March 2008 Archives

no due process, no truth

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kurnaz pic.jpg
[Image: Murat Kurnaz,]

This story (via Yglesias) from 60 Minutes about America's clandestine prison system for foreign nationals has my jaw on the floor.  I didn't think I would be this easily shocked after the last seven years of abuse the Bill of Rights has undergone. 

The story is simply amazing. 

(CBS) At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America's shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

The story Kurnaz told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley is a rare look inside that clandestine system of justice, where the government's own secret files reveal that an innocent man lost his liberty, his dignity, his identity, and ultimately five years of his life.

Immigrant's List still has not met their goal for letters sent and representatives contacted. Please help STOP THE SAVE ACT!

Thanks to Damn Mexicans for linking to The Feathered Bastard which covers an anti-Arpaio protest in The Battle of Bell Rd., Part Deux: Mayor Phil Gordon blasts Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

At I am a DREAMer Prerna writes I don’t understand the hatred (and yet I have lived with it most of my life.)

All I know is that in my heart, I did nothing wrong. In my day-to-day life, I do nothing wrong. All I am guilty of is love in defiance of a homophobic society and obedience to the people that gave birth to me. And if that is a crime, so be it.

Also read Time to file taxes - Undocumented worker filing taxes to the IRS. - "People without social security numbers, including undocumented immigrants, can file their taxes using an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number)."

Dallas Latino Night Clubs and Restaurants Raided by ICE at Latina Lista. - "A total of 49 undocumented immigrants who worked as security guards were reported arrested."

Migrating to El Norte at La Bloga.

When things go bad, many Americans commonly blame someone else for their problems. Historically, immigrants have been convenient scapegoats: They not only “take away” jobs from “hard-working” American citizens and deplete the country’s resources, the argument goes, they are criminals who have entered this country illegally and must be punished with jail or deportation.
I spent my quiet Sunday morning enjoying every one of the videos over at Border Stories, brought to my attention by our Pro-Migrant Sanctuaryshere wrangler, symsess. His daily digests reveal so many excellent reads from the good people working tirelessly in the blogosphere, but these little videos are so wonderful I just had to highlight them and give them my highest recommendation.

They're doing amazing work documenting the beautiful interconnectedness of people and communities at the border, and showing that the people most likely to be affected by the border wall don't actually support it. I highly recommend watching these Border Stories. Each one is only about 5 minutes long, but the inspiration and information value is that of a full length documentary. Once you see these little video gems, you'll want to pass em around, too. So wrap your mitts around a warm mug, pull up a chair, and take a little break from fighting the good fight. You'll emerge inspired to return to fight another day. 

Please visit the newly launched site A Dream Deferred.

Why is the SAVE Act not making news? This subject is covered by Dream Act Texas.An open letter to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times

It is reprehensible that you, as the most important newspaper media outlets in the country have not been informing the American people about the S.A.V.E. ACT (HB 4088) - that is currently being discussed in Congress.

Read about the anti-migrant legislation being introduced in California in California on an Anti-Immigrant Bill Roll at The Latin Americanist.

Watch and read about Border Stories at Smart Borders.

Clara and Sophia from the new group Border Stories are doing important work for la frontera. They are humanizing this entire border region one video clip, one interview, one face at a time. Their work could not have come at a better time.

Damn Mexicans give us the Scumbag of the Week - "Buffalo" Rick Galeener.

Taylor ISD May House Hutto Detainees at T Don Hutto blog.

Got word of this story from Jose Orta who is encouraging everyone to contact Dr. Bruce Scott, Superintendent of Taylor ISD, with a polite email to let him know that entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to house Hutto detainees for free is a bad idea.

Read Minuteman volunteers having annual 'spring watch' and In Texas, slur carries baggage of history at Just News.

The Human Cost of Profit Over People: Carlitos' Story

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{Crossposted from Harvesting Justice, a new interactive website from the DC-based non-profit Farmworker Justice.]

Corporate responsibility is not just another liberal platitude for Carlos (Carlitos) Herrera-Candelario of Immokolee, Florida.  The three year-old was born with spinal abnormalities, has no arms or legs and has a deformed lung because the company that employed his mother while she was pregnant has much to learn about seeing their workers as human beings instead of machines.  

In 2007 Carlitos’ parents sued AgMart, claiming that their irresponsible pursuit of profit at the expense of workers’ health and safety cost Carlitos a normal, healthy life.  They say AgMart, producers of “Santa Sweets” grape tomatoes and “UglyRipe” heirloom tomatoes, routinely exercised gross negligence and violated worker safety laws through unsafe practices with dangerous chemicals in their South Florida tomato fields. The list of violations included in their claim for punitive damages is long and infuriating.  It includes, among other things:

  • spraying fields with workers present;
  • ordering workers to reenter recently sprayed fields before the recommended airing out period had passed;
  • failing to provide protective equipment to workers;
  • burning used pesticide containers next to fields and workers
  • applying pesticides up to three times as often as allowed by law
  • and negligently using up to eighteen different chemicals on their crops including six classified by the EPA as the most dangerous to humans and the environment and five of which have been shown to cause birth defects in animals.
  • And intentionally ignoring state regulations pertaining to pesticides because "it felt that paying fines to the State was economically less expensive” 

Francisca Herrera, Carlitos’ mother, was sprayed with pesticides two or three times a week while working in AgMart’s fields when she was pregnant.  The chemicals turned her clothes green and stuck to her face, hair and hands.  She worked without gloves because she could not afford to buy them and her employer did not provide them for picking grape tomatoes.  (They did, however, provide gloves to workers picking heirloom tomatoes, because AgMart was “concerned that without gloves, the workers could bruise the UglyRipe tomatoes”). 

Sandy Hoyman photographer (4) med.jpg

Francisca suffered from skin rashes, headaches, earaches, burning eyes and sore throats from her exposure to these toxic chemicals but she continued to work out of economic necessity.  Kenneth Rudo, an environmental toxicologist from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services who has studied over a thousand pesticide cases over the last eighteen years, testified that Carlitos’ deformities were “more likely than not” caused by pesticides. 

Most of us agree that dumb fences are, well, just dumb. But 'smart' fences - that's another story. These 'smart' fences may even be able to tell us the meaning of life.  Unfortunately for their creator, the fences may have an epiphany causing them to implode and fall.

A Dream Deferred has officially launched. Watch the video here and take a moment to visit this wonderul site at A Dream Deferred.

Smart Borders writes Humansarehumansarehumans…

“People in the detention centers are treated as things,” an ACLU attorney stated to me at tonight’s meeting at San Felipe de Jesus Church in Brownsville. “In Raymondville, they referred to people as ‘bodies’ and their quarters as ‘pods.’ It is the most dehumanizing thing.”

Also read The Difference between the Dalai Lama and a Satyagrahi.

Read Los Desaparecidos at La Mariposa en la Pared.

While some of us read the morning paper, drank coffee, lingered in bed, made love, or worshiped the Lord, others were hard at work thoughtlessly plucking people from their lives of work and worry and placing them into prisons at the taxpayers' burden. A group of ICE officers, who had dined and drank and yucked it up with the waiter at that very restaurant the night before, laughed at the funny joke they were now playing on their gracious hosts.

NO TO SAVE ACT at Illegal Is Illegal.

Brave New DREAMs

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Brave New Films is launching a series of short films in a campaign to promote immigrants' rights. By highlighting the struggles of immigrant families in his films, Robert Greenwald combats anti-migrant animosity through the re-humanization of the fight for humane immigration reform. 

The first in the series, A Dream Deferred, seeks to resurrect national attention to the hopes of undocumented students in their pursuit of an education and the chance to succeed. Help keep the dream alive by viewing and commenting on this important film, and remember to sign the petition, too. 

Focusing on the SAVE Act please visit Dream Act Texas for a Four Part Series on this terrible bill. Saving the U.S. from the S.A.V.E. Act - part I / Part II / Part III / Part IV.

Here's a post on the SAVE Act from Eristic Ragemail as well titled SAVE: A War of Attrition Against the Immigrant Community and its Advocates

Oklahoma Anti immigration bill will cost state 1.8 Billion in revenue (You have to see the image in this post - read it too, of course) and The undesirables in U.S. God bless America.

Economic Impact of Oklahoma´s Restrictionist Immigration Law HB1804 = $1.8 Billion at Immigration Talk With a Mexican America.

SHORTY GUZMAN DEAD? at Border Reporter.

Dream Act Texas has Virginia's Dreamy Robot and Family torn by immigration laws.

Also at Dream Act Texas:

The anti-migrant sentiment seems to be catching on as we see examples of this same activity in the post Over 600 illegal migrants nabbed in northern Africa - in 2008.

Is Vogue Racist For Choosing This LeBron James /Gisele Bundchen Cover? at Vivir Latino.

If you're in or around Washington DC on César Chavez's birthday (March 31st) here's a good way to celebrate the great labor leader's life and work.

The Mexican Cultural Institute is currently showing an exhibit of photographs by award-winning California photographer Rick Nahmias.  Nahmias' photos document "the lives of one of America's largest invisible and disenfranchised populations" (farmworkers) and provides a powerful visual argument about the human cost of US agriculture.  The photos are also exhibited in Nahmias' new book, The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers, available from University of New Mexico Press.

Monday, March 31st
What is the Human Cost of Feeding America?

Roundtable Discussion with:

Demetrios G Papademetriou, President, Migration Policy Institute

Bruce Goldstein, Executive Director, Farmworker Justice

Irasema Garza, Member of the Board, Farmworker Justice

Rick Nahmias, Photographer, The Migrant Project

Presentation of the exhibit by the photographer

A Reception and book signing will follow.

The Mexican Cultural Institute is located near the Columbia Heights metro station at 2829 16th St NW.  To RSVP or for more information:,
(202) 728-1675 

The Unapologetic Mexican gives us some wonderful posts. In Your Papers, Fraulein we have the first successful use of the Rapid Response Network.

We have also learned that in some cases ICE agents are hanging out on corners and challenging people to show their papers on the street. In cases like this, the Rapid Response teams would be very useful and we need to start setting them up in the most affected communities.
Also watch the video Vigil (to End the War) - [MTV Vid 3-25-08].

Here's a link to the Citizen Orange post that gives information about the May 1st Coalition's Rapid Reponse Network. This post was given to us by yave.

Latino Politico writes "Wetback" Making A Comeback.

There are some words that have rightly been banished out of the lexicon of everyday conversation. They are loaded with hate, xenophobia and ignorance. Those who choose to use them are quite aware of their volatility, but have seen an opening lately to allow their bigoted views to be trotted out.

Another great post from Eristic Ragemail on the SAVE Act in SAVE: A War of Attrition Against the Immigrant Community and its Advocates

The Act is the product of the same Nativist mindset which gave us the 2005 Real ID Act. From almost every perspective, the 2005 Real ID Act is tremendous breach on what we have come to call civil liberties.

In Another Wonkette Post.... Damn Mexicans gives us a link to comments by Dobbs on Richardson's endorsement of Obama along with a Fox News beard report. I may be missing something, but I don't see how a full beard equals a "Hispanic" look.

I received the following statement a couple of days ago from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

"Before he leaves office, President Bush is trying to give another gift to his corporate allies. His Department of Labor has proposed sweeping changes to regulations intended to protect both U.S. and foreign workers in this country. The deadline for public comment is March 31, 2008, just a week away. Please add your voice to those who say 'no' to labor abuse.

"Farmworkers put food on our tables. Every time we sit down for a meal, we should thank them. Yet, if the Bush Administration gets its way, it will be easier for giant growers like Del Monte to hide behind middlemen and evade responsibility for labor abuses from which they profit. It also will be easier for big corporations to bring in foreign workers even if there is no shortage of U.S. labor. In a myriad of ways, the Bush Administration's proposals would erode protections for all workers.

"The systematic abuse of foreign and domestic laborers by powerful corporate interests is one of the most important human rights issues of our time. We've issued a major report, Close to Slavery, that exposes how "guestworkers" imported into this country are routinely exploited. We've also filed numerous lawsuits against some of the worst corporate violators. Just last week, we won a major victory against a Del Monte subsidiary.

"But it will take more than lawsuits and reports to stop the Bush Administration. It will take a public outcry from people of good will across the nation. Add your voice to those who say 'no' to labor abuse."

If you are so inclined, please go here to leave your input on this important issue.

Damn Mexicans linked to two hilarious Wonkette posts about the Department of Homeland Security that I thought would be good Tuesday reading. 

The first article describes outgoing USCIS director, Emilio Gonzalo, whining about a New York Times article on the horrible backlogs that have resulted during his tenure.  I love it that they call him a dumb blogger, and I also love all the comments that were published on the USCIS blog.  In addition to the comments Wonkette pointed out, here are a few more happy USCIS customers:

Harry Houdini was a migrant adopted by America and celebrated for his ability to escape various situations as well as his ability to make an elephant disappear.  Though not all migrants will come to know the fame of Houdini they, just like him, want to be citizens of this great nation. Sadly because of the onslaught of anti-migrant sentiment and laws they have come to know the terror of living in the shadows instead. 

ICE's military style raids of homes and businesses have many people searching for their loved ones and coming up empty handed.  Please read the Dream Act Texas post for resources to help find loved ones and feel free to provide others you may know of. 

U.S. Immigration Director Whines on His Blog and Story Time! - Office Lunch at Damn Mexicans. It's one thing to feel the punch to the gut when someone you deal with daily turns out to be a nativist - it's another when you're one of "those people" they're ranting about.

At Pro Inmigrant - Youths attack two Latino men with rocks, racist words.

Breakthrough released the ICE game recently while ICE themselves have been playing another game for quite sometime in ICE's game: make the immigrant disappear the agency plays Houdini with migrant's family members turning ordinary people into gumshoes searching for their relatives. Please see this post for resources to help find relatives arrested by ICE. - Dream Act Texas

Federal Immigrant Detention Policy Needlessly Tears Apart Families at Latina Lista.

This month, three months after she was first arrested, Margarita will finally be released from the detention center but won't be seeing her children. Instead, she'll be loaded on a transport and taken back to Mexico.

In It doesn't just happen to Latinos Dream Act Texas tells us of the Haitian migrant, Edwidge Danticat's story, which she wrote about in her book "Brother, I'm Dying."

Chronicle of Higher Education Article - Why Congress Should Revive the DREAM ACT at I am a DREAMer.

"They Wanted to Take My Baby": Interviews with Immigrant Detainees at the National Immigrant Justice Center. - This is a video which you should definitely watch.

Over the weekend, I was emailed by Roberto Lovato about the death of a musical genius, Israel "Cachao" Lopez.  I hope he doesn't mind if I respectfully quote his email, because I think it describes perfectly why a tribute to "Cachao" is so important:

After reading the mediocrity and ignorance of the press obituaries about Cachao, I found myself frustrated at how the big media devalues the life the dead with the same ferocity with which it devalues the living, as in the case of undocumented among us.

So, I decided to write and share my own tribute (below) in the knowledge that, if we do not celebrate our own, if we do not make their light brighter in this still troubled country, nobody will. Cachao's accomplishments were of the first order, deserving of much more than the "mambo guy" sidebars slapped sloppily onto the pages of most media.

For all the pro-migrants out there please consider entering the essay referenced at Dream Act Texas.  I believe a win by a pro-migrant supporter is essential in this struggle to help those in need.  We all believe this country is strengthened by immigration so enter to win and score a victory for true freedom, liberty and compassion.

ESSAY CONTEST: “Does immigration strengthen or threaten the United States?” and a post about the frustrations of being a DREAMer in Leaving the Hungry Kids in the Donut Shop at Dream Act Texas.

Special Latina Lista Post: Why Does the Nation Remain Silent While One AZ Sheriff Conducts Immigrant Manhunts? at Latina Lista

Some thoughts about the ‘DREAM Act’ movement from I am a DREAMer.

Immigrant's List is still in need of support to reach their goal of 2,500 letters sent. Please make sure you stop by and send one out to help stop the SAVE Act.

Also please support the pro-migrant videos over at Movement Vision Lab and vote for your favorite.

Mustang Ridge may open a new family detention center over at T. Don Hutto blog.

Hate Crime Film: A Dream in Doubt, Is This the Way to Treat a U.S. Vet?, Another Immigration RICO Claim Bites the Dust! and Clinton on Immigration: Why Does This Get So Little Play? at Immigration Prof Blog.

Many here know Arpaio is an anti-migrant hero.  He is celebrated for his ridiculous treatment of criminals and 'crackdown' on migrants in his Arizona community.  Though I'm not sure what positive effect Joe's criminal treatment provides I believe I have to agree with this quote from an Irish judge that Joe "appears to take a chillingly sadistic pleasure in his role as incarcerator."  It's quite obvious that Joe cares not for people in general or he wouldn't have staged a raid on Good Friday.  What harm is a migrant worker doing that he couldn't wait until after the Holy weekend?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio knows how to celebrate the Holy weekend and Jesus' sacrifice in Sheriff Joe Arpaio uses Easter weekend to round up brown people in Phoenix at Multiplicative Identity

Sheriff Joe Crucifies Human Rights on Good Friday at Latino Politico.

I failed to add this to yesterday's sphere so I wanted to give it attention today. From I am a DREAMer read Militarization of migration control - Scapegoating, Xenophobia and Profit-Making. There is more on this in Dream Act Texas's posts.

Many anti-migrants claim they are for "legal" immigration which stuns me as they often cite FAIR and Numbers USA in their arguments. For any of you that have spent time reading through anti-migrant message boards you know the nasty things written there.

Border Reporter gives us some terrible words used to describe migrants in A HOLDING PEN FOR WETBACKS

A crotchety, 75-year-old general manager of an Austin, Texas, water supply company is facing calls for his resignation after he referred to a proposed detention facility south of the city as a “holding pen for wetbacks” in a public notice, the Austin American-Statesman reports this morning.

On this Good Friday let us think of a person who gave his life for the good of others.  So many in this sanctuarysphere (and some yet to be discovered) exhibit that same spirit by working every day to help migrants and you should all be thanked for that.  Though religions may vary here they all preach common decency and courtesy.  We cannot let our spirits wane because of those that feel hatred and incivility are an acceptable way of life. We will continue to support one another until we have achieved our goals - freedom and justice for ALL.

Yesterday's post included Fash's plan to branch out internationally and find pro-migrant blogs in other country. Please visit Open Borders Lobby to see the many blogs she's found and help her find more.

Please take a moment to watch some wonderful pro-migrant videos at Movement Vision Lab and vote for the one you like best.

I'm going to save the laughs for the next section because you're going to need them after reading this. In An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex we read about an immigration official who used his authority to demand sexual favors from a hoping applicant. Fortunately she recorded the incident and gave the tape to the New York Times. At Mexico Trucker.

We know that everybody poops (even nativists), but not everyone poops in a Homeland Security building (although a bet there's a lot of poop in the air) Bush is calling this new wave of terror the "Bowel Movement" and will probably try to link it to Iran in Pooping Bandit Strikes Homeland Security Building! 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the principal immigration agency in the U.S. and successor to the INS, is in dire need of reform from top to bottom.

The agency has completely failed to keep up with the predictable (and predicted) surge in naturalization applications last year stemming from upcoming elections and a substantial fee increase for naturalization applications—from $400 to $675.  In addition, a new instance of bribery and malfeasance at USCIS in New York shines light on a system predicated on arbitrary decisionmaking and very little oversight, conditions that breed corruption and abuse. 

Preemptive Update: After writing most of this post, I saw that Nina Bernstein at the NY Times has blown the Baichu story wide open (I initially saw a shorter version reported in the NY Daily News).  I’ll definitely have more to say about this later.

Blogging for change; blogeando por cambio; bloguant pour changment at Open Borders Lobby.

Here's a new site to the sphere Orcinus with the post Spiting our faces

Among the folks have been (shall we say) particularly amused by Americans' current fetish about keeping out "illegal aliens" are Native Americans -- who of course have a somewhat unique perspective on the issue, having themselves long endured an "invasion" of "outsiders" and the subsequent "cultural change" that followed.

We are NOT talking Nonsense in Bars at Irish Voices.

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that we are not giving up on the undocumented Irish in the US. We will continue to battle on their behalf. We will not give up until this battle is over.

ANTIs and PROs find Common Ground! at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American

Smart Borders - La Frontera or My Students as Teachers.

The main reason I am against any sort of border wall is because my students deserve better than a border wall. Because they have taught me the plight of the immigrant in this country, I will campaign with the rest of my life for real immigration reform rather than symbols of evil like a border wall.

Nativist Republican Candidate Jim Oberweis’ Loses in Safe Republican Seat at Eristic Ragemail explores the further loses in the nativist camps.

Hot Topics on His Panic Blogs. - Working together for a common cause: American Dream at Pro Inmigrant.

More positive evidence - Immigrant neighborhoods have less crime! at Latino Politics Blog.

Watch the informative video The Schuler- Tancredo Bill and read English Only on School Buses at Damn Mexicans blog.  We're also reminded to contact our representatives to stop the SAVE Act.

Obama's Speech on Race Underscores Generational Division of Voters at Latina Lista.

Today was a historical day in Barack Obama's run for the Democratic presidential nomination and for the country as a whole. For the first time, a presidential candidate delivered a speech on the racial divide of this country from a PERSONAL perspective. Not as someone who watches it from the sidelines but who has lived it.

Damn Mexicans had a post up a while back mentioning that people had been asking about where to find immigration information online.  In belated response, I'm including below some resources, many of which I use on a regular basis in my work.  I can't say much about message boards since I don't visit most of them--from what I've seen, there is a little good information and a lot of bad.   Also, some of them have been overrun by trolls. 

I'll try to update this list below when new resources come to light (please send me any links I might have missed through the contact button on the sidebar or in comments below), and perhaps we can link to the list somewhere on the sidebar if people find it useful.

Please see the Important Note at the bottom of the page--in short, this is not intended to be a DIY guide, and you really should seek the assistance of an experienced attorney for any significant immigration matter.   

UPDATE: Here's the Video

Looks like I'm getting thrown into the Presidential horse race, and bringing it to this blog.  I just read the speech Obama gave to address the issues of race that have come to a boil in the Presidential campaign.  I have to confess the last part of it brought tears to my eyes.  I don't agree with all of it, but it certainly is well argued and well written.  And I don't feel like I'm being talked to through dozens of focus groups, polls, and sound bites.  Most of all, I wanted to read the whole thing through.  

I'd like to open up today's round-up with a question. If, as you'll read in Eristic Ragemail's post, politicians are being kicked out of office or not elected at all when they take an anti-migrant stance then why are the anti-migrant voices so loud? Are Americans against our current wave of migrants, but more afraid of anti-migrant extremism?  Or do they support the American dream, but just don't take time to show their views outside the ballot box?

If you go to any story about undocumented migrants the comments section makes you feel as though you need a shower. Do FAIR, Numbers USA and/or ALIPC ask their members to attack these comments sections?  I've covered a few anti-migrant rallies in person, and from afar, only to witness a dismal turnout. Though to hear these anti-migrant groups speak you'd think they were speaking from atop the White House itself to a million people. Where are the voters that refuse to buy into the anti-migrant rhetoric?

500 to 0ne - is the ratio of nativist callers to pro-migrant callers to the offices of congressional representatives in recent immigration law fights in the house and senate. Read more at People Migrate. This posts calls for others to join in a discussion about positive immigration reform.

This was good to see over at Long Island Wins - AntiImmigrant pols warned to back off and Suffolk bill dead.

"Irish Need Not Appy" was the reception many Irish received when fleeing Ireland during the great potato famine. Is that so different from what's happening now?  Read ¡Que Vivan Los San Patricios! The Unapologetic Mexican

And what (and how) did the Irish do when they finally reached this land of opportunity? For they were hardly celebrated and welcome. They were hardly (yet) part of the US that now looks down on the new THEM. // How quickly we forget what it means to be hungry, and how forgivable (and understandable and human and brave) it is to do something as small as cross a sea or a desert to feed yourself, and to live. How easily we overlook the very same patterns taking place in almost the very same order.

In McCain: Republicans Need to Abandon Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Eristic Ragemail illustrates the point that politicians need not fear taking a pro-migrant stance. I feel like a broken record, but we're seeing that anti-migrant politicians are getting kicked out of, or not elected to, office.

SAVE Act update at Migra Matters.

A Win for the PROs! Heinous Blackwater Security Facility will NOT be built in So Cal! at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

No Border Wall Walk Day 8 at Smart Borders.

It is this force we have sought to channel this week through a sustained, nonviolent demonstration through communities bracing for the effects of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. As it stands now, the border wall is federal law, and so to counter this legislation, we must begin to change the hearts of the constituents who voted in politicians who would espouse such an atrocity on our southern border. We must positively and nonviolently educate our brothers and sisters here and throughout the United States.

What happens when two sisters start a white supremacist pop group? Extremism Goes Mainstream over at Damn Mexicans.

Drugs wouldn't be a problem if nobody wanted them. Read The American side of the story on the Mexican Drug Cartels? at Dream Act Texas. Americans have to take the blaim for the proliferation of drug trafficking and the terror that goes along with the trade. I imagine most people that use drugs aren't too worried about the lives destroyed in getting them here. Also read Human Rights Violations against Migrants in Mexico.  Also make sure and read What does citizenship mean?.

Check out the posts here the "worst of the worst" ... or just an easy conviction? and Rapid Response Network Hotline - raids resource.  If you're in the NY/NJ area please check out the Rapid Response Network Hotline setup by the NJ May 1 Coalition and get the information out for migrants in these areas.
A new Rapid Response Network Hotline (1-800-308-0878) has been launched for migrants in New York and New Jersey to call at the time of contact with ICE.  Please distribute this information in any venues likely to reach migrants living in NY/NJ.  You can find the press release (pasted below) and promotional posters here.

Please note:

  • This number is not intended for nationwide use.  Unfortunately at present this number can only serve migrants in the New York/New Jersey area. 
  • This number should NOT be used for routine immigration inquiries.  It is meant to be called in emergencies only: DURING an ICE raid or upon contact with ICE officers.  This is a crucial time during which detention can potentially be avoided or negative legal consequences mitigated.
Together, we can help prevent raids and avoid the severe disruption to migrant communities that they cause.  We do this by informing migrants of their constitutional rights and by standing up for what we believe against an unjust and inhumane enforcement regime.

[Begin press release]

Apparently an incarceration ratio of 1 in 100, while good enough for U.S. citizen adults, is a little low for immigrants in the eyes of the feds. 

From Anna Gorman and Scott Glover at the LA Times (via Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings):

Federal authorities are cracking down on immigrants who were previously deported and then reentered the country illegally -- a crime that now makes up more than one-third of all prosecutions in Los Angeles and surrounding counties, a Times review of U.S. attorney's statistics shows.

Most of these prisoners were probably removed through an administrative removal proceeding after coming to the U.S. previously.  Most probably didn’t have access to counsel the first time around, which is just one of the due process violations prevalent in the pseudo-judicial immigration system.  But it’s ok, the government argues, because it’s “just a civil matter.”  No jail time involved—just “detention” on your way out of the country if you try to fight your case. 

But there are serious consequences if someone previously deported decides to come back to be with their children or spouse, or out of economic desperation.  Then the outcome of the previous administrative proceeding is used against them in criminal court.

stock exchange flag.jpgI was having trouble posting a comment to DREAMActivist's tough questions in a recent post at A Dream Deferred, so I thought I'd just put it up here.  It's kind of long for a comment, anyway.  I hope to have more to contribute to kyle and Dave Neiwert's conversation on putting forward an alternative paradigm for discussing issues of immigration and nationality, a conversation that really started before any of us were born and has been going on mostly unheeded for a long time.  I've been meaning to put my thoughts on this issue together in a more comprehensive fashion, but in the interest of continuing the conversation, here is an initial volley.

(Photo by Flickr user bnittoli used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

When I read the post Geraldo Rivera and the Zeitgeist of the New Nativist over at Eristic Ragemail I wanted to fire back on Amazon against those that chose to bash a book they'd never read. But I guess I should have realized that this is actually right up the nativist's alley as it mirrors the way they treat people.  They always seem to be looking for someone to hate and thankfully for us they often even look within their own faction for victims.

I'm reading Geraldo's book now so here's a link to a quick post I wrote with some quotes from it. 

What's the real problem of Lou Dobbs with HIS PANIC specially with Mexicans? at Pro Inmigrant along with Convicted of Federal Civil Rights Violations After Burning Cross and the terrible story of Francisco Castaneda who died from penile cancer in a detention center. (Here's a link to this story on this blog written by Kyle.)

This is a very important must read article for everyone. Revisting The Words We Use: The Rhetoric of Race at Para Justicia y Libertad.

Sadly, closet racists are unaware of their prejudices. Since this country refuses to take responsibility for sweeping racism under the rug, people will continue to feel like they are stepping on egg shells. As long as we continue to believing in a fallacy racism does not exist because we live in color-blind society, closet racist will continue to point to other groups, using terms such as “they,” or “those people,” instead of referring to themselves.

Check out Kyle's first Immigration post at his MTV Street Team blog.

I just put up my first post on immigration for the MTV Street Team.  If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know a lot of the information I put out there but I figure it's a good introductory post on the subject.

Continue the fight against the SAVE Act.

Action Alert on Shuler/Tancredo Bill over at Irish Voices blog.

ANTIs In Congress To FORCE Introduction of SAVE ACT (GESTAPO Bill) at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

Note to Readers: A number of ANTI websites including FAIR, NumbersUSA, and others are providing their members (blind followers) free fax and form letters for emails. They are being asked to mass call and deluge Congress´ emails and faxes. The ANTI sites are keeping track and hounding all Congress members who have not signed on. Here is an example of what the ANTI sites are saying. READ HERE
(Please visit ITWMA's blog, but I wanted to quote this because we have to act!) According to Roy Beck, of Numbers USA, "Nothing is more important in the fight against illegal immigration." Of course Roy Beck and his followers also want to stop immigration all together. Personally I believe nothing is more important than showing compassion towards one another and working towards a more positive world, but I guess that's why I'm not Roy Beck.

I am a DREAMer asks all DREAMers to participate in a questionaire. Please stop by and let your story and your voice be heard. Calling all DREAM Act Students to Participate - Giving Voice to our DREAMs. Also read Being ‘illegal’ gay and from Iran with no hope of political asylum?

No Border Wall Walk- Day 6 or the Day of Reflection at Smart Borders.

Immigration, which is the primary basis of our opposition to the borer wall, is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Our country has 12 million extralegal workers living and contributing to our GDP, and at least twice as many people who depend on their working power and hope to keep the extralegal residents “illegal.”

ICED Video Game Trailer

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In lighter news, Breakthrough has released a new trailer for it's ICED Video Game.  I wrote about it sometime ago, and symsess, who does our pro-migrant round-ups, at American Humanity wrote a review on the game.  Without further ado, the trailer...

Image: From logik789 Flickr

It's no secret that we are losing the battle. Despite all the positive developments in the pro-migrant blogosphere, despite all the heroic people standing up for our humanity, every we day we allow migrants to live through this fear and government oppression is a day we lose.

Today I bring you the story of two migrants, rendered faceless by national media.  These are people, PEOPLE I say, that matter so little to the national press that I haven't been able to find pictures of them.  Their stories are shocking enough to merit words on a page, but they are not personally important enough to be humanized through a picture.  Despite the suffering they've gone through they are till "others" in the United States.  I don't care if you think migrants economically impact U.S. citizens, no person deserves to be treated as these individuals have been treated.  I hope that anti-migrant advocates see the type of country their creating, and the sort of suffering they are inducing.

Act NOW to Stop the SAVE Act and Protect Workers at the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Migra Matters has a great post on the SAVE Act House Republicans Move Forward on Shuler-Tancredo Bill.

H.R. 4408 Must Be Stopped~ Call to Action at Generation 1.5.

Dream Act Texas: Urgent: Please help stop HR.4088 "The Republicans have pushed this bill to vote even though it has not been evaluated in committee. It is urgent that everyone contact their representative." Also read about the University of Houston and their deplorable treatment of students in need of financial aid.

Read about the SAVE Act and the fact that Congress can't SAVE the nation or themselves with latest immigration reform at Latina Lista.

Make sure and contact your representatives to stop the SAVE Act.  It takes two minutes to write your representative, but the effects last a lifetime. - visit Damn Mexicans blog to watch the videos there and if you're a filmographer or just have a video camera make a video and change the world. (video contest site is Movement Vision Lab.)

stop the SAVE Act

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The House GOP is pushing the SAVE Act to the floor, suspecting they only have a few months left to do as much legislative damage as possible before increased Democratic majorities make it too difficult, and desperate for a “gay marriage scare” type assault on a vulnerable minority that they hope will pay political dividends.  

If you ever thought you might get involved on this issue or think you might want to in the future, don’t wait … NOW is the time. 

Call your representative at 202-225-3121 (or find your rep's number here) and ask them not to sign the petition to discharge H.R. 4088, the Shuler-Tancredo Bill (the SAVE Act), and to vote NO on the SAVE Act if it comes to the floor.  Or utilize this simple online form to make your opinion heard. 

The discharge petition currently pushed by the GOP needs 218 signatures—at last count, it had 163

It has been only five months since Nez handed me the keys to this beautiful blog and I put up my first post.  In a short time, with the help of amazing writers like Janna, Yave, Changeseeker, Lividsnails, and Symsess, we've come a long way. 

Yesterday, we surpassed two major milestones.  We achieved a technorati rating of over 100, and we now have over 100 subscribers to our feed.  Coincidentally both are at 103 right now.  From now on you'll be able to view these live technorati rating and our feed subscriber badges in the middle of the far right hand column.  (Supposedly it takes a few minutes for the technorati badge to show).

View blog authority

I've never had that many subscribers to my feed, and although I was able to inch close to a technorati rating of 200 Immigration Orange, that was after a much longer time.  I can't stress how huge these accomplishments are for Citizen Orange, especially within the context of the pro-migrant blogosphere.  Keep up the good work everyone!

While we were sleeping from Dream Act Texas

This came up by way of AP- I knew about it, but had not taken it as seriously as I should have. Apparently the GOP hasn’t learned that this type of anti-immigrant baiting will cause them very serious problems at the polls.

At the same time, it just shows that we can’t stop watching for a minute. The GOP is trying to pass something that could be even worse than was presented before…

Read Getting Immigration Very, Very Wrong at DMI Blog.

Here at Citizen Orange read Yave's post Enforcement Through Attrition: A Success Story and Kyle's post U.S. Deportations Resulting in Better Organized Gangs.

Day 4: Having Hope from Smart Borders.

Students Lobby in D,C. for DREAM Act at Generation 1.5.

DREAM Act Banners from I am a DREAMer blog. Grab one and put it on your site.

The restrictionist strategy of enforcement through attrition claimed another hardworking taxpayer last week.  A Brooklyn woman finally gave up her fight to stay in this country.  Already past retirement age, she works long nighttime shifts caring for disabled people.  Her employers and patients have nothing but praise for her.  But the stress of long years of trying to resolve her immigration status, after a string of mistakes committed by USCIS (including at one point sending her a welcome notice signaling the start of permanent resident status, then denying the case without informing her), finally led her to abandon her quest to stay in the country.  Nativists everywhere, rejoice--the low-wage ambitions of another softspoken terrorist grandma have been thwarted!

The combination of burdensome and incomprehensible rules, unjustifiably high fees (e.g., $340 for a work permit, often baselessly or mistakenly denied by USCIS, and $585 to appeal the decision--over $1,000 for a bare-bones DIY green card application), race-based decisionmaking cloaked in administrative discretion, and extraordinarily punitive enforcement measures have created a climate of hate and fear.  This situation didn't arise organically, nor is it an inevitable consequence of natural social and economic forces, as restrictionists would have us believe.  It is the carefully planned result of years of conservative organizing and legislative action, spearheaded since 1999 by the nativist caucus in the House.   

Image from El Periodico

With the excellent pro-migrant round-ups that symsess has been providing lately it's become increasingly difficult to come up with original information.  For inspiration, I've gone back to reading Guatemalan newspapers everyday, something that I used to love to do when I had the time. 

Today, El Periodico brings us news from a conference in Los Angeles on the transnational criminal youth gangs that have been choking the Northern Hemisphere since the U.S. started increasing the deportations of criminal migrants in the 1990s. 

There have been many pro-migrant victories recently even though the nativist super groups have so many resources. FAIR is constantly lobbying congress to push bills through, but the people keep showing they do not agree. Anti-migrants are loud and unashamed. We have to continue pushing forward to keep our voices heard.  Make sure you contact your representatives to oppose the SAVE Act and any other anti-migrant legislation. (go to Immigrant's List for more information).

Read Anti-migrant group ALIPAC calls for boycott of Nickelodeon over at Multiplicative Identity. Apparently ALIPAC didn’t like Nickelodeon’s story on the ill effects of deportation on children.

Read No Border Wall Walk- Day 3 or Overcoming Fear over at Smart Borders and give them encouragement as they protest the border wall. A quote from from this post: “all of us have had to overcome the fear of being ridiculed, the fear of not being strong enough or of giving up 9 days of relaxation at nearby South Padre Island.”

Please read Yave’s post here titled Who’s at your front door? it’s federal law enforcement!.

Immigration Prof Blog has Another Hurdle for the Border Fence and an article debunking the myth that African Americans are against Latino migrants Beyond the Black/Brown Divide.

big_brother_award_f.jpgHave you ever:

  • Spoken with an accent? 
  • "Looked Mexican?"
  • Attended a pro-migrant rally?
  • Complained about the government?
  • Written a blog post about immigration?       

Watch out--ICE could come to your door, just like they came to the door of Kevin Crabtree, a San Francisco-based immigration lawyer. 

He filed a complaint after ICE showed up and demanded entry, failed to legally justify the reason for their search, and threatened to break his door down anyway.  Here is part of his complaint to ICE headquarters:

I am a citizen of the United States and an attorney at law.  I practice immigration law exclusively, with a particular focus on removal defense.  I consequently have frequent interactions with employees of USICE and USCIS in San Francisco.

So, it was an interesting coincidence that two ICE officers rang my doorbell this morning-having bypassed the street security gate and buzzer that most people understand to be an indication that the 12-unit apartment building is not open to the general public.  At 8:15 a.m., as I happened to be discussing case strategy on the phone with co-counsel regarding a bond hearing the same day, my apartment doorbell rang.

It turned out to be ICE agents in lukewarm pursuit of brown people to harass and lock up.  Crabtree told them to leave. 

After I closed the door, the unidentified male officer stated, "I'm going to kick your door down."  He also threatened me with prosecution for alien harboring.

Crabtree repeatedly asked the officers to produce a warrant.  They never did, instead relying on threats and intimidation to gain entry to a private citizen's home.  What they didn't anticipate was confronting an experienced immigration attorney who knew his rights and wasn't going to back down. 

As an American citizen, I feel that it is very important that the representatives of my own government respect the law rather than break it.  The conduct of the unidentified officer in threatening to kick down my door, though he obviously lacked the legal authority to do so, is indefensible.  Such behavior is unbecoming a federal law enforcement agent.  The officer's threat placed me in fear of my physical safety.

But for my training as a lawyer, I have little doubt that my rights would have been completely brushed aside.  By making criminal threats against my home and physical safety, threatening prosecution without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, and refusing to respect my property rights, the officers clearly sought to dissuade the exercise of my constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

. . .

ICE officers undergo extensive training on immigration and constitutional law.  I have no doubt that the conduct of the above officers was knowing and willful.  This incident also appears to be just one example of a pattern of constitutional violations in recent times by ICE officers, suggesting the agency has adopted a policy of aggressive violations of constitutional rights in its enforcement efforts.

New York City residents, take note: I've now heard reports in NYC of Long Island-style random ICE raids on apartment buildings where ICE agents kick down the door ostensibly looking for a particular individual but then sweep up everyone in sight who "looks illegal" and can't produce immigration papers.  As far as I know, this is a recent development--before, ICE raids within the five boroughs were more limited, with agents going to homes and businesses looking for particular individuals.  This new approach represents a full-scale assault on one of the country's most vibrant, multiethnic economic engines.  New Yorkers should not sit back and watch federal storm troopers invade our communities.  "First they came for the undocumented migrant workers" . . . you know how this ends. 

One wonders if next the government will reopen Ellis Island for one of its original purposes: to detain immigrants awaiting deportation.  Part T. Don Hutto, part Alcatraz, nativists around the country will proudly herald this reclamation of a lesser-known function of America's favorite gateway.  Welcome to the restrictionist vision of the future!

[Image: Wired/Privacy International]

The United States has failed to uphold its international obligations to protect the human rights of migrants, subjecting too many to prolonged detention in substandard facilities while depriving them of an adequate appeals process and labor protections, a United Nations investigator said Friday.
Teresa Watanabe - Los Angeles Times

Enough said.
In a special election in Illinois, another Republican running on an anti-migrant platform has been defeated.  Democrat Bill Foster comfortably defeated Republican Jim Oberweis. This is a huge upset for Republicans, since the seat was held for a long time by former GOP speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert.  It also supports long growing body of evidence that shows anti-migrant rhetoric does not win elections.  Matt Ortega describes Oberweis' anti-migrant roots:

People Migrate links to the Smart Borders blog where we can read about the NO Border Wall Walk. This is an important event and I encourage everyone to stop by and leave your thoughts. Here’s day two: No Border Wall March to Brownsville. Here’s day one: No Border Wall Walk- Day 1 or A Lesson in Solidarity.

Watch an ICE raid video over at The Unapologetic Mexican in the post “The Nice ICE?”. Also, read Felons For Clinton. Bush sings before taking a bow in Someone Said Something About Banality?.

Watch an authentic Mardi Gras Indian dance at Professor Zero.

Who’s this week's scumbag? Find out at Damn Mexicans.

We’ve all had an irate commenter who thinks that name calling and profanity is a great way to get their point across. Dream Act Texas has a quick post on this in This is a civil blog. “Ice can’t freeze freedom of speech” is chanted by students from SWER in the post Stop Prosecution, Reform the Constitution. Read more about this group, Students Working for Equal Rights. Also read the story Reduce tuition for Out-of-State students, but not for DREAMERS.

usa-vs-al-arian.jpgMore than thirty years ago, Sami Al-Arian, the son of Palestinian refugees, came to the United States as an immigrant.  He married, had a family, and eventually became a tenured professor of computer science at the University of South Florida.  Five years ago, after years of illegal surveillance of both he and his family, he was arrested for supporting terrorism.

The trial was a travesty.  The government found no evidence (in 21,000 hours of illegal wiretapping!) such as would convict Al-Arian, but they tried to manipulate the emotions of the jury by showing videos of bombings in Israel, implying that Al-Arian was some sort of mastermind of such activities.  The jury refused to convict.  They ruled him innocent on eight charges, remaining deadlocked (10-2) on nine more.

As his continued incarceration was wearing on both he and his family, Al-Arian ultimately agreed to plead "guilty" to one charge consisting of such heinous crimes as lying to a reporter about whether or not he knew someone (this is against the law?).  In any case, the agreement was that the government would release Al-Arian to join his family and leave the United States.  In a last minute shocking move, however, the judge sentenced Al-Arian to the maximum possible for the trumped up charges and Al-Arian was shipped to a back-water county jail in Virginia where he was brought up before a Grand Jury and subsequently cited for contempt for not testifying.  This meant MORE time to serve, of course, so he is now in his fifth year of continual incarceration without having been convicted of a single crime!

As we get into the weekend let’s not forget the most important thing we can do - support one another. Our support for one another will radiate out and bring others in. Just in the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of discovering some new pro-migrant blogs as has Kyle. I’m sure many of you have as well. Also, let’s not forget that the anti-migrant activists will come out of hibernation soon and start throwing rallies in a town near you. Let’s get the message out there. Hate is not ok. Don’t let the fear mongers drive this debate. - symsess

T. Don Hutto reports on International Women’s Day March on Hutto. If you’re in Texas and can make it to this march at 3:30pm please go out and support.

Watch Nezua report on schools in Oregon and watch him change clothes on his think MTV vlog. Also, read his letter to Barack on his blog The Unapologetic Mexican.

I am a DREAMer proposes a very positive use of spam via the DREAM Act Smart Spam Project. Please stop by and read more about it.

Damn Mexicans tells us where to go see ” Under the Same Moon ” Early and for Free! Go watch it and write a review.  The ICE game had many people checking out our blogs and I'm sure this movie will as well.

Yesterday was Alamo Day so those posts will lead us into today’s pro-migrant round-up.

Culture Kitchen says Happy Alamo Day: Let Us “Never Forget” The Battle By Batting Immigration.

Confidential Study Suggests Tougher Words for Dems on Immigration along with some words on Alamo Day in America’s Shrine of Martyrdom. (For those that haven’t heard there is supposedly going to be a anti-migrant protest at the Alamo this year on the 4th of July. Also, if you haven’t seen the Alamo, it’s a strange sight as it’s just been built around so it seems very out of place.  I guess they really wanted to memorialize it.)

In an effort to continue the Alamo theme I’ll link to an old post I wrote titled Remember the Alamo? over at American Humanity.

A big “Happy Belated Birthday!” to The Unapologetic Mexican who give us another thoughtful post titled candles on every corner in which he speaks of staring at computers too much and the world that was together just after 9/11 which has sense been splintered into hateful factions. What happened to those people that wanted to help then - the people that didn’t care who you were or where you were from? I was in the towers that day and thankfully made it out alive. We need the compassion that was felt the days after the towers fell - we need the compassion I witnessed traveling down the flights of cement stairs watching the floor numbers as we slowly made it to the first floor. There was a calm and reassurance spoken that we would be ok. Nobody cared who you were, where you were from, or what political party you sided with. We need that back.

Thanks to Nezua for inspiring today's title. Today's first link is on the report that the GOP is trying to push through strict immigration bills that go so far as to remove funding for local police in "sanctuary" cities. Given the meaning of that word I'd imagine a sanctuary city wouldn't need police so I guess it should work out fine.  Unfortunately there's not much else in this bills to joke about.

Senate GOP pushes strict bills on immigration enforcement. Read all about it over at Mexico Trucker. A thanks to Dream Act Texas for referencing this article in their post. 

A Border Patrol agent finds the joys of ebaying with government property up for sale in The Case of the Stolen Night Vision Goggles over at Border Reporter. Was it those meddling kids that caught him?

The Unapologetic Mexican give us something to think about regarding cognitive versus the material. In The Cognitive and The Material Nezua writes that we must embrace the cognitive in our effort to bring the dialogue to our side. Facts and figures are just that, but emotion, empathy, and the idea of justice are the things we must promote.

Smart Borders asks "what is an American?" in Native American Take a Stand on the Border Walk.  If we haven't done enough to change the landscape of America we're now putting fences along the border.  Just the thought of it seems so ridiculous.

When anti-migrant organizations talk about "Attrition Through Enforcement", keep in mind that this is what they mean.  For everyone that advocates enforcing unreasonable and broken laws, for everyone that says, "what part of illegal don't you understand?" realize that this is the sort of country you are creating.

I've written about this trend before but it has gotten worse. Immigrant communities in the Boston area are in a heightened state of fear as people impersonating law enforcement officials barge into their homes and extort money from them.  The Boston Herald documents several reports of this oppression.  The latest suspects are pictured in this post:

As far as I’m aware the SAVE Act is currently the next and worse federal piece of legislation against migrants. Kyle has a great writeup on this inappropriately named bill which is supported by our favorite politician Tom Tancredo.

Have you written, called and faxed your congressional representatives yet? The SAVE act is pending and we can’t let it pass. Visit Immigrants List for more information. Please take a moment to create a letter using their form and help them reach their goal of 2,000. (last check they’ve surpassed this goal, but let’s keep the number rising.)

You must read this post or you’ll force me to say please: Best Have Your Papers In Order: New Immigration Legislation Could Effect Millions of US Workers - in this post Duke over at Migra Matters gives us more information on the SAVE Act and why we need to worry that it could be passed.

Continuing on the SAVE Act People Migrate gives us Open Letter to Senators Fienstien and Boxer and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.

Image: Nepean District Historical Society

The mainstream progressive blogosphere has been frighteningly silent lately, as a major migration battle looms over the U.S. Capitol.  Grassroots migrant rights organizations across the nation are mobilizing in opposition to the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act:

Call your representative TODAY and demand that they reject the SAVE Act!

Pressure is mounting in the Democratic-led House of Representatives to act on the SAVE Act (HR 4088), an enforcement and deportation-only bill introduced and sponsored by more than 140 Democratic and Republican opponents of humane immigration reform.

[Click here] to reach your representative.

- MIRA Coalition (the link is mine)

A epic battle is being waged against anti-migrant Democrats in Congress, and it's important that the blogosphere makes sure the pro-migrant side, the side of justice, comes out in front of this. 

I failed to include Smart Borders in the round-up yesterday and today.  The March 2nd post titled An Exercise in Free Migration is a must read.  I'm sorry I missed this post in the round-up as it falls right in line with the "there is no line" post from Yave. 

Eristic Ragemail speaks on the effects of immigration discussions on elections in Immigration: The Myth of the Third Rail of Politics.

The Unapologetic Mexican gives us a great write-up on the nasty mud slinging that happens within supposed ‘sides’ of a discussion or issue. Truly we should try to work together rather than isolate ourselves behind a bunker of crude labels and put-downs towards everything we don’t agree with. Read Nezua’s post The Giddy and Greasy Gatlin.

A crazed psycho killer clown, a crazed psycho killer writer, a crazed psycho colonel, and an old guy that looks like Jack Nicholson’s grandfather all want Hillary Clinton as our next president – “there is nothing sexier than a woman you have to salute in the morning.” What? See the video over at Vivir Latino.

Multiplicative Identity steams about Margeret P. Jones’ fake biography where she assumes the role of a minority. In Appropriating the Words of Others a Threat to Democracy she tells us that Obama stole his slogan “yes we can!” from Bob the Builder. What else has he stolen? And finally read about Fidel Castro and his having avoided 638 assasination attempts in Us dream of death deferred.

Image: World Wide Lens

With all the migrant suffering in the world, I do my best to stay upbeat and look for hope in the darkness. Unfortunately, this will not be one of those days.  This morning I happened upon a post at Brave New Films by famed Latina author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, entitled "Latino artists bear the burden of anti-immigrant frenzy" on her own blog.  Valdes-Rodriguez's post filled me with an overwhelming sense of dread.  The United States and other parts of the world, through the U.S., are being deprived of an entire subset of viewpoints as a result of the hostile nativist attitudes that have emerged in recent years.

I don't know why this post affected me so much in the midst of everything else.  I think it's because when fighting injustice one has the tendency to believe that you can't kill an idea, that you can't silence the truth.  But here you have a clear case where truth is being silenced.  I'll let Valdes-Rodriguez take it from here:

Wow! Prerna has a new look and gives us some great topics to ponder: (1) Discourse and power: reshaping the argument and reclaiming the language. (2) Likening anti-immigrant hysteria to McCarthyism. (3)’Sanctuary Cities’ as a form of modern ‘underground railroad’. This is a great post and should be visited by all.

La Bloga gives us Sneak peek: Latinos in Lotusland reading this Wednesday, March 5th at Cal State L.A.!

Wild Chihuahuas speaks on Latino immigration issues in her state and the mission to take down the middle-class.

Why the anti-immigrant crowd (and those sadly following their rhetoric) feel that yelling, screaming and cursing will bring about any positive change escapes me. Over at People Migrate there is a link to an article titled “Guest opinion: If you're a foe of illegal immigration, at least knock off the hateful speech.”

Thumbnail image for matrix spoon.jpg"Do not try to bend the spoon; that's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon."  --The bald kid from the Matrix.
Symsess, who has been lately gracing this blog with daily immigration round-ups, made a good point over at American Humanity.

Two things that I hear in the immigration reform rhetoric trouble me a little and they are "pay a significant fine" and "go to the back of the line." What 'line' are they talking about. As far as I know there is no line of people from many countries south of the border because they are excluded from the immigration lottery each year. I'm sure I don't know enough about the ins and outs of this process, but I'd certainly like clarification on what "back of the line" means.

This article quotes Obama:

"We have to require that undocumented workers, who are provided a pathway to citizenship, not only learn English, pay back taxes and pay a significant fine, but also that they're going to the back of the line," he said.

I hear this "line" referred to in two contexts.  One is the context I think Obama is talking about, where some future version of comprehensive immigration reform would provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants now here in the U.S.  He seems to be saying that these people would have to wait some period of time before they could become citizens.  

The many wonderful people represented in this roundup, in the links to the right and many we have yet to discover are working to stop the hatred being perpetrated against migrants.  I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but we can open people's eyes and make this country a better place.  I believe our cause is like warmth and that so many are out in the cold.  We must show them the joy of being warm.  Helping just feels better than hating.  Who can argue with that? - symsess

Damn Mexicans has noticed many people looking for immigration information and ending up at his blog so he provides three great resources.

Check out new posts over at Mexico Trucker including More Mexican Troops At The Border, The Geopolitics of Dope, Independent Truckers See End of Roas and NAFTA a success, It is time to improve on that success.

Immigration Talk with a Mexican American begins outlining the history of South Texas which is important to the issue of immigration.

The Coyote Chronicles points us to another blog post at Ginger Snaps titled “Too much hate in this world…and in ourselves”

what is the what cover.jpg

I'll continue now with the second part of my review of What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, by Dave Eggers.  The first part was here, in case you missed it. 

The book illuminates a rather serious problem for migrants and migrant advocates.  Migrants often come to the U.S. or other wealthy countries with unreasonable expectations.  I remember from elementary school the song from An American Tail: "There are noooo cats in Ame-ri-ca, and the streets are filled with chee-eese."  The intrepid mice quickly find both these assumptions to be false.  Likewise, many Lost Boys seem to have believed their problems would be over once they made it to the U.S.  They were wrong:  

When it comes to faxing, calling, and emailing government representatives the anti-migrant crowd is loud, proud, and vehement. Check in at Immigrant’s List to make sure we make our voices heard to stop the Save Act. Let’s save migrants from this terrible bill which puts tremendous faith in our government’s ability to correctly maintain a database. (Is this the same government that issued visas to deceased terrorists whose names where all over the news?)

Dream Act Texas speaks about Hillary's 'scare' ads in relation to the same tactics used by Bush and welcomes the movie Under the Same Moon to Houston. This movie is about a migrant mother working in the U.S. to provide a better life for her son and his journey to reunited with her after his grandmother dies in Mexico. Also Bill Clinton will be in Houston to Rally for Hillary. Per Dick Gregory's suggestion I hope he won't be taking on any false or assumed personas.

Don't Just Dream for the Dream Act outlines a Dream Act for California that requires no increase in budget.

It's 3am and Culture Kitchen has answered the phone on Hillary's ridiculous fear ad. The ad shows us that Hillary answers the phone, but stops just short of the confrontation when the unidentified man finds her in his house. Today they ask "Are you better off than you were 8 years ago?" and give us a little insight into Ralph Nader.

If the anti-migrant movement is the Titanic I guess their captain should have known an iceberg was up ahead. More implosion of this vile movement reported at Pro Inmigrant. Everyone supporting migrants and opposing hate deserves a big round of applause. I only hope those that got in the life rafts won't go looking for a whaling boat to save them.

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