Tag: immigration

Responding to Strking Farmers, Mexico’s Calderon Pimps NAFTA


Mexican Farmer Protests Price Of Corn

Another disgrace.  On January 2, I wrote that dozens of Mexican farmers had blocked a lane of the border bridge from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso for 36 hours to protest the removal of Mexico’s last tariffs on US and Canadian farm goods.  And now Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, has responded to the protests by saying that there’s no problem, NAFTA’s good for Mexican workers.  He has to be joking, right?

Join me across the Rio Pequeno.

Shut The Huck Up!!

Did I dream this New York Times story up?  Is this really April Fool’s Day?  Am I having hallucinations?

Mike Huckabee used the volatile situation in Pakistan Friday to make an argument for building a fence on the American border with Mexico and found himself trying to explain a series of remarks about Pakistanis and their nation.

On Thursday night he told reporters in Orlando, Fla.: “We ought to have an immediate, very clear monitoring of our borders and particularly to make sure if there’s any unusual activity of Pakistanis coming into the country.”

On Friday, in Pella, Iowa, he expanded on those remarks.

“When I say single them out I am making the observation that we have more Pakistani illegals coming across our border than all other nationalities except those immediately south of the border,” he told reporters in Pella. “And in light of what is happening in Pakistan it ought to give us pause as to why are so many illegals coming across these borders.”

What The Huck?  Nevermind, as the Times points out, that “far more illegal immigrants come from the Philippines, Korea, China and Vietnam, according to recent estimates from the Department of Homeland Security.”  

Am I dreaming?  Wake me up.  Please.  Is this a flashback from Midsummer’s Night Dream?

I have had a most rare

vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to

say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go

about to expound this dream. Methought I was–there

is no man can tell what. Methought I was,–and

methought I had,–but man is but a patched fool, if

he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye

of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not

seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue

to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream


It doesn’t get any crazier, does it?  This guy is really off the hook.

Jesus wept, he was laughing so hard

Jesus sighed.

He reached over and turned the radio up. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Freedom requires religion”? “Religion requires freedom”? WTF was this pendejo saying?

Right, you stupid guero, Jesus thought. Just like the freedom the Afghans had under the Taliban. Or the Jews had under the Inquisition. And “religion requires freedom”? What the heck? What was it that all those Jews in the camps were practicing?

Jesus shook his head.

Would it never stop? Would these pinche politicians ever quit using so-called “religion” to sell their weaselly lies?  

Friday Night at 8: There’s A New Voice to be Heard

I’m trying to figure out how to write about why I started blogging over at the Great Orange Satan on immigration.

There’s so much information I have packed into my poor brain over the past several months, that I don’t know where to begin.

Guess perhaps I should start at the beginning!

Ok, will do.

kyledeb’s The Correct Term is Migrant on August 22.  

It is impossible to have a real conversation about immigration in the U.S. if people can’t even agree on the terminology that they are debating with. Conservatives automatically become hostile when they read or hear the word “undocumented immigrant”, and progressives often call people that use the term “illegal alien” racists. Both terms are incorrect.

When describing the 12 million people that have illegally immigrated into the U.S. the best term to use is the word “migrant”. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if people opposed this, this shouldn’t be a controversial claim. The rest of the world uses the term migrant to describe people that immigrate into the country illegally. The BBC uses the word migrant. So does Prensa Libre, Guatemala’s main newspaper. The list goes on and on.

Immigration is actually a U.S.-centric term. An immigrant is someone who migrates into your country, an emigrant describes someone who migrates out of your country, but the accurate term to describe this population from a global perspective is migrant. It flies in the face of the U.S. citizen ego, but most migrants come to the U.S. with the intention of returning, and many do. Migration describes their movements better than immigration does.

The typical comment:

You can respectfully disagree

with the actual definitions of words all you want.

But using your special definitions of words instead of the generally agreed upon definitions will achieve only one thing – guaranteeing that you will not effectively communicate with anyone who does not already agree with you.

My very first comment was a response to Mariachi Mama’s comment:

sorry too late to tip or rec nt

To which I added one of my most insightful comments:

ditto. nt.

Obama Stands Tall On Drivers Licenses For Undocumented Aliens

This is a great and powerful moment for Senator Barack Obama:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Il, is standing by his support for granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, even after Gov. Eliot Spitzer, D-NY, abandoned the proposal amidst rising political opposition.

“Obama said in the debate he supported it and he's standing by it,” an aide to the Senator told the Huffington Post. “He supported a similar bill in the state senate as a law enforcement measure.”

Obama's backing stands in stark contrast to the position taken by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, whose campaign now cites the issue as a basic policy difference between the two Democratic frontrunners.

This is Barack Obama's finest moment in this campaign. And Senator Hillary Clinton's lowest. This is certainly a contrast moment and is the strongest evidence to date of the differences the two would bring to leading the country. I have said that if I were to vote today, I would vote for Barack Obama. Prior to this, it would have been a reluctant vote in his favor. Now it would be a proud vote for Obama. This is the promise he has shown now manifested in REAL leadership.

Of Manassas and Guernica, tomorrow’s battle in Virginia

On April 26, 1937, twenty-four bombers of the German Luftwaffe “Condor Legion” with the help of a subordinate Italian expeditionary force, dropped forty tons of bombs, on the town of Guernica in the Basque Country of Spain.  Up to 1,600 people were killed and three quarters of the city’s buildings were reported completely destroyed. The raid, called Operation Rügen, is generally viewed as the Luftwaffe’s first test of the tactics of terror-bombing that would become the hallmark of the Nazi blitzkrieg as it swept through Europe two years later.

Just as Franco’s Spain was used as a testing ground for the tactics, men and machines that would later wreak havoc on a global scale, tomorrow in Virginia, we will be witness to a test of a new blitzkrieg of sorts. The Republican Party will be testing, on a statewide basis, its latest strategy and weaponry for the coming 2008 election cycle… the immigration wedge. 

Tomorrow is Election Day. Here in Virginia, 140 state legislative seats are at stake.

Our airwaves have been dominated in recent days with campaign ads. Interestingly, just about all of them mention immigration, and none of them accuse the opponent of being too harsh….

Tomorrow will be an interesting test case on the power of the immigration issue…

If Republicans exceed expectations – and things have looked pretty gloomy for the state GOP in recent cycles – and the issue of illegal immigration is key, you will hear a lot about that issue from coast to coast next year.

National Review

Looking to the Root Causes of Migration: NAFTA

Over the last few years, over 1000 migrants have perished making the hazardous journey through the desert to make new lives in “el Norte.” Some were small coffee growers from Vera Cruz, chicken farmers from Jalisco, or vegetable growers from Guadalajara. Others were indigenous subsistence farmers from the Chiapas highlands no longer able to eek out a living. Still others were Guatemalan migrant workers who could not find work on either side of Mexico’s border and jumped on El Tren de Muerte (The Death Train) in Tapachula for the first leg of their journey, boarding alongside Salvadorans escaping decades of political upheaval and Hondurans escaping crushing poverty.

Between 6 and 7 million people have taken the arduous journey north, many within the last ten years, most of them coming from poor agriultural areas that are no longer able to support their populations. Yet, with all the debate about reforming US immigration policy and securing the borders, we have not heard one solid proposal to address the root causes of this massive migration.

The question of why so many must leave their homes and families to simply survive is rarely mentioned, but remains the missing piece in the comprehensive immigration reform puzzle.

Blackwater may soon be patrolling our own borders!

In case you thought all the recent bad news about Blackwater might be curtailing the market for private military contractors, two new reports suggest otherwise. Given the Bush Administration’s obsessive efforts to privatize our entire government, it should come as no surprise that Blackwater may be, in fact, as have so many Bush cronies, failing upward. What they have done to Iraq, they may soon have the opportunity to do on our own border.

First, the New York Times reports that the privatization of security in Iraq has been acknowledged to be a mess and a disaster. This according to an internal State Department report, and an audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

A State Department review of its own security practices in Iraq assails the department for poor coordination, communication, oversight and accountability involving armed security companies like Blackwater USA, according to people who have been briefed on the report. In addition to Blackwater, the State Department’s two other security contractors in Iraq are DynCorp International and Triple Canopy.

At the same time, a government audit expected to be released Tuesday says that records documenting the work of DynCorp, the State Department’s largest contractor, are in such disarray that the department cannot say “specifically what it received” for most of the $1.2 billion it has paid the company since 2004 to train the police officers in Iraq.

The review was ordered last month by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and did not include the recent massacre of seventeen Iraqi civilians by Blackwater “guards.” The FBI gets to investigate that one.

But in presenting its recommendations to Ms. Rice in a 45-minute briefing on Monday, the four-member panel found serious fault with virtually every aspect of the department’s security practices, especially in and around Baghdad, where Blackwater has responsibility.

Not much new, in that. Virtually every aspect of everything the Bush Administration has done in Iraq has been found to be at serious fault. If the words “serious fault” can somehow encapsulate mass murder, torture, and a humanitarian crisis that has created more than 4,000,000 refugees.

The report also urged the department to work with the Pentagon to develop a strict set of rules on how to deal with the families of Iraqi civilians who are killed or wounded by armed contractors, and to improve coordination between American contractors and security guards employed by agencies, like various Iraqi ministries.

Strict rules would be nice for a lot of things, in Iraq, but this borders on the surreal. Strict rules for dealing with the families of civilians who are killed and wounded?

“Oops. Sorry. Have some money, and we’ll try not to kill anyone else. Today.”

How about some strict rules in pursuance of the goal of not killing or wounding civilians? 

Welcome to the police state

Being of a certain age, much of my early worldview was shaped by childhood indoctrination about authoritarian states, I guess you could call me part of the “Duck and Cover” generation.  Taught from an early age about the evils of communism and fascism, we were often told that one of the greatest differences between free societies like our own, and evil totalitarian states, was that here in America one was safe to voice political views or dissent without fear of government retribution. We had no Siberian exile, Gulags, or internment camps. The police did not burst into your home in the middle of the night and arrest you on trumped up charges simply for voicing opinions contradictory to government policy.

Yet given today’s current situation, it is no longer quite so easy to draw such simplistic comparisons.

Under the current administration, no thinking person can honestly say that they don’t feel the slow grip of government overreach extending into the fabric of everyday life. An uneasiness has settled across the nation, somehow instinctively knowing that we are teetering on a precipice from which at any moment we could be sent spiraling down into the depths of  a fascist nightmare straight out of the a futuristic novel.

First they wanted your papers… now they want your DNA

Ok, I know America’s all filled up, and that bombing Mecca would solve all our foreign policy problems. I even know that Miami is like a third world country and that the only way to solve all this nation’s problems is to build a giant wall and outlaw the Spanish language.

But now even by his own absolutely insane standards, Colorado Congressman, and Republican Presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, may have actually stepped over the rather broad line that separates wingnuttery from sheer lunacy.

On the same day the diminutive, Coloradoan, tough-guy registered as the first Republican Presidential candidate in the New Hampshire primary,  he introduced a bill in Congress that would require all foreigners  seeking visas to visit family members in the US to supply DNA samples to prove their family ties.

Of course their citizen, or legal-resident family members would also be required to supply a corresponding sample to it check against.

Filipino-American Sentenced for Espionage

For some time now Michelle Malkin (née Maglalang) has been helping keep America safe from murderous hordes of foreigners by alerting us every time she hears about a horrendous crime committed by an illegal alien.

Living in Limbo

Sometime in the next few weeks the Senate will once again take up legislation regarding immigration reform. This time it will be the DREAM Act sponsored by Sen.Dick Durbin(D-Il). The legislation would allow hundreds of thousands of students who were brought here as children by their undocumented parents to go on and complete their education and eventually earn the right to become legal residents and citizens.

This piece of legislation is so important right now because the right-wing, flush from their victory in stalling any form of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, have decided to make defeating the DREAM Act their top priority. They feel that they are in a position now where they do not need to give an inch on any reforms, and would view the passage of DREAM as a major defeat.

Unfortunately it is the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids that are being effected by this Washington gamesmanship. With that in mind, I’m more than willing to risk the appearance of monotony, and discuss another group of young people who anxiously await the passage of DREAM …those who have already graduated from college …because their futures depend on it now.

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