June 2008 Archives

Victory for Pedro Zapeta!

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For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an unauthorized migrant, slaved away as a dishwasher.  Making $5.50 an hour ($5.75 when he earned an extremely generous 25-cent raise), Zapeta was able to save up almost $60,000 for his dream of returning to Guatemala and building a home for his family.  Then Zapeta made one simple mistake.  On his way out of the country he forgot to fill out a form declaring he was carrying more than $10,000 dollars with him, and as a result he had almost all of his money siezed.  I first covered this story in this post

Now, thanks to the blogging of Tony Herrera, I just heard that Zapeta was able to get all but $5,000 of his money back.  It is rare when we get a victory like this.  Read Tony's post and savor it

At Para Justicia y Libertad check out some disturbing 'jokes' emailed within the Texas Sheriff's department in Sheriff’s Department’s Gator Cruelty and Literal Illegal Baiting.

At A Dream Deferred watch Protestors Blast ICE raids in East Houston.

At Immigration Talk With A Mexican American read Postville Update: Agriprocessors Free to Stir Up More Trouble in Postville!

Postville was left "absolutely shattered" after last month´s heavily armed worker raids. The workers received swift, cattle barn justice. The employers, however, were left free to continue their abuses, despite hiring a GOP crony-pal "compliance" officer.

Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups Place Ads in The New York Times at Hatewatch. FAIR is at it again working though a front group called "America's Leadership Team for Long Range Population-Immigration-Resource Planning." Their ads cater to American's dislike of traffic congestion.

Report From the Houston East End Raid Protest at Para Justicia y Libertad.

5 More Bodies This Week on deaths in the desert at Latino Politico.

It can be stressful working in a field where my clients, and I by extension, feel constantly under siege from government agencies, the courts, and even members of the public.  So sitting at the opening session of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual conference with 3,000 or 4,000 other immigration attorneys yesterday was an empowering experience.  We are fed up!  Both the outgoing 2007 and incoming 2008 AILA presidents took a vocal and rousing stance against the egregious violations of constitutional rights and basic human rights we have seen recently from ICE and the other immigration agencies.

Marshall Fitz, advocacy director for AILA, said what most immigration attorneys have come to realize in recent years, that 9/11 changed the entire immigration landscape. 

Where is Congress’s Priority when it comes to Immigration? at A Dream Deferred.  It's with supermodels, of course!

Millionare abuses two Indonesian housekeepers at Damn Mexicans.  A tragic tail of those searching for a better life only finding terror.

Immigrants and Crime at No Borders and Binaries.  Studies are cited showing that immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes as many anti-migrant groups would like us to believe.

The Supreme Court on Alaska & Texas at Smart Borders.  Recent decisions will have negative implications on the future.

ICE responds to anti-family detention op-ed at T Don Hutto Blog.  Please check out this post and use the form to show you're opposition to detention centers.

If you opened your newspapers in Massachusetts today, you read that Governor Deval Patrick revived the in-state tuition debate in Massachusetts again through his sweeping education reform.  Predictably, the Boston Herald jumped all over it and published not one, but two heavily slanted articles, publishing lies that I've addressed in an earlier post.

I wish I could be writing this post praising Deval Patrick for expending political capital on what he himself has said is a matter of "simple justice":

"It makes good sense for us economically, and for me it's just a matter of simple justice," Patrick said during a lunch with reporters yesterday. "We don't say to these kids they can't go to state colleges and universities; they can go. What we say to them is that they have to pay a different rate from the kid who sat across the aisle from them all through middle school and high school."
Lindsey Parietti - Daily News Transcript (25 June 2008)
But then I read the fine print of The Patrick Administration Education Agenda, and though I still have questions, I'm fairly sure, at least using the language in the report, that the newspapers were wrong.
I'll be posting over the next few days from Vancouver, where I am attending the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) conference.  In Canada, even the buses are polite.  When unavailable, they carry the message "Sorry, Not in Service."  

In the meantime, I have my third and final (for now) guest post up at the DMI Blog.  This one talks about how sealing the border keeps migrants in who might otherwise return home the way migrants always have. 

The following video from We Can Stop the Hate, expresses in clearer terms than anything else I've seen, how leading organizations in the anti-migrant movement have very close ties to hate and white supremacy. 

Even Numbers USA, the organization that tries the hardest to separate race from their discussion of immigration, has ties to white supremacy.  The executive director of Numbers USA, Roy Beck, for a time was the Washington editor of the Social Contract Press, and organization that is proud to publish the racist book, Camp of the Saints.  Here's the video:



Please Digg the video.

Personal Note: I'm sorry my posting as of late has been mostly videos.  Symsess, with his amazing dedication, though, has been holding down the fort for us. 


Many citizens have taken their education for granted and others throw it away. The DREAM Act provides undocumented students, so eager to learn, with a powerful opportunity to seek higher education in college. I believe we all understand education is fundamental toward ensuring a better future.  To deny this opportunity is senseless. Support the DREAM Act! 

The Debate Over In-state Tuition for Undocumented Students - FAQs - Part 2 at A Dream Deferred.  Get facts through various court cases on this issue.

A First Look at Revoking Education Opportunities for NC Extralegals at Smart Borders.

Having taught English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students for the past two years on the Tex-Mex border town of Brownsville, the national trend toward limiting the futures and opportunities of immigrant students hurts me deeply.

51 Since October 1st at Latino Politico on the number of migrants who have died looking for a better life.

Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up at Para Justicia y Libertad.

In an effort to win back lost Hispanic votes, Republican presidential hopeful, Senator John McCain held a closed door meeting with more than 100 Hispanic leaders in Chicago. However, things did not turn out as he hoped.
First up is the video The Debate Over Instate-Tuition - Challenges and Affirmation Part 1 at A Dream Deferred. I think the people at the L.A. Times should watch this to see what a real grass roots movement looks like. Here we have hundreds of students rallying together to support one another. This is the America I want to live in where people help one another. Support these DREAMers.

Another must read article at Smart Borders: The State of Immigration.

Beyond these self-produced immigration patterns caused by our nation's myriad "conflicts" (read invasions) over the past 40 years including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Somalia, our nation is simultaneously attempting to address the ongoing issue of illegal migration by erecting a $30-billion border wall.

Eugenics and Nativism: Joined at the Hip at Eristic Ragemail. Read this article which talks about eugenics in Nazism and the Pioneer Fund which supports eugenics and helped fund John Tanton's FAIR.

Migration Stories

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This weekend the Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival wrapped up here in Washington DC.  I was lucky enough to catch three films, all dealing with the theme of human migration.  They were masterfully done, beautiful, sometimes haunting, and all so relevant to the immigration debate in the U.S.  Here are reviews/summaries of them:

VIDEO: Death by Detention has been posted here, but I want to make sure everybody has taken a moment to watch it. This is a link to Standing FIRM which is the blog for The Fair Immigration Reform Movement. Rachelfirm does a great job keeping this blog fresh and the group does a great job working for positive immigration reform. Please take a moment to check out their main site. (linked in name.)

At Wild Chihuahuas read how the eight stages of genocide can be found happening right here in the United States in the post Degrees of Separation.

There's certainly a difference between what’s going on all across America right now and full-scale genocide. But it's a difference of actualization, not of potential. All the elements are in place, including the street thugs and way too many complicit police.
If you understand that most anti-migrant groups are for white preservation then it really shows how this is not at all a far fetched idea. I've heard anti-migrants calling for a new civil war and even joyfully exclaiming that their grandmothers have guns "locked and loaded."

Texas GOP Show Their True “Color” at State Convention at Para Justicia y Libertad. Read about the “If Obama is elected President . . . will we still call it The White House?” button along with other insulting buttons sold by one vendor at the Texas Republican GOP convention. I checked the website and saw there's one where Obama asks "If I drive her home can I be Vice President?"

Watch Breakthrough's latest video:



The cries for Guantanamo to shut down have grown louder and louder, while Guantanamo like conditions are being replicated within the U.S.'s borders.  Is this the sort of country the U.S. aspires to be?

One of our fellow bloggers, P.M. Corn, over at Mexico Trucker lost his granddaughter shortly after her birth. I want to express my condolences and provide the link to his post Taking a Break in honor of our Granddaughter.

Drowning or Murder? at Dream Act Texas on allegations that the Moroccan Navy sank a boat full of migrants causing them to drown. Trading Oil for Immigration we learn that Chavez is threatening the E.U. on their immigration policies. And yesterday was World Refugee Day.

John Tanton's Network of Hate: How A Small Group of the Wealthy founded the Contemporary Nativist Wave at Eristic Ragemail. Many of these so called think-tanks and other organizations often have money trails leading back to one or a few people.

Contrary to Lou Dobbs, and other cable-TV hate-mongers, the current nativist wave is not an organic movement of Americans "fed up illegal immigration." The better part of the current nativist movement was orchestrated by a retired Michigan ophthalmologist by the name of John Tanton and a small group of wealthy donors. Starting in 1979.

Congratulations to Man Eegee for being selected in the DFA scholarship competition. Well deserved!

Netroots Nation Bound thanks to DfA at Latino Politico.

"These are lives we're talking about … Human beings" at Migra Matters. Watch the Breakthrough video "Death By Detention."

Happy Juneteenth 2008!!! at Para Justicia y Libertad. Yesterday was Juneteenth - take a minute to read this great post.

Amy Traub on WBAI this morning. DMI Blog also brings us Healthcare Equity Must be a Central Focus of Reform.

(Sombrero tip to Immigration Cut and Paste)

William Gheen, President of ALIPAC, truly is the leader of a national movement.  A movement of two dozen people that is. 

It was May of 2008 when ALIPAC announced the launch of a North Carolina "campaign to thwart illegal aliens and their supporters".  Soon after they bullied a local Charlotte newspaper columnist, Mary Schulken, for writing an article entitled "This Tide of Meanness has to Stop".  All of it building up to a big rally to pressure North Carolina legislators to support a horrific "attrition through enforcement" agenda.  Here's how the rally went:
Via the Colbert Report:



I don't know if the ImmigrationProf Blog or Greg Siskind have already done this, but if they haven't they should make Junot Diaz one of their "Immigrants of the Day". 

In case you're behind on the news, Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I've read it and I'm proud to say that I have an autographed copy.  Through the life of a "nerdy" Dominican Junot Diaz is able to comment on the migrant experience, imperialism, and so much more through his unique, often vulgar, writing style.

Watch the video above to see a humourous exchange between Colbert and Diaz about his "Americanness".  Colbert even quips that Lou Dobbs probably put a tracking device in Diaz's Pulitzer Prize.  There's some truth to the humor as only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply in the category Diaz won.

UPDATE: ImmigrationProf blog made Junot Diaz Immigrant of the Day.
(Sombrero tip to Kai at Zuky)



Watching this speech by Tim Wise cleansed my soul.  People that can articulate oppression like Time Wise are a treasure.  You have to watch the whole thing, but I especially liked his articulation of how white people, or those that buy into whiteness, are tricked into blaming migrants.  I'll quote it below.

Watch Members Embarrassing the Minuteman group at Pro Inmigrant. This video tell us of the wife of a Minuteman who claimed she was shot and raped by Hispanics when the truth was she just shot herself. Also read Lou Dobbs Nightmare. Since When is Searching For A Better Life A Crime? While the U.S./Mexico border is constantly given attention there's a huge wide open border to the north. And we learn of more raids in New Instructions to ICE: Get FEMA. Find Every Mexican Available. Feds Make Immigration Raids In Rutherford County.

Oh Stop Saying Republicans Are Racist at Vivir Latino. Also read Bloggers of the World Unite Against AP. Apparently the AP is going after bloggers who link to their news stories.

The Minutemen see the removal of the National Guard from the border as "open season" for undocumented migrants. Therefore they're calling for more rogue bands of gun wielding extremists to join in the "pride" of protecting the border. Strangely I don't feel any safer.

Breaking News! Minutemen Vigilantes Declare "Operation Open Season!" and Promptly 3 Mexicans are Shot on the Mexican Side of the Border! at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

Does marriage determine level of assimilation? at DMI Blog.

Lots has been said about assimilation and whether or not today’s immigrants are assimilating. A recent report published by the Manhattan Institute offers an inadequate approach to analyze the assimilation of the U.S. immigrant population. To discuss this further, I recently wrote an op-ed that was published by El Diario last Thursday.

Abandoned two-year-old is the poster child for immigration debate at Latina Lista.

With so much trauma and stress happening to these undocumented families, children witness it and internalize it. There's not much for them to be happy about in their young childhoods. If the case of Martin is true, some will no doubt pat themselves on the back for an immigration enforcement policy that seems to be working.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse has another important study out.  From the NY Times this morning:

Criminal prosecutions of immigrants by federal authorities surged to a record high in March, as immigration cases accounted for the majority — 57 percent — of all new federal criminal cases brought nationwide that month, according to a report published Tuesday by a nonpartisan research group.

The federal government has apparently decided that enforcing the misdemeanor charge incurred after someone crosses the border without permission is the number one law enforcement priority nationwide. 

I always go through a lot of global news on migrants that I'm afraid readers here aren't interested, and I feel like I always end up going with the U.S. migrant story to post on.  Still, I thought I'd give putting together sparse updates a try and readers can weigh in, either in the comments, or the contact us page, about whether or not they like it:

BBC: New EU Plan for Immigrants

BBC: Global Refugee Total Rises Again

CS Monitor: Iraqi Interpreters: Hope Rises to go to U.S.

CS Monitor: South Africa's President Calls Attack on Immigrants Shameful
Picture by {the infonaut} at Flickr

Sombrero tip to The Latin Americanist for this article from the Dallas Morning News:

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – With gasoline prices hovering near $4 per gallon, Texans along the U.S.-Mexico border have discovered a cheaper alternative: Mexico.

Mexican service stations all along the border report brisk sales in recent weeks as fuel prices in Texas continue to climb.
Angela Kocherga - Dallas Morning News (10 June 2008)
As nativists continue to falsely claim that "illegal aliens are stealing from U.S. taxpayers", it looks as if U.S. citizens have found a way to steal from Mexican taxpayers.  While gas prices continue to soar in the U.S., residents are crossing over to Mexico where the gas is significantly cheaper.  Why is the gas cheaper?

Read Border Thinking - Laura Agustín at Immigratin Prof Blog. Also Commentary on the Boumediene Ruling and Local Police Involvement in the Postville Raids?

Local sources take issue with this characterization and are suggesting to me that the involvement was overstated, and that, in fact, police had little input and little prior knowledge of what was to take place that day.
With more on the Postville raids read From a teacher at Postville, IA On the Raids. June 19: Night of 1,000 Conversations - find the conversation near you and speak up for migrants.

Idaho Supreme Court: Residency not determined by Undocumented status at A Dream Deferred.

Today I have another post up over at the DMI Blog about some of the connections between the ICE deaths in detention scandal and Tom Lasseter's recent McClatchy article investigating the dozens, possibly hundreds, of innocent people wrongfully imprisoned at Guantanamo. 

Check it out!
This post was originally written for MTV's Choose Or Lose Street Team '08.

Picture: Gov. Deval Patrick celebrates the defeat of the proposal to ban marriage equality in Massachusetts (14 June 2007)

Katherine Patrick, the daughter of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, is a courageous youth.  In the last year she has come out as a lesbian to her friends and family, and last week she came out to the whole world.  18-year-old Katherine Patrick did a sit down interview with Bay Windows, "New England's largest GLBT newspaper", to make the announcement, and the news has since been written about by the Boston Herald, the Boston Globe, the Associated Press, and countless other news outlets that reach across the globe.

83% Blame Government for 'Illegal Immigration' not Immigrants at a Dream Deferred.

Bringing Integrity to our Immigration System -

The day after Senator Robert Menendez gave his speech on immigration, ICE arrested another 42 people in Rhode Island. As the ICE spokesman stated in the press release - they are committed to restoring integrity" -- does that mean they will start using warrants instead of breaking down doors?
In Ever think about Resistance? Dream Act Texas shows how France is honoring its heroes. Also read NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Immigrant Artists and in Art as Resistance we have a conceptual artist who wears a banana suit to show how goods get preferential treatment over human beings while in Bicameral Helsinki Commission writes to Chertoff we have a group demanding to know why detainees are drugged while in ICE's custody.

Update: Camila Hornung and Family Deported? at A Dream Deferred. According to the article (with video) included in this post Camila was sent back to Peru yesterday after having been in the United States for 14 years. 

From Standing FIRM we have Lou Dobbs for Governor!. Check out this post and the website American Voice has created for him. There's a contest to come up with his slogan.

Watch Children Choosing Not What Game to Play But If to Go Into Foster Care at Vivir Latino.

An entire generation of children of immigrants, mostly Latino children, are being forced to make a decision if they should go to a country they no nothing of or enter a system that has proven itself a dangerous track for children, the foster care children.

Changing Our Tone at Immigration Equality.

The message we send about immigration needs to convey optimism and highlight these truths: Americans are not frustrated by immigration, and neither are they anti-immigrant. - I invite you to help turn the tone of the immigration conversation in a positive and optimistic direction by combating the myths about immigration in every forum.
Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck, and so many other nativists love to take the few cases where migrants have committed horrific crimes and blow them out of proportion.  Where are they with this story?  Three teens are being indicted for the fatal beating of Aboubacar Camara, and there is silence from the nativists.

Deporting a Boy Scout

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Picture from the Loudon Times (sombrero tip to Anti-BVBL)

13-year-old Jose Andrade, from El Salvador, doesn't understand why he can't be with his mother in the United States.  He says children should get to stay with their parents.  It's not going to happen, according to the Loudon Times.  This 13-year-old boy scout is getting deported.

The truth is most U.S. citizens probably don't understand that, "U.S. immigration law prohibits children not born in the United States from living here unless their parents are U.S. citizens".  But such is the nature of a complicated and broken U.S. immigration system that migrants are frequently the victims of.  It's also another of the many cases in which the legal/illegal dichotomy that nativists love so much is blown out of the water.


There were rumors late this week about nativist Lou Dobbs possibly considering running for governor in New Jersey.  Though the rumors were recently shot down, our friends at America's Voice still decided to go ahead with publishing a mock campaign website for Dobbs

DobbsforGovernor.com asks for people to submit their slogan ideas and try for a free t-shirt.  I thought I'd borrow from the self avowed Minutemen supporter in this picture, and submit, "This is America and our only Lanaguage is English" (sombrero tip to Duke over at The Sanctuary who I got this picture from).  I encourage others to give it a shot, too.
OVERGROUND RAILROAD
Immigrants' Rights Action


Saturday, June 14 (Flag Day)

11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

at the Regional Transportation Center (Greyhound Bus and Amtrak Train Stations)


Join this lively, yet peaceful solidarity action

*  Distribute flyers  *  Inform travelers of their rights  * 

*  Show solidarity with those at risk of deportation  *  Hold Banners & Signs *


Crossing A Border is NOT a Crime, but a Civil Offense - Yet Families are being Torn Apart because of Border Patrol's activities at the Regional Transportation Center

All Those Who Show Up will Get an Attractive "United Nation's Blue" Wrist Band that says "Justice for Immigrants"

Bring a flag, help distribute "Know Your Rights" literature

We will supply you with a sign

Continue for Directions:

Undocumented Students - Struggle Continues in Canada at A Dream Deferred.

While the United States is busy deporting undocumented immigrant students and the states in the deep South are retreating back into time by closing doors on students, our neighbors up North are also struggling with the issue.

At Smart Borders United States and Spain Square off on Amnesty.

Spanish legislation has taken this one step further by providing basic human rights and opportunities to all immigrants, whatever their legal status. Deportation doesn’t exist in Spain; instead, the emphasis is on integration.

ACTION: Historic Event in Maryland’s International Corridor at Standing FIRM. Watch the video Crimes Against Immigrants Go Unreported. Check out the great pro-migrant art in Art is Action - Pro-Migrant Poster Power!. And read Happy Loving Day!

heads in the sand.JPG Last night I went to see two heroes of the progressive blogosphere, Josh Marshall and Matt Yglesias, promoting Yglesias’s new foreign policy book, Heads in the Sand at the Strand bookstore in New York City.

The book is a critique of the gutless, ineffective reaction of the Democratic Party to executive branch overreach, unprovoked war, and demonization of the “other,” all policies the GOP has used effectively to consolidate political power since 9/11. 

Well, “had used effectively” may be more accurate in 2008.  Yglesias, with some satisfaction, predicted last night that the GOP would be “wiped out” in Congressional elections this fall due to their failure to distance themselves from the Bush fiasco in Iraq after the 2006 elections when they had the chance. 

I’ve only just now started the book, but I’ve already learned that the movie Groundhog Day has much in common with the writing of Nietzsche (I see that I’m not the first to make this connection, though it seemed novel to me on the train ride home).  The book looks promising, and Yglesias continues to cogently argue for a return to sanity in U.S. foreign policy, something that can only be achieved if Democrats support a coherent alternative to the failed policies of the last eight years. 

The core of Yglesias’s argument is that the U.S. had a good thing going back in the ‘90s supporting the liberal international institutions that Roosevelt and Truman had built and that the U.S. had supported throughout the Cold War.  Then Bush and the neoconservative opportunists he enabled saw an opening after 9/11 to push forward their vision of a hyperpowerful U.S. that was strong enough to cast aside the shackles of multilateralism.  That promptly led to disaster, but the center-left foreign policy establishment has been too deeply invested in the flawed assumptions Bush was working from to engage in any effective pushback.

But would bringing back the ‘90s really be a return to sanity?  

The Perpetual War on Immigrant Students at No Borders and Binaries.

It seems that we have built quite an appetite for war at home and abroad. Our foreign policy mirrors our domestic one and vice-versa-Overseas, we are destroying families, communities, killing innocent children, deferring their dreams permanently through a 'war against terrorism' and at home we are killing the spirit and dreams of our undocumented immigrant youth by deporting them while destroying families and local economies in ICE raids.
I agree with this totally. Why would we believe a government (and those that support it) would have any regard for domestic lives when we give those in other countries none? We as the people have to demand that value be placed on all lives. Death and destruction in the name of "freedom" makes little sense to me. Similar to what's done in war, the nativists and anti's try desperately to turn people into things through dehumanization and vilification. It's our job to ensure they are seen as thinking feeling human beings. Everyone here keeps that dream alive as well as the DREAM that will ensure we have exceptional talent to move this country forward.

South Florida Teen Facing Deportation at A Dream Deferred.

Amidst the good news that Arthur Mkoyan's deportation was delayed by a private bill introduced by Senator Feinstein, another teen is facing the same dilemma.

Read about Jose Andrade in Boy Scout Facing Deportation Learns New Meaning of "Be Prepared" at Vivir Latino.

Boy Scouts are expected to be prepared, but no child should have to be prepared for what 13 year old scout Jose Andrade and his family faces. Jose Andrade faces being deported, alone.
If you're in DC today come down to the Department of Justice at noon for a rally in support of the Indian guestworkers who are on hunger strike.  Their case illustrates the pervasive problems of guestworker programs.  See their website for more info about the rally or to sign a petition in their support.  Their blog has daily updates on the campaign.  If you need the short version, Harvesting Justice has a good summary of the case (and for more information of guestworker programs generally, Farmworker Justice has a detailed explanation of the different kinds of guestworker programs in the US, including history and critiques).

Revisiting La Reconquista: A Nativist Creation at Para Justicia y Libertad.

A couple of years ago, I addressed the Reconquista myth because this myth was making it rounds among hard-core right-wing pundits. It seems the same conspiracy theory is once again making those rounds again.

Deportation Delayed for Arthur Mkoyan at A Dream Deferred.

Arthur Mkoyan and his family are no longer being deported thanks to Senator Feinstein who filed a private bill on their behalf. Yet, their immigration hurdles are far from over.

South Carolina joins the fight! at Damn Mexicans.

guest-blogging at DMI

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If you get a chance, click on over to the Drum Major Institute Blog, where I've got a post up about the effects of immigration raids on children of migrants. 

You can even leave a comment if you wish.  But make sure not to let slip your dark desire to "kill all whites."  That outcome would be especially unfortunate for this white blogger.

If you've ever played the game "Don't Break The Ice" you know the object of the game is to knock out blocks of "ice" from the board without causing a complete collapse. This is similar to the ICE raids where beautiful hard-working people are being arrested and detained. Each person removed leaves a hole and subtracts from our society and our humanity. As the raids continue we'll eventually all collapse - citizens and migrants alike.

Just News brings us Thin Ice.

I documented thirty-one cases from across the country of US citizens, eight born here, incarcerated as aliens for one month to five years. Fourteen were deported. Five remain in detention.
And in Immigrant kids–alone and detained we learn of children who must face the system alone.

No Border and Binaries brings us Under-reported Immigration News Brief - 1. Here we have a grouping of immigration news stories which, as the title states, are under-reported.

Workers on Hunger Strike Say They Were Misled on Visas at Just News. In their fourth week of protest Indian workers were duped into believing they were coming to the U.S. on permanent visas which would allow them to stay with their families. Sadly it was discovered that they were only here on temporary visas. They were lied to. Make sure and support their struggle.

Story, with video, at CAUSA - Indian Guest Workers Protest Poor Treatment Under H2B Visa Program.

Dream Act Texas also carried this story titled The 23rd Day.

I found a blog titled Carlosqc From Washington, DC which has a "take action" button leading to a form we can all send in support of these workers. The post is titled Slavery in the United States: Indian guest workers abused by oil companies.

alborruiz.jpgAlbor Ruiz at the NY Daily News has been writing about migration issues for a long time.  I only stumbled on his column recently after I had the pleasure of meeting him a few weeks ago.  Ruiz’s reporting reflects an uncommon consciousness of international issues sparked by close connection to migrant communities here in NYC.  Here are some recent examples of journalism that you are not likely to find elsewhere:

Fair medical treatment for detainees, too 

A 20-year fight for immig[rant] rights

Immigration's human rights shame is now a moral crisis

Wyclef Jean shines light on Haiti's crisis

Locals can help ease Haiti's pain from food crisis

You wouldn’t know from the comments sections of these articles that NYC is a city of immigrants!  If you happen to click over to one of Ruiz’s stories, I encourage you to leave a respectful comment in support of his reporting.  You will probably be in the minority.

[Image: NAHJ]


(Picture from Flickr)

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  Hillary Clinton just delivered her concession speech, and I thought I'd throw aside politics for a bit, and acknowledge the barriers she has courageously worked against in her run for the Presidency. 

Since the beginning of the campaign for the Democrat nomination, I tended to see Clinton as the establishment candidate.  But as the inevitability of Obama locking up the nomination grew more and more pronounced, and Clinton fought on, the discrimination she was working against really came into focus for me.  Despite the political connections she had as a Clinton, we all should have stood, and should continue to stand against the horrific sexism she was a victim of.

Yesterday an article was written in the Charlotte Observer titled "The meanness has to stop." It was picked up by many here and the post over at Standing FIRM caught William Gheen's attention. If you'd like to read what he though of the article check it out here.

Because I Hate America? at The Sanctuary. How can anyone that struggles and gives up so much to migrate to the United States hate it?

Get out the immigrant vote! at Standing FIRM. Get some information on efforts to encourage voter registration and listen to Nicola Wells speak with Jose Gonzalez from the New Americans Democracy Project at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Also in Action Alert: Host a Conversation to hold DHS Accountable! we learn of an effort to host conversations around the country to counter DHS's terrible treatment of migrants. And we have Action Alert: Oregonians hold a Week of Action and Prayer.

Yave wrote about why you should support the Uniting American Families Act the other day.  Coming from the Immigration Equality blog, yet again, is this Current video that personalizes the discrimination against same-sex binational couples. 


This just goes to show that discrimination against migrants, or anyone for that matter, isn't to far removed from discrimination against everyone else.  Just the other day, another U.S. citizen was deported from her own country.  When is the federal government going to come for you?

It's Harvest Time!

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American Harvest, the non-partisan documentary about migrant farmworkers, American farmers, and the relationship between the immigration debate and our food, is hitting local theaters now!

Get into some air-conditioned comfort & see this important film, then get out and enjoy the season's bounty of fruits and vegetables with new eyes.

Dreamactivist, on A Dream Deferred and cross-posted at The Sanctuary, has dug up a good report on the fact that there is no real way to differentiate between legal and illegal migrants as nativists like to do so much.  As she points out, ALIPACers are seething as their world crumbles all around them, and Mark Kirkorian is using this as an excuse to bash legal migrants, too.  Looks like the Center for Immigration Studies isn't as "pro-legal immigrant" as they claim to be.    

The faith of a sea turtle at Smart Borders. Here is a person that exemplifies the selflessness necessary to truly help others. On top of that he's a great writer.

My job as a teacher often feels like Holden Caufield’s dream career of catching bodies coming through the rye, trying desperately to catch them before they run headlong over a cliff.

What part of human don’t you understand? at Standing FIRM.

Ironically, it is the anti-immigrant message that has inspired me to take my stand and start to create my own voice. In the past month, I have seen more hate, more venom and more blind rage directed at immigrants than I ever thought imaginable.
Also read Women Migrants in Detention in Mexico: Conditions and Due Process and 1000 Voices, A National Archive.  There are a number of great stories here.

Roberto Lovato has been sounding the alarm for weeks now on the deaths in detention scandal that ICE is now trying to brush under the rug.  I have to admit I’ve not yet given the issue the attention it deserves in this small corner of the blogosphere. 

As is often the case, Nina Bernstein broke the story in the NY Times.  The Times’ editorial board, headed up on this issue by Lawrence Downes, followed up with an opinion piece citing Bernstein's article. 

Ms. Bernstein chronicled the death of Boubacar Bah, a tailor from Guinea who was imprisoned in New Jersey for overstaying a tourist visa. He fell and fractured his skull in the Elizabeth Detention Center early last year. Though clearly gravely injured, Mr. Bah was shackled and taken to a disciplinary cell. He was left alone — unconscious and occasionally foaming at the mouth — for more than 13 hours. He was eventually taken to the hospital and died after four months in a coma.

Nobody told Mr. Bah’s relatives until five days after his fall. When they finally found him, he was on life support, soon to become one of the 66 [ed. note: the Post reports the number is now 83] immigrants known to have died in federal custody between 2004 and 2007. Mr. Bah’s family still does not know the full story of when or how he suffered his fatal injuries.

Goggled and armed with the best cut and paste comments nativist irrational and unsympathetic thought can muster the ALIPAC internet fighter pilots barrel roll through blogs and articles leaving baseless comments along with the scent of glue. The only thing more explosive than ALIPAC's angry online warriors are the battles happening between the nativist camps. So when you venture out to defend migrants watch out for the "nation of laws" bombs and the "what part of illegal don't you understand" bunker busters. Get in your truth tanks and let's get moving!

At No Borders and Binaries read Anti-migrant blogosphere (ALIPAC) fueled by 80-year-olds financed by undocumented migrants!

Watch Detained Immigrants Coerced to Sign Away Their Rights at A Dream Deferred. Also read The InALIENable rights of Corporations.

Once again, the actions of a federal district judge give credence to the belief that businesses and corporations are the ruling class of this country and above the law.

Kyle already addressed some of the deficiencies in Antonio Olivo’s article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday about the migration blogosphere.  Even so, it is always nice to be noticed.  The article gives some much-needed exposure to the online manifestation of rising frustration in migrant communities, including Flor Crisostomo and our DREAMers. 

In the article, though, there was no hint that Olivo acknowledged any difference between the people trying to stay with their families and work in this country and the people trying to boot them all out.  The migrant rights movement is one of the great moral struggles of our time.  It implicates a host of issues about how people work and interact in a global community.  The NY Times has realized the import of the human rights issues involved and the destruction that is being visited on migrant families.  The Times has picked a side, the side of tolerance, compassion, and common sense.  I know there’s a difference between an opinion piece and straight reporting.  But by covering the story in a “he said/she said” format that the press often reverts to when dealing with controversial political issues, Olivo left the underlying issues almost entirely unanalyzed. 

From Andrew Sullivan, via Zaheer at Immigration Equality's blog:

"There is a gaping hole in the Times' coverage of the same-sex marriage issue: Any state recognition of same-sex couples applies only to couples who are both U.S. citizens.  Heterosexual citizens have the right to marry foreign partners and bring them legally into the country with the right to live and work and even seek citizenship. Homosexual citizens don't have that right; they must either choose another citizen as a partner or leave the country in order to be with their foreign partners. I know this issue intimately because both my children have foreign partners. My heterosexual daughter was able to marry and give her foreign partner the right to live here. My homosexual son can't do that, and his partner isn't even allowed to enter the U.S., so he has no choice but to live in his partner's country. The people who claim to be protecting families are not doing anything to protect mine. Instead, they've torn it apart. I wish the Times would cover that aspect of the gay marriage issue because there are thousands of American families affected by it," - a mother of a gay son, commenting on the story on Governor David Paterson's decision to treat gay citizens married in other states no differently than straight ones.

At DMI Blog - Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly: Fueling America with Lies.

While talking to some high school ESL teachers about immigration issues in Ulster County, New York, one of them said to me “If I was to believe what the media says about immigration and undocumented immigrants, I would believe that the majority are criminals and would be afraid of having immigrants in my neighborhood.

The New York Times: “The Great Panic,” Excellent Editorial on the Current State of the Immigration Debate at Eristic Ragemail.

NYT on The Great Immigration Panic at Migra Matters and ICE: Keeping America safe from High School valedictorians.

Minutes after word broke about a Nickelodeon TV special on children affected by Immigration raids, messages like "What part of illegal don't you understand!?!" and "Deport them all!" bombarded Web sites and blogs.

Then, in an increasingly common reaction, bloggers from "pro-migrant" sites such as Citizen Orange and The Unapologetic Mexican countered by ridiculing the show's critics.
Antonio Olivo - Chicago Tribune (4 June 2008)
From then on, the article is all down hill.  It makes the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere sound defeated.  It makes William Gheen sound like the commander of a million person army, while we struggle with our last dieing breaths.  If people like Gheen really are winning, why do anti-migrant politicians keep losing elections?  Why is it that my blogroll has so many pro-migrant blogs?  Why is it that Citizen Orange comes out near the top of a google search of "attrition through enforcement"?  We're starting to take the web back from nativists like Gheen, and this article doesn't do our fight justice.

The Sanctuary has been mentioned before, but if you're coming here via the Chicago Tribune article, please check out this pro-migrant space made up of some of the best voices on the net.  The Sanctuary will be a spot free from a lot of the noise an misinformation spread by folks like Gheen at ALIPAC.
There's always so much injustice that I feel like I should write on, but with a growing cadre of blogmig@s helping me out online, I'll outsource this story to A Dream Deferred.  Also check out Manny's post at The Sanctuary.

Sometimes I feel like I don't want to be part of a country that deports people like Mkoyan, but then I remember, such talk is an insult to undocumented youth that continue their fight to be recognized as humans in the only country they've ever known.

The Great Immigration Panic

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If you haven't seen the New York Times editorial today, read it.  Duke wrote a great post about this over at The Sanctuary.
Most of you have probably already heard that Obama clinched the nomination.  Here's a piece of information you probably weren't familiar with though. 

A global Ipsos poll, commissioned by Al Jazeera, says from a sampling of the most engaged citizens across 22 countries that most (55%) would "like to see Barack Obama as the next President of the United States". 
Americans for Informed Democracy is holding a video contest, and among them is one of the most powerful DREAM Act video that I've seen.  I love it because it's the first DREAM Act videos that I've seen.  It connects the need to empathize with undocumented youth, with our privileges as U.S. citizens and the need to stand in solidarity with them.



Some of the gems from the video:

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch Speaks in Support of DREAM at a Dream Deferred. Also watch Video: Undocumented Students at UC Davis.

Dream Act Texas: In Confused ...? we learn of another candidate whose focus is on immigration - not in a good way. In Panicking for what? Dream Act Texas takes a look at the Republican tactic of stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment to keep Republicans in office. We all know it hasn't been working, but that hasn't stopped them from trying. Also Creating lawbreakers so ICE can arrest them addresses the increased arrests and detention of undocumented migrants. Given the fact that real criminals go untouched as hard working people are arrested it's not hard to see this is an effort to keep the law employed. It's also good business for the every growing privatized jail system. (For some good information about this trend read Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money From Mass Incarceration.)

Mining for Bling

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You have to watch this video:

It's good to see Max and the Marginalized getting some more exposure for their song on Lou Dobbs, "Weeknights at Six".  Crooks and Liars just embedded their new video in an open thread.  Max and the Marginalized let me do a Lou Dobbs video with their song earlier on in December.

C&L has been giving some good pro-migrant link love lately.  Keep it coming and check out the video below:

Hilarious cartoon from Inkcint:

The Rio Grande Guardian reports that environmental groups are suing the Department of Homeland Security for waving so many environmental laws (sombrero tip to the 'Just News' Blog). 

It's news that has been widely reported already.  What was shocking to me though, is the long list of laws that Michael Chertoff is waiving to build the border wall:
Picture from Prensa Libre

I've got two Canadian posts coming at you this Sunday afternoon it looks like. 

I just read in Guatemala's paper of record, Prensa Libre, that the International Organization for Migration has partnered up with the Guatemalan Ministry of Labor to send Guatemalans to Canada as temporary workers.  Over 3,000 agricultural workers are participating in the program, now, according to the article.

The tone of the article is what struck me the most.  It's titled "Immigration, without risks" and starts off with the lead:
The BBC Reports. 

The significance of Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission deserves a lot more attention than I'm giving it in this post.  May this dark period in Canada's recent past be a lesson to all those that think forcefully integrating entire peoples into the majority culture is a good idea in the present. 
Watch this video (sombrero tip Latina Lista):

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