Sunday, September 15, 2019

The US Has “Disappeared” More Than 42,000 Migrants. Where’s the Outrage?

Trump’s most insidious immigration program is operating under the radar

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
September 14, 2019
The most successful of Trump’s anti-immigrant measures up until now — and possibly the most vicious — hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves.

In operation since late January, Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), originally called “Remain in Mexico,” allows the U.S. government to push most non-Mexican asylum seekers into Mexico once immigration officials have cleared them to make an asylum claim. As of early September, the number of people forced into Mexico under MPP had reportedly risen to more than 42,000.[…]

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Immigration protest, Grand Central, NYC. Photo: Karla Ann Cote/Nurphoto/Getty Images

Saturday, August 24, 2019

ICE Raids Benefit Bosses by Creating Fear in Workers

In 2000, an immigration official admitted that the authorities rarely detained undocumented workers “unless the employer turns a worker in, and employers usually do that only to break a union or prevent a strike or that kind of stuff.”

David L. Wilson, Truthout
August 23, 2019
On August 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents carried out coordinated raids at seven agricultural processing plants in Mississippi, detaining 680 immigrant workers. Officials told The Washington Post that the operation was “the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in U.S. history.”

The massive operation generated terror in immigrant communities already traumatized by a massacre targeting people of Mexican origin in El Paso, Texas, days earlier, and much of the U.S.-born population was outraged by images of detained workers’ sobbing children.

As has happened after workplace raids in the past, news accounts noted that the employers remained free while their workers were led off to migrant jails in handcuffs.[…]

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ICE raid in Los Angeles. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/LAT via Getty Images

Saturday, April 13, 2019

A Progressive U.S. Policy Must Extend Beyond Open Borders

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Opening the borders is a realistic policy proposal, but we need to view it as inseparable from the broader progressive agenda.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
April 13, 2019
Two recent articles — by Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times and Khury Petersen-Smith in Foreign Policy In Focus — make the case that U.S. progressives need to embrace open borders as a policy. Petersen-Smith adds that they should support it “without apology.”

It would certainly seem natural for leftists to support the right to migrate. After all, the socialist movement’s historic slogan has been “Workers of all lands unite,” and its anthem is “The Internationale.” But in the past few years, a number of people on the left
have come out against the concept.[…]

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Students, the Sixties, and How to ‘Fail Better’

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
March 13, 2019
           
Edited by John F. Levin and Earl Silbar (San Francisco: 1741 Press, 2019), 364 pages, $18.95.

In pop culture versions of 1960s activism, student radicals are often depicted as spoiled upper-class kids rebelling against their privileged parents, engaging in random acts of violence, and despising the nation’s wage-earning majority. In reality, the 100,000 or so youths in the student movement were largely drawn from the lower middle class, and some from the working class; their parents were frequently in general agreement with their children’s politics; the period’s radical activism was much more about leafleting, petitioning, and tabling than about confrontations with the police; and far from rejecting the country’s workers, a significant part of the movement considered finding ways to approach this class a central political issue.

You Say You Want a Revolution: SDS, PL, and Adventures in Building a Worker-Student Allianceis a useful introduction to the actual experience of many or most of the student activists a half-century ago.[…]

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Why don’t the media fact-check “amnesty” claims?

Photo: David Bacon

“The practice of citing conservative agitators is often characterized as “bothsidesism,” but here the news outlets only presented one side—the one on the far right—without even a hint that the claims might not have a factual basis.”

By David L. Wilson and Jane Guskin, MR Online
January 28, 2019

On January 20 Donald Trump actually said something accurate about immigration.

Anti-immigrant pundits like Ann Coulter were attacking the president because he appeared to be offering to extend DACA protection for three years. They took to the airwaves and social media to denounce any DACA extension as an “amnesty.” “No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,” Trump tweeted back, and for once he was right.[…]

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

The US Must Take Responsibility for Asylum Seekers and the History That Drives Them

Photo: Pedro Pardo, AFP/Getty Images

Anyone who has followed the history of US involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean knows that the current crises in the region are absolutely “our problem.”

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
November 10, 2018

Most people are capable of holding two or more conflicting ideas on any given issue. Immigration is no exception.

A large segment of the US public was horrified in May and June when they saw the Trump administration snatching toddlers away from Central American mothers who arrived at the US border seeking asylum. Many would still be appalled if they knew that the White House is seeking to continue the practice in a different form. Most undoubtedly feel genuine sympathy for young people trying to escape violent gangs or abusive partners. Still, a lot of these same sympathetic Americans don’t actually want the asylum seekers to come here.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How can we make “Abolish ICE” a Reality?

Two of the immigrant rights movement’s historic demands provide a basis for actually closing the agency, and beyond that for building a movement to demand more fundamental changes.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
October 25, 2018
Over the past few months immigrant rights activism has come to be defined largely by a demand to “abolish ICE.” The drive to close down Immigration and Customs Enforcement—a Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for internal enforcement of immigration laws—has figured in headlines, garnered support from activists and a few Democratic politicians, and provoked furious denunciations from conservatives. But despite the attention there seems to be little agreement on what’s meant by the phrase, or on how to turn it into a reality.[...]

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DSA members protest in New York, June 2018. Photo: Marty Goodman