Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

vallen_illegal-770x740

(from Creative Resistance, CC)

but mainly those with an H1-B-eee

(Yes, this post is long, but I consider it a Labor of Love, and I hope you will, too, and read it. These are things I believe we need to know.)

‘A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

~ Emma Lazarus

No, no; not so much those nameless deportees that came here to escape the depredations and murderous dangers in the global south, so many of which were aided and abetted by US policies and activities. They might be carrying ebola.leprosy.drugs.alqaedacards.unbornbabbies.bedbugs.lice.whathaveyou.

Wsws.org writes that Obama deported a record 438,421 people last year, the highest number of annual deportations in US history, and that number is on track to escalate, of course, especially with the reported 60 or 70,000 unaccompanied minors that came over the summer and created the ‘crisis on the border’. I know you remember reading about it; it was the talk of the nation for a few news cycles.

You will have heard that they all have their day in court before an immigration judge, but wsws reports that last year, a record 44% of the deportations were ‘expedited removals’, meaning summary thumbs down, go back to Go; do not collect 200 pesos.

The site also reports:

‘In July, the Obama administration asked Congress to allocate $3.7 billion in funding to “support a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement,” along with additional staff to speed up deportations, including the hiring of administrators and prosecutors to kick families and individual children out of the country.

Obama’s proposal included $40 million for air surveillance, including additional funds to significantly expand the use of military drones within the borders of the United States.”

It’s unclear if Congress ever appropriated any new money, especially as it’s all become a partisan campaign poo-flinging contest. Here and there one reads the figure $2.6 billion.

But: How are those assumed billions or other federal funds (including DHS) being used?

For one, this singularly fucked up planned facility (the Guardian):

‘The Texas Observer reports that federal officials are preparing to open the nation’s largest family detention centre, a 2,400-bed facility that will nearly double the current capacity to house immigrant families awaiting deportation. The centre will be developed on a sprawling 50-acre property near the town of Dilley, 70 miles south-west of San Antonio, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials told the monthly magazine.

The Observer says the centre will be run by the nation’s largest for-profit corrections company, the Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The company, which operates more than 60 detention centres and prisons across the country, has been mired by controversies that include inmate abuse, falsifying official records and aggressive lobbying tactics. In 2009, federal officials removed all immigrants with children from a 490-bed Texas facility operated by CCA. The facility had been the focus of a damning 2007 report on family detention by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children that concluded detention was wildly inappropriate for children.

An obscure provision tucked into the Department of Homeland Security’s spending plan, known as the “bed mandate”, requires law enforcement officials to hold an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention each day. The quota keeps detention centres full, a huge boon for the for-profit corrections companies that get paid per bed. In 2013, CCA’s revenue nearly topped $1.7bn (£1bn).’

During interviews on her program ‘Migrant Women, Children Allege Harsh Conditions, Sexual Assault at For-Profit Texas Immigration Jail’, Amy Goodman interviews immigrant rights advocates who tell of the most hideous abuses that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforecement, or ‘La Migra’) detainees experience while in captivity in centers across the US. We’re able to learn some of their names and stories, bless Amy’s heart. For instance:

CRISTINA PARKER (author of the new report out called “For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making MIllions by Locking Up Refugee Families”) : Sure. The GEO Group is the private prison company that is contracted to run the Karnes County family detention center. And they have a long track record of abuse and neglect and misconduct in their facilities. It should be no surprise to anyone, actually, that sexual abuse and denial of medical treatment happened almost as soon as the facility was opened.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you give more examples of what you have found?

CRISTINA PARKER: Sure. You know, one of the things that we see is that this misconduct is really persistent. For instance, in the Walnut Grove juvenile center in Mississippi, guards frequently used beatings and violence and sexual assault against the boys who are held there. They also retaliated a lot against people when they complained. So the boys would complain about their treatment, and they’d be put into solitary confinement. So, if you look many miles away at a facility in Pecos, Texas, called the Reeves detention center, the same thing happened. A man who had—who suffered from epilepsy complained of his lack of medical treatment, and he was put into solitary confinement. He spent a month there before he died of complications of a seizure alone. It actually caused a riot in the prison.’

What person of conscience can fail to weep at these stories? What person can fail to be shake with rage hearing them? The people who create the policies and reap the profits, of course. They are soulless bastards, all, but they are our Rulers and their minions, allowed to punish and profit at the expense of our nation’s ever-decreasing ‘humanity’.

Ah, yes: Because vicious, predatory capitalism.

Other border crisis amelioration expenses:

When Obama announced that the great influx of unaccompanied minors was ‘a humanitarian disaster’, he also signaled that he would be working with the nations south of the borer to ameliorate the crisis. This is one example:

Todd Miller’sMexico: The U.S. Border Patrol’s Newest Hire’ in which he explains how the Border Patrol’s credo “the U.S.-Mexico border is our last line of defense” has now reached 1000 miles south to the border southern border of Mexico.

‘Since July, there has been a surge of Mexican immigration agents, federal police and military — with a gauntlet of roadside checkpoints and sophisticated surveillance equipment at their disposal — in an enforcement belt that goes hundreds of miles into Mexico’s interior. “Subordination,” said Miguel Angel Paz of the Mexican immigration rights organization Voces Mesoamericanas, “is part of the relationship Mexico has with the United States.” The U.S. border enforcement regime has gone beyond policing the U.S.-Mexico divide to patrolling south to Central America, targeting the men, women and children seeking refuge in the north.’

Working with rightwing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the US helped to create the ‘21st century border’; my guess would be that a lot more funding is involved; see my bold.

‘The collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico has been going on for quite some time. What started with a U.S.-backed deportation campaign known as Plan Sur in 2000 has been transformed into what officials in 2010 dubbed the 21st century border. This is the official name of the third pillar of the Merida Initiative, a U.S. military aid package to Mexico. In 2014 alone, the United States designated $112 million to help modernize and make more efficient Mexico’s border policing and militarization.

Included, with additional funding from the Department of Defense, were X-ray vans, contraband detection kits, biometric kiosks and accompanying databases to store facial and retinal information and fingerprints. Included are funds for Mexico’s National Institute of Migration, the Mexican Marines and federal police for facility construction, patrol boats, night vision and communication equipment and maritime sensors. There are helicopters, which the Washington Office on Latin America says have been spotted in places near Mexico’s southern border. And there are the K-9 units, the drug and contraband-sniffing dogs.’

DHS head Jeh Johnson has said that while it’s important to treat the children humanely, we must send the message that undocumented migrants are not welcome.

‘Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost back from whence they came…’

Who are the visitors and why have they come?

Of the 438,421 total immigrants deported, 314,904 came from Mexico, while another 46,866 came from Guatemala, 36,526 came from Honduras and 20,862 came from El Salvador.

Mexico: NAFTA

‘Globalization and NAFTA Caused Migration from Mexico’ by David Bacon

‘In 1994 [under Bill Clinton], however, the year the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, U.S. speculators began selling off Mexican government bonds. According to Jeff Faux, founding director the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, DC-based progressive think tank, “NAFTA had created a speculative bubble for Mexican assets that then collapsed when the speculators cashed in.”20 In NAFTA’s first year, 1994, one million Mexicans lost their jobs when the peso was devalued. To avert a flood of capital to the north, then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin engineered a $20 billion loan to Mexico, which was paid to bondholders, mostly U.S. banks.

In return, U.S. and British banks gained control of the country’s financial system. Mexico had to pledge its oil revenue to pay off foreign debt, making the country’s primary source of income unavailable for the needs of its people. As the Mexican economy, especially the border maquiladora industry, became increasingly tied to the U.S. market, tens of thousands of Mexican workers lost jobs when the market shrank during U.S. recessions in 2001 and 2008. “It is the financial crashes and the economic disasters that drive people to work for dollars in the U.S., to replace life savings, or just to earn enough to keep their family at home together,” says Harvard historian John Womack. Immigrants, Migrants, or Displaced People?

Gang and druglord murders and guns. Well, yes; end the drug wars, end the violence to hapless citizens in ‘our backyard’.

End the Drug War proponents:

‘The Immigration Crisis: Just Another Byproduct of the Drug War

By Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

(Ironically as you’ll see) Hispanic Political Caucus, quoting Franklin above.

Even Business Week, for crying out loud: ‘To Fix the Child Refugee Crisis, End the War on Drugs’.

The violence in Mexico and Central America is of course takes weapons. Study: A quarter million US guns are smuggled into Mexico every year’: Mexican officials have long blamed lax gun laws in the US for the availability of weapons in Mexico, which has only one gun store and considers gun ownership a privilege, not a right.’ Yes, and I reckon the true numbers are quite a bit higher.

And what of US Imperial policy in Central America (Guatemala El Salvador, and Honduras, especially)?

US Policies Exacerbate Migration Crisis in Guatemala’, from upsidedownworld.org:

Will the U.S. continue with failed strategies, or take this crisis as a much-needed opportunity to examine our own policies and priorities and their impact on the most vulnerable groups in Central America?

The topic brought the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to the U.S. this week to meet with President Barack Obama about how the four countries can work together to stem the flow north. At an event on Thursday, Guatemalan President Pérez Molina suggested that the U.S. should divert one tenth of the $20 billion that it has spent on securing the U.S.-Mexico border to invest instead in security in Central America.

Unfortunately, this proposal, like Obama’s request to Congress for emergency funds, ignores how U.S. policies are contributing to the very violence and insecurity that many of the children are fleeing. As the case of Guatemala makes clear, there is an urgent need to stop and evaluate U.S. drug, security and economic policies to see how they fit into the root causes of this crisis.’

The coups in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador:

Most ‘progressive’ sources stop at: ‘the Obama Administration did not object to the coup’ in Honduras, even as interviewees tell horrid tales of their former lives in Honduras due to the brutal US approved new government. But from Aviva Chomsky at Truthout:

‘Let’s start with what’s truly at stake here. First, U.S. policies directly led to today’s crises in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Since Washington orchestrated the overthrow of the reformist, democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, it has consistently cultivated repressive military regimes, savagely repressed peasant and popular movements for social change, and imposed economic policies including so-called free trade ones that favor foreign investors and have proven devastating to the rural and urban poor.

Refugees from U.S.-sponsored dirty wars in Guatemala and El Salvador — mostly peasants whose communities had been subjected to scorched-earth policies and the depredations of right-wing death squads — began to pour into the United States in the 1980s. The refugee flood from Honduras didn’t begin until the United States supported a military coup against that country’s elected leftist president in 2009. The youths crossing the border today are often the children and grandchildren of those initial refugees, and are fleeing the endemic violence and economic destruction left behind by the wars and the devastation that resulted from them. In other words, the policies that led to the present “crisis” were promoted over the decades with similar degrees of enthusiasm by Republicans and Democrats.’

Interestingly, former Secretary of State Clinton seems to be burnishing her neo-con cred in preparations for 20016. The good Mark Weisbrot recently penned: ‘Hard choices: Hillary Clinton admits role in Honduran coup aftermath’:

‘In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order,” to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.” In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir “Hard Choices” and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama’s administration now faces.

The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government “rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries,” opening the door for further “violence and anarchy.” [snip]

Whoa, Nellie: he calls Pants on fire, Hillary, and finishes his piece:

‘This may not come as a surprise to those who followed the post-coup drama closely. (See my commentary from 2009 on Washington’s role in helping the coup succeed here, here and here.) But the official storyline, which was dutifully accepted by most in the media, was that the Obama administration actually opposed the coup and wanted Zelaya to return to office.

The day after the report on the 2013 deportment numbers was released, President Barack Obama spoke to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala on Thursday night, Oct. 3. About 100 protesters stood outside the Walter E.Washington Convention Center chanting for a halt in deportations; he has been quoted as saying that after the midterms, he will…fight something or other differently. What.ev.er.

In this 17-second clip on youtube, protestors sang ‘Si se puede!’ (Yes we can!) at the gala event.

(cross-posted at My.fdl.com)

13 responses to “Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

  1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/96748688@N02/15310510899 :
    provided they’ve applied for and received permission to legally immigrate.
    Consider this: I feel increasingly grater US oppression of me (e.g., a dictated passport to visit Michoacan, Banff or the Bahamas) here; but I possess the wherewithal to immigrate into my personally preferred Paradise, Bora Bora. Without their permission, am I justified in catching the next tramp steamer there; getting on the beach into the rain forest and squatting there indefinitely in my expatriate American comfort, sans citizenship from France or the Tahitians? If no, continue the deportations; if yes, give me my slow emigration-boat berth to Bora Bora ;-)

  2. well, i think i know where you stand on the issue, bruce. good luck in bora bora.

  3. i’ve been haunted by that artwork, and it occurred to me to remind you that according to pablo picasso, “art is a lie that tells the truth”. as in, most social art under oppression is polemical.

  4. And if the ~ 34 MILLION* outlaw immigrants 0’s about (post-election) to endeavor granting precedential amnesty to; were to immediately march to the U.S. capital and overturn his tyrannical regime precisely for the imperial crimes he’s committed against them and THEIR homelands, and declare A WORLD without borders and international warfare, I’d be prepared to forgive their trespasses and Join them. Instead they and DEM-0 will merely reinforce each others’ impunity to the detriment of the rest of US conscientious U.S. citizens. That’s my undeniable polemic.
    * Sure Is EXPONENTIALLY Grater than the ~11 million chronically espoused since Raygun’s disastrous decision of the same ilk (Bush US twice … ya’ can’t get fooled, AGAIN!)

  5. dunno why you believe the opposite, but O is about to deport all he’s able, post-election. the rest i’ll answer tomorrow perhaps. meanwhile, do dream of how and why the US is responsible, both in trade policy, coups, and profit motive by Congress, for the diaspora to the US.

  6. American Federation of Government Employees’
    “USCIS COUNCIL PRESIDENT ISSUES URGENT PLEA TO NATION REGARDING EXECUTIVE AMNESTY
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 28, 2014 Contact: National Citizenship & Immigration Services Council
    WASHINGTON

    Kenneth Palinkas, President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) adjudicators and personnel, issued the following statement
    today concerning the President’s pla
    nned executive immigration orders that would result in the issuance of 34 million green cards and employment authorization documents:

    United States Citizen
    ship and Immigration Service’s
    loyal and dedicated adjudicators and personnel diligently man the front lines in the battle to protect Americans from terrorism and the abuse of our economic and political resources. As the individuals who screen the millions of applications for entry into the U.S., it is our job to ensure that terrorists, diseases, criminals, public charges, and other undesirable groups are kept out of the United States. Unfortunately, we have been blocked in our efforts to accomplish this mission and denied the professional resources, mission support, and authorities we urgently need by the very same government that employs our skill sets. Although we had thought that we had made some headway through newly negotiated policies such as the Quality Workplace Initiative, we find that our caseworkers still operate under a quota system that prioritizes speed over quality, and approvals over investigations. Numbers of mandated interviews that had at one time decreased to afford quality decisions are creeping back up in the government
    ’s efforts to process “customers”
    without regard to national security. There are plans to waive interviews of applicants who seek adjustment of their status in the U.S. to ready our workforce for the coming onslaught of applications unforeseen in previous administrations. We are
    still the world’s rubber
    -stamp for entry into the United States

    regardless of the ramifications of the constant violations to the Immigration and Nationality Act. W
    hether it’s the
    failure to uphold the public charge laws, the abuse of our asylum procedures, the admission of Islamist radicals, or visas for health risks, the taxpayers are being fleeced and public safety is being endangered on a daily basis. I write today to warn the general public that this situation is about to get exponentially worse

    and more dangerous. America dodged a bullet when the Senate immigration package S. 744 was blocked by the House. That legislation would have been a financial and security catastrophe. But news reports have leaked information to the public of a USCIS management contract bid for a

    surge

    printing of 34 million green cards and employment authorization documents to be provided to foreign nationals, a bid that predicts the Adminstration’s executive amnesty. This massive unilateral amnesty is slated to be issued after the November 2014 elections. Efforts by members of the Senate to block this action were stopped in their tracks by 52 Senators who, on July 31st, defeated a legislative maneuver to prohibit the President’s actions. That is why this statement is intended for the public: if you care about your immigration security and your neighborhood security, you must act now to ensure that Congress stops this unilateral amnesty. Let your voice be heard and spread the word to your neighbors. We who serve in our nation’s immigration agencies are pleading for your help
    – don’t let this happen. Express your concern to your Senators and Congressmen before it is too late.”

  7. yes, your belief in that and *all based* on one source: breitbart news, which organization began fanning the fear flames over the influx of unaccompanied minors (ebola! guns! gangs!) proves my point, bruce. and from what my search found, the outlets that carried it were all right wing hate machine sites.

    if you follow the links, you get to a draft order for *card stock* that can be purposed for several different documents.

    aaaaaand…what would be obama’s incentive for that mass amnesty? oh, right: to vote democrat. cuz dems love amnesty (not). just enough Dream Act to schmooze latinos to vote dem is all.

  8. It’s a press release of the federal government’s recognized union, AFGE and its affiliate for USCIS federal immigration workers, our public sevants.

  9. shall we just cut to the chase and i ask you: why do you believe it, believe it’s obama-driven, and why are you so freaked by it? these commenters seem to be…

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/10/19/Exclusive-Obama-Admin-Quietly-Prepares-Surge-Of-Millions-Of-Immigrant-IDs

  10. It’s my former federal public servants union, I believe 0 will do anything, even self-inimical in service of his 1%’s non-public service, and repeating, “they (illegal immigrants) and DEM-0bama will merely reinforce each others’ (0utlaw) impunity to the detriment of the rest of US conscientious (legal) U.S. citizens”.

  11. sorry to not be able to decode your comment again, bruce, but not one of those three card statuses include the right to vote. but in any even, i can’t picture even O doing something like that. he would be crucified.

    but your beef is really about ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigrants, yes? guess by now i have little use for that, given the enormous implications that US trade and FP drove so very much of it. and i do know that i’m an outlier on this subject, once again. i also support slavery reparations to blacks. ;)

  12. Snopes rates False
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/greencards.asp
    The combined estimates mentioned in the RFP led many to mistakenly believe that President Obama planned to allow more than 30 million immigrants to enter the United States in the near future, rather than the government’s seeking a vendor who could supply that number of card blanks (for both newly issued cards and replacements of existing cards) over a span of several years…

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/22/homeland-security-braces-for-flood-of-immigrants-seeking-work-permits/
    The president does not have the legal authority to unilaterally offer immigrants in the country illegally green cards or any other permanent immigration status. But administration officials have said the president can authorize protection from deportation for immigrants on a case-by-case basis, such as with the DACA program

    (hi wendyedavis. Nice place you have here)

  13. oooh, so lovely to have you here, marym. and bless your googling (binging) fingers that walk so well! thank you ever so much for busting the canard.

    from what i’ve read by immigration groups trying to stave off the mass deportations, obama is intent on pouring money into closing the border and giving more the heave-ho post election. we’ll see, of course.

    please do come again; i’m glad you like the café. i do, too. ;)

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