Cross-post: Why It Matters That ICE Can’t Count

January 22, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Originally posted by Dara Lind on Tapped, the group blog of The American Prospect.

“Secure Communities” is the Obama administration’s signature immigration enforcement effort. By automatically checking the immigration status of anyone checked into a local jail, the administration claims, the program helps Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) find and deport serious criminals (who the administration is supposedly “targeting” for deportation over undocumented immigrants who haven’t committed crimes). So how many criminals has DHS actually found and deported through Secure Communities since it was instituted in 2008?

According to an ICE press release from Jan. 13:

Nationwide, ICE is using the capability in 969 jurisdictions across 37 states, and it has helped ICE remove more than 59,000 aliens who have been convicted of a crime. Read more

Still no justice in Suffolk County for victims of anti-immigrant bigotry

January 21, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

In 2008, a horrific crime brought national focus to New York’s Suffolk County.

Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was stabbed and murdered by seven teenagers who reportedly set out that evening to beat up “some Mexicans.”

In the early 2000s, Newsday tagged Suffolk County ‘Ground Zero’ for a growing anti-immigrant movement stoked by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Even though the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy had indoctrinated the community with legislative policy meant to dehumanize the immigrant population there, FAIR tried to describe the murder of Marcelo Lucero as an ‘isolated event.’ Read more

Nominate a courageous person for the Freedom From Fear Award!

January 20, 2011 by Dylan May · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

Geri Mannion, director of the U.S. Democracy Program at Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Taryn Higashi, executive director of Unbound Philanthropy, received the Council on Foundations’ Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking in 2009 for their work on the Four Freedoms Fund. The Four Freedoms Fund is a collaborative fund that has invested more than $30 million since 2003 in more than 85 grantees working in 33 states to protect immigrants against abuses, promote humane immigration policies, engage newcomers in civic life and build bridges between receiving communities and new residents.

The Schrivner Award came with a $10,000 cash prize,but Mannion and Higashi opted not to spend the money themselves.  Instead they used the prize to establish the Freedom From Fear Award, a national award that honors ordinary people who commit extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees. Read more

It’s time for GOP to sever ties with anti-immigrant bigots

January 18, 2011 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Nativist politician Tom Tancredo

Earlier this week, the Hispanic Leadership Network Conference was hosted in Miami, and the topic of immigration was inevitably broached. Part of the panel on “Media & Messaging: Communicating Principles with Precision” was syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr. who gave a no-holds-barred rundown of the state of the GOP on immigration. Navarrette argued that the GOP has a problem with offensive rhetoric on immigration, and pointed out that Republicans have compared Latino immigrants to “dogs,” “grasshoppers,” etc.”

He also made the argument that the Republican Party (1) deals with immigration dishonestly (2) caters to that ugly element of racism and (3) offers “solutions” that ignore the problem such as the attacks on the Fourteenth Amendment and Arizona’s SB1070.

Part of the problem is the GOP’s inability to take a stance on immigration and kick white nationalists out of its ranks. And even though not all factions of the Party have an inhumane approach to immigration, most Republicans dare not stand up to the virulent anti-immigration propaganda being furthered by the Tanton Network. Read more

Anti-immigrant group’s comments in aftermath of Arizona tragedy are shockingly insensitive

January 17, 2011 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

FAIR President, Dan Stein

For years, anti-immigrant groups have had a field day in Arizona; using the state to test out the viability of racist legislation like SB 1070.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and its legal arm Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) have been at the forefront of these efforts for nearly a decade - most recently unveiling plans at a January 5 press conference in Washington DC to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment.

The effort is fronted by Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, who is best known for working with FAIR to introduce SB 1070. Kris Kobach and Mike Hethmon, both attorneys with IRLI, were featured speakers at the event.

SB 1070 wasn’t the first acrimonious political battle FAIR helped to create in Arizona. In 2004, FAIR funded efforts to introduce and pass Proposition 200. The initiative required individuals to produce proof of citizenship before they could register to vote or apply for public benefits in Arizona. Read more

This MLK Day remember the importance of 14th Amendment

January 17, 2011 by Cloee Cooper · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, we should remember the cornerstone of  civil rights in the U.S. - the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment was written and enacted to give full rights to former slaves. It is the affirmation that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are, in fact, U.S. citizens. It is integral to the civil rights of African Americans and women, and is a crucial facet of American identity. Currently, we are in a political climate where the 14th Amendment is under attack.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) are behind this attack. Earlier this month, State Legislators for Legal Immigration and Kris Kobach of Immigration Reform Law Institute met at the Press Club in Washington D.C. to announce plans to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment. Read more

Exclusive Footage: Sen. Russell Pearce endorsed JT Ready

January 16, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Human League exposes the relationship between J.T. Ready, a former leader in the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement (NSM) and Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce.

This video shows State Senator Russell Pearce endorsing JT Ready (AZ’s most famous White Supremacist) in 2006 for Mesa City Council. The footage has never been seen by the public until now. The footage and the Mormon Document and picture was given to Steve Lemons (Phoenix New Times) by a confidential source. He gave me a copy. You can get more info here:… Read more

John Tanton’s journal calls Islam “Menace,” wants no Muslim immigrants

January 14, 2011 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Yesterday, the publishing arm of the John Tanton Network, The Social Contract Press (TSCP), issued a press release calling for an end to Muslim immigration. The statement introduced the latest issue of the white nationalist journal The Social Contract, which is devoted entirely to what it calls “The Menace of Islam.”

John Tanton founded TSCP and still serves as the journal’s publisher.

Wayne Lutton, The Social Contract’s editor, echoes the press release in his introduction to the issue, stating: “What evidence is there that Muslim “integration” is possible? It seems clear to us that it is (past) time to halt Muslim immigration to the United States.”

Lutton further states that “There are not two different varieties of Islam, one for al Qaeda and another for the rest of Muslims. Islam itself is the problem.” Read more

Haitian immigrants targeted by the anti-immigrant movement

January 14, 2011 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, International, Politics 

A year ago, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island of Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, killing more than 230,000 people. Today, roughly a million remain homeless amid the debris and stuttering reconstruction efforts in Port-au-Prince.

Last year’s earthquake was just one of the disasters the people of Haiti suffered in the last few years. In August and September of 2008, Haiti was hit by four consecutive hurricanes (Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike) which killed over 800 people, displaced tens of thousands of Haitians and devastated the Haitian economy. If there was ever a country which fit the description and had a need for Temporary Protective Status [TPS], it is Haiti.

The Bush Administration incomprehensibly denied TPS to Haitians in 2008, but it was finally granted in the wake of the earthquake by the Obama Administration. Read more

NumbersUSA: “We Should Watch Our Language”

January 12, 2011 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

After the brutal Suffolk County murder of Marcelo Lucero in November 2008, Roy Beck, executive director of anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA had a message for members: “WE SHOULD WATCH OUR LANGUAGE.”

Beck warned NumbersUSA members against using hateful rhetoric and told them to concentrate on talking about immigration numbers only. Beck wrote, “But it is incumbent on all of us who fight for lower immigration to emphasize the importance of not allowing our language about the problems of immigration policies to stir up hatred, and especially not violence, against immigrants or people who may look like immigrants,” indicating that he in fact believed that language could incite hatred and violence.

But the actions and affiliations of NumbersUSA are louder than the words of its executive director. Read more

Center for Immigration Studies and the Arizona border

January 12, 2011 by Rebecca Poswolsky · Comments Off
Filed under: Ecopolitics, Immigration 

We have recently received requests from readers asking that we clarify details surrounding a group called Center for Immigration Studies and its activities in Arizona.

Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) was founded in 1985 as a project directly under the control of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The Washington, D.C.-based think tank portrays itself as a mainstream organization that studies the impact of immigration in the United States.

More accurately, CIS is part of the John Tanton Network, a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

For many years the Tanton Network has used claims of environmental degradation to further its anti-immigrant agenda. The message from groups like Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) is simple: more immigrants mean more pollution and fewer resources for the rest of us. Read more

Congresswoman gunned down in Arizona, democracy crumbles in the beleaguered state

January 8, 2011 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

Rep. Giffords (D-Ariz)

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head Saturday morning at a public event in Tucson. Several news outlets are reporting that the newly re-elected Democrat was critically injured and underwent emergency surgery.

At least 12 members of her staff and other bystanders were also shot. Five are reportedly dead, including one child.

Congresswoman Giffords has been targeted before. According to sources in Tucson, after Rep. Giffords voted in favor of health care reform her office was shot at and swastikas were painted on her office building. Giffords is Arizona’s first Jewish Congresswoman.

In April, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and his staff received threats after he called for a boycott of Arizona in response to the passage of controversial “papers, please” law SB1070. Rep. Giffords publicly supported Grijalva  after he had to close two offices as a result of the threats, stating: Read more

Xenophobic Congressman Steve King denied immigration panel chairmanship

January 7, 2011 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Earlier today, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced his nomination for the chairmanship of an immigration panel on the Judiciary Committee. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was everybody’s favorite for the position but he was surprisingly overlooked, with Lamar Smith instead choosing Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA).

The news will come as a huge blow to King who is regarded as the most virulently anti-immigrant member of Congress. His racist statements about immigrants, as well as his anti-IRS campaign, have apparently ended his chances of playing a major role in the next Congress.

Even though King did not win the chairmanship, he is still a very active member of the main anti-immigrant caucus within the House, the Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC). Both Lamar Smith and Elton Gallegly are also members of the Caucus. Read more

Environmental population arguments take a new twist

January 7, 2011 by Rebecca Poswolsky · Comments Off
Filed under: Ecopolitics, Immigration 

Theories linking climate change to immigration are becoming increasingly popular.  Anti-immigrant groups aren’t the only ones discussing this intersection. A recent article in Time Magazine also proposes a strong correlation between immigration, population and environmental impact.  Even though the article in Time attempts to make a positive connection between migration and the environment, the premise is still deeply flawed.

A separate article by Robert Kunzig in the January issue of National Geographic magazine addresses population and competing philosophies around the number of people the planet can accommodate.  The cover story is titled, “7 Billion: By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain?”   The article takes on notions of the population control movement and the phobia around the population, “explosion.” Read more

State legislators unveil plan to attack the 14th Amendment, face protests

January 6, 2011 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

The new Congress has barely taken session and already lawmakers are eliciting angry protests from community members.

At a January 5 press conference in Washington DC, lawmakers from several states announced plans to introduce state legislation to dismantle the 14th Amendment. The effort is fronted by Arizona state senator Russell Pearce, who is best known for introducing racist law SB 1070. The lawmakers had to physically remove at least four peaceful protesters - in front of clearly bemused reporters - before they could complete the press event.

The state legislators involved in the effort are a part of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, a coalition of anti-immigrant state-elected officials. As a partner of the John Tanton Network, a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) serves as the legislative arm of the network, and works closely with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Read more

Meatpacking workers ready for struggle in 2011

January 5, 2011 by Carlos Rich · Comments Off
Filed under: Food Justice, Immigration, Politics 

It has been about 30 years since the turkey plants began to open in the Iowa and other parts of the rural Midwest.  The location was ideal for corporations.  After breaking up the labor unions in places like Chicago and St. Louis, the industry was able to perfect a system of hiring which relies mostly on immigrants, refugees and workers of color.

These plants operate with little regard for their workforce.  They treat workers as if they are sub-human. They also take advantage of and prey on the fact that most employees have families to feed as well as limited access to education concerning their rights as workers. Read more

Holiday gathering brings together Latino community

January 4, 2011 by Axel Fuentes · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Food Justice, Immigration 

On December 5, 2010, the Latino community in Milan, Missouri gathered to celebrate the winter holidays.

Kids and adults alike were in eager anticipation as the holiday party signaled a break in their usual routines.  Working adults were able to relieve some of the stress of their often tough lives, many of who work 10-hour days at the local meat-packing plant.

Working together, student leaders from the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) of Truman State University, members of the Health Action Council (HAC), several church congregations, and other community organizations from Milan and Kirksville made this event possible. Read more

Community activism brings new force to immigrant rights

January 3, 2011 by Jessica Acee · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

Bernard Pastor was involved in a minor fender bender on November 17 and was arrested immediately for being undocumented and put on the path to deportation.  The 18-year-old Reading High School honor student has lived in the United States since he was 3 years old when his parents left persecution in Guatemala for a better life. A community volunteer, soccer star and homecoming king during high school, Pastor has said repeatedly that he is an American in everything but his birthplace.

Two weeks ago Bernard was released from federal detention and given a 1 year reprieve from deportation after thousands of his classmates and community members wrote letters to congress, held vigils, and marched to their state capital.  Watch the video, Matthew 25: Bernard’s Story (posted above) to see first hand how a community rose up and stopped the deportation of one of its own. Read more

A stroll in the Arizona desert

December 31, 2010 by MJ Olahafa · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

The state of Arizona, located in the Southwest region of the United States, shares a 389 mile border with Mexico. After the passing of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, a 640 mile fence has been built along the US/Mexico border, and much of the foot traffic has been funneled to Arizona, forcing migrants to pass through its harsh desert.

As part of a student delegation by the Center for New Community to Arizona earlier this year, I had the privilege of following a few migrant trails and spending some time in the Sonora desert myself. What I saw and experienced in only half a day in the desert were pretty terrifying. Clothes had been shed along the way to lighten the load, and the presence of high heels and baby strollers were a clear indication that people had been misled regarding the nature of the travels. Read more

Anti-immigrant group cloaks itself in progressive issues to spread xenophobia

December 30, 2010 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics 

A relatively unassuming group in Arlington, Virginia, has strategically shed far right characteristics in order to better incite xenophobia. Perhaps the most effective mobilizing weapon in John Tanton’s arsenal of organizations - all engineered to dehumanize immigrants - NumbersUSA’s success lies in its moderate veneer.

When John Tanton organizations like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)  came under fire for their anti-immigrant rhetoric, NumbersUSA didn’t defend its sister organizations; instead, it added a section to its website called “No to Immigrant Bashing.”

Currently, it even has a disclaimer at the bottom of its homepage that bills NumbersUSA as “pro-environment, pro-worker, pro-liberty and pro-immigrant,” despite content that is almost entirely anti-immigrant. Read more

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