From Derechos Humanos: A Time to Push for a Human Rights Framework in Immigration Reform

Continuing with the theme from this morning…….

“Immigration is an issue that has served as a lightning rod to divide communities.  It is not a “problem,” as it is commonly portrayed, but rather an issue across the world-the inflow and outflow of workers, tourists, capital, etc., especially with the global economic restructuring.  Since 9/11, the successful marriage of the concepts of “immigration” and “national security” has created a disconnect for the majority of the U.S. public, failing to acknowledge the complexities of immigration issues, while providing a permanent scapegoat for all societal ills.  When public opinion became increasingly negative toward immigration as a result, this was then used as a justification for “enforcement-only” policies, leading to the bloated budget and alarming size of the Department of Homeland Security…

“The militarization of the U.S.-México border has resulted in the documented deaths of at least 2,400 migrant men, women and children on the Arizona border alone.  Across the border, more than 6,000 remains have been recovered. These policies of funneling migration into the deadliest and most desolate areas have created a human rights crisis, and should be denounced by the international community.  They are a disgrace to the spirit with which border communities live and work together.  We demand the dismantling of the wall and the “virtual” wall along the border.  National Guard troops must be removed from the border, and the utilization of the military to enforce immigration and border policies prohibited.  We must end the privatization of border control and security operations on the border, putting the real security of our communities before the profits of corporations.” – For Immediate Release: Dec. 18th: A Time to Push for a Human Rights Framework in Immigration Reform.

from La Coalición de Derechos Humanos, in Tucson, AZ, where I worked during my semester in the Borderlands. Derechos knows what’s happening in Tucson, and the communities immigration reform will affect most directly need to be heard.


Senators Agree on Blueprint for Immigration –

“Under the senators’ proposal, border security would be immediately strengthened with new technology, including aerial drones, for border patrol agents, while the Department of Homeland Security would work to expand the exit control system. The United States currently has some exit controls to track departures of foreigners at most airports and seaports, but it does not track exits by land.”

via Senators Agree on Blueprint for Immigration –

When increased border security goes hand-in-hand with immigration reform, it results in more policing, more profiling of latin@s, more invasions of privacy, more fear in border and immigrant communities, more deaths of people crossing in the desert.  This story is being lost in the dialogue about immigration reform.  I don’t want drones patrolling our borders (or anywhere, for that matter), I don’t want people to walk for days through the desert, I don’t want a bigger border patrol, I don’t want exit controls (really? exit controls?).  I want people to have the right to migrate AND the right not to migrate, and for people to be able to be able to live free from fear, wherever they choose to live.

Migration is Beautiful

Check out this incredible new documentary series featuring artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez.  Migration is Beautiful shows the multi-layered roots of immigration, and highlights the art and activism happening in Tucson and around the country for migrant justice.  On one of the first days of my internship with Derechos Humanos, I entered the office, not expecting to find Isabel Garcia giving the artists featured in this film a presentation on Operation Streamline. I am so fortunate to have been able to spend time in this incredible community of activists, to have gotten to know and learn from Isabel and her colleagues at Derechos.  There are a lot of familiar faces and places here, especially in part 2.

Many of you have asked me, “So what do we need to do about immigration?”  And my answer has been probably a lot more complicated than we all would like it to be, as I’ve tried to explain the problems with NAFTA and Border Patrol and prisons and the culture of fear created in this country.  This film offers a solid and multi-dimensional analysis, often from the mouths of the people from whom I heard it first.  I hope you enjoy it!

“People want to move so they can better themselves, and no matter the reason we need to allow people the safe right and the ability to move freely so that they can fulfill their best self.” –Favianna Rodriguez

In three parts:

Articles of the Week

“By not confronting the racial aspects of economic inequality, we’ve actually hardened our former racial caste system, which had economic implications, into an economic caste system that has racial implications. From the perspective of economic rights and wrongs, both approaches appear eerily similar.”

“We Can’t Fix Our Economy Without Confronting White Supremacy” by Imara Jones

“In four years, the Obama administration has deported three-quarters of the number of people that President George W. Bush’s administration did in eight.”

“Deportations of undocumented immigrants reach new U.S. record in 2012” by The Christian Science Monitor

“We teach men to be aggressive. We teach them that is the very essence of “being a man.” We say that women are supposed to be caring and compassionate and we tell men not to be like women–to beanything but a “girl.” We teach men that anger is the only acceptable emotion for them to express–and violence is an appropriate way of expressing it. We police their masculinity in a million small ways every day from the time they are even younger than the children who died in Sandy Hook. In Katz’s words“We socialize empathy out of boys all the time.”

“We should be talking about masculinity and violence after the Sandy Hook shooting and every day” by Maya Dusenbery

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

“… When most people think of violence against sex workers their first thoughts are usually of clients or employers who become violent and while that does happen workers face violence from from many other people and institutions…” – ANARCHAFEMINISTWHORE

Things to be paying attention to:

Ronald Reagan and Comprehensive Immigration Reform by Joe Nevins on NACLA

The TUSD Unitary Status/Desegregation Plan, and the Declaration of Intellectual Warriors

And also, TUSD proposed school closures.   This hits particularly close to home, as two of my fellow BSP-ers worked at one of the schools proposed to be closed, Manzo Elementary.  Manzo is a center of community in Barrio Hollywood; some families have attended Manzo for generations.

Video by Roxanne

It’s a major week for the Tucson Unified School District

With Historic Desegregation Plan, Will Tucson Reinstate Mexican American Studies? Interview With Co-Founder Sean Arce

TUSD School Closures: ‘We’re Going to Have to Band Together As Parents, Teachers and Students’

I’m going to a community forum tonight to show my support for the MAS program and the preservation of Tucson’s neighborhood schools, including Manzo Elementary, where two of my fellow Border Studiers interned this semester.

This is not an abstract discussion.

This was posted tonight on Facebook by my friend Faren Tang.

“The latest round of hate speech in Jewett– the words “cunt” and “whore splashed in paint on the 7th floor common room– has me convinced that someone is just trying to get a reaction out of those of us who care about the safety and humanity of all. And they will. Every time. Because I will say, every time: “Not on my campus. Not in my home. Not in my community.” I refuse to allow these things to be said and done without comment.

This is not a game. This is not an abstract discussion. Saying the kinds of hateful, violent, oppressive things that these menaces to our community have been saying creates a hateful, violent culture in which hateful, violent acts occurs. People die from sex-based violence all the time. Women right here in Dutchess County are murdered by their intimate partners on a regular basis. People are raped, and beaten, and abused, and killed because they are seen as objects. Every “Cunt” every “Whore,” every “She was asking for it,” every rape joke made, every slur slung contributes to the culture where people believe that these things are true, and in that culture people rape and beat and abuse and kill. People are assaulted on this campus all the time. One in four women and one in seven men who attend this college will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate. As I’m writing this editorial, I am sitting in my bedroom in between phone calls with a woman who is in the hospital and trying to find a placement in a domestic violence shelter tonight. This is not a game.This is everyone’s problem. Every act of hate speech, every act of oppression against one group contributes to every other kind of oppression. Sexism, rape culture, racism, cissexism, heterosexsim, classism, ableism, imperialism, colonialism, capitalism are all systems of violent domination, and every act that contributes to one of these systems contributes to all of them. I refuse to stand for any of them. 

By now, I imagine many of you are tired of hearing my voice and reading my words. I am, too. This is not what I want to be doing with my time. This is not what I want any of us to have to do with our time. But I also believe it has to be done. By not reacting, by not taking a stand and insisting that this kind of oppressive, violent hate speech not be tolerated, we tacitly endorse it. And if you are tired of hearing what I have to say about this, then please, say something yourself.

I do not speak for all of feminism. I do not speak for all of feminists on this campus. I do not speak for all of feminists who consider themselves a part of Feminist Alliance. But I am speaking out because care about this. I care about all of us. And if we are going to be a community where we can feel safe, this must stop. We must not tolerate it. Not in our home. Not on our campus. Not anywhere. Not ever.”

-Faren Tang, VC ’13
I’m sad to be away from my VC community during this time on our campus.  It was only a year ago that I ran a teach-in to respond to hateful sexist and homophobic graffiti in my dorm.  I’m grateful for and proud of Faren’s and the feminist presence at Vassar right now.  Here in Tucson, I bear witness to the impact of all sorts of oppression, through bills SB 1070 and HB 2281, which are enforcing racial profiling and eliminating ethnic studies, and politicians standing at a podium, saying teachers who teach love are teaching hate, and Operation Streamline, and Tucson law enforcement questioning women who are reporting domestic violence about their own immigration status.  We have to take a stand against systemic oppression, whether it’s at Vassar or in Arizona or a federal bill or a global policy.  Faren is right – every act of oppression contributes to every other kind of oppression.

I really love this

“What I’m talking about is reinventing how we love each other and knowing that solidarity is love, collaboration is love. And really, isn’t that what queerness is about: loving? I am talking about growing and cultivating a deep love that starts with those closest to us and letting it permeate out. Starting with our own communities. Building strong foundations of love.”

-Mia Mingus, On Collaboration: Starting With Each Other, August 3, 2012