Mass Migration A Symptom Of A Dying Empire?

Migrants queue to continue their journey north at a newly built registration and transit center near Gevgelija, Macedonia August 23, 2015. © Ognen Teofilovski / Reuters

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.

Judge Rejects Obama’s ‘Fear-Mongering,’ Orders Release Of Immigrants

Immigrant rights activists gather at the Federal Building in lower Manhattan on Saturday April 5, 2014 to protest the 2 millionth deportation of an undocumented immigrant by the Obama administration. (Michael Fleshman / Flickr)

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.

Why German Universities Will Offer Free Education To Refugees

Hundreds of migrants wait outside of the reception center for refugees and asylum- seekers in Berlin, Friday, August 21, 2015

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.”

Undocumented Worker Stands Up To Billionaire Bully

Photo: "We are workers, not criminals" was a theme at the Chicago May 1, 2006, immigrant and labor rights march. (swanksalot/CC/Flickr)

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.

Tucson Protests John McCain’s Oak Flat Mess, Border Security Bill

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.58.24 AM

By María Inés Taracena in Tuscon Weekly – About 30 people gathered outside the Tucson Electric Power headquarters this morning to protest U.S. Sen. John McCain’s role in the Oak Flat giveaway to foreign mining company Resolution Copper. Some of the protesters also wanted to raise awareness on a bill McCain sponsors—SB 750—which would waive laws on all federal public land and all tribal land within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Simultaneously, the Republican senator was inside in a private meeting with TEP representatives. “He’s having three private meetings this week, private town halls, while he refuses to meet with his constituents,” says Cyndi Tuell, an attorney, conservation advocate and a volunteer with the Sierra Club’s Borderlands campaign. “We are ashamed of him for that and ashamed of him for giving away the sacred Apache land of Oak Flat in a midnight deal in Congress.”

The Refugees Are Coming!!!

Immigrant rights are human rights

By Andre Vltchek for Counterpunch – The ongoing “refugee crises” is not a “problem that Europe has to deal with”. Europe is creating the crises. Europe is not “dealing” with anything. It is, as always, cheating, lying and calculating pennies, after stealing billions. Those who don’t see it are either blind or conditioned, alternatively well paid not to see. If the mother earth gets hit, powerfully, with tremendous destructive force, pieces of it will fly, in all directions. The same applies to countries, to nations. If left in peace, states will find the way to take care of their people. The present situation is actually just a tiny reflection, an overflow of horrors that the colonized and plundered world has to endure. It is just a tiny bit of that nightmare which is taking place inside Africa, the Middle East and several parts of Asia; a tiny bit thrown back to the face of the Europeans; being brought to and left at their doorsteps.

Collective Power For Migrant Justice: Interview W/ AFSC Intern Saul Aleman

Photo: Homestead ERA

Interview with Saul Aleman by Greg Elliott – I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I came to the U.S. at the age of 3, and part of the reason my parents took the big step and decided to come to the United States was that we had very few resources, like we didn’t have enough food for me or my Mom. I decided to join the immigrant rights movement after I graduated from high school. It really shook me that there was no opportunity for me to go to college. My dad was always the person to tell me that as long as you have good grades, everything will go swell, don’t worry about the rest. In our situation, being undocumented was something we knew about but didn’t really understand, or I didn’t really comprehend what that would really mean for me, and so I couldn’t go to college. Luckily, I met a brave warrior. His name is Diego Sanchez, and he recruited me into the movement and helped me go to school, and since then I’ve been involved with the movement. I

Immigrants Object To Ankle Monitors After Detention

Ankle monitor

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske for the LA Times – GPS ankle monitors are becoming standard equipment for immigration officials along the border. In July, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, used about 9,300 ankle monitors at a time — 40% more than about six months ago. They are run by a government contractor, BI Inc., a subsidiary of the country’s second-largest prison company, which also operates immigration detention centers. Immigrants, who call the monitors grilletes, or shackles, complain that they are uncomfortable, inconvenient and carry a stigma. “They feel like a criminal,” said Sister Norma Pimentel, who runs an immigrant aid center on the Texas border, in McAllen. “They say, ‘How will I be able to work with that?’ They pray they don’t get it.” Instead of ankle monitors, advocates said immigrant families should be provided with legal and social services — that the government should shift from punishing to aiding asylum seekers, the way it assists refugees.

Opal Tometi On Building A Transnational Movement For Black Lives

Black Lives Matter cofounder Opal Tometi. (Photo: GritTV)

Interview with Opal Tometi by Laura Flanders in Truthout – Take us back a couple of years. Were you conscious of the fact, in 2013 when you saw that Black Lives Matter post from Alicia, that here was an opportunity to connect your issue, the issue of immigrants’ rights and justice, to the Black justice movement in this country? Was it a conscious thing? It was absolutely conscious. When I reached out to Alicia to say, “I really think we need an online platform to connect our groups and to connect our communities,” I had in mind that it was really important that we establish a really broad notion of who is Black America, these days. A really broad notion to ensure that this platform was big enough for the communities like the ones that I represent (my parents are Nigerian immigrants; the communities that I work with are Afro-Latinos and Caribbean and so on) and that they could also have their concerns heard. It was really important to us to ensure that it wasn’t just a movement about police killing Black people but it was also about structural racism and justice for all Black people.

Trans & Cis Woman Stop Seattle Traffic Over Deportation Center

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.06.44 AM

By Not1More – “Trans and/or Women’s Action Camp (TWAC)” in solidarity with NWDC Resistance and the Not1More movement to end detentions and deportations, at this moment is doing a civil disobedience action to bring attention to ICE presence in downtown Seattle.TWAC will be calling attention to ICE, located on 1000 Second Ave where they have a large presence and headquarters, and their local quota that guarantees a minimum of 800 beds to be filled at the immigration jail in Tacoma (aka Northwest Detention Center) operated by Geo group corporation. This quota is built into the contract between ICE Seattle and Geo and motivates the agency to round up immigrants in the area. The contract fuels the recent anti-immigrant politics in Congress that exposes the real intentions of Republicans and Democrats who both introduce and pass bills to scapegoat immigrants and exploit family tragedies.

Social Worker Blows Whistle On Private Prison In Texas

Photo Credit:

By Franco Ordoñez in McClatchy DC – Olivia López thought she’d be working with migrant mothers and children in a group-home setting when hired as a social worker at a Texas family detention center. But when she arrived at the concrete facility and the doors were unlocked to let her in, she was startled by the cacophony of cell doors clanging. “I walked in and thought, ‘oh my Lord, this is really a prison,’” she said. In an exclusive interview with McClatchy, López shared an inside perspective of troubling operations at the Karnes County Residential Center, which has been at the center of controversy over the Obama administration’s family detention policy. She described a facility where guards isolated mothers and children in medical units, nurses falsified medical reports, staff members were told to lie to federal officials and a psychologist acted as an informant for federal agents.

Federal Judge Orders Documents From Sheriff Joe Arpaio


By Reuters. Maricopa County, AZ – A Federal judge on Friday ordered U.S. marshals to seize documents from the office of controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio as part of an ongoing racial profiling case. U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued the order at an emergency hearing he convened after a court-appointed monitor reported that the sheriff’s office had failed to turn over information being sought in connection with the case. In a brief order, Snow required that 1,459 identifications apparently taken from people by sheriff’s deputies during law enforcement actions and which were about to be destroyed be produced for federal marshals. The judge also ordered that computer hard drives, documents and other materials related to an investigation involving the judge by a confidential informant be given to marshals by the end of the day on Friday.

Undocumented Immigrants Rally In New Orleans, Waiting For Relief


By Elise Foley for the Huffington Post – Hundreds of immigration advocates, some of them undocumented, waited hours outside a New Orleans courthouse on Friday as a federal appeals panel heard arguments on President Barack Obama’s deportation relief. And now they must wait as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit decides whether the deportation relief programs can go into effect even as a lawsuit from 26 states seeks to block them. The advocates expect to wait some more if the appeals court ruling doesn’t go their way — they think it won’t, given the soundly conservative records of two of the three judges on the panel — or even if it does. However the decision comes down, one side or the other will likely appeal to the Supreme Court. The deportation reprieve that Obama promised by executive action in November, which was set to begin this spring, isn’t coming anytime soon. Still, undocumented immigrants went to New Orleans to show they haven’t lost faith that it will come eventually.

7 Reasons To Scrap The $1 Billion Aid Package To Central America

Photo: Guatemala Protests

By Various in CIP Americas – This summer, Congress will decide whether to support the $1 billion aid package to Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. Prompted by the surge of children and family to the US’s southern border last year, the “Strategy for Engagement in Central America” aims to attack the ‘root causes’ of unauthorized migration. Promoted by Vice-President Biden, the plan has been endorsed by commentators across the political spectrum. Biden’s plan would invest in border security, law enforcement, economic development, and the UN’s new human rights initiatives in the region. These measures will purportedly keep Central Americans at home, busy with new jobs in safer communities under more transparent, responsive governments. At the same time, tighter border enforcement is intended to discourage migration.

Freedom Side’s Emerging Radical Democratic Imagination

Protesters with Freedom Side marched to the National Governor’s Association meeting in Nashville last year, before engaging in their first act of civil disobedience. (Twitter / Freedom Side)

By Geoff Gilbert in Waging NonViolence – The young black and brown activists descended on Nashville to stand together in resistance against the policies that criminalize them — policing practices that have the effect of racial and socio-economic profiling, like “broken windows” policies; excessive drug sentences and drug enforcement in low-income communities; the systematic separation of immigrant families made more efficient by the post-9/11 creation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the Department of Homeland Security; and the perverse social incentives created by increasing privatization of prisons and detention centers. “Criminalization of young people of color has different guises, but it’s all the same,” said Malaya Davis, an organizer with the Ohio Student Association, or OSA. “[Our] demand was just for the governors to somehow acknowledge our presence and statements.”