May Day is coming on Monday, and this year’s protests will focus on immigration, as they have for several years. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, that means two marches – not coordinated, but not exactly opposing one another. The St. Paul march takes place at noon, along the traditional Cathedral-to-Capitol route. The Minneapolis March for Immigrant and Workers Rights will begin in East Phillips Park (24th & Cedar Ave S) with a gathering at 3 p.m. and march at 4:30 p.m. Joined by feeder marches of students, anti-war activists, and teachers, the marchers will proceed to downtown Minneapolis, ending with a rally at the Federal Building in downtown Minneapolis at 6:30 p.m.
May Day to have immigrant tilt as workers plan to protest against Trump (The Guardian, 4/26/17)
“Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their allies will be marching on the streets and striking on May Day for the annual workers’ protest. The march is expected to be the largest in years because of the activist energy galvanized by Donald Trump.
“A coalition of immigration, labor, racial justice, gender equality and LGBT groups have come together for the May Day protests, which are traditionally led by unions and other labor groups.”
Aliens, UFOs, Melania, and Agent Orange (News Day – my other blog, 4/27/17) Want to end the week with a laugh at the absurdity of it all?
“DHS opened the Victims Of Immigrant Crimes Engagement Office or VOICE on April 26. The new office’s hotline was promptly swamped with calls about UFOs, Sasquatch, “an immigrant living in NYC on my tax dollars” (Melania Trump), “an orange colored, toupee wearing alien in a bathrobe has been spotted at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,” and kidnapping by flying saucer. The callers took advantage of another coincidence that ICE probably didn’t know about: April 26 was the annual observance of #AlienDay – a promotion by the Alien movie franchise.”
And in another aspect of the VOICE nonsense, DHS Says Publishing Names of Children for Detained Immigrants Database Was ‘Lapse in Privacy Protocols’ (Latino USA, 4/27/17)
“Christensen’s response came after Latino USA tested DHS-VINE around 8pm ET on Wednesday night. Latino USA had entered the search query of “M. Martinez” as a name and “El Salvador” as a country of residence. About 9 of the more than 30 results included the names of detained children between ages 2–17.
At 8:27pm ET, Latino USA emailed DHS about why minors were included in this database, which, according to a April 26 DHS press release, was “an automated service being launched today that will help victims track the immigration custody status of illegal alien perpetrators of crime.”
Latino USA’s article reports differing descriptions of VOICE and VINE on different ICE and DHS websites, and ICE’s failure to respond to Latino USA queries about the inconsistencies and problems.
And in other news:
Justices Alarmed by Government’s Hard-Line Stance in Citizenship Case (New York Times, 4/26/17)
“Justice Stephen G. Breyer said it was “rather surprising that the government of the United States thinks” that the naturalization laws should be “interpreted in a way that would throw into doubt the citizenship of vast percentages of all naturalized citizens.”
“Chief Justice Roberts added that the government’s position would give prosecutors extraordinary power. “If you take the position that not answering about the speeding ticket or the nickname is enough to subject that person to denaturalization,” he said, “the government will have the opportunity to denaturalize anyone they want.”
“Roberts seemed particularly concerned that the government was asserting it could revoke citizenship through criminal prosecution for trivial lies or omissions.
“He noted that in the past he has exceeded the speed limit while driving. If immigrants failed to disclose that on a citizenship application form asking them to list any instances of breaking the law, they could later lose their citizenship, the conservative chief justice said.
“Roberts described the administration’s interpretation as inviting “prosecutorial abuse” because the government could likely find a reason for stripping citizenship from most naturalized citizens.”
The Tohono O’Odham Nation’s Border Wall Opposition (Immigration Prof Blog, 4/26/17)
“The Tohono O’Odham nation straddles the U.S.-Mexico border and includes portions of Arizona and Sonora. Should President’s Trump vision of an uninterrupted wall between the United States and Mexico ever come to pass, it would cut this nation in two. And it would end the free passage that the Tohono O’Odham currently enjoy when traveling within their boundaries.”
The short version: Spike in Corruption Followed Last Hiring Surge at CBP and ICE (American Immigration Council, 4/25/17)
“After the 2006-2009 Border Patrol surge, “the number of employees arrested for misconduct, such as civil rights violations or off-duty crimes like domestic violence, grew each year between 2007 and 2012, reaching 336, a 44 percent increase,” Heyman’s paper notes. “Over the last 10 years, almost 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws.”
And the full report: Why Caution is Needed Before Hiring Additional Border Patrol Agents and ICE Officers (American Immigration Council, 4/24/17)
“Given this history, there are serious concerns that rapid expansion will bring about a resurgence of problems in the Border Patrol and also cause similar problems in ICE. The proposed surge is also stunningly expensive. Yet there is little justification for this expense at a time when undocumented immigration has fallen to historic lows. If the goal is to enhance border security, this money would be better used in many other ways. “
How Border Patrol Deals With Dissent in Its Ranks (The Nation, 4/25/17)
During James Tomsheck’s tumultuous time at US Customs and Border Protection, where he served for eight years as head of Internal Affairs for a historically secretive agency, he repeatedly spoke out against corruption in the Border Patrol. And, according to him, he suffered the consequences.”
“There’s an effort now to deter, to terrify,” says Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies, a think tank in New York devoted to protecting the rights of migrants. Kerwin says even Trump’s own rhetoric is aimed at deterring immigrants.”
Trump’s Quiet Reversal on Deporting Young, Undocumented Immigrants (The Atlantic, 4/26/17) First, there was his campaign pledge to end DACA. Then he backed away from that pledge. Then came widely reported detention of some DACA recipients and deportation of at least one. Then his statement that DACA recipients should “rest easy.” The Nation concludes:
“While Trump may not have eliminated the program, the “sacrosanct nature of DACA recipients has been diminished,” Sandweg said. There are few known cases of the administration apprehending Dreamers. (About 10, according to United We Dream, an immigration advocacy group that’s been monitoring cases.) But the the arrests of DACA recipients shows that they can no longer count on being spared from deportation.”
For torture survivors, 100 days of fear and anxiety (MinnPost, 4/27/17) Despite the terror experienced by the Center for Victims of Torture clients during Trump’s first 100 days, they have a message for all of us:
“There is another day to hope. There is another day to heal. There is another day to advocate for fundamental human rights. There is another day to resist the deep fear and anxiety incited by President Trump.”
‘Sanctuary Cities’ Bill Attacks Immigrants Who Made ‘Texas Miracle’ Possible (Texas Observer, 4/27/17)
“Around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, the House voted 93-54, along party lines, to tentatively approve Senate Bill 4. The significance of the House GOP’s decision to turn Texas cops into partners in the federal immigration dragnet cannot be overstated. It’s both the predictable culmination of the state’s lurch to the populist right, and, potentially, the death knell of a years-long truce on immigration that served as the cornerstone of the Texas miracle.”
A Lawsuit Claims Wells Fargo Targeted Undocumented Immigrants to Hit Sales Quotas (The Atlantic, 4/27/17)