Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Democrats’ immigration agenda: Bolder, but not bold enough

By David L. Wilson, MR Online

September 23, 2020

The immigration plank in this year’s Democratic Party platform is a reminder that real immigration reform isn’t going to happen without serious grassroots organizing.

The platform, which the Democratic National Convention approved on August 18, is largely based on a 110-page document produced by six policy task forces that former vice president Joe Biden and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders set up in May. According to the New York Times, the Democrats were seeking “to assemble a new governing agenda…far bolder than anything the party establishment has embraced before.”[…]

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Anti-Immigrant Policies Are Not Only Cruel, They Also Have an Economic Cost

Legalization and a fair work visa program would raise wages for many U.S.-born workers as well. This wage increase would in itself provide an important stimulus to an economy facing its worst crisis since the 1930s.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
August 19, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the government agency that processes visas, green cards and citizenship applications, claims it’s going broke. USCIS officials are threatening to furlough some 13,400 employees as early as August 30, after initially planning the measure for August 3. The furloughs would add to what was already a huge backlog in application processing, creating a disaster for tens of thousands of immigrant applicants. As many as 126,000 people already approved for citizenship may not be naturalized in time to register for the November elections.

Trump administration officials blame the agency’s financial problems on the COVID-19 pandemic...

U.S.-Mexico border fence in Playas de Tijuana, BC. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

Friday, July 17, 2020

Trump’s Guest Worker Ban Sparks New Focus on Immigrant Push for Labor Overhaul

Construction worker in NYC. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

“Most media coverage has treated the issue as a choice between bringing guest workers in and keeping them out. But there are better options.”

By Jane Guskin and David L. Wilson, Truthout
July 15, 2020
President Trump’s decision to suspend the majority of U.S. guest worker programs for at least six months, announced in a June 22 proclamation, has provoked a lot of debate.

For Mark Krikorian, who heads the immigration-restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, the suspension is “a bold move … to protect American jobs,” while South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham warns it will have “a chilling effect on our economic recovery.” [...]

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Trump’s Immigration Suspension Doesn’t Prevent Unemployment or COVID-19 Spread

The new policy wouldn’t have more than a minimal impact on joblessness in the United States, even if immigration actually determined employment levels — and it generally doesn’t.

David L. Wilson, Truthout
April 30, 2020
Late on the evening of April 20, President Trump tweeted that he was temporarily suspending immigration to the United States. For justification he cited what he called “the attack from the Invisible Enemy” — that is, COVID-19 — and “the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”

Government officials had to scramble to make sense of Trump’s tweet, but by April 22, the White House staff had tacked together a presidential proclamation for Trump to sign.[...]

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Volunteers bring groceries to immigrants on lockdown. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Trump Welcomes More Guest Workers Amid Crisis While Rejecting Asylum Seekers

This type of exploitation hurts all U.S. workers, both jobless citizens and underpaid foreign workers, but the situation is rarely discussed in the media or in political debates.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
April 11, 2020
Two recent news items neatly sum up U.S. immigration policy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Asylum seekers are now being turned away at the border without even a chance to make their asylum claims; the excuse for the new policy is a March 20 order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, officials say the administration may expand the recruitment of temporary agricultural workers. The purpose would be “to get enough migrant labor to keep the food supply moving” while the crisis drags on.

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Photo: Davis Turner/Tribune News Service/Getty Images