Saturday, July 31, 2010

Illegal Invasion or Economic Scapegoat?

Produced by Jesse Freeston, The Real News Network
July 30, 2010

Do undocumented immigrants want citizenship? Are they more likely to be dangerous criminals? Do they hurt the economy? Do they steal jobs and lower wages? The two sides in the Arizona debate have vastly different answers to these questions. On the face of it, this stand-off appears to be more about information than opinion. [...]

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A Movement Rises in Arizona

By Jordan Flaherty, Huffington Post
July 29, 2010

Three months ago, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the notorious SB 1070, a bill that put her state at the forefront of a movement to intensify the criminalization of undocumented immigrants.

Since then, activists have responded through legal challenges, political lobbying, grassroots organizing and mass mobilizations. More than a hundred thousand people from across Arizona marched on the state capitol on May 29. Today, hundreds more have pledged to risk arrest through nonviolent direct action. These are the public manifestations of a widespread struggle happening in this state. The organizations leading this fight offer a template of inspiring and strategic action for people around the US who want to join in resistance to these policies. [...]

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Prison Lobbyists Working For AZ Gov. Brewer Are Set To Profit From Immigration Law She Signed

By Zaid Jilani, Think Progress
July 26, 2010

This Thursday, SB-1070, Arizona’s radical new immigration law, will go into effect. Despite an incoming lawsuit from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has maintained that her state “will prevail,” claiming that she is simply defending the border integrity and safety of her state.

Yet a new investigation by local Arizona TV news station CBS 5 finds that the Brewer administration may have ulterior motives for its strong support of the new law. The station has found that “two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections” to private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). [...]

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"This Law Is Very Unjust!"

By Teresa Mina, as told to David Bacon, New America Media
July 24, 2010

Teresa Mina was a San Francisco janitor, member of Service Employees Union Local 87, when she was fired because the company said she didn't have legal immigration documents. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told her employer to fire 463 workers because they lack legal immigration status. She told her story to David Bacon the day before she returned to Mexico.

I come from Tierra Blanca, a very poor town in Veracruz. After my children's father abandoned us, I decided to come to the U.S. There's just no money to survive. We couldn't continue to live that way.

We all felt horrible when I decided to leave. My three kids, my mom, and two sisters are still living at home in Veracruz. The only one supporting them now is me.

My kids' suffering isn't so much about money. I've been able to send enough to pay the bills. What they lack is love. They don't have a father; they just have me. My mother cares for them, but it's not the same. They always ask me to come back. They say maybe we'll be poor, but we'll be together. [...]

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Students disclose illegal status as part of push for immigration law reform

By Tara Bahrampour. Washington Post
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On a patch of asphalt outside the White House this week, Renata Teodoro, Maricela Aguilar and scores of other students are risking deportation simply by sharing their full names and immigration status with anyone who asks.

In an act of defiance unimaginable to many in their parents' generation, they are publicly declaring that they are in the United States illegally as a way to push for change that would help thousands of undocumented young people like them. And they are doing so in one of the most highly patrolled -- and politicized -- spots in the country. [...]

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Arizona: Immigrant Deaths Are on Pace to Hit Record

By Associated Press via New York Times
July 16, 2010

The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico could reach a new monthly high, a county medical examiner said Friday. Since July 1, the bodies of 40 illegal immigrants have been taken to the office of Dr. Bruce Parks, the Pima County medical examiner. At that rate, Dr. Parks said, the deaths could top the single-month record of 68 in July 2005. His office began tracking such deaths in 2000. Dr. Parks said his office, which handles immigrants’ bodies from three counties, was currently storing about 250 bodies and had to start using a refrigerated truck because of the recent increase. The authorities believe that the high number of deaths are likely due to above-average and unrelenting heat in southern Arizona this month and tighter border security that pushes immigrants to more remote, rugged and dangerous terrain.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

7/24, Albany, NY: Co-author speaks at national antiwar conference

David L. Wilson, The Politics of Immigration co-author, will be speaking at two workshops at:

National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now!
July 23–25, 2010
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Albany, New York

1. The Truth of US Occupation of Haiti

Nellie Bailey - Harlem Tenants Council, just returned from Haiti
Marty Goodman - active in Haiti solidarity for 20 years
Ray Laforest - Haitian American labor leader (AFSCME) and Haitian community organizer, elected member of Pacifica National Board
Tony Savino - Award-winning photographer will present an eye-opening and critical slideshow on earthquake relief
David Wilson - US-based immigrant rights activist who was in Haiti during the earthquake

2. Immigration Reform & the Militarization of the US/Mexico Border

Lynda Cruz - Derechos Humanos, Tucson, AZ
Teresa Gutierrez - Co-director, May 1 Coalition NYC
Monami Maulik - Executive Director, DRUM- Desis Rising Up & Moving
Rafael Sananez -Vamos Unidos, NYC
David Wilson - co-author of The Politics of Immigration, co-editor of Weekly News Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wearing a Mexico Jersey Makes You "Illegal"

By Prerna Lal, Race in America
July 06, 2010

Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher can don the Brazilian soccer jersey and cheer for the South American team without bringing his citizenship under scrutiny. But apparently a 12-year old can't wear a Mexico soccer jersey to school without enduring punishment.

Last month, when Coral Avilez attended her performing arts class at Big Bear Middle School in California, she wore a Mexico soccer jersey in anticipation of the Mexico-South Africa World Cup game. For that, she was chided by her teacher. [...]

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Immigration Policy Is Possible!!

By David Bacon, Truthout Report
July 2, 2010

Thousands of left-wing activists just spent a week at the US Social Forum in Detroit, gathered again under the banner "Another World is Possible." Among them hundreds added a new subtext: "Another Immigration Policy is Possible!"

This theme was especially popular among grassroots organizations in immigrant communities. Today, nontraditional worker centers are spreading across the US, including ones for day laborers, domestic workers, farm workers and other low-wage immigrants. Most are Spanish-speaking migrants from Mexico and Central America, but many also come from the Philippines, India, Pakistan, China and the Caribbean. If anyone should be in favor of immigration reform, these groups should be. Yet, instead of embracing the proposals made in Washington by Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Sen. Charles Schumer, they reject them. [...]

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Monday, July 12, 2010

They Pushed Back

Editorial, New York Times
June 28, 2010

A decision by the federal government to grant special visas to about 150 Indian metalworkers is the most encouraging news yet in a case that has cast a harsh light on the dark side of legal immigration. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, has concluded that the workers, part of a group of 500 men recruited to work in Gulf Coast shipyards after Hurricane Katrina, had been subject to involuntary servitude and were entitled to visas set aside for victims of human trafficking.

The decision is remarkable because the case — a federal lawsuit and investigations by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security — involves accusations that officials with another agency at homeland security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, helped the company silence workers’ complaints. [...]

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Labor Talks Sense About Immigration

What Comes Next?

by David L. Wilson, MRzine
July 6, 2010

Something unusual happened on June 18: an important figure on the U.S. political scene spoke sensibly and realistically about immigration.

The occasion was a speech at the City Club of Cleveland, and the speaker was AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. The news wasn't that labor was backing a rational, equitable reform of U.S. immigration laws; the AFL-CIO came out for that in 2000. What made the June 18 speech different was that Trumka actually articulated in plain language several key truths that are usually missing from our supposed "national debate" on immigration. [...]

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