Thursday, December 16, 2021

My Conversation With a Coup Plotter

I found myself wondering how someone as obviously intelligent and well-educated as Eastman could present such flimsy arguments. Was he just lying, or had rightwing ideology warped his mind to the point where he could believe what he was writing?

By David L. Wilson, CounterPunch

December 9, 2021

Claremont Institute legal scholar John Eastman is now best known for his efforts to help Donald Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election, but in August 2015 he was still a professor at the Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law and someone whose legal opinions the New York Times considered worthy of publication.

The occasion back then was a proposal from candidate Donald Trump to end birthright citizenship. The current requirement that children born here be recognized as U.S. citizens was “the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” he argued.[…]

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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Media Don’t Factcheck Right-Wing Migration Myths

[T]his imbalance is typical of much corporate media immigration coverage. Right-wing media figures and Republican politicians get little pushback when they promote evidence-free, often absurd claims about incentives for unauthorized immigration.

By David L. Wilson, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

December 1, 2021

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked a bizarre question at President Joe Biden’s November 3 press briefing. The president seemed to misunderstand the question, which referred to potential settlements of a lawsuit stemming from the Trump administration’s notorious 2017–18 family separation policy. Biden bungled his response, apparently calling reports about the settlement “garbage.”

Not surprisingly, the media ran with the story of Biden’s blunder. Doocy’s question, on the other hand, was mostly ignored or played down.[…]

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Photo: Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The “border crisis” numbers don’t add up

[T]he “border crisis” narrative ignores several important differences between 2000 and 2021—the number of successful border crossings, the legal situation of the migrants who arrive, and the impact of a global pandemic.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online

October 29, 2021

In July, environmental activist Laiken Jordahl tweeted out a short video featuring what he called “the almighty border wall,” a section of fence at the Coronado National Forest in Arizona. The fence there includes several gates that need to be kept open at times of heavy rain. Without them, explained Jordahl, a staffer at Tucson’s Center for Biological Diversity, debris would accumulate behind the structure and floodwaters would eventually knock the wall down.

The gates were wide open. The only barrier was a few strands of barbed wire: anyone could easily have clipped the wire and walked through. No Border Patrol agents were in sight; neither were any would-be migrants.[…]

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Photo: David Bacon

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Let’s Call the “Border Crisis” What It Is: Another Big Lie From the Right

Undocumented immigrants aren’t actually a problem, but the Republican Party has framed them “as criminals and lawbreakers and a grave threat to the nation in order to motivate and mobilize the Republican base, to great effect,” Massey told Truthout. Up until now, the Democrats have failed to push back, he added.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout

July 20, 2021

Republican politicians and commentators spent the last week of June promoting their claim that this year’s increase in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border constitutes — in the words of Fox News host Sean Hannity — “a crisis of a monumental scale.”


The campaign’s high point came on June 30 when former president Donald Trump visited a stretch of the border wall near Pharr, Texas, and delivered a number of “questionable statements” about his administration’s supposed enforcement successes.[…]


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GOP pols tour the border in March. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sunday, July 18, 2021

It’s the US Government’s Immigration Policy That’s Illegal

“The violation of asylum seekers’ rights over the past three years under both Trump and Biden demonstrates how easily a president can ignore and even defy the law — especially when the victims are poor or marginalized and not enough of us speak out.”

By David L. Wilson, Jacobin

July 12, 2021

There’s a crisis on the imaginary line that separates the United States from Mexico, but it’s not the one politicians and media outlets have been talking about.

Earlier this year, the US political class was focused on a supposed “surge” in migration and on serious — but not unprecedented — failures in the treatment of unaccompanied minors. This distracted attention from two far more serious issues: the Trump administration’s misnamed Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), now discontinued, and the ongoing use of the US health code’s Title 42 to exclude asylum seekers from entering the country.[…]

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hey VP Harris, Here Is a Progressive Way to Address the Root Causes of Migration


VP Harris meets with Guatemalan officials. Photo: Kent Nishimura/LAT/Getty Images

This isn’t to say that progressives should view their program as primarily an answer to the supposed “border crisis.” After all, there’s no reason to fear migration.... But the occasional spikes in border crossings give progressives an opportunity to go on the offensive, to describe the ways that their program would improve the lives of working people both at home and abroad.


By David L. Wilson, Truthout

June 13, 2021

The recent focus on the rising number of Central American asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border could have one positive result: it creates an opening that activists can use to promote a progressive foreign and domestic agenda.


The two parties are split over how to slow the current rise in migration. Republicans favor the sort of harsh measures that the Trump administration inflicted on migrants; centrist Democrats also support deterrence, but they propose moderating it slightly and spending a few billion dollars to address Central American migration’s root causes. Vice President Kamala Harris’s statements during her June 7-8 trip to Guatemala and Mexico were typical.[…]


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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Media ‘Border Crisis’ Threatens Immigration Reform

Establishment coverage has featured hyperbole about recent migration trends and an inexcusable lack of historical context. Worse yet, this style of reporting could have serious consequences in the real world: It may sabotage prospects for a long overdue reform of the US immigration system.

By David L. Wilson, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

May 24, 2021


It’s no surprise that right-wing media have hyped a supposed crisis on the US/Mexico border, or that much of the television coverage of current immigration issues has tended to be superficial. What’s striking is how badly the situation has been represented in the more centrist and prestigious parts of the corporate media.[…]


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Photo: Herika Martinez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Crediting Xenophobia—Rather Than Organizing—With Raising Workers’ Wages

For years, the media narrative has been that repressive immigration policies—billions spent on immigration enforcement, families torn apart, thousands dying on the southwestern border—will somehow lead to wage hikes. They haven’t, and they won’t.

By David L. Wilson, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

February 19, 2021

The Economist (2/15/20) ran a brief article last year with a startling headline: “Immigration to America Is Down. Wages Are Up. Are the Two Related?” Maybe, the article’s anonymous author answered, at least for the short term.

A few on the right were quick to cite this conclusion as support for former President Trump’s efforts to deter immigration.[…]