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Immigration

Robbed By Law Enforcement

I am a fan of bad television.  I admit it.  I even DVR it.  I watch an awful show on the National Geographic Channel every week about Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and how they intercept drugs and birds and food and other contraband from people arriving from abroad into the airports of New York, Atlanta and Miami. I was watching an episode this week where an elderly Korean man arrived at JFK airport in New York with a few hundred dollars in his pocket. For no apparent reason, he was pulled into secondary for a more comprehensive search.  When the CBP officer went through the man’s wallet, he found four cashier’s checks, dated years earlier, that totaled $136,000.  The man said that it was his life savings, he had been carrying it around for years, and that he had forgotten that the checks were on him.

IUVENTA: Humanity On Trial

On 2 August 2017, Italian authorities seized the IUVENTA, our search and rescue ship. We, a group of young students and activists from Germany, had started this journey by earning our first donations selling cookies and second-hand clothes at a flea market.  Between the summer of 2016 and the IUVENTA's seizure, we had rescued more than 14,000 people who had embarked on the dangerous journey across the deadliest border in the world, the Central Mediterranean Route to Europe. Now, our comrades stand accused of "aiding and abetting unauthorized immigration". These charges are based on the testimony of a former police officer who worked as a security guard on another rescue ship.

The Radical Immigrant Farmers Who Helped Defeat The Robber Barons

“I was born in Fayette County, Texas, from German parents, and who fled from the reaction [to] the 1848 revolution. I think that I inherited some of my revolutionary qualifications. I am not responsible for them. I cannot help it.” So testified E.O. Meitzen before the Commission on Industrial Relations in March 1915 about why he involved himself in the political struggles of working farmers. At the time, Meitzen was a veteran leader of the Texas Socialist Party. Nearly thirty years earlier, his inheritance led him to help organize and lead the Fayette County Farmers’ Alliance. When the Farmers’ Alliance failed to bring relief to farmers, Meitzen joined the Populist revolt, becoming a statewide leader of the People’s Party. The Meitzen political legacy extended to E.O.’s children, in particular his son E.R., who was a leader successively in the Farmers’ Union, the Socialist Party, the Nonpartisan League and the Farm-Labor Union of America.

The Border-Industrial Complex In The Biden Era

First, it was the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) vehicles speeding along on the road in front of our campsite. Then it was the Border Patrol’s all-terrain vehicles moving swiftly on a ridge above us. I was about 10 miles north of the border with Mexico, near Peña Blanca Lake in southern Arizona, camping with my six-year-old son and some other families. Like fire trucks racing to a blaze, the Border Patrol mobilization around me was growing so large I could only imagine an emergency situation developing. I started climbing to get a better look and soon found myself alone on a golden hill dotted with alligator junipers and mesquite. Brilliant vermilion flycatchers fluttered between the branches. The road, though, was Border Patrol all the way.

I Visited Biden’s MPP Tent Courts

More than two years after visiting the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) tent courts in Laredo, Texas, I returned to see how they had changed under the Biden administration. While some changes have been made, they haven’t resolved the program’s biggest flaws, such as the danger asylum seekers face in Mexico, low rates of legal representation, and barriers to adequately preparing a case. There is no way to reform MPP—the only way to end these violations of due process and human rights is to end the program. Under MPP, asylum seekers are returned to Mexico during their immigration proceedings, coming to the border for each hearing. In Brownsville and Laredo, Texas, temporary facilities were built for the hearings—large tents over a complex of shipping containers and trailers.

Biden Is Expanding US Government’s Brutal Anti-Immigrant Machine

President Joe Biden and his top administration officials met on March 15 and signed a massive spending bill of $1.5 trillion into law. This package, which funds federal government agencies for fiscal year 2022, boosts military spending and increases discretionary spending for domestic agencies by $6.7 billion, the biggest increase in domestic discretionary spending in the past four years. The spending bill also expands the US government’s brutal deportation machine, with an additional $284.7 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This includes $57 million more funding for ICE’s contentious Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) office, which is responsible for detaining and removing immigrants. Overall, the Biden administration is funding ICE with $312 million more than the Donald Trump-era average.

Witness To A Social Crime: The Reality Of US Immigrant Child Detention

In the corporate media, political establishment and middle class “left,” the sound of sanctimonious appeals to America’s responsibility to defend democracy in Ukraine has grown deafening. Without a shred of critical thought, the Mighty Wurlitzer of war propaganda gets spinning. We are told that a Ukrainian government riddled with neo-Nazis is a beacon of democratic hope, that American bombs are being sent to save lives, that American sanctions which choke the world’s food supplies and throw hundreds of millions into the path of starvation are necessary humanitarian measures. The biggest lie of all is that the US stands for freedom and democracy. As Vice President Kamala Harris said at the onset of the war in early March, “Ukraine is a country in Europe.

We Must Stop Family Separation — And We Can Do It Now

“I’m scared all the time, even in my sleep.” I will never forget the teary-eyed 8-year-old who told me that — one of the bravest young people I’ve ever met. I met him just five months after the Trump administration took office and began an onslaught of harsh immigration actions, including prioritizing the deportation of all undocumented immigrants. That included this 8-year-old citizen’s parents, and he was terrified of losing them. Despite the change in administration, our country still has too many children living with the same fear. With Congress failing again to create a pathway to citizenship, Over 5 Million U.S. children continue to face instability due to their parents’ precarious immigration status.

Immigrant Youth Hold Rally Demanding Biden End All Deportations

A day after President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, immigrant youth from across the U.S. rallied outside the White House on Wednesday, demanding an end to all deportations. Organized by United We Dream—the largest immigrant youth-led group in the country—activists at the rally drew attention to the president's failed immigration policies and unveiled a banner acknowledging the over two million people who have been deported or expelled under the Biden administration. "President Biden can praise his administration's purported achievements all he wants, but at the end of the day, young, Black, brown, and immigrant people from across the country know of his failures to protect our communities," said Cynthia Garcia, national campaigns manager for community protection at United We Dream, in a statement.

Border Militias Set Up Fake Aid Stations To Trap Migrants

The growth of the militia movement the past several years has left many of our communities reeling from intimidation, harassment and violence. Donald Trump’s tacit endorsement of the far right “patriot” subculture has given it a pass to grow and recruit, often manipulating the dispossession that many rural and blue-collar workers are facing in our current economic tumult. Trump’s rhetoric about immigration, particularly the conspiratorial fear-mongering around the border, has played to a certain audience. This has inspired the growth of groups like the Arizona Border Recon and Veterans on Patrol, vigilante groups which sit at the border in an attempt to harm migrants. In a recent book called The Marauders: Standing Up to Vigilantes in the American Borderlands, journalist Patrick Strickland chronicles the battle that many communities have had against these border militias in states like Texas and Arizona.

The Capitalist Imperative Driving Cruel And Bipartisan US Migration Policies

President Biden recently reached an agreement with Mexico to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a program instituted by the Trump administration. It requires tens of thousands of migrants to pursue their requests for asylum outside of the US, living in horrifying conditions on the Mexican side of the border until it is their turn to attend a hearing. While Biden initially moved to end the program, a Texas judge ordered the administration to continue MPP until it went through the proper administrative process to end it. The administration, having received the appropriate legal coverage, not only reimplemented the program with minimal changes (to the horror of not just advocates but even asylum officers at the border), but broadened its scale--any migrant from a Western Hemisphere nation can be sent back under the program.

An Inside Look At The The Day Without Immigrants Demonstration In DC

Washington D.C. — Carlos Eduardo Espina walked to the White House on Monday morning a TikTok star with over 2.5 million followers. By day’s end, the 23-year-old Texan from College Station had become an icon of immigrant rights organizing. “It’s cold,” said Espina as he strolled through downtown Washington, D.C., at 6:30 a.m. “I’m not used to this kind of weather.” It was 27 degrees outside and windy. Weeks earlier, Espina came up with the idea to spearhead “A Day Without Immigrants” on Valentine’s Day. The rationale was simple: the holiday relies on immigrant labor, so what if immigrants simply didn’t show up to work? “Hopefully a lot of people show up,” Espina told Latino Rebels. “So hopefully we get a good turnout and the weather doesn’t discourage people.”

Mexico Has Become A ‘Roofless Prison’ For Haitian Refugees

Monterrey, Mexico —Wilson sits, constantly refreshing his phone, waiting for COMAR, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, to reschedule his appointment, originally set for Oct. 13, 2021. A day prior he received a cancellation through email. “I’m still waiting for the new date,” says Wilson, who asked not to use his full name for protection, with his gaze fixed on the phone. The Casa Indi migrant shelter in Monterrey, in northeastern Mexico, received 1,600 Haitian migrants in September 2021, a month after a tropical storm damaged large swaths of the island and contributed to the destabilization that has forced tens of thousands of Haitians to flee. “At least 214 children arrived, less than 8 years old, 215 women, and about 10 pregnant women. Two children have already been born here. What about the human part?” asks José Jaime Salinas, Casa Indi’s accountant.

Freedom To Stay, Freedom To Move: An Interview With Harsha Walia

Harsha Walia has been involved in anti-colonial and anti-capitalist migrant justice movements for the past two decades. Her first book, Undoing Border Imperialism, offered a movement analysis of the foundational connections between migration, borders and imperialism, with insights into the grassroots organizing her work comes out of. Building on this, her latest work, Border and Rule offers a crucial resource for going beyond nation-based thinking about border regimes around the world and building an internationalist movement for their abolition. In Border and Rule, Walia avoids comparisons of one border regime or another as “worse” or “better,” focusing on how borders are consistently a “method of capital” involved in seizing and holding territory and in the segmentation of the working class.

Global Migration Indicators Report Summarizes 2020 For Migrants

The Global Migration Indicators report by the International Organization for Migration is here, with an update on how COVID-19 affected migration around the world. The report says more than 2,300 migrants died while trying to get into Europe or within Europe in 2020. While the pandemic restricted mobility and reduced international migration, still, there were two hundred and eighty-one million international migrants in the middle of 2020. That is close to four per cent of the world’s population.
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