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

Food safety must go beyond food recall legislation

January 19, 2011 by Charlotte Williams · Comments Off
Filed under: Food Justice, Politics 

“There are certain things only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat are safe and do not cause us harm.”  - President Obama

On January 4, 2011 President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act.  This forward-thinking legislation enables swifter recalling of contaminated food products.  The law authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase inspections of many domestic food facilities, enhance detection of foodborne illness outbreaks, and order recalls of tainted food products

This doesn’t necessarily translate into consumer, and certainly not food worker, confidence in the government’s accountability for the overall safety of the food production and distribution processes. Food recalls are necessary; however, it will take more than accelerated legislation and faster food recall processes to actually keep our food safe.  Making food safe in the first place is a major effort, involving the farm and fishery, the production plant or factory, and many other points from the farm to the table. Read more

Basking in Deletion of “Civil Rights” and “Labor” from Committees, House Leaders Vow More Name Changes

January 19, 2011 by Rev. David L. Ostendorf · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Leaders of the new House Majority did not slack off during the Christmas break.  In the giving spirit of the season, they generously provided new names to several key Committees.  The Education and Labor Committee was re-christened the Education and Workforce Committee, while the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties was sliced to the Constitution Subcommittee.  “Word changes, they’re just word changes,” one chuckling wag said.

In an unsent press release found on a back room floor, House leaders stated that “Our intent is to be more inclusive, in the spirit of our new role here.  “Workforce” is a term that embraces all employees, not just those involved in “labor.”  And the Constitution is far more inclusive than the old “civil rights” and “civil liberties” name of the past.  All those old terms are passé now—it’s time to delete them and move forward.”  At their last holiday party where leaders were said to have discussed the press release, “White Christmas” played endlessly in the background. 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

Gun rights groups don’t kill people, but their frantic politics might

January 18, 2011 by Brian Schultz · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

The tragic events in Tuscon on January eighth have clearly left the world in awe. Such deviations in the standard function of civil society always have. Speculations abound, aligning the shooter Jared Lee Loughner with countless ideological ties that spurred the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her constituency.

But despite this frenetic tangle of purported motivations, it seems that explanations have crystallized on the issue of firearm allowances in the US—especially from those who identify themselves as members of the political left.

All other discussion seems to evaporate when the argument shifts to the more pragmatic issue of gun control: clearly, one could not have facilitated such an attack without the necessary equipment. And Loughner certainly equipped himself. 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

Who is to blame for the lack of progress in Haiti?

January 15, 2011 by Garat Ibrahim · Comments Off
Filed under: International, Politics 

It has been one year since the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. World attention vividly captured the impact of that tragedy through television and a lot of people around the world sent contribution to help the people of Haiti. Billions of dollars were pledged by Western countries to help Haitians rebuild and resettle.

But that has not been enough and Haiti is still suffering. In the last weeks the international media outlets are looking for who is accountable and they seem to have aid organizations in their sights.

There has been a lot of blame heaped on NGOS for not making enough progress, and it might be partially deserved, but there are many more factors. 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

Sarah Palin and the Pied Pipers of Political Violence

January 13, 2011 by Eric Ward · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

It’s only been four days since the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords of Arizona and already the rightist spin machine is operating at full throttle.  As calls for civility grow, the American public must also remind those practicing the politics of division that actions speak louder than words – particularly when those words continue to flirt dangerously with justifications for political violence.

Media accounts confirm alleged perpetrator Jared Lee Loughner specifically targeted Giffords. Written notes recovered by law enforcement suggest that Loughner pre-planned the crime. Facebook posts along with YouTube videos also suggest that, while struggling with mental health issues, Loughner embraced issues long promoted by rightist movements in the United States.  In The Hidden Menace of Arizona, pro-democracy leader Tom Hayden lays out succinctly how Loughner’s beliefs, while distorted by mental illness, were part and parcel of historic and present day philosophical attempts by rightist to undermine civil society. 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

Interpreting fascist imagery in music subcultures

January 11, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Politics 

An aesthetic fetish and an ideological fetish clearly function differently. Those keen on their social theory argue that, very often, they are different faces of the same coin; nevertheless, a fascination with what we commonly call “imagery” of a particular movement does not necessarily lead to an endorsement.

Transgressive art retains a place in our culture, and some of the world’s most contentious artists have revealed themselves to be staunch defenders of equality and universal human cooperation. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every critic to distinguish what is merely controversial from what is  harmful—an increasingly relevant task with the prevalence of fascist imagery in certain music subcultures. Read more

Communities in fear, the after effects of hate violence

January 10, 2011 by Eric Ward · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Saturday’s assassination attempt on Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona is part of a growing trend that began years ago.

The candidacy and ultimate election of Barack Obama touched off a deep and sustained political backlash. Politically motivated hate violence included arson of a predominantly African-American church on election night, the murder of Cape Verdean immigrants, and a few months later, the assassination of abortion doctor George Tiller.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that while overall bias crimes dropped by 2% from 2007 to 2008, incidents of anti-Black bias crimes rose by nearly 5.9%.

During the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, police in Denver, Colorado detained three individuals after discovering a weapon, drugs and wigs in their possession. The individuals, eventually released, were described as “white supremacists.” Read more

Arizona mourns child targeted by hate

January 9, 2011 by Cloee Cooper · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

Saturday morning, nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was shot, along with 18 others at a public gathering to greet U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.

Christina-Taylor was born on September 11, 2001. She was waiting to meet Rep. Giffords when the suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire on the crowd, killing six and critically injuring 13 others.

The exact motives of the suspect are still in question. Reports however indicate that Loughner supports anti-government conspiracy theories linked to anti-Semitic and populist perspectives. Reports also indicate that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was targeted by Sarah Palin during the 2010 midterm election, and that Gifford’s office was tagged with anti-Semitic signs after her open support for the 2010 health care bill.

No one could have foreseen the tragic death of Christina-Taylor at a political event; however, this is not the first time a child has been targeted by xenophobia and bigotry-fueled violence in Arizona. Read more

Did hateful rhetoric fuel deadly shooting in Arizona?

January 8, 2011 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 

In the aftermath of today’s tragic events in Tucson, the motive of the shooter who killed six and injured over a dozen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is still in question.

What we do know is that the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, was apprehended after shooting 18 people at a public event held by Rep. Giffords. Of the six people shot and killed, one was a 9-year-old girl.

Giffords was one of 20 Democratic Congressmen and women, quite literally, targeted by Sarah Palin during the 2010 midterm elections. Palin released a map of the United States with 20 cross-hairs over the states the 20 House Democrats represented. 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

Cross-Post: Why Racism and White Supremacy Will Continue to Reign in 2011

January 8, 2011 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Politics 
January 6, 2011 | Black Agenda Report / By Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. is not a post-racial society, as the events of the past year attest — from a governor glorifying segregation to a Fox pundit calling for Michael Vick’s execution.

The overlay of an Obama opinion supportive of Vick only inflamed already irate racists, who were indignant that a black man should have a successful life after being convicted of a crime. Some opined that Vick should be able to work, but not in such a lucrative and prominent position. The absurdity and gall that such foolishness should be openly expressed is the result of racism and nothing more. 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

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