The “Border Beat” (March 24, 2006)

There has been flurry of immigration news this past week, most of it related to slow movements on the part of the federal government to find some alternative to workplace raids.  Here is the latest news from the borders that run deep into the heartland of this nation, and over a few of us along the way.

The “Border Beat” is at your service!

• “Pelosi Tells Illegal Immigrants That Work Site Raids are Un-American” (FOX News)
I know she looks crazy, but there’s a reasona bunch of smart people in San Francisco keep supporting Nancy Pelosi. It’s because, for a politician, she’s pretty smart, good, and principled. Well, she’s smart and good. Just look at what she told a bunch of Latinos in the beautiful city by the bay. And BTW, why do you think FOX was the only outlet to report this widely? Right! Because it the words “San Francisco,” “Pelosi,” and “legal and illegal immigrants” make them squeal like little, round…oh, sorry. I forgot this was on.

• “President Barack Obama to visit Mexico: Drug war, immigration to be discussed” (El Paso Times)
President O has scheduled his first trip to Mexico. Even though it will come during the spring break season–April 16-17–the two issues intended to dominate the meeting with Felipe Calderón are the twin “wars”–one drugs and one on brown bodies. Ironic that though both are forms of violence literally worsened by government enforcement and regulation, Obama’s team sees one as “Mexico’s fight” and the other as an issue in need of reform. Vamos a ver…

• “Obama’s civil rights nomination upsets some Latinos” (Los Angeles Times)
And here’s why President O made his big announcement about his upcoming trip to Mexico and his putting immigration front and center–because he had a room full of angry Latino politicos on his hands. The chispas from D.C. to L.A. is that Obama had picked Thomas Saenz to head up the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division (offered and accepted!) but then re-gifted his offer to another Latino star, Dominican American Thomas Perez. And why? Because Saenz is down with the illegals. And I ain’t even touching the whole “h” issue with which both “Tomás-es” struggle…

• “Obama wants to shift money, resources to SW border” (Associated Press)
Watch out what you wish for. Obama and company are stepping up the already healthy program of border militarization. Of course, they say its for added security in the wake of a wild Mexico drug war. What’s worse? Well, they’re prepping to make the argument that to afford it, we need to scale back workplace raids and shift funds to the border itself. So there! You get an end (or a reduction) in the human rights violations sponsored by your government, but we put more guns at the border. With friends like these…

• “Budget Cuts Lead to Health Service Cuts for Illegal Immigrants” (KNBC-TV)
Uhhhh, didn’t we already decide this in court? Oh yeah! That was the successful lawsuit against Prop. 187 that progressive won in defense of the human rights of immigrants, largely at the hand of lawyer Thomas Saenz, who Obama recently…ah man!

• “Recession changing flow of NE Ind. immigration” (Chicago Tribune)
This is less another story about the way a recession halts an immigration flow than it is a subtler phenomenon: how immigrants migrate within a receiver nation once here. No recession is evenly spread. And while home foreclosures are hitting the urban coasts in sharper ways than parts of the “heartland,” other aspects of the economic downturn are being more severely felt there.

• “A Slippery Place in the U.S. Work Force” (New York Times)
There is a reason people call it the only paper left in this country. In the latest installment of their ongoing “Remade in America” series, Julie Preston of the Times presents an exceedingly well-written story on the current economic crisis and immigration. For a follow-up, see the Times’ opinion section here.

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