kyledeb: May 2008 Archives

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the newly formed U.S. pro-migrant communications war room, America's Voice, has laid out what looks to be Sharry's new strategy for victory in a post on Alternet.  Let's see if we can come up with catchy phrases, a la nativist, that describe the new strategy.
Wow, this is a first.  Joe Klein at Time Magazine's Swampland blog calls out Lou Dobbs in a post entitled "Lou Demagogue." 

I've got to wonder why the network allows Lou Dobbs to continue spewing false, inflammatory nonsense under the guise of objective journalism...I know that Dobbs brings in some serious ratings. And he is certainly entitled to his own opinion. But he is not entitled to his own facts.
Joe Klein - Swampland (25 May 2008)
The part that's a first is that the comments are actually supportive, and the thread hasn't been overrun by nativists.  We might win this fight yet. (sombrero tip to Greg Siskind).   
It looks like majority world migrants aren't the only ones getting rounded up and shipped back to their countries.  Watch this Real News Network video on a U.S. soldier who deserted to Canada to avoid fighting the War in Iraq, and is now being deported back to the U.S. where he will likely go to prison. (sombrero tip to Renata Avila of Global Voices Guatemala).
Don't ever forget that one of the first U.S. soldiers to die in Iraq was a Guatemalan undocumented migrant.
One large step for migrant kind.  Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission laid the smack-down on those pesky prepaid calling cards that advertise more minutes than they actually offer.  This is a major victory for migrants whose only connection to their home, sometimes, are these cheap calling cards.  Hopefully this is one less way that migrants will get ripped off in the future.  If you don't read spanish, USA Today also has an article on this.
Dave Neiwart comments on Paul Waldman's appearance on Lou Dobbs' show last night.  As was expected, the only defense nativists have of substantive critiques of their positions is to shout, "amnesty" and "open-borders". 

If you haven't read Paul Waldman's post on The Sanctuary yet, you should. 
In the U.S. the federal government terrorizes migrants.  In South Africa, the federal government sends in the army to protect migrants from terror.
As usual, the talking heads are up in arms over recent statements by McCain that migrants are actually human, and that the federal government needs to enact comprehensive immigration reform:

After several of the business leaders complained about the difficulty in obtaining temporary H1B visas for scientists and engineers, something the Senate immigration bill was supposed to address, Mr. McCain expressed regret the measure did not pass, calling it a personal “failure,” as well as one by the federal government.

“Senator Kennedy and I tried very hard to get immigration reform, a comprehensive plan, through the Congress of the United States,” he said. “It is a federal responsibility and because of our failure as a federal obligation, we’re seeing all these various conflicts and problems throughout our nation as different towns, cities, counties, whatever they are, implement different policies and different programs which makes things even worse and even more confusing.”

I just saw a video on the plight of Indian guest workers working for Signal International in New Orleans.  This just goes to show that we're fighting for more than just rights here.  We're fighting for migrant freedom.



Contact the New Orleans' Workers Center for Racial Justice to find out how you can help.
Picture from the Boston Herald.

What a sad day.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who was elected with a wave of hope, has turned his back on migrants. 

Governor Deval Patrick has decided against taking action to allow illegal immigrants to pay resident tuition and fees at state colleges and universities this fall, an administration official said yesterday, crushing advocates who were counting on the governor to deliver on a pledge to support the students.
Maria Sacchetti - Boston Globe (22 May 2008)

This is a sad day for hundreds of migrant youth, whose only hope to go to college this year was crushed.  What makes this an even harder pill to swallow is that Patrick is turning his back on a promise he made during his campaign. 

We will have in-state tuition for undocumented aliens when I am governor.
Deval Patrick - WBZTV (4 April 2006)
If these promises hadn't been made by Patrick, I'm sure immigrant communities and their allies would have though twice about supporting him.  They certainly wouldn't have been out campaigning for him.
Paul Waldman was gracious enough to stop by The Sanctuary and write a post about it.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars linked to The Sanctuary.  That's huge.
Check out Perez Hilton standing up for migrants and linking to one of the Washington Post articles exposing the horrendous conditions migrants suffer from while in detention. 

The post only consists of six short words, including the title.

Title: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!,

THIS is unacceptable.
Perez Hilton (14 May 2008)
With a toxic anti-migrant online climate I'll take all of support we can get.  Needless to say, a link from one of the most prominent blogs on the web is more than significant support.  Still I couldn't help but notice all the migrant hate in the comments.
The Postville raid was the largest in the history of the U.S. and I'm going to keep posting on it.  The other side often claims that "migrants bring wages for U.S. citizens down".  Harvard economist George Borjas is often their citation of choice.  I tend to see this in the same light as everything else migrants are blamed for -- healthcare, education, etc. -- migrants are straw men people hold up because they don't want to ask themselves the hard questions with all these issues.

The solution for increasing wages in the U.S. is not kicking every single migrant out, it is unionizing and collective bargaining.  That's why most labor unions, like the AFL-CIO, are supportive of legalizing undocumented migrants.  They know they can unionize undocumented migrants when they're legalized, and raise wages for everyone.  In the meantime, they see the way U.S. immigration laws are being enforced as being counterproductive to labor.  Raids are often used as a scare tactic, and employers are almost never punished for exploiting undocumented workers.
XP has an myth-slaying post over at Para Justicia Y Libertad clarifying some of the more outlandish charges that have been made in the Postville raid.  He's put together some of the best information on the supposed "methamphetamine lab" that I've been able to find.  Symsess already linked to this, but it deserves a second mention.  I look forward to part two.
This was written for the Choose Or Lose Street Team '08:

Picture from Reuters.

Matchstick thin limbs, swollen bellies, sunken eyes, buzzing flies, if you know what I'm talking about, chances are you are familiar with development pornography.  It's a term critics use for some of the shocking images aid organizations exploit to encourage donations.  These are images usually taken by "first world", white, photographers to portray "third world" problems.  In fact, chances are these are the first images that pop up in your mind when you think of the entire continent of Africa. 

It's part of a larger problem that I'm very familiar with.  Though I report from Massachusetts for the Street Team, I was born and raised in Guatemala, a country that suffers from the worst malnutrition indicators in Latin America.  Coming from that country, I find that most people I interact with on a daily basis have no concept of what it means to be an average person on this earth.  About half of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day, but if you're reading this, it's going to be very difficult to conceptualize what that means.  For example, way back in 2005, I wrote this for an Opinion Focus in the Harvard Crimson about Poverty about the simple ability to read and write:
Nightprowlkitty has written a monumental post over at Docudharma about how people can help those affected by the Postville raid.  Please read it and go over to her cross-post at Daily Kos and recommend it so that it gets the most possible attention.

NPK has been a giant at connecting human rights and migrant rights for sometime now.  With the recent revelations about the horrible conditions that migrants are suffering from in detention, I'm starting to feel like people are finally making a connection between human rights and migrant rights.  NPK has been a giant at making this connection since day one.  
Shuya Ohno, Director of Communication for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, flew into Iowa this weekend to help with the aftermath of the largest raid in the U.S. history.  The New Bedford raid wasn't too far behind.   Ohno sent me the following pictures and asked me to put them up on Citizen Orange:

Thumbnail image for Iowa girl May 17 08.JPG
Iowa two kids May 16 08.JPG
Picture from the New York Times.

It may not be politically viable, I may be attacking allies in this post, but someone needs to say it.  In the wake of shocking exposes in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and 60 Minutes, (h/t to Roberto Lovato for the links) it looks like there's actually some movement from the U.S. government to enact some pro-migrant, or better said, less anti-migrant federal legislation.   Nina Bernstein and Julia Preston of the New York Times report in "Better Health Care Sought for Detained Immigrants".


A Good May Day

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It was good to get out on the streets and re-energize ourselves for the struggle.  Thank you to all of those that followed along on Citizen Orange.  I've got work to catch up on, now, but if I don't get to posting later on today, I'm sure other writers will.
NOTE: This post will be at the top of the Citizen Orange all day.  Look below for new posts.

I'm going to experiment with a new tool here on Citizen Orange, today.  All of us should be out marching right now in support of migrant rights, not on our computers.  That's why I'm going to be sending live May Day updates to Citizen Orange using my cell phone.  You can join in, too:

Send a text message to 41411 with the words UPD CITIZENORANGE, followed by your message.  It will updated live here on Citizen Orange, and it will be the start of what I hope will be a rapid mobile network in support of migrant rights.  If others don't decide to update live at least you'll be hearing from me throughout the day.

Check out Para Justicia Y Libertad to get real time information on the May 1st demonstrations.