A profile of a few families who chose to cross the border and a view of agricultural work in America for migrant laborers.
Do American citizens really want the agriculture jobs "illegals" are "taking?" Apparently not... "Only 8,600 people expressed an interest in working in the fields, says Ms Machuca. But they made demands that seem bizarre to farmworkers, such as high pay, health and pension benefits, relocation allowances and other things associated with normal American jobs. In late September only seven American applicants in the “Take our jobs” campaign were actually picking crops."
What does it mean to be Canadian? It isn't about an ethnicity, a religion, a language, or a shared heritage or history. From CBC's Ideas comes the two-part radio documentary, Being Canadian. "From east to west, public intellectuals and private citizens (both new and old Canadians), tell film-maker Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi about the concerns, the questions, and the challenges of living together in a multicultural and diverse society." It is also the story of how and why a Korean family became Canadian, first in the law, and then in their hearts.
"Are the American People Obsolete?" an essay by Michael Lind of the New America Foundation. [more inside]
Lou Dobbs became notorious during his at CNN for his views on immigration, particularly advocating enforcement against those who employ illegal immigrants. Today, The Nation accuses him of just that. Lou Dobbs responds.
"Is the US heading toward a future of greater diversity and racial tolerance, or of racially-motivated violence and separation?" Al Jazeera takes a look at the White Power movement in the United States.
"I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican," Colbert testified. "I want it picked by an American, sliced by a Guatemalan . . . and served in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."
This morning comedian Stephen Colbert testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, where he appeared as a witness on the issue of migrant farm work. He did so in character: "a fake blowhard before a panel of real pontificators. "It's unclear upon how many members of the committee the joke was lost." [Video | 05:19]. [more inside]
In Utah, the Deseret News -- which is owned by the Mormon Church -- has raised eyebrows with editorials supporting a more liberal embrace of illegal immigrants. [more inside]
Objects Through Time tells the story of immigration and the changing ethnic diversity of New South Wales, Australia through "movable heritage" - that is, artifacts and objects with historical resonance. While almost ignoring 50,000 years of aboriginal occupation, the site does a nice job of both familiar topics through a fresh lens (e.g., Captain Cook's "secret instructions"), but also takes pains to look at those lesser known topics which may be more accessible through material culture than through texts. [more inside]
What do bottles of water used to torture people have in common with bottles of water provided to those in danger of dying of thirst? Jay Bybee. Guess which ones he likes. Scott Horton discusses the case of Walt Stanton and Jay Bybee's curious flexibility over bottled water's proper use. [more inside]
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer blanks catastrophically in a TV debate. No matter how strongly you feel about her immigration bill, it's hard not to feel for her. After all, public speaking is America's greatest fear, so the trainwreck might conceivably even help her. But then, here's her equally terrible reaction to press questions afterwards about her false claims that immigrants behead people. Not a good day for the controversial Arizona gov, who has now sworn off debates. [more inside]
Immigration crackdown creates insecure communities. The Makers of DeportationNation have a new report out calling into question the idea behind Secure Communities. Meanwhile, more immigrants are deported under Obama than Bush.
Anderson Cooper attempts to reason with the wild-eyed Debbie Riddle, a Texas State Representative who wants to save the US from bomb-throwing "anchor babies".
On July 28, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction (link to pdf of court order) blocking several portions of the recent immigration bill SB1070, which was passed on April 23. (Previously on Metafilter.) Among other provisions, the bill would have allowed Arizona police officers to demand proof of immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally pursuant to a legal police stop. Most importantly, the federal ruling blocked the portion of the law that would have allowed police officers to demand proof of legal status. Opponents of the law, who had already planned demonstrations yesterday, the first day the law was set to take effect, reportedly view the ruling as a victory, though partial and perhaps temporary. Proponents of the law are predictably unhappy with the ruling, and react with disappointment.
"In our need to restore our sense of self-control are we actually going to reward politicians who are not working to bring us together, but instead are forsaking America's beautiful 234-year history of diversity?" Another Op-Ed from a national newspaper? No, it's the note from Bill in this month's Penzeys Spices catalog (.pdf), introducing a new blend called Arizona Dreaming, which combines the flavors of South of the Border "in ways Americans love so much."
Tucson's own Calexico has made one of their concerts available (Nuremberg 2009) for streaming and downloading. Calexico's Joey Burns has also been very busy lately with Artists For Action, an Arizona organization that is actively speaking out against AZ's controversial SB 1070. Calexico has a history of hosting benefit concerts in support of various border issues. [via]
Illegal immigration is not just a US problem.
Joe Sacco: Not in my country, A tale of unwanted immigrants.
The Big Picture (Joe Sacco previously 1; 2 ).
Joe Sacco: Not in my country, A tale of unwanted immigrants.
The Big Picture (Joe Sacco previously 1; 2 ).
The Toronto Star looks into the shambles that Canada's guest worker program finds itself in. [more inside]
"They may be individuals who may be hunting illegal border crossers. That's really a big concern for us,"
Eleven weeks after Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was found murdered near the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of illegal entrants have reported to police that they were shot at by two men in camouflage with high powered rifles near Rio Rico, Arizona. [more inside]
After suspending all asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the Australian Government has made a series of confronting youtube videos showing the dangers of the sea, and the arrest and detention of asylum seekers. [more inside]
The newly-formed American Third Position aspires to be the United States' premier white nationalist party. [more inside]
Cul-de-sac is a new independent film (trailer, briefly NSFW) by London-based directors Ramin Goudarzi Nejad & Mahshad Torkan. It tells the story of Kiana Firouz, a filmmaker, actress, and lesbian activist who fled Iran after authorities learned of her attempt to make an underground documentary about the lives of Iranian gays and lesbians. According to this interview, Firouz didn't write the film, but plays herself. Earlier this month, her asylum petition was allegedly denied. The denial shouldn't have been surprising according to statistics in a report (pdf) by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, which states that the refusal rate for lesbians and gay men is as high as 98-99%. Although the Home Office claims it takes the sexual orientation of asylum seekers into consideration, laws which permit deportation of gay and lesbian asylum seekers have recently been challenged in the supreme court.
Five Californian high school students were sent home on cinco de Mayo for the clothes they were wearing. A vice-principal demanded they turn their shirts inside out so as to not offend other students, calling their clothing incendiary. They refused and, threatened with suspension, left campus. Their offense? Wearing American flag designs on American soil. At least one student believes the five owe everyone an apology for their disrespect.
If you hire illegal aliens at your business, the federal government can seize your property. In a rare move, the U.S. government is seeking to confiscate the property of an iconic San Diego restaurant that allegedly had a practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
Pentecostal minister Clovis Salmon, known in Brixton as "Sam The Wheels" due to his wheel-making skills, came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s he used his Super-8 camera to film Brixton daily life and church scenes, including the aftermath of the 1981 riots.
Yesterday, Arizona Governor (R)Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that effectively transforms police into immigration agents, giving them the power to stop people on suspicion of being in the country illegally, and making failure to carry immigration documents an arrestable offense. The bill, supported by the usual suspects, but condemned by many including the President and the Mexican government, will undoubtedly face significant legal challenges.
"The laws are intended to make people fearful," Pearce said. The Arizona Senate passed SB 1097 (PDF) on Monday which, if signed by the governor, will require school districts to collect information on how many of its students are in the country illegally and report this information to the governor. This bill is seen by some as a first step in challenging Plyer v. Doe.
"We are two reporters living with a family from Mexico, now in MacArthur Park, to learn a foreign language so that we may better report on our own city and country. We are living in their America."
Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
The Patriot Act was originally signed into law by Bush in 2001, following 9/11. This bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to search your email, telephone records, medical records, record your telephone conversations, without your consent. It's allowance of indefinite detention of immigrants has been a major point of criticism from opponents. Today, President Obama, who previously promised to protect our civil liberties, has quietly extended the bill for another year.
In the US, for the past thirty years, new laws have been stripping judges of any discretion whatsoever in ensuring sentencing and other consequences of criminal activity are fair. Enter Qing Wong Hu, a Chinese immigrant who arrived in the US when he was 5, and now faces deportation for a string of muggings he committed in New York City in 1996, when he was still a juvenile. This, despite his successfully turning his life around and becoming a hard working, productive member of society.
This is a tale of a place you know from your time in America, but have never heard of. Until the 1960s, two-thirds of Chinese immigrants came from a single mid-size city in Guangdong Province in southern China. Its language is a dialect incomprehensible to anyone in the rest of China. The city tells its own stories: There is the story of China's collectivist past and relentlessly capitalist present, and there is the story of the people who left, and those who returned: its arcade market buildings, now in various states of disrepair, show the Western architectural heritage that many of the immigrants brought back with them when they returned to a place called Toishan. Photographer Alan Chin shows and tells in a New York Times essay about his ancestral home. [more inside]
Due to the threat of legal action the British National Party has amended its membership policy to be open to all races. It's first non-white member, a Sikh, will soon be handed his membership card personally by BNP leader Nick Griffin. Explains Griffin:
Anyone can be a member of this party. We are happy to accept anyone as a member providing they agree with us that this country should remain fundamentally British
After a fruitless hunt for Pancho Villa, General Pershing and his forces withdrew from northern Mexico in early 1917. But, "[w]hat to do with 300 Chinese who have associated themselves with the punitive expedition?" [more inside]
LGBT Immigration Some countries such as Australia and Canada already allow same sex couples to immigrate. In the United States Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said he will introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill early this year. A window is opening to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)....
Chicago Welcomes You "How to redesign a resettlement process for immigrants who may never have seen a streetlight, cooked on a stove, used a toilet that isn’t a hole in the ground or handled any type of currency." More about the project.
Cheng Chui Ping came to the US like many others from the Fujian province in China. Through hard work and determination, she rose in the ranks of New York City's Chinatown business community. But, "Sister Ping" was not one to follow laws if it didn't suit her. Among the snakeheads who engaged in human trafficking, none were better than her. [more inside]
“We send something whenever we have a little extra, at least enough so he can eat." Remittances, the small money transfers a previous FPP called "the most important antipoverty program in the world", are now flowing the opposite direction. Yes, poor families in southern Mexico are having scramble to find money to send north to their out of work relatives in the US.
It sounds like a George Lopez joke. “Times are so bad that I saw an Anglo day laborer standing outside Home Depot the other day.” Except it’s true.
Samoan government Minister Hans Joachim "Joe" Keil is suing US immigration agents and the State Department. [more inside]
"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
"America's Toughest Sheriff", Joe Arpaio, has been stripped of his federal authority to make immigration arrests. (Previously)
José Hernández was a migrant worker when he first started to dream about becoming an astronaut. He is the first astronaut to Twitter in Spanish from space on shuttle mission STS-128. NASA wasn't happy about the controversy he caused when he advocated for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He is not the first Hispanic-American to fly on the space shuttle. Hernández is a national hero in Mexico and has been invited to dine with President Calderon.
Japan is facing a demographic crisis that will shrink the population dramatically. The Japanese aren't having babies, and the country won't accept immigrants to help bolster the population. Japan: Robot Nation looks at a uniquely Japanese solution. [more inside]
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children, life in a refugee camp and mixed migration. There are also news sets, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste, Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama, Hungary and France.
The lives of transplanted elders are largely untracked, unknown outside their ethnic or religious communities. “They never win spelling bees,” said Judith Treas, a sociology professor and demographer at the University of California, Irvine. “They do not join criminal gangs. And nobody worries about Americans losing jobs to Korean grandmothers.”Older Immigrants, Invisible and With ‘Nobody to Talk To’ in the New York Times. Elderly immigrants, the US's fastest growing immigrant population [pdf], have been hit hard by the rough economic climate. Changes in welfare law in the mid-90s made it harder for immigrants to receive benefits. Long resisting the trend towards nursing homes, elderly immigrants have enrolled in greater numbers in recent years.
Marwa el-Sherbini testified in court against a neighbor who had called her a "terrorist" because she wore the hijab. As she spoke, the man she had accused walked across the courtroom and stabbed her 18 times. In the Muslim world, she is now being referred to as "the headscarf martyr." [more inside]