Friday, December 28, 2012

Nearly 205K Deportations of Parents of U.S. Citizens in Just Over Two Years

By Seth Freed Wessler, ColorLines
December 17 2012

The federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years, according to new data obtained by The figures represent the longest view to date of the scale of parental deportation.

Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations—or, 204,810 deportations—were issued for parents with citizen children, according to federal data unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

More Than 100,000 Young Immigrants Granted Temporary Reprieve From Deportation

PBS NewsHour
December 14, 2012


MARGARET WARNER: Next: an update on a new administration policy allowing young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to stay here.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program began four months ago. Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that more than 100,000 young people have been granted a temporary reprieve from deportation; 368,000 have applied, less than one-third of the nearly 1.3 million people estimated to be eligible nationwide.

We turn again to Ray Suarez for a look at how the program is working in California, the state that leads the country in applications.[...]

Read or watch the full report:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

U.S. Birth Rate Falls to a Record Low; Decline Is Greatest Among Immigrants

By Gretchen Livingston and D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center
November 29, 2012

The U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, led by a plunge in births to immigrant women since the onset of the Great Recession.

The overall U.S. birth rate, which is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15 to 44, declined 8% from 2007 to 2010. The birth rate for U.S.-born women decreased 6% during these years, but the birth rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%—more than it had declined over the entire 1990-2007 period.1 The birth rate for Mexican immigrant women fell even more, by 23%.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Immigration Law Video: “Labyrinth: The Immigrant and the Law”

Frontera NorteSur
November 28, 2012

Frontera NorteSur is pleased to make available a practical video on navigating the complexities of immigration law. Produced by Albuquerque filmmaker Jim Morrison in conjunction with the New Mexico State Attorney General’s Office, the video walks the viewer through the different pitfalls and processes an immigrant seeking legal residency or citizenship might encounter.

Titled in English “Labyrinth: The Immigrant and the Law,” the half-hour program begins in the Paso del Norte borderland, where resident Modesta Flores offers historical recollections of a different Rio Grande and a less polarized time when friendly Border Patrol agents let migrants pass the line with a wink and a nod.

The documentary features interviews with Assistant New Mexico Attorney General Joel Cruz Esparza; Mauricio Ibarra; Mexican consul in Albuquerque; immigrant legal and social advocates; New Mexico immigration law attorney Megan Jordi; and a representative of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Longtime immigrants recall their own journeys as well as the problems of friends who followed in the migrant path.

With reports of legal scams surrounding the Obama Administration’s Deferred Deportation program for eligible young people, the production is a timely contribution to understanding the legalities and mechanisms of immigration law.

“Labyrinth: The Immigrant and the Law,” was sponsored by KLUZ, the Univision affiliate in Albuquerque. Produced mainly in Spanish with English sub-titles, the video can viewed at the below link.
A full Spanish version is also available at:

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico

For a free electronic subscription:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

White supremacist rally "clowned" by counter protest

By Diana Rugg, NBC Charlotte
November 10, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say no one was arrested during a loud – and very colorful – KKK rally and counter-protest in uptown Charlotte Saturday afternoon.

Members of the National Socialist Movement joined the Ku Klux Klan for an anti-immigration rally at Old City Hall on West Trade Street, but the counter-protesters outnumbered them at least five to one.

Instead of shouting, the protesters used squeaky toys, whistles, and noisemakers to drown out the amplified speeches. Many dressed as clowns.

When the speakers talked about “White Power,” the protesters sprinkled white flour. Another held a sign reading “Wife Power.”

They said they wanted to make a point that racism is ridiculous.[...]

Read the full article and watch the video:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ronald Reagan and Comprehensive Immigration Reform

By Joseph Nevins, Border Wars, NACLA
November 15, 2012

Not long ago, I was talking with a friend and neighbor who happens to be an unauthorized immigrant. She raised the topic of the then-upcoming presidential election and asked me who I thought had been a good president of the United States. As I struggled to formulate a response, she volunteered the name of a former president she much admired: Ronald Reagan.

As I gasped to myself at the name of the person responsible for sowing so much terror in Central America in the 1980s—among other myriad crimes and injustices that he perpetrated—she explained why: “He gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants.”[...]

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Hot and Crusty Workers Win With Groundbreaking Contract

By The Internationalist
November 2012

After months of struggle, immigrant workers at the Hot and Crusty bakery/restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side have made big news for the workers movement. A solid union victory – including a union hiring hall and benefits virtually unheard of in the industry – has come through a fight that captured the attention of labor activists throughout the city and beyond. Dramatic ups and downs marked the campaign from the start, but the workers’ determination to “seguir hasta las últimas consecuencias” – to stick it out, come what may – was crucial to winning this battle. The inspiring outcome has the potential to spark further, wide-ranging efforts to organize low-wage immigrant workers throughout the food industry in New York City, “the restaurant capital of the world.”

On October 23 the Hot and Crusty Workers Association (HCWA) signed a contract with new owners of the 63rd Street restaurant. [...]

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Killing Spree on the Border

The shots were fired by U.S. Border Patrol agents. The Border Patrol claims that the youth threw rocks at the unidentified agent or agents, who fired in return. The family reports that neither they nor their lawyer nor Mexican authorities have received information from the investigation on the U.S. side.

By Laura Carlsen, Americas Program
December 14, 2012

His name was José Antonio Elena Rodriguez. At 16, he was just finishing junior high and living with his grandmother on the Mexican side of the border city of Nogales.

On October 13, 2012, José Antonio was hit by a hail of bullets coming from the U.S. side of the metal fence that lacerates Nogales. Some seven shots penetrated the boy’s body through the back and the head. He died instantly.

Sitting in a busy coffee shop in Nogales, Taide Elena, Jose Antonio’s grandmother, shows a photo of her grandson. She breaks down when she talks about the dreams “Toñito” had. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crossing the line at the border

"Need to Know," PBS
November 26, 2012

In partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, Need to Know investigates whether U.S. border agents have been using excessive force in an effort to curb illegal immigration. Eight people have been killed along the border in the past two years. One man, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, died a short time after being beaten and tased, an event recorded by two eyewitnesses whose video is the centerpiece of the report. Both eyewitnesses say the man offered little or no resistance. One told Need to Know that she felt like she watched someone being “murdered,” and the San Diego coroner’s office classified the death as a “homicide.” [...]

Watch the video:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NYC, 11/21: Rally to Support the Golden Farm Workers

Mitin en Apoyo de los Trabajadores de Golden Farm

Rally at 6 pm, Wednesday, November 21
Golden Farm at 329 Church Ave, Kensington, Brooklyn
Contact Lucas (NYCC) 646 600 2426 or Eleanor (OK) 347 403 3798 or e-mail

[Vea abajo para español]

The Golden Farm workers have stayed strong throughout their fight, week after week, and they couldn’t have kept it up without you-the community-supporting them along the way. As we approach the first round of negotiations between the workers (represented by RWDSU/UFCW Local 338) and the owner Sonny Kim with his lawyer in the final days of November, the workers have asked the community to show our strength on the busiest shopping day of the year.

On November 21st, 2012, the day before Thanksgiving, Kensington community members, workers and allies from all over the city will take to the streets to say “No Thanks, Sonny Kim-we won’t shop until you Give the workers a fair contract and a job with dignity!” We will picket Golden Farm at 329 Church Ave. from 11A-9PM, and all community allies are called to a rally starting at 6PM. Bring your empty pots and pans and show Sonny we won’t be cooking with rotten wages this year. [...]

Read the full announcement:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Immigration Reform May Be Big Winner in US Elections

by Carey L. Biron, Common Dreams
November 10, 2012

WASHINGTON - In the aftermath of a surprisingly lopsided victory for President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party and for progressive causes more broadly, one of the key discussions taking place here is over the suddenly increased prospects for comprehensive immigration reform, long an issue so divisive that few politicians have been willing to tackle it.

“Coming out of this election, there is now increased debate in political circles on how to create a pragmatic immigration system, with Republicans and conservatives engaging in this debate to a degree our country has never seen,” Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, the largest such group in the country, said while speaking with journalists on Thursday. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Speaker ‘Confident’ of Deal With White House on Immigration

By Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times
November 8, 2012

WASHINGTON — Fresh off an election in which Hispanic voters largely sided with Democrats, Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that he was “confident” Congress and the White House could come up with a comprehensive immigration solution.

Immigration reform is “an important issue that I think ought to be dealt with,” Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in an interview with Diane Sawyer on “ABC World News.” [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, November 16, 2012

MAKE THE CALL, SIGN THE PETITION TO SUPPORT SERGIO - It's a matter of life or death!

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United)
November 8, 2012

This week, there were some great victories for workers, immigrants, the LGBT community, and more BUT the work for us and for the people we fight for continues.

One of our leaders of the Dignity at Darden campaign in Los Angeles has been in an ICE detention facility since May of this year. Sergio is a ROC-LA member, a gay man living with AIDS, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Doctors found a tumor in his head - but Sergio is not getting the medical treatment he needs.

Please take a minute to sign this petition:

Sergio was told he needs chemotherapy as soon as possible but he is not getting the treatment he needs in detention. His health is deteriorating rapidly, and without the proper treatment Sergio could die soon. Santa Ana City Jail has a record of abuses of gay and transgender detainees, delays in medical care, and reports of mistreatment. Sergio needs to be released immediately!

Please take a minute to sign the petition, share it with others, and make a call to ICE!
Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000

Sample Script: “Hi, I am calling to urge ICE to release Sergio Vazquez Gutierrez (A# 200-243-222) from the Santa Ana City Jail in California. Sergio was recently diagnosed with cancer and a tumor in his head. He needs immediate surgery to remove the tumor before it's too late. Sergio must be released from detention to get the treatment he urgently needs. Let him go!"

Thank You!
ROC United

Friday, November 9, 2012

Haiti: Hidden Costs of the Industrial Zone

The displacement of local farmers to build the Caracol Industrial Park neatly exemplifies the "economic development" programs the United States and international institutions regularly promote in Haiti.

By David L. Wilson, World War 4 Report
November 7, 2012

On Oct. 22 Haitian president Michel Martelly hosted the official opening of the Caracol Industrial Park, a 617-acre tax-exempt factory complex in Haiti's rural northeastern corner that promoters say will bring as many as 65,000 jobs to the country.

The Haitian president was joined by an array of foreign officials and celebrities. The United States, which invested $124 million in the project, was represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Another guest, former US president Bill Clinton, now the United Nations special envoy for Haiti, was a major promoter of the Caracol facility. [...]

Read the full article:

Photo of Oct. 8 workers' rally outside the Port-au-Prince industrial park, courtesy of Marty Goodman/Socialist Action.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Outrage in Texas After Airborne Police Sharpshooter Kills 2

By Manny Fernandez, New York Times
November 4, 2012

LA JOYA, Tex. — As a red pickup truck believed to be carrying drugs raced down a rural road near this border town last month, a state police helicopter that joined the pursuit warned units on the ground to keep their distance.

.“Going to try to shoot one of the tires out,” a member of the helicopter crew announced, in radio communications broadcast by the television station KRGV. “We have a clear spot.”

An officer with a high-powered rifle in the helicopter opened fire, but after the truck came to a stop, the authorities discovered that the sharpshooter had made a tragic mistake. The truck’s cargo was not drugs but people. Illegal immigrants from Guatemala being smuggled across the border had been hiding in the bed of the truck, covered by a dark blanket. Two of them were killed by the sharpshooter from the state’s top law enforcement agency, the Department of Public Safety. [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy, Day Laborers Play Central Role in Cleanup, Rebuilding

By Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News Latino
November 5, 2012

Palisades Park, N.J. – It is about 8:30 a.m., just days after superstorm Sandy unleashed her force and fury in the northeast.

Men with calloused hands, world-weary lined faces that make them seem years older than they are, practically stand on their toes in the lot of a closed gas station on the exit ramp off Route 46 in New Jersey.

Each time a car slows, pulling into the lot, they swarm around it.

“How many do you need?” they ask the drivers. “What kind of work is it?”

These are day laborers, nearly all of them undocumented immigrants, who are helping to clean up and rebuild New Jersey and New York after the storm that left power lines down, homes and buildings flooded, sidings contorted ,and trees lying across roadways, or atop cars and roofs. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin: U.S. Agent Kills Young Mother of 5 in Latest of Growing Border Deaths

by Democracy Now!
October 25, 2012

In the wake of a dramatic increase in deaths at the hands of U.S Border Patrol agents, the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to launch a long-awaited investigation into the agency’s use of force. Since 2010, border agents have killed at least 18 people, including Valeria "Munique" Tachiquin, slain by a Border Patrol agent on September 28 in broad daylight several miles north of California’s border with Mexico. Tachiquin was a U.S. citizen and mother of five children. Her family is now bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the Border Patrol. We’re joined by Valeria’s father, Valentin Tachiquin, and by Christian Ramirez, director of Southern Border Communities Coalition and human rights director of Alliance San Diego. [...]

Watch the video or read the transcript:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

North Carolina's Tobacco Workers Stand to Benefit From State's Strong Farmworker Union

By David Bacon, Truthout
October 29, 2012

The occupational hazards, poor working and living conditions, and low wages North Carolina's tobacco workers face result from deliberate policies, but they can be meliorated by unionization and the freedom for laborers to shop their skills around.

North Carolina has one of the lowest percentages of union members in the country. Yet in this non-union bastion, thousands of farmworkers, some of the country's least unionized workers, belong to the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). That gives the state a greater percentage of unionized farmworkers than almost any other.

The heart of FLOC's membership here are the 6,000 workers brought to North Carolina with H2-A work visas every year to pick the cucumbers that wind up in the pickle jars sold in supermarkets by the Mt. Olive Pickle Company. [...]

Read the full article:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hot and Crusty Workers to Return to Work under New Ownership after 55-Day Picket

Laundry Workers Center press release
October 26, 2012


CONTACT: Nastaran Mohit (914)557-6408,
CONTACT: Virgilio (347)394-8350, 

Hot and Crusty Workers to Return to Work under New Ownership after 55-Day Picket against Store Closure;
Unions Demands Met With Precedent-Setting 3-Year Contract

New York, NY, October 26, 2012—Ending a 2-month long public campaign to protest an August 31st closure of the 63rd street Hot and Crusty, workers announced today that they have come to a final agreement with the new ownership of the store, following several weeks of negotiations with investors Anthony Illuzzi and David Kay. [...]

Read the full release:

Bernie McFall, ¡Presente!

We are holding a memorial for Bernie on Friday, November 30, 2012, 6:30 pm at the AJ Muste Memorial Institute, 339 Lafayette Street, buzzer 11, New York, NY, at Bleecker Street. (Take the 6 train to Bleecker Street, or the B,D,F or M to Broadway-Lafayette.) Please join us.

Longtime solidarity activist Bernie McFall died of complications from pneumonia in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on Oct. 16. He was 76 and had been fighting two forms of cancer. [...]

Read the full announcement:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unauthorized Aliens’ Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues

By Ruth Ellen Wasem, Specialist in Immigration Policy, Congressional Research Service
September 17, 2012

Federal law bars aliens residing without authorization in the United States from most federal benefits; however, there is a widely held perception that many unauthorized aliens obtain such benefits. The degree to which unauthorized resident aliens should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States, along with the duties owed by such aliens given their presence, remains the subject of debate in Congress. This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens’ access to federal benefits.

Except for a narrow set of specified emergency services and programs, unauthorized aliens are not eligible for federal public benefits. [...]

Read the full report:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Immigrants Are Losing the Policy Fight. But That’s Beside the Point

By Rinku Sen, ColorLines
September 17 2012

Like many others, I’ve worked for years to get Americans to think expansively and compassionately about immigration. In a decade dominated by the push for what’s been dubbed “comprehensive immigration reform,” I’ve argued that immigrants drive economic growth, pay taxes, add value to the culture, and don’t take jobs from native-born people. Although I wasn’t thrilled with the enforcement elements of the policy—that fence, beefing up the Border Patrol, growing detention and deportation—it seemed amazing that Congress was even considering changing the status of as many as 12 million undocumented people. Most of the immigrant rights movement focused on winning that policy, and for a time, it really seemed possible.

That was then. In the spring of 2007, the last decent bill authored by John McCain and Ted Kennedy died in Congress. There have been other bills since, each with more enforcement and less legalization. President Obama’s election seemed a hopeful sign, but he refused to move forward without Republicans and then deported record numbers. The moderate Republican on this issue has become scarce; by 2011, even McCain was claiming that border crossers had started wildfires in the Arizona desert. Democrats too have moved to the right, adopting harsher language and stressing enforcement. The immigrant rights movement, for all its vibrancy and depth, has been losing the policy fight.

That’s because the movement has also been losing the profoundly racialized cultural fight over the nation’s identity, limiting our ability to frame the debate. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Limits Placed on Immigrants in Health Care Law

By Robert Pear, New York Times
September 17, 2012

WASHINGTON — The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The decision — disclosed last month, to little notice — has infuriated many advocates for Hispanic Americans and immigrants. They say the restrictions are at odds with Mr. Obama’s recent praise of the young immigrants. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Strikes at Walmart Warehouses Expose Threats in Supply Chain

By Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes
September 24, 2012

A strike at Walmart? Two of them. In a time when few union members dare strike, three dozen Southern California workers who move goods for Walmart were desperate enough to walk off their jobs September 12 even without union protection.

Three days later, 30 workers who’d been organizing with Warehouse Workers for Justice in Elwood, Illinois, southwest of Chicago, walked out, too.

Both groups of workers had taken legal action against their employers, contractors who move goods for Walmart, and their strikes were protesting illegal retaliation. [...]

Read the full article:

Sign a petition supporting the workers:

Donate to the strike fund:

Join a support demonstration Oct. 1 in Ellwood, IL:

For more on Wal-Mart exploiting immigrant workers:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Migrant Deaths Jump

By Frontera NorteSur, via Grassroots Press
September 10, 2012

Although unauthorized border crossings are down to 40-year lows on the United States’ southern border, the deaths of migrants trying to reach the Promised Land are on the upswing in at least one section of the region. That’s according to Miguel Angel Isidro, Mexican counsel in Laredo, Texas. In remarks to the Mexican press, Isidro said 60 migrants have perished in the zone surrounding Laredo and its sister city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, so far this year. [...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Immigrant Workers Organize at New York Coffee and Pastry Shop

Struggle Erupts at Hot and Crusty
Marty Goodman, New York Indymedia
September 2, 2012

New York, NY, September 1--Yesterday, at the corner of 63 street and 2nd Ave., workers and supporters rallied to save jobs at Hot & Crusty, a chain of pastry shops in Manhattan. Hot and Crusty's was briefly occupied by about 15 people and about four were soon arrested by NY's finest. As of last night, two were released. Pickets are now 24/7 starting at noon Saturday. The best way to get there is by taking the F train to 63rd and Lexington. Be there.

Here's the deal. Hot and Crusty's wants to bust the union by closing. Yesterday was their last day dealing with a union - or so they thought. Organizers from the Laundry Worker's Center say that H & C's hopes to re-open with all new non-union workers. It's criminal! [...]

Read the full article:

Victory at Hot and Crusty
Marty Goodman, New York Indymedia
September 9, 2012

Great news! We won one in New York--finally! In front of Hot and Crusty, workers announced yesterday that the new owners of the coffee and pastry shop will recognize their independent union and rehire everyone – yes everyone! An extraordinary agreement allows the union to control the rehiring of the immigrant
workforce. No one is to be victimized!

For anyone who has ever been out of work, especially for immigrant workers, this is fantastic news! [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mexican Peace Caravan Occupies Wall Street

Opposing the "Drug War" on Both Sides of the Border

by David L. Wilson, New York Indymedia
September 8, 2012

The well-known Mexican poet and author Javier Sicilia stood on the steps of New York’s Federal Hall a few feet from George Washington's statue on a hot, humid Friday afternoon and pointed across Wall Street to the Stock Exchange. "That building," he called out in Spanish, "is a symbol of the finance capital that launders money."

Surprised tourists, office workers returning from lunch, and a contingent of police on motor scooters watched from the street below. "That building," Sicilia went on, in the low-key style of someone more accustomed to poetry readings than to political speeches, "is a symbol of the finance capital that profits off narco-trafficking." [...]

Read the full article:

For a version with links, go to:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Deportation Nation

By Daniel Kanstrom, New York Times Op-Ed
August 30, 2012

Newton Centre, Mass.-- It would have taken a hard heart not to be moved this month as tens of thousands of “Dreamers” — young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children — emerged from the shadows to apply for temporary work permits and deportation deferrals under a new policy by the Obama administration that has delighted immigrant advocates and enraged conservatives.

Though generous and humane, the policy represents only one side of the deportation story. Barack Obama has presided over a record increase in the number of removals, in many cases on legal grounds that offend our basic notions of fairness. [...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Young and Alone, Facing Court and Deportation

By Julia Preston, New York Times
August 25, 2012

HARLINGEN, Tex. — The judge called his next case, scanning the courtroom.

The immigrant who was facing deportation rose to his feet, in a clean T-shirt and khaki pants several sizes too large, with his name — JUAN — printed on a tag around his neck.

But the judge could not see him. Juan’s head did not rise above the court’s wooden benches.

Juan David Gonzalez was 6 years old. He was in the court, which would decide whether to expel him from the country, without a parent — and also without a lawyer. [...]

Read the full article:

Watch the video, "In Deportatio​n, Age 6":

Friday, August 24, 2012

Private Prisons Spend $45 Million On Lobbying, Rake In $5.1 Billion For Immigrant Detention Alone

By Aviva Shen, ThinkProgress
August 3, 2012

Nearly half of all immigrants detained by federal officials are held in facilities run by private prison companies, at an average cost for each detained immigrant is $166 a night. That’s added up to massive profits for Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group and other private prison companies:

A decade ago, more than 3,300 criminal immigrants were sent to private prisons under two 10-year contracts the Federal Bureau of Prisons signed with CCA worth $760 million. Now, the agency is paying the private companies $5.1 billion to hold more than 23,000 criminal immigrants through 13 contracts of varying lengths. [...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

El Secreto Sucio de la Economía Global

De verdad, la mano de obra migrante e indocumentada es el secreto sucio de la economía global.

Yo tenía sed y me diste a beber
By Elvira Arellano, El Diario/La Prensa
August 8, 2012

Ando bien cansada por la labor de los últimos días de recoger y preparar comida para los inmigrantes, que se encuentran atrapados en el viaje peligroso desde Centroamérica y por todo México para llegar al norte. Siempre es una cosa buena, darle de comer a los que pasan hambre. La experiencia me ha hecho reflexionar sobre la frase "darle de comer a los que pasan hambre".

En la Biblia, Jesucristo cuenta de Lázaro el hombre pobre, cuidado en el cielo mientras que el rico queda sufriendo de sed. Dijo a algunos de los "hombres justos" que aquellos serán salvados quienes "me dieron a comer cuando yo tenía hambre". Los hombres "justos" le preguntaron, "Señor, ¿cuándo lo vimos con hambre?". Jesucristo contestó "cuando los más humildes de mi pueblo pasaban hambre, ahí estaba yo". [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spanish Appears to Be on Trial in Ariz. Case

By Terry Greene Sterling, National Journal
August 2, 2012

Four years ago, a Minnesota retiree who had resettled in the Phoenix area was upset when she visited a McDonald’s and observed workers speaking Spanish to each other.

Known only as “Gail” in court records, the retiree penned a letter to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who’d become popular among the county’s aging majority white population for his crackdowns on illegal immigration in heavily Latino neighborhoods and workplaces.

“I am a fan of yours and what you are doing to rid the area of illegal immigrants,” Gail wrote Arpaio. Her letter is frequently mentioned in an ongoing trial in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, where Arpaio has denied allegations that he and his department engaged in widespread racial profiling of Hispanics during traffic stops, detentions, and arrests in the nation’s fourth-most populous county. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Articles on Organizing in Texas

Houston, we have a workers’ rights problem
Profile of a worker justice center in Texas’ biggest city
By Kim Krisberg, The Pump Handle
July 9, 2012

Last month, more than 70 ironworkers walked off an ExxonMobil construction site near Houston, Texas. The workers, known as rodbusters in the industry, weren’t members of a union or backed by powerful organizers; they decided amongst themselves to unite in protest of unsafe working conditions in a state that has the highest construction worker fatality rate in the country. [...]

Read the full article:

On the border of change
A portrait of the workers’ rights movement in El Paso
By Kim Krisberg, The Pump Handle
July 27, 2012

In the fall of 2011, a new Texas statute took effect against employers who engage in wage theft, or failing to pay workers as much as they’re owed. The statewide statute put in place real consequences, such as jail time and hefty fines, for employers found guilty of stealing wages from workers. It was a big step forward in a state where wage theft has become as common as cowboy boots and pick-up trucks.

In El Paso, which sits on the western-most tip of Texas on the border with Juarez, Mexico, and is among the most populous cities in the nation, wage theft has become so rampant that workers rights advocates have dubbed it an “epidemic.” [...]

Read the full article:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Joe the Plumber calls to ‘start shooting’ immigrants at the border

[The week after a white supremacist's rampage in a Sikh temple, a rigntwing candidate for Congress calls for gunning down undocumented immigrants at the border.--Ed.]

By David Edwards, The Raw Story
August 14, 2012

At two separate events in recent days, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher has proposed to “put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting.”

Wurzelbacher first made the remarks during a campaign rally for Arizona Republican state Rep. Lori Klein on Friday, according to video published by Prescott eNews.

“For years I’ve said, you know, put a damn fence on the border, going to Mexico and start shooting,” he insisted.

Wurzelbacher then repeated the remarks at a so-called “Patriot Rally” with Klein on Saturday. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Undocumented Immigrants Ride Through South, Headed For a DNC Coming Out

By Aura Bogado, ColorLines
August 7, 2012

Party conventions always attract more than just delegates. Although this year’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) will have its share of fans, onlookers, and protestors, one particular group will hold a historic presence when they arrive next month. That’s because the workers, students, mothers and fathers who are participating in a new kind of Freedom Ride are all undocumented immigrants.

UndocuBus is transporting about 30 people across 10 states this summer, as it approaches Charlotte, N.C., for the DNC. It’s making stops on the way to pick up new riders, and to meet with supporters. Whatever happens at the convention will depend on how federal immigration authorities—as well as the DNC itself—responds to the riders’ presence. [...]

Undocubus Riders Interrupt Author of SB1070 in Alabama
From the No Papers, No Fear Riders
August 18, 2012

Yesterday the United States Commission on Civil Right held a hearing on the impact of state immigration laws on communities.  The only people they forgot to invite were undocumented immigrants.

We decide to go to Birmingham, Alabama, where the hearing was held, because they cannot talk about the impact of immigration law without our voices. And because there was no space allotted to hear our stories, we made one.

During the testimony of Kris Kobach, author and advocate of Arizona’s notorious SB 1070, four of our undocumented riders stood up and spoke out about their stories. All held high signs that read “undocumented,” and did not back down until they were escorted out of the hotel by security. [...]

Watch the video:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Not Senseless, Not Random: The Deadly Mix of Race, Guns & Madness

I implore of my white friends, when your nutty uncle or classmate goes off about some set of foreigners, you must make a fuss, cause a family crisis, become unpopular, speak up. We cannot do this for you.

By Rinku Sen, ColorLines
August 6, 2012

It could be terrorism, but we don’t yet know. It could be someone who has a beef with Sikhs. It’s too early to talk about gun control. These statements ran in a continuous loop through my head yesterday, even when I wasn’t watching coverage of the mass shooting at an active gurdwara in a suburb of Milwaukee. Throughout the day, the hollowness in my solar plexus signaled grief and the tightness in my throat signaled panic, and I felt deep, deep resistance to the notion of saying anything about it. What is there to say that isn’t a cliché?

Details are going to emerge in the coming days, but I already know what they’ll amount to. A white man, in his 40’s, nursing resentment over 9/11 for more than a decade, planned for a long time to kill some “enemies.” The guns will turn out to be legally acquired, or if not, so accessible as to make the law meaningless. The man will turn out to be mad. In the debate, people will argue that the cause is racism…no, it’s gun control…no, it’s mental health. It is impossible for us to navigate the deadly tangle of all three. [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Wal-Mart Corruption Case: Innocents Abroad?

... Four of the largest bribery scandals in Latin America and the Caribbean over the last two decades have involved US corporations.

By David L. Wilson, World War 4 Report
August 12, 2012

On April 22 the New York Times ran a major article by reporter David Barstow revealing that Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary paid more than $24 million in bribes to fuel the remarkable growth of its stores—and that top Wal-Mart executives in the United States tried to cover up the criminal activity.

The US media were quick to provide "context" for the scandal. Corruption is endemic in Latin America, we were told; Transparency International rated Mexico number 100 out of 183 countries in its 2011 index on perceived levels of corruption. "The scandal tells you that doing business in the world's fastest-growing markets can be fraught with peril," Time magazine wrote. "[G]raft is not necessarily perceived as a serious crime in some places. It's more a way of doing business." The Times downplayed its own excellent investigative reporting by explaining that in Mexico "bribery and other forms of corruption are taken in stride." [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Enemy Alien" Director Launches Fundraising Campaign to Get Film Distributed at Schools

Dear friends,
We’re launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Donations large and small will be rewarded with thank-you gifts including DVDs, downloads of the film and powerful images of my family’s incarceration during World War Two. Your tax-deductible contribution can make a big difference! Please click on the image to the left to find out more and support.

I’ve just returned presenting the film at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage 2012 (June 30-July 3), about which I will be writing and posting video shortly. Enemy Alien needs your support for
  • an edit system – recently the MacIntosh on which this documentary was edited completely broke down (the project survived but needs some work to restore).
  • 60-minute educational version – though the 81-minute festival cut has been edited down to a powerful 68-minute version for additional discussion time, those last 8 minutes need to be edited for this documentary to reach young adults in the classroom.
If all who have seen and appreciated the film contribute even a small amount, we will easily reach our goal, please take just a minute to support the Enemy Alien campaign!

Konrad Aderer
Director, Life or Liberty

Other recent news:
Enemy Alien Garners Awards and More at DisOrient 2012
Enemy Alien Recommended by Booklist, Purchased by Universities

After this summer the director will be bringing the film to Japanese American National Museum (September 8) and the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in Chicago (March, 2013).

ENEMY ALIEN: opening the FBI files
Enemy Alien - documentary - 2011 - 81 minutes
Please support the campaign to get this film seen in the classroom!

Enemy Alien is a feature documentary on the fight to free Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti from Homeland Security told through the eyes of a Japanese American filmmaker coming to grips with his family's World War Two incarceration.

Director's note: This opening scene of the documentary was the last one shot. When Farouk's FBI files arrived, three years after I'd requested them under the Freedom of Information Act, I came to a realization about why I was destined to tell his story, and how through this film I was also telling my own.

“Of great importance to American democracy, Enemy Alien is both timely and moving. We ignore its message at our peril.” Gary Y. Okihiro, coauthor, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment

Jason D. Mak Social Justice Award, 2012
PAC Alliance Award for Courage, 2012

RECOMMENDED for Young Adult Curriculum: “a strong reminder of the fragility of human rights and an excellent discussion prompter” – Booklist Online

Documentary, 2011, 81 minutes
a Japanese American filmmaker confronts his family legacy of wartime incarceration as he joins the fight to free a Palestinian activist from Homeland Security detention.
A project of Life or Liberty

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Low-Wage Workers March in New York -- Will It Make a Difference?

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
August 6, 2012

Several thousand union and non-union workers came together in Manhattan the afternoon of July 24 for an unusual display of solidarity between people who until the 2008 economic crisis had often seemed to belong to completely different social classes.

The event, the "New York Workers Rising Day of Action," brought out a mix of low-wage workers -- car washers, cab drivers, domestic workers, retail and restaurant employees -- and members of long-established unions for a series of protests. About 500 low-wage workers marched 17 blocks down Broadway starting at 4 pm, with brief pickets along the way at local stores and restaurants accused of exploiting workers. At 5 pm, the marchers joined a rally that filled the north end of Union Square. Another march then left from Union Square to join locked-out electrical workers rallying at the nearby Irving Place headquarters of New York's main power company, Consolidated Edison. In the evening there were more pickets, some in the Union Square area, some as far away as Brooklyn and Queens. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Activists Who Infiltrated Migrant Detention Center Are Continuing the Fight

Latin American Herald Tribune, from EFE
August 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Two of the “implanted activists” released last week from an immigrant detention center in Florida were arrested in a protest to demand the release of at least 100 other detainees they say should be freed under the new guidelines announced by the Obama administration.

At least 150 people showed up outside the privately run Broward Transitional Center, in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Sunday to continue bringing pressure to bear on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Activists Viridiana Martinez and Marco Saavedra were released by ICE last Friday after spending weeks implanted in the detention center but they were arrested at the protest for blocking a public street.

Martinez and Saavedra, both undocumented immigrants, allowed themselves to be arrested by the Border Patrol to get inside the Broward detention facility to highlight ICE’s failure to comply with the administration’s stated policy of suspending deportation in many cases. [...]

Read the full article:

Exclusive: DREAM Activists Infiltrate Florida Detention Center, Find Wrongly Held Immigrants
"Democracy Now!"
August 02, 2012

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, undocumented immigrant-rights activist Viridiana Martinez speaks out from a detention center in Pompano Beach, Florida, after being purposely arrested. Martinez is one of a group of "DREAM activists" with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who have infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center and found dozens of immigrants who should be released under Obama's discretionary guidelines.

A review of cases to remove low-priority deportations, such as those involving immigrants with no criminal records and strong family ties, has so far stopped less than 2 percent of removals. [...]

Read the full article and view the video:

For more information, go to:

Sign the petition:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fight Over Immigrant Firings

By Steven Greenhouse and Steven Yaccino, New York Times
July 27, 2012

MILWAUKEE — On May 27, about 150 workers from Palermo’s Pizza factory here, representing three-fourths of its production workers, met to sign a petition saying they wanted to unionize. They say they gave the petition to management two days later.

Around the same time, Palermo’s delivered letters to 89 immigrant workers, asking them to provide documentation verifying that they had the right to work in the United States. Ten days later, almost all of them were fired.

Labor organizers assert that Palermo’s, one of the nation’s largest producers of frozen pizza, was trying to snuff out a unionization drive in its infancy. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Report Details the Growth of For-Profit Federal Detention

July 19, 2012 (The Sentencing Project)

Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention details how harsher immigration enforcement and legislation led to a 59 percent increase in the number of detainees being held by the federal government between 2002 and 2011. It specifically examines how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) have increasingly relied on private companies to detain these individuals, as well as the complex network of facilities that house federal detainees, and the failings of private detention.

Among the report's major findings:

• Between 2002 and 2011 the number of privately held ICE detainees increased by 208 percent, while the number of USMS detainees held in private facilities grew by 355 percent.

• In 2011, 45 percent of ICE detainees and 30 percent of USMS detainees were held by private companies.

• Federal detainees are held in a complex network of facilities in which information on where individuals are being held, and by whom is often unavailable or incomplete.

• The private detention industry is dominated by the same companies that are regularly criticized for their management of private prisons.

• Concerns raised in the context of private prisons, including unsatisfactory levels of service, negative political and policy implications, and questionable economic effects, apply equally to private detention.

The full report can be found here:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lesbian couple sue to stop deportation

Associated Press,
July 12, 2012

Santa Ana--A lesbian couple filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in California seeking to solve their immigration problems and put a stop to the deportation of same-sex spouses.

The suit - which seeks class-action status - was filed on behalf of Philippines citizen Jane DeLeon, who was sponsored for a green card by her employer but can't get a waiver she needs to obtain residency here because the U.S. government doesn't recognize her three-year marriage to her American spouse.

The case is one of several challenges brought by same-sex couples - some of them facing immigration troubles - over the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that prohibits the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriages. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tucson Freedom Summer, Or 5 Ways to Fight Back Against An Unjust Law

By Julianne Hing, ColorLines
July 11 2012

Arizona’s ethnic studies ban may have shut down Tucson’s Mexican American Studies classes. But this summer in the southern Arizona city, class is in session. Educators are holding weekend community forums to educate the city about the now-banned ethnic studies courses.

It’s just one component of what’s being called the Tucson Freedom Summer, a month of events geared toward engaging Tucson to fight back against the law and revive the program it targeted. The idea for a month of civic engagement and community awareness activities was borne out of the need to keep the fight alive. Tucson Unified shut down the Mexican American Studies program in January, and since then, the resistance has been multi-pronged and endlessly creative. But as educators remain embroiled in a legal fight to challenge HB 2281, the community needed to come together to find other ways to resist. [...]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Union Grows in Brooklyn: Kensington Grocery Store Workers Inspire Community Allies

A 24 hour boycott helped draw attention to workers rights at Golden Farms in South Brooklyn.

By Brian Pickett, The Indypendent (New York)
June 29, 2012

Over the past few weeks a small group of us from the Kensington neighborhood in Brooklyn have been turning out once again at the Golden Farm grocery store to support local workers fighting for a union contract. Many of us shop at the store, or used to shop there until we heard about the way the owner was treating his employees. The flyers we pass out have a simple message- we live in the community, and we want “quality jobs” in our neighborhood and “justice for all workers.” For years workers at the store have been grossly underpaid ($400 for a 70-plus hour work week) and receive no sick days or other benefits. Over the past year there have been periodic swells of community support, most notably in April when there was a week of action co-organized by NY Communities for Change that culminated with a successful 24 hr. boycott during which the store lost an estimated 60-70% of its usual business. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Arizona needs a movement to repeal SB 1070

Just this week, Raul Castro, a 95-year-old former Arizona governor and once the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, was stopped, harassed and made to sit out in the 105 degree heat for an entire hour while he was being "checked" by Border Patrol. He was just a passenger in a car, but he is brown.

By Joe Bernick, People's World
June 29 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. - Was Monday's Supreme Court decision on Arizona's racist, anti-immigrant SB 1070 a victory for working people?

The decision has engendered lots of commentary in the media and among elected officials. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Border Patrol Turns Back US Citizens

Woman fights to assert citizenship
By Madeline Buckley, The Brownsville Herald
June 02, 2012

Though she was born in Weslaco in 1982, Brenda Vazquez swore to a Customs and Border Protection officer that she was born in Mexico and is not a U.S. citizen.

Desperate for the end of what she says was hours of intense questioning at a Brownsville international bridge, she signed a statement denying her citizenship.

A petition filed in federal court last week states that Vazquez made the false statement on Feb. 19 after seven hours of intimidation from a Customs and Border Protection officer. [...]

Read the full article:

Complaints rise over border-crossing interrogations
Lynn Brezosky, Houston Chronicle
July 9, 2012

MATAMOROS, Mexico - Sitting in a Matamoros restaurant on a recent afternoon, Brenda Vasquez recounted the day she says she was forced to sign away her U.S. citizenship. Even though she lives and works in Mexico, Vasquez says she was born in the Rio Grande Valley and, until February, was allowed to cross the border with her birth certificate, a Social Security card and a Texas ID - all confiscated by federal agents after what she describes as an abusive interrogation that lasted for hours.

Vasquez is suing Customs and Border Protection Port Director Michael Freeman, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the CBP agent who she says bullied her into signing a false statement and who is also named in a scathing ACLU complaint of similar incidents. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Arizona Immigration Law Ruling May Mean Boon For Private Prison Business

By Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post
June 25, 2012

As the Supreme Court upheld a central provision of Arizona's controversial immigration law on Monday -– a requirement for law enforcement to check the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants -- a powerful corporate lobby may stand to benefit: the private prison industry.

For-profit prison companies including Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group Inc. have capitalized on the immigration crackdown over the past decade, now controlling nearly half of the nation's vast immigrant detention system. Both companies have more than doubled revenues from the business of detaining immigrants since 2005, collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest Workers Take On Wal-Mart in Lower Manhattan

Immigrants who want to work here can come without authorization and be subjected to the harsh anti-immigrant enforcement measures exemplified by Joe Arpaio, the publicity-seeking sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County; or they can come “legally” as guest workers to serve at the pleasure of whatever company holds their contract.

By David L. Wilson, NYC Indymedia
July 5, 2012

Four Mexican guest workers came to New York the last weekend in June to hold a 24-hour hunger strike protesting labor practices by suppliers for the retail giant Wal-Mart.

About 20 supporters turned out for a small rally the morning of Saturday, June 30, in a semi-public park beside a luxury apartment building on Spruce Street, a few blocks from City Hall. The four Mexicans—who were employed at CJ’s Seafood, a Wal-Mart supplier in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, through the government’s H-2B temporary worker program—chose the site because Wal-Mart board member Michelle Burns lives there. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Arizona's "Barrio Defense" Rises for SCOTUS Decision on SB 1070

"For migrants in Arizona, our work has turned towards building power for and amongst ourselves.... It's time we realize we have only each other and instead of appealing to the powers-that-be, start organizing deeper in our community so that our goals are unshakable demands instead of requests." Carlos Garcia, Puente

By Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post
June 18, 2012

With defiant Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer growing more emboldened as the Supreme Court readies to unveil its ruling on the state's SB 1070 "papers, please" immigration law, Arizona human rights group Puente and their national allies are bolstering their "Barrio Defense Committees," as "neighbors link with neighbors to learn their rights and make collective plans to defend themselves."

They are also asking their fellow Arizona neighbors and politicians to take a stand. [...]

Read the full article:

Statement of Familia Latina Unida on the Supreme Court Arizona decision

Statement of Familia Latina Unida

June 26, 2012
The Supreme Court Decision strikes down most of the hated Arizona law. It stated strongly that immigration policy was in the hands of the federal government-not the states.

It left in place – and undecided – the part of the law that allows local police to ask people for papers if people are stopped for some other reason. The court said that local law enforcement would do this because they were invited to do this by the federal government, referencing the Obama administration 287g and secure communities program. The court said it would have to see how the “show your papers” worked in practice – if it showed racial profiling, if it resulted in incarceration or harassment that exceeded federal actions.

What do we think: The court puts the issue of enforcement squarely in the hands of the federal government. As we have said before, the atrocities in Arizona were brought about by the Obama administration’s 287g policy. We lost that challenge to the law because the Obama administration had provided federal cover for what they were doing - as we said all along. The court clearly said that future challenges to the show your papers part of the law could be made once the law was put into effect.

We call again for an end to the 287g program and the secure communities program which enable racial profiling, especially in states like Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina.

We call on the Obama Administation, at a minimum, to immediately establish a commission to monitor and receive complaints of racial profiling and civil rights violations which, after all, emanate from federal policies. We will continue to challenge racial profiling in immigration enforcement everywhere we find it – in the courts and in the streets.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Investigators Find Forced Labor at Louisiana Walmart Seafood Supplier

By Jorge Rivas, ColorLines
June 20 2012

An investigation by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) has found labor law violations and inhumane treatment of workers at a Walmart seafood supplier in Louisiana.

The 37-page report published Wednesday alleges Mexican “guest workers” are forced to work shifts of up to 24 hours during peak production periods, with as few as four hours between shifts. According to the report, workers are paid 40 percent below the legal minimum wage. The WRC concluded that the totality of the abuses taking place at this employer constitute forced labor under U.S. law. [...]

Read the full article:

Watch a video with the workers:

Sign the petition:

People in the New York metropolitan area can show support on June 30. Align NY writes:

"On Saturday June 30, guestworkers will be camping out and going without food or water for 24 hours in front of Walmart Board Member Michelle Burns' apartment in Lower Manhattan to appeal to her conscience. They will be gathering in front of Michelle Burns' residence on Spruce Street, between Williams & Nassau in Manhattan (near Pace University) at 10am to launch their fast, and they won't leave until 11am on Sunday."

ENEMY ALIEN awards, reviews & Tule Lake pilgrimage

“Of great importance to American democracy, Enemy Alien is both timely and moving. We ignore its message at our peril.” - Gary Y. Okihiro, coauthor, Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment

Jason D. Mak Social Justice Award, 2012
PAC Alliance Award for Courage, 2012

RECOMMENDED for Young Adult Curriculum: “a strong reminder of the fragility of human rights and an excellent discussion prompter”Booklist Online

This week Konrad will present the film at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage 2012 (June 30-July 3), where internment survivors and the larger community gather to learn and share about one of the most egregious episodes of the World War Two incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Konrad continues what began with his life-changing encounters with Tule Lake Segregation Center survivors when he presented Enemy Alien as a work in progress at the 2010 pilgrimage. The relationships formed there have led to the development of his next documentary, the Tule Lake Project (working title).

Other recent news:
Enemy Alien Garners Awards and More at DisOrient 2012
Enemy Alien Recommended by Booklist, Purchased by Universities

After this summer the director will be bringing the film to Japanese American National Museum (September 8) and the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in Chicago (March, 2013).

Documentary, 2011, 81 minutes
a Palestinian activist’s fight for freedom draws a Japanese American filmmaker into confrontation with detention regimes of past and present.
A project of Life or Liberty

Enemy Alien, a first-person documentary, is the gripping story of the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a gentle but indomitable Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Told through the eyes of the filmmaker, the grandson of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, this documentary takes on unprecedented intimacy and historical resonance.

As the filmmaker confronts his own family legacy of incarceration, his involvement in the current struggle deepens. Resistance brings consequences: In retaliation for organizing a massive protest from inside detention, Farouk is beaten and locked in solitary confinement, and his American-born son Tarek is arrested in a counterterrorism investigation into the documentary itself.

Enemy Alien is a project of Life or Liberty,  
Film website:

Twitter: @enemyalien  
Enemy Alien educational distribution & screenings: Third World Newsreel

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Views on Obama Granting Relief for Young Immigrants

Statement from the New York State Youth Leadership Council
in Response to Announcement from Obama Administration on Deferred Action Process for DREAM Act Eligible Youth


Friday, June 15, 2012

Contact: Daniela Alulema, 646-472-9565,
Razeen Zaman, 212-473-2570,

The inspiring actions taken by undocumented youth from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance has prompted the White House today to announce Deferred Action for undocumented youth. We will need to confirm the claim with the caseload of deportation cases we receive. We are aware that this new announcement comes a year after the Prosecutorial Discretion announcement, which unfortunately was not implemented. [...]

Read the full statement:

Statement from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights


June 15, 2012

Information: Catherine Tactaquin,
Laura Rivas,

We Welcome Promise to Stop the Deportation of (Some) Young Immigrants
Safety and Security for All Immigrants Still a Dream

We welcome President Obama’s decision to stop the deportations of over a million immigrant youth who may be eligible under terms described today. We hope this will be a first step towards ending the punishment of all undocumented immigrants and the separation of families.

We congratulate the tens of thousands of youths, their families, friends and allies who have fought for over a decade for relief from deportation, initially through the proposal of the “DREAM Act” and more recently with calls for an executive order by President Obama. Without a doubt, the very visible actions of undocumented youth and students in recent years “coming out” as undocumented, and leading nationwide actions and mobilizations, has been critical to this evolution of policy. [...]

Read the full statement:

Obama Grants Relief for Young Immigrants--or Does He?

Obama immigration plan: Advocates offer mixed reactions
LA Times
June 15, 2012

Immigration advocates and attorneys had mixed reactions Friday to the Obama administration's announcement that it would grant relief from deportation to some young immigrants.

Some were encouraged, saying the policy change could spare many young people from living under threat of deportation. Others questioned the sincerity of the administration.

Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney, said he was highly skeptical about the administration’s plans. [...]

Read the full article:

Obama immigration order poses dilemma for eligible illegal immigrants
By M. Alex Johnson,, and Jose Diaz-Balart, Telemundo
June 15, 2012

The Obama administration's announcement Friday that it would defer deporting most young illegal immigrants poses a dilemma for those who are eligible, as they must take a leap of faith that they won't jump to the head of the line for deportation if a future president rescinds the order.

Under the order, the Obama administration wouldn't seek to deport illegal immigrants under 30 who entered the U.S. as children and meet certain other residency and education requirements for the next two years. They also would be eligible to apply for work permits, the Department of Homeland Security said. DHS is the parent agency of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, June 15, 2012

ALERT: Stop the Deportatio​n of Litigant Immigrant Workers in California

[This alert was supplied to us by an organizer in California. If you need more information, please contact us at:]

Luis Mendez and Jesus Ramirez, both former members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union – Local 5 and employees of Boshma & Sons Dairy (located in Kern County, California), were in the middle of a labor dispute on or around October 2011 involving what the union believes was an unjustified termination of Jesus Ramirez and suspension of Luis Mendez. On January 5, 2012 the union initiated arbitration procedures to fight for these workers’ jobs.

On or around March 5, 2012 Anthony P. Raimondo, an attorney for the Fresno based law firm McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte, & Carruth LLP, let the union know that Mr. Mendez had “been previously deported […] and [was] not authorized to work in the United States.” He also said, “Mr. Mendez [also] had no proper legal documentation to work in the U.S.” Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Mendez had been working for Boschma Dairy since 2004 and 2009, respectively, without receiving any previous complaints regarding their legal status on the part of the employer. On March 9, 2012 Raimondo sent an e-mail to Pete Maturino, the Agricultural Division Director for Local 5, in which he said, “I have received reliable information that Luis Mendes [sic] was arrested by ICE yesterday and has been removed from the United States to Mexico,” he added, “If so, I presume Mr. Mendes’ grievance will not proceed to arbitration.”

After Raimondo sent the e-mail, Pete Maturino called Raimondo and asked him: Is this what you will be doing from now on, call ICE when employees file a complaint against Boschma? Raimondo replied that he would do whatever it took in order to protect his client against complaints from workers.

On May 22, 2012 Raimondo sent a letter to the legal counsel of Local 5 in which Raimondo said, “I contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and provided them with Mr. Mendez’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and a copy of the Permanent Resident Alien card that Mr. Mendez produced to complete his I-9 […].”

Californian workers deserve a more dignifying and humane treatment. We must stop this kind of retaliatory action against immigrant workers. Also, we want to know if Raimodo has called ICE on other immigrant workers involved in labor disputes.

What to do:
We are asking immigrant workers’ advocates to contact (call or fax letter) federal Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and the State Bar of California and urge them to initiate an investigation on Raimondo’s alleged questionable and probably illegal behavior. If this is the case, we will demand from the State Bar of California to take away the license of Raimondo to practice law.

What to Say if you call:
Hi, my name is ________________, I reside in _____________, my phone number is __________ and my e-mail address is_______________. I am calling to ask the senator/State Bar of California to initiate an investigation on the alleged questionable ethical behavior of attorney Anthony P. Raimondo, whose State Bar of California number is 200387.

The public needs to find out whether or not Raimondo engaged in any illegal or unethical behavior when he contacted Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agents to provide them information pertaining to the immigrant workers Luis Mendez – such action probably resulted in the deportation of Mr. Mendez. Mr. Mendez was in the middle of a legal dispute with his former employer, Boshma Dairy based in Kern County (a client of Anthony Raimondo). Mr. Mendez was deported on or around March 9, 2012.

What to do if you fax letter or use e-mail:
You can also fax or email letters with the same information urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and the State Bar of California to initiate an investigation on Raimondo’s alleged questionable and probably illegal behavior.

Contact information:
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer: phone 559-497-5109, fax 559-497-5109,
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: phone 559-485-7430, fax 559-485-9689,
The State Bar of California: 1-800-843-9053,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bringing the Battlefield to the Border

The Border Patrol became part of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 and was placed under the wing of Customs and Border Protection, now the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country with 60,000 employees.

By Todd Miller, TomDispatch
June 7, 2012

William “Drew” Dodds, the salesperson for StrongWatch, a Tucson-based company, is at the top of his game when he describes developments on the southern border of the United States in football terms. In his telling, that boundary is the line of scrimmage, and the technology his company is trying to sell -- a mobile surveillance system named Freedom-On-The-Move, a camera set atop a retractable mast outfitted in the bed of a truck and maneuvered with an Xbox controller -- acts like a “roving linebacker.”

As Dodds describes it, unauthorized migrants and drug traffickers often cross the line of scrimmage undetected. At best, they are seldom caught until the “last mile,” far from the boundary line. His surveillance system, he claims, will cover a lot more of that ground in very little time and from multiple angles. It will become the border-enforcement equivalent of New York Giants’ linebacking great, Lawrence Taylor.

To listen to Dodds, an ex-Marine -- Afghanistan and Iraq, 2001-2004 -- with the hulking physique of a linebacker himself, is to experience a new worldview being constructed on the run. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Children of undocumented families ‘outing’ their illegal status

By Helen O’Neill, Associated Press
June 3, 2012

Across the country, children of families who live in the United States illegally are “coming out” — marching behind banners that say “undocumented and unafraid,” staging sit-ins in federal offices, and getting arrested in the most defiant ways.

In “outing” their families as well as themselves, they know they risk being deported.

But as states pass ever more stringent anti-illegal immigration laws — and critics denounce their parents as criminals — these young people say they have no choice. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Private Prisons Profit From Immigration Crackdown, Federal and Local Law Enforcement Partnership

"You build a strong image of fear of these Mexican immigrants, which creates a moral justification for imprisoning them, and at the same time brings in lots of money," [immigration reform advocate Roberto] Reveles says. "The politicians are not motivated to fix the immigration system. On the contrary, they're benefiting from it politically and economically."

By Chris Kirkham, Huffington Post
June 7, 2012

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- On a flat and desolate stretch of Interstate 10 some 50 miles south of Phoenix, a sheriff's deputy pulls over a green Chevy Tahoe speeding westbound and carrying three young Hispanic men.

The man behind the wheel produces no driver's license or registration. The deputy notices $1,000 in cash stuffed in the doorframe -- payment, he presumes, for completed passage from Mexico. He radios the sheriff's immigration enforcement team, summoning agents from the U.S. Border Patrol. Soon, the three men are ushered into the back of a white van with a federal seal.

This routine traffic stop represents the front end of an increasingly lucrative commercial enterprise: the business of incarcerating immigrant detainees, the fastest-growing segment of the American prison population. [...]

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Montreal Corporate Advertising Replaced With Political Art Supporting Immigrants & Students

Le Collectif No Borders Claims Responsibility


MONTREAL, May 23, 2012 -- Yesterday morning, close to 100 street-level advertisements were replaced with immigrant justice and pro-student strike messages.

Members of Le Collectif No Borders replaced the ads, opening up private advertising booths operated by Astral & Pattison in various Montreal neighborhoods and covering corporate advertising with messages of solidarity, resistance and hope. The posters were put up on advertising panels in the following Montreal neighborhoods: Parc Extension, Rosemont, Plateau-Mt-Royal, Villeray, St-Michel, Montreal-Nord, St-Henri & Centre-Ville. […]

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L'Art Politique Vient en Appui aux Immigrant-e-s et aux Étudiant-e-s et Déloge L'Affichage Publicitaire à Montréal
Le Collectif No Borders Revendique Cette Action!


MONTRÉAL, le 23 mai 2012 - Hier matin, près de 100 réclames publicitaires situées dans des bornes d'affichage ont été remplacées par des oeuvres d'art et des messages en appui à la grève étudiante et à la justice migrante.

Des membres du Collectif No Borders ont enlevé des publicités, ouvrant des bornes d'affichage privées exploitées par Astral et Pattison dans plusieurs arrondissements, dont Parc Extension, Rosemont, Plateau-Mt-Royal, Villeray, St-Michel, Montreal-Nord, St-Henri & Centre-Ville. L'opération visait à substituer à l'affichage publicitaire des messages de solidarité, de résistance et d'espoir. […]

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Know Your Rights and Secure Your Own Community

By the New York State Youth Leadership Council
May 15, 2012

Starting today the program Secure Communities will be implemented in New York City; this means that local police will be required to send fingerprints of everyone arrested to immigration officials. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will then check to see whether that person should be deported. The program has already been in effect in 31 counties, including Nassau, Dutchess and Westchester and now New York City. The activation of Secure Communities in New York City is a threat to our immigrant communities leading to the deportation of many immigrants who pose no public safety threat to the city, state, or country at all, separating more families, inciting ethnic and racial profiling and negatively affecting the relationship between police and our immigrant communities.

Know Your Rights: What To Do If You're Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI
Following are some tips created by the ACLU for interacting with police and understanding your rights.

- You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
- You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
- Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.

- Do stay calm and be polite.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
- Do not lie or give false documents.
- Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
- Do remember the details of the encounter.
- Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
Read more tips when stopped for questioning HERE.

Are you in deportation proceedings or do you know someone who is? As part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance effort, our sister national organization, we are willing to help you on any deportation case as long as you and your community are willing to learn. On May 4th the NIYA launched the program Secure Your Own Community or SYOC.

It's very important for all of us to know how to secure our own community because we know full well no one else will do it for us. If you or someone you know is facing deportation and you'd like your case to be dismissed then please complete this form and we'll be in touch with you.

There is never too much to do, if you know of anyone in deportation and they'd like their case dismissed please get in touch with us. Don't wait until it's too late. You can either fill out this quick 8 question intake form [...] and we'll be in touch with you.

Stay tuned for more updates and share the “Know Your Rights” info with your family, friends and community. Contact us if you have any questions:

Warm Regards,