The Immigrant Rights Movement: Advancing Media and Cultural Strategies

Mag-Net hosted a call on media and cultural strategies within the immigrant rights movement. Listen to the discussion:

May 1st marks May Day, also known as International Workers Day. On May 1st, 1886, nearly a half a million immigrants went on a general strike to fight for a 8-hour workday.  Over a hundred years later, starting in 2006, again millions of immigrant workers and supporters participated in May Day protests against H.R. 4437, a draconian anti-immigrant bill.   Even today, the majority of May Day protests are led by immigrants.

Operation Streamline

To understand Operation Streamline, it helps to visit the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum, 60 miles north of Del Rio. This corner of Texas needed a local justice of the peace in the 1880s and Roy Bean took the job. Bean deemed his saloon a courthouse and dispensed what the state’s tourism department now describes as “his own brand of justice … with strange, but expedient decisions.”

Efficiency was king. Judge Bean had a saloon to run, after all. When he needed a jury, he called one from among his customers.  Whatever fines he imposed, he pocketed.

Once, when an Irishman killed a Chinese railroad worker and was sent to Judge Bean to be tried for manslaughter, a mob of 200 white people demanded the Irishman’s immediate release. Judge Bean set the Irishman free, holding that while homicide was the killing of a human being, there was no law against killing a Chinaman.

44,000 can’t wait for immigration reform in Congress

For the 44, 000 people expected to be expelled from the country during Congress’ August recess, here immigration reform won’t come soon enough and executive action is already overdue.

While the end result of the immigration debate in Congress is uncertain when in session, we know that nothing will move while legislators are on vacation. Nothing, that is, other than the gears on the deportation machine that has been assembled and placed on overdrive under the Obama administration.

The President’s Deportation Quota is More Offensive than Rep. Steve King’s Idiocy

When Barack Obama said he needed a “dance partner” in Congress to reform immigration law he might not have been thinking of Steve King but King has proven to be Obama’s best accomplice in what constitutes the perfect political crime.

With Republicans’ unmasked bigotry, the President can denounce them for their intolerance while implementing enforcement to cater to it.

Where Rep. King’s comments are a mouthpiece for prejudice, the President’s are a pretext for actual policy that has eviscerated our rights and devastated the lives of thousands of families. King’s Republican affiliation, however, makes him an appealing target while the Democratic President’s record and rhetoric make for an inconvenient truth.

Yet truth be told, the President has done more to criminalize migrants than what Rep. King could accomplish in his wildest dreams.

For CCA and Country (A visit to Eloy Detention Center)

 

Visitors to Eloy Detention Center are greeted by a mural of three flags. They are, from left to right, there the stars & stripes of the United States, the rising sun of Arizona, and the maroon corporate logo of CCA. The three flags are painted as if they are being flown on the same level, with the Corrections Corporation of America’s flag flying to the right of the flag of the United States of America. This is, as any cub scout knows, a terrible violation of decorum, and highly disrespectful of the U.S. flag. 

It is also a violation of the Federal Flag Code, 4 U.S.C. §§ 4-10, for which CCA should be instantly deported.

The Dream 9 were in Eloy when I visited the for-profit prison in the middle of the Arizona desert. All of the nine young people had been brought to the United States as children and would have qualified for DACA relief, the legalization-lite the Obama administration had conceded after three years of escalating pressure from Dreamers. But seven of the Dream 9 had lost hope and left the country before DACA was announced, and so they no longer qualify. The other three – Marco Saavedra, Lulu Martinez and Lizbeth Mateo – did something almost beyond comprehension: they voluntarily left the U.S. a few weeks ago to go fetch the others back. In doing so, Martinez and Mateo made themselves ineligible for DACA. When the nine Dreamers presented themselves at the Nogales port of entry, they were arrested and ended up in Eloy.

Border Patrol Overkill

 

SAN DIEGO — San Diego is a town surrounded by military might. To the north is Camp Pendleton and its 37,000 active duty Marines. To the west, Naval Base Coronado is the command center for the Navy SEALS. To the east, the military trains its elite special forces in the Mountain Warfare Training Facility.

And then to the south, there’s the border and Tijuana.

Given the geographic proximity to all these Marines and Special Forces machos, it’s no wonder Border Patrol agents stationed in San Diego in the early 1990’s felt a bit chagrined at their inability to stop national security threats like dog whisperer Cesar Milan from unauthorized entry into the United States.

¿Apoyar o No Apoyar? Opinión Sobre la Reforma de Inmigración debajo de un vehículo de la Patrulla Fronteriza

El 17 de febrero, online policías locales aplicaron la ley racista SB 1070 y llamaron a la patrulla fronteriza; un padre de seis hijos fue llevado bajo custodia en Tucson, Arizona. Siendo testigo de una separación de familia, case yo espontáneamente corrí hacia el vehículo de la Patrulla Fronteriza y me metí debajo de ella…