atrás. La respuesta es que no. A mí me fue posible permanecer en el durante todo un año porque razón de que el público apoyaba el derecho de mi hijo de permanecer en su país natal, y su necesidad de tener su madre consigo.

En 2002 habíamos iniciado la organización “la Familia Latina” con 20 familias de padres indocumentados y madres indocumentadas con hijos e hijas que gozaban de la ciudadanía estadounidense. Durante los próximos años pudimos dar testimonio en audiencias del consejo municipal de Chicago, la mesa directiva del condado y la legislatura del estado de Illinois.[...]


We had faith – and we understood that our safety lay in educating and mobilizing the people. Every time we marched or protested or testified, every day we spent in sanctuary, we knew we were stopping the deportation of some young person and the separation of a loving family.

By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
December 9, 2016

As the talk around the nation turns to sanctuary – sanctuary cities, sanctuary universities and sanctuary churches – it seems a good time to clarify what sanctuary is – and isn’t. When I went into sanctuary in 2006 with my U.S. citizen son Saul we were very public. Many people were discussing whether or not a church could actually offer some legal protection – as churches once did centuries ago. The answer is no. I was able to stay in sanctuary for a year because of popular support for my son’s right as a citizen to stay in this country and his need to have his mother with him.

We had begun in 2002 with thirty undocumented families with U.S. citizen children, forming Familia Latina Unida. Over the next years we testified in the city council, the county board and the state legislature.[...]

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Penn, Trump's alma mater, becomes sanctuary campus for undocumented students

Efforts to support undocumented students are growing nationwide.

By Rebecca Heilweil, Philadelphia Inquirer
December 1, 2016

The University of Pennsylvania will not allow federal immigration authorities on campus unless they have a warrant, the university's president, Amy Gutmann, said in an email to undergraduates Wednesday.

"The University of Pennsylvania will not allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) / Customs and Border Protection (CBP) / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on our campus unless required by warrant," the email said. "Further, the university will not share any information about any undocumented student with these agencies unless presented with valid legal process."

Penn also endorsed Philadelphia's practice of barring city and campus police from honoring detainer requests from ICE for nonviolent offenders.[...]

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Punishing Employers Who Hire Undocumented Immigrants Isn’t the Answer—Solidarity Is

Some nativist and rightwing organizations argue that sanctions were never enforced because employers didn't go to jail, as Malone proposes. Actually, a few did for document fraud, and others did pay fines. But many more workers were fired for not having papers, so workers were the ones who paid the price.

By David Bacon, Working In These Times
November 30, 2016

The following was written in response to a previous post.

It is clear in the article that its author, Buzz Malone, feels he is defending the interests of workers against employers. The article's thrust, however, calls for the enforcement of employer sanctions—punishing employers for hiring undocumented workers. I'm writing this letter because, with the election of Donald Trump on the most overtly anti-immigrant platform in decades, the proposals in this article present a greater danger than they would at any other time. In many ways they line up with the kind of immigration enforcement we can expect from the Trump administration.

Malone misstates the history of the kind of proposal he is making, so I'd like to set the historical record straight.[...]

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Trump Has Not ‘Softened’ His War On Immigrants

We should anticipate that his administration will unleash a deportation regime unprecedented in recent U.S. history.

By Bob Libal and Judy Greene, Huffington Post
November 23, 2016

Last week’s “60 Minute” interview with president elect Donald Trump prompted headlines suggesting that he might be “softening” his immigration stance, compared to his extreme campaign proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. The media have it wrong.

Those of us who have worked to promote sensible and humane policies for decades are bracing for what may very well be an all-out war on immigrants of unprecedented scope and intensity.

Some news reports have offered an unjustifiably charitable interpretation of Mr. Trump’s recent statement to suggest that he is becoming more “targeted.” This view was based on a few short statements where he described vague plans to immediately deport or incarcerate those with “criminal records ? gang members, drug dealers, probably 2 million, it could even be 3 million” that are “here illegally.” Mr. Trump’s numbers are wrong, and his vision is anything but “soft.” In fact, it is terrifying.[...]

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