Daily Dispatch 9/4/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

September 4, 2018

 

The Strike:

Detainees at GEO Group’s Northwest Detention Center join nationwide prison strikes, entering 9th day of hunger strikes. Outside protesters quoted one GEO “guest” as saying:  “I’m going to go all the way because I’m going to get killed if I get deported. I’m sick anyway and they don’t want to give me medical care. So who cares anymore? I’d rather just die here.”

Related: Lawsuit filed by detainees in Britain reveals Home Office ministers endorsing £1/hour “slave labor” pay rate.

The Fallout:

Salvadoran government alleges three minors subjected to sexual abuse in Arizona shelters while separated from parents.

The People:

From NYT: “Photographs That Humanize the Immigration Debate.”

Rob Tibbetts, father of Iowa murder victim, writes op-ed insisting his daughter stop being used as a “pawn” in immigration debates and offers apology to Hispanic community:

“At her eulogy, I said Mollie was nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop…

“To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody.”

The Wall:

With Republican majority in the House under threat, “immigration hard-liners inside the White House” (aka Stephen Miller) are pushing Trump to trigger government shut-down over border wall funding, thus placing the Republican majority in the House under even greater threat.

States see up to 20% drop in WIC enrollment due to proposed federal rule change that would prohibit enrollees from becoming citizens.

Related: Great piece laying out how Trump’s policies on immigration create a “virtual wall.”

The Activists:

Activist group erects giant “ICE cage” at Burning Man festival.

The World:

Neo-Nazi and other far-right groups continue massive anti-immigration demonstrations. Nine injured in this week’s round of protests. Ten criminal investigations opened for violations of Germany’s prohibition of Nazi salutes and swastikas. Officials from multiple parties call for surveillance of far-right AfD party. The German foreign minister chastises citizens for taking democracy “for granted.”

The Government(s):

California passes bill outlawing immigration arrests in courthouses (after this happened.)

State Department responds to WaPo report on passports denied, citizens detained at the border.

Department of Homeland Security defying Supreme Court decision that prohibits deportation of immigrants whose NTAs lacked time/date/location (which is pretty much all of them).

Further coverage of the unusually high number of white nationalists in the Trump administration.

 

 

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Daily Dispatch 8/31/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 31, 2018

The Kids:

Two updates on separated families: New York Times Editorial Board looks at the ongoing tragedy of those reunified, while the Washington Post covers the nearly 500 kids who remain in US custody.  

The Detainees:

Magic: The Gathering artists detained at Sea-Tac and taken to ICE detention center.

The Money:

Undocumented immigrants pay $12 billion to Social Security a year – if immigration were cut in half, Social Security would lose 2.4 trillion over the next 75 years.

Bank of America freezing customer accounts because of citizenship questions. 

The Revolving Door:

Sensing a pattern? Ian Smith, DHS policy analyst, resigned his position Tuesday after emails obtained by The Atlantic reveal his ties with the white-nationalist “social scene.”

The World:

Examining how Sweden became a hotbed of anti-immigration nationalism.

Lawyers accuse London’s Home Office of a double standard, rushing high-profile immigration cases through a secret process, while leaving others to languish.

Continuing coverage of the Chemnitz protests and the rise of the far-right in Germany.

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Daily Dispatch 8/30/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 30, 2018

Top Story:

At the border, US government is confiscating American passports, asking US citizens to prove the circumstances of their birth or face detention and deportation. Even those applying for/renewing passports have been detained and entered into the deportation process.

In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States. As the Trump administration attempts to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, the government’s treatment of passport applicants in South Texas shows how U.S. citizens are increasingly being swept up by immigration enforcement agencies…

… Attorneys say these cases, where the government’s doubts about an official birth certificate lead to immigration detention, are increasingly common. “I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center — U.S. citizens,” said Jaime Diez, an attorney in Brownsville. Diez represents dozens of U.S. citizens who were denied their passports or had their passports suddenly revoked. Among them are soldiers and Border Patrol agents. In some cases, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrived at his clients’ homes without notice and taken passports away. WaPo

Another terrifying profile of Stephen Miller. What stood out to me was the apparent hostility toward even tourists from ____ countries (fill in the blank with your own descriptor):

One meeting last year demonstrated Miller’s savvy, according to a senior immigration security official briefed on what happened.

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Kelly, who was the homeland security secretary at the time, were waiting to see Trump. Miller arrived with the president, who was holding a document and seething. The document, apparently given to him by Miller, showed that thousands of Iraqis had visited the United States in the previous year.

The president was furious: Why were they let in?

Kelly and Tillerson pointed out that these were not technically immigrants — merely tourists and other types of short-term visitors. Relatively few overstayed their visas. But Trump was angry anyway, and Miller had scored a psychological victory over the Cabinet officials. Politico

The Asks:

Bipartisan letter asks Trump to reconsider terminating TPS program for Nicaragua.

ACLU asks that deported parents be given the option of returning to start the asylum process over again, citing coercion by US government.

Texas contractors’ association releases survey showing need for immigrant workforce.

The World:

Italy threatens to veto EU budget unless bloc countries agree to take in more rescued migrants.

Spain stakes hard position on African migration after other Mediterranean nations refuse to admit refugees.

France’s Macron vows to hamper anti-immigration efforts of far-right European leaders: “I will yield nothing to nationalists.”

German Neo-Nazi protesters use images of American domestic abuse victims (along with images taken from special effects makeup sites) on banners, claiming they are Germans assaulted by immigrants.

The Racists:

On college campuses, Trump support emerges as independent predictor of prejudice against international students.

In the Trump era, the propriety of racial slurs has become a partisan issue.

D.C. resident/former Marine threatens crossing guard, saying he shouldn’t be allowed to work around white children and warning “I used to shoot people like you at the border.”

Steve King (R-IA) says words like racism and xenophobia no longer have “legitimate meaning” (and don’t accuse him – after all, he once boasted of being “pretty proud” of the “different-looking Americans that are still Americans”) and warns that Western civilization (which was built entirely by white Christians) will “devolve” if we let immigration policy be guided emotion (while defending a tweet that used the Tibbetts murder to stoke emotion on immigration policy).

In completely-unrelated-and-not-at-all-racist news: Trump thinks his administration has done “a fantastic job” in Puerto Rico and reaffirms that its slow recovery is due to the fact that it is “an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water” and big water makes it “much harder to get things onto the island.” This comes despite Tuesday’s announcement that Governor Rosselló has updated the official death count from the initial 64 to 2,975.

(Last week’s suspicions that the president was becoming self-aware have proven unwarranted)

You’ve probably heard about the controversial comments made by Florida’s Ron DeSantis about his not-white opponent, but dictionary.com wants to help you make sense of them.

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Update on the Prison Strike August 29, 2018

The Quixote Center is one of over 300 organizations that has endorsed the demands of prisoners around the country who are engaged in various forms of protests that began last week and runs through September 9th.

It is difficult to get confirmation of actions that take place inside prisons, but today’s update from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak included the following items that were confirmed from the last few days:

  • 200 ICE detainees at NWDC, Tacoma WA initiate hunger strike and work stoppage
  • David Easley and James Ward are on hunger strike in Toledo CI, OH
  • 100 prisoners organized rally, displaying banners on the yard at Hyde Correctional Institution
  • Work stoppage of all prisoners, except 12-15 prisoners from the “privilege unit,” in McCormick CI, S.Carolina
  • ~100 prisoners rallied in yard with banners “Parole,” “Better Food,” “In Solidarity” in North Carolina
  • Palestinian political prisoners issued statement of solidarity from their prisons in occupied Palestine
  • Revolutionary artist Heriberto Sharky Garcia declares hunger strike at Folsom Prison in Represa, California
  • Non-violent protesters at Burnside Jail in Halifax, CA publish their demands in solidarity

There are a number of different ways to get involved, You can review the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee webpage for more details. Specific items include.

The strike has received a significant amount of press – to review articles you can check out Jailhouse Lawyers Speak here. A few examples:

Democracy Now!– From Attica to South Carolina: Heather Ann Thompson on the Roots of the Nationwide Prison Strike.

The Guardian– US inmates stage nationwide prison labor strike over ‘modern slavery’

BBC– US inmates nationwide strike to protest ‘modern slavery’

The Washington Post– Inmates across the U.S. are staging a prison strike over ‘modern-day slavery’

NPR– Inmates Plan To Hold Weeks-Long Strike At Prisons Across U.S.

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Daily Dispatch 8/29/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 29, 2018

 

The ICE:

Detained immigrants held in office building basements, cheap motels awaiting transport.

ICE defying judge’s order to stop detaining asylum seekers, alleges ACLU.

ICE arrests more than 100 people in Texas workplace raid.

Utah town divided after ICE raids effect local businesses.

A report on the risks facing legal green card holders as ICE widens its focus.

Confusion over voter eligibility could lead to detention, deportation.

The Misery:

This opinion piece demands government pay for mental health treatment for immigrants detained at the border, calls for congressional investigation.

The real world effects of Trump era policy changes on immigrants in Alabama, which includes this chart:

The Debunkery:

Rather than costing billions of tax dollars, undocumented immigrants actual pay billions in taxes every year.

The World:

It’s happening in Sweden too: Swedes polar-ized over immigration issues.

Merkel offers federal assistance after violent attacks at far-right rally leaves more than a dozen counter protesters injured in Chemnitz.

The Politics:

Mattis defends decision to discharge thousands of immigrant recruits, citing national security concerns.

California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (currently veep to Jerry Brown) runs on universal healthcare for all regardless of immigration status.

The Racists:

The far-right FPÖ of Austria and the wildly racist congressman of Iowa – a love story.

A lengthy piece on Stephen Miller’s immigration obsession and how he managed to take control of Trump’s administration policy.

An op-ed celebrating the end of Joe Arpaio’s Tuesday Senate primary bid (he really is awful).

Press Secretary at Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) resigns and files discrimination suit, citing a hostile workplace (likely reflecting the values that won the group its SPLC designated hate group status).

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin translates Trump’s warning to Evangelical leaders: “I’ll protect you from the scary black people.”

Proposal to rename the Russell Senate Building after John McCain is facing a backlash from Republican Senators who are defending the legacy of former GA Senator Richard Russel – author of “Southern Manifesto” and staunch opponent of efforts “to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races.”

Update: Hmmm… As of 2:51 p.m. on Google Maps:

And Finally… :

White House has delayed release of its summer intern class photo. Any guess why?

South Lawn – Photo Opportunity with the 2018 Summer White House Intern Class

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Daily Dispatch 8/28/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 28, 2018

The Detainees:

The stories of four women living in an Ohio jail after ICE workplace raid – and the financial motivations these local facilities have for contracting with ICE.

Immigrant detainees announce their decision to join the nationwide prison strike, stating that they are being used as “slave labor” for private prison companies.

Investigations after baby dies of viral pneumonitis after being released with her mother from Texas detention center.

ICE moves unaccompanied minors from shelters to detention centers on their 18th birthday – immigration attorneys file suit claiming violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Interview with journalist and author Andrea Pitzer, who labels immigrant detention center “concentration camps” in her new book One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.

The Enforcers:

Stateless Mauritanians being deported by ICE to the country that stripped them of citizenship and allows tens of thousands of its residents to be held in slavery.

Attorneys and advocates condemn “surprise” ICE arrest at Sacramento Superior Court hearing, citing the chilling effect this could have on victims and witnesses across the state.

Half of Oregon’s sheriffs sign a letter asking for a repeal of the state’s sanctuary city law, which prohibits state and local enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The World:

Examining Theresa May’s “hostile environment” strategy for curbing illegal immigration in the UK.

The Politics:

Trump’s extremist rhetoric on immigration sparks a wave of Muslim-American candidates for office.

The Good News:

All-Latino school district in McAllen, TX gets rare A grade from Texas Education Agency, earning all seven state distinctions, despite the stress of “zero tolerance”

The Legacy:

A look back at the McCain-Kennedy bill and John McCain’s “complicated legacy” on immigration. And this opinion piece on “John McCain and the tragic transformation of the Republican Party, which quotes the following from McCain’s recently published memoir:

Something this country needs to do now, in this political moment, as old fears and animosities that have blighted our history appear to be on the rise again, exploited by opportunists who won’t trouble their careers or their consciences with scruples about honesty or compassion for their fellow man.

Read similar sentiments McCain’s farewell letter, released posthumously at a press conference yesterday.

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Daily Dispatch 8/27/18

A series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 27, 2018

 

Must read: 

Fascinating, disturbing expose of brutal treatment of inmates with mental health issues in jails around the country – from the Virginian-Pilot. Included is a visual presentation of 404 inmates who died in custody.

 

The Corporations:

Investment banks demonstrate confidence in the future earnings of CoreCivic (which owns/operates multiple immigration detention centers around the country), extending the company $1 billion line of credit in the days after “zero-tolerance” policy was announced. (Here’s the SEC report, for those who understand ‘financese.’)

Meanwhile, GEO Group is cashing in on intensive supervision (ankle monitoring) of immigrants who are not in detention. This article from the Associated Press examines the pros and cons of this alternative to detention.

 

The Agencies:

More on those tense inter-agency emails produced through a lawsuit seeking to block termination of TPS status for Sudan, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. See excerpts of the emails here and here.

To avoid congressional veto, city of D.C. redirects funds intended to help immigrants in detention, using it instead to help with asylum and visa applications.

 

The Courts:

San Diego Union Tribune profile of Lee Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer in the case that blocked family separations.

 

The Polls:

New Associated Press poll out today: 61% of voters disapprove of Trump’s overall handling of immigration. 58% think the administration is doing too little to reunite kids and parents (8% say they’re doing too much…). More Democrats have an unfavorable view of ICE (57%) than favorable, but only a quarter support abolishing ICE. Republicans show 57% favorable view of ICE with the same number supporting efforts to ditch the agency. Full results here.

A Harvard/Harris poll out today shows that 46% approve of Trump’s handling of immigration (85% of Republicans, 19% of Democrats). Other highlights:

Left-leaners and right-leaners each have their own reason for finding Jeff Sessions unfavorable, leaving him with an overall 21% favorable rating, 48% unfavorable.

Most Republicans (53%) rate immigration among the most important issues of the day while Dems place it third (23%) under health care (37%) and the economy (28%).

Only 7% of respondents believe that undocumented immigrants are the major cause of crime in the U.S., with lack of jobs and lack of moral values scoring highest.

55% of respondents feel there are too many people in prisons today – 27% think there are not enough people in prison.

40%, a plurality, think prison sentences are not long enough.

The majority (53%) oppose government contracts with private prison companies, though the numbers for each party mirror each other at 64/36.

62% support 287(g) type agreements between ICE and local law enforcement.

58% feel the criminal justice system isn’t harsh enough on crime but 61% acknowledge that minorities do not receive equal treatment. 

 

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Daily Dispatch 8/25/18

A new series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 25, 2018

Saturday Edition

 

Top Story:

Trump administration officials are meeting weekly at CBP headquarters in DC to draft new plans for separating families and/or detaining them indefinitely – but in a way that avoids the recent PR disaster at the border. “We need to be smarter if we want to implement something on this scale,” is the attitude of officials, implying that it was not the policy itself but the incompetence of the roll-out that caused the public backlash. Because these are preliminary, officials have been instructed to disregard current laws and protections (yikes) as they develop proposals. Asked if the negative public reaction to this summer’s round of family separations surprised them, one current official said:

“The expectation was that the kids would go to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, that the parents would get deported, and that no one would care” (… yikes).

 

The Churches:

A New Yorker profile of a Pakistani family offered sanctuary in a Connecticut church, living in the church basement for 159 days now in an effort to avoid deportation.

TIME profiles Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Humanitarian Respite Center, an organization in McAllen Texas that helps asylum families that have been released from ICE detention centers.

 

The Courts:

American Muslim woman files suit against CBP for seizing her iPhone and keeping it for 130 days without explanation.

Trump administration appeals Judge Sabraw’s injunction against family separation.

Emails reveal conflicts between federal agencies during intense debate over the terminations of Temporary Protected Status programs. The emails were obtained as part of a lawsuit to halt the termination of TPS for Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Sudan.

 

The Policies:

A deeper dive on the proposed controversial rule-change that would expand the definition of “public charge” for determining eligibility of legal immigrants for citizenship.

 

The Talking Heads:

Bump corrects the record after FOX News host Tucker Carlson’s misleading rhetoric on immigration, crime, and federal prisons.

Conservatives have been quick to politicize the recent murder of an Iowa college student, with FOX News leading the charge. But even FOX’s own Geraldo Rivera is chastising the network for its coverage. “This is a murder story, not an immigration story,” Rivera demanded, adding “I’m begging you to have compassion and not brand this entire population by the deeds of this one person.”

 

 

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Statement of Solidarity with National Prison Strike

The Quixote Center stands in solidarity with people who are incarcerated in the United States and who are currently engaged in collective actions to raise awareness about the conditions of incarceration and demanding change.

We endorse the 10 point platform of the National Prison Strike:

  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
  2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
  5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
  10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!

We encourage everyone to get educated on the demands and to get involved in support of the strike however possible in your community. You can find updates and links to action items through the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee website.

 

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Daily Dispatch 8/24/18

A new series in which we (will aspire to) offer a sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

August 24, 2018

 

“Truth isn’t truth”:

Perception vs. reality: Politicians inflate the number of immigrants and the people choose to believe them.

Author of Utopia for Realists debunks 7 myths about immigration and open borders.

 

The Politics:

Texas Democratic hopefuls swing left on immigration.

 

The Centers:

Zero-tolerance, family separation, bureaucratic procedures, and new information sharing rules that spook sponsors lead to a surge in detained minors – and an increase in legal violations and abuse by ICE officers.

Rabbi visits CoreCivic’s Georgia detention center, details inhumane conditions and exploitation.

 

The Policies:

Trump administration increases bureaucratic procedures in order to slow down refugee processes.

Apple chief executive joins 58 other CEO’s on a letter warning that American companies will be unable to compete with international counterparts if legal immigration is restricted.

 

The Courts:

Quotas, quotas, quotas. Jeff Sessions tells immigration judges to speed it up, mandating three merit hearings per day, limiting the time immigrants have to make their cases for asylum.

As predicted, US District judge tells Boston ICE officials that they “may not order the removal of an alien pursuing a provisional waiver merely on the basis of finding the alien is subject to a final order of removal” (in other words – they can’t coordinate with USCIS to arrest immigrants at their green card interviews).

 

The World:

Immigration policies in Germany must weigh cultural anxiety against the demands of the labor market.

Australian PM Turnbull ousted by immigration hard-liner, as nativist trend continues to spread around the world.

 

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Contact Us

  • Quixote Center
    7307 Baltimore Ave.
    Ste 214
    College Park, MD 20740
  • Office: 301-699-0042
    Email: info@quixote.org

Direction to office:

For driving: From Baltimore Ave (Route 1) towards University of Maryland, turn right onto Hartwick Rd. Turn immediate right in the office complex.

Look for building 7307. We are located on the 2nd floor.

For public transportation: We are located near the College Park metro station (green line)