Whoever he’d been before, whoever he still was inside, to the world around him, he was now a human riddle, a blank slate on which to write a thousand possible names and stories. He needed a name for the forms and the charts and the billing, and so he was assigned one — a strange name whose origins have been lost in the nearly 17 years since the accident. It might have come from an auto shop to which the truck was taken or near where the accident occurred; some people heard it came from the truck’s route, or it was simply random. However it happened, legally he became Sixty-Six Garage.
We are in a Walmart parking lot in Nogales. Captain Pain and a couple of others go into the store to get supplies. In Pain's absence, Showtime is our commanding officer. He is a Marine special-ops veteran who did three tours in Afghanistan. He has camo paint on his face and a yeti beard. He gets in the cab to check Facebook on his phone while Destroyer, Jaeger, Spartan, and I stand with our backs to the truck, rifles in hand, keeping watch for anything suspicious. The Mexican border is three miles away. (TW: Extremely offensive language to pretty much everyone)
Three years ago, the Republican-led House was close to reaching a compromise on immigration. This is the inside story of what went wrong. - Alec MacGillis, ProPublica [more inside]
Eighty years on from the day anti-fascists clashed with Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the Jewish East End of London, David Rosenberg tells the story of the long struggle to protect the giant mural. Link to the Brick Lane Bookshop's article, and to more info about the founding of Tower Hamlet's Art Project, which still seems to be going in some form in the middle of our current 'austerity'. The story of the mural touches on world history*, community involvement, political activism, shared values*, spirit of place, and continuity. It's a fine example of the interaction between local and global; and perhaps of the legacy of Britain's now threatened, always contested, post-war socialist idealism. [more inside]
With a global mean temperature rise of 1.5℃ (video, direct .mp4 link) the Marshall Islands, site of the US's Bikini Atoll nuclear weapons tests, may disappear completely. With most islands just six feet above sea level and less than a mile wide the ring of atolls is already severely affected by climate change. ⅓ of all Marshall Islanders are believed to live in the US, although they may face deportation. In recent months the residents of the Pacific island nation have been advised to cease eating fish after elevated levels of PCBs were found in the waters around the US missile base on Kwajalein Atoll. Recently, very previously, previously, previously, personal anecdotes.
As the polls (slightly) tightened, Donald Trump surprised everyone by visiting the President of Mexico. While this appeared to signal a long-awaited pivot, Trump pivoted right back with a scathing immigration speech hours later. Trump's surrogates have followed suit, tweeting cartoons of Hillary in blackface and warning of taco trucks on every corner. Later in the week, Trump appealed to to the black community by visiting an African-American church. [more inside]
Donny is flopping about on immigration and his "deportation force," and the view of Donald as a bigot are solidifying, as Hillary's camp keeps up the race-themed attack on Donnie. Meanwhile, Donny bought $10 million in ads for this week, his biggest buy yet, focusing on the economy. Ads will air in battleground states, including Colorado and Virginia, where Clinton’s top aides — citing the growth in minority communities and college-educated white voters — feel confident enough to pull local ads. And to keep things lively, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trade jabs over their health. With a bit more than 70 days to go, it's too soon for Hillary to run out the clock, so let's go, get back on your feet!
Tom Kiefer was named one of the 50 best emerging photographers for 2015 in the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards based on his El Sueno Americano project, which emerged from his work as a janitor at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Over an 11-year period, he salvaged and cataloged hundreds of personal items thrown away in the facility. [more inside]
A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice. (Platform, Downloads/Briefing)
Gaspar Marcos stepped off the 720 bus into early-morning darkness in MacArthur Park after the end of an eight-hour shift of scrubbing dishes in a Westwood restaurant. He walked toward his apartment, past laundromats fortified with iron bars and scrawled with graffiti, shuttered stores that sold knockoffs and a cook staffing a taco cart in eerie desolation. Around 3 a.m., he collapsed into a twin bed in a room he rents from a family. Five hours later, he slid into his desk at Belmont High School, just before the bell rang. The 18-year-old sophomore rubbed his eyes and fixed his gaze on an algebra equation.
Syrian Refugees in small town Canada A feel good story about Syrian refugees settling in small town Canada [more inside]
In April of 1975, Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan sought a green card for Mr. Sullivan, as Mr. Adams' husband. 41 years later, "the green card, granting Anthony permanent resident status in the United States, was issued on the 41st anniversary of his Boulder, Colorado marriage to Richard — a same-sex marriage that remained in the record and which was never invalidated by Colorado officials. "
How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process. Buzzfeed News covers allegations of grade faking (and more) at Northwestern Polytechnic University.
As 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood at attention during his West Point commencement on Saturday, he was overwhelmed with emotion. [more inside]
A data visualization of Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration by MeFi member, Max Galka. His latest project foiamapper (freedom of information act mapper). You can "Search for government information by keyword or see what other people and news organizations are requesting." Or you can "Browse by Government Agency: FOIA logs, record systems, and contact information for making a Freedom of Information request." foiamapper faq. Previously from mgalka, MeFi Projects 1 & 2.
On July 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru and its passsengers were turned back from Canada and returned to India. Nineteen passengers would be killed as they disembarked there. On May 18, 2016, Canada's Prime Minister will rise in the House of Commons to deliver an apology, over 100 years in the making, for the Komagata Maru incident. [more inside]
"To be young, brown, and woke...THIS is our future, they are the ones who will pave the way." Latina Rebels founder Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is collecting photos of beautiful and inspirational graduation caps under the hashtag #LatinxGradCaps on Twitter and Instagram.
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]