Friday, May 4, 2018

DHS to End TPS for Hondurans

330px-Kirstjen_Nielsen_2018

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released this statement on "Temporary Protected Status for Honduras":

"The Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has determined that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras is required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly transition, she has determined to delay the effective date of the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate on January 5, 2020.

The decision to terminate TPS for Honduras was made after a review of the environmental disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original 1999 TPS designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist, as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial. Thus, as required under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

Since 1999, conditions in Honduras that resulted from the hurricane have notably improved. Additionally, since the last review of the country’s conditions in October 2016, Honduras has made substantial progress in post-hurricane recovery and reconstruction from the 1998 Hurricane Mitch.

To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Honduras will be delayed 18 months to provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. Honduran citizens in the United States who benefited from TPS may still receive other protections under our immigration system for which they are eligible.

The 18-month delayed effective date will also provide time for Honduras to prepare for the return and reintegration of its citizens. During this timeframe, DHS will work with the Department of State and the Government of Honduras to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition. In addition to materials posted online, DHS components will participate in outreach activities such as teleconferences, town halls, and roundtables to ensure that affected populations have a full and accurate understanding of their rights and obligations.

Honduran citizens with current TPS registrations will be required to re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the termination of Honduras’ TPS designation becomes effective January 5, 2020.  Further details about this termination for TPS, including the re-registration period, will appear in a Federal Register notice. Honduran TPS beneficiaries should not submit re-registration applications until the re-registration period is announced through the Federal Register notice."

***

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the "Trump administration has been far more strict [than past administrations], insisting that [TPS] shouldn't be a permanent pass to stay in the U.S. The administration has also ended protections for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan and Nepal. The program was extended for South Sudan, still riven by a civil war." (emphasis added).

Dianne Solis of the Dallas Morning Times places the end of TPS for Hondurans in perspective:

"The decision to end temporary protection status, or TPS, affects about 57,000 Hondurans . . . . They are the second largest group of TPS beneficiaries to receive a termination notice — meaning when their permits expire, they’ll have to have some other immigration status to remain legally or will be classified as unauthorized immigrants.

No other president has terminated TPS for as many people as President Donald Trump, who has made a crackdown on legal and illegal immigration a signature issue of his administration.

The program functions as a sort of temporary mercy for immigrants already in the U.S. when a natural disaster or armed conflict breaks out." (emphasis added).

In response to the administration’s decision to end TPS for more than 50,000 Hondurans, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement:

“True to form, this administration deliberately chose to wreak havoc on the lives of nearly 57,000 Hondurans and their tens of thousands of U.S-born children. In the past six months, this administration has inhumanely stripped TPS from 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians, 9,000 Nepalese, 2,500 Nicaraguans, and 1,000 Sudanese – a continuation of its immoral anti-immigrant agenda. Inevitably, families will be torn apart and tens of thousands of U.S-born children will be stripped from their parents – a move that will have devastating ripple effects. This administration’s heartless decisions will not only impact TPS holders, but our society and economy as well.”

KJ

May 4, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Teacher of the Year Teaches Immigrant Students, Presents President Trump with Letters from Those Students

Trump-teacher-ap-hb-180502_hpEmbed_23x15_992

President Donald Trump presents the National Teacher of the Year award to Mandy Manning, a teacher at Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., in Washington, May 2, 2018.

Before accepting the National Teacher of the Year award, Mandy Manning showed President Trump letters written by her students, many of whom are immigrants and refugees. She also asked the President to come to her school to “meet [her] immigrant and refugee students to see how much they contribute to [The United States].”

The National Teacher of the Year teaches English and math to newly-arrived refugee and immigrant students at a high school in the state of Washington She gave President Trump letters from her immigrant and refugee students at an event in the White House event in her honor.

"I personally handed the letters to him and relayed to him that I hoped he would come out and meet my immigrant and refugee students to see how much they contribute to our nation and he told me that he would try to come out," teacher Mandy Manning told ABC News.

Manning said the president accepted the letters and directed his staff to put them on his desk where he could read them later. She said while some of the letters are very supportive of the president, others have very pointed messages.

KJ

May 4, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Worker Shortage Hurts California's Agriculture Industry

President Trump's immigration enforcement measures are affecting the domestic labor market.  In California's agricultural country, workers are in short supply.  Listen to this NPR report.  Similar shortages are being experienced outrside of agriculture. Maryland, for example, is facing a similar shortage in its crab industry.

Bal-crabs-bs0067760588-20180503

Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

KJ

May 4, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Countering the Effects of Trump’s Immigration Policies in Schools

C3_CAP_website_header_logo

The Trump administration's immigration enforcement policies have had negative impacts on immigrant educational achievements.  The Center for American Progress published a column outlining what steps federal and state governments as well as schools and districts can take to protect their students and ensure that their schools are environments that foster learning.  It seeks to offer responses to the following:

"The Trump administration’s immigration policies have created widespread fear and stress that interfere with students’ learning. Unauthorized students and those from mixed-status families may stay home from school, fearing that they or their family members will be deported. A UCLA Civil Rights Project study found that 57.4 percent of teachers and school administrators surveyed reported increased absenteeism when students had concerns about immigration enforcement affecting them and their families. Schools often provide these students with necessary meals, stability, and supports; when they stay home from school due to deportation-related concerns, these students are deprived of key resources.

In addition, fear of deportation often causes performance issues in school."

KJ

 

 

May 4, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrants in California

JoeFriday_JustTheFacts2

Police Office Joe Friday (Jack Webb) from the television and radio show Dragnet

The Public Policy Institute of California has this basic fact sheet on immigrants in California.  Here are the basics:

California has more immigrants than any other state.

Immigrants-in-california-figure-1

Most immigrants in California are documented residents.

Net immigration to California has slowed.

The majority of recent arrivals are from Asia.

Most immigrants in California are working-age adults.

California’s immigrants have both very low and very high levels of education.

Immigrants and US-born residents are equally likely to work—but immigrants make less money.

KJ

May 4, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Leveling Down Gender Equality by Tracy A. Thomas

Thomas-tracy-2.jpg

Leveling Down Gender Equality by Tracy A. Thomas, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 42, 2018

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court in Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017) revived its decades old jurisprudence of "leveling down" -- that is, curing an equal protection violation by denying the requested benefit to all rather than extending the benefit to the excluded class. This article challenges that continuation of the conventional acceptance of leveling down or the "mean remedy" and the assumption that leveling down is an equally legitimate remedial option as leveling up for gender discrimination. Instead, it argues for the adoption of an alternative remedial calculus of a strong presumption of leveling up remedies, overcome only rarely by limited equitable considerations. Such a presumption better effectuates the substantive right of gender equality as well as the correlative due process right to a meaningful remedy.

KJ

May 4, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

President Trump's Lack of Empathy, Lawlessness on Immigration

Trump

Maria Cardona on the Hill hits the nail on the head in analyzing President Trump's approach to immigration:

"The way Trump speaks about the situation on the border betrays not only a sad lack of empathy and understanding for what these migrants are going through and the reality of what they are fleeing, it shows an infuriating lack of knowledge about our own immigration laws, their impact, and what can and should be done to change them.

It seems President Trump is only interested in continuing to use the immigration situation to his own advantage, as applause lines at his rallies and by using them as scapegoats and to perpetuate a draconian view of immigrants that is neither American nor can be sustained with empirical evidence."

KJ 

May 3, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border by John Moore

9781576878675-fullsize-rgb-474x600

Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border by John Moore

With every effort to be an all-encompassing document of the subject of immigration along our southern border, Undocumented features: essays and photos from Central America and Mexico; The Journey North; The Border; Securing the Frontier; Life in a Divided Nation; Detained and Deported. Undocumented, which is reviewed here, also features several portrait series, including undocumented migrants, prisoners in immigration jails, and new American citizens.

Since 2010 Getty Images special correspondent John Moore has been laser-focused on the issue of immigration to the United States. He is unmatched in the field for his comprehensive photography of undocumented immigration and the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. This complex, multi-layered, and amazingly controversial narrative has taken Moore from Central America through Mexico, along every mile of the U.S. southern border, the northern border and immigrant communities in between. Moore’s exclusive access to immigrants on all points of their journey, ICE agents, Border Patrol agents, the USCIS and dozens of NGOs here and abroad sets his photographs apart from all other work on the controversial subject.

Moore’s most recent work includes detentions and increased deportations under the Trump Administration and the resulting widespread fear in the immigrant community in the United States. For its broad scope, compassionate telling and rigorous point of view, this body of work is the essential record on this dominant US domestic topic.

 

John Moore has worked in more than 70 countries on six continents for more than 25 years. In 2015 he became Getty Images’ first Special Correspondent and Senior Staff Photographer.

He first joined Getty Images in 2005, following more than a dozen years based internationally for the Associated Press, much of it in Latin America. During his career with Getty Images, he has photographed throughout South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. While based in Pakistan, he documented the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He has spent much of his time in conflict zones, including the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since moving back to the United States in 2008, Moore has photographed domestic issues such as returning veterans and the foreclosure crisis. In 2010 he began focusing on immigration between Latin America and the U.S, which has led to this book, Undocumented.

Moore has won top photography awards throughout his career. He has been honored four times from World Press Photo for work both domestic and international. The Overseas Press Club presented him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his work in Pakistan and the John Faber Award for his work in Congolese refugee camps. Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association have named him the Photographer of the Year. He was part of the AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the war in Iraq, and as a Getty staffer he was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer for Breaking News Photography for his photos of the Arab Spring. Moore’s work on the Ebola crisis was honored with the top awards from Days Japan, CHIPP in China and the Sony World Photography Organization, which named him the 2015 Photographer of the Year. Moore is a 1990 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in international communications.

9781576878675.in01

9781576878675.in02

KJ

May 3, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Acting ICE Head to Retire

DbqrbiZWkAE5t2P

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued the following press release earlier this week on behalf of Acting Director Thomas D. Homan:

“It has been the honor of my life to lead the men and women of ICE for more than a year. The decision to leave federal service after more than 34 years is bittersweet, but my family has sacrificed a lot in order for me to serve and it’s time for me to focus on them. I am humbled and inspired by the 20,000 American patriots who serve this agency and protect our nation, increasingly in the face of unfair and false criticism from politicians and the media. 

Because of their tremendous dedication and hard work, we have made significant progress this past year in enforcing our nation’s immigration and customs laws, and in protecting public safety and national security. I will continue to be a strong advocate for the workforce and for the ICE mission.”

Homan’s decision to retire has been in the news.  Homan for more than a year has pushed President Trump’s immigration enforcement program.

Homan, a holdover from the Obama administration, was nominated to head ICE by President Trump and became one of the president’s most vocal surrogates against undocumented immigration. His critics, including immigration rights groups and congressional Democrats, said Homan brought an aggressiveness to immigration policy that even some Republicans said went too far, including targeting people whose deportation was not a priority during the Obama administration.

ThomasHoman

KJ

May 2, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Critical Need for School-Based Immigration Legal Services, by Prerna Lal & Mindy Phillips

  Prerna lal
Staff_MindyPhillips-144x162

Discover Our Model: The Critical Need for School-Based Immigration Legal Services, Prerna Lal (East Bay Community Legal Center) and Mindy Phillips (East Bay Community Legal Center), California Law Review

        This piece seeks to chronicle the development of school-based immigration

legal services at the East Bay Community Law Center, evaluate the successes

and challenges of our model, and provide guidance to other organizations across

the country that may wish to emulate the model.

-JKoh

 

May 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice Department Announces First Criminal Illegal Entry Prosecutions of Suspected Caravan Members

Logo

The "caravan" of asylum-seekers from Central America have been in the news for weeks.  Here is a U.S. Department of Justice press release announcing the Trump administration's response to the "caravan":

The Department of Justice today filed criminal charges against eleven different suspected members of the so-called “caravan” in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Adam Braverman. All defendants are alleged to have illegally entered the country in violation of 8 U.S.C § 1325, and one defendant is also alleged to have been previously deported and was charged with 8 U.S.C § 1326 (illegal reentry).

“When respect for the rule of law diminishes, so too does our ability to protect our great nation, its borders, and its citizens,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The United States will not stand by as our immigration laws are ignored and our nation’s safety is jeopardized. U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman and his team should be commended for quickly filing illegal entry charges for individuals apprehended along the southwestern border. We will continue to work with our partners in each U.S. Attorney’s Offices to aggressively pursue prosecutions of criminal illegal entry.”

“The American Dream has beckoned immigrants from across the globe because of the promise that prosperity and success are within reach for all,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of California Adam L. Braverman. “Those immigrants have contributed their voices and perspectives to make up our uniquely American experience. But the foundation for the American Dream, and what allows our democracy to flourish, is commitment to the rule of law.  These eleven defendants face charges now because they believed themselves to be above the law. Those seeking entry into the United States must pledge fidelity to the law, not break them, or else face criminal prosecution.”

According to the complaints, defendants were apprehended by Border Patrol in the following areas known as: Goat Canyon, 35 Draw, Eucci Grove, and W-8. Goat Canyon, 35 Draw, and Eucci Grove are approximately four miles west of the San Ysidro, California Port of Entry, and W-8 is approximately two miles west of San Ysidro.

The complaints allege that the defendants knowingly and willingly entered into the United States at a time and place other than as designated by Immigration Officers, and eluded examination and inspection by Immigration Officers.

A complaint contains allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

KJ

May 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Foot Voting, Decentralization, and Development by Ilya Somin

Somin-ilya

Foot Voting, Decentralization, and Development by Ilya Somin, George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Minnesota Law Review (Symposium on "Decentralization and Development")

Abstract

We can enhance development by making it easier for people to “vote with their feet” between jurisdictions. Few, if any, policy reforms can achieve such enormous increases in economic growth and opportunity. Foot voting is, in several crucial respects, a better mechanism of political decision-making than ballot-box voting. Foot voters generally have better incentives to acquire relevant knowledge and use it more wisely than ballot box voters do. Empowering foot voters enhances development by enabling citizens to move to areas with greater job opportunities, and incentivizing regional and local governments to adopt pro-development policies in order to compete for residents and businesses. Even greater gains can be achieved by expanding opportunities for foot voting across international boundaries, through immigration. Constitutional structures can be designed in ways that maximize the benefits of foot voting and minimize potential costs.

KJ

May 2, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Seven States, Led by Texas, Sue to End DACA Program

 

In the face of numerous injunctions barring the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, Texas and six other states sued the U.S. government yesterday in an attempt to end DACA.  Here are details from the New York Times.

The complaint in the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas, is joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.  It alleges that the Obama administration overstepped its authority when it created DACA, which allows individuals who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children to remain in the country.

“The executive unilaterally conferred lawful presence and work authorization on otherwise unlawfully present aliens, and then the executive used that lawful-presence ‘dispensation’ to unilaterally confer United States citizenship,” the lawsuit says.  It seeks  to “immediately rescind and cancel all DACA permits currently in existence because they are unlawful,” or at a minimum to block the government “from issuing or renewing DACA permits in the future, effectively phasing out the program within two years.”

KJ

May 2, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Memorial of Judge Stephen Reinhardt

 

At the end of March 2018, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit passed away.  Judge Reinhardt was a ardent defender of the rights of the powerless, including immigrants.  His memorial, which was last weekend, included poignant remarks from, among others, California Governor Jerry Brown, former Massachusetts Governor (and former Reinhardt clerk) Deval Patrick, Yale Law Dean (and former Reinhardt clerk) Heather Gerken, and many friends, other former clerks, and family.

KJ

 

May 1, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Members of 'immigrant caravan' begin asylum process in US

13f2346f59c849c480ca15bf6e4d56ad_18

Immigrant advocates have vowed to stay at the border until asylum applications are accepted [Chris Carlson/AP Photo]

Al Jazeera reports that some of the roughly 200 Central Americans travelling in an "immigrant caravan" have crossed the US-Mexico border and applied for asylum in the United States, according to activists on the ground.

Volunteer group Pueblos Sin Fronteras (PSF), Spanish for "People without Borders", said in an early morning tweet on Tuesday that eight of the asylum seekers, mostly from Honduras, had been accepted by the US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) and will begin applying for asylum.

Others were kept at the border crossing. On Monday, CBP officials at the San Ysidro crossing in California said they were at capacity and could not accept more, according to reports.

Here is a tweet with the news:

KJ

May 1, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 30, 2018

UK's Home Secretary Resigns in Immigration Scandal

330px-Official_portrait_of_Amber_Rudd_crop_2

Yesterday, the United Kingdom's Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned after claiming she "inadvertently misled" government over targets for the deportation of immigrants. Rudd resigned amid a growing scandal over the government's mistreatment of the so-called "Windrush generation," men and women from the Caribbean who arrived in Britain in the 1950s and 60s, but in recent years have been declared unauthorized immigrants despite having lived in the country for decades. Rudd had been under pressure to step down over her involvement in the affair, following allegations that members of the Windrush generation -- so named after the ship that had brought hundreds of Caribbean migrants to Britain -- had recently been refused medical care, denied housing and threatened with deportation.

KJ

April 30, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Caravan" Arrives at US/Mexico Border

 

 

Maya Averbuch and Joshua Partlow for the Washington Post report that Central American migrants traveling in the caravan that has prompted angry tweets from President Trump arrived at a border crossing near San Diego yesterday afternoon. Wearing white armbands, the first few dozen people, mostly women and children, tried to come through the San Ysidro port of entry in the late afternoon, at the end of an expedition that started more than a month ago and 2,500 miles south of here. But as the sun set in Tijuana, none from the group had been allowed on the U.S. side or processed by border officials, according to organizers accompanying the migrants.

If they eventually succeed in entering U.S. custody, the migrants will be at the beginning of a perhaps longer and more complicated journey through the immigration court system, where the odds will be stacked against them. Trump has made this caravan a symbol of a porous border and lax immigration laws. He has used it as justification to deploy National Guard troops, and his comments about it have further strained U.S. relations with Mexico.

“To anyone that is associated with this caravan, Think Before You Act,” Rodney S. Scott, chief patrol agent in San Diego for the U.S. Border Patrol, said in a statement. “If anyone has encouraged you to illegally enter the United States, or make any false statements to U.S. government officials, they are giving you bad advice and they are placing you and your family at risk.”

The caravan started out with more than 1,500 people, but the numbers dwindled to about 200 as the group made its way north by foot, bus and train. Some have dispersed, and others chose to stay in Mexico. About 300 people remained in the northern Mexican city of Hermosillo to apply for humanitarian visas. But the Mexican government has yet to issue the visas.

KJ

April 30, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Lynching Memorial -- Black Women were Victims Too

Memorial-header-new2

 

On The Conversation, Evelyn Simien writes that about the recently opened memorial, which was backed by the Equal Justice Initiative, to victims of lynching in the United States:

"The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a six-acre site that overlooks Montgomery, the state capital. It uses sculpture, art and design to give visitors a sense of the terror of lynching as they walk through a memorial square with 800 six-foot steel columns that symbolize the victims. The names of thousands of victims are engraved on columns – one for each county in the United States where a lynching took place. In Alabama alone, a reported total of 275 lynchings took place between 1871 and 1920.

U.S. history books and documentaries that tell the story of lynching in the U.S. have focused on black male victims, to the exclusion of women. But women, too, were lynched – and many raped beforehand. In my book “Gender and Lynching,” I sought to tell the stories of these women and why they have been left out."

Here is a NPR report on the new memorial.

KJ

April 28, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE's Arrest and Detention of U.S. Citizens

GE3VZ7L5PRDQJD7RTHH57WPK3A

 
Paige St. John and Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times report on a disturbing trend:
 
"Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents repeatedly target U.S. citizens for deportation by mistake, making wrongful arrests based on incomplete government records, bad data and lax investigations, according to a Times review of federal lawsuits, internal ICE documents and interviews.
 
Since 2012, ICE has released from its custody more than 1,480 people after investigating their citizenship claims, according to agency figures. And a Times review of Department of Justice records and interviews with immigration attorneys uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the country’s immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention.
 
Victims include a landscaper snatched in a Home Depot parking lot in Rialto and held for days despite his son’s attempts to show agents the man’s U.S. passport; a New York resident locked up for more than three years fighting deportation efforts after a federal agent mistook his father for someone who wasn’t a U.S. citizen; and a Rhode Island housekeeper mistakenly targeted twice, resulting in her spending a night in prison the second time even though her husband had brought her U.S. passport to a court hearing.
 
They and others described the panic and feeling of powerlessness that set in as agents took them into custody without explanation and ignored their claims of citizenship."
 
La-1524792457-ifbz3vc3lp-snap-image
KJ

 

April 28, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 27, 2018

At the Movies: Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th

 

Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th 

“… a potent piece of history at a time when the United States is once again feeling less than hospitable.” - Mike Hale, The New York Times

Over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in ten camps from 1942-1946, a dark chapter of American history that has taken on renewed relevance in the current political climate. Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 who defied the government by refusing to swear unconditional loyalty to the U.S. Though this was an act of protest and family survival, they were branded as “disloyals” by the government and packed into the newly designated Tule Lake Segregation Center. The film, directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer, is having its national broadcast premiere on the WORLD channel as part of May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming.

For over seven decades, the story of Tule Lake has remained hidden from the public narrative and school history books, and a taboo subject within the Japanese American community, due to widely shared feelings of shame and family trauma. The dominant narrative of World War II internment has been that the incarcerees behaved as a “model minority,” cooperating without protest and proving their patriotism by enlisting in the Army. Resistance at Tule Lake overturns that myth by telling the story of the overcrowded, highly militarized concentration camp where the U.S. government corralled “troublemakers” who dared to protest their confinement.

Tule Lake Segregation Center, located in northern California, just two miles from the Oregon border, became a virtual pressure cooker where the simmering conflicts between the Caucasian administration and the Japanese American incarcerees exploded into organized resistance and violent suppression. Faced with the uncertainty of the war and the rampant anti-Japanese climate that awaited them outside of camp, more than 5,000 renounced their “worthless” U.S. citizenship. Brought to visceral life with emotionally wrenching interviews, never-before-seen archival images, and stunning color footage taken inside the camp, the story of Tule Lake unravels racially codified standards of “loyalty” and illuminates today’s most urgent discussions of nationality and citizenship.

Resistance at Tule Lake’s national broadcast premiere is on Sunday, May 6 on the WORLD channel at 7pm EST/4pm PST. The feature-length documentary premiered last year at CAAMFest and continues to screen at festivals, schools and community organizations throughout the country, selling out tickets at a majority of their showings. Many audience members have come forward sharing their own long-hidden experiences of wartime incarceration, including family relatives of some of the people referred to in the film. 

The film has also sparked intense reactions on how these stories are relevant today under the current U.S. treatment of immigrant families as well as Muslim communities. College screenings have prompted powerful sharing from out-of-status students. Director Konrad Aderer says, “There has been a real sense of being encouraged to engage more with what’s happening today… The DREAMer movement is how the most vulnerable are putting themselves on the line on principle and for survival, as Tule Lake resisters did then.”

Visit WORLD online to check your local listings, or the Resistance at Tule Lake website  for upcoming feature-length screening schedules, updates and more.

WORLD will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month every day during the month of May with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, in conjunction with a social media campaign for people to share their own stories online using hashtag #MyAPALife.

KJ

April 27, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)