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

Thursday, September 6, 2018

No More Compromises: We Need Immigration Amnesty Now!

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
September 6, 2018
In mid-April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carried out a six-day operation in the New York metropolitan area, detaining a total of 225 people.

One month later, a young US citizen named Augustina stood in Manhattan’s Foley Square, a few hundred feet from ICE’s regional headquarters, and told a crowd of journalists and supporters how the series of raids — code-named “Operation Keep Safe” — had impacted her and her family. Claiming they were police, ICE agents “welcomed themselves in” at the family’s East Harlem apartment, she said, and led away her diabetic mother, who had lived in the United States for more than 30 years. As the oldest citizen left in the family, Augustina was now having to file for guardianship of her 12-year-old sister.

The media had covered the number of immigrants arrested in the April raid, Augustina noted, but not how it had affected their friends and relatives. “We’re not just numbers,” she said. “When will our undocumented families be recognized as human beings?”[…]

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A daughter hugs her immigrant mother. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Trump Welcomes Immigrants, but Only if They Can Be Exploited

After three years of telling his base that he “puts American jobs first,” surely Trump wouldn’t try to expand the guest worker programs — or would he?

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
July 31, 2018
The US mainstream media had two competing events to cover the night of April 28: the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, DC, and a Trump rally in Macomb County, Michigan, a predominantly white working-class suburb of Detroit. Journalists mainly focused on the dinner, but the more important story may have been a remark President Trump made in the course of his 80-minute speech at the rally.

As reported by the immigration-restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), around 33 minutes into his talk, Trump began praising guest worker programs. “For the farmers it’s going to get really good,” he started.[...]

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An H-2A guest worker picks oranges. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Escraches Come North: “Incivility” or an End to Impunity?

It’s hard to say now what direction the protests will take, but they could turn out to be the U.S. version of Argentina’s escraches. Someday members of our political elite may finally have to answer for their crimes in front of a judge and a jury.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
June 29, 2018
Seven years of military dictatorship in Argentina ended in 1983, but the regime’s officers remained a powerful force. The newly formed democratic government tried to appease them by passing two laws that granted almost total impunity for the junta’s many crimes: the “disappearance” of as many as 30,000 people, systematic torture, the dumping of live detainees from airplanes, and the practice of seizing the children of murdered activists and handing them over to childless military couples.

In the mid-1990s many of the survivors began fighting back against the impunity.[...]

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https://mronline.org/2018/06/29/escraches-come-north-incivility-or-an-end-to-impunity/
"Prison for the torturer": confronting Astiz. Photo: Clarin/AFP

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Roseanne, Immigration, and the Unasked Question

[T]here’s a second way the elite can exploit immigrant workers—as scapegoats. When people like Dan and Roseanne complain about their economic problems, the superrich and their hired propagandists point their fingers at undocumented immigrants.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
June 18, 2018
On May 8, a few weeks before its cancellation, the popular sitcom Roseanne devoted an episode to immigration.

The main focus was on the title character’s anit-Muslim prejudices, but the plot hinged on a problem for Roseanne’s husband, a construction contractor: his loss of drywall installation work to a rival who employs undocumented immigrants. “I got underbid on Al’s job,” Dan, the husband, explains to Roseanne. “He’s using illegals… It ain’t right, Rosie. These guys are so desperate they’ll work for nothing, and we’re getting screwed in the process.”

This scene got its share of pushback.[…]

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Delusion of Deporting the Country’s Troubles Away by Banishing “Criminal Aliens”

[T]he Court’s decision presents the nation with a chance to address a more fundamental issue: Is there really any reason for the US government to deport non-citizens with criminal records?

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
June 6, 2018
On April 17 the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that limited some of the excuses the government can use for deporting people. At issue in the case, Sessions v. Dimaya, was the meaning of “crime of violence” in immigration law; immigration judges have relied on this very broad category to order some non-citizens deported as “criminal aliens.” The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2015 that the category was unconstitutionally vague and therefore not a basis for deportation, and the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upheld the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

The decision got a good deal of media attention. Time ran a headline claiming that the Court had “Dealt the White House a Big Blow on Immigration.” But this type of coverage probably exaggerates the ruling’s practical effect.[...]

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