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A few well-written words can convey a wealth of information, particularly when there is no lag time between when they are written and when they are read. The IPS blog gives you an opportunity to hear directly from IPS scholars and staff on ideas large and small and for us to hear back from you.

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Entries tagged "immigration"

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Immigrants Head to the Hill

June 11, 2010 ·

Immigration protest in ChicagoIPS social worker Tiffany Williams, program manager of our Break the Chain Campaign, went to the Dept. of Labor and then an ad-hoc hearing chaired by Rep. Raul Grijalva (link to his OtherWords op-ed) and co-chaired by several other Representatives about Arizona's new law, SB1070, and its devastating effects on women and children. Here's Tiffany's story:

"We started at the DOL, plus reps from the white house and homeland security. They were incredibly moved by the stories and updated us on their planned response (e.g., Obama has 25 lawyers looking into whether the law can be stopped). We then moved on to a meeting w/national women's orgs, where we shared strategies and actions (letters, demonstrations, etc).

Then on to the hearing. It was so packed that people were sitting on the floor, standing in aisles, craning in to see from the hallway...Even hearing the testimony for the third time had me in tears, and there were few people who were not crying. Even Rep. Polis had to take off his glasses to wipe away tears after hearing the little girl — only 10 years old — talk about her parents, and another young woman describe the abuse she suffered in the jail. Grijalva was composed, but so kind to them, and expressed his urgency that we fix this situation.

It was an emotionally taxing day — a lot of heavy sadness and trauma, juxtaposed with the joy you feel when you finally get to speak that truth to power."

Troops to the Mexico Border

May 26, 2010 ·

Nat'l Guard troops on border duty. Credit: US Military

Only a couple of days ago, I wrote that “U.S.-Mexican relations might look at little different in the age of Obama, but the Bush-era priorities remain the same.” Today, I think this statement was reinforced.

Only a few days after Mexico’s President Calderon went back to Mexico from the U.S. after being praised for his military efforts in combating the narco (notwithstanding the spiral of violence it has caused) Obama decided to step it up at home, sending 1,200 troops to the border states. Just as when Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006, the purpose is to appease Republicans in their calls to secure the border, and to try to gain support for the pending migration reform.

However, this decision is deeply contradictory. Although the stated goal is to secure the border from criminal drug gangs — and the illicit traffic of drugs, money and arms — the victims of this military escalation might well be the millions of undocumented immigrants to whom the reform is supposed to eventually benefit. The calls from Republicans and border state governors to seal the “porous” border are aimed at curbing “illegal immigration” as well. Hence, the differences between criminals and undocumented workers are becoming muddled, even when both issues — drug trafficking (and the violence it conveys) and migration — have quite distinct causes and consequences.

This generalization comes from the Bush-led Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America that Obama supposedly (but never officially) wrote off. One of the SPP’s stated goals was secure borders and combat "transnational threats to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including terrorism, organized crime, illegal drugs, migrant and contraband smuggling and trafficking” and to promote the “legitimate flow of people and goods”. Implicitly, illegal migration became equated to a security threat.

Today, when states like Arizona are criminalizing “illegal migration,” Obama’s decision to send the National Guard to the border might end up reinforcing persecution of those that are in this country without papers. People that came to this country looking for work — mainly because of joblessness at home, due to failed economic policies like NAFTA and privatization — are ending up being as illegal as drugs, arms or dirty money.

That's a shame. Obama should rapidly distinguish the issues and act accordingly.  The "war on drugs" has already proven fatal for millions of innocent Mexicans. Will the same start happening here?

From the Frontlines: May 19th, 2010

May 19, 2010 ·

The victories of Sestak and Halter sent a clear message that the people are sick and tired of the establishment (whether Democrat or Republican) capitulation to special interests. Glenn Greenwald elaborates. And the new GOP candidate for Kentucky, Rand Paul, is against Wall Street giveaways, so that's something.

Haitian farmers are furious at Monsanto's donation of genetically modified, pesticide-laden seeds.

Younger people are more likely to oppose restricting immigration, more likely to disagree with the AZ bill (Via Wiretap/Campus Progress).  

Small oil and gas companies line up to file lawsuits against BP and Goldman Sachs.  

Ugh. Hundreds of tiny fish wash up on Louisiana's marshes.  

Glenn Beck's ties to gold mania. In case you were wondering why Cash 4 Gold stopped advertising on his show.  

Mark Souder is the best thing to ever happen to Richard Blumenthal. Who's Richard Blumenthal?  Exactly.

Bonus: Apparently straight women also play softball. Who knew?

From the Frontlines: May 18th, 2010

May 18, 2010 ·

The bill for Afghanistan could run into the trillions, as another suicide bomber hits another U.S. convoy. IPS fellow Miriam Pemberton, who studies the military budget, wrote that the era of Bush-style spending isn't quite over.

Noam Chomsky has to settle for talking to Birzeit University by teleconference in Amman, after he's denied entry into Israel.  

The racial wealth gap has "more than quadrupled over the course of a generation," according to a new study. Dedrick Muhammad has been studying this for awhile and has said that we need a huge shift in focus if we're going to narrow this gap.

Undocumented students stage a sit-in at John McCain's office, calling on him to support the DREAM Act so they can obtain scholarships and work their way through college while going through the process of legal residency.  

The Dept. of the Interior, despite the BP oil mess, still continues to approve offshore drilling plans in the Gulf of Mexico without environmental review. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing Sec. Salazar to stop this.

CBPP says that the growing budget shouldn't be an obstacle to passing the jobs bill: "Most of the provisions in this bill, which is now in the final stages of development, are strictly temporary measures that will stimulate additional demand for goods and services and create jobs while the recovery is still struggling to gain traction; they are not permanent measures that add to the long-term budget deficit."

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