Monday, December 19, 2016

Trump’s Deportation Machine

If his transition team is any indication, Trump will pursue a policy of mass deportation to drive a wedge between workers.

By David L. Wilson, Jacobin
December 19, 2016

Like so much about the incoming administration, president-elect Donald Trump’s intentions for undocumented immigrants remain unclear. But he seems likely to go forward with a substantial program of “getting them out of our country.”

In his first major post-election interview, Trump announced that he plans to deport two or even three million immigrants “here illegally,” “people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.” In reality, as Vox’s Dara Lind explains, there simply aren’t two or three million undocumented immigrants with criminal records, much less gang members and drug dealers.

The people Trump would expel would mostly be residents with green cards who arrived as children and ended up with criminal convictions, immigrants who returned here to reunite with loved ones despite a prior deportation, and, more likely than not, thousands of undocumented workers swept up in raids, like the restaurant employees arrested recently in Buffalo.[...]

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Correction: The article states that “[t]he last general to head the immigration enforcement apparatus was Joseph Swing.” The last general in this position was Leonard Chapman, who was Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization from 1973 to 1977.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hundreds of Students Report Bullying, Threats and Attacks in Weeks After the Election

In the three days after the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) received more than 200 reports of hate-based harassment and intimidation.

By Victoria Law, Truthout
December 1, 2016

Tayz Enriquez, a senior at a high school in Greeley, Colorado, convinced herself that the day after the 2016 election would be a normal one. But that morning, as she walked through the school's hallways, she heard students asking others, "You're still here?"

"To be fair, I'm not sure if they were joking," she told Truthout. "But it's still not OK to say." None of the comments were directed at Enriquez, whose parents are originally from Mexico, but she felt the tension in the air. Then came the last class of the day. Enriquez was already in her seat when another student, a white boy, walked in and loudly said, "Trump 2016! Build the wall!"[...]

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cities Vow to Fight Trump on Immigration, Even if They Lose Millions

By Jennifer Median and Jess Bigwood, New York Times
November 27, 2016

LOS ANGELES — Here in Los Angeles, where nearly half of the city’s residents are Latino, Mayor Eric Garcetti has vowed to do everything he can to fight widespread deportations of illegal immigrants.

In New York, with a large and diverse Latino population, Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged not to cooperate with immigration agents. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has declared that it “will always be a sanctuary city.”

Across the nation, officials in sanctuary cities are gearing up to oppose President-elect Donald J. Trump if he follows through on a campaign promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants. They are promising to maintain their policies of limiting local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents.

In doing so, municipal officials risk losing millions of dollars in federal assistance for their cities that helps pay for services like fighting crime and running homeless shelters.[...]

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Resisting Donald Trump: Getting prepared to fight immigration raids and deportations

Organizers say now is the time to prepare for resistance

Sarah Lazare, Alternet via
November 27, 2016

After the election, we’ve been asking folks to prepare,” Armando Carmona, spokesperson for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told AlterNet over the phone from Los Angeles. “We don’t want to get stuck in fear, but we need to be prepared, and be prepared for the worst.”

Carmona is one of many organizers across the country reeling from the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, following his campaign of racist incitement against immigrants, refugees, Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement. Already, Trump has appointed white nationalist Steve Bannon as chief White House strategist. Jeff Sessions, who was determined too racist to serve as a federal judge under the Reagan administration, is Trump’s choice for attorney general. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a war hawk who says he is “open” to torture, is Trump’s designate for national security adviser. The anti-immigrant hardliner Kris Kobach is just one of Trump’s alarming picks to lead his transition team.

While it is difficult to predict what this bevy of right appointees will do once they take the White House in January, undocumented people — or people merely perceived to be undocumented — have reason to be concerned.[...]

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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Limits of Sanctuary Cities

By Alex Kotlowitz,  The New Yorker
November 23, 2016

At a news conference last week, Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, tried to reassure undocumented immigrants living in the city. “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety, you are safe in Chicago,” he said. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump had consistently promised to deport immigrants living in this country illegally, but Emanuel, along with other big-city mayors, including Bill de Blasio, in New York, asserted that their cities—so-called sanctuary cities—would remain safe havens against federal deportation actions. As Emanuel went on to declare, “Chicago has in the past been a sanctuary city.... It always will be a sanctuary city.”

What these mayors didn’t say, however, was how their municipalities would be able to prevent the federal government from exerting its authority—and what they mean by the term “sanctuary city.”

The American movement to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants dates back thirty-four years, to the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, where the Reverend John Fife announced that his church would protect refugees fleeing the civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala.[...]

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

To resist a Trump presidency, ask: “What would the abolitionists do?”

Trump has vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.... What would the abolitionists do? They would gather in huge numbers every time federal agents came for a Hispanic honors student. They would compel those agents to use force if they wanted to proceed.

By Linda Hirshman, Washington Post
November 18, 2016

In the days since the election, there have been many calls for anti-Trump forces to remain resolute in their resistance. “If the presidency of Donald Trump inspires anything, it should be a fierce spirit of opposition,” Leon Wieseltier wrote last weekend in these pages. “The proper response is steely resolve to wage the fight of our lives,” Jonathan Chait wrote in New York magazine.

But what can anti-Trump liberals and progressives actually do? With his party in control of the White House and Congress, and with Trump about to tip the balance of the Supreme Court, it’s easy to despair over how little leverage the Democrats seem to have.

One episode from history reveals reasons to hope.[...]

Read the full op-ed:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trump's Ideas Man for Hard-Line Immigration Policy

For more than a decade, Kris Kobach has been the G.O.P.’s anointed ideas man for hard-line immigration policies. Now he’s advising Donald Trump.

By Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker
November 22, 2016

During Mitt Romney’s campaign for President, in 2012, he claimed that he could solve the political conundrum of immigration reform by getting undocumented immigrants to “self-deport” from the United States en masse. He was roundly mocked for the idea. Why would millions of people voluntarily leave a country they’d long considered home? His suggestion, though, was hardly a flub—it was meant to be a serious threat. For Kris Kobach, the adviser who sold Romney on the concept, the eventuality of widespread self-deportation was entirely feasible. The government simply had to make life so unrelentingly difficult for immigrants that they’d have no other choice.

Kobach, who has been the Kansas secretary of state since 2011, is advising President-elect Donald Trump during the transition, and he appears to be a candidate for a top post in the incoming Administration.[...]

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Immigrant Communities Brace for Trump

Donald Trump promised to deport two million “criminal illegal immigrants” in his first 100 days in office. Immigrants and their allies are already organizing, protesting, and defending “sanctuary cities.”

David Bacon, American Prospect
November 22, 2016

The state of Nebraska went red on Election Day, voting for Donald Trump and the Republican ticket, but working-class Omaha, Nebraska's largest city, went blue, voting for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Clinton won urban Omaha—Douglas County—by 3,000 votes, but lost the city’s electoral vote. In 2010, redistricting had joined Omaha to the wealthier suburbs of Sarpy County, delivering Trump a 12,000-vote advantage this year. Incumbent Democratic House member Brad Ashford lost his seat to Republican Don Bacon on November 8 for the same reason.

Nevertheless, all 18 precincts of Ward 4 voted against Trump by a two-to-one margin, thanks to years of patient organizing by the immigrant Mexican community of South Omaha. African American North Omaha voted solidly against Trump as well. The Omaha results highlight both the achievements of years of organizing in U.S. immigrant communities, as well as the vulnerability of those same communities under a Trump administration.

“We have built institutions in which immigrants are winning power in the middle of a corporate culture,” says Sergio Sosa, director of Nebraska's Heartland Workers Center. He describes a 20-year history of community and workplace organizing. “We resisted immigration raids in meatpacking plants under the Clinton and Bush administrations, and mounted marches and demonstrations for immigration reform. For eight years, we’ve fought deportations under President Obama, while building a precinct-by-precinct power base.”[...]

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Private Prison Stocks Are Soaring

Investors are betting on Trump’s promise to incarcerate and deport millions, and big changes may be coming to America's prison towns, says Carl Takei of the ACLU.

By George Josephy, CityLab
November 14, 2016

Among the big winners buoyed by Donald Trump’s victory? The private prison industry. Shares of CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America) and GEO Group, the two biggest players in the business, jumped 43 and 21 percent, respectively, the day after the election.

Over the last week, their fortunes have continued to rise as Trump’s recent public statements affirm his aggressive deportation plans. In an interview broadcast on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday, Trump insisted he would remove two to three million immigrants upon taking office, incarcerating many in the process. “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records,” Trump told correspondent Lesley Stahl. “We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”

Trump’s win comes at a crucial time for the prison business.[...]

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Over 350 Faculty Members Urge Support for Undocumented Students

By Mia C. Karr, Harvard Crimson
November 18, 2016

More than 350 faculty members signed a letter Wednesday urging University President Drew G. Faust and other Harvard administrators to protect undocumented students in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.

The letter—published in The Crimson and co-authored by Fine Arts and African and African American Studies Professor Suzanne P. Blier, English Professor Stephen L. Burt ’93, and History and African and African American Studies Professor Walter Johnson—argues that the University has an obligation to protect students to the best of its ability and uphold its stated ideals of diversity.[...]

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What Trump's Presidency Will Mean for the Dreamers

The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has granted reprieves to many undocumented immigrants. The Trump Administration could end the program.

By Francisco Goldman, The New Yorker
November 19, 2016

In November, 2014, when news stories about Donald Trump, if he was in the news at all, made him seem nothing more than a buffoon, President Obama issued a series of executive actions on immigration. One of them expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or daca, which allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. as children—often referred to as “Dreamers”—to apply for work permits and temporary protection against deportation. dapa, another new program, offered the same assurances to undocumented immigrant parents whose children were U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Some five million immigrants might have benefitted, but the programs were put on hold in May, 2015, by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld an injunction issued by a judge in Texas. After the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, organizations and immigrants remained in a state of suspense.

For the New York Immigration Coalition, prepping immigrants to apply for daca or dapa was a priority, both before and after the injunction. One afternoon in the spring of 2015, while the Supreme Court was still undecided as to the fate of the executive orders, I dropped by Junior High School 162, in Bushwick, where Betsy Plum, the director of special projects at the Immigration Coalition, and some of her young colleagues, along with other immigration attorneys, activists, and representatives from foreign consulates, had organized a day of outreach to the local immigrant community. That morning, Plum told me, the line had stretched down the sidewalk.[...]

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Otra Vuelta del Planeta/As the World Turns…

Otra Vuelta del Planeta

Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
16 de Noviembre, 2016

Después de los ataques terroristas del 11 de Septiembre de 2001, casi la nación entera se hallaba sumergida en una onda de temor e ira. Se buscaba a Osama bin Laten pero como lo podían ubicar, se lanzaron ataques en contra de los inmigrantes mexicanos. Pocos días antes del “9-11”, activistas del movimiento pro derechos inmigrantes pretendían viajar a Washington para celebrar la aprobación de una ley de reforma migratoria. Después de los ataques aquel proyecto de ley murió en el Congreso. Se unieron demócratas y republicanos tras el proyecto de sacar a los indocumentados del país.

En aquel momento no nos dimos por vencidos y tampoco debemos hacerlo ahora. Presentamos nuestras familias a la nación. Dimos nuestro testimonio en audiencias de gobiernos municipales, de condados, de estados y ante el Congreso federal. Tuvimos platicas con los sindicatos y con las iglesias. Nos organizamos y íbamos marchando juntos con millones de latinos, con o sin papeles. En Chicago empezamos el movimiento de santuario de nuevo. Nos movilizamos para elegir al presidente Obama bajo la promesa de una reforma migratoria durante sus primeros 100 días en la casa blanca.

Cuando Obama incumplió su promesa, marchábamos otra vez, hasta el punto nos concedió el programa DACA para los soñadores, justamente antes de su reelección.[...]

As the World Turns…

By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
November 16, 2016

We have been here before – only there is something different now

After 9/11 in 2001 almost the entire nation was living in fear and anger. They were looking for Bin Ladin but they couldn’t find him so they directed their anger at the Mexican immigrant. Only a few days before 9/11 immigration activists were preparing to go the Washington DC to celebrate the passage of a reform law. After 9/11 that legislation died in the Congress. Democrats and Republicans were joined at the hip, intent on driving immigrants from the nation.

We didn’t give up then – and we shouldn‘t give up now. We brought our families before the nation. We testified in local city councils, county board, state legislatures and before the U.S. Congress. We talked with the unions and the churches. We organized ourselves – and we marched with millions of Latinos – both with and without papers. In Chicago we began the sanctuary movement again. We mobilized and elected President Obama on the promise of immigration reform in the first 100 days.

When President Obama broke his promise we marched and rallied again – until right before his second election the President gave us DACA for the Dreamers.[...]

Lea el artículo completo/read the full article:!topic/sanctuarymovement/E0R7z7N2jzw

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Owner Was Target, but Restaurant Workers Are Swept Up in Immigration Raids

By Liz Robbins, New York Times
November 11, 2016

BUFFALO — Immigration enforcement agents were supposed to be targeting the restaurant owner. But Antonio Ramos Salazar, a cook, was the one with guns pointed at his head.

One morning last month the officers burst through the back door at La Divina, a no-frills Mexican market and taco counter in suburban Buffalo, capping a two-year investigation into the labor practices of the restaurant’s owner, Sergio Mucino. According to the authorities, Mr. Mucino, 42, a legal permanent resident from Mexico City, along with two associates, had been harboring undocumented workers in homes around Buffalo, transporting them to jobs at his restaurants and paying them off the books.

Mr. Mucino was arrested at his home on Oct. 18. But two dozen of his workers were swept up in simultaneous raids that morning at all four of his restaurants.[...]

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

US starts sending people back to Haiti again after pausing deportation flights during Hurricane Matthew

The Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended the deportation program on 12 October but started again on 3 November

By Rachael Revesz, The Independent
November 9, 2016

The US is about to begin amping up its program to deport Haitians shortly after a cholera outbreak and Hurricane Matthew ravaged the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has scheduled two flights per week to deport around 60 people back to Haiti every seven days.

The deportation program was temporarily suspended on 12 October while one of the poorest countries in the world was dealing with the immediate after effect of Hurricane Matthew, which killed more than 1,000 people and put thousands of pregnant women at risk, wiping out hospitals, infrastructure, crops and livestock.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

By College Humor
September 28, 2016

You Fools! You forgot about planes! We always forget about planes!

Watch the video:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In GOP Country, a Small Labor Organization Offers a Model for Fighting Trumpism

The Workers’ Project in Indiana has been uniting undocumented immigrants with white union workers since long before Trump hit the campaign trail.

By Sarah Jaffe, The Nation
November 4, 2016

Ten years ago, before Donald Trump made anti-immigrant scapegoating into popular politics, a group of organizers in Fort Wayne, Indiana, were trying to figure out how to bridge the divide between white workers and undocumented Latino workers.

Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) had hired a construction company that used some union labor and some non-union, undocumented workers to helm an expansion project. The unions involved reached out for help to the Workers’ Project, at the time an initiative of the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council (CLC), to represent workers who weren’t formally members of the council’s member unions. The unions had planned a campaign under the banner of “Local Jobs for Local People,” but Workers’ Project co-founders Tom Lewandowski, at the time president of the CLC, and Mike Lauer, director of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, argued against this framing—it would contribute to xenophobia, to us-against-them thinking. Instead, Lewandowski says, “Our operational theme for this campaign was going to be, ‘If they’re getting fucked, we’re getting fucked.’”[...]

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

After Trump win, New Yorkers volunteer to aid fearful commuters

Anti-Trump Protesters in New York. Photo: Marty Goodman

By Alexandra King, CNN
November 13, 2016

(CNN)After President-elect Donald Trump's election win, and amid fears of heightened bigotry and hate crimes, a Brooklyn woman has set up an online form where citizens can volunteer to accompany vulnerable commuters who are worried about being harassed on their way to school or work.

Kayla Santosuosso, the deputy director of the Arab American Association of New York, created the online signup sheet on Thursday evening, after being contacted about a Muslim woman in Harlem who, in the two days since the election, had twice been harassed and threatened on her train journey to college.

"I got a direct message from someone in my network asking me if I knew somebody who could help accompany her," Santosuosso said.

"She had notified the police but she was still facing the prospect of having to go to school in the morning on her own and she was scared."

Santosuosso immediately wrote a public Facebook post to see if anyone was available to help.[...]

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Donald Trump promises to deport 3 million “illegal immigrant criminals.” That’s literally impossible.

To deport as many immigrants as he wants to, he’s going to have to scoop up a lot of people who aren’t criminals at all.

By Dara Lind, Vox
November 14, 2016

If you take President-elect Donald Trump at his word, according to what he told 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl in his first interview since the election, the overwhelming majority of unauthorized immigrants in the US have nothing to fear from his administration.

“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers,” he told Stahl. Most unauthorized immigrants don’t have criminal records. If the Trump administration actually limited its deportation efforts to convicted criminals, it would be more lenient than the Obama administration has ever been.

The problem is that the president-elect doesn’t understand that. He told Stahl that there are “probably 2 million, it could even be 3 million” unauthorized immigrants with criminal records in the US — and that he wanted to deport all of them.

The Trump administration isn’t going to be able to deport 2 or 3 million “criminal illegal immigrants,” because there simply aren’t that many people who fit the description.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Undocumented Immigrants Fear Mass Deportation Under President Trump

Donald Trump’s aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric throughout his campaign has caused anxiety and fear within Latino families in Florida who fear they’ll be torn apart.

Leticia Miranda, BuzzFeed News
November 10, 2016

HOMESTEAD, Florida — Maria Perez has not found the right words to soothe her 12-year-old son’s fear of what will become of their family with Donald Trump as president.

“He thinks, ‘Why does Donald Trump want to get rid of all immigrants?’” she told BuzzFeed News. “‘What does that mean?’”

Perez, a 30-year old undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, believes Trump has fueled a war against immigrants throughout his presidential campaign which has only stoked fear in the community and her children.

“People can kill you,” said Perez, who left Guatemala in 2003 because of the country’s widespread violence and limited jobs. “Why? Because of the example of Donald Trump. That’s how I feel because now they can can look at you and see you are an immigrant and kill you.”

One of Trump’s most effective campaign promises was to crack down on illegal immigration and build up President Obama’s deportation strategy. But through the campaign that plan was drowned out by Trump’s calls to have Mexico pay for a wall along the border and his describing of immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists.”[...]

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

A call to action

Matt y Favianna, Presente Action
November 9, 2016

Tragically, Donald J. Trump is the president-elect of the United States of America.1 As we watched state after state turn red, we could not escape the realization that the country was taking a sharp turn for the worst.

To be clear, we’re under attack and we're scared for our families and loved ones. And we know we must resist, and change the culture that allowed Trump to rise to power.

The stakes have never been higher. We have work to do and we need to be powerful enough to organize and refuse to support Trump’s regime and its heinous agenda.

Pledge to resist Trump, defend those who will be targeted by his hate, and please ask your friends and family to do the same because no one should go it alone.

Our nation faces one of the greatest threats we’ve ever known. Trump represents a clear and present danger for our communities that must be confronted urgently. If left unchecked, Trump will continue to create a hostile and dangerous environment for all immigrants, Muslims, Latinxs, Asians, Native Americans, women and Black Americans—an environment which will result in tragedy.

Join the resistance.

For those building a movement for social justice, the real question is not what went wrong in the election, but what do we do now? In the face of a government that will force deportations, engage in rabid sexism, cultivate overt appeals to white nationalism and enforce brutal crackdowns on protesters, we have a duty and responsibility to act, to build, and to resist hate, fear, and violence. Planning, discussions, and details will come soon, in the meantime, we will not share your information.

We call on you to pledge to resist the agenda Trump promises his supporters — fascism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and hate.

Thank you for all you do and ¡adelante!

– Matt, Favianna, Oscar, Erick, Reetu, Erica and the team.

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

1. "Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment." The New York Times. Nov. 9, 2016.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Donald Trump warns that 650 million immigrants could come to the U.S. in a week. Let’s do the math!

By Philip Bump, The Washington Post
October 31, 2016

Twice on Sunday, Donald Trump told audiences at rallies that electing Hillary Clinton risked a truly spectacular shift in the composition of the United States.

"When you're working for Hillary, she wants to let people just pour in. You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it," Trump said. "Think of it. That's what could happen. You triple the size of our country in a week."

Well, no. For a lot of reasons.

Before we get into the important question of the mechanics of having 650 million people roll up to enter the United States, an exercise that will hopefully make clear just how hyperbolic this particular schmear of hyperbole happens to be, let's stop and consider the comment. Donald Trump uses hyperbole the way some politicians use touching voter anecdotes — to reinforce a broader political point. He says completely outrageous and completely untrue things because he feels as though they bolster his broader point: Immigrants are risky. Is it true? Not the point. The point is oh no, immigrants.[...]

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Melania Trump modeled in U.S. prior to getting work visa

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz,
By Associated Press
November 4, 2016

WASHINGTON — Melania Trump was paid for 10 modeling jobs in the United States worth $20,056 that occurred in the seven weeks before she had legal permission to work in the country, according to detailed accounting ledgers, contracts and related documents from 20 years ago provided to The Associated Press.

The details of Mrs. Trump's early paid modeling work in the U.S. emerged in the final days of a bitter presidential campaign in which her husband, Donald Trump, has taken a hard line on immigration laws and those who violate them. Trump has proposed broader use of the government's E-verify system allowing employers to check whether job applicants are authorized to work. He has noted that federal law prohibits illegally paying immigrants.
Story Continued Below

Mrs. Trump, who received a green card in March 2001 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006, has always maintained that she arrived in the country legally and never violated the terms of her immigration status. During the presidential campaign, she has cited her story to defend her husband's hard line on immigration.[...]

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Migrant justice activists occupy Hillary Clinton campaign office, demand end to raids and deportations

A group of 20 immigration rights activists spent the night in Hillary Clinton's Pittsburgh campaign office

By Ben Norton, Salon
November 4, 2016

A group of 20 migrant justice activists occupied Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, demanding that the Democratic presidential nominee call for an end to record-breaking deportations and raids.

The activists, who call themselves #Buffalo25, brought sleeping bags and spent the night in the office. A spokesperson told Salon on Friday morning that they are still occupying the office.

#Buffalo25 is a campaign created by the immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha in order to bring national attention to recent ICE raids in Buffalo, New York.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, October 31, 2016

If Immigration Can’t Be Stopped, Maybe It Can Be Managed

[A new report supports efforts to expand guest worker programs. Backers include former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo and other apologists for neoliberal labor policies.--TPOI]

By Eduardo Porter, New York Times
October 25, 2016

At its peak in the 1950s, the Bracero Program provided more than 400,000 temporary work visas to Mexican laborers. Credit Frank Q. Brown/Los Angeles Times
Can anything be done about illegal immigration?

Donald J. Trump’s proposal to end illegal immigration — to build a supposedly impregnable wall — is a fake solution. For all intents and purposes, the wall is already there: a fence across large stretches of the southwestern border complemented by drones, sensors and a small army of agents.

It has already failed. The federal government spent more than $200 billion in the last 20 years on immigration enforcement. And the population of unauthorized immigrants swelled to 11 million over the period.

Maybe the answer, instead, lies in another direction. Rather than building a bigger wall, it consists of opening a door in the wall we have. The best way to stop illegal immigration may be for Mexico and the United States to create a legal path for low-skill Mexicans seeking work in the United States.

“When I hear ‘Secure the border,’ I think that’s great, but it’s not the solution,” said Carlos Gutierrez, who was commerce secretary under President George W. Bush. “We need laws that enable us to get the immigrant workers we need for the economy to work and do it in a legal way that doesn’t require employers to resort to a black market."[...]

Read the full article:

Read the report:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Latino Immigrants Are Changing the Politics of … Nebraska!

Organizing in Omaha and small towns with meatpacking plants is altering politics in this reddest of states.

David Bacon, The American Prospect
October 21, 2016

Sixty miles south of the Arizona border, the devastation from a toxic spill has led to an epochal battle between a transnational mining conglomerate and an alliance of miners and farmers.

If the winds of political change are starting to blow in Nebraska, the center of the storm is a third-floor office on 24th Street in South Omaha. There, huge maps of eight targeted precincts in Ward 4 line the walls of the Heartland Workers Center (HWC), covered in red dots for all the people organizers have spoken with over the past six months. Little stickers highlight the key issues in each neighborhood.

Every afternoon on weekdays, and all day on weekends, a row of reconditioned iPhones sits on a table next to clipboards holding signup lists and Spanish-language voter-education brochures. Rain or shine, young Latino organizers climb the stairs to pick up their packets and then fan out into the streets.

This is not an old-fashioned paper-based effort, though. Derek Ramirez, HWC’s data cruncher, has loaded voter information derived from the Voter Activation Network database onto the iPhones. This allows precinct walkers to know house by house whom they’re talking to, and to immediately input the information they receive—updating the office’s database in real time.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

AFL-CIO to help more Latina working women organize

By Larry Rubin, People's World
October 18, 2016

WASHINGTON — While Donald Trump continues to excoriate immigrants from South and Central America, the AFL-CIO is ramping up programs to help them unionize and gain political power.

A forum recently held here highlighted what the labor movement will be doing to provide Latina working women with the tools they need to win better standards of living and security for the future.

The key, the panelists agreed, is to encourage self-empowerment.

“Latina empowerment is important because nobody but us can tell our stories,” Montserrat Garibay of Texas’ EducationAustin said. EducationAustion is a local affiliated with both the NEA and the AFT.

Aside from Garibay, speaking at the packed AFL-CIO Las Trabajadoras forum here were Diana Ramirez of DC’s Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), Monica Ramirez of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and Dora Cervantes, secretary treasurer of the Machinists union.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, October 28, 2016

‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’

A week in the borderlands with migrants and guards.

By Declan Walsh, New York Times
October 14, 2016

NOGALES, Mexico — A few hundred feet from the American border, José Manuel Talavera contemplated his challenge with the focus, if not quite the physique, of an Olympic high jumper. A stocky coffee farmer from Honduras, he was fresh off La Bestia, or the Beast — the freight train network used by migrants to cross Mexico. Now he was preparing to vault into the United States, for the third time.

His options, both of which involved days of trekking through searing deserts, were unappealing: pay thousands of dollars to a guide, or carry a rucksack filled with drugs for a cartel.

Mr. Talavera shrugged. He did not see himself as a factor in America’s presidential election, even though he had a vague idea about Donald J. Trump and his threats to build a “beautiful, impenetrable wall.” It seemed silly: Was the border not already walled? He knew how hard it was to cross. The first time, a Mexican drug cartel kidnapped him and took all his money. On the second attempt he made it to America only to be captured, detained for two months and put on a plane back to Honduras. It was his first flight. “One month to get there, four hours to go back,” Mr. Talavera recalled with a smile. “At least the ticket was free.”[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Harvesting freedom and sowing resistance: Migrant workers in Canada demand permanent immigration status

These workers are at the mercy of their employer. In other words, it is indentured labour, giving this program the disrepute of being akin to "modern day slavery."

By Binish Ahmed Navjeet Sidhu,
October 13, 2016

A historic caravan of migrant agricultural workers completed a 1,500 kilometre journey to Ottawa to deliver a clear and pointed message to members of Parliament -- "We want permanent immigration status now!"

The caravan launched on Sept. 3 in Leamington, Ontario (Canada's tomato capital) has made stops to cities and towns across southern Ontario. Workers have been sharing not only their demands, but personal stories of exploitation and injustice under Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), a federal program now in its 50th year.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Immigrants and Supporters Shut Down George Washington Bridge, declaring #SomosVisible

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Mahoma López, co-director of Laundry Workers Center

Immigrants and supporters shut down the upper level of the George Washington Bridge for 45 minutes during this morning’s rush hour, declaring “Somos visible”, or “We are visible”.

Organized by Laundry Workers Center, the non-violent protest called for the ”right of every member of our communities to be visible.”

Protesters chained themselves together on inbound upper level of bridge, unfurling a banner reading "Resist, Organized, Act Up!" New Jersey police arrested 10 non-violent protesters.

“The immigrant community is tired of being in the shadows.” said Laundry Workers Center co-director Mahoma López. “For many years we are here, we contribute, we pay taxes, we build this country, but in the end, we don’t have the right to participate in the decisions at the local and national levels.”

“We demand the right to vote and take part in the decisions in our communities.”

In a written statement, Laundry Workers Center wrote “We are one with Mother Earth and with all oppressed people in the shadows. We making our struggles, our pain and our power visible.”

A rally is planned this evening at 6pm, in Union Square. More information is available here:

Follow #SomosVisible on Twitter.

Berry Pickers’ Win Could Result in Better Conditions for Many Farmworkers

Farmworkers at Washington’s Sakuma Brothers farms have voted to join what could be the first union for Driscoll's berry pickers in the nation.

By Elizabeth Grossman, Civil Eats
October 10, 2016

For over three years, the workers at Sakuma Brothers farms in Burlington, Washington have been calling for a boycott. The farm supplies strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and more to Driscoll’s, the largest berry distributor in the world, and over the years, the workers have complained of inconsistent, piecemeal wages (that dipped below minimum wage), poor housing conditions, and the absence of paid break time.

Now, the workers have reached an important milestone: In September, they voted to be represented by Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), the first farmworker union led by workers who are indigenous to Central America. And they’ve called off the boycott for now. “This win ushers in a new era for farmworker justice internationally,” said FUJ in a statement.[...]

Read the full article:

For earlier coverage:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Help "Resistance at Tule Lake" Reach the Finish Line!

RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE is nearing the finish line! This groundbreaking documentary, which tells the long-suppressed story of Japanese Americans who protested their incarceration, is being produced for public television and educational distribution. Now more than ever, in an election year where pro-"internment" rhetoric has once again become publicly acceptable, these marginalized experiences need to be brought into the light.

We need YOUR help to make this possible. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help us with the costs of:

  • Archival media, including never-before-seen photographs & rare home video color footage taken within Tule Lake
  • Outreach & public engagement, including the creation of educational support materials

RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE is a crucial update to previous documentaries on the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. Even before the completion of the film, we have received numerous requests to show the film and held a sold out preview screening at San Jose's J-Town Film Fest. We are currently submitting the project to film festivals and are planning to publicly premiere the film in February 2017, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 that authorized the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese Americans.

We hope you'll consider making a much-needed, tax-deductible gift to support RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE. All contributors will receive a Special Thanks credit on the film. Funders at the $100 level or higher will receive an early edition DVD of the documentary.

Donate Now!

Resistance at Tule Lake trailer

For further information or inquiries, contact director-producer Konrad Aderer at

Sunday, October 23, 2016

20 Years Ago Today, This Terrible Law Set the Foundation for Mass Detention and Deportation

As we fight the fatally flawed criminal justice system, we can't forget the immigrants criminalized by a law that turns 20 today: the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.

By Alisa Wellek, Angie Junck and Paromita Shah, ColorLines
September 30, 2016

From job applications to the voting booth, we live in a society that treats criminal convictions as a stigma that never fades.

Yes, we have seen some positive shifts in attitudes around criminal justice reform: Bill and Hillary Clinton now repudiate the “tough on crime” laws they supported (and in Bill’s case, signed) in the 1990s. The Department of Justice no longer uses the “unnecessarily disparaging” terms “felon” and “convict” to describe released prisoners. President Obama has commuted more prison sentences than the previous nine presidents combined. Politicians from both parties concede that a lot of drug sentences are way too harsh.

But as we move culturally and politically to address reform solutions, we need to ensure that the fight for justice and fairness for all really means for all. That means we need to fight for a vast population that is too often left out of proposed solutions: immigrants with convictions.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: New Report Shows that Despite Advances, Black Immigrants Still Suffer Racial Disparities

September 29, 2016
Contact: Carl Lipscombe, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Tel: 347-410-5312


Two-Part Report Reveals New Information about Growing Segment of Black Community

New York, NY (September 29, 2016) — Today the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), along with New York University Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic released a trailblazing two-part report on the experience of Black immigrants in the U.S. The State of Black Immigrants. sheds light on the unique issues facing the over 3.7 million immigrants in the U.S. from Africa, the Caribbean, Afro-Latino countries, and elsewhere, due in large part to their race.

“As this report shows, Black immigrants encounter major social and economic challenges in the U.S. because of systemic racism,” says Opal Tometi, BAJI’s Executive Director and a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter.

Notable findings in the report include:

  • The number of undocumented Black immigrants in the U.S. increased by nearly 50% from 389,000 in 2000 to 602,000 in 2013
  • Despite high educational attainment, nearly 1 in 5 Black immigrants live below the poverty line.
  • Black immigrants have the highest unemployment rates amongst all immigrant groups.
  • More than one out of every five non-citizens facing deportation on criminal grounds before the Executive Office of Immigration Review is Black.
  • Black immigrants are more likely to be detained and deported for criminal convictions than other immigrant groups.
  • Black immigrants in removal proceedings for a criminal conviction often have lived in the U.S. for a long time and established strong community ties; many are apprehended and placed in deportation proceedings long after the triggering criminal conviction occurred.

Part I of the report provides recently updated demographic data on immigration status, country of origin, geographic location within the U.S., educational attainment, household income, labor force participation, and eligibility for forms of immigration relief for Black immigrants. Part II focuses on the impact of mass criminalization on Black immigrants providing newly released data on detention and deportation rates for Black immigrants.

The report’s release coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, one of two laws passed in 1996 that expanded the grounds for deportation to include over 20 criminal and noncriminal offenses. According to the report, these laws have overwhelmingly impacted Black immigrants, who tend to live in communities that are subject to over policing and controversial practices such as “stop-and-frisk” and “broken windows policing.”

Some of BAJI’s policy recommendations include: removing convictions as a grounds for deportation and/or exclusion from the U.S., including aggravated felonies and drug offenses; expanding executive action programs that provide relief for Black immigrants; restoring judicial discretion and due process for all individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice and immigration systems; and eliminating the criminal bars to programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

According to Carl Lipscombe, BAJI’s Policy Manager and a co-author of the report, “Unfortunately, research on Black immigrants is scant because the government does not maintain data on immigrants based on race. But this report shows that racial injustices are pervasive within the immigration system. We urge the government to improve race-based tracking and expand the overall body of research available on Black immigrants.”

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration is a racial justice and migrants’ rights organization that organizes, advocates, and raises public awareness around issues impacting African Americans and Black immigrants. Learn more about us at


Download the report:

Friday, October 21, 2016

What Does Immigration Actually Cost Us?

The report suggests that immigration is not a clear-cut issue in which one side is right and the other wrong, but that there are both costs and benefits.

By Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times
September 29, 2016

Last week, as soon as the National Academy of Sciences issued “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration,” its 509-page report, interest groups on the left and right immediately claimed vindication.

“National Academy of Sciences Study Confirms Immigrants Benefit America,” America’s Voice, a liberal advocacy group, declared from the pro-immigration side. Frank Sharry, the group’s executive director, issued a statement assessing the study:

On the fringes of the immigration debate, you have Donald Trump and his small band of nativists peddling fears and falsehoods. For those of us who inhabit a fact-driven reality, you have a growing body of credible research demonstrating the benefits of immigrants and the burdens of following Trump’s radical proposals.

Conservatives calling for more restrictions on immigration read the same report but had a very different interpretation. “National Academy of Sciences Study of Immigration: Workers and Taxpayers Lose, Businesses Benefit,” the Center for Immigration Studies wrote.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Activists on Both Sides of US-Mexico Border Converge Against US State Violence

By Steve Pavey, Truthout
October 8, 2016

After holding an annual vigil for 25 years at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, the human rights group SOA Watch is moving its convergence to the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico. Activists throughout the US and Mexico have gathered on both sides of the US-Mexico border for an October 7-10 Border Convergence to highlight and protest US state policies linked to the root causes of migration, as well as to multiple levels of violence against migrants and more broadly, against Black and Latinx people.

People from Latin America continue to be forced to flee from US-trained repressive security forces, only to be confronted with a militarized border, racist immigration laws and the xenophobic rhetoric we see escalating during this election cycle. Black and Brown bodies in the US continue to be targeted, criminalized and systematically imprisoned and killed in the same way. We can no longer separate these issues and this weekend we have gathered to say "enough!"[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Once Millones de Preguntas/Eleven Million Questions

Once Millones de Preguntas
Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
27 de septiembre, 2016

(English Version follows below)

El martes comenzaron los debates entre Hillary Clinton y Donald Trump. En el debate no hubo ni una sola pregunta sobre las políticas de los dos candidatos sobre la inmigración, o lo que proponen hacer con los once millones de indocumentados y sus familias que viven en este país. No obstante son muchas las cosas que deben preguntarse al respecto. En particular, yo tengo 11 millones de preguntas que le quisiera poner al Sr. Trump.

Para empezar, una pregunta personal. Mi hijo, un ciudadano de los Estados Unidos, desea saber si a su madre le van a permitir permanecer en los Estados Unidos mientras que él termina sus estudios de secundaria y se preparar a ingresar en la universidad. Mi hijo ha estado prestado mucha atención al Sr. Trump y le inspiran dudas lo dicho por el empresario sobre si los “bebes de ancla” vayan a perder su ciudadanía y su derecho de vivir en este país.[...]

Eleven Million Questions
By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
September 27, 2016

The debates started on Tuesday between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There were no questions at that debate about the candidates immigration policy or their positions on the undocumented and their families living in this country. There are many questions on these subjects, however, that should be asked. To be specific, I have eleven million questions for Donald J Trump.
First, a personal question: my U.S. citizen son wants to know if his mother will be allowed to stay in this country as he finishes High School and prepares for college. He has been listening closely to Mr. Trump and he wonders about Trump’s statement that “anchor babies” should be forced to leave the country, losing their citizenship. [...]

Lea el artículo completo/read the full article:!topic/sanctuarymovement/OCyL0MYOkrA

Friday, October 7, 2016

My mother and Trump’s border: America has been through this “extreme vetting” before

My mother's 1953 experience with immigration detainment shows how dangerous McCarthy-like thinking can be

By Ariel Dorfman,
September 25, 2016

Donald Trump, reacting to the recent terror attacks, called on the government and law enforcement to fight, McCarthy-like, the “cancer from within.” He then went on to exclaim: “How they came into the country in the first place is beyond me.” Obviously, he believes that these and thousands of other possible (and according to him, inevitable) assailants did not undergo the “extreme vetting” that he proposed as indispensable to keep Muslim terrorists and those advocating Sharia law from entering the United States. Whether this prospective weeding out of aliens antagonistic to American values at the border would bolster our security is doubtful.

A long time ago my mother, Fanny Zelicovich Dorfman, who, alas, has not been alive for some 20 years, fell afoul of a system of interrogation similar to the one the Republican candidate wishes to put into place. Her story might provide a sober perspective on the pitfalls and traps that such examinations entail.

Though Fanny would later recount her detention by immigration officials lightheartedly, as was her wont when tragedies descended upon the family (and they were many), there was nothing amusing about the episode when it occurred.

My sister and I found out about my mother’s mishap when, on the last day of our stay at Camp Tevya in Massachusetts — it must have been some time in late July or maybe August 1953 — my parents did not turn up to retrieve us. Instead, my father had asked some nearby friends in Boston to take care of us while he sorted out the mess my mother found herself in.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

In building boom, immigrant workers face exploitation

By Beth Healy and Megan Woolhouse, Boston Globe
September 18, 2016

Luis Mayancela was 15 years old when he fell from the roof of a house in Portland, Maine, where he was helping fasten shingles. He tumbled two stories, severely breaking his leg.

“I couldn’t breathe, much less talk,” recalled Mayancela, an Ecuadoran who took the job in 2013 to help support his family. “It’s pain you don’t forget.”

He is one of thousands of immigrants, many undocumented, helping meet the demand for workers in the region’s booming construction industry. They haul slabs of sheetrock and climb rooftops and dusty scaffolds, doing often dangerous work for contractors seeking cheap labor.

A Globe investigation found that these workers, eager for a paycheck, are often paid below the prevailing wage and illegally, in cash. They are also the most likely to be subjected to unsafe work conditions, without insurance to cover medical bills or lost pay if they get hurt. And the unscrupulous contractors who employ them are too seldom caught and penalized.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New CEPR Paper Questions Effectiveness of US-Funded Anticrime Programs in Central America

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Press Release
September 7, 2016

Finds Study Doesn’t Show that Areas Subject to Treatment in CARSI Programs Have Better Results

En Español

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Washington, DC – A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) questions the findings of one of the only studies to measure the impact of Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) anticrime programs. The CEPR paper, “Have US-Funded CARSI Programs Reduced Crime and Violence in Central America?” by David Rosnick, Alexander Main, and Laura Jung, examines data collected during a Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) study and subjects them to a number of statistical tests. CEPR finds problems with the methodology used and that the study cannot support the conclusion that the areas subject to treatment in the CARSI programs showed better results than those areas that were not.

“Unfortunately, the study does not demonstrate a correlation between anticrime treatment and actual crime reduction outcomes,” Rosnick, an economist and computer scientist, said. “This is especially important considering ongoing congressional debates over funding support to Honduras and other countries, and the prevalence of crime in pushing people to flee the Northern Triangle countries of Central America.”

The study by the Vanderbilt University-based LAPOP is, to date, the only publicly accessible impact assessment of programs carried out under CARSI, a US government initiative that has received over a billion dollars in US funding. The CEPR paper attempts to evaluate the success of USAID-funded anticrime programs in Central America under CARSI, and identifies major problems with the LAPOP study, namely, the nonrandomness of the selection of treatment versus control areas and how the differences in initial conditions, as well as differences in results between treatment and control areas, have been interpreted. The paper notes that in the case of reported robberies, if the areas subject to treatment have an elevated level of reported robberies in the year prior to treatment, it is possible that there is some reversion to normal levels over the next year. The LAPOP methodology does not differentiate between effective treatment and, for example, an unrelated decline in reported robberies in a treated area following a year with an abnormally high number of reported robberies.

The CEPR paper finds that, given these faults with the methodology used, the study cannot support the conclusion that the areas subject to treatment in the CARSI programs showed better results than those areas that were not. The paper notes that in some treatment areas, “Statistically, the possibility that intervention had no effect on reported robberies cannot be ruled out.”

“Hopefully more studies will be undertaken to examine how effectively US taxpayer dollars are being used to address very serious issues of crime in Central America,” Rosnick said. “Unfortunately, the only publicly accessible assessment available so far offers very little that’s useful for making such an evaluation.”


Read the report:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is Trump an Aberration? The Dark History of the “Nation of Immigrants”

The policies he’s promoting are, in an eerie way, a logical continuation of centuries of policymaking that sought to create a country of white people.

By Aviva Chomsky,
September 13, 2016.

Liberal Americans like to think of Donald Trump as an aberration and believe that his idea of building a great wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent immigrants from entering the country goes against American values. After all, as Hillary Clinton says, “We are a nation of immigrants.” In certain ways, in terms of the grim history of this country, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Donald Trump may differ from other contemporary politicians in so openly stating his antipathy to immigrants of a certain sort. (He’s actually urged the opening of the country to more European immigrants.) Democrats like Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton sound so much less hateful and so much more tolerant. But the policies Trump is advocating, including that well-publicized wall and mass deportations, are really nothing new. They are the very policies initiated by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and -- from border militarization to mass deportations -- enthusiastically promoted by Barack Obama. The president is, in fact, responsible for raising such deportations to levels previously unknown in American history.

And were you to take a long look back into that very history, you would find that Trump’s open appeal to white fears of a future non-white majority, and his support of immigration policies aimed at racial whitening, are really nothing new either.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why unions embraced immigrants – and why it matters for Donald Trump

In his speech on immigration, the Republican presidential candidate echoed hardline stances once voiced by unions. But decades of union campaigns have drawn immigrants and minority voters into their fold.

By David Iaconangelo, Christian Science Monitor
September 2, 2016

After seeming to debut a more forgiving stance on immigration last week, Donald Trump arrived in Phoenix on Wednesday brandishing a resolutely hardline plan, warning of an undocumented criminal menace and promising deportations on an unprecedented scale.

"We will begin moving them out Day One. As soon as I take office. Day One. In joint operation with local, state, and federal law enforcement," he said, according to transcripts.

As he has in the past, Mr. Trump tied his promise to carry out deportations to anti-globalist economic ideas. But he also drew a direct line between the fortunes of the country's native-born laborers and the presence of undocumented immigrants – a connection he has rarely made in his remarks on the topic.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No Other Way Than to Struggle: The Farmworker-Led Boycott of Driscoll's Berries

By Felimon Piñeda, interviewed by David Bacon, Truthout
August 31, 2016

Felimon Piñeda is vice president of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the independent farm workers union in Washington State. He was one of the original strikers when the union was organized in 2013. The union, together with the union of striking farm workers in Baja California, Mexico, has organized a boycott of Driscoll's Berries, the world's largest berry company. They demand that Driscoll's take responsibility for the conditions and violations of labor rights by the growers whose berries they sell. Piñeda describes the life of a farm worker producing Driscoll's berries, and his own history that brought him into the fields of Washington State. He told his story to David Bacon during an interview in Linden, Washington.

Our town in Oaxaca is Jicaral Coicoyan de las Flores. We speak Mixteco Bajo. I am 33 years old, but I left at a very young age. In 1996 I got to San Quintin [in Baja California] with my older brother. After four nights in Punta Colonet, we found a place to stay in a camp. There were a lot of cabins for people and we stayed there for six months. We planned to go back to Oaxaca afterwards, but when we'd been there for six months we had no money. We were all working -- me, my sister, my older brother and his wife and two kids -- but we'd all pick tomatoes and cucumbers just to have something to eat. There was no bathroom then. People would go to the bathroom out in the tomatoes and chiles. The children too.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Neighbors Question Cuba Migration Policy

“Encouraged by the U.S. ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy, Cuban migrants often become victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and violence.... It is time for the United States to change its outdated policy for Cuban migrants, which is undermining regular and safe migration in our continent.”

Editorial, New York Times
August 31, 2016

Nine Latin American governments this week called on the United States to end its preferential immigration policy for Cubans, calling it “discriminatory” and a boon to human smuggling networks in the region.

In a rare public letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, the foreign ministers of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru requested a high-level meeting to discuss a policy that they said is fueling the “disorderly, irregular and unsafe” migration of Cubans through their countries.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

La Confusión Calculada de Trump/Trump’s Calculated Confusion

La Confusión Calculada de Trump
Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
30 de agosto, 2016

(English Version follows below)

No Sr. Trump, no somos tontos.

El hecho de que la mayoría de los votantes latinos no apoyan a Trump, sino que se oponen a él, ha producido una reacción de su parte de rodear su ‘plan migratorio” en una neblina de confusión. Con esto piensa confundir, no a los latinos, sino a los votantes republicanos no extremistas de raza blanca quienes se han opuesto a su plan de deportación masiva. Este hecho es un tributo a nuestro movimiento que ha ganado los corazones de la mayoría de los ciudadanos norteamericanos, a causa de nuestro esfuerzo de mantener unificadas a nuestras familias.

Esta “neblina migratoria” de Trump no es otra cosa que el mismo mecanismo de la derecha republicana ha empleado para estancar todo progreso en el Congreso. La diferencia es que si Trump fuera el presidente, los resultados serían desastrosos.[...]

Trump’s Calculated Confusion
By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
August 30, 2016

No Mr. Trump. We are not Stupid!

Trump’s lack of support – indeed his opposition – by Latino voters is driving him to surround his “immigration plan” in a fog of confusion. His target is not Latinos – it is white moderate Republican voters who opposed his mass deportation plan. That is a tribute to our movement which has won the hearts of the majority of U.S. citizens with our effort to keep our families together.

Trump’s “immigration fog” is really the same stall that right wing Republicans have been using in Congress. The difference is that if Trump were President the results would be disastrous.[...]

Lea el artículo completo/read the full article:!topic/sanctuarymovement/rl468APdgFw

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Being a Mexican Migrant Worker and Female, a Recipe for Double Discrimination

During the 2015 financial year - which runs from October 2014 to September 2015 – the United States government issued a total of 108,144 H2A visas and 69,684 H2B visas. Male Mexican workers benefitted from 94 per cent of the H2A visas and 74 per cent from the H2B visas.

By Emilio Godoy, Equal Times
August 26, 2016

“I want to go back but they won’t let me. When I called the employer, they told me the quota had already been filled,” forty-five year old Leonor Rodríguez, from Ixtacuixtla (in the state of Tlaxcala, some 11 kilometres south of Mexico City), tells Equal Times. This Mexican woman is not able to work in Canada. Each time she submits an application for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), established by Canada and Mexico in 1974, she is denied a place.

On 2 February, Rodríguez went to the National Employment Service of Tlaxcala to request a place on the SAWP. An employee informed her that she couldn’t work in Canada, because “there were no requests for women” and that, if she wanted, he would put her “on reserve in case any places for women came up”.

A single mother with five children, she had worked under the SAWP between 2005 and 2011 in greenhouse floriculture and strawberry growing in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Colombia.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

22 Migrant Women Held in Pennsylvania Start a Hunger Strike to Protest Detention

On Wednesday Ms. Alberto and 21 other women who call themselves “Madres Berks,” or “Berks Mothers,” restarted a hunger strike they had conducted for 16 days in August.

By Liz Robbins, New York Times
September 2, 2016

Margarita Alberto cannot forget the tantrum her 6-year-old son threw several months ago. One afternoon he started shouting that he wanted to leave the Pennsylvania immigration detention center for families, where they have been held since Oct. 28, 2015, “He said, ‘It’s your fault that we’re here, your fault!’” Ms. Alberto said.

And then, she recalled, he tightened the lanyard holding his ID card around his neck, threatening to choke himself if they didn’t get out.

Ms. Alberto and her son, migrants from El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States, are still detained, along with 65 other women and children at the Berks County Residential Center in Leesport, Pa., about 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Harvard. Debate Briefs on Immigration. 1898-1908

[This blog posting shows how little the immigration "debate" has changed in the last century.--TPOI]

By Irwin Collier, Economics in the Rearview Mirror
September 1, 2016

A few posts ago I provided a short selection from Harvard Professor Thomas Nixon Carver’s autobiography that reminded me of the current Republican U.S. Presidential candidate’s immigration policy. I must still have had Donald Trump on the mind when I stumbled upon a book of model debate briefs for issues of the late 19th/early 20th century. One might want to first watch the speech Donald Trump gave on immigration policy last night (August 31, 2016) in Phoenix, Arizona and then examine the debate briefs below for the following three resolutions:

Resolved, That immigration should be further restricted by law.

Resolved, That a high tax should be laid on all immigrants to the United States.

Resolved, That the policy excluding Chinese laborers from the United States should be maintained and rigorously enforced.

Zombie ideas are everywhere.

Briefs for Debate on Current Political, Economic, and Social Topics.

Edited by
W. Du Bois Brookings, A.B. of the Harvard Law School
Ralph Curtis Ringwalt, A.B.
Assistant in Rhetoric in Columbia University

With an introduction by Albert Bushnell Hart, Ph.D.
Professor of Harvard University.


[From the Preface:]

“The basis of the work has been a collection of some two hundred briefs prepared during the past ten years by students in Harvard University, under the direction of instructors. Of these briefs the most useful and interesting have been selected; the material has been carefully worked over, and the bibliographies enlarged and verified….

…” the brief is a steady training in the most difficult part of reasoning; in putting together things that belong together; in discovering connections and relations; in subordinating the less important matters. The making of a brief is an intellectual exercise like the study of a disease by a physician, of a case by a lawyer, of a sermon by a minister, of a financial report by a president of a corporation. It is a bit of the practical work of life.[...]

Read the full blog post:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What Donald Trump Knew About Undocumented Workers at His Signature Tower

He has long denied knowingly using undocumented workers to demolish the building that would be replaced with Trump Tower

By Massimo Calabresi, Time
August 25, 2016

In the summer of 1980, Donald Trump faced a big problem. For six months, undocumented Polish laborers had been clearing the future site of Trump Tower, his signature real estate project on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, where he now lives, maintains his private offices and hosts his presidential campaign.

The men were putting in 12-hour shifts with inadequate safety equipment at subpar wages that their contractor paid sporadically, if at all. A lawyer for many of the Poles demanded that the workers be paid or else he would serve Trump with a lien on the property. One Polish worker even went to Trump’s office to ask him for money in person, according to sworn testimony and a deposition filed under oath in a court case.

For help, Trump turned to Daniel Sullivan, a 6-ft. 5-in., 285-lb. labor consultant, FBI informant and future officer of the Teamsters Union. “Donald told me he had difficulties …,” Sullivan later testified in the case. “That he had some illegal Polish employees on the job.”

Sullivan had been helping Trump negotiate a casino deal in New Jersey at the time, and he testified that he was shocked by Trump’s admission. “I think you are nuts,” Sullivan testified that he told Trump. “You are here negotiating a lease in Atlantic City for a casino license and you are telling me you have got illegal employees on the job.”[...]

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Friday, September 9, 2016

On Immigration Policy, Partisan Differences but Also Some Common Ground

Relatively few express negative views of undocumented immigrants

By Pew Research Center
August 25, 2016

The public is divided over many aspects of U.S. immigration policy. However, when asked about the priorities for policy toward illegal immigration, more Americans say better border security and a path to citizenship should be given equal priority than favor either approach individually.

The new national survey, conducted August 9-16 among 2,010 adults, also finds that a large majority (76%) says that undocumented immigrants are as hard-working and honest as U.S. citizens, while 67% say they are no more likely than citizens to commit serious crimes. The survey also finds continued public opposition to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: 61% oppose this proposal, which is little changed from earlier this year.

Overall, 29% of the public prioritizes “creating a way for immigrants already here illegally to become citizens if they meet certain requirements,” while (24%) say the focus should be on “better border security and stronger enforcement of immigration laws.” However, when given the option, a 45% plurality does say that both should be given equal priority.[...]

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

As the Private Immigrant Detention Business Persists, Families Fight Back

Moussa's family was one of thousands torn apart by policies like the detention quota, which is a federal policy that mandates that 34,000 spaces for immigrant detainees be maintained every day.... [P]rivate prison companies -- which run 62 percent of ICE detention facilities -- receive millions of dollars in federal funds as a result.

By Mich P. Gonzalez, Truthout
August 23, 2016

Moussa came to the United States nine years ago seeking asylum. He lost his asylum case, but while appealing the decision, he fell in love with Victoria. The two were married and have three beautiful children together. Moussa also adopted Victoria's two children from a prior relationship. When Victoria filed for a family petition on his behalf in April 2015, they thought their immigration struggles were finally over. Sadly, they had just begun.

The last time I wrote about Moussa, he was sitting in a detention center in New Orleans and his family was praying that immigration authorities would exercise their discretion to stop his deportation and release him. At that time, Moussa was enduring his 10th month of incarceration. The following afternoon, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied Moussa's request without informing his family or his attorneys at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Three days later, ICE forcibly attempted to put Moussa on a plane to Chad. That Monday morning, June 27, 2016, Moussa called his advocates at AFSC to tell the story of his near-deportation. His voice was cracked and muffled over the phone as he explained how he was woken up gruffly at dawn, shackled at his ankles and handcuffed. How he was transported by van to an airport in Houston, where four ICE officers attempted to force him onto a plane without explanation. How he cried out for help and resisted permanent separation from his family by refusing to walk. How the officers aggressively attempted to strap him into a wheelchair and how he refused to sit still. How his deportation officer punched him in the neck with a closed fist and told him to "stop screaming like a pregnant woman."[...]

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Don't deport my husband: Petition to Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representative Lee Zeldin

Update, September 10, 2016: I am so happy to announce that Rony is no longer being detained in Texas. He is home with Ava and Teddy and I, his wife, in NY. We are enjoying each moment, grateful for all of the support and prayers and stories we have received. It is beyond wonderful to be together again after eight long months. Thank you everybody!!! XOXO Rony, Kristina, Ava and Teddy.

[This petition had 25,207 signatures as of September 6, 2016.]

Petition by Kristina Granados
East Setauket, New York

My husband, Rony, lost most of his male relatives to the drug cartels in Honduras. Rony’s father owned land that he would not hand over, so his family was brutally murdered. My husband came to the US looking for a safer life but is currently in deportation proceedings that would send him back to the extortion and violence he fled.

Our daughter, Ava Lily, is about to turn one -- and as she starts taking her first steps, Rony is sitting in a detention center in Texas. He has been an amazing father to his disabled step-son and he is a hardworking man who supported us with his landscaping business. The consequence of sending him back to Honduras and the murderous drug cartels will likely be his demise -- leaving me a widow and his children without a father.

Rony has other family here who sought asylum in the US after hurricane Mitch hit Honduras in 1998. They’ve remained a big part of our lives and we all want him safely with us.

In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, immigration officers can pardon a detainee under prosecutorial discretion. Please join me in asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement to grant prosecutorial discretion to Rony Francisco Granados Hernandez based on the extortion and murder of his family.

Please help Rony return to his loving family. Thank you for your support.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

390 Human Rights, Social Justice, Faith-Based, Labor, and Immigrant Rights Groups are Calling for an International Convergence at the U.S./Mexico Border from October 7-10, 2016

Activists will gather at the border in the lead-up to the November elections, to highlight U.S. foreign policy as one of the root causes of migration, and to stage protests and nonviolent direct action against racism, xenophobia and U.S. militarization at home and abroad.

Contact: Hendrik Voss, 202-425-5128,
Olmeca, 323-646-2762,
Eduardo García, 484-663-1163,
María Luisa Rosal, 202-710-2343,

Nogales, AZ – Thousands of activists throughout the United States and Mexico will gather on both sides of the border since the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) is moving its annual vigil to the line between Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora from October 7-10, 2016.

After holding an annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, for 26 years, SOA Watch and partner groups, based on broad-based grassroots power, will push back against militarization of the border, against criminalization of migrants and refugees, and to name the root causes of migration. SOA Watch and the endorsing organizations will stand on the side of mutual aid and solidarity, and build power for a culture shift.

Communities are being targeted for assassination and state repression throughout the Americas by U.S. trained military and police forces. People from Latin America continue to be forced to flee from U.S. trained repressive security forces, only to be confronted with a militarized border, racist laws, and xenophobic rhetoric in this election cycle. Black and Brown bodies in the U.S. continue to be targeted, systematically imprisoned and killed in the same way. We can no longer separate the issues and today we say enough! We cannot look at immigration reform without looking at its root cause. We cannot discuss police brutality or the prison industrial complex in the U.S. without discussing its root purpose. State violence is used to exert control and oppress our communities in order to maintain an exploitative racist system that benefits the few. Today we say enough!

The convergence will include workshops and events on both sides of the U.S./ Mexico border, as well as art, music, and resistance. We invite you to join us. To learn more about why SOA Watch is moving from the gates of Fort Benning to the border, visit


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Monday, September 5, 2016

Latino immigrants are unnoticed casualties of US 'war on terror' – study

By Alan Yuhas, The Guardian
August 21, 2016

The war on terror has inordinately affected Latino immigrants for the last 15 years, according to two sociologists who say Donald Trump has simply made explicit fears that long linked linked terrorism with anxieties about migrants and Muslims.

In a research paper presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle, Luís Romero and Amina Zarrugh, sociologists at the University of Texas at Austin, argued that since the attacks of September 11 2001, the US has increasingly merged terrorism and immigration in official policy and the daily work of its government agencies.

“Trump is articulating, in its most explicit terms, a connection that’s been insinuated and elaborated perhaps less colorfully and less explicitly, but that’s been going on for quite some time,” Zarrugh said. “The American public has been primed for these connections for at least a decade.”

She and Romero pored over 15 years’ worth of speeches and government documents to chart the merger and its effect on Latinos. Months after the attack, congressmen started warning of “porous borders”, and years of false claims and alarming ads about terrorist activity at or near the border followed.[...]

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Friday, September 2, 2016

No Need to Build The Donald's Wall, It’s Built

Trump’s America Already Exists on the Border

By Todd Miller, TomDispatch
August 23, 2016

At the federal courthouse, Ignacio Sarabia asks the magistrate judge, Jacqueline Rateau, if he can explain why he crossed the international boundary between the two countries without authorization. He has already pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor commonly known as “illegal entry” and is about to receive a prison sentence. On either side of him are eight men in the same predicament, all still sunburned, all in the same ripped, soiled clothes they were wearing when arrested in the Arizona desert by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Once again, the zero tolerance border enforcement program known as Operation Streamline has unfolded just as it always does here in Tucson, Arizona. Close to 60 people have already approached the judge in groups of seven or eight, their heads bowed submissively, their bodies weighed down by shackles and chains around wrists, waists, and ankles. The judge has handed out the requisite prison sentences in quick succession -- 180 days, 60 days, 90 days, 30 days.

On and on it goes, day-in, day-out. Like so many meals served in fast-food restaurants, 750,000 prison sentences of this sort have been handed down since Operation Streamline was launched in 2005.[...]

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