Chicago, Illinois - As of Jan. 1, 2022, a new ordinance took effect in Chicago aimed at bringing much-needed accountability to an industry that has been, by and large, treated as part of the informal economy: domestic work. Domestic work covers a range of jobs, from nannies and home-caregivers to home cleaners, but domestic workers themselves—the majority of whom are people of color and the vast majority of whom are women—are not protected by most labor laws and are frequently subjected to rampant wage theft and harassment. The Chicago ordinance requires employers to provide workers, regardless of their immigration status, with written contracts codifying mutually agreed terms of employment, including wages, work schedule, and scope of responsibilities.
Yesterday afternoon people interrupted and disrupted Invesco‘s annual shareholders’ meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Invesco responded by dragging them out of the meeting. A crowd rallied outside of the shareholders’ meeting calling for Invesco to end their investments in the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The protest ended with four people being arrested. The Wyatt has faced controversy and ongoing protests after signing a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2019, allowing the Wyatt to detain people on behalf of the agency. After this contract was signed, widespread community opposition led the board overseeing the Wyatt to cancel the agreement with ICE.
This report delves into the rhetoric of “smart borders” to explore their ties to a broad regime of border policing and exclusion that greatly harms migrants and refugees who either seek or already make their home in the United States. Investment in an approach centered on border and immigrant policing, it argues, is incompatible with the realization of a just and humane world. Case studies from Chula Vista, California, the European Union, Honduras, Mississippi, and the Tohono O’odham Nation provide substance to this analysis. So, too, do graphics that illustrate the militarized US border strategy and the associated expansion of borders; the growing border industrial complex; the spreading web of surveillance; and the relationship between wall-building, global inequality, and climate change-related displacement.
As morning broke over San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday, northbound traffic was brought to a halt when dozens of undocumented mothers, students and their allies risked arrest to engage in civil disobedience. Just before 7 a.m., protesters exited their cars, carrying banners and calling on Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Traffic piled up in the bridge’s northbound lanes as demonstrators decried the Democrats’ lack of action to pass meaningful immigration reform, stopping morning commuters for about an hour.
On George Washington’s birthday, 2018, the Donald Trump administration’s director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, L. Francis Cissna, changed the agency’s official mission statement, dropping the language of “a nation of immigrants” to describe the United States. The previous mission statement had said the agency “secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.” The revised mission statement reads: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”
On March 13, the Party for Socialism and Liberation hosted a march and banner drop beginning at Larsen Field, in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego, next to the Tijuana-San Diego border. Other organizations in attendance included Socialist Alternative, Immigrant Justice League, San Diego Sunrise Movement, ANSWER San Diego, and other supporters in the community. The demonstration was held in solidarity with the migrant caravan making its way to the border through Mexico. Thousands of migrants are currently fleeing violence and persecution that are a direct result of U.S. intervention in Central America. Just miles from San Ysidro is the Otay Mesa Detention Center. The OMDC is the site where the first Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee died from COVID-19.
In June 2019, candidate Joe Biden pledged to wealthy donors that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ once he was elected. In Latin America at least, he is keeping that promise. The evidence so far suggests a continuity of policy objectives: promoting corporate profits, minimizing migration, maintaining alliances with repressive right-wing governments and marginalizing the left. But the Biden team intends to avoid the excesses of his predecessor, seen as ‘counterproductive’ in ruling circles. The roster of appointees suggests a strong affinity with both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Most have passed through the revolving door once or twice, as their official bios and company websites boast. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s resume includes top roles in Washington and at private equity firm Pine Island Capital Partners.
For years, legal organizations and farmworker advocacy groups have sounded the alarm about the H-2A visa program — the most common legal route to hiring foreign agricultural workers. Faced with massive worker shortages, farmers in the South have increasingly turned to foreign laborers, who come to work on temporary employer-sponsored visas. The program, which ties employees and their visas to the employer, is rife with abuse. Wage theft is rampant, forced labor is common, and the contracts employers sign, which guarantee certain hours and living conditions, are rarely honored. On top of that the U.S. Department of Labor rarely enforces regulations, which allows mistreatment to go unchecked.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to deport migrants despite president Joe Biden's 100-day moratorium on deporting most people in the U.S. without authorization. This decision was barred by a federal judge in Texas last week. During the first days of Biden's administration, ICE has deported hundreds of immigrants, including 269 people, to Guatemala and Honduras last Friday. The agency has been accused of violating human rights as a coalition of immigrant groups denounced that Cameroonian asylum seekers were tortured to be forced to approve their deportations.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a series of executive orders that fell short of addressing two major crises facing jobless, poor, immigrants and working people: the threat of a wave of mass evictions and the threats of family separation by an emboldened rogue ICE agency. Simply put: Biden’s first executive orders did not cancel the rent debt and only delivered a partial moratorium on deportations. As the President settles in his new home, everyday people are wondering if they’ll avoid being kicked out of theirs. Millions of renters, homeowners and undocumented immigrants are teetering on the edge of being evicted, foreclosed off their homes or being deported from the country they call home too.
On Tuesday, the outgoing US president, Donald Trump, known for his tough stance on immigration, warned that if his policies are reversed, as Biden has pledged to do, "a tidal wave" of illegal migration will follow. A migrant caravan of reportedly thousands is heading to the United States from Honduras, asking the incoming Biden administration to "honor its commitments", apparently referring to the president-elect's pledges to reverse most of Trump's immigration policies, according to media reports. According to a statement issued by the migrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras ["People Without Borders"], and cited by Fox News, the caravan expects the Biden administration to provide them with a warmer welcome than the outgoing administration offered.
Women who have spoken out about alleged abuse by a gynecologist while in U.S. custody won a reprieve Tuesday when the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to halt their deportations until President Donald Trump is nearly out of office. The motion filed by the DOJ must still be approved by a federal judge, but the department reached an agreement with the lawyers of several women who say Dr. Mahendra Amin abused them and subjected them to invasive procedures without their consent while they were being held at Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.
The Trump administration is trying to deport several women who allege they were mistreated by a Georgia gynecologist at an immigration detention center, according to their lawyers. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has already deported six former patients who complained about Dr. Mahendra Amin, who has been accused of operating on migrant women without their consent or performing procedures that were medically unnecessary and potentially endangered their ability to have children.
Hatfield, MA - For many farmers, the 2020 season has posed numerous difficulties: an ongoing drought, early frost and a need for extra public health precautions amid the pandemic, to name a few. But in a year marked by challenges, Riquezas del Campo farm, now in its second season, is growing. The immigrant-led, worker-owned cooperative farm got started later in the growing season when it started in 2019 and had just one customer, said Lorena Moreno, a founding member of the farm. This year, the farm, situated on the Northampton-Hatfiled line, has multiplied its sales around four times over, is attracting new members and selling to more vendors.
In 2018, one of the biggest demands of immigrant rights activists was “Abolish ICE.” The rallying cry intensified in part due to the Trump administration’s border policy, which separated parents from children and horrified the world. Just a few days ago, leaked tapes of the first lady exposed her indifference toward the policy in 2018, and reminded us of the administration’s complete disdain of the humanity of people seeking asylum. Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still targeting and detaining hundreds of thousands of people, and separating loved ones from their families and communities.