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Author Archive | David L. Wilson

Day 2 in Port-au-Prince: “Young Men with Crowbars”

[The author was in Port-au-Prince with a delegation when the January 12 earthquake struck the city.  Because of limited electricity and internet connection, he was unable to send this report out until he got back to New York the morning of January 18.  For an earlier report, see “Singing and Praying at Night in Port-au-Prince.”] […]

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Singing and Praying at Night in Port-au-Prince

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan. 13 — Several hundred people had gathered to sing, clap, and pray in an intersection here by 9 o’clock last night, a little more than four hours after an earthquake had devastated much of the Haitian capital.  Another group was singing a block away, on the other side of the Hotel Oloffson, where […]

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David L. Wilson Reports from Port-au-Prince

Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 8:41pm I’m writing from the southern part of Port-au-Prince; I have been in Haiti since last Thursday on a delegation in support of Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP), the Papay Peasant Movement. The earthquake hit less than 12 hours ago, and damage here is extensive.  The Olaffson Hotel, where I was […]

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The Trail of Dreams

A New Deal for Immigrants in 2010?

Congress is almost certain to consider some sort of reform to the immigration system in 2010; when it does, we can expect a repeat of the “tea bag” resistance we saw at last summer’s town halls on healthcare reform.  The healthcare precedent “bodes badly” for immigration, Marc R. Rosenblum, a senior policy analyst at the […]

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Mexican Layoffs, U.S. Immigration: The Missing Link

On the night of October 10, Mexican police and soldiers occupied installations of Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC), the publicly owned electric company that provided power to Mexico City and the surrounding states.  A few minutes later, center-right Mexican president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa decreed the company’s liquidation, merging it with the national power company, […]

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The Truth about Amnesty for Immigrants

“Amnesty” has become one of the dirtiest words in U.S. politics.  Immigration opponents use it to attack any plan — however restrictive and punitive — to regularize the status of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.  Immigration advocates avoid the word, substituting euphemisms like “a path to citizenship.” Amnesty’s big problem […]

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It’s Not about Zelaya

Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is a rancher and business owner who wears large cowboy hats and, in November 2005, was elected president of Honduras, an impoverished Central American country with a population of 7.5 million.  On June 28 of this year the Honduran military, backed by the country’s elite, removed Zelaya from power.  He instantly became […]

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Illegal People

The Immigration System: Maybe Not So Broken

David Bacon, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants, Beacon Press, 2008.  Hardcover, 261 pages, $26.95. With the Obama administration reportedly set to push for immigration reform this year, the debate on immigration seems likely to start up again.  If it’s anything like the debate we got from the mainstream media in previous […]

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Why They Hate Immigrant Workers, and Why We Love Them

On Tuesday, December 9, the anti-immigrant lobbyists at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) held a press conference in downtown Washington, DC to promote their “Immigration Reform Agenda for the 111th Congress.” The press conference followed the new line that groups like FAIR have adopted since the financial crisis broke out last September.  Undocumented […]

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The Financial Crisis Hits the Immigration Debate

Part of the right wing routinely blames undocumented immigrants for just about everything.  On September 24, nine days after the financial meltdown started in earnest, the National Review Web site carried an article by columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin blaming “illegals” for the crisis and the subsequent bailout of the banks.  “The Mother of All […]

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The Great Wall of Boeing

On September 10 the U.S. government acknowledged that its Secure Border Initiative (SBI) was behind schedule and over budget.  Promoted in 2005 as a new way to block unauthorized immigration, the $2.7 billion project was supposed to create a 670-mile physical and “virtual” fence by the end of this year along the 2,000-mile border with […]

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Union-busting by any other name…

The huge meatpacking plant had been cited by government agencies for numerous violations of environmental and labor laws and for “acts of inhumane slaughter” of animals.  New inquiries were under way into allegations of wage violations and the illegal employment of minors.  A large national union was trying to organize the factory’s 970 workers.  But […]

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Talking Immigration with Mr. Block

The comic strip adventures of Mr. Block first appeared in 1912 in publications of the Industrial Workers of the World.  With his thick, cubic head, Mr. Block, the creation of IWW cartoonist Ernest Riebe, typified a classic type of US worker: scoffing at the idea of working-class solidarity, Mr. Block always sided with his employers […]

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