Defending Civil Liberties in the Era of the Wars on Drugs, Terror, and Immigrants. Sunday, April 29, Neighborhood Church, Pasadena. With “Reckoning with Torture” and panel discussion.
Michele Waslin: If all unauthorized workers in the Houston region were legalized and they and their employers paid Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and federal income taxes, additional tax revenues would exceed $1.4 billion.
Andrea Nill: In his dissent, Justice Breyer wrote that “either directly or through the uncertainty that it creates, the Arizona statute will impose additional burdens upon lawful employment”.
Seth Hoy: Clearly, states attempting to take immigration law into their own hands will continue to face costly uphill battles. The question is not whether but when voters will notice that their leaders are putting politics before the state’s best economic interest.
Michele Waslin: While everyone agrees that high unemployment levels must be addressed, simplistic measures like mandating E-Verify are not going to open up jobs for millions of unemployed workers.
Andrea Nill: At a candidate forum last week, Georgia state Rep. John Yates (R) was asked for his recommendations on what to do about illegal immigration in Florida. Yates replied that troops on the border should be given “shoot to kill” orders.
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.
Marcus Stern: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform are certain to welcome any effort by the Obama administration to unilaterally open pathways to citizenship for many currently in the country illegally. But the draft is also sure to outrage immigration-restriction groups.
Friday FeedbacK: Although somewhat unfair, initially the Guest Worker Program would be filled with all the current illegal immigrant workers now in the US. Families residing with them would remain here until the visa time limit was reached. Then all would return to their country of origin.
Andrea Nill: As Tyler Falk of Grist points out, there’s something seriously wrong with the fact that “British Petroleum can legally come to the Gulf and devastate an entire ecosystem and the economy it supports, but when “illegal” immigrants come to clean up the mess, they are treated like criminals.”
Friday Feedback: Let’s stop being so naïve about how we’re used by those who want to increase their political and economic power. It’s in our best interests and it’s even better for our immigrant populations if we enforce immigration policy, not just ignore the lawbreakers until the right wing can use it as a wedge issue.
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.
Andrea Christina Nill: If Obama decides to tackle immigration reform next, some have wondered what the tea party response would be. Interestingly, it may not be an issue for most rank and file tea party members. When asked whether immigration was an issue that motivated how they voted, tea parties responded that it was just as low on their priority list as the average population.