Tag Archives | Immigration

Our Fear of Vulnerability

Liberty

Photo: Nevit Dilmen (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

For a country that prides itself on its freedoms, we’ve systematically begun to dismantle them in favor of a perceived sense of safety. We have the largest, most powerful military in the world. Our surveillance systems and police technologies are state of the art. We have more law enforcement agencies than acronyms available.

Yet, for all the measures in place to make us feel safe, we live our lives in fear of the next thwarted terrorist attack. To live and believe that we are the most powerful country in the world and simultaneously feel so vulnerable is a mental gymnastics performance that would make Orwell blush.

With all of the shouting in the public square about the constitution and the paranoia some Americans fear over “big government,” how can our elected leaders even begin to fathom, let alone propose and support such draconian and downright dictatorial powers?… Read the rest

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Recent History, Sander Hicks and a New York Green Party Senate Candidacy

With prognosticators claiming that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)'s re-election campaign is full-steam ahead, activist/writer/playwright/Brooklynite Sander Hicks is running for the Senate on a platform of "true transparency," and economic and leadership policies focused on peace. We had an exchange about immigration, anthrax, the finer points of the alleged 9/11 cover-up, the BP oil spill disaster, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and — that old, beaten-horse topic for Green Party candidates — in essence, the ambiguity of saying Republicans are worse. Sander Hicks 1. On your campaign page, you hold up Cesar Chavez as an example of non-violence. In light of recent events in Arizona and the passage of controversial immigration legislation, how does Mr. Chavez’s opposition to illegal immigration function alongside your personal views of border control? (This is what I’m talking about.) Is attempting to apply restrictions on human movements through the enforcement of borders ever inherently racist? Any good labor leader will want to protect against strike-breakers. This is what Chavez was dealing with — illegals were being hired to cross picket lines and scab on the union. The ideal immigration policy would make it easier to become a citizen. We need to create more jobs in this country so that we’re not at each others’ throats competing for a such a small number of jobs...
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Gringo Masks for Mexican Arizonans

A little humor goes a long way to make a good point. Via animalnewyork: gringo_masks_animal

Fight the pale-skin power. In response to Arizona’s new draconian SB 1070 immigration law, Zubi, an independent Hispanic advertising firm with offices in L.A., Dallas, Miami, and Detroit, has launched a microsite, Gringo Mask, to offer “support and dignity to the Hispanic community in the United States.”
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Democrats Propose Manditory National ID/Fingerprint Card

Photo: PabloBM via Flickr (CC)

Photo: PabloBM (CC)

In the wake of Arizona’s new racial-profiling reign-of-police-terror law, Senate Democrats countered by unveiling their own Orwellian immigration reform “solution”: biometric ID cards for all American workers. Yep, that’s going to go over really well. The Hill reports:

A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday.

Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.

The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties defender often aligned with the Democratic Party, wasted no time in blasting the plan.

“Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives.

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Is Voter Suppression Behind Arizona’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Law?

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

BBC journalist Greg Palast has written a new article for TruthOut suggesting that perhaps the real reason for the insane-o “Papieren, bitte” (that’s “Papers, please” to you non-Nazis) law in Arizona is not actually about illegal immigration, so much as it is about voter suppression of LEGAL Hispanic residents.

If past trends in that state are any indicator, he may not be far off the mark. He writes:

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

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U.S. National Biometric ID Cards Coming Soon

A dream of governments worldwide has long been to make people carry identification papers or cards, but the United States has always rejected direct attempts to institute such a program. That may be about to change, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain. Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker...
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Some Toy Drives Check Immigration Status

From The Houston Chronicle:

They don’t claim to know who’s been naughty or nice, but some Houston charities are asking whether children are in the country legally before giving them toys.

In a year when more families than ever have asked for help, several programs providing Christmas gifts for needy children require at least one member of the household to be a U.S. citizen. Others ask for proof of income or rely on churches and schools to suggest recipients.

The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

The point isn’t to punish the children but to ensure that their parents are either citizens, legal immigrants or working to become legal residents, said Lorugene Young, whose Outreach Program Inc. is one of three groups that distribute toys collected by firefighters.

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The New (Gringo) Face Of Day Labor

The Las Vegas Sun has an article of the recent trend of U.S. citizens’ joining the ranks of immigrants who stand in store parking lots, hoping to be picked up for work:

It sounds like a George Lopez joke: “Times are so bad that I saw an Anglo day laborer standing outside Home Depot the other day.”

Except it’s true…In the latest sign of the Las Vegas Valley’s economic free fall, U.S. citizens are starting to show up in the early mornings outside home improvement stores and plant nurseries across the Las Vegas Valley, jostling with illegal immigrants for a shot at a few hours of work.

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