East Harlem Against Deportation, at its roots, draws its strength from immigrants, their friends and loved ones, and local community organizations, all of whom daily live out the struggle against our country's broken immigration system. Our movement will include organizing events and a letter-writing campaign throughout Spring and Summer 2009, as well as the formulation of a specific policy agenda to protect undocumented immigrants in New York City and State.
Las raíces de El Barrio Contra La Deportación obtienen sus fuerzas de los inmigrantes, sus amigos y seres queridos, y de organizaciones comunitarias locales. Todos estos viven diariamente la lucha contra el sistema descompuesto de inmigración de este país. Nuestro movimiento incluirá la organización de eventos informativos y una campaña de cartas escritas, por toda la primavera y el verano del 2009. También se formulará una agenda política especifica que protegerá a los inmigrantes indocumentados de la ciudad y del estado de Nueva York.
On Thursday, August 21, 130 immigration reform advocates and leaders gathered at the White House with President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and other DHS officials in yet another discussion on comprehensive immigration reform. Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute observed the event with optimism, noting that despite being "short on specifics, [President Obama's words] were mostly pointing in the right direction." Albert Ruiz of New York Daily News countered the general optimism of advocates in a Sunday editorial, describing Napolitano's press statement after the meeting as cold and formulaic. Diego Graglia of the Feet in 2 Worlds blog summed up the ambivalence of the general mood after the meeting, and expressed his frustration at Obama's inability to present any concrete solutions to problems of detention and border enforcement.
New American Media focused on efforts taken by Asian Americans during the National Asian American Week of Action. There are more than 15 million Asian Americans living in the United States, and 1.2 million are undocumented. Asian American leaders, scholars and advocates have spoken up last week, urging for the Asian American community to activate their network and become involved in immigration reform.
*Today at 9 p.m., HBO will feature "Which Way Home," a documentary on child migrants at the southwestern border.
The August 13th issue of Trade Policy Analysis by the CATO Institute writes in favor of legalization, concluding that increased enforcement and reduced low-skill immigration have a significant negative impact on the income of U.S. households. The study shows that the positive impact of legalization under an optimal visa tax would be 1.27 percent of GDP or $180 billion.
The New York Times hits the need for immigration policy reform from a human angle, writing about predatory lawyers who deceive undocumented families seeking legal paths to citizenship, and deaths in the border desert due to U.S. enforcement policies.
This Monday's Brian Lehrer show on WNYC featured a discussion of detention centers and comprehensive immigration reform with Amy Gottlieb of the American Friends Service Committee and Diego Graglia of the Feet in 2 Worlds Blog. Click below for the audio recording.
A week after the National Immigration Law Center released its comprehensive report on abuses in the detention system, the Obama Administration announced major steps for detention reform - including the creation of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning (ODPP). Read the detention reform fact sheet here.
On the other hand, the administration rejected federal judge Danny Chin's petition for legally enforceable rules for immigration detention, and most recently predicted that comprehensive immigration reform will not begin until next year. Michael Lind of Salon.com wrote an interesting article (recently featured on the ImmigrationProf Blog) arguing against comprehensive reform - "of anything." Instead, Lind reasons that piecemeal reforms may attract less special interest lobbying than omnibus bills, are more democratic in nature, and would be easier to push through Congress.
Beyond the abstraction of politics, undocumented immigrants continue to speak in spirited defiance against the policies that threaten their basic rights and happiness. PBS will broadcast the documentary series Made in L.A. this Tuesday, August 11, at 10 p.m. It tells the story of three women's battle for basic rights as sweatshop workers and follows their journey over the course of three years. On a similar note, WireTap Magazine, an online news and culture site geared towards the development of citizen journalism, features a documentary on five siblings' struggle to survive after their mother's deportation.
East Harlem Against Deportation is a campaign organized by the community’s elected representatives: State Senator José M. Serrano; Congressman Charles B. Rangel; Assemblymember Adam Powell IV; Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer; and Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito; with support from local advocates, concerned families and non-profit organizations. ***
“El Barrio Contra la Deportación” es una campaña organizada por los representantes electos de la comunidad: Senador Estatal José M. Serrano; Congresista Charles B. Rangel; Miembro de la Asamblea Adam C. Powell IV; Presidente del Condado de Manhattan Scott M. Stringer; y la Concejal Melissa Mark-Viverito; con apoyo de defensores locales, líderes religiosos, familias preocupadas y organizaciones sin fines de lucros.