Subjects Archives: Immigration

  • Immigrant Workers Buck Long Slide in Meatpacking: Raids Follow as Backlash

    Heavily-armed federal agents stormed six Swift meatpacking plants last month and rounded up nearly 1,300 immigrant workers in one of the largest workplace raids in U.S. history.  The raids represented the climax of a year in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ratcheted up its workplace operations. ICE claims that it’s tripled its workplace raids […]

  • SEIU Members Push Their Union to Change Its Position on Immigration

    Members of the Service Employees (SEIU) in Northern California are demanding just immigration reform.  That’s not too surprising.  For the past two decades, SEIU has been one of organized labor’s strongest advocates for immigrant rights. This campaign, however, pits SEIU members not against anti-immigrant employers or politicians, but against their union’s top officials.  Dubbing their […]

  • “The Immigrants’ Rights Movement Is in Good Hands”: An Interview with Nativo Lopez

    I was at a conference titled Build the Left, Fight the Right this past June.  The speakers and workshops at the conference ranged from the war in Iraq to the immigrant rights movement in the United States.  One of the most interesting (and there were many) and hopeful (in terms of a brighter future for […]

  • Building a Mass Strike Wave: Alternatives for a New Immigrant Workers Movement

    What Happened on May Day? On May 1, 2006, the largest strike in US history took place, with over a million people on the streets in a powerful show of force.  The May Day strike represented a culmination of waves of marches across the country demanding full, immediate legalization for all undocumented immigrants, workers’ rights […]

  • 700 Immigrant Rights Activists Form National Alliance, Set Protests for Labor Day Weekend and September 30

      CHICAGO — Hundreds of immigrant activists and supporters met in Chicago August 11-13 in a national strategy convention of the legalization-for-all wing of the movement. The event was the largest of at least three national gatherings of immigration activists held over the summer, and the one that was directly based on the “Calendar Coalitions,” […]

  • Mexican and Central American Labor: The Crux of the Immigration Issue in the U.S.

    Capitalism’s demand for cheap labor is the thread that runs throughout the history of immigration in the U.S. and remains the central issue today.  Currently, the crux of the immigration issue is the status of the undocumented Mexican and Central American labor force working in this country.  Just how closely the U.S. economy is linked […]

  • Immigrants, Advocates Take Sides on Senate Guest-Worker Bill

      Andrew Stern, president of the 1.7-million-member Service Employees International Union, once likened the leadership of a mass movement to the crew on a sailboat.  What matters is the wind in the sails, he said, not the fight over who steers. The wind behind the movement for immigrant rights had reached gale force by May […]

  • As Immigrants Strike, Truckers Shut Down Nation’s Largest Port on May Day

    During the countdown to the May Day immigrant walkouts, transportation industry commentators worried about the impact that immigrant strikes would have on the nation’s ports.  Many feared repeats of the 2004 and 2005 strikes by mostly immigrant Latino port truckers (or troqueros), which crippled freight traffic up and down the West Coast. Troqueros at the […]

  • Stop Saying This Is a Nation of Immigrants!

    A nation of immigrants: This is a convenient myth developed as a response to the 1960s movements against colonialism, neocolonialism, and white supremacy. The ruling class and its brain trust offered multiculturalism, diversity, and affirmative action in response to demands for decolonization, justice, reparations, social equality, an end of imperialism, and the rewriting of history — not to be “inclusive” — but to be accurate. What emerged to replace the liberal melting pot idea and the nationalist triumphal interpretation of the “greatest country on earth and in history,” was the “nation of immigrants” story.

  • Circling the Wagons and Building Walls:Washington’s Immigration Policy

    So Bush and company want to put thousands of armed troops on the border between the United States and Mexico.  The supposed reason for this move is to stem the flow of immigrants coming into the US from the south.  I have a feeling that this move will be probably popular in Congress and amongst […]

  • Immigration and Class

    Migration between countries occurs if and when it “resolves” social and especially class contradictions inside both of them.  One set of contradictions pushes people out of a country just as another set of contradictions in other countries pulls them in.  Finally, while migration “resolves” some social contradictions, it likewise engenders or aggravates others. These days, […]

  • Nativo López on May 1: “You Get What You’re Ready to Fight for”

      NATIVO LÓPEZ is president of the Mexican American Political Association and a spokesperson for the Great American Boycott 2006 — a national day of action for immigrant rights on May 1.  Nativo talked about the huge protests against anti-immigrant legislation and plans for May 1 with SARAH KNOPP, a teacher in Los Angeles and […]

  • A Note on Immigration and the U.S. Workers [Una nota sobre la inmigración y los trabajadores estadounidenses]

    Si el pueblo trabajador en Estados Unidos ha de alcanzar unidad, autoconfianza colectiva e independencia política en el futuro próximo (¡y cuanto nos hacen falta!), la demanda del movimiento de los trabajadores inmigrantes de derechos plenos debe ser el primer punto en su agenda.  El pueblo trabajador en este país necesita darse cuenta de lo […]

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, 9 April 2006

      Yiwen Cheng lives in Kansas City, and Stephen Philion lives in Minneapolis.

  • Latino Milwaukee

      Click on an image to watch a slide show of the immigrant rights march in Milwaukee on 23 March 2006. SOURCE: Kristyna Wentz-Graff, “A Day without Latinos,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 March 2006 March 23, 2006 was a historic day for Milwaukee.  It was a day of Latinos in a city that still thinks […]

  • Invisible Immigrant Workers in Our Midst

      In October 2005, I ran into several Guatemalan guest workers in a village laundromat.  My first guess was that they worked on a large dairy farm, but in my poor Spanish and their almost non-existent English, we managed to communicate, and they made me understand that their jobs were in new home construction!  I […]

  • Indocumentado/Undocumented

    Solo, Frente a luces ajenas Oye otras voces calladas, distantes: Este puente te lleva al olvido, Te cambia de nombre. Ya nada será tuyo Escucha el sonido del tren que se aleja, El viento que roza la tarde. Ya nada será tuyo Y cuando vuelvas Traerás en las uñas, en el tacto, en tu aliento, […]