Friday, May 31, 2019

AMLO a Trump;


President Donald Trump: 
I’ve learned about your latest position regarding Mexico. First of all, I want to express that I do not want a confrontation. When facing a conflict in our relationship, no matter how serious, the cities and nations we represent deserve that we turn to dialogue and act with caution and responsibility. 
Mexico’s best president, Benito Juárez, maintained an excellent relationship with his Republican counterpart, Abraham Lincoln. Later on, during the oil expropriation (when Mexico kicked out foreign oil companies), Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt understood the profound reasons that led patriot President Lázaro Cárdenas to act in favor of our sovereignty. Indeed, President Roosevelt was a titan of liberty. Before anyone else, he proclaimed the four fundamental human rights: the right to speak freely, to practice religion freely, to live free of fear, and to live free of misery.
That’s the thinking behind our politics when it comes to the migration issue. Human beings don’t abandon their hometowns because they want to, but because they need to. That’s why, when I first took office, I proposed to partner in helping develop Central American countries by making productive investments that will create jobs and address the root cause of this terrible issue.
You must also know that we are complying with our responsibility to prevent, to the extent possible and without violating human rights, passage through our country. It’s worth reminding you that, before long, Mexicans will no longer need to go to the United States, and that migration will be optional, not forced. That’s because we are fighting corruption, Mexico’s main problem, like never before! And that’s how our country will become a great power with a social dimension. Our fellow citizens will be able to work and be happy where they were born, where their families, traditions and cultures are.
President Trump: You can’t solve social problems with taxes or coercive measures. How does one transform, overnight, the country of fellowship with immigrants from around the world into a ghetto, a closed-off space that stigmatizes, mistreats, chases, expels and cancels legal rights to those who are seeking —with effort and hard work— to live free of misery? The Statue of Liberty isn’t an empty symbol.

Trump's New Mexico Policy is Dumb

From the NY Times.,
“President Trump said Thursday that he planned to impose a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico beginning June 10, a tax that he said would “gradually increase” until Mexico stopped the flow of undocumented immigrants across the border.”
The president’s threat was a significant escalation in his fight with Mexico and a drastic move against an American ally, which essentially dared the Mexican government to risk economic catastrophe on both sides of the border if it did not capitulate to the angry demands of the United States president.”

Trump’s escalation is stupid.  When General Kelley was Chief of Staff, ( former head of the U.S. Central Command,) he knew how misinformed this policy was.

Response. editor. 
This poorly informed action ignores many of the realities of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.  Mexico provides the primary security against migration to the U.S. on our southern border.  Mexican police and military restrict migration and turn thousands of would-be migrants back each year at their southern border.
These  decisions are the kind we get since when we have President who listens to Fox News  and Kris Kobach rather than to listen to persons who know the region and the issues.
The Mexican army and police already provide the primary obstacle to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala from reaching the U.S. border.  The U.S. pays the Mexican forces to do this enforcement.  Given Trump’s provocative statements and acts, they could simply stop serving as a border security force for the U.S. The end of bi-national police cooperation would massively increase immigration and severely reduce efforts to restrict drug cartels from moving drugs into the U.S.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Report from the Tijuana border

Immigration Workshop

Monday, May 20, 2019

Addressing Immigration Policy

Addressing Immigration Policy and Defending Immigrants and Refugees.

(resolution submitted to the convention of the Democratic Socialists of America)

WHEREAS   one of the first principles of democratic socialism is the importance of collective action;
WHEREAS   our political work should be informed by a strategic analysis of the political economy of U.S. capitalism and the cutting edge issues of the day, with an eye to identifying the critical points of system leverage where we can collectively intervene to maximum political effect; and

Whereas    DSA individuals, chapters, and the Immigrants’ Rights Working Group have been actively engaged for over six  years, and continue to engage in the defense of immigrants and refugees from racists attacks, and promoting 
and the promotion of comprehensive immigration reform that would secure their place in the U.S., putting an end to corporate induced competition between native born and immigrant workers, and between U.S. workers and workers abroad. ( See resolution #41 from the 2017 convention). 
  And, whereas,  In the last half century, there has been a major restructuring of the global economy, conducted largely on the terms of transnational corporations seeking ever greater profits. Neo-liberal ‘free trade’ agreements, such as NAFTA I and II and CAFTA, have produced a global ‘race to the bottom,’ with capital flight sending good paying union jobs away from workers in the U.S. to countries with low wage employment, many of which are ruled by authoritarian states that ban independent unions. In the Americas, this global ‘free trade’ economy has devastated entire sectors of the economies of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, leading millions of people attempting to migrate to the U.S. in search of food, jobs, and security. Many also flee the ruthless violence of criminal groups in nations with ‘failed’ states, as well as the effects of climate catastrophes, from drought to increasingly vicious and destructive storms. 
And, whereas, the racist nationalism of Trump and his cohort  seeks to exploit the anger of U.S. workers by scapegoating immigrants and refugees, projecting racist fears and resentments on them. 
And, whereas, only a politics which breaks with the neo-liberal paradigm can successfully counter the racism of Trump and the nationalist right wing, bringing a measure of justice both to immigrants and refugees and to workers in the U.S.

Be it therefore resolved that:
In conjunction with the DSA Immigrant Rights Working Group, National staff and the NPC will develop a DSA platform for comprehensive immigration law reform, which shall be the basis for our educational, legislative, and direct action  work. The platform shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, provisions for:

      Legal residence for all those presently living in the U.S.

·      A path to legal status (and where desired, citizenship) for DACA dreamers and TPS recipients;
·      The abolition of ICE, and its replacement with a new federal agency located in the Department of Justice  that respects the rights of immigrants and refugees ;
·       The legal recognition and enforcement of international treaties establishing the rights of migrants and refugees;
·       The quick and timely adjudication of claims of refugee status and rights of asylum, and quick and timely processing of applications for visas and ‘green card’ status;
·       An end to racial and ethnic disparities in the provision of visas and ‘green card’ status;
·       The reform of the current system of employment and family visas, including H2A and H1B visas, to end employer misuse of work visas and abuse of international workers, and to respect the right of family reunification; and
·       The securing of the labor rights of immigrant workers, and the full integration of those workers into the organized labor movement.
         A path to legal residence for all those living in the U.S. at this time.
·        A repeal of employer sanctions in all its forms. 
·      Legal status for the currently  undocumented, in a rapid and inclusive process, without excessive fees, fines, waiting periods or a preliminary temporary status.  
·      Opposition to the expansion of guest worker programs. 
Further, national DSA working with the Immigrants’ Rights Working Group  shall develop educational materials which provide a democratic socialist analysis of the underlying causes of the current immigration crisis, including 
·       The role of US government policy – economic, military and diplomatic – in the conditions that create refugees and economic immigrants;
·       The role of drug trafficking and the organized crime and violence associated with it, as well as the role of the U.S. as a major drug market, in the conditions that create refugees and economic immigrants;
·       The role of ‘free trade’ agreements, and the restructuring of the global economy along neo-liberal lines, in the conditions that create economic immigrants; and
·       The role of institutions of the global economy, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in the conditions that create economic and immigrants. 

​{ End of resolution} 

The prior posts deal with how we arrived at this resolution.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Trump's Plan on Immigration, a result of chaos

Roque Planas; President Donald Trumpoffered a broad outline of his administration’s new dead-on-arrival immigration plan Thursday, seeking to rake in more money for border enforcement while restricting family-based migration and upping the number of visas for skilled workers. 
“The Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages and frankly lawless chaos,” said Trump in a speech from the White House Rose Garden. “We propose an immigration plan that puts jobs, wages and the safety of American workers first.” He outlined a “Build America Visa,” which would prioritize younger workers as well as those with valuable skills and offers of employment.
But the plan is likely to go nowhere.
The proposal, which has yet to be filed as legislation, combines elements of reform long advocated by immigration hard-liners like White House adviser Stephen Miller and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who rail against both the rising levels of unauthorized migration and the way the legal immigration system is structured. It is also the product of White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s attempts to broker a compromise on one of the most vexing issues Congress has faced over the last decade. 
The effort at compromise didn’t extend to Democrats, who control the House of Representatives and hold enough seats in the Senate to block legislation. Some have already dismissed the proposal, which lacks protections for so-called Dreamers who came to the U.S. as kids. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the failure to include Dreamers makes it “pretty much a nonstarter.” Plus, Democrats and have little incentive to cooperate with Trump ahead of the 2020 elections, which could give them a shot at broader immigration reform.
This is not the administration turning over a new leaf and deciding they want to get serious about fixing our immigration system.Tom Jawetz, vice president at the Center for American Progress.
“This is not the administration turning over a new leaf and deciding they want to get serious about fixing our immigration system,” said Tom Jawetz, the vice president of immigration policy at the progressive group Center for American Progress. “And there’s no one who’s going to be inclined to believe that.”
Trump has insisted he wants to help Dreamers, but ended a program to protect them, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and previously proposed granting them legal status only in exchange for border wall and major legal immigration cuts. This time, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saidThursday morning that Dreamer protections were too “divisive” to be included.
“That’s one of the things that seems to divide people very quickly and was left out on purpose,” she told reporters. 
Dreamer advocates consider the omission a sign that the White House doesn’t see helping them as a priority. “This proposal shows a callousness towards immigrant youth [and families],” said Sanaa Abrar, advocacy director at the immigrant youth organization United We Dream. “Their game plan from the beginning has been to deport members of our community.” 
Even before the rollout, both reporters and some Republican politicians had begun to frame the plan as a way to rally the GOP behind a set of principles rather than push a bill through Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has worked on bipartisan attempts to reform immigration in previous years and chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, where immigration legislation typically gets its first hearing, said Thursday that the “White House proposal is not designed to become law,” according to CNN
“If it doesn’t get bipartisan support, there’s no chance,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. “But we’ll work to get bipartisan support.”
Jawetz called the proposal “a huge nothingburger,” saying it contains nothing that would actual solve the country’s immigration problems. 
America’s current system of immigration allows family members to sponsor relatives for immigrant visas, which account for about 65% of immigration visas issued annually, according to the National Immigration Forum. The priority on family unification was set into law with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, but the trend has existed for most of U.S. history. Members of Trump’s own family emigrated to the reunite with family members.
Under Trump’s proposal, however, the legal immigration system would reserve some 60% of immigrant visas for applicants with higher levels of education or job skills the administration views as desirable, according to The New York Times. Those seeking entry would also have to demonstrate English language fluency and pass a civics test.
They are willing to throw away immigrant families by ripping them apart and getting rid of family immigration.Amanda Baran, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the idea of a “merit-based” immigration system “condescending” in a press conference Thursday morning. “Are they saying family is without merit?” she asked. “Are they saying that most people who have come to the U.S. in the history of our country are without merit because they don’t have engineering degrees?” 
While the move away from family-based immigration and the lack of a DACA fix alienates Democrats, it’s unclear whether the shift in the legal immigration system goes far enough for the most hard-line conservative voices who have influenced Trump. 
The concept of limiting family-sponsored immigration already has traction among some conservatives who aim to restrict both authorized and unauthorized migration. But the RAISE Act, proposed by Cotton and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in 2017 with Trump’s endorsement, would have slashed the total number of immigration visas by about 50%. 
The plan floated by Trump, on the other hand, would keep the overall number of migrant visas issued each year intact, according to preliminary reports.
The lack of total cuts to legal immigration led Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian, a well known advocate for reducing all forms of immigration, to call the plan “out of touch with the president’s base,” in a piece for the National Review
Trump rose to political prominence by sounding the alarm over a crisis at the border at a time when illegal crossings stood at their lowest levels since the early 1970s. But on his watch, unauthorized crossings have skyrocketed, largely because of an uptick of Central American families and children who often seek asylum and cannot be swiftly deported. 
And his administration has been criticized for its cruel treatment of this group, from separating nearly 3,000 families to detaining children for record amounts of time. On Wednesday a 2 ½ -year-old migrant toddler died after being detained by Border Patrol, making him the fourth minorto die over the past six months while in government custody. 
Political leaders from both parties agree that the situation at the border amounts to a “crisis,” though Republicans have tended to frame it as an assault on law and order, while Democrats describe it as a humanitarian problem. Either way, the plan offered Thursday does little to address it.
Trump’s proposalto stem the flow of immigrants at the border includes plans to screen out “meritless” asylum claims. And while he didn’t elaborate on specifics, he highlighted a proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would increase detention times for families and enable immigration officials to send unaccompanied children from Central America back to their home countries. 
Advocates say neither of these changes will be effective deterrents and that the “merits-based” system reveals the Trump administration’s inhumane attitude toward asylum-seekers. 
“This is a family values party,” said Amanda Baran from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “[Yet] they are willing to throw away immigrant families by ripping them apart and getting rid of family immigration.” 
Igor Bobic contributed reporting.
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