Recently in Economy Category

I say "parting shot" because even though the City of Los Angeles prepares to evict Occupy LA, the '99% movement' is evolving beyond the presence of just tents occupying City Hall. It is evolving to become more focused: drafting this list of 10 demands to local authorities. One of the most notable demands in that list is this unequivocal promigrant stance:

Los Angeles [is] to be declared a sanctuary city for the undocumented, deportations to be discontinued and cooperation with immigration authorities be ended - including the turning in of arrestees' names to immigration authorities.

Having been on the ground since the occupation started, I can report that the very fact that this list of demands was so quickly drafted by its leaders and approved by Occupy LA's General Assembly represents in and of itself a showing of the movement's maturing into a more organized endeavor.

ACTION: Sign the twitter petition I just created.

Today at 2 p.m. ET, Barack Obama is holding a twitter townhall to "answer twitter users' questions about the American economy." There's a part of me that doubts migrant communities will ever be addressed no matter how many tweets with the hashtag #askobama we produce, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Contrary to the false zero-sum logic of nativists, objective economist after objective economist has shown migration to the U.S., authorized and unauthorized, to benefit the U.S. economy. A job earned by a migrant isn't a job taken away from a native born worker, because jobs given have the tendency to support other jobs and businesses. I will be fair and acknowledge that there might be some instances where migration can have a negative impact on marginalized native born workers, but I think strengthening workers' rights and unionizing them would do those folks a lot more good than turning local police officers into border patrol agents.

Understanding this economic truth isn't difficult for people from migrant sending nations like myself. I wish many of the best and most enterprising Guatemalan people who make lives for themselves in migrant receiving nations didn't have to leave, but the fact of the matter is that people generally know what's best for themselves and I know Guatemala's prosperity, as well as the U.S.'s prosperity, for that matter, is interwoven with the empowerment of migrants.

I don't want Obama to speculate on what I know to be economic truths, though, I want to #askobama why he continues to ask for more and more money for immigration enforcement, and why he continues to waste precious federal resources on deporting migrant youth and ripping apart migrant families with strong ties to the U.S. If the question does get asked, I'm assuming he'll dance around it as he has done every other time. Hopefully one of these days, before the election, we're able to find someone with enough knowledge and courage to be able to press him with targetted follow-up questions.

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