What did Americans know as the Holocaust unfolded? How did they respond? A new initiative of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, "History Unfolded" is using crowdsourcing to scour newspapers across the country for articles that ran between 1933 and 1945 on the plight of Europe’s Jews. The project focuses on 20 historical events from the time period. [more inside]
The US Department of Homeland Security created a fake for-profit institution, the University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), as part of a sting operation targeting student-visa fraud. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the demise of UNNJ's Facebook page, which featured photos of a mysterious cup of coffee and condolences for the fictional death of the fictional president's mother.
The Cost of Caring: After Emma realized that her white-collar job in the Philippines would never pay her enough to send her children to college, she came to New York and became a nanny. She hasn't seen her kids in 16 years.
Here's a lovely and touching short film (14 minute) by the visual artist JR, featuring Robert De Niro. It's called Ellis. [more inside]
"Savage has this down to a kind of science. And it works. His fans treat him like a philosopher-king. The Amazon reviews for his books are brimming with regular people hungry for a straight shooter who calls it like he sees it. It’s an easy performance to fall for." - Kaleb Horton on Michael Savage. The Trump appeal, and reaping what ring-wing media sows
I was made to recite the story of my greatgrandmother, to the extent that I knew it: Her name was Sujaria, and this was her village. The British took her away in 1903 to work their sugar plantations in a place now known as Guyana. She sailed on a ship called The Clyde. My grandfather was born on that ship.Gaiutra Bahadur traces the story of her great grandmother's singular journey as indentured labour meant for the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, shedding light on the lives of women in British India over a hundred years ago.
Going forward, the Guardian will refrain from allowing comments on articles discussing sensitive issues such as "race, immigration, and Islam". Per Mary Hamilton, executive editor, this move is necessary in order to address "a change in mainstream public opinion and language that we do not wish to see reflected or supported on the site".
Kelvin Villanueva was almost home one night last June when a policeman stopped him for a broken taillight. From his truck, he could see his longtime girlfriend, Suelen Bueno... Before [she] reached them, the officer had arrested Villanueva. Bueno still had not revealed to any of the children that Villanueva had been deported. ‘‘It’s very difficult, because I don’t know how to explain it to them,’’ she said. ‘‘They’ve never been separated from him before. I don’t know what to say. I just keep telling them that he’s traveling for work, he’ll be home soon.’’ [more inside]
Neil Kaplan is fascinated by the stories told by old passports, especially those relating to the Holocaust, and the resonance they have for today's immigrants and refugees. "It seems strange to admit that in 2015, the right to exist in certain physical spaces on Earth—spaces bound by imaginary lines drawn on maps by our governments—can be prevented by a pocket-sized paper travel document."
"The H-2 guest worker program, which brought in 150,000 legal foreign workers last year, isn’t supposed to deprive any American of a job. But many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to deny jobs to U.S. workers so they can hire foreigners instead." [more inside]
"Jane the Virgin is doing some of the most serious, most valuable work I’ve seen in a long time, and that work is rooted in a radically frank depiction of new motherhood." Links may contain spoilers, but also this show is very silly so knowing some things that happen will probably not ruin your enjoyment of the rest of it [more inside]
November 29th marks the 25th anniversary of the US H1-B visa, a highly-coveted three-year employer-sponsored visa for skilled workers that can eventually lead to a Green Card - eventually. SmithsonianAPA presents a collection of art about the H1-B experience, primarily from people that have held or are holding H1-B visas (mostly South Asians, since Indians make up the majority of H1B applications), as well as some H-4 dependent spouses. H1-B visa holders are also sharing their experiences on Twitter. (previously)
Today at TEDxCUNY, protestors took the stage in honor of Sonia Guinansaca, a migrant queer poet whose speech was pulled this week. (protest begins before the 7 minute mark of the video)
I had the best lawyers, Ivy League backing, and Bill Clinton’s support. But I still don’t have a green card.
Tonight at 9 EST Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley will come together for a debate in Iowa at Drake University. [more inside]
Refuse to share a pencil, reject a boy, say no to your imprisoned dad — all of these can get a teen girl killed in El Salvador's gang war - "Aby, whose best friend disappeared, is still staying at home. Her latest aspiration is to be the director of NASA." Warning: Some of the depictions and images in this story are graphic. [more inside]
"Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people. Whoever invites or welcomes immigrants to Europe and Germany is my enemy,” says bioinformatician Gangolf Jobb, who has responded to the Syrian migrant crisis by revoking the license for his Treefinder software, one tool (among many) that help measure and visualize the evolutionary distances between organisms. [more inside]
Death on Sevenmile Road
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
Francisco E. Balderrama on Fresh Air: America's Forgotten History Of Mexican-American 'Repatriation' In the 1930s, during the Depression, about a million people were forced out of the U.S. across the border into Mexico. It wasn't called deportation. It was euphemistically referred to as repatriation, returning people to their native country. But about 60 percent of the people in the Mexican repatriation drive were actually U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. [more inside]
A plan to conduct Operation Fortitude, a joint operation between the Victorian Police and the newly-created paramilitary Border Force as not been well received by the people of Melbourne who, to put it mildly, did not like the idea of being forced to show their papers in spot checks this Saturday. As Lenore Taylor says, Australian Border Force has united the nation against it. The Police say it was all a terrible misunderstanding over the wording of a press release typed by a "low level official". The original release has been removed. [more inside]
2009 UK Slam Poetry Champion Hollie McNish, aka Hollie Poetry, questions our attitudes on immigration with Mathematics. [more inside]
Richard Cooke visits Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and looks at Australia's history of collaborating with human-rights abusers: "There’s a strange feeling in the room. An unusual aspect of being subjected to a 21st-century genocide-in-progress is that there are templates, blueprints, precedents. They know the fate of the Bosnian Muslims, of the Vietnamese boat people, of the Tutsis. They know this will take a long time, that their fate is uncertain. There is patience, and much more humour than I anticipated." [more inside]
"So you are in 13th century England and you’ve been accused of, or maybe have actually committed, a murder. To be taken into custody and tried would likely result in execution, so you need to go to ground, fast." What do you do? Run to a church and claim sanctuary! [more inside]
Next week is pride week in Sweden and even social conservatives are getting in on the fun. The catch? They intend to host an LGBT pride parade through suburbs which contain large muslim immigrant populations. Left-wing activists have called the pride parade a racist attempt to offend muslims and are planning a counter-demonstration. The protest is organised, by Jan Sjunnesson, a journalist closely associated with the the anti-immigration right-wing Swedish Democratic party. In recent opinion polls the party polled 23.3% which, if followed in elections would make them Sweden's second largest political party. The party is linked with fascism and the far right (associations they would dispute) (NB:Google Translate links) [more inside]
Conquistadors no more: Spaniards are flocking to Latin America because they need jobs In 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Spaniards made up some 85 percent of all European immigrants to Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the EU/IOM report. Unemployment in Spain has hovered around a mind-boggling 25 percent in recent years. But that may be the least of it. Youth unemployment has been double that, at around 50 percent.
The Detainee’s Tale by Ali Smith Over the last few weeks, writer Ali Smith has taken part in the Refugee Tales project, a group of volunteers who befriend and support immigration detainees. This is her response:
So: the first thing you remember knowing is that there isn’t any more school. Your mother dies when you are three, you don’t remember. You never see your father, so you can’t remember him. You know, from being told, that your father’s family fought with your mother’s family; his were Hausa, hers were Christian. So you get given by your father’s family to a man in the village and for a short while there’s school under the great big tree, where you sit in the shade on the ground and the teacher sits on a seat and you get taught letters and reading. Then the school has to have money so the man you’ve been given to takes you to the farm. You are six years old. There is definitely no school on the farm.Story contains descriptions of trauma/distress.
Rape on the Night Shift: Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline/Reveal investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
Jennicet Gutiérrez writes for the Washington Blade on being removed from the White House last night after interrupting President Obama's speech during an LGBT Pride celebration. [more inside]
The wetsuitman. Last winter two bodies were found in Norway and the Netherlands. They were wearing identical wetsuits. The police in three countries were involved in the case, but never managed to identify them. This is the story of who they were.
Adnan Khan: ‘Our Brownness Does Not Belong Here’
The Failure of Multiculturalism - Community Versus Society in Europe
Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them.[more inside]
From The Bitter Southerner: Dixie Is Dead
ImmigrationTrackr - "This project was developed in two hackathons (Code for America and Lesbians Who Tech) to create an open-source tool to help visa and immigration paperwork. The hope is that other people will build on this and make a viable tool for public use. Right now it's mostly developed on Rails." [via mefi projects]
"It was actually harder for Eri to enter the country because she was married to me." Justin Merrill describes how US immigration policies ruined his wedding as a part of OpenBorders.Info's series on the personal reasons to support open border policies.
Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route.
The Syrian conflict has torn the country apart, leaving thousands dead and driving millions to flee their homes. Many seek refuge in neighbouring countries but others pay traffickers to take them to Europe - risking death, capture and deportation. If you were fleeing Syria for Europe, what choices would you make for you and your family? Take our journey to understand the real dilemmas the migrants face.
For real. House Judiciary Committee press release in gif form.
The UN has released a report finding that Australian policies may breach the international convention against torture. Prime Minister Tony Abbott's response? "I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations." * Not so much. Meanwhile, thousands of letters of support to detainees in Nauru have been returned, undelivered. [more inside]
Adam Crapser was adopted from Korea to abusive parents who were arrested on multiple counts of child abuse and rape. Over thirty years later, one last sting of neglect from his parents came back to bite him: he has been served deportation papers because his adoptive parents failed to complete his naturalization process.
NYMag profiles American military deserters in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
Desertion is always a solitary choice, but it can be especially so for those who seek refuge in other countries. The deserter in exile is cut off from community, family, and country, knowing there may never be a safe way home. For the alienated troops who fled to Canada in the early years of the Iraq War, the decision seemed to offer solace. The northern border has always welcomed disaffected Americans, from the British Union Loyalists who opposed the Revolutionary War to the draft dodgers and deserters avoiding Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, roughly 50,000 U.S. citizens took shelter in Canada, where the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quietly embraced them. In the first three years of the Iraq War, at least 200 new American troops joined them, believing they would find the same open arms. Most of the new deserters chose to live and work in cities like Toronto and Montreal without revealing their military past; only about two dozen stepped forward publicly to request political amnesty as “war resisters.”
"DES MOINES, IA – Word must have gone out early, either by word of mouth, or by all those social media platforms that conservatives have discovered since 2008, or perhaps by that strange wingnut telepathy only practiced by the true initiates who know all the conjuring words. (People could make Lois Lerner jokes secure in the knowledge that every single person in Iowa who would find them funny was somewhere in the hall.) In any case, the rhetoric at the Iowa Freedom Summit, hosted by Steve King and Citizens United, was startlingly muted. Oh, they hit all the proper notes. Liberty! Constitution! American exceptionalism! And the melodies were consistent; the first few bars were gloomy as they meandered through the many failures of the current administration, many of them largely imaginary, and then the final movement was all sunshine and rainbows and Republican promises of a brighter day. Every speech was like a Requiem Mass that concluded with a rousing chorus of 'Tomorrow.'" Charles P. Pierce of Esquire has some colorful choice words to say about the recent Iowa Freedom Summit.
It's easy to break a patient like Rogelio—Mexican and poor and chronically ill—down to his potassium level and to make medical decisions according to a number. But that's only part of the story of how the undocumented ill are cared for here in Houston. Within this city's history—a history that includes segregation during the 1960s, a large immigrant population, strong economic growth over the past half century, not to mention the world's largest medical center—is the story of how Houston sought local solutions to provide compassionate care to its indigent and undocumented, the latter of which, some might say, have helped the city grow.Dr. Ricardo Nuila reports from the emergency room at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, where Harris County's undocumented ill can avail themselves of some of the country's best health care: Taking Care of Our Own. [more inside]
Der Spiegel asks if cultural tolerance is coming to an end in Germany as Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident”) keeps growing. 17,500 people gathered in the opera square in Dresden yesterday to protest against immigration and what they perceive as the “Islamisation” of Europe, an increase of 2,500 compared to last Monday—in a state with a Muslim population of less than 1 %. The organisers had planned to sing traditional Christmas carols in the light of the opera house. But the building stayed dark in response, and white flags were hoisted by the management, reading “Open your hearts. Open the doors. Human dignity is inviolable,” the latter a quote from the first paragraph of the German constitution. [more inside]