April 6, 2017
Immigration Alert: Watch Milwaukee Students in Action to Support Milwaukee Public School Board Pass Resolution for Safe Haven Schools
March 15, 2017
Proposed Resolution Making Milwaukee Public Schools a Safe Haven for Immigrant and Refugee Students and Families
Please attend the MPS full board meeting, March 30th, where public testimony will be taken on a proposed resolution by Directors Joseph and Miller to Declare Milwaukee Public Schools to Be a Safe Haven for Its Students and Families Threatened by Immigration Enforcement or Discrimination.
WHEREAS: The United States Supreme Court held in Plyer v. Doe (1982) that no public school district has a basis to deny children access to education based on their immigration status, citing the harm it would inflict on the children and society itself and the equal protection rights of the Fourteenth Amendment;
WHEREAS, The vision of the Milwaukee Public Schools states, “Schools will be safe, welcoming, well-maintained, and accessible community centers meeting the needs of all”; and
WHEREAS, MPS Administrative Policy 1.04 states, “No person may be denied admission to or participation in the benefits of any public school in the Milwaukee Public Schools, or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, student service, recreational, or other program or activity, because of the person’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability or handicap, or any other characteristic protected by law”; and
WHEREAS, The aforementioned applies to all MPS students without exception, regardless of the immigration status of a student or family; and
WHEREAS, Through its policies and practices, the District has made a commitment to provide a quality education for all students, which includes a safe and stable learning environment, means of transportation to and from school sites, the preservation of classroom hours for educational instruction, and the requirement of school attendance; and
WHEREAS, It is the policy of Milwaukee Public Schools not to allow any individual or organization to enter a school site if the educational setting would be disrupted by that visit; and
WHEREAS, Parents and students have expressed to Milwaukee Public Schools fear and confusion about the continued physical and emotional safety of all students and the right to access a free public K12 education through district schools and programs; and
WHEREAS, Numerous students whose education, safety, emotional well-being, and family relationships are at risk because of their immigration status are, and will in the future be, enrolled in Milwaukee Public Schools; and
WHEREAS, Milwaukee Public Schools believes that it is in the best interests of the students, staff, families, and the community of Milwaukee Public Schools that it take action to assure all students and families that disruptions to the educational environment that the actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may create will be opposed by all legal means available; and
WHEREAS, No written state or federal law mandates that local districts assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the enforcement of immigration laws; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors declare Milwaukee Public Schools (the District) to be a safe haven for its students and families threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination, to the fullest extent permitted by the law; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That as a Safe Haven the Board directs the Superintendent to:
- within the next 30 days create a Rapid Response Team in partnership with community-based
organizations, legal-service providers, and social services to assist students and family to prepare in the event a minor child attending school in the District is deprived of adult care, supervision, or guardianship outside of school due to a federal law-enforcement action, such as detention by ICE or a cooperating law-enforcement agency;
- create bilingual Know-Your-Rights presentations for students and family members to cover their rights regarding interactions with law-enforcement and immigration agents;
- designate a faculty or counselor in each school who is to serve as a resource for immigrant students and their families and establish at least one resource person in Central Office who is to be trained to serve as a immigrant liaison, with expertise in immigrant and undocumented populations;
- establish all K-12 schools, early education centers, adult schools, and parent centers as resource and information sites for immigrant students and families;
- work with City/County representatives to establish a Safe Haven perimeter within which families will feel safe in bringing their children to school; and
- create and offer professional development opportunities for Central Office staff, administrators, guidance counselors, teachers, and paraprofessionals about the pathways to citizenship, opportunities available for college and training, financial aid, rights, and opportunities for immigrant and refugee students; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Superintendent, upon notification of the intent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers or other immigration-law-enforcement personnel to enter a district school, shall take the following steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of students and staff:
- request and make photocopies of identification from the officers or agents;
- request and make photocopies of a judicial warrant;
— If no warrant is presented, request the grounds for access, make notes, and contact
legal counsel for the District;
- request and retain notes of the names of the students and the reasons for the request;
- If school-site personnel have not yet contacted the student’s parents or guardians, do so;
- do not attempt to provide information or conjecture about the students, such as their schedule, for example, without legal counsel present;
- provide the agents with a copy of this Resolution 1617R-007;
- contact legal counsel for the District;
- request the agents’ contact information; and
- advise the agents that you are required to complete these steps prior to allowing them access to any school site or student data; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That unless specifically required by a valid court order, district employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall not use district resources for the purpose of detecting or assisting in the apprehension of persons whose only violation of law is or may be being an undocumented resident in the United States, or failing to produce documents authorizing residency in the United States; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That unless specifically required by a valid court order, or subsequent to receiving a signed release, district employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall not report any information about a student’s or parent’s immigration status; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That district employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall refrain from requiring any student or parent to produce documentation regarding immigration status; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That district employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall not, unless compelled by a valid court order, or subsequent to receiving a signed release, disclose to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers or to any other person or entity any information about a student’s or family’s immigration status; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That district employees, contractors, volunteers, and representatives shall not, unless compelled by a valid court order, or subsequent to receiving a signed release, disclose to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers or to any other person or entity any information about any district student that is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers or other immigrationlaw-enforcement personnel shall be granted immediate access to any district school for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws and shall be referred immediately to the Superintendent; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the District shall review its record-keeping policies and practices to ensure the highest level of protection of student privacy; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board direct the Administration to conduct a full review of the District’s policies, procedures, and practices to ensure complete alignment with the Safe Haven declaration in all areas of district operations; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the District shall post this Resolution at every school site and distribute it to district staff, students, and parents using usual means of communication and that the Resolution shall be translated into all languages spoken by students at home.
February 23, 2017
February 28, 2017
Director Tatiana Joseph and Larry Miller on Channel 12 tonight on resolution to make Milwaukee Public Schools a Safe Haven for immigrant and refugee students and families
Please Watch Channel 12 Tonight at 10!
Please watch Directors Tatiana Joseph and Larry Miller tonight on Channel 12 at 10 o’clock. They were interviewed about their proposed resolution to make Milwaukee Public Schools a Safe Haven for immigrant and refugee students and families.
September 18, 2016
Strength in Diversity: The Economic and Political Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians constitute large and growing shares of the U.S. workforce, tax base, business community, and electorate. Immigrants (the foreign-born) account for one out of every eight people in the United States, and one out of every six workers. Almost one half (46.7%) of immigrants are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for one in nine registered voters. Moreover, one out of every five people in the country is Latino or Asian. Together, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $2 trillion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they owned had sales of $857 billion and employed 4.7 million workers at last count. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs are integral to the U.S. economy—and they are a potent electoral force.
1 in 8 people in the United States is an immigrant.
- The foreign-born share of the U.S. population rose from 7.9% in 1990, to 11.1% in 2000, to 13.1% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The United States was home to 41.3 million immigrants in 2013, which is more than the total population of either California or Canada.
- More than one-quarter (28%) of the foreign-born population came from Mexico as of 2013. More than a quarter (29.5%) came from Asian countries, while 11.6% came from European countries, 9.6% from the Caribbean, 7.7% from Central America, 6.7% from South America, and 4.4% from Africa, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Approximately 46.7% of the foreign-born were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 3.5% of the population (or 11.2 million people) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.
- There were 4.5 million native-born, U.S.-citizen children with at least one parent who was an unauthorized immigrant in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
- 22.7% of all children in the United States (16.8 million) had parents who were immigrants as of 2009, according to the Urban Institute. Of these children, 85.9% were U.S. citizens.
- 82.2% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
1 in 5 people in the United States is Latino or Asian.
- The Latino share of the U.S. population grew from 9% in 1990, to 12.5% in 2000, to 17.1% (or 54 million people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.8% in 1990, to 3.6% in 2000, to 5.1% (or 16 million) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- More than one-third (35%) of Latinos and two-thirds (66%) of Asians were foreign-born in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Nearly one-quarter (22%, or 16.3 million) of all children in the United States in 2010 were Latino, according to the Urban Institute.
- More than half (57.9%) of Latino children in the United States had at least one foreign-born parent, according to the Urban Institute.
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are large and growing shares of the U.S. electorate
- In 2012, 11.8% (or 18.1 million) of all registered voters were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data by the American Immigration Council.
- Of these, 15.2 million voted in 2012, representing 11.4 percent of all those who voted.
- 10.7 million registered voters were naturalized citizens, while 7.3 million were “post-1965” children of immigrants.
- Latinos accounted for 8.4% (or 11.2 million) of U.S. voters in the 2012 elections, and Asians 2.9% (3.9 million), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
1 in 6 workers in the U.S. is an immigrant.
- The nation’s 26.3 million foreign-born workers comprised 16.5% of the labor force in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In 2014, foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations (24.1% vs. 16.4%); in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (15.6% vs. 11.2%); and in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (13.7% vs. 8.4%), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unauthorized immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 5.1% of the U.S. workforce (or 8.1 million workers) in 2012, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from the United States, the country would lose $551.6 billion in economic activity, $245 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and approximately 2.8 million jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a 2008 report by the Perryman Group.
- A 2010 report from the American Immigration Council and Center for American Progress estimates that deporting all unauthorized immigrants from the country and somehow “sealing the border” to future unauthorized immigration would reduce U.S. GDP by 1.46% annually—or $2.6 trillion in lost GDP over 10 years. Moreover, the U.S. economy would shed large numbers of jobs.
Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.
- Unauthorized immigrants in the United States paid $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, including $7.1 billion in sales taxes, $1.1 billion in personal income taxes, and $3.6 billion in property taxes, according to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Were unauthorized immigrants in the United States to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay $14.1 billion in state and local taxes, including $7.8 billion in sales taxes, $2.3 billion in personal income taxes, and $4 billion in property taxes.
The purchasing power of Latino and Asian consumers totaled $1.9 trillion in 2012.
- Together, Latinos and Asians accounted for 16% of the nation’s total purchasing power, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
- The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $1.3 trillion in 2014 (an increase of 495% since 1990), and is projected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2019.
- The purchasing power of Asians totaled $770 billion in 2014 (an increase of 567% since 1990), and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2019.
Latino and Asian businesses had sales of $857 billion and employed 4.7 million workers in 2007.
- Together, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians comprised 14% of all U.S. businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners.
- The nation’s 2.3 million Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $350.7 billion and employed 1.9 million people in 2007 (the last year for which data is available).
- The nation’s 1.5 million Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $506 billion and employed 2.8 million people in 2007.
- New entrepreneurs in the U.S. are also becoming increasingly diverse, according to the 2015 Kauffman index on startup activity. More than 40% of new entrepreneurs are comprised of Black, Latino, Asian, and other non-white entrepreneurs, with most of the rise coming from Latino (22.1% of new entrepreneurs) and Asian entrepreneurs (6.8% of new entrepreneurs).
Immigrant business owners contribute greatly to the United States’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 2.4 million new immigrant business owners in the U.S. who had total net business income of $121 billion (15% of all net business income in the U.S.), according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
- In 2013, 18% of business owners in the United States were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Furthermore, 28% of “Main Street” business owners—owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors—in the U.S. were foreign-born in 2013.
- According to the 2015 index on startup activity from the Kauffman Foundation, immigrant entrepreneurs now account for 28.5% of all new entrepreneurs in the U.S., which is up from 13.3% in the 1997 index.
- Immigrants continue to be nearly twice as likely as the native-born to become entrepreneurs, with the rate of new entrepreneurs being 0.52% for immigrants, compared to 0.27% for the native-born, according to Kauffman’s 2015 index.
Immigrants are integral to the U.S. economy as students.
- The 886,052 foreign students who were in the country during the 2013-2014 academic year contributed $26.8 billion to the economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Additionally, international students and their families contributed to creating or supporting 340,000 jobs. For every 7 international students enrolled, 3 U.S. jobs are created or supported by spending occurring in the following sectors: higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications, and health insurance.
- Foreign students contribute to metropolitan areas in the U.S. From 2008 to 2012, according to the Brookings Institution, 85% of foreign students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S. attended colleges or universities in 118 metro areas, and they paid $21.8 billion in tuition and $12.8 billion in living costs.
- Foreign students also contribute to innovation in the U.S. In 2009, “non-resident aliens” comprised 39.8% of master’s degrees and 44.7% of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy.
August 23, 2015
Donald Trump Has Pulled Back the Curtain on the Republican Party Exposing the Profound Racism Plaguing Their Ranks
Donald Trump has pulled back the curtain on the Republican Party, showing us the profound racism plaguing their ranks. This is the same once proud party based in abolition and in support of its first presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln.
Now we see the arrogant Donald Trump leading the charge against babies, U.S. born citizen babies. He uses the racist term “anchor” babies. Who is now standing alongside Trump? Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has joined in the chorus, attacking immigrants and their children. (See Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial 8/23/15 at:Gov. Scott Walker: Wrong again on immigration )
This issue is not a policy discussion. This is an all out ultra-right wing call to round-up immigrants, giving police more power to act in a police-state fashion against Latinos. Trump wants to build a fence and put the Army at the border. He wants to deport 11,000,000 people.
Two men in Boston, motivated by Trump’s message, attacked a homeless Latino man last week. In response, Trump said, “the people that are following me are very passionate.” Trump later said it was “terrible” but the truth had already been revealed. His words encourage racist, KKK-style attacks on immigrants.
Following is section one of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Trump said that it is “unconstitutional.”
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
July 27, 2014
The sun-bleached bones of a human skeleton lay in disarray: the skull rolled on its crown, an S-curved spinal column about two feet away. Leg bones were in a haphazard pile. There were personal items too – a wallet, pair of walking shoes and a dirt-caked T-shirt.
They belonged to a man, most likely a migrant who had faced off with the Sonoran Desert in an attempt to come north. While most attention on immigration has been directed recently at the human drama unfolding around a surge of children fleeing from Central American countries, the immigrant death toll on the US-Mexico border has quietly exploded, even as undocumented migration overall has plummeted.
The bones were found by Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert), an all-volunteer search-and-rescue organization, in the blistering Arizona desert heat of the Organ Pipe Cactus national park just south of Ajo, a sparsely populated region of Pima County that neighbors the Mexican border. As many were hunkering over barbecues or lighting off fireworks, these men rolled out of California on a 300-mile trek across Interstate 8. I rode shotgun in long-time volunteer and Marine Corps veteran Vicente Rodriguez’s old red Forerunner.
Roughly once a month, they leave their families and personal lives to take these trips and plunge into some of the country’s most inhospitable landscapes. They hail from different walks of life – a roofer, a photographer, a medical supply importer, a gardening business owner, a water technician. But their common goal is finding at least some of the hundreds who die every year traversing the borderlands.
According to US Border Patrol statistics, 477 people died crossing in 2012, and 445 died crossing in 2013. The numbers have steadily shot up since 1998, when 263 died, according to the agency’s statistics. A total of almost 7,000 people have died between 1998 and 2013. But the true number is likely higher, considering many are never found.
Throttling along the hot pavement with no air conditioner to speak of, Vicente was blunt about the search prospects.
“Most of the time we are looking for a dead person – cadavers,” he said. “By the time [the migrant group] makes it out of the desert, several days have passed. Lack of water and heat is usually what kills them.”
As we drove with hot air roaring through open windows and volunteers Danny Morales and Ricardo Equivias passing time cracking jokes in the backseat, the border fence came into view and snaked along to my right. Vicente started pointing out seemingly innocuous geographical features that form a killer gauntlet for migrants. Enough people drowned in drinking water canals that lawmakers were forced to string ropes across. The nearly-vertical, sunburned peaks of rock rubble in the Imperial Valley that look like salt mine tailings in a dystopian global warming future literally bake people alive.
“This is like an oven,” Vicente said. “The rocks heat up, and they hold the heat and just get hotter.”
A couple years ago, the group found two men stranded on those rock peaks. One of them died minutes after rescuers got there, in the arms of his friend. The other survived.
The seven volunteers finally converged after 10 pm in the little town of Gila Bend, Arizona, huddled in front of a tiny Mexican restaurant and consulted a map. At dawn, they headed out to the desert. A few schooled me, an obvious novice to this kind of expedition, on various plants that presented hazards like the cholla cactus, which looks soft but has hook-like thorns. Though we all wore blindingly bright neon shirts, they pointed out how easy it is to lose sight of each other.
They donned commando-like gear and forged forward abreast of each other, combing through thorny brush, scaling a network of washes and facing dangers unknown – from wild animals to stumbling into cartel footmen. They also stood at the ready with water, radios and first aid supplies in case they found a lost migrant in need of help.
Far off the beaten trails, they came across signs of furtive human presence and perhaps of distress, like shed socks, jackets, a little girl’s backpack, blankets and water jugs.
Soon the banter coming through the radios – previously upbeat – turned intense. They had found human remains near the area the man they were looking for was last seen. I followed Vicente’s lead to the site and suddenly, out under the open sky, was standing over bleached white bones, what little was left of a man whose name I did not know and maybe never will know, and whose agony I can’t imagine.
As per their protocol, the volunteers notified authorities. If they find someone who is alive and in need of emergency help, they render what first aid they can and call for emergency responders, though it may result in the person getting sent back in the end.
“It’s better to be deported than dead,” Vicente said.
Later, Ricardo said few people have seen what we saw that day, or know that crossing the border has become a gamble with death.
“What is happening out here is a crime,” he said. “In that place, I don’t think God even goes, that cruel desert. You saw those bones.”
Border Militarization and Its Deadly Effect
People used to cross in more populated urban areas like San Diego, El Paso and Nogales. But operations Gatekeeper, Hold the Line and Safeguard – characterized by blockading the US-Mexico border at those locations with things like fences, motion sensors and more Border Patrol agents – are funneling migrants out to the desert. Before, deaths were infrequent and often involved things like accidents or crime. Now, people die from exposure.
“It’s a humanitarian crisis, and it’s been a humanitarian crisis since 1994,” said Enrique Morones, executive director of immigrant advocacy group Border Angels, referring to the year the border fences started going up. “Before that wall was being built, one or two people would die every month. After the wall was built, you started having one or two per day.”
Pima County alone has already seen 76 border crossing deaths so far this year, medical examiner Greg Hess said.
As undocumented border crossings have plummeted, indicated by 1.5 million Border Patrol apprehensions in 1999 versus only 356,873 in 2012, enforcement has skyrocketed. During the same period, 4,208 Border Patrol agents in 1993 bloated in just nine years to 21,394, according to a report released last year by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Arlington, Virginia.
“In other words, between FY 1999 and FY 2012, immigrant deaths increased by more than 80 percent at the same time apprehensions, a measure of illegal entry, declined by 77 percent,” according to the report.
Border Patrol has a search-and-rescue operation that when notified often aids in searches for people who are believed to be alive, volunteers said. They also have towering, illuminated rescue beacons along the border that can be activated if a migrant needs help. Officials from US Customs and Border Protection didn’t return phone calls and emails seeking comment for this story.
Migrants normally travel in groups, Vicente said. Each pays a coyote, which is basically a human smuggler, to guide them. But with harsh conditions, many don’t make it to their destination and are left behind to die. The man they were looking for was last seen by the group he was traveling with last year after losing consciousness about 12 miles north of the border.
The body had been in the desert for four months to a year, Hess said. He expects identification to be difficult. The man’s wallet was empty, and matching dental records in foreign countries is unpredictable. An ID will likely have to be made through DNA. If they are able to confirm an identification, the remains will be returned to the man’s family.
“We’ve received the highest number of undocumented border crosser remains since about 2000, up until currently. We still see the highest number,” Hess said of Pima County. “People will cross into the US clandestinely in response to enforcement patterns and that’s the way it’s worked for a long time.”
Starting in the 1990s, the US government started using a policy known as “prevention as deterrence” to stop migrants from crossing, which resulted in border fences being built and a massive spending program of $18 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, more than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to studies.
But building fences and tightening security won’t keep people from crossing, said Robin Reineke, anthropologist and founder of the Colibrí Center in Tucson, which helps families locate remains of missing migrant relatives. Instead, as they do now, they will simply continue taking greater risks.
“Migration has been a strategy of survival for as long as humans have existed – we’ve always moved on when the local climate or conditions were not sustainable for our bodies and our families,” she said. “When your family’s wellbeing is at stake and you don’t have any hope of safety or a secure job at home, then I think any of us would do whatever it takes.”
There are 900 unidentified remains believed to be those of migrants in Pima County alone, Reineke said. The Colibrí Center has 1,500 cases of missing persons where their families reported they were last seen crossing the border.
There are 650 miles of fencing and 1,500 surveillance and communication towers at the border, according to US Customs and Border Protection. The recent influx of refugee children from Central America has also given lawmakers an excuse to talk about spending even more on what is already a fortress-like scenario.
“The places where migrants are crossing, the remote geographies where they are dying, it’s actually very hard to discover the remains,” Reineke said. “That’s a big contribution to the true number of deaths being likely quite higher than the numbers we have.”
Vicente hinted at another reason the official count may be a lowball estimate. People contact his group and other volunteer humanitarian organizations to locate missing people because they fear approaching US government agencies will lead to their arrest and deportation.
“They won’t let themselves be interviewed by the Border Patrol or the sheriffs,” he said.
Reineke called the situation violent, very troubling and very sad.
“They’re dying in the desert, from lack of food, water and shelter, and their bodies are decomposing so rapidly that their families only often have a small pile of bones, if they are able to identify them at all,” she said. “In most cases, someone who would die in the summer in Arizona would be unrecognizable the next day.”
Trapped and Exploitable
The legacy of human movement between the United States and its southern neighbors, particularly Mexico, has been a long and wrenching one for migrants.
While migrant labor has always been a significant and important part of the US economy, particularly in the Southwest, laws regulating it have fluctuated for political reasons, said Aviva Chomsky, professor of history and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University. The idea that migration is “illegal” is relatively new and has a lot to do with racial bias.
“Before the Fourteenth Amendment, there were no restrictions on immigration at all, because no one could be citizens except whites,” Chomsky said. But after the Civil War, “citizenship by birth changed all that. That’s when racially restrictive immigration laws started.”
Historically, migration from Mexico was circular, she said. People would come north to work, and then they would return home.
“What changed that was the militarization of the border that started in the late 20th century,” Chomsky said. “The more the border is militarized, the more the undocumented population grows. Instead of coming and going, people come and stay because it’s too dangerous to keep gambling with the repeated border crossings.”
Operation Gatekeeper, launched under the Clinton administration in 1994, allocated millions of dollars to build fences starting with San Diego-Tijuana, and ramp up Border Patrol agents. The border fence has expanded and now blocks various locations across the 2,000-mile border.
“When they secured that border to make it more difficult to cross, there was a whole lot of people on this side of the border that could not go back,” said Bill Flores, a retired high-ranking officer with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s not like they wanted to stay here, but they were stuck. Before it was more transient; now it’s more permanent.”
Chomsky connects the dots between civil rights attorney Michelle Alexander’s idea, illustrated in her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, of a caste system created via legal status. Alexander argues that once de jure, outright racist policies against African-Americans were outlawed following the civil rights movement of the 1960s, a backlash ensued to circuitously reinstate inequities that defined the Jim Crow era. Racially profiling and disproportionately incarcerating blacks at higher rates than whites has resulted in the stripping away of the very civil liberties supposedly gained in the civil rights movement like the right to vote, hold a job, sit on juries and receive public benefits.
“Interestingly the rights they’re deprived of are quite similar to the rights people who are undocumented are deprived of,” Chomsky observed. “They physically exist but legally they are excluded. By defining one group of people as inherently racially, legally different, you then justify all manner of atrocities against them.”
While it had once been commonplace and legal to discriminate against Mexican, Central and South American people simply because of their countries of origin, the civil rights era saw an end to that, as it saw an end to outright discrimination against black Americans. Under the bracero program that existed between 1942 and 1964, Mexican laborers were allowed to work in the United States, but it was like a system of indentured servitude where workers had no control over the terms of their labor, very few rights and poor working conditions, Chomsky said.
Once the bracero program was eliminated amid the atmosphere of the civil rights movement, the United States was forced to dump openly race-biased immigration laws that gave preferential treatment to certain northern European immigrants. What resulted was the Hart-Celler Act, which placed a uniform visa quota on all countries.
Though Hart-Celler looked equal on paper, it was still racially biased, Chomsky pointed out. Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, China and India have very large populations. Mexican workers had historically crossed the border in the tens of thousands yearly. So giving tiny European countries like Luxemburg, Switzerland, Belgium or Andorra the same visa limit as Asian countries and Mexico still favors European immigration, she said.
“The 1965 immigration law is an example of how trying to look equal on paper doesn’t really treat people equally,” she said. “It’s not openly racially biased, but it is.”
While Alexander links the backlash against the Civil Rights Act to practices like racial profiling, the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing laws that have resulted in mass incarceration that’s turned the clock back on racial justice by labeling people “felons,” Chomsky said immigration laws have resulted in discrimination against migrants by labeling them “illegal.”
“It was a very deliberate creation of this status to replace a previous status using a terminology and a rationale that is supposedly less racially charged,” she said.
Despite rabid anti-immigrant sentiment and the ratcheting up of measures aimed at expelling or blocking entry to migrants from south of the US border, Chomsky pointed out the trapped population with no avenue toward legal status makes for big profits both as cheap, readily-abused labor and as inmates in private prisons, while becoming easy scapegoats for political opportunists who often fear-monger myths that immigrant workers take jobs from Americans.
In contrast, only 44,000 visas for “skilled and unskilled” workers were issued by the federal government for immigrant labor from all countries in 2013, according to Department of Homeland Security data.
“When we think about the actual demand for immigrant workers and what immigration laws permit, and contrast that with the type of sensationalized thinking and reporting about immigration, there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance across the board,” said Tom K. Wong, assistant professor in political science who specializes in immigration at the University of California at San Diego. “Despite what the reality is, the narrative is constant. And the reality is, we don’t actually give permanent residence to a lot of workers. That’s reflected in the numbers.”
Criminalization of immigration with an angle at “enforcement-only” practices without meaningful evolution of immigration policy directly links to the high death rate at the border, according to the National Foundation for American Policy study, which found:
The loss of life will almost certainly continue unless more paths are open to work legally in the United States. The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers. Strong evidence exists that the current “enforcement-only” policy has strengthened criminal gangs, providing a profitable line of business for Mexican criminal enterprises. If Mexican and Central American workers could come to America on a legal visa or work permit they would have no need to employ the services of a coyote or criminal enterprise.
Profiteering From Lack of Legal Status
A survey of news reports from around the country indicates many have found capitalizing on the illegal status placed on immigrants to be profitable.
ProPublica investigated the growth in temp workers who are largely Spanish-speaking immigrants with few workplace protections, revealing how mega-corporations like Walmart, Philips Norelco and BMW benefit from such exploitable labor.
According to ProPublica’s reporting:
Latinos make up about 20 percent of all temp workers. In many temp towns, agencies have flocked to neighborhoods full of undocumented immigrants, finding labor that is kept cheap in part by these workers’ legal vulnerability: They cannot complain without risking deportation.
ProPublica also uncovered examples of how these migrant workers are placed in harm’s way and often pay the ultimate price, including instances where a worker was buried and suffocated to death by sugar while trying to unclog machinery, and a worker who was slowly crushed to death by machinery making hummus. In both cases, employers showed disregard for workers by not bothering with safety guidelines. The brother and co-worker of a deceased worker told ProPublica:
They waited for something bad to happen . . . They just use people like us – take advantage of us. They just throw you in there and it’s like, what happens, happens.
The New York Times also found that immigrants in detention centers function as virtual slave labor, being paid as little as $1 a day to keep their detention centers operating while the private prison companies that own the facilities cash out. Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, which own the majority of immigrant detention centers, made $301 million and $115 million in net earnings, respectively, according to The New York Times.
Per the Times’ May report:
As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor – usually for $1 a day or less – at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.
There are no signs that the precipitous drop-off in undocumented migration will yield a symmetrical reduction in detention of immigrants. In April, GEO Group announced a $45 million, 640-bed expansion to hold immigrants at a prison in Adelanto, California. The expansion is expected to generate $21 million in additional, annualized revenues for the company, according to an April 2014 press release.
Private companies aren’t the only ones cashing in on immigrant detention. In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that the practice had been a moneymaker for local jurisdictions in the past, reporting that at the height of the economic crash in 2008:
Washington paid nearly $55.2 million to house detainees at 13 local jails in California in fiscal year 2008, up from $52.6 million the previous year. The US is on track to spend $57 million this year . . . For some cash-strapped cities, the federal money has become a critical source of revenue, covering budget shortfalls and saving positions.
Private prisons and public agencies alike have cashed in on immigrant detention doubtlessly with the help of a controversial detention quota imposed by members of Congress in 2009 that requires US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold 34,000 people in detention every day, as The Washington Post reported last year.
Justifying the quota, Rep. John Abney Culberson, a Texas Republican and member of the House Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee, told the Post: “We know ICE can fill more than 34,000 beds, so why would they use less?”
The quota has resulted in an astronomical increase in the number of immigrants detained, more than doubling between 1999 and 2009 to 369,483, according to a report by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data research and gathering organization at Syracuse University. Two years later, the number of immigrants in detention rose to 429,000 in 2011, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. A whopping 88 percent of these detainees were from Mexico (67 percent) or Central America (21 percent), according to a 2011 Department of Homeland Security report.
Driving forces behind migration include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into law in 1994, the same year the border fence went up, and has sunk many in Mexico into poverty by throwing the country’s markets and economy open to US business. Subsidized American products like corn and pork began flowing into Mexico and driving prices down to the point where local, smaller-scale enterprises couldn’t compete. The rapid, destabilizing downward shift of the Mexican economy sent people north, as demand for cheap services and labor continues in the United States.
US foreign intervention and the toppling of democratically elected governments in Central and Latin America have resulted in turbulence, and its “war on drugs” has been criticized as a major contributor to cartel violence in Mexico.
In a 2010 talk, Chomsky pointed out that people have been migrating freely over the face of the planet since the dawn of humanity, and the idea of controlling human migration is only about 200 years old.
“It’s salutary to remember this when we think about what would happen if we stopped trying to control immigration,” she said in 2010. “For tens of thousands of years the human race had no controls on immigration and somehow we muddled along, things worked themselves out without immigration controls. It’s not impossible to imagine that we could create a new system that did not rely on trying to control people’s freedom of movement.”
Reineke, from the Colibrí Center in Tucson, said it’s time to rethink how US policies have created pressures that force people to come north when they otherwise wouldn’t.
“We really can’t continue looking at the border as the place where the problem originates; that’s a very dangerous way to think about immigration in an increasingly global economy,” Reineke said. “We have increasingly open borders to commerce, markets, goods and the ability of companies to work across borders. But then we have increasingly closed borders to the free movement of people, especially those who are workers, who are not part of the consumer class.”
That combination of openly allowing consumer goods and investment to flow through borders unhindered while clamping down on the resulting movement of people has proven deadly, Reineke added.
It’s time for reevaluation but also soul-searching, she said.
“I do believe Americans are compassionate people, but I also believe fear and xenophobia about immigrants has allowed us to dehumanize them and be desensitized to the loss of life on the southern border,” she said. “On the more extreme side, if we’re reacting with such hate, fear and disdain to children who are escaping violence and showing up on the southern border, we have a lot of work to do in terms of our relationship with our Latin American neighbors on this continent. We need to think through this problem in terms of saving lives. It’s an issue of conscience and morality for this country and Mexico as well.”
Vicente, the Marine Corps veteran, summed it up in his typical succinct, direct way.
“There are lots of trade treaties,” he said. “What we need is a human treaty.”
Exhausted, we left the borderlands behind with the sun beating us head-on as it set in the west, the direction we were heading. Each went our separate ways back to homes spread throughout Southern California.
The sadness of what I saw didn’t sink in until about 24 hours later, after the distraction and chaos of meeting and traveling with new people who were on a mission wore off. I was moved by their heroism, grit, persistence and humility. In the end, it’s Robin Reineke’s words that sting.
“As I’m going about my life in Tucson, there are people going through some of the most intense human suffering and survival happening on the global scale today, literally an hour from my house. I want more Americans to think through what that means for us.”
July 10, 2014
8 REASONS U.S. TRADE AND IMMIGRATION POLICIES–NOT “LAX IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT”–HAVE CAUSED MIGRATION FROM CENTRAL AMERICA
By David Bacon In These Times, web edition, July 8, 2014
In front of Oakland’s Federal Building young people from immigrant youth groups protest against the detention and deportation of young migrants and families on the U.S. border, and especially against President Obama’s decision to increase border enforcement and deport them more quickly.
The mass migration of children from Central America has been at the center of a political firestorm over the past few weeks. The mainstream media has run dozens of stories blaming families, especially mothers, for sending or bringing their children north from Central America. The president himself lectured them, as though they were simply bad parents. “Do not send your children to the borders,” Obama said last week. “If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”
Meanwhile, the story is being manipulated by the Tea Party and conservative Republicans to attack Obama’s executive action deferring the deportation of young people, along with any possibility he might expand it╤the demand of many immigrant rights advocates. More broadly, the Right wants to shut down any immigration reform that includes legalization, and instead is gunning for harsher enforcement measures. Even Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, has sought to frame migration as a national security threat, calling it a “crime-terror convergence,” and describing it as “an incredibly efficient network along which anything – hundreds of tons of drugs, people, terrorists, potentially weapons of mass destruction or children – can travel, so long as they can pay the fare.”
This push for greater enforcement ignores the real reasons families take the desperate measure of leaving home and trying to cross the border. Media coverage focuses on gang violence in Central America, as though it was spontaneous and unrelated to a history of U.S.-promoted wars and a policy of mass deportations.
U.S. foreign and immigration policy is responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America. These eight facts, ignored by the mainstream press and the president, document that culpability, and point out the need for change.
1. There is no “lax enforcement” on the U.S./Mexico border. There are over 20,000 members of the Border Patrol, the largest number in history. We have walls and a system of detention centers that didn’t exist just 15 years ago. Now more than 350,000 people spend some time in an immigrant detention center every year. The U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than all other enforcement activities of the federal government combined, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The growing numbers of people in detention╤young people as well as families and adults╤ is being used as a pretext by the anti-immigrant lobby in Washington, including the Tea Party and the Border Patrol itself, for demanding increases in the budget for enforcement. The Obama administration has given way before this pressure.
2. The migration of children and families didn╒t just start recently. It has been going on for a long time, although the numbers are increasing. The tide of migration from Central America goes back to wars that the U.S. promoted in the 1980s, in which we armed the forces, governments or contras, who were most opposed to progressive social change. Two million Salvadorans alone came to the U.S. during the late 1970s and 80s, to say nothing of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans. Whole families migrated, but so did parts of families, leaving loved ones behind with the hope that some day they’d be reunited.
3. The recent increase in the numbers of migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is virtually the only reason given in U.S. media coverage. Growing migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can’t survive where they are.
4. The failure of Central America’s economies is mostly due to the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements and their accompanying economic changes, including privatization of businesses, the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and cuts in the social budget. The treaties allowed huge U.S. corporations to dump corn and other agricultural products in Mexico and Central America, forcing rural families off their lands when they could not compete.
5. When governments or people have resisted NAFTA and CAFTA, the United States has threatened reprisals. Right-wing Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) put forward a measure in 2004 to cut off the flow of remittances (money sent back to Salvadoran families from family members working in the U.S.) if people voted for a leftwing party, the FMLN, in El Salvador’s national elections. Otto Reich, a violently anti-communist Cuban who was Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said the U.S. government was “concerned about the impact that an FMLN victory could have on the commercial, economic, and migration-related relations of the U.S. with El Salvador.” Salvadoran papers were full of the threat, especially those on the right, and the FMLN lost. In 2009 a tiny wealthy elite in Honduras overthrew President Manuel Zelaya because he raised the minimum wage, gave subsidies to small farmers, cut interest rates and instituted free education. The Obama administration gave a de facto approval to the coup regime that followed. If social and political change had taken place in Honduras, we would see far fewer Hondurans trying to come to the U.S.
6. Gang violence in Central America has a U.S. origin. Over the past two decades, young people from Central America have arrived in L.A. and big U.S. cities, where many were recruited into gangs, a story eloquently told by photographer Donna De Cesare in the recent book Unsettled/Desasociego. The Maratrucha Salvadoreña gang, which today’s newspaper stories hold responsible for the violence driving people from El Salvador, was organized in Los Angeles, not in Central America. U.S. law enforcement and immigration authorities responded to the rise of gang activity here with a huge program of deportations. Most of the kids in gangs in Central America were originally deportees from the U.S. The U.S. has been deporting 400,000 people per year, more than any other period since the Cold War.
7. And in Central America, U.S. policy has led to the growth of gang violence. In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, U.S. law enforcement assistance pressured local law enforcement to adopt a “mano dura” or hardline approach to gang members, leading to the incarceration of many young people deported from the U.S. almost as soon as they arrived. Prisons became schools for gang recruitment. El Salvador, with a leftwing FMLN government, at least has a commitment to a policy of jobs and economic development to take young people off the street, and to providing an alternative to migration. Even there, conservative police and military forces continue to support heavy enforcement. In Guatemala and Honduras, the U.S. is supporting very rightwing governments who only use a heavy enforcement approach. While punishing deportees and condemning migration, these two governments actually use the migration of people to the U.S. as a source of remittances to keep their economies afloat.
8. Kids looking for families here are looking for those who were already displaced by war and economic crisis. The separation of families is a cause of much of the current migration of young people. Young people fleeing the violence are reacting to the consequences of policies for which the U.S. government is largely responsible, in the only way open to them.
Two and three years ago we were hearing from the Pew Hispanic Trust and other sources that migration had “leveled off.” No one is bothering to claim that anymore. Migration hasn’t stopped because the forces causing it are more powerful than ever.
More enforcement will not deal with the causes of the migration from Central America. In fact, the deportation of more people back to their countries of origin will increase joblessness and economic desperation. This is the largest factor causing people to leave. Violence, which feeds on that desperation, will increase as well.
President Obama has proposed increasing the enforcement budget by $3.7 billion. He has called for suspending a law passed in 2008, which requires minors to be transferred out of detention to centers where they can locate family members to care for them. He instead proposes to deport them more rapidly. Both ideas will cause more pain, violate basic rights and moral principles, and fail completely to stop migration.
NY Times writer Carl Hulse writes that the law transferring minors out of detention centers “is at the root of the potentially calamitous flow of unaccompanied minors to the nation╒s southern border.” This report and others like it not only ignore history and paint a false picture of the reasons for migration, but provide the rationale for increased enforcement.
New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez picked up the cue, declaring “we must attack this problem from a foreign policy perspective, a humanitarian perspective, a criminal perspective, immigration perspective, and a national security perspective.” He called for increasing funding for the U.S. military’s Southern Command and the State Department’s Central American Regional Security Initiative. Giving millions of dollars to some of the most violent and rightwing militaries in the western hemisphere, however, is a step back towards the military intervention policy that set the wave of forced migration into motion to begin with.
Instead, we need to help families reunite, treat immigrants with respect, and change the policies the U.S. has implemented in Central America, Mexico and elsewhere that have led to massive, forced migration. The two most effective measures would be ending the administration’s mass detention and deportation program, and ending the free trade economic and interventionist military policies that are causing such desperation in the countries these children and families are fleeing.
Young people in Oakland protest the detention of children and families from Central America.
Articles win Awards of Excellence
“Standoff in the Strawberry Fields,” which was run by Al Jazeera last fall, and “US-Style School Reform Goes South”, which ran in The Nation in last spring, won 2014 Awards of Excellence in Freelance Journalism given by the Guild Freelancers of the Pacific Media Workers Guild in San Francisco. David Bacon was also given the Raul Ramirez Journalist of the Year Award.
David Bacon radio review of the movie, Cesar Chavez
Interviews with David Bacon about his new book, The Right to Stay Home:
Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center
KPFK – Uprisings with Sonali Kohatkar
KPFA – Upfront with Brian Edwards Tiekert
Photoessay: My Studio is the Street
Photoessay: Mexico City marches against NAFTA and to protect its oil and electricity
Nativo Lopez dialogues with David Bacon on Radio Hermandad
The Real News: Immigration Reform Requires Dismantling NAFTA and Respecting Migrants’ Rights/ Immigrant Communities Resist Deportations
Books by David Bacon
The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People — How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)
The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)
For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org
July 4, 2014
Emergency!! Minutemen and other right-wing groups are mobilizing to stop more busses of children in Murrieta, California.
Please send an emergency protest email to Murrieta, California at:
Tell the citizens of Murrieta to stop blocking busses filled with children and women who have risked their lives to try and make a better life.
- Tell them to stop disrespecting immigrants and to stop calling the children “diseased.”
- Tell them to oppose suffering and inequality everywhere it exists.
- Tell the citizens of Murrieta to welcome these children with open arms and to stand up for justice!
To see the NBC report of events in Murrieta go to:
April 20, 2014
Sponsored by Latinos for Choice
The Milwaukee Journal published the following article announcing that Rand Paul and Rachel Duffy will be the speakers at an event of St. Anthony’s School next Wednesday, April 23.
This is truly amazing! Rand Paul, together with a few other influential republicans in the US Senate and House, have been the stumbling block preventing immigration reform in this country. Senator Paul, in particular, has been hateful and inhumane in his references to the undocumented, and has even made proposals to take citizenship away from children born in this country to undocumented parents. Constitutionally, he can’t. But that is the type of disgusting rhetoric from the mouth of this incredibly nasty and inhumane libertarian politician. Rand Paul, elected into office with the push of billionaires and the Tea Party, is definitely among this party’s most extreme and insensitive members.
Paul has also been a leader in the movement to reverse Obamacare, and return to a time when the health and insurance industries depraved 48 million Americans of insurance and health care. Senator Paul has been an advocate of the rich, and is known to promote racist thinking against civil rights legislation. In other words: Senator Rand Paul is horrible on Latino and Black issues, a racist, and an enemy of immigrants, so why bring to Milwaukee?
We have stood by to see the growth of vouchers in the Latino community and Latinos for Choice, but we can not allow insults and the manipulation of poor and working class Latinos. Most Latinos who enroll their children in voucher schools do not know that they are being used by Latinos for Choice to promote to power extremists that work against important immigration reform, health reform, necessary safety nets for the needy, and Latino empowerment.
Since yesterday there has been a huge reaction in the Latino community by many who see this as offensive! Senator Paul’s coming to Milwaukee must not be treated as an expression of “another” point of view by some in the Latino community. Persons with dignity and true concern for Latinos in this country take offense to Paul’s presence and presidential campaigning. Frankly, no one in their right mind should support this racist, insensitive anti-immigrant person –and this is an objective point of view. We urge you to let people know that this is totally unacceptable.
Never should we allow in the name of Latinos the appearance in our community-based institutions of Mr. anti-immigrant Rand Paul. It is even worse when some Latinos dare to manipulate ill-informed Latino parents and children, so as to promote a right wing political agenda. It is a sad day when anyone thinks that because Rand Paul and other extremist support school vouchers, one should support his extremist, insensitive and racist views too. The manipulation of Latinos in this day and age cannot be allowed. If those who enroll their children in St. Anthony know what this hatemonger has been doing all over this country,they would not support this event.
We urge the organizers if this activity not to proceed with the visit by Rand Paul. We should stop this event from happening and/or picket the activity.
Please see below.. and pass this on to others…This is important!
Sen. Rand Paul coming to Milwaukee
By Georgia Pabst of the Journal Sentinel April 15, 2014
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, the Republican from Kentucky who is considered a possible presidential contender in 2016, will be in Milwaukee April 23 for a roundtable on school choice.
His visit is sponsored by the conservative The LIBRE Initiative and Hispanics for School Choice, a local organization that favors the expansion of school choice.
The roundtable will take place at St. Anthony’s Middle School, 2156 S. 4th St. It will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Rachel Campos-Duffy, a TV commentator and author, is a spokesperson for The LIBRE Initiative. She’s also married to Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.).
Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter
October 2, 2011
Alabama: Many Immigrants Pull Children From Schools
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: September 30, 2011
Hispanic students are vanishing from public schools in the wake of a court ruling on Wednesday that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children or kept them home this week, afraid that sending them to school would draw attention from the authorities. There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials that they would leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.
In one of the state’s largest cities, Huntsville, the superintendent went on a Spanish-language television show on Thursday to try to calm worries. “Our students do not have anything to fear,” the superintendent, Casey Wardynski, said in halting Spanish. He said the state was only trying to compile statistics. The police, he insisted, were not getting involved in schools. In Montgomery County, more than 200 Hispanic students were absent on Thursday. In Albertville, 35 students withdrew in one day. And about 20 students in Shelby County, in suburban Birmingham, withdrew or told teachers that they were leaving. Local and state officials are pleading with immigrant families to keep their children enrolled.
The law does not bar anyone from school, they say, and neither students nor parents will be arrested for trying to get an education. The Obama administration filed court documents on Friday announcing its plans to appeal the ruling that upheld the law.