Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Most People Saw: David Bacon Reports on Anti-Racist Demos in the Bay Area

March against racism, San Francisco, August 26. Photo: David Bacon
Making the scufflers so visible makes everyone else invisible.  Sure, editors choose what to put on the page or website.  But as media workers we can also see what's real and what's not.

By David Bacon, The Reality Check
August 30, 2017
Relying on the photographs, reporting and video in the mainstream media can give you a false idea about the marches and demonstrations against white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers in San Francisco and Berkeley last weekend.  The newsroom adage says, "if it bleeds it leads."  But screaming headlines about violence, and stories and images focused on scuffles, were not a good reality check. 

Mainstream coverage was miles away from the reality most people experienced.[…]

Read and view the full report, plus a list of book events in northern California:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

NYC 8/30/17: March to #DefendDACA! Immigrants are Here to Stay

Meet at Columbus Circle (1 Central Park West)
Wednesday, August 30 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Hosted by Make the Road New York, New York Immigration Coalition, DRUM, United We Dream, Women's March, 32BJ SEIU and many others

Trump is considering ending DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). This would constitute an act of all-out war against immigrant youth, who are protected from deportation by DACA, and our communities. It would put nearly one million immigrant youth and their families in grave jeopardy. 

On Wednesday, we are standing up to RESIST by marching to save DACA. We need you to stand with us!

The threat to DACA is a reckless and heartless attack rooted in the same white supremacy that we saw on display in Charlottesville, and in Trump’s failure to denounce it. His clear agenda is to terrorize immigrants and our families through mass deportation and to try to make this nation as white as possible. 

It is a horrific and racist strategy, and we will continue to resist it—and organize to protect our young people and families—with every ounce of our strength.[..]

For more information and Spanish translation:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Federal Judge Put Hundreds of Immigrants Behind Bars While Her Husband Invested in Private Prisons

Judge Linda Reade’s husband bought more prison stock five days before one of the nation’s biggest immigration raids.

By Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones
August 24, 2017
It was almost lunchtime inside the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, on May 12, 2008. The meatpackers, mostly migrants from Guatemala and Mexico, wore earplugs to block out the noise of the machinery and couldn’t hear the two black helicopters hovering overhead or the hundreds of armed federal immigration agents closing in around them until the production line stopped. One worker tried to flee with his knives, stabbing himself in the leg when he was pushed to the ground. “They rounded us up toward the middle like a bunch of chickens,” a 42-year-old Guatemalan worker later recalled. “Those who were hiding were beaten and shackled.” 
Postville after the 2008 workplace raid. Photo:  Stephen Mally/NY Times
Nearly 400 workers were arrested in the bust, which cost $5 million and was then the biggest workplace immigration raid in US history. They were driven to the National Cattle Congress, a fairground in Waterloo, where several federal judges would handle their cases over nine business days. Hearings were held in trailers and a dance hall. Cots were set up for the defendants in a nearby gymnasium. At the time, undocumented immigrants caught in raids like this were usually charged with civil violations and then deported. But most of these defendants, shackled and dragging chains behind them, were charged with criminal fraud for using falsified work documents or Social Security numbers. About 270 people were sentenced to five months in federal prison, in a process that one witness described as a “judicial assembly line.”]…]

Read the full article:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Organizing Against Racism: Two Articles

We feel these two articles make points that are important for all of us interested in organizing around immigrant rights. The articles don’t focus on immigration specifically, but there’s no way to address the immigration system without addressing the racism inherent in it.—TPOI editor
Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Challenging the “White Ally” Model: To Defeat Racism, We All Need to Dismantle Racial Capitalism

By Rafael Diaz, In These Times
August 25, 2017
This month’s white supremacist rally and deadly attack in Charlottesville again reminded millions of white Americans that racism did not, in fact, end with the 2008 election of Barack Obama. In the wake of the recent events in Virginia, there has been lively debate over white people’s proper role in joining in the fight against white supremacy. This is understandable. After all, people of color have reason to question whether those who took so long to acknowledge the existence of racism can be trusted to fight against it.

But white supremacy is a system that does more than just oppress people of color. It serves to divide us and keep poor and working people from building the power necessary to create a more equitable world. We should be wary of calls for white folks to step to the side because they’re not victims of racial prejudice. This approach isn’t just wrong-headed—it lets white people off the hook. They need to fight on the front lines for racial justice alongside the rest of us.[…]

Read the full article:

A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy

Some of the most significant work confronting homophobia, sexism and racism has been done by working-class people of all ethnicities through collective struggle in the labor movement.

By Gabriel Kristal, Working In These Times
August 10, 2017
Ever since the earth-shaking election of Donald Trump, there have been innumerable articles arguing that Democrats brought this upon themselves by losing white, working-class voters in the Midwest. These articles have been met with a torrent of essays urging Democrats to focus on becoming the party of diversity. And, coming back from the dead like a bloated zombie corpse is Mark Penn and Andrew Stein’s New York Times piece calling for a return to Clintonian centrism.

All of these discussions imply that progressives can either fight for voters from the working class or communities of color—but not both at once. This line of thinking demonstrates a profound lack of faith in democracy and the electorate’s ability to smell bullshit.[…]

Read the full article:

Update on “Manhattan Church Provides Sanctuary for Mother Targeted by ICE”

Guatemalan Immigrant Who Took Refuge at Church Granted Stay of Deportation

By Carolina Pichardo, DNA Info
August 22, 2017
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The undocumented Guatemalan immigrant with three young kids who last week took refuge at a church on West 179th Street to avoid deportation has been granted a temporary reprieve in her quest to remain in the country, officials said.[…]

Read the full article:
For more on the story:

Friday, August 25, 2017

Will September Bring a Big Immigration Showdown?

Immigration issues seem set to get renewed public attention next month. Ten rightwing state governments are suing to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the popular program that grants temporary protection from deportation to about 800,000 younger immigrants), and Trump is threatening a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve funding for his border wall. Meanwhile, there are reports that Trump’s new chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, is planning to push Congress for a “grand bargain” immigration bill which would shield DACA recipients while stepping up detentions and deportations, funding some type of “wall” (mostly through still more border enforcement), requiring that all employers use E-Verify, and cutting legal immigration in line with the RAISE Act proposal that Trump was promoting earlier this month.

If true, this seems like a classic divide-and-conquer strategy, intended to set DACA recipients against supporters of broader rights for immigrants. The approach is unlikely to work with most immigrant activists, but there’s the danger that it might appeal to a number of centrist Democrats. What’s certain is that any “grand bargain” approach would probably bring immigration back into the center of public debate, and we can expect a barrage of false information about immigrants. Will immigrant rights supporters be prepared to fight the propaganda with real facts and analysis and to answer the Trump agenda with a program that’s both humane and realistic?—TPOI editor

Trump under the gun as Dreamers deadline looms
The president must decide whether to side with his conservative base or young undocumented immigrants.

By Seung Min Kim, Politico
August 23, 2017
President Donald Trump has been unusually cautious about his plans for so-called Dreamers, but he’s running out of time to make up his mind.

Ten conservative states have threatened to sue the administration in order to kill off the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a 2012 initiative that has granted work permits to nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants. They’re trying to replicate their legal tactic from more than two years ago, when a broader coalition of GOP-led states successfully stopped a more expansive program for millions of undocumented immigrants before it even began.[…]

Read the full article:

Shutdown threat grows as Trump digs in on wall
The fight over the border wall is likely to explode in September.

By Josh Dawsey, Politico
August 23, 2017
President Donald Trump’s vow Tuesday to close down the government if he doesn’t get money for the border wall mirrors private comments he has made to advisers in recent days — and could cause significant rifts within his own party if he follows through.

The fight over the wall is likely to explode in September as the administration wrangles over a new budget, an increase in the debt ceiling, the beginning of a tax reform package and a possible resuscitation of health care legislation.[…]

Read the full article:

Congress was preparing for some immigration skirmishes. Trump wants a battle royal.
The administration’s threatening shutdowns and floating “grand bargains.” Here’s what Congress actually wants.

By Dara Lind, Vox
August 23, 2017
The Trump administration has been active in changing immigration policy through the executive branch, but it’s turning its sights toward Congress.

President Donald Trump himself is already in demand-making mode: On Tuesday, he threatened a government shutdown at the end of September if he hasn’t gotten money for his border wall (which Congress was unwilling to give him in April).

But as big an ask as that might be, the White House’s expectations for Congress are actually much, much higher than that — much to Congress’s chagrin.

A new report by McClatchy’s Anita Kumar suggests several key Trump advisers, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, are hoping for a “grand bargain” on immigration.[…]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Myth of White Safety in White Numbers

Whites living in and around diverse sanctuary cities are substantially less likely to die from violent death than anywhere else.

By Mike Males, YES! Magazine
August 22, 2017
The latest manifestation of White Americans’ open racial animosity, from the election of President Donald Trump to the recent violence in Charlottesville and the emboldened rhetoric of White nationalists since then, suggests continued anxiety that research indicates is grounded in an overriding fear of non-Whites.

But new data show that fear is irrational.

While White people tend to feel safer when they dominate the population, and feel threatened by the visible presence of other races, they actually are safer in racially diverse communities.[…]

Read the full article:

For more on sanctuary cities and crime:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Two Reviews: In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte

Two new reviews of David Bacon’s latest book have come out recently. Both are available at Bacon’s blog, The Reality Check:

Review: In the Fields of the North (En los campos del norte)

By Eve Ottenberg, Labor Notes
August 8, 2017
David Bacon's unforgettable new English-Spanish photo-essay, In the Fields of the North (En los campos del norte), is about migrant farm workers on the West Coast. Bacon says that without unions, the state of affairs in the fruit and vegetable fields would be even sorrier.[…]

Read the full review:

Chasing the Harvest' and 'In the Fields of the North'

By Elaine Elinson, SF Gate
July 19, 2017
In 1946, Carlos Bulosan documented the gritty lives of Filipino migrant workers in California in his autobiographical novel "America Is in the Heart."

Since that time, there have been a wealth of books about California farmworkers, from Steinbeck's iconic "Grapes of Wrath" to Peter Matthiesen's "Sal Si Puedes," published at the height of the Delano grape strike, to Matthew Garcia's recent "From the Jaws of Victory," with revelations from an excavation of United Farm Workers archives.[…]

Read the full review:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Renegotiating NAFTA Will Only Serve the Rich -- Just Like It Always Has

By David L. Wilson, Truthout 
August 21, 2017
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect at midnight on January 1,
A Mexican response to NAFTA, January 2994
1994. That night, thousands of Indigenous Mayans rose up in arms in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, seizing at least five towns and declaring NAFTA a "deathcertificate" for people like themselves. This was just the beginning of Mexico's troubles in a year that brought countless protests, hotly disputed elections and the assassinations of two of the then-ruling party's leaders. 1994 ended with a sudden devaluation of the peso, the start of an economic collapse from which the country didn't recover fully for years.

NAFTA is back in the news this month: On August 16, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, the other two NAFTA nations, to open talks on renegotiating the pact.

While it's true that NAFTA was just one of the many problems Mexico had in the 1990s, we have to wonder, given the renewed focus on the trade accord, why US mainstream media have carried so little discussion of the events that accompanied NAFTA's rollout in Mexico.[…]

Read the full article:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Trump Guts Obama’s Program for Central American Kids

The White House is now cutting out part of the Central American Minors (CAM) program that the Obama administration set up in 2014 to admit some underage refugees fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

We wrote two years ago that the CAM program seemed to be less about saving kids than “about giving the impression that the U.S. government is finally addressing the root causes of immigration—causes which to a large extent are the result of past and present U.S. policies.” In fact, as of earlier this year, the program had only led to the admission of some 2,400 refugees and parolees, with about 2,700 others granted conditional parole but still waiting to come to the U.S. But the program has at least saved some children from danger, and now Trump is eliminating the parole option, leaving the conditional parolees stranded in Central America.

Presumably this will gratify the rightwing politicians and journalists who targeted the CAM program back in 2015. Then-senator Jeff Sessions claimed the program had “created a dangerous situation" and the fact-challenged Daily Caller warned about “potentially millions of current and former illegal immigrants” bringing their children into the country.—TPOI editor

Jeff Sessions' "dangerous situation."  Photo: Jennifer Whitney/NY Times                     
Program allowing some minors from Central America into U.S. halted

By Greg Moran, San Diego Union Tribune
August 15, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it plans to shut down a program that offered some children and young adults from three Central Amercian countries a chance to lawfully immigrate to the U.S. to join their parents.

The decision will close down a portion of the Central American Minors program, established in 2014 under President Obama as a way to slow the stream of minors from strife-torn Central American countries.

The program allows unmarried youths under 21 years old from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who had one parent who had lawful status in the U.S. to apply for refugee status, from their home country.

If the refugee status was denied. they could still be allowed into the U.S. under humanitarian parole, a way to legally be in the country that is not permanent but must be renewed periodically.

In an announcement to be published in the Federal Register today DHS said that it was terminating the humanitarian parole part of the CAM program.[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Manhattan Church Provides Sanctuary for Mother Targeted by ICE

A Guatemalan immigrant has taken sanctuary with her three children at the Holyrood Episcopal Church in northern Manhattan; the move came after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told her to prepare for deportation. An August 17 press conference announcing her decision included the New Sanctuary Movement, Fr. Luis Barrios, NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, NYS Assembly Member Carmen de la Rosa, and many others.
Amanda Morales with her children and supporters. Photo Prensa Libre: Mundo Hispánico
Guatemalan immigrant seeks sanctuary in Manhattan church

By Claudia Torrens, AP via Seattle Times
August 17, 2017
NEW YORK (AP) — A Guatemalan immigrant with no authorization to live in the U.S. entered a church in Manhattan with her three children on Thursday to seek refuge from immigration authorities.

Amanda Morales, who has lived illegally in the U.S. since 2004, said she decided to seek sanctuary instead of showing up to her appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Morales said ICE told her during her last appointment this month that she would be deported and needed to buy a one-way plane ticket to Guatemala.

“I am scared, but at the same time I feel safe here,” she said during a press conference at Holyrood Church, in the Washington Heights neighborhood.[…]

Read the full article:

Manhattan church offers sanctuary to immigrant mother facing deportation

By NY1 News
August 18, 2017
A Manhattan church and several city leaders are standing by an undocumented immigrant facing deportation.

Amanda Morales is seeking refuge at the Holyrood Church in Washington Heights.

Morales moved from Guatemala to the United States in 2004 and is the mother of three children — all U.S. citizens.[…]

Read the full article and watch the video:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

When Deportation Is a Death Sentence: One Domestic Worker's Fight for Survival

By Sheila Bapat, Truthout 
August 13, 2017
Reina Gomez, 49, has been cleaning homes and caring for elderly people in South Florida since 2002. Her earnings as a domestic worker support her treatments for leukemia at a public South Florida hospital. Gomez was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007.

On July 31, Gomez had an appointment with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Gomez is facing deportation to Honduras, where she lived before fleeing to the United States to escape an abusive relationship. ICE told Gomez to buy an open-date ticket to Honduras and to bring it with her to her July 31 appointment. While ICE didn't render a final decision on her case on July 31, it plans to in mid-August.

And so, the specter of deportation looms, even though two Honduran hospitals have already told Gomez that they do not have the resources to treat her leukemia.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 15: Nationwide Events to Defend DACA

Together We Can Protect DACA and Immigrant Youth!

By United We Dream
August 11, 2017
August 15th marks 5 years since 800,000 immigrant youth have been able to get legal protection, go to college, and support their families because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

But some right wing Republicans have threatened to take it away as early as September 5 so we HAVE to mobilize now. Are you ready?

Ending DACA and a program called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 immigrants from Africa, Haiti, central America and other countries means the lives of over a million immigrants are in danger.

On August 15th, we need YOU to join thousands across the country to protect DACA and immigrant youth!

The clock is ticking – we must take to the streets and stand our ground! Let’s do this.

Join the march in Washington for DACA and immigrant youth on August 15th, or find an event near you:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Braceros Strike After One Worker Dies

By David Bacon, American Prospect
August 9, 2017
Risking deportation, Washington state farmworkers protest dangerous conditions in the fields.

A farmworker’s death in the broiling fields of Washington state has prompted his fellow braceros to put their livelihoods in jeopardy by going on strike, joining a union, being discharged—and risking deportation.

Honesto Silva Ibarra died in Harborview hospital in Seattle on Sunday night, August 6.  Silva, a married father of three, was a guest worker—in Spanish, a “contratado”—brought to the United States under the H-2A visa program, to work in the fields.

Miguel Angel Ramirez Salazar, another contratado, says Silva went to his supervisor at Sarbanand Farms last week, complaining that he was sick and couldn’t work. “They said if he didn’t keep working, he’d be fired for ‘abandoning work.’ But after a while he couldn’t work at all.”

Silva finally went to the Bellingham Clinic, about an hour south of the farm where he was working, in Sumas, close to the Canadian border. By then it was too late, however. He was sent to Harborview, where he collapsed and died.[…]

Read the full article:

Photo: David Bacon

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Advocates stage first big Texas protest against border wall

Hundreds march to oppose Trump’s proposed wall. Photo: AP/Eric Gay
By Nomaan Merchant and John L. Mone,  AP via Austin American-Statesman
August 12, 2017
MISSION, TX—Hundreds of protesters wearing white and chanting in English and Spanish marched Saturday in Texas’ first major protest against a border wall, crossing the earthen Rio Grande levee where President Donald Trump’s administration wants to build part of the first phase.

The protesters launched what’s expected to be a fierce movement against Trump’s best-known immigration policy priority. Many of the participants acknowledged they might not be able to stop a project that the U.S. government is already planning, but they hoped to draw national attention to the cause and persuade lawmakers who have yet to sign off on funding for the project.

“We might seem small and insignificant. Maybe we are,” said Anthoney Saenz, a 19-year-old native of the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost point of Texas and a region where Trump has proposed putting 60 miles of wall as part of a $1.6 billion proposal. “But when our voices come together,” Saenz said, “when we band together as a community to try to get a voice out there, we have to hope we get heard.”[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 10: Radio Interview With Politics of Immigration Co-Author

Politics of Immigration co-author David L. Wilson is being interviewed on Heartland Labor Forum (KKFI 90.1 FM, Kansas City) on August 10. Topics include the book’s updated second edition, for-profit detention centers and general immigration issues. The August 10 program, “The Politics of Immigration and Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy,” starts at 6 pm Central Time; it’s underwritten by Pipefitters Local 533 and United Auto Workers Local 249.

Kansas City's only radio show about the workplace and the labor movement.
Radio that talks back to the boss!

Thursdays 6:00-7:00 pm Central Time
Fridays 5:00-6:00 am Central Time

Live streaming:

Heartland Labor Forum’s July-August 2017 schedule:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Assimilation Goes Both Ways: Two Different Views

These two articles underline, in very different ways, an important point usually overlooked in discussions of immigration: that while immigrants assimilate to the society they settle in, that society also assimilates to them.—TPOI editor

Stanford sociologist flips assimilation formula in new book
In his new book, sociologist Tomás Jiménez turns the conventional analysis of assimilation on its head and dissects the phenomenon from the perspective of Silicon Valley’s established population.

By Milenko Martinovich, Stanford News
July 31, 2017
The conventional way of studying assimilation is to document the changes immigrants and their children experience when adapting to a new culture.

Stanford sociologist Tomás Jiménez flips the equation in his new book, The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life. Focusing on the unique composition and atmosphere of three distinct areas of Silicon Valley, Jiménez analyzes assimilation from the perspectives of the region’s established inhabitants by exploring how their lives have changed due to the presence of immigrants and interactions with them.[…]

Read the full article:

The Meaning of ‘Despacito’ in the Age of Trump

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff, New York Times
August 4, 2017
On Friday, “Despacito,” the hit song by the Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, became the most watched video on YouTube ever, with nearly three billion views. And it got there faster than any music video in history. Just over two weeks ago Universal Music announced it was also the most streamed song in history, if you combine the number of times people played the original song or video with a remixed version featuring vocals from the Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

The ascendance of “Despacito” is remarkable for a number reasons: Except for Mr. Bieber’s intro, the song is almost entirely in Spanish. (Despacito means “slowly,” and depending on how you interpret the lyrics, the song is about what you’d do slowly to someone you really like.) The rhythmic backbone of the song is reggaeton, a style with roots in Jamaica that developed in Puerto Rico and has long been popular in Latin America but has only occasionally broken through to the English-speaking world. The video is set in a storied Puerto Rican slum called La Perla and features a joyously multiracial cast.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trump Endorses Proposed Immigration Changes: Policy or Political Theater?

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
On August 2 President Trump announced his support for a bill introduced into the Senate by Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. (Following a recent Congressional tradition, the title is chosen to produce a misleading acronym, in this case “RAISE,” falsely implying that the law would somehow push U.S. wages up.) Contrary to confused reporting in much of the media, most serious analysts think the bill will never be passed. If enacted, it would drastically reduce visas for family members of citizens, but it would have little effect on employment visas.

The New York Times editorial board correctly remarked that “[t]he only way to understand Mr. Trump’s vocal support of an obvious turkey is as yet another attempt to energize his dwindling base of right-wing and nativist supporters.—TPOI editor

RAISE Act Effects Both Bigger and Smaller than Billed, New MPI Analysis Finds

From Migration Policy Institute Letter
August 4, 2017
The RAISE Act, introduced this week by two Republican senators and endorsed by President Trump, has gotten major media and public attention even as its chances for approval by Congress appear scant. Still, the ideas at the heart of the legislation seem likely to surface in future discussion over reform of the U.S. immigration system.

A new Migration Policy Institute commentary analyzes the two major proposals in the legislation: Deep cuts to family-based immigration and the creation of a points system for the selection of immigrants coming via employer sponsorship.

Analysis suggests the family-based cuts would fall hardest on U.S. residents seeking to bring in relatives from a small number of countries, India and Vietnam among them. While much attention has focused on the proposed points system and the sponsors’ promise of “merit-based” immigration, in reality the legislation would change employment-based immigration less than some might anticipate. The points system would largely echo the existing preference for higher-educated, higher-paid workers or for investors, and for those already in the United States on a temporary basis.

“As a whole, the implications of the RAISE Act may be both bigger and smaller than promised by its sponsors,” writes MPI Senior Policy Analyst Julia Gelatt.[…]

Read the analysis:

Trump Embraces a Senseless Immigration Proposal

By the Editorial Board, New York Times
August 7, 2017
President Trump has endorsed legislation that would slash legal immigration by half, mainly by cutting the number of visas granted to relatives of citizens, while favoring people who speak English and have advanced degrees. The bill, which would do nothing to solve the country’s immigration and economic challenges, is unlikely to become law. The only way to understand Mr. Trump’s vocal support of an obvious turkey is as yet another attempt to energize his dwindling base of right-wing and nativist supporters.

The bill was introduced by two Republican senators, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, who say it will protect American workers from competition from low-skilled foreign workers.[…]

Read the full editorial:

Monday, August 7, 2017

ICE Carries Out Second-Largest Deportation Sweep of the Year

In four days at the end of July, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 650 immigrants in the agency’s  largest series of raids since it made 680 arrests in February. Focused on the bizarre reality show in the White House, US media generally gave the latest sweep little coverage.

The ostensible purpose of the raids was bad enough: it was a continuation of the Obama administration’s sweeps last year targeting asylum seekers who had fled violence in Central America as minors or in family groups. But the great majority of the people actually detained weren’t in the targeted group; it appears that some 70 percent may just have been immigrants ICE agents encountered during the sweep. As usual, the government tried to bill the raids as an effort to rid the country of “criminal aliens,” but most of the people detained didn’t have criminal records. In typically misleading language, ICE justified its arrest of 38 minors by claiming that they “were at least 16 and had criminal histories and/or suspected gang ties” (emphasis added). (An ICE memo indicates that tattoos and hanging out in areas with gangs were enough to make a teen a suspected gang member.)

As Vox’s Dara Lind points out, this was the last major ICE operation before Gen. John Kelly left Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to become President Trump’s chief of staff. Commentators have been describing Kelly as a reasonable man who might bring the White House under control. Actually, what he did at DHS was the opposite of bringing people under control. He “unshackled” ICE agents who during the Obama administration had been pressured to limit detentions to groups like immigrants with criminal records. Now ICE agents seem to be free to pad out their arrest records by detaining any undocumented immigrants they happen to run into. It makes their jobs a lot easier.—TPOI editor

ICE announces results of Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Press Release
August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers apprehended 650 individuals during a four-day operation last week, Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve, which targeted individuals who entered the country as unaccompanied alien children (UACs) and family units.

This operation was the second iteration of Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve which first took place in January and February 2016 in response to the significant spike in families and UACs from Central America attempting to illegally cross the southern border.[...]

Read the full press release:

US deportation raids under Trump lead to huge rise in arrests of immigrants without criminal records
The rise comes even though immigration agencies in the US have a stated priority to target 'criminal aliens'

By Clark Mindock, The Independent
August 2, 2017
US immigration officers have arrested 650 people in communities across the US in the latest deportation sweep, but the vast majority of those picked up by law enforcement don’t have a criminal record — an apparent break from the organization’s stated priority to focus on “criminal aliens”.

In a crackdown that came close in size to a large-scale sweep earlier this year, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 650 people over a four-day span last month, including 38 minors. Of that group, though, 520 had no criminal record, compared to just 170 people who had no criminal records and were arrested in the earlier crackdowns.[…]

Read the full article:

What John Kelly's final ICE raid tells us about Trump's new chief of staff
Seventy percent of immigrants ICE arrested weren’t the people ICE was supposedly targeting.

By Dara Lind, Vox
August 2, 2017
Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a nationwide sweep — ostensibly designed to catch Central Americans who’d come to the US as family units — in late July. But according to the press release they sent out Tuesday, 70 percent of the immigrants they captured were merely collateral damage.

The statement said that of the 650 immigrants nationwide, fewer than 200 of those people were actually targeted in the operation: 73 members of family units, and 120 (former) unaccompanied children. The other 457 people — nearly three-quarters of those caught up in the sweeps — were simply “also apprehended” and arrested.

This is a stunning admission from the Trump administration. Even in the most generous accounting, that means more than half of the immigrants picked up in last week’s ICE raids hadn’t been targeted and didn’t have criminal records.[…]

Read the full article:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

New Trouble at GEO Group’s Northwest Detention Center

Northwest Detention Center on Lockdown Following Guard Beating of 18-Year-Old
Even attorneys are being turned away from visiting their imprisoned immigrant clients

Press Release, NWDC Resistance
August 4, 2017
Tacoma, WA – At five this morning, immigrants detained in at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) began e-mailing supporters with reports of a lockdown in section F3 of the facility. The NWDC, the largest immigrant detention center on the West Coast, has been the site of frequent protests, including a recent series of hunger strikes. The lockdown was triggered after a guard assaulted an 18-year-old detained at the facility, and those witnessing the assault vocally protested the mistreatment. Lights have been turned off and those detained are not being allowed to make any phone calls.[…]

Read the full press release:

Protesters support striking detainees in April. Photo: Tacoma Action Collective

Detainees flood unit with toilet water after early morning incident, ICE says

By Kenny Ocker, News Tribune
August 4, 2017
A guard at the Northwest Detention Center on Tacoma’s Tideflats watched a detainee draw on a sleeping bunkmate’s back Friday morning, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The detainee’s lack of cooperation, as well as the behaviors of others in his residence unit, led guards at the privately operated facility to enter a lockdown, according to a statement from ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

“After the offending detainee refused multiple commands to leave the unit with the officer, guards were required to remove him using minimal force,” Kice wrote.[…]

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Detainees have repeatedly protested conditions at the Northwest Detention Facility. Here are some earlier stories:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trump just delivered the most chilling speech of his presidency

The president of the United States is explicitly encouraging police violence.

By Dara Lind, Vox
July 28, 2017
In a speech to law enforcement officials in Long Island on Friday, the president of the United States delivered a clear and chilling message: He thinks that unauthorized immigrants are subhuman, and that law enforcement should treat them accordingly.

The ostensible villains of Trump’s speech: the transnational criminal gang MS-13, which started in California but has taken root in El Salvador and whose members have been fingered in a string of high-profile killings in Long Island. Trump described MS-13 members as “animals” who “have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.”

But the president has never been particularly scrupulous about differentiating “good” and “bad” immigrants.[…]

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images