This article was first posted by Waging Nonviolence.
When 26-year-old Catalina Adorno hit the road on March 28, she knew it would be at least six weeks before she’d sleep again in her own bed. Since that day, Adorno, a Mexican-born New Jersey resident with a strong voice and bright laugh, has criss-crossed from Pennsylvania to Maine as part of a regional support team for Movimento Cosecha, a national immigrant rights coalition. Her stops have included major cities and small towns, as she and her three teammates work to mobilize Cosecha’s vast network of “local circles” ahead of a massive day of coordinated action slated for May 1.
On April 3, Adorno’s team stopped off in Washington, D.C. to hear Cosecha spokesperson Maria Fernanda Cabello make the formal call for a May 1 nationwide strike. The planned action, billed as “A Day Without an Immigrant,” is set to be the largest immigrant rights action for at least a decade, with hundreds of thousands already pledging to stay home from work for a day in protest of systemic discrimination towards the immigrant and undocumented communities. At the press conference, Cabello pointed to the massive labor and capital power represented by the immigrant community, including 11 million undocumented residents. The May 1 protest, asserted Cabello, would be the next step in a strategy of harnessing this power to “change the conversation on immigration in the United States.”
It’s a lofty goal for an organization that formed less than two years ago, but Cosecha has a strong track record already. Drawing inspiration from farmworkers and their leaders—Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and Cesar Chavez—as well as “the thousands of African-Americans who stood up to the racist Jim Crow system,” Cosecha is an energetic movement that has grown quickly. Its ranks include a national team and hundreds of part-time volunteers across the country, which enabled Cosecha to play major role in several waves of direct action, including scores of campus walkouts and multiple protests outside Trump Towers.
In spite of the economic boon for the wealthy, working
people in the U.S. have yet to receive a significant improvement in their
standard of living for over 30 years.At
the same time, democratic forces are once again confronted with anti immigrant
campaigns- this time fostered and promoted by a President of the U.S.
As socialists, we stand with and among the US working class
in opposition to the rule of the transnational corporations and their
exploitation of the economy and their despoliation of our lives, our society
and our environment.
We are currently experiencing a
major restructuring of the global economy directed by the transnational
corporations to produce profits for their corporate owners.The impoverishment of the vast majority of
people in pursuit of profits for a small minority has pushed millions to
migrant in search of food, jobs, and security.Global capitalism produces global migration.Along with wars NAFTAand other “Free Trade” deals each produce a
new waves of migration.
Socialists support the rights of working people to organize,
to form unions, and to protect their rights and to advance their interests.
Unions have always been an important part of how socialists seek to make our
economic justice principles come alive.Working people- gathered together and exploited in the capitalist
workplace-are well positioned to fight their common exploitation.
Current immigration laws and practices, imposed upon us all by
the corporations and their control of our government, often prevent working
class unity by dividing workers against each other and by creating categories of workers with few
rights to organize andthus to protect their own interests.
The neoliberal capitalist
economic system now being created by the relentless merging of the world'smarkets also impoverishes the majority of U.S.
average U.S. worker has experienced a decline in their real wages since
1979.Quality industrial jobs have moved
to low wage, anti union areas in the U.S. and to Mexico, China, Singapore,
Vietnam,India and other nations. At
present the U.S. has no significant controls on capital flight. Indeed, the US government subsidizes some corporations to
move jobs to Honduras, El Salvador, andthe
I have been a teacher in the Sacramento City Unified School District for 10 years. I am also the parent of two young students in the district.
This year I wanted to become part of our union’s bargaining team because the district was in such a strong financial position, contrary to the lean years of the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath.
Those lean years have passed. Voter approval of Propositions 30 and 55 have greatly improved school financing in California.
Our union expanded our bargaining team to include a wide variety of certificated staff. Many have never been involved in bargaining. Our goal was to work with district administrators to “Make Sac City the Destination District for California.”
But the district didn’t really want our involvement. Our first bargaining session was Oct. 11, 2016, at 4 p.m. Rather than welcome me and my co-workers who were there on our time after a full day of teaching, the district’s negotiating team fought unsuccessfully to keep us out.
After 17 bargaining sessions, I now understand why. What we have seen over the past six months at the bargaining table has been startling.
When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of people we are. ..I am convinced that the truest act of courage..is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice.
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993)
by Duane Campbell
On March 31, 2017, Eleven states and numerous cities will hold holidays celebrating labor and Latino leader Cesar Chavez.
Conferences, marches and celebrations will occur in numerous cities and particularly in rural areas of the nation. A recent film Cesar Chavez:An American Hero, starring Michael Peña as Cesar Chavez and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta presents important parts of this union story. With the work of the Chicano/Mexican American Digital History Project their story of union organizing will begin to be covered in all public school history texts in California this year,
The current UFW leadership, as well as former UFW leaders and current DSA Honorary Chairs Eliseo Medina and Dolores Huerta are recognized leaders in the ongoing efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the nation.
UFW President Arturo Rodriquez says, “We urge Republicans to abandon their political games that hurt millions of hard-working, taxpaying immigrants and their families, and help us finish the job by passing legislation such as the comprehensive reform bill that was approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote in June 2013,” Rodriguez said. “The UFW will not rest until the President's deferred relief is enacted and a permanent immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, is signed into law.” www.UFW.org
Tools and Resources to help protect immigrant youth and their families in case of ICE, immigration, raids and enforcement efforts.
Prepared by the American Federation of Teachers.
Downloadable copy at aflcio.org/immigrationresources.
President Trump has
made up three tall tales to criminalize, criticize and reject immigrants in the
United States. These stories are full of lies, but he’s repeated them so often
that many Americans have started to believe them.
So let’s refute all three, one
immigrants are criminals.
This is Trump’s core story.
When he launched his presidential bid in June 2015, he famously said that
undocumented immigrants from Mexico are “bringing drugs; they’re bringing
crime; they’re rapists.” And during his first speech before Congress
recently, he again likened immigrants to “gang members, drug dealers and
Here’s the truth about
undocumented immigrants in the U.S.: A huge majority, 97% in fact, are good
people. That number comes from a Migration Policy Institute study, which found
that less than 3% of undocumented immigrants have committed a felony. It also
found that American-born residents are twice as likely to commit a felony as
Crime statistics also
demonstrate a correlation between having more undocumented immigrants and lower
crime rates at the national level. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of
undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. tripled, from 3.5 million to 11.2
million. During that time, violent crime in America dropped by 48%, according
to data from the FBI. Despite these facts, Trump insists on vilifying
immigrants, and continues to push his “bad hombres” myth.
are costly for the United States.
Another lie — and one that’s
easy to refute by doing the math. Yes, it’s true that undocumented immigrants
benefit from some social services and that their children get free public
education all the way through high school. That costs money — but immigrants
also contribute by paying taxes and creating jobs. The greatest irony is that
undocumented workers also contribute part of their earnings to Social Security
and Medicare, services from which they will never benefit.
In fact, immigrants contribute
more than $2 billion to the economy every year, and produced some $54 billion
dollars in net gain from 1994 through 2013, according to a study by the
National Academy of Sciences. Trump blames immigrants for being a burden on the
country, but they give back much more than they take.
Public education is the
foundation of our 21st-century democracy. Social justice for all begins with a
quality, free public education. Our public schools are where our students come
to be educated in the fullest sense of that word, including as citizens of this
great country. As educators, we strive every day to make every public school
and college a place where we prepare the nation's young people to contribute to
our society, economy and citizenry.
California must continue to lead the nation. The 325,000 members
of CTA are committed to making sure all California's students get
the public education they deserve. We ask all Californians, including elected
leaders regardless of party affiliation, to join us in supporting a strong,
inclusive, safe and innovative public education system that ensures all students
can succeed, regardless of their zip code. Our public schools must remain
centers of our communities, and not become corporate profit centers. We hold
these values because all children, regardless of family circumstances, where
they live, where they were born, how they look, who they love, or the language
they speak have the right to a public education that helps them reach their
May 1st has been historically linked
to international worker' rights. On May 1, 1886, the U.S. Federation of
Organized Trade and Labor Unions (including immigrant workers) ruled that an
8-hour work day, would be a full and legal work day. NEA and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) are
also holding a national day of action on May 1. May 1, or May Day, continues to
be a national day of action to raise awareness about immigration rights and the
need to keep families together as they fight for a better life. How can I get involved?
CTA is asking our local chapters and
members to hold actions with parents and community members at their local
school sites. Actions may include "walk-ins" with parents and
community members, unveiling new safe zone policies and safe zone resolutions,
taking the pledge, hosting community
meetings, and more. Please join our Facebook group and fill
out our form
to let us know how you are participating.
from around California descended on the Capitol on Wednesday March 15, seeking to pass SB 54: The California Values
Act which would significantly prohibit local law enforcement from coordination
with federal immigration agents. While
many cities and counties have sanctuary policies, this bill would make it a state law and shield many immigrants
from mass deportation efforts of the federal authorities. The bill is strongly
opposed by the Association of County Sheriffs who manage county jails and
receive federal funds for their cooperation.
demonstration on Wednesday was organized primarily by PICO of California and
supported by immigrant rights organizations up and down the state. The events began at the Cathedral of the
Blessed Sacramento in Sacramento, and then marchers proceeded to the Capitol to
hear a rousing support speech from the President of the California Senate Kevin
PICO is a structured multi racial organizing project with
roughly equal participation and leadership from African American, Mexican,
Latino, and Anglo religious traditions.
Community leaders pledge support for the district’s efforts to inform every student and their families of the legal rights of the undocumented by distributing tens of thousands of ‘know your rights’ fliers at all schools, coordinating with community organizations to provide legal resources in classrooms, and covering all campuses with banners and lawn signs promoting inclusion and welcoming all students.
SACRAMENTO, CA—The Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) today announced the launch of a campaign to protect its undocumented students and staff amid growing fears of deportation in immigrant communities. The campaign is the first of its kind in California and is the next step in SCUSD’s national leadership on protecting and standing up for undocumented students and their families. District leaders were joined today by State Assemblymember Jim Cooper, City Councilmember Eric Guerra and dozens of students, teachers and community members.
“Our Safe Haven policy was the first step we took to protect our kids,” said SCUSD Vice President Jessie Ryan. “Today, we are taking an even bigger step by launching a full campaign to make sure every undocumented student and parent in our school district knows their rights if approached by immigration officials.”
The Choices in Education Act 2017 (HR 610), introduced Jan. 23 and now in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which has provided federal funds to address inequities in public schools since 1965. In its place, block grants would go to states that have adopted voucher plans, enabling parents to use public funds to enroll their children in any public or private school. While over 100 bills are now in this committee and most will die there, the fact that this one embodies Secretary Betsy DeVos’s vision for education suggests it will likely be taken up.
This bill is misguided for several reasons. First, while evidence should guide policy, evidence does not show that voucher programs consistently improve student learning. Mark Dynarski of the Brookings Institute analyzed the research in a 2016 issue of Evidence Speaks Reports. He found mixed results: while some students benefited from the New York and Washington, D.C., programs, the same cannot be said of the Milwaukee program. The two most recent and largest studies found that public school students who received vouchers to attend private schools in Indiana and Louisiana, both with statewide voucher programs, actually achieved worse than their counterparts in public schools. Dynarski suspects one reason is that public schools have improved over the last few years, closing what previously had been an achievement gap between them and private schools.
Rethinking Schools joins civil rights and LGBTQ organizations in their opposition to Trump’s scrapping of protections for transgender students under Title IX.
Transgender students should have the right to use locker rooms and bathrooms in alignment with their gender identity.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared, "The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states-rights issue.” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claimed, “This is an issue best solved at the state and local level.”
Calls for “local control” and “states’ rights” echo the white supremacist rationales of the 1950s and '60s when segregationists used the same language to defend Jim Crow practices and to derail federal civil rights legislation.
Trump’s action, authorized by both the Justice and the Education Departments, offers a scary preview of the future of Title IX and its enforcement. Parents, students, and educators need to stand together to defend the rights of transgender students.
Our recently published book Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality is one resource that people can turn to for guidance and inspiration. Winner of the 2017 American Library Association Stonewall Honor book in the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award category, this book is a collection of stories about how to integrate feminist and LGBTQ content into our curriculum, to make it part of a vision for social justice, and create classrooms and schools that nurture all children and their families.
WCVI President Denounces Trump Administrations Directive on Deportations
Trump Policy Has Gone from Bad to Worse
(Los Angeles, Feb 21, 2017) The narrative that early Trump Administration executive orders were so controversial and amounted to such bad policy because the Trump team was in chaos has turned out to be utterly false. After a month of self-organization, the "well written" Trump Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implementing memo spells out the worst-case scenario of mass deportations, criminalization, and border militarization.
Indeed WCVI accuses the Trump Administration of seeking to launch a sui generis ethnic cleansing campaign against undocumented immigrants, 85% of whom are from Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The DHS Memo broadly defines who should be deported, far more so than under Obama, and in practice would cover nearly all undocumented rather than the 1% with criminal records. It also enhances the existing DHS/ICE "deportation force" with 15,000 new personnel.
Under Trumps' plan, human and civil rights violations will impact tens if not hundreds of thousands of immigrants and citizens alike. Under Obama, 20,000 US citizens were mistakenly captured in raids, this kind of ethno-racial profiling will get worse with the new directives.
The cost to taxpayers of hunting down the 11 million undocumented will be tens of billions of dollars.
Action Alert: US House
bill pushes the privatization agenda
administration's attack on public education has begun, and we need you to take
action today to stop it.
In late January, HR
610 was introduced by Steve King of Iowa, with representatives from Maryland,
Texas and Arizona signing on.
You can read a summary
of the bill at the website. HR 610, the School Choice Act, would eliminate the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was passed as a part of
Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty." Federal funds would
be used instead to create "block grants" to be used to
"distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child
in a private school or to home-school their child." It would also roll
back nutritional standards for free lunches for poor children.
But that is not all.
On Tuesday, Betsy
DeVos and Donald Trump gathered together parents and teachers to talk about
their education agenda. Who was invited (and who was not) is telling.
Of the ten attendees,
one was a public school teacher and one was a principal of a public school that
specializes in special education. There was one public school parent who also
had children in private school. The rest of the group were homeschoolers,
charter school parents or private school representatives.
The chaos created by Donald Trump’s ban on refugees is only the
beginning of a crisis that Trump and his allies are creating. Less noticed was Trump’s rollout
of executive actions on immigration and the border wall on Jan 25.
These executive orders were the opening act of what is certain to be an
aggressive crackdown on unauthorized immigration. The left responded quickly to the Jan. 27 ban
on refugees withimportant protests and significant legal
has created so many crises in his first weeks that it would be easy to miss the longterm
train wreck being created by Trump’s earlier executive actions on the border wall and the expansion
of arrests and deportations.
On Jan. 25 Trump signed an xecutive
that directs ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents to
use abroadened definition of
“criminal” and focus deportation efforts not only on those who have been
convicted of crimes, but also those who have been charged, or “have committed
acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” This order will increase the number of persons
subject to deportation by at least 2 million and the order will triple the
number of agents in the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office and give
them broad power to ultimately decide who should be deported. Increased
deportations have already begun under this new executive order.
Past use of aggressive interior enforcement, then called “Secure
Communities,” was an abject failure. ICE agents conducted raids and arrested
people at work sites, schools, and on the streets. Often they jailed complete families. In most cases these
arrests and deportations depended upon the cooperation of local police and
social service agencies (see sanctuary cities below)
The campaigns deported parents of US
citizens disrupting families, schools, and
workplaces. The raids were too often done without proper warrants and other
We should not assume that each of the Trump xecutive
will be accepted and implemented.On the
contrary.The orders produce contradictions
and will produce resistance.
Yes, the U.S. can build a wall or fencing on the U.S. side of
the border, except for that portion of the border that is on the Tohono O’odhom
reservation in Arizona.But the wall
will be an expensive failure.
Trump’s demand to build the wall and to impose tariffs is
producing a reaction in Mexico.The U.S. not only imports from Mexico, US
corporations also exported to Mexico$267 billion dollars worth of goods
in 2015. Mexico is the U.S.’s second
largest export market. A tariff on the
U.S. side will likely produce a tariff on the Mexican side that could cost some
1 million jobs in the U.S.
Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farmworkers union (UFW)
asks, “Since some 50 % of agricultural labor in California, Florida and Texas
is undocumented, when they arrest all of these workers, who is going to feed
the nation?”The answer to his question
is, if the border is closed and mass arrests make workers not available, most
vegetable production will move to Mexico and to other countries.Is that progress?
The Trump administration is being reckless and poorly informed
in matters of foreign policy as well as domestic issues.Building Trump’s wall and threatening to make
Mexico pay for the wall built on U.S. land
was a belligerent act championed in the
Trump campaign. This poorly informed effort ignores many of
the realities of the U.S.Mexico relationship. Mexico provides the primary security against
migration to the U.S. on our southern border. Mexican police and military restrict migration
and turn thousands of wouldbe migrants back each year.
The Mexican rmy and police also provide the
primary obstacle to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemalafrom reaching the U.S. border.The U.S. pays the Mexican forces to do this
enforcement.Given Trump’s provocative statements
and acts, they could simply stop serving as a border security force for the
U.S. The end of bi-national police cooperation would massively increase
immigration and severely reduce efforts to restrict drug cartels from moving
drugs into the U.S.
The Mexican political system and the police are corrupt, but the
situation could get much worse. The
Mexican legislature is already considering several bills to prevent Mexico from
cooperating with the Trump surge in deportations. Readers should know that the Mexican presidency
is up for election in 2018, and the current dominant party (PRI) is in disgrace
in part because it is seen as subservient to the Trump dministration.
Nationalism and resisting Yankee
interference is a potent political force in Mexicoand a left populist – Manuel Lopez Obrador
is currently far ahead in the polls.
Yet another structural weakness of the Trump
plan for expanding deportations further makes it almost impossible for the plan
Deportations currently depend
upon the persons arrested agreeing to be quickly deported.Unless they have convicted of
prior felony, persons arrested are immediately offered a “voluntary”
departure.If they sign it, most of
those arrested will be deported within 2-3 days. (In California it is usually
the same day.)
Immigrant ights ctivists
have developed a strategy to defeat these deportations.Those arrested are encouraged to refuse to
sign the “voluntary departure.”Instead
they would insist upon having legal counsel. All persons inside the U.S. have a
right to counsel (not only citizens).
If some 20%- 30% of those
arrested begin to refuse to sign, the jails will fill within dayseven the private prisons.If those arrested insist on legal counsel, the
courts will be overloaded.
When those arrested have an
attorney some 40% win the right to stay.And, another 40% may not win, but they will
delay deportation for 2-5 years while their cases are heard in the back logged
courts (long enough for the children to grow up).
Even with the growth of
private prisons, the detention centers will fail. Immigration hearing officers
in the U.S. had a backlog of 453,948 cases in 2015.It takes some 635 days to process the average
case.While Trump will expand the case officers, the hearings will create a backlog of years.
Trump’s threatening of sanctuary cities and communities that offer
protection to immigrants because they recognize the injustice in current
immigration laws and practices will undermine public safety.
His threat to take money from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional
overreach. By defending sanctuary cities
citizens and tax payers can severely limit Trump’s abuse. The
state of Texas is considering defunding sanctuary cities there while the
California legislature is considering a bill to make California a sanctuary
state. Because of shared financing and tax collection, states have more ability
to withhold funds from sanctuary cities than does the federal government. Several
California cities are already
preparing the legal groundwork to resist paying specific taxes into the federal
treasury if Trumpfollows through on his
threats to cut funds to these cities.
Immigration officers (ICE)
need the cooperation of local law enforcement and social services to do their
jobs successfully. ICE has far too few
agents and too few jails to effectively remove large numbers of people.The last time such removal was practiced in Operation Wetbackin 1952 the effort was
only effective because local cities and
social service institutions cooperated. The removal was popular. This time
many will not cooperate.
There are some 300 sanctuary
cities and districts in the U.S.Citizens and voters in these cities can have an important role in their
Readers should check to see
if your local city, county, or state has sanctuary resolutions.Usually, these resolutions contain statements
resources, including salaries and equipment funded by local and state taxes,
should be limited to serving the jurisdiction supplying these resources and its
residents.City, county and school
district funds should not be used to implement or enforce federal immigration
laws that are the responsibility of federal law enforcement.
2. Local law enforcement
resources should be solely devoted to enforcement of local and state laws,
protecting all residents and serving the community.Enforcement of federal laws, including
immigration laws, should be left to the federal government unless the
individual involved is a convicted felon.
Based upon such sanctuary
resolutions, we can insist that local resources and personnel not spend time
and resources aiding this misguided federal immigration enforcement.
If your local area does not
have a sanctuary resolution, see models on DSA’s Immigration Rights Committee
resource pagesand try to pass sanctuaryresolutions in your area.
There are numerous groups
working to protect the rights, the safety, and the families of the immigrants
among us. Working with your local DSA, join with these groups to insist that
local resources and personnel not spend time and resources aiding Trump’s enforcement efforts.
Working together, we are not
powerless in the face of executive authority.