Challenging America’s Surveillance and Detention State

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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.

Missing Movements?

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Peter Dreier: For the most part, however, reporters for the mainstream media cover the political maneuvering in Washington, D.C., or state capitals, or city halls. They don’t cover the day-to-day lives of ordinary workers and immigrants, nor the movement groups that help give them voice.

Who Will Win Town Hall Immigration Battle?

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Randy Shaw: The future of immigration reform could well to be decided in the next three weeks. And this will occur not in the halls of Congress but in Congressional Town Hall meetings across the nation.

What If Immigration Reform Fails?

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Victoria Defrancesco Soto: The last thing we should do is keep banging our heads against the D.C. wall or just sit around strategizing for the 2014 or 2016 election.  If immigration reform fails at the federal level then the emphasis must move to our state capitals and city councils.

Critics of Obama’s Organizing for Action Ignore Political Reality

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Randy Shaw: I don’t hear any immigrant rights groups, labor unions, or progressive activist groups calling on the President to unilaterally disarm in the face of massive right-wing spending, and critics of OFA have virtually no base among those fighting each day for greater social justice.

What Activists (Should Have) Learned in 2012

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.

Dreamers Sign Up: A Great Day for Activism – and for America

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Randy Shaw: Obama implemented his “most ambitious immigration initiative” in response to both growing Latino political power and the courageous and inspiring grassroots pressure from young DREAM ACTivists.

The Strategy and Organizing Behind the Successful DREAM Act Movement

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Paulina Gonzalez: The organizers of the Dream Movement gained valuable experience and built momentum by organizing in support of expanding access to higher education for undocumented young people.

Michigan Pushes Plan to Welcome Immigrants and their Revitalizing Power

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Seth Hoy: Welcoming Michigan brings together community, city and business leaders, clergy, and charitable organizations to raise the level of discourse around immigration.

Occupy Must Expand Beyond Activist Hotbeds

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Randy Shaw: Corporations and national politicians serving the interests of the 1% will not feel compelled to change course unless major protests go beyond traditional activist centers to where much of the 99% live.

Activists Breathe New Life Into May Day

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Peter Dreier: This year, in the wake of Occupy Wall Street and the rebirth of a national movement for social justice, a wide spectrum of activist groups will be out in the streets to give voice to the growing crusade for democracy and equality.

Immigrant Rights Coalition Launches Campaign to Repeal Mandatory Detention

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Detention Watch Network calls for Dignity, Not Detention on 15-year anniversary of controversial immigration law

The City of Second Chances

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Julie Gutman: On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate L.A.’s Status as a Bastion of Human, Immigrant and Workers’ Rights

Immigration Activists Let Obama Fool Them Again

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Randy Shaw: Obama could show political courage by taking executive action to stop his administration from continuing to deport more immigrants than any other President; but taking concrete steps to help undocumented immigrants is something Obama refuses to do.

Eric Holder: Immigration Appeals Board Should Reconsider DOMA Decision

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Andrea Nill: Normally, members of the LGBT community who are married to a foreign national would not be able to sponsor their partner for a green card and prevent his or her spouse from being deported.

Wheels Falling Off DHS’s Immigration Enforcement Wagon?

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Seth Hoy: Instead of defending the Administration’s enforcement strategy, however, maybe Secretary Napolitano should take a serious look at the egregious enforcement actions taking place right under her nose.

The Migrant Hotel: Where Deportees Find Shelter in Mexicali

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David Bacon: Last year, almost 400,000 people were deported from the United States. That’s the largest wave of deportations in U.S. history, even larger than the notorious “Operation Wetback” of the 1950s, or the mass deportations during the Great Depression.

Internment and Detainment for National Security?

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The politics of fear led to the post-Pearl Harbor internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans yet, not a single one of the interned was ever found to have any connection to the bombing. For them, simply being born Japanese-American was reason enough to be treated like criminals.

Latinos and Gays Face Same Foe on November 2nd

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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.

Did Broken Immigration System Bring Down American Apparel?

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.

Lessons of the UNITE HERE-SEIU Deal

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Randy Shaw: The SEIU-UNITE HERE conflict also shows the peril of veteran labor leaders quietly deferring to destructive decisions by top union officials, a lesson that was supposed to have been learned from activists’ experience with Cesar Chavez and the UFW in the 1970’s.

Turning the Tables at Netroots Nation: ICE Checkpoint Forces Participants to Think about Profiling

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Will Coley: About ten of us, including several undocumented DREAM students, wore navy blue shirts and affixed paper ICE badges and patches to our hats and shirts. We stopped anyone who looked “European” and let all others pass without hindrance.

Do We Really Have to Explore Dora’s Immigration Status?

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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.

A Modest Proposal: “Give Arizona Back to Mexico”

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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.

LA Progressive: May 9 to 15, 2010

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

How to Win the Arizona Boycott

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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.

May 1st: People Power: Build Progressive Alternative to the Tea Parties

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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.

After Health Care, Activists Must Continue Pressure for Change

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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.

Why Republicans Should Regret Scott Brown’s “Massachusetts Miracle”

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Randy Shaw: Prior to Brown’s win, national Democrats were adrift, the base was deeply demoralized, and a path to finally passing health care reform was unclear. But Brown’s win changed this, providing a desperately needed wake-up call to national Democrats and the Obama Administration.

New Immigrant Rights Campaign to Mount Largest March of Obama Era

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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.

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