Migrant Emancipation: March 2008 Archives
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.
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
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.
- 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.
[Begin press release]
Apparently an incarceration ratio of 1 in 100, while good enough for
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 Angelesand surrounding counties, a Times review of attorney's statistics shows. U.S.
Most of these prisoners were probably removed through an
administrative removal proceeding after coming to the
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
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.
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.
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