Friday, January 19, 2018

The Trump Shutdown

Duane Campbell

Let us be clear.  The shut down of the U.S. government is  due to a dispute over spending because Donald Trump ordered the end of the DACA program ( Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The spending bill assumes the end of DACA and demands a vast increase in spending on the border, including a wall.  At present the  critical issue  is restoring DACA.  Note: restoring.  We had a DACA program that protected the lives of some 800,000 young people who came to the U.S. as children.  Trump created this crisis and the Republicans are using the crisis to promote their anti immigrant agenda.

Since his campaign, Trump has doubled down on racism, sexism and bigotry, to the delight of David Duke, the American Nazi Party, and others like them. The control of the Republican Party by hard core anti immigration forces emboldens hard-core racists, Islamophobes, misogynists, and anti-immigrant groups, while promising an assault on workers' rights.
The White House has demanded that an increase of 33 billion dollars in funding for anti-immigrant measures be included as a part of the DREAM act. 18 Billion dollars of this funding increase would be spent on the border wall and the rest on terrorizing immigrant communities in this country. 
 As the Southern Border Communities Coalition says, “The Administration’s  misguided and outlandish proposal would waste $33 Billion dollars of taxpayer money to further militarize border communities, by building walls and deploying more federal agents. This funding request is an affront to the 15 million people who call the borderlands home . The funding proposal  further  fails to address border residents’ true needs including oversight and accountability for abusive Customs and Border Protection personnel.  Increasing the number of agents would have little to no impact on security and would be fiscally irresponsible and unwarranted.”
The demands of the Republican anti immigration forces include more deportations, punishments for cities that protect their immigrants with sanctuary laws, and an increase in  ICE’s budget. 
These demands are unacceptable. If Trump’s version of the DREAM act passes, immigrants in this country will face arbitrary harassment by hostile federal agencies. Trump  claims that this violence is necessary in order to fight terrorism and drug cartels. These threats used to justify their draconian demands are either imaginary or exacerbated by our deportation policy.
Trump  also claim that they want additional measures to punish those who use what the administration calls loopholes in our immigration laws including the preferences for family unification.  He calls this chain migration.  Removing these “loopholes” would uproot thousands of people who know no other home, many of whom are children. Congress must instead pass a clean DREAM act. Anything else will wreck countless lives on both sides of the border."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Demand a Clean Dream Act

Call Congress: 202-224-3121
Choose your Senator/Representative
Here's what to say:
"I am calling on [Senator/Representative] to pass a Clean DREAM Act to protect 800,000 Americans from deportation.
The DACA fix should not raise money for deportation forces, a border wall, end diversity visa programs, or have any anti-Sanctuary language.
Extend permanent legal protection for all DACA recipients.
You need to pass a CLEAN DREAM ACT. If this causes a government shutdown, it’s not your fault - it’s President Trump’s.
If you don’t fight for a Clean DREAM Act and nothing gets passed - that is your fault and you don't have my support for re-election."
#NoDreamNoDeal #OurDream
@DSA_Immigration |

Failure to Extend Legal Protection for California’s “Dreamers” Could Have Serious Economic and Fiscal Consequences - California Budget & Policy Center

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New Poor People's Campaign

In Celebration of the Life and Contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is an outgrowth of Rev. William J. Barber II’s “Forward Together, Not One Step Back”/ Moral Monday campaigns that confronted the conservative North Carolina legislature during 2013- 2016 and became a model for similar campaigns in several other states.   The new Poor People’s campaign was organized nationally in 2017.  The campaign website provides a good description of the progressive principles on which it is based.  The following history of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign is from their website – edited for length. - 

Dr. King’s Vision: The Poor People’s Campaign of 1967-68

Why a Poor People’s Campaign?
Just a year before his assassination, at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights…[W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution…In short, we have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.
Later that year, in December 1967, Rev. Dr. King announced the plan to bring together poor people from across the country for a new march on Washington. This march was to demand better jobs, better homes, better education—better lives than the ones they were living. Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy explained that the intention of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was to “dramatize the plight of America’s poor of all races and make very clear that they are sick and tired of waiting for a better life.” Rev. Dr. King proposed;
If you are, let’s say, from rural Mississippi, and have never had medical attention, and your children are undernourished and unhealthy, you can take those little children into the Washington hospitals and stay with them there until the medical workers cope with their needs, and in showing it your children you will have shown this country a sight that will make it stop in its busy tracks and think hard about what it has done.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ventura Fire - Disasters and Socialism

By Richard Neve
Fire, City and Demographics
Wild fires are seasonal phenomena here in California. From October through April "Santa Ana" winds blow hot dry air westward from the interior  towards the more populated coastal regions. These types of fires “burn fast and dangerous,” spreading almost as fast as the wind blows. Climate change is causing these fires to be more intense, more destructive.  The winter fire season is beginning to merge with the summer fire season. 
Here in Ventura County we know that it is only a matter of time before a wildfire will threaten one or more of our towns.  Most city’s boundaries sit in "wildland-urban-interfaces" areas. These are zones where communities and urban sprawl are directly adjacent to wildland areas that are at increased risk of wildfires.  While we know the dry, chaparral areas around our towns will eventually be engulfed in flames, we were not prepared to see the flames of the largest wildfire in California history, the “Thomas” fire, from our living rooms.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Family unification and Immigration

 Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.   the Church, along with other members of our democratic society, has the right to work to change laws which are believed to violate basic human dignity, imbued by the Creator. In the case of immigration, the U.S. bishops believe that the broken U.S. immigration system separates families, contributes to the exploitation of migrant workers in the workplace; their abuse by ruthless smugglers; and their deaths in the desert as they seek to find work to seek protection and support their families. 
Why do immigrants come here illegally? Why don’t some immigrants come here legally?
One of the primary reasons certain immigrants do not come to the United States through lawful mechanisms is because of the many systemic barriers that prevent them from coming through a legal process. They come illegally because there are insufficient visas under the current system to come legally. Our system contains a very limited number of permanent visas for low-wage laborers to come to the United States, but the demand for their work is much higher, as many as 300,000 undocumented people each year are absorbed into the U.S. workforce. Immigrants also come illegally because there is an enormous backlog that prevents them from reunifying with family members currently living in the United States in a timely fashion. Some family members might have to wait for more than a decade before their visa is processed and for reunification can occur. Lastly, some immigrants arrive at our borders as they are fleeing persecution and seeking protection and cannot safely live in their home countries. Most recently we have seen this in the case of the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 2016.  U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops.

Duane Campbell
Chain Migration

Mr. Trump says that the administration insists on ending “chain migration” as a part of any deal on DACA or Dreamers. 
Chain migration is the Republican code word for what they used to call “Anchor Babies.”
That is, current law since 1965 has permitted the immigration of some  family members of current U.S. citizens and permanent residents including husbands, wives, children, and parents. 
The Republican  argument is that persons get visas and come to the U.S., then they bring their families, children, brothers and sisters, and other relatives creating a “chain” of immigration.

 Republican proposals would eliminate family-based visas for siblings of U.S. citizens and set a cap at age 31 for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens seeking immigrant visas.

In place of family based visas, Republican proposals would allocate 120,000 immigrant visas per year for Track One visas, a number that could increase by as much as 5 percent each subsequent year as long as unemployment remains under 8.5 percent, up to a cap of 250,000 visas. The visas would be allocated based on a point system that takes into account various factors, including educational degrees, employment experience, the needs of U.S. employers, U.S. citizen relatives, and age.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.