Haven’t we learned that the National Security Agency has been collecting data on every American’s phone call; that the National Defense Authorization Act lets government lock up anyone — including Americans — virtually without limitation; and that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention centers hold thousands of undocumented immigrants virtually without rights or protections.
Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.
Luis Lopez and Dolores Huerta: Few groups in California have felt the sting of contradiction more sharply than Latinos and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The statewide election on November 2 is a perfect chance for both populations to send a message that picking on us will be punished.
Andrea Nill: Rather than crippling one of the few clothing manufacturers left in the U.S. — one that pays its workers a decent wage and has dedicated a portion of its profits to advocating for immigration reform — perhaps the focus in the absence of major reform should be on punishing those employers who make a profit by exploiting immigrant workers via the strengthening of our nation’s labor laws.
Seth Hoy: Absurdity takes many forms in the immigration debate. For example, restrictionists have blamed immigrants for everything from global warming and our mortgage crisis to the swine flu epidemic and leprosy. (Where did my other sock go? Immigrants!) But this week, we reach a new level of absurdity—the exploitation of a bi-lingual cartoon character. In a news article published last week, America tackles the age old question, “Is Dora the Explorer an Illegal Immigrant?” Insert. Eye roll. Here.
John Delloro: Giving back Arizona may potentially jumpstart our economy and stimulate our national imagination towards creating a greater common vision. If returning Arizona to Mexico doesn’t work, we can always revisit and adapt Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” and sell and consume undocumented immigrants as food in the ultimate and most seamless form of assimilation into the body politic of the US.
Articles by Rev. Irene Monroe, Randy Shaw, Georgianne Nienaber, John Delloro, Ed Rampell, Noman Solomon, Paul Hogarth, Paul Loeb, Ivan Eland, Jim Fuller, Carl Matthes, Andrea Christina Nill, Tom Hall, Charley James and Lulu Demaine, Berry Craig, Tom Degan, Robert Reich, Carl Bloice, Tracy Emblem, Tina Dupuy, Jeffrey Blankfort, Anthony Samad, Michael Sigman, and Johnny Townsend
Randy Shaw: For the Arizona boycott to succeed, activists must follow the lessons of the UFW grape and lettuce boycotts of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the South Africa divestment campaign of the 1970s and 1980’s, and the UNITE HERE “Hotel Rising Boycott” of 2006. And the timing is perfect for a “Boycott Summer,” which would boost immigrant rights activism both in Arizona and nationally.
Lydia Howell: It’s high time for progressives to escalate our own mass movement, to make it loud enough it cannot be ignored. The immigrant rights movement’s recent May Day marches have gotten far more media attention than any peace rallies since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The labor movement needs a jump-start. It’s crucial to have a broad, united progressive counter to the reactionary, racist Tea Parties.
Randy Shaw: One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill.
Randy Shaw: Organized by the Center for Community Change (CCC), the March 21 event will be the largest protest march since President Barack Obama took office. It will include activist groups from nearly every state, and revives the labor-religious-community coalition that built the mass marches of 2006.
Andrea Christina Nill: Nonetheless, whether it’s explicitly spelled out in the Constitution or not, U.S. citizens shouldn’t have to worry about being locked up by immigration officials for seven months until they can scrounge up the money to hire an attorney who can prove their legal status. Reporter Raul A. Reyes further warns that, “if ICE believes you are in the country illegally, you can be arrested without a warrant and deported without a hearing.”