August 19, 2019
We continue to learn more about the effects of the massive ICE raids that recently took place in Mississippi food processing plants, the latest being that a four-month baby that is still nursing has been separated from her mother. The woman’s husband is facing his own deportation trial. Presently, he is raising their three children, including the baby, while they wait to see what their fate will be. All three of their children were born in the United States, and are, therefore, American citizens. Many migrant parents facing deportation will be forced to make hard decisions about where their children will go and who will raise them.
The husband spoke to the Clarion Ledger under condition of anonymity because of his undocumented status and fear of arrest or reprisal. His priest, the Rev. Roberto Mena of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Forest, served as translator.
He and his wife have three kids. The oldest, an 11-year-old boy, is in school. Their 3-year-old boy has a sweet smile and is full of rambunctious energy. And their youngest is the infant.
All three children were born in the U.S., and therefore are American citizens.
For people who entered the country without permission, like the parents, the few existing paths to obtaining legal status are highly restrictive and complicated. There’s no way to “get in line” for the vast majority of undocumented immigrants, according to the American Immigration Council.
The husband came to the U.S. 14 years ago. He left his hometown in Guatemala because there was no work there, he said.
Orange Is the New Black stories
Actress Diane Guerrero from Orange is the New Black (OITNB) opened up on The Van Jones Show about how her parents were deported back to Columbia when she was a child and the trauma it caused her. An immigration reform activist herself, she’s challenging the administration and those of us who have our ears to the ground, with what will we do with the children who are traumatized by these massive raids and the children who might get left behind once their parents are deported.
Meanwhile…being included in a plot arc on OITNB offered increased visibility and reach for the National Immigrant Detention Hotline, a project managed by Freedom for Immigrants. Yet the power of a pro bono detention hotline was apparently threatening for some. Just a few weeks after season 7 was released, it is reported that the hotline extension has been shut down by the powers-that-be. Freedom for Immigrants is urging prompt action:
Once again, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attacked our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. This time by terminating our national hotline pro bono extension, which we’ve operated for six years.
The termination of the National Immigration Detention Hotline occurred within two weeks of the premiere of Season 7 of the popular Netflix show Orange is the New Black (OITNB), which featured Freedom for Immigrants’ hotline by name. Freedom for Immigrants’ hotline was featured as a storyline throughout multiple episodes of this season, and the organization’s connection to OITNB garnered dozens of media articles. For example, InStyle Magazine published an op-ed written by Freedom for Immigrants staff, BuzzFeed published an op-ed by OITNB executive producer Carolina Paiz about her visit to a detention facility with Freedom for Immigrants, Los Angeles Magazine published a profile piece on Freedom for Immigrants. Dozens of other new outlets, including People Magazine, Salon.com, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The Hill, NBC New York, published stories mentioning Freedom for Immigrants.
Ironically, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) in Season 7, “You gotta be careful though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.” Being featured in OITNB brought massive attention to the organization’s work regarding abusive and neglectful conditions in immigration detention centers. And for this, we are being punished by our government.
The suspension of Freedom for Immigrants’ hotline extension is impermissible retaliation to the organization’s First Amendment-protected expression. The hotline’s termination also creates the clear appearance ICE is attempting to silence critics and limit the public’s awareness of alleged abusive conditions in immigration detention.
The Quixote Center has endorsed an organizational sign-on letter directed to USCIS officials, copying executives at Talton Communications, a Homeland Security contractor that profits by charging detained persons to make calls to connect to the outside world, and that is also supposed to make pro bono legal defense calls available to detainees, calling for the reinstatement of the hotline, allowing for continued accountability of the government and its contractors that profit from immigrant detention.
A wealthy heiress and her anti-immigration mission: A close look at Cordelia Scaife May
And, shining a spotlight on the elitist roots of the modern anti-immigration movement, today The New York Times profiles Cordelia Scaife May, and the story of how this wealthy woman’s views on population control and the environment led to her anti-immigration beliefs and how one of her legacies, the Colcom Foundation, continues to fund the anti-immigration movement and many of the most extreme policies to close off the United States to migrants. The Independent reports:
Fourteen years after May’s death, her money remains the lifeblood of the anti-immigration movement, through her Colcom Foundation.
It has poured $180 million (£148 million) into a network of groups that spent decades agitating for policies now pursued by current US president Donald Trump: militarising the border, capping legal immigration, prioritising skills over family ties for entry and reducing access to public benefits for migrants.
“She would have fit in very fine in the current White House,” said George Zeidenstein, whose mainstream population-control group Ms. May supported before she shifted to anti-immigration advocacy.