Friday, May 4, 2018
Teacher of the Year Teaches Immigrant Students, Presents President Trump with Letters from Those Students
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.
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.
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."
Thursday, May 3, 2018
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."
From the Bookshelves: Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border by John Moore
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
“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.
Immigration Article of the Day: The Critical Need for School-Based Immigration Legal Services, by Prerna Lal & Mindy Phillips
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.
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.
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.”
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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.
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:
Monday, April 30, 2018
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.
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.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
"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.
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.”
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.