Thursday, December 29, 2011

With Anti-Immigrant Law, Alabama is Again Ground Zero for Civil Rights

There's one way to reorient the dialogue toward rights and away from profits: help workers and organized labor understand that the zero-sum game of “competition” for the most degrading jobs keeps the economically disenfranchised divided along false lines of “legal” versus “illegal.”

By Michelle Chen, In These Times
December 16, 2011

It’s not often that human rights and business profits line up on the same side of a political debate, but Alabama is a special place. The Cotton State was not only ground zero for some of the worst abuses under Jim Crow; it was also the flashpoint for early struggles that fused economic empowerment with civil rights, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Today, Alabama is once again a focal point for racial and class struggles, ignited by an anti-immigrant law that tests our definitions of economic citizenship in a world of fluid borders. [...]

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Read the AFL-CIO report, "Crisis in Alabama: Investigating the Devastating Effects of HB 56":

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Public’s View of Immigration

Americans Are Talking but Why Aren't Candidates Listening?

By Philip E. Wolgin, Angela Maria Kelley, Center for American Progress
December 15, 2011

Immigration became an increasingly polarized issue over the last few years. Now, loud voices on all sides shout each other down and crowd out any discussion of real solutions. Smears of “amnesty” have tarred numerous politicians, and the idea of dealing sensibly with the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States appears to be anathema for many on the right. The recent Republican presidential debates only confirm how much immigration is a hot-button issue.

But how do ordinary Americans feel about immigration? Five recent polls, run by organizations from across the political spectrum—from Fox News to Latino Decisions—unequivocally illustrate that the vast majority of Americans support smart solutions to immigration reform and reject mass deportation. They support a pathway to citizenship for people who are part of our communities, learn English, pay back taxes, and so forth, and they reject tearing these families apart. [...]

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Groups Protest Citizen Detentions

By Kent Paterson, Frontera NorteSur (via Grassroots Press)
December 19, 2011

Pro-immigrant and civil liberties groups are stepping up the pressure against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Secure Communities program.

Designed to remove immigrant lawbreakers from the United States, Secure Communities enlists local law enforcement agencies in a cooperative relationship with ICE in order to identify, hold and deport foreign nationals. [...]

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Border Patrol Says Giving a Ride to an Illegal Immigrant Is a Crime

By Nina Shapiro,  Seattle Times
December 15, 2011

​Undeterred by questions about hyper-aggressive tactics and possible over-funding, the Border Patrol has turned up the heat on the Olympic Peninsula, according to the Forks Human Rights Group. Now, if you give an illegal immigrant a ride in your car, you're at risk for being detained--even if you yourself are legal.

Yesterday, the Forks Human Rights Group, a group of residents that has been documenting the Border Patrol's intense activity in the city made famous by Twilight, sent a letter to Patty Murray and other Congress members calling for an investigation of "increasing questionable and illegal behavior" by the BP's Port Angeles office. [...]

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Anchor Babies" and "Illegals"

Anchor Baby: A Term Redefined as a Slur
By Julia Preston, New York Times
December 8, 2011

What does the term “anchor baby” mean? If you were to look it up in the American Heritage Dictionary, you would find a new definition since last week. [...]

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By Bill Keller, New York Times
December 13, 2011

A number of readers have written or tweeted their objection to my use of the word “illegals” as shorthand for “illegal immigrants.” [...]

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Immigrants Pay Taxes, But 68 Fortune 500 Companies Dodge State Taxes

NEW REPORT: 265 Major, Profitable U.S. Corporations’ Tax Avoidance Costs States $42 Billion Over Three Years

“Our report shows these 265 corporations raked in a combined $1.33 trillion in profits in the last three years, and far too many have managed to shelter half or more of their profits from state taxes,” said Matthew Gardner, Executive Director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the report’s co-author. “They’re so busy avoiding taxes, it’s no wonder they’re not creating any new jobs.”

68 of the 265 Fortune 500 companies profiled paid no state corporate income tax in at least one of the last three years and 20 of them averaged a tax rate of zero or less during the 2008-2010 period.

Among the 20 corporations paying zero or less in state corporate income taxes over the three year period are: Utility provider Pepco Holdings (DC); pharmaceutical giant Baxter International (IL); chemical maker DuPont (DE); fast food behemoth Yum Brands (KY); high tech manufacturer Intel (CA).

“Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, 2008-2010” follows up on “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010” which was published in November by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The two groups released their first major study on the federal income taxes that large, profitable American corporations pay on their U.S. pretax profits in 1984.

Full Report Here:

Read Press Release With Key Findings:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DHS details contract for second try at Southwest virtual fence

By Aliya Sternstein, Nextgov

The Homeland Security Department has published an expected draft solicitation for bids on a successor to a failed $1 billion virtual border fence.

The proposed work order calls for "nondevelopmental" -- already available from defense or industrial production lines -- towers flanked with cameras designed to tolerate the extreme Arizona weather. The Southwest terrain undermined former contractor Boeing Co.'s previous try at what was then called the Secure Border Initiative network, leading DHS to switch to a more tailored surveillance strategy. [...]

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NYC, 12/18: #ImmigrantsOccupy March/Los Inmigrantes Ocupan! Manifestacíon y Marcha

Permitted March:
Sunday, December 18, 2011
1:30pm until 5:00pm
Foley Sq to Zuccotti Park
Train: Chambers J/Z Brooklyn Bridge 4/5/6
More info: 646 397 4373

Immigrants are part of the 99% and on December 18th we will march with the Occupy Wall Street movement to demand immigrant justice including putting an end to wage theft, and stopping detentions and deportations of our beloved community members. As the Occupy Wall Street movement highlights corporate profiteering we would like to shed light on those that profit off our labor, exploit workers and refuse to pay dignified wages. We also march against the corporations who support racist anti-immigrant legislation that allows them to make billions of dollars by detaining immigrants in private detention centers and deporting nearly 400,000 people per year.

As the occupy movement goes global we also recognize the destructive role that these corporations play in exploiting resources and labor in our home countries which forces millions to migrate. December 18th is the International Day of Migrants and we stand in solidarity with those world wide who are proclaiming Immigrant Rights as Human Rights.

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This march is being organized by the Immigrant Worker Justice Working Group of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We bring the voices and struggles of New York City s immigrant workers members of the 99% to Occupy Wall Street. In solidarity with OWS and the immigration and labor movements, we lift up the particular organizing campaigns and concerns of immigrant workers. We believe that all labor should be honored and that all workers, regardless of immigration status, deserve equal rights and dignity. We recognize globalized capital in the form of financial institutions, multinational corporations, and neoliberal state economic policies as the impetus for economic migration to the United States, and deplore the fact that banks and corporations, supported by the government, continue to profit from immigrant detention and deportation. The leadership and participation of immigrant workers is necessary for any discussion of social, economic, and environmental justice.

Los Inmigrantes Ocupan! Manifestacíon y Marcha

Los inmigrantes son parte del 99% y el 18 de Diciembre marcharemos junto al movimiento Occupy Wall Street para exigir justicia para el inmigrante. Mientras el movimiento de Occupy Wall Street destaca las excesivas ganancias corporativas, nosotros quisiéramos enfatizar sobre aquellos que se enriquecen por medio del trabajo de los inmigrantes, explotan a los trabajadores y rehúsan pagar salarios dignos. También marcharemos en contra de las corporaciones que apoyan la legislación anti-inmigrante generando billones de dólares recluyendo a inmigrantes en centros de detención privados y deportando a aproximadamente 400,000 personas al año. Queremos eliminar el robo de salarios y, frenar las detenciones y deportaciones de los apreciados miembros de nuestra comunidad.

Mientras Occupy Wall Street se hace global, reconocemos el rol destructivo que éstas corporaciones juegan en la explotación de los recursos y la mano de obra en nuestros países de origen, lo cual obliga a millones a migrar.

El 18 de diciembre es el Día Internacional del Migrante y nos hacemos solidarios con aquellos que a nivel mundial proclaman los Derechos del inmigrante y los Derechos Humanos.

Marcha con Permiso:
Domingo, 18 de Deciembre, 2011
1:30pm - 5:00pm
Foley Sq hacia Zuccotti Park
Metro Chambers J/Z Brooklyn Bridge 4/5/6
Mas info: 646 397 4373

El evento en Facebook:

ImmigrantsOccupyNYC en facebook:    

ImmigrantsOWS en twitter:!/ImmigrantsOWS

la pagina de nuestro grupo en el sitio de la asamblea general de Wall Street :

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Esta marcha esta siendo organizada por el Immigrant Justice Working Group del movimiento Occupy Wall Street. Traemos las voces y las luchas de los trabajadores inmigrantes de la ciudad de Nueva York- miembros del 99%- a Occupy Wall Street. En solidaridad con OWS, los movimientos de inmigración y los movimientos obreros, elevamos esta campaña con las preocupaciones de los trabajadores inmigrantes. Creemos que toda mano de obra debe ser reconocida y que todos los trabajadores, independientemente de su estatus como inmigrantes, merecen igualdad de derechos y dignidad. Reconocemos el capital global-en la forma de instituciones financieras, corporaciones multinacionales, y el estado neoliberal de las políticas económicas- como el ímpetu de la migración económica a los Estados Unidos, y lamentamos el hecho de que los bancos y las corporaciones, apoyadas por el gobierno, sigan lucrándose por medio de detenciones y deportaciones. El liderazgo y la participación de los trabajadores inmigrantes es necesaria para cualquier discusión sobre la justica social, económica y ambiental.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Joe Arpaio's Latest Victim Rushed to Hospital

By Stephen Lemons, Phoenix New Times
December 17, 2011

Following on the heels of a report by the U.S. Department of Justice condemning the MCSO [Maricopa County Sheriff's Office] for engaging in "discriminatory policing" and blasting its treatment of Latinos in and out of its jails, an incident involving a prisoner at [Sheriff Joe] Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail may end up offering more proof of the report's findings.

Rumors of the details of the incident have been bouncing around Facebook since yesterday, with claims by Scottsdale Police Lieutenant Mike Stauffer, Arpaio's only announced foe in the 2012 election, that "a Latino inmate at 4th Avenue Jail is brain dead due to excessive force by detention officers." [...]

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For more, read:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Office Commits Worst Racial Profiling in U.S. History, Concludes DOJ Investigation

Friday, December 16, 2011

Who Killed Joaquin Luna?

Joseph Nevins, Border Wars, NACLA
November 30, 2011

Last Friday Joaquin Luna put on a white shirt and black tie—the same ones he wore every Sunday at the church he attended. The eighteen-year-old high school senior then kissed family members, went into the bathroom of his mother’s house in south Texas, and shot and killed himself.

According to his family, Joaquin was suffering from emotional and psychological distress related to his unauthorized immigrant status. Since the age of six months, when his family crossed the U.S.-Mexico boundary and settled in Mission, Texas, just on the other side of the international divide from Reynosa, Joaquin had lived in the United States as an “illegal.” Given his unauthorized status, he had become increasingly anxious as his graduation approached, and his limited life prospects became apparent. [...]

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unions and Immigrants Join Occupy Movements

By David Bacon, Truthout
December 6, 2011

Oakland, California - When Occupy Seattle called its tent camp "Planton Seattle," camp organizers were laying a local claim to a set of tactics used for decades by social movements in Mexico, Central America and the Philippines. And when immigrant janitors marched down to the detention center in San Diego and called their effort Occupy ICE (the initials of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency responsible for mass deportations),people from countries with that planton encampment tradition were connecting it to the Occupy movement here. [...]

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perceptions of Migration Clash With Reality, Report Finds

By Caroline Brothers, New York Times
December 5, 2011

PARIS — Perceptions of the impact of migration in some countries are so distorted that their citizens estimate that there are as many as three times the number of immigrants living there than is actually the case, a global migration body says in a report being released on Tuesday.

In “World Migration Report for 2011,” the International Organization for Migration, a 132-member intergovernmental body based in Geneva, warns that misinformation about migration fans “harmful stereotypes, discrimination and xenophobia.” [...]

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Arrests of illegal migrants on U.S.-Mexico border plummet

By Nick Miroff and William Booth, Washington Post
December 3, 2011

MEXICALI, Mexico — Arrests of illegal migrants trying to cross the southern U.S. border have plummeted to levels not seen since the early 1970s, according to tallies released by the Department of Homeland Security last week, a historic shift that could reshape the debate over immigration reform.

The Border Patrol apprehended 327,577 illegal crossers along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, numbers not seen since Richard Nixon was president, and a precipitous drop from the peak in 2000, when 1.6 million unauthorized migrants were caught. More than 90 percent of the migrants apprehended on the southwest border are Mexican. [...]

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Tell ICE's Southern Office: Respect the Civil Rights of Immigrant Workers!

From Jobs with Justice National
December 1, 2011

Ever since SB1070 passed in Arizona, Southern states like Alabama have been quick to pass legislation that take the racial profiling bill to the next levels of hate.

At the same time, the Obama administration has announced that Immigration Enforcement’s regional field
offices now are empowered to use their discretion with who is or is not deported.

That means that ICE’s Southern Field Director in New Orleans, Scott Sutterfield has a decision to make.

Last August, his office coordinated the violent ambush of thirty workers in New Orleans who had gathered to receive their paychecks. Now, the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice and community leaders across the South are demanding Mr. Sutterfield attend a town hall meeting on the state of civil rights in the era of Alabama-style hate.

Jobs with Justice has been working on this fight for a long time as a part of the Turning the Tides movement building, and we want to make sure that Sutterfield won’t stand in the way of their civil rights.

You can support their call with three quick steps
1. Watch the video about their case
2. Sign the petition calling for a town hall meeting
3. Ask five friends to do the same.

If Arizona is the laboratory for these Right-Wing policies, the South has become their testing ground. While the administration talks about making immigration enforcement more precise, its own programs and the recent wave of state laws have been doing the opposite. Within those contradictions, ICE’s regional directors like Sutterfield become the deciding factor.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crisis Clobbers Mexican Immigrants from Frontera NorteSur
November 28, 2011

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) - The last four years have been a rough road for Mexican immigrants in the US. Anti-immigrant laws in Arizona, Alabama and other states have disrupted lives and sent people packing, while record deportations have uprooted longtime residents and divided families. If public policy shifts weren't enough, economic tremors have clobbered the Mexican immigrant community. That's according to a report by BBVA Research, an arm of the BBVA bank in Mexico.

In a new study, BBVA Research reveals that 900,000 Mexican immigrants residing in the US have fallen into poverty since the global economic crisis struck in 2008. [...]

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

In Haiti, U.S. deportees face illegal detentions and grave health risks

By Jacob Kushner, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
November 13, 2011

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The United States has deported more than 250 Haitians since January knowing that one in two will be jailed without charges in facilities so filthy they pose life-threatening health risks.

An investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting found that the Obama administration has not followed its own policy of seeking alternatives to deportation when there are serious medical and humanitarian concerns. One deportee who arrived in April suffered from asthma, hypertension, diabetes, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and head trauma, among other ailments. That same month, the U.S. government deported a mentally ill immigrant whose psychiatric medications were lost by Haitian authorities after his first day in jail. [...]

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