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.[...]

Read the full article:
ICE arrest in New York, April 2018. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images



Monday, April 2, 2018

Stand Up, Fight Back: The Rising Militancy of the Immigrant Rights Movement


“The only way we can stop the deportations now is to demonstrate, to commit mass civil disobedience, over and over again. Sanctuary in churches must become militant mass sanctuary in the streets.”

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
April 2, 2018
Activism for immigrant rights may be about to get much more militant.

Some 1.1 million undocumented people -- beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) -- are slated to lose their protection against deportation over the next two years, along with the possibility of obtaining work permits or aid for higher education. The result will of course be devastating for them and for their relatives, friends and communities, but there will also be repercussions for the society as a whole, especially in areas with large immigrant populations.[...]

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May 1, 2017, in San Francisco. Photo: Peg Hunter

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Latest Nonsense About Immigration—a Quick Guide


By David L. Wilson, MR Online
February 7, 2018
We’ve seen and heard a lot about immigration in the past few weeks, and a good deal of it has been out-and-out nonsense. Many journalists and politicians simply don’t understand U.S. immigration policy, some consciously lie about it, and a few, like Donald Trump, manage not to understand and at the same time consciously lie.

Here’s a list of some of the immigration absurdities now circulating in the media and in the political class.[…]

Read the full article:
https://mronline.org/2018/02/07/the-latest-nonsense-about-immigration-a-quick-guide/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Movement and the Money

What’s behind the recent rise in wages for undocumented workers? It could be immigrants’ rights activism.
Graffiti on the Mexican side of the wall. Photo: Jonathan McIntosh / Flickr

David L. Wilson, Jacobin
October 16, 2017
Last Sunday, Trump’s White House released a list of immigration demands that Democrats must meet if they want to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. The demands, if met, would mean more criminalization, more surveillance, and more fear for undocumented immigrants.

Republicans justify this punitive approach by insisting that immigrants are “taking our jobs,” driving down wages for citizens and making the economic situation more desperate for all.

But a look back at a decade of data shows that if Republicans’ goal is to bolster wages, they’re going about it all wrong.[...]

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Protect the Dreamers, but Don't Fall for an E-Verify "Compromise"

Liberal commentators have written favorably about the program in the past.... But E-Verify isn't really any better than Trump's "big beautiful wall."

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
October 12, 2017
E-Verify is back on the political agenda.

For years, politicians have wanted to force all of the country's 7.7 million private employers to check new hires against this online system -- which compares employees' documents with government databases in order to catch immigrants without work authorization -- but so far, the efforts to impose a universal E-Verify requirement have failed. Now the idea has been given new life by a tentative agreement that President Trump and Democratic leaders made on September 13 to promote legislation protecting the immigrants previously covered by President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).[...]

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Janet Napolitano touts E-Verify Self in  2011. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why do we still have employer sanctions?

The AFL-CIO was one of the main supporters of employer sanctions back in 1986. It only took 13 years for the labor federation to learn its lesson: in February 2000 it officially called for the elimination of the policy.

By David L. Wilson, MR Online
September 13, 2017
It’s now more than three decades since Congress created employer sanctions, a feature of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that imposes fines on employers who hire undocumented workers. The measure’s proponents said the sanctions would slow unauthorized immigration by removing the “job magnet” thought to be drawing migrants to the United States. The House Education and Labor Committee wrote at the time that by reducing the number of undocumented workers the measure would limit “the depressing effect on working conditions caused by their employment.”

If that was the goal, employer sanctions have been a spectacular failure.[…]

Read the full article:
https://mronline.org/2017/09/13/why-do-we-still-have-employer-sanctions/


Friday, September 8, 2017

Renegotiating NAFTA Will Only Serve the Rich -- Just Like It Always Has


By David L. Wilson, Truthout
Monday, August 21, 2017
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect at midnight on January 1, 1994. That night, thousands of Indigenous Mayans rose up in arms in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, seizing at least five towns and declaring NAFTA a "death certificate" for people like themselves. This was just the beginning of Mexico's troubles in a year that brought countless protests, hotly disputed elections and the assassinations of two of the then-ruling party's leaders. 1994 ended with a sudden devaluation of the peso, the start of an economic collapse from which the country didn't recover fully for years.

NAFTA is back in the news this month: On August 16, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, the other two NAFTA nations, to open talks on renegotiating the pact.

While it's true that NAFTA was just one of the many problems Mexico had in the 1990s, we have to wonder, given the renewed focus on the trade accord, why US mainstream media have carried so little discussion of the events that accompanied NAFTA's rollout in Mexico.[…]

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