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Author Archive | David L. Wilson

Confronting the Amnesty Scare

The anti-immigrant right has been mounting a scare campaign since late January about the supposed dangers of legalizing the country’s estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. — “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, announced on January 28, “it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers […]

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A Palestinian in Indefinite Detention — 10 Years Ago in the United States

The 66-day hunger strike of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan brought overdue attention to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians for lengthy periods without criminal charges.  It also brought attention to the same practice in other countries, including the United States, where, as Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald pointed out, indefinite detention is “now firmly in place” for […]

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Occupying the Immigration Debate

People in the United States may not be as rabidly anti-immigrant as we’ve been led to believe. An article posted on the Center for American Progress website in December, “The Public’s View of Immigration,” summarizes five recent U.S. opinion polls.  Authors Philip E. Wolgin and Angela Maria Kelley find that while the media and the […]

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What Wisconsin Means for Immigrant Rights

A few weeks can do a lot to sweep away old assumptions.  Last year U.S. leftists were wondering why the worst economic crisis in 70 years hadn’t inspired a stronger response from its victims; now Arabs have toppled neoliberal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and U.S. workers have fought cutbacks and union-busting in Wisconsin with […]

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John Ross and Los de Abajo

Most of the tributes to John Ross have stressed the colorful side of the New York-born journalist, activist, and poet, who died in Michoacán, Mexico, on January 17. “Colorful” is an understatement.  Tall, gaunt, with his black beret and white goatee, a Palestinian keffiyeh around his neck, John was an unmistakable figure at demonstrations.  His […]

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Are Immigrants “Good for the Economy”?

U.S. progressives have expressed a great deal of concern about the effects of anti-immigrant hysteria in the general population, from criminal attacks on immigrants to vicious legislation like Arizona’s SB 1070.  But instead of just condemning the hysteria, maybe we need to ask ourselves what we’ve been doing to counter it. Not very much, according […]

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Labor Talks Sense About Immigration.  What Comes Next?

Something unusual happened on June 18: an important figure on the U.S. political scene spoke sensibly and realistically about immigration. The occasion was a speech at the City Club of Cleveland, and the speaker was AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.  The news wasn’t that labor was backing a rational, equitable reform of U.S. immigration laws; the […]

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Immigration Update: The Fall of the Great Wall of Boeing

On March 16, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she was cutting millions of dollars from SBInet, a high-tech “virtual fence” that Boeing Co. has been developing for use along the U.S. border with Mexico.  Her announcement came just two days before the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) was scheduled to issue a […]

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“Rebuilding Haiti” — the Sweatshop Hoax

Within days of a January 12 earthquake that devastated much of southern Haiti, the New York Times was using the disaster to promote a United Nations plan for drastically expanding the country’s garment assembly industry, which employs low-paid workers to stitch apparel for duty-free export, mainly to the U.S. market.  This, according to several opinion […]

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Helping Haiti: Our Dollars Aren’t Enough

On January 14, two days after the Port-au-Prince earthquake, I finally got a chance to look over my email, courtesy of a small Haitian NGO in a quiet, relatively undamaged neighborhood in the south of the city.  After reading and answering personal messages, I noticed that a lot of my mail consisted of appeals for […]

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Day 3 in Port-au-Prince: “A Difficult Situation”

[The author was in Port-au-Prince with a delegation when the January 12 earthquake struck the city.  Because of limited electricity and internet access, he was unable to send this report out until after he got back to New York the morning of January 18.] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan. 16 — Wednesday night, January 13, the second night […]

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