By Ashoka Jegroo for Waging Nonviolence, After reversing course on a decision to let thousands of visa-holding immigrant workers apply for a green card earlier than usual, the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, is now being bombarded with flower deliveries courtesy of the affected immigrants. The immigrants aren’t sending the flowers as a “Thank You” to the department though. Using the #FlowerCampaign hashtag, thousands of flowers have been sent to DHS with notes attached asking Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, to not punish immigrants for the mistakes of his department. On September 9, the State Department released its monthly “Visa Bulletin.” In that bulletin, the State Department informed certain work visa holders that they would be allowed to file a formal application for a green card, the last step in the process, earlier than usual.
By Latino Rebels – At 4 p.m. EST on September 22, a group of women — at least 100 — will enter Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. From there they’ll walk to McPherson Square downtown. By the time they reach the plaza, they’ll have been walking for eight days, from York, Pennsylvania near the Susquehanna River and across Maryland through Baltimore. They call their pilgrimage “100 Miles, 100 Women,” the goal of which is to enlist the aid of the visiting Pope Francis — also arriving in D.C. on Tuesday — in the cause for immigrant justice. The women have come from over 10 states and varying backgrounds.
By Carissa Knipe, Sierra Klingele, Ed Mast, Hannah Madrone and Matthew Horwitz in Flood The System – Today we — a group of Seattle climate activists—chained ourselves together to block deportation buses at the Northwest Detention Center. Alongside members of the Trans and/or Womyn’s Action Camp (TWAC) and Northwest Detention Center Resistance, we risked our safety and our liberty by blocking roads and preventing the week’s deportations. As climate activists we take these risks because we believe the fight for migrant and climate justice are one and the same. We hope these actions inspire others in our movement to imagine a deeper, more engaged solidarity. Some have asked us why we are taking this action when the climate is at a crisis point. At the most basic level, we believe that people of conscience must care about human suffering, violence and injustice wherever and however it takes place.
By Not 1 More – Northwest Detention Center Resistance Coalition members locked down to protest deportations at the private facility. Protesting the criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants, the protest highlights the moral injustice of privately-run for-profit detentions centers and their collaboration with local police departments creating a road to detention, and call for an end to all immigrant deportations and detentions. “Ending immigrant deportations is absolutely an environmental issue,” said Got Green executive director Jill Mangaliman. Speaking from one of the road blockades.
By Elise Foley in Huffington Post – Protesters for immigration reform interrupted Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush during a speech Monday, prompting him to vow that he will support a path to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants regardless of the political implications. “No hope without our vote,” the protesters chanted as Bush began his speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce conference in Houston. The former Florida governor, who has drawn a tough line on immigration during his bid for the White House, paused to listen. Then he attempted to assure the crowd of his support for reform, particularly for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. “Here’s what I believe: I believe we need immigration reform. I’ve been clear about this. I believe that Dream Act kids should have a path to citizenship,” he said, referring to the never-passed bill that would have allowed some young undocumented immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship.
By Middle East Monitor – Thousands of protesters across Europe took to the streets on Saturday in support of refugees heading for the continent after fleeing their war-torn countries. Local police said at least 30,000 people participated in the protest in Copenhagen, Denmark, organized by the “Refugees Welcome” group and Venligboerne (“Fellow Townspeople”) on social media. Michala Clante Bendixen from the “Refugees Welcome” group said that unlike the government, citizens have done a lot to help the refugees. The Royal police said that about 34,000 people gathered on the streets of Denmark in several protests organized on social media. Separately, another protest in support of refugees was staged in Budapest, Hungary.
By Desiree Kane in Shadow Proof – Deras’ experience is not unique. Other detainees have experienced neglect as well. “My experience coming here was very terrible and in detention it’s very racist.” said Eleana Muñon Cabrera. Her terrible trek across the Sonoran Desert from Mexico is written across her face, although she spoke little of it. She reported seeing dead bodies in the desert along the way and, though no measurable statistics exist, many women report being raped during the crossing. Instead of counseling her about her traumatic journey, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (I.C.E.) imprisoned Cabrera when she arrived with her now-deported brother. “I came here to reunite myself with my family and to have a better life,” she said.
By France24 – Around 8,500 people took part in the demonstration in Paris’s Place de la République, according to police figures, with many waving Syrian flags. “We are all descendants of immigrants,” one placard said, as the crowd chanted, “Open the borders!” Smaller rallies were held in other towns and cities across France, with around 10,000 people demonstrating in total. French public opinion has been divided over how to handle the growing number of asylum-seekers, amidst a rise in support for the anti-immigration National Front party and high unemployment. But the crowd at Place de la République – the same square where tens of thousands gathered after the deadly terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in January – was a demonstration of the shock many French people felt this week at the widely publicised photo of the drowned Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkish beach.
By Felicity Capon in Newsweek – A local left-wing politician known for supporting the housing of refugees in the German town of Freital, has spoken out about the harassment and death threats by right-wing extremists he has experienced, after his car exploded outside his house on Monday morning in what Germany’s Die Linke party (Left party) believes was a politically motivated attack. The car belonged to Michael Richter, head of the party’s faction on the town council of Freital, a town on the outskirts of Dresden in Saxony. While it is not clear what caused the blast, which did not injure anyone, police say it was the result of someone purposely “introducing an explosive agent” into the vehicle, according to German newspaper Deutsche Welle. An investigation is underway. Richter, 39, told the news site MoPo24 how he was awoken by a loud bang in the early hours of Monday morning, and looked out of his window to see black smoke rising from his car. The explosion was so powerful it damaged nearby cars on the street.
By Latino Rebels – To make sure those changes never occur, CCA and GEO have pumped millions of dollars into political campaigns. Earlier this year, the Washington Post identified “Republican politicians in Florida, Tennessee, and border states with high populations of undocumented immigrants” as being the “biggest beneficiaries” of such donations. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has received nearly $40,000 from GEO, “making him the Senate’s top career recipient of contributions from the company.” In the end, no one should expect the for-profit prison system to operate any different, and as long as it does, we will continue seeing attempts to impose harsher immigration laws and tougher punishments for minor crimes.
By Ifrah Abshir in Occupy – For so long we have been told that there is no funding in the district budget to give RBHS the support it needs. Built in 1960, our school is the only one in the district that has not yet received a full renovation. Just last year we had nearly 15 power outages, some of them causing us to attend school in the dark and cold, or even to close school for the day. Our school still has chalkboards, whereas schools in whiter and more affluent neighborhoods have smart boards and more advanced technological tools that enhance student learning. Each year, students here organize walk outs and protests, and attend school board and city hall meetings – but we only receive promises of a new building. Promises that go unfulfilled. Another public school policy that disproportionately affects students and families of lower income is the “Walk-Zone” rule.
By John Wight in RT – There is much the ancient world can still teach us, and one of the key lessons today is that mass migration – motivated by war, societal collapse, and poverty – is capable of destroying even the mightiest of empires. At the height of its power, the Roman Empire was so vast and omnipotent that it was run on the basis of the dictum: “Roma locuta est. Causa finita est” (Rome has spoken. The cause has finished). The names of its most powerful figures are as familiar to us as our own – Pompey, Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Hadrian, Vespasian, Constantine – men whose rule over the ancient world was so dominant that the only threat they faced came from within Rome itself.
By Kevin Gosztola in ShadowProof – A federal judge rejected “fear-mongering” over “illegal immigration” by President Barack Obama’s administration and ordered the government to implement changes to ensure detained mothers and children are released within the next two months. On August 6, the Justice Department requested the United States District Court of the Central District of California reconsider an order issued in July. The order found the government violated provisions of a legal agreement known as the “Flores agreement,” in force since 1997. The agreement is supposed to protect the rights of immigrant children, and the government has run afoul of the agreement by keeping migrant children, both accompanied and unaccompanied by guardians, in detention centers.
By Beatrice Gitau in CS Monitor – About 60 German universities in Germany are providing free university education to the growing population of refugees who are seeking asylum in the country, German newspaper Handelsblatt reports. Some universities are offering language tuition, have waived semester fees, provide free student passes for public transport, and give access to hardship and grant funds, according to survey done last month by the German Rectors’ Conference, a voluntary association of state universities. “Migration is a task for all of society, and universities must do their part,” University of Hildesheim president Wolfgang-Uwe Friedrich explained to Handelsblatt on why he set up the program. The Washington Post notes that, “German universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October. The country offers more than 900 English-language degrees even Americans could pursue for free, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences.”
By Americas Voice in People’s World – As the negative coverage surrounding Donald Trump’s inflammatory immigration policy paper continues to spill out, Liz Robbins of theNew York Times lifts up a critical, yet missing, voice in the current debate. Meet Ricardo Aca. Ricardo is an undocumented immigrant who works hard at three different jobs, including the Trump hotel in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. In an incredible video from New Left Media and picked up by the New York Times, Ricardo describes working as a busboy at the only restaurant at Trump Soho, and his subsequent reaction to Trump’s claim that undocumented immigrants from Mexico – hardworking immigrants like himself – are criminals. While Ricardo realizes the risks in going public -feeling Trump’s retaliatory wrath in public or at work-he also wants to speak up for his family and community, and that’s a risk he’s willing to take for them.