lunes, 9 de septiembre de 2013

Reforma migratoria podría frenarse 2 años


Reforma migratoria podría frenarse 2 años


Sitios Relacionados:
WASHINGTON (Agencias).— El tema de Siria y otros considerados urgentes en el Congreso de Estados Unidos podrían postergar la reforma migratoria un par de años, comentó ayer el congresista republicano Raúl Labrador.
“Tenemos la situación en Siria, tenemos la situación monetaria, la situación de lo que se llama el tope de la deuda, que es el límite de la deuda que tenemos en Estados Unidos”, dijo el legislador en entrevista con Jorge Ramos para el programa Al Punto de Univisión. “Todas estas cosas están avanzando; son las cosas que tenemos que hacer ahora inmediatamente”, mencionó Labrador.
“Desafortunadamente, yo pienso que eso va a retrasar un poco el debate acerca de inmigración” , advirtió. Labrador fue entrevistado en la víspera del regreso del Congreso a sesiones este lunes, luego del periodo vacacional de legisladores en el verano. Ramos dijo al congresista que si la reforma migratoria deja de proceder en 2013, para el siguiente año sería más difícil que avance, pues es año electoral.
“Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted”, respondió el legislador. “Creo que si no lo hacemos ahora en 2013, no va a suceder en 2014; y eso significa que vamos a tener que esperar hasta 2015”, comentó.
Dijo que pensaban debatir la reforma migratoria en octubre. “Pero ahora con los problemas internacionales que tenemos y también en la nación, no creo que vamos a poder tener este debate hasta noviembre. Y realmente no sé si en noviembre se va a poder hacer”, anotó. Labrador es uno de los pocos miembros de la mayoría republicana en la Cámara de Representantes que podría influir para aprobar una reforma migratoria.
Por otra parte, se informó que la mayor federación sindical de EU, AFL-CIO, presentará una resolución para apoyar una reforma migratoria integral en su convención esta semana en Los Ángeles.

lunes, 19 de agosto de 2013


farm workers strike against guest worker threat
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David Bacon Fotografias y Historias
By David Bacon
Al Jazeera America, posted 8/19/13
[Long version]

Strikers at the gate into Labor Camp; 2, where they live during the picking season.

BURLINGTON, WASHINGTON -- Filemon Pineda traveled a thousand miles to northwest Washington to pick strawberries and blueberries, as he's done for three years.  He left Santa Maria, California, in April, got picking jobs for himself and his wife at Sakuma Brothers Farms, one of the state's largest berry growers, and was assigned a dilapidated cabin in Labor Camp 2.

He bought a cheap bunk bed, and the company gave him some ancient mattresses, one even wrapped in an old black plastic sheet.  His three small children slept together on one bunk, while he spread the other mattresses on the concrete floor, which he covered with carpet samples.

When he went to work, though, he found he wasn't making enough to survive the coming winter, once the family returned to California.  He and his coworkers in Camp 2 stewed over their problems for several months.  Finally, in July, they'd had enough.  When the blueberry picking started, the company fired Federico Lopez on July 10 for asking for a wage raise, and workers went on strike on July 11 to get his job back.

They organized a committee, Families United for Justice, and later formulated a list of demands that included wage raises and improvements in conditions in the labor camp where they lived.  Sakuma Brothers Farms has two labor camps - temporary housing for migrant workers during the picking.  Over 200 families live in Camp 2.

Lopez was rehired on July 15, and workers returned to their picking jobs while they continued to negotiate with the company.  On July 20 they struck again, accusing the company of lowering their piecerate wage.  On July 26 they went back to work, while continuing to talk about wage increases.  Company picking records showed that 248 workers had participated in the strike - the vast majority of the 278 working at the time.

In the course of these negotiations, however, the workers discovered the limit to any improvements they could expect.  Sakuma Brothers Farms had made an application with the Department of Labor for 160 H2A guest workers in April, which a labor contractor would hire in Mexico, and bring to the farm in August to pick late blueberries and blackberries.

"They negotiated with us, which was a big achievement," explains Rosalinda Guillen, director of Community2Community.  The farm worker advocacy and organizing project she heads in northwest Washington was the workers' key source of support.

Guillen concluded, however, that the main reason the company negotiated was fear that their application for H2A workers would be suspended because of the strike.  Federal regulations prohibit employing H2A workers if a labor dispute exists at the employer.  According to Nina Martinez of the Latino Civic Alliance, a group of Washington state Latino political activists, the Department of Labor only lifted a suspension on Sakuma's application when workers returned to work on July 26.  "That's why Sakuma negotiated," Guillen believes.  "They had to end the labor dispute."

The H2A program was established in 1986, to allow U.S. agricultural employers to hire workers in other countries, and bring them to the U.S.  In this program, the company first must certify that it has tried to hire workers locally.  If it can't find workers at the wage set by the state employment department, and the department agrees that the company has offered the jobs, the grower can then hire workers outside the country.  The U.S. government provides visas that allow them to work only for this employer, and only for a set period of time, less than a year.  Afterwards, they must return to their home country.  If they're fired or lose their job before the contract is over, they must leave right away.  Growers must apply for the program each year.

In the past, Sakuma Farms relied on local workers and migrants from California, like Pineda's family, to fill its 7-800 picking jobs at the peak of the harvest during the summer.  This is the first year the company has applied to bring in H2A workers.

The company's use of this contract labor program supports accusations made by critics over the years - that guest worker programs hold down wages.  With Congress debating vastly expanded programs like H2A, this impact could become much more widespread, and even determine the overall wage level for other workers in agriculture and industries heavily dependent on immigrants.  According to a report by Farmworker Justice, a farm labor advocacy group in Washington D.C., "Guest worker programs drive down wages and working conditions of U.S. workers and deprive foreign workers of economic bargaining power." 

Sakuma Brothers Farms is owned by a family business, Sakuma Brothers Holding Company, which has annual sales of $6.1 million.   The family has farmed in the Skagit Valley for decades.  During World War Two the Sakumas were interned because of their Japanese ancestry, and would have lost their land, as many Japanese farmers did, had it not been held in trust for them by another local rancher until the war ended.  Today the business has grown far beyond its immigrant roots, and is one of the largest berry growers in Washington, where berries are big business.  The company considers itself "vertically integrated," owning a retail outlet, a freezer and processing plant, and a chain of nurseries in California that grow the rootstock for strawberry plants for its own operations, as well as those of other growers.

By contrast, Sakuma workers had very few resources.  They struck twice, until many families had no food left, and the hot dog lunch brought in by local community supporters became their main meal of the day.  The striking workers felt threatened by the impending arrival of the H2A workers.  "That's why we're fighting," Pineda said.  "I want to come back next year - I need to work.  But I'm worried that when we come back the H2As will be here.  Sakuma says there aren't enough workers, but here we are, and he doesn't want to pay us fairly.  He told us, 'There's the field.  If you want to work, ok.  If not, get out of the camp.'  He doesn't see us as important people."  Added one young striker, 18-year old Teofila Raymundo, "I've seen them treat my dad bad, but he comes back because he needs this job."

Strikers were motivated as much by discrimination as they were over wages.  Most strikers come from towns in Oaxaca and southern Mexico where people speak Mixteco and Triqui, indigenous languages that predate the Spanish colonization.  Bernardo Ramirez, who heads an organization of indigenous Mexicans, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, traveled from Oaxaca to support them.  "Foremen have insulted them, shouted at them and called them 'burros [donkeys],'" he charged.  "When you compare people to animals, this is racism. We're human beings.  Low wages are a form of racism too, because they minimize the work of indigenous migrants."

With the blueberries in danger of getting overripe before the guest workers arrived, the company sat down and talked.  In addition to rehiring Federico Lopez, the Sakumas discussed other problems, and resolved some, like replacing the ancient mattresses in the camp.  But when it came to wages, "the H2A rate limits what's possible," Guillen says.  "The workers asked for $14/hour but had to accept $12 because that's what the workers who were coming would get."  The company pays a piece rate, and guarantees that workers will earn at least the hourly wage.  Workers were demanding an improvement in both - a $14 hourly guarantee, and a minimum price of $6 a box.  The company would not pay more than $4 a box, and a $12 per hour guarantee, saying that the higher demand would raise its labor costs too much.

When workers work at a piece rate, they earn according to the number of boxes they pick. If the field is bad or they don't pick fast enough, a guaranteed rate ensures that they still make a set minimum per hour. They also wanted a higher piece rate - $6 instead of $4 per box. People who pick quickly would earn a lot more.

Twelve dollars sounds like a lot for farm labor, which often pays close to minimum wage.  But workers have only a few months to earn enough to support large families through the winter, when work is scarce and they have to live off their savings.  According to one striker who's worked at Sakuma Brothers Farms for five years, Lucia Martinez,  "by December our money has run out, and we have to get loans to survive."

The evolving H2A program

Sakuma's application for H2A workers became very controversial in the small towns of Skagit Valley.  The company justified it, saying it faced a labor shortage that led to the loss of blackberries last year, and strawberries this year, when it said it couldn't find enough workers to pick them.  But the farm was also unwilling to raise its wages to attract additional pickers.

"If we [do], it unscales it for the other farmers," says Ryan Sakuma, who manages the operation with his father and brothers.  "We're just robbing from the total [of workers available].  And we couldn't attract them without raising the price hugely to price other growers out.  That would just create a price war."  Ryan Sakuma says he faces pressure on prices from customers, especially ice cream companies, which keeps him from raising wages.   "[They] can get berries cheaper in California...There's competition from Mexico too."  He pegged his farm's wages to the H2A program:  "Everyone at the company will get the H2A wage for this work."

The government sets the H2A wage state-by-state at a level that supposedly prevents employers from using guest workers to undermine local wage levels.  Washington State has one of the highest -- $12 this year, $10.47 last year.  In other states it's very close to the minimum.

The use of guest workers in agriculture could grow rapidly if the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate earlier this year becomes law.  S. 744 would replace the H2A program with a new, expanded guest worker program.  The maximum number of visas available in the first five years of the new program would reach 337,000.  In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor certified 85,248 H2A visas.

Some workers in the new proposed program would be allowed to move from one registered employer to another, and stay longer than a year, but would have to leave if they were not working.  States would no longer certify growers' claims they'd tried to find local workers, nor would they set wages.  Instead, the bill sets a national wage for various farm jobs.  For the kind of work performed by the berry pickers at Sakuma Brothers Farm, that wage would be $9.64 per hour.  That is $2.34 below the guest worker wage set by Washington State this year, and is only 45¢ above Washington's minimum wage of $9.19 an hour.

The current H2A program requires farms like Sakuma to provide housing, and the company planned to house its H2A workers in one of its labor camps.  In the Senate bill, however, growers could give workers a housing subsidy instead of actually supplying housing, leaving them on their own to find an actual place to live.  In the small towns of Skagit Valley, as in most agricultural areas, that would be difficult because there is little housing available for migrant families.

Interest in bringing in H2A workers has grown rapidly in Washington State, and some local activists feel growers are preparing to implement much larger programs if Congress enacts a reform like S. 744.  A decade ago there were no H2A workers in Washington.  Last year the U.S. Department of Labor certified applications for 7,086 workers, more than double the 3,194 of the previous year, making the state the third highest nationally after North Carolina and Georgia.  The nation's second largest contractor for those workers was the Washington Farm Labor Association, with 2,293 workers -- the contractor used by Sakuma Brothers Farms.

In eastern Washington in 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security forced Gebbers Farms, a large apple grower, to fire 550 workers because they had no legal immigration status.  Gebbers was then certified to bring in 800 H2A workers from Mexico, and 400 from Jamaica.  Before filing his own application, Ryan Sakuma traveled to the Yakima Valley, a large agricultural area in central Washington where other employers have begun to use the H2A program, to hear their experiences.

He says he's not worried about the kind of immigration audit the government did at Gebbers, but his father Steve said the family was worried about another part of the Senate's immigration reform, that would require employers to check the immigration status of all their workers using a database called E-Verify.   "We worry about E-Verify," he said.  "Maybe 70-80% of farm workers wouldn't get through.  And if you eliminate 70-80% of the workforce, growers are in trouble."  According to the U.S. Department of Labor's National Agricultural Workers Survey, over half of the nation's farm workers are undocumented immigrants.

Nevertheless, with or without legal status, farm workers organize and go on strike often.  Ironically, the controversy over H2A workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms and elsewhere pits immigrant guest workers from Mexico against immigrant Mexican workers already living in the U.S.  "We know they need jobs too, but all we're asking for is a fair wage," said striker Marcelina Hilario.  

Some gains were made

Workers struck previously at Sakuma Farms.  "In 2004 there was a strike, and they began to pay better, $6 a box," said Pineda.  "But the price only lasted that year, and then they went back to the way it was before."  Strikers wanted overtime pay this year as well - farm workers are excluded from overtime protection under both Federal and Washington state laws.  They didn't get that either.

They were successful, however, in giving the daughters of some pickers access to jobs checking the weight of the boxes picked by workers - easier work than picking.  The company previously had hired local students on summer break, mostly white, for those jobs.   The pickers' daughters wanted to be considered as well.  "They always gave those jobs based on favoritism," alleged one, 18-year old Marcelina Hilario.  In negotiations, she and her friends got them.

Other young people working with their parents had accused the company of paying them less than minimum wage.  "One check I got came out to $148 for working for five days.  I was working all day, even when it was raining," said 13-year old Rosalba Raymundo.  The company promised to investigate and rectify those complaints as well.  In Washington State, teenagers are permitted to work in the fields during schools' summer break.

Guillen believes the use of the H2A program undermines the wages and conditions for workers like the strikers.  She worries even more about the Senate bill and Congressional proposals to expand guest worker programs.  "They devalue farm work," she charges, "and view workers just as a source of profit, instead of skilled people in a profession that can sustain families.  Their whole philosophy is 'anyone can do it.'  The company sets the price, pays what it wants, and then sends them back to Mexico.  Workers have to accept whatever the company gives them."

Bernardo Ramirez says Congress' plan for guest workers is raising doubts in Mexico as well - the country from which both the strikers and the guest workers are coming.  "We don't think a guest worker program will make life better for people in either Mexico or the U.S.  Sakuma wants to bring in these workers because he's not willing to pay a just wage to the people already here."

Striker Lucia Martinez doubts this situation will change.  "I have two daughters," she said.  "I don't want them to work in the field like me."

Coming in September, 2013 from Beacon Press:
THE RIGHT TO STAY HOME:  Ending Forced Migration and the Criminalization of Immigrants

DISPLACED, UNEQUAL AND CRIMINALIZED - A Report for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on the political economy of immigration

Radio interview with Leticia Nava, fired Hilton worker, and Sara Garcia, Casa de Vecinos Organizados, about the impact of E-Verify firings and immigration reform

With Solange Echevarria of KWMR about growers push for guest worker programs. Advance to 88 minutes for the interview.

See also Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

Entrevista con activistas de #yosoy132 en UNAM
Interview by activists of #yosoy132 at UNAM (in Spanish)

Two lectures on the political economy of migration

For more articles and images, see  http://dbacon.igc.org

sábado, 8 de junio de 2013

Rescatados por el Ejército, 165 migrantes que estaban secuestrados

Fueron localizados en Tamaulipas; 20 menores y dos embarazadas, entre ellos
Rescatados por el Ejército, 165 migrantes que estaban secuestrados
Es la operación más grande anunciada hasta ahora; en 2010 se ‘‘salvó’’ a 88 en Chiapas
Los cabecillas de los plagiarios podrían pertenecer al cártel del Golfo o a Los Zetas
Patio de la casa de seguridad en la que permanecían cautivos los 165 migrantes en el municipio tamaulipeco de Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. La imagen fue proporcionada por la Secretaría de Gobernación
Fabiola Martínez
Periódico La Jornada
Viernes 7 de junio de 2013, p. 3
Elementos del Ejército Mexicano rescataron el martes pasado a 165 migrantes (151 extranjeros y 14 mexicanos), quienes permanecieron secuestrados ‘‘dos o tres semanas’’ en una casa de seguridad en Tamaulipas. Entre las víctimas –casi todas procedentes de Centroamérica– había 20 menores de edad y dos mujeres embarazadas.
El gobierno federal advirtió que grupos de traficantes de personas, conocidos como polleros, enganchan a migrantes para entregarlos a bandas criminales.
Fuentes del gabinete de seguridad indicaron que la delincuencia organizada se ha repartido la ruta del migrante para secuestrar y extorsionar ‘‘como si fuera una franquicia’’.
En este reciente caso, no se dilucida aún la autoría de los secuestros; los cabecillas, indicaron, pudieran pertenecer al cártel del Golfo o a Los Zetas, como parte de la disputa por el control del corredor hacia Estados Unidos.
En total, se ubicó a 151 extranjeros: 77 salvadoreños (ocho de ellos menores de edad), 50 guatemaltecos (se identificó a 10 menores) y 23 hondureños (incluidos dos niños). También había una persona procedente de la India. En el grupo de rescatados estaban además 14 mexicanos.
Este rescate es el más grande del que las autoridades hayan informado hasta ahora. En 2010 se reportó un operativo similar, en Arriaga, Chiapas, en donde fueron ‘‘salvados’’ 88 migrantes.
Sin embargo, este modus operandi de la delincuencia no es nuevo. En 2010 resultó fatídico un secuestro colectivo: 72 migrantes fueron ejecutados en un rancho ubicado en San Fernando, Tamaulipas.
Elementos de la Marina encontraron los cadáveres apilados en esa finca; se adjudicó la masacre a Los Zetas.
En tanto, en marzo pasado se rescató a 54 extranjeros retenidos por secuestradores en la capital chiapaneca.
Eduardo Sánchez, vocero del gabinete de seguridad, precisó ayer en un mensaje a medios que los 165 migrantes fueron rescatados por militares en un inmueble ubicado en la colonia Las Fuentes, municipio Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas.
El origen, aseveró, fue una denuncia ciudadana; personal militar acudió al lugar en donde estaba una persona (Juan Cortés Arrez) portando arma larga; al notar la presencia de los uniformados pretendió huir.
De inmediato, los elementos castrenses ingresaron a la casa y hallaron a las personas, quienes declararon que habían sido privadas de su libertad –en diferentes puntos de la frontera– y llevados a ese inmueble en donde permanecieron ‘‘en condiciones precarias, insalubres y de hacinamiento’’.
Agrega: ‘‘Todo parece indicar que estas personas, los migrantes, son contactados por traficantes comúnmente llamados polleros y que estos delincuentes en vez de llevarlos a la frontera, los entregan a grupos criminales’’, dijo Sánchez. El presunto secuestrador tiene 20 años de edad y fue detenido, mientras que los extranjeros fueron llevados a una estación del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) en Tamaulipas; en las siguientes horas serán enviados a la estación del organismo en Iztapalapa.
El comisionado del INM, Ardelio Vargas, advirtió esta semana que las agresiones a migrantes se han incrementado tanto en la frontera norte como en la sur.
En entrevistas anteriores ha resaltado que esta problemática es un tema de seguridad, por lo que las indagatorias deben estar apoyadas en trabajo de inteligencia. Reveló incluso que el instituto a su cargo infiltra agentes en los grupos de extranjeros, para ubicar a los traficantes y secuestradores (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2013).
Si en la frontera norte se ha revelado la existencia de la colusión referida, en el sur las alertas son por el asentamiento en territorio nacional de presuntos delincuentes que cobran derecho de paso. En abril pasado se informó de la detención de nueve indocumentados armados, relacionados con el homicidio de dos hondureñas en Palenque, Chiapas.
También fueron detenidos dos integrantes de una célula de la banda conocida como Mara Salvatrucha, dedicada a extorsionar y secuestrar a indocumentados centroamericanos. Esta aprehensión se realizó en el estado de Chiapas, aunque los integrantes de esa pandilla y sus cómplices operan también en Oaxaca y Veracruz. Igualmente se detuvo a El Killer, supuesto cabecilla de un grupo que opera desde hace varios años en las rutas del tren Chiapas-Oaxaca y Chiapas-Veracruz.
Las agresiones a migrantes han trascendido estas rutas terrestres. En mayo pasado, la Secretaría de Marina y el INM detallaron el rescate –en diversos operativos– de 150 migrantes abandonados en altamar, en el área ubicada entre Baja California, México, y California, Estados Unidos.

domingo, 2 de junio de 2013

Migrantes se protegen contra violaciones


Migrantes se protegen contra violaciones

Migrantes centroamericanas se han visto obligadas a consumir anticonceptivos en su trayecto de México hacia EU para evitar embarazos por violaciones sexuales. PRD exige a partidos actuar ante la problemática
 Las mujeres migrantes de Centroam�rica que se internan a M�xico rumbo a Estados Unidos, est�n expueRIESGO Las mujeres migrantes de Centroamérica que se internan a México rumbo a Estados Unidos, están expuestas a ser víctimas de delincuentes, “polleros” y a caer dentro de las redes de trata de personas, denunciaron diputadas del PRD y PRI . (Foto: ARCHIVO EL UNIVERSAL )

Notas Relacionadas

Sitios Relacionados

Domingo 02 de junio de 2013Juan Arvizu | El Universal04:15

Ante los riesgos extremos a que se exponen las migrantes centroamericanas en su trayecto hacia Estados Unidos, se ven obligadas a tomar anticonceptivos para evitar el embarazo por violaciones sexuales, advirtieron ponentes de la Reunión Regional de la Internacional Socialista de Mujeres.
Mónica Soto Elízaga, secretaria de Equidad y Género del PRD, al abordar la situación de trabajo de la mujer migrante que busca empleo en Estados Unidos, dio cuenta del escenario de inseguridad en el que se trasladan de los países centroamericanos y se internan a México, para finalmente buscar su ingreso al país del norte.
Urgió que los partidos políticos actúen ante la problemática que enfrenta la mujer migrante, que es víctima desde su condición femenina, de delincuentes, polleros y, más aún, expuesta a caer dentro de las redes de trata de personas.
La gran mayoría de las mujeres que migran en la región se trasladan entre países en busca de empleo y mejores condiciones de vida y en ese sentido es que al emprender el viaje, el riesgo de violación sexual se ha convertido en una agresión de mayor incidencia, reportó Soto Elízaga.
“Las mujeres que emigran de Centroamérica toman anticonceptivos, porque saben que pueden ser violadas en el trayecto”, insistió la representante del PRD en la Reunión Regional de la Internacional Socialista de Mujeres.
Los riesgos de la mujer han aumentado, a la vez que ha crecido de manera notable la trata de personas, y este esquema de condiciones de inseguridad debe motivar a los partidos políticos a impulsar políticas públicas que respondan a sus necesidades, dijo Soto Elízaga.
Senadoras y diputadas del PRI y PRD, así como la representación de la Internacional Socialista de Mujeres, organizaron la reunión a la que concurrieron representantes de 10 países, para analizar los temas de la igualdad de salario, condiciones de trabajo y el trabajo informal.
Diva Gastélum, dirigente de las mujeres priístas, dijo que se debe conciliar la vida laboral con las responsabilidades familiares de las mujeres y en ese sentido, eliminar las diferencias de salario.
“Desde nuestros partidos podemos generar muchos cambios y de allí llevarlos al Congreso”, señaló la también vicepresidenta de la Internacional Socialista de Mujeres.
La diputada Martha Lucía Mícher Camarena (PRD), indicó que en la reforma laboral mexicana se excluyó al trabajo doméstico que desempeñan 2.5 millones de personas.
Se trata de un trabajo invisible que debe ser reconocido en la ley, y en el que se debe considerar como empleo a las labores de atención a personas de la tercera edad y niños.
En otro orden de ideas, en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, autoridades lograron la captura de nueve hombres presuntamente ligados al asesinato de dos mujeres indocumentadas que se habrían negado a pagar “cuota”.
La captura se realizó en un tramo carretero en Tabasco.
En el operativo fueron detenido Samuel “N”, Carlos Antonio “N” , Douglas Alexander “N”, Óscar Edgardo “N”, Jhony Alexander “N”, Juan Pablo “N”, Fidel Antonio “N”, originarios de Honduras. Además de Daniel Guadalupe “N” y Agustín “N”, de Chiapas.

sábado, 1 de junio de 2013

43 indocumentados de India y CA


Aseguran en Ecatepec 43 indocumentados de India y CA

Señala la PGJEM que 30 personas eran de la India y 13 de países centroamericanos; seis mexicanos fueron detenidos durante el operativo
Notas Relacionadas
31 de mayo 2013 11:03
Juan Manuel Barrera
31 de mayo 2013
En un operativo conjunto de la Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado de México y la Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana (SSC) de la entidad fueron asegurados en este municipio 43 indocumentados, 30 de ellos de la India y 13 de países de Centroamérica.
Durante el operativo fueron detenidos también seis mexicanos, quienes supuestamente vigilaban a los extranjeros.
La Procuraduría mexiquense informó en un comunicado que policías ministeriales detectaron el ingreso de varias personas a un domicilio ubicado en calle Teotihuacan, colonia Luis Donaldo Colosio, en Ecatepec.
En el sitio fueron aseguradas 43 personas, entre ellas 30 hombres originarios de la India, dos salvadoreños y 11 hondureños, entre ellos cinco mujeres.
Los asegurados fueron presentados ante el Ministerio Público Federal, que a su vez los canalizará al Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM).
El estado de México es paso de indocumentados, sobre todo municipios como Tultitlán y Huehuetoca, que son parte del camino de miles de centroamericanos en su recorrido hacia Estados Unidos a bordo de La Bestia.

Anodis :: Discriminación y homofobia por parte de empleados de Univision

Anodis :: Discriminación y homofobia por parte de empleados de Univision


December, 18th 2013 Global Action Day for migrants

December, 18th 2013 Global Action Day for migrants - Journée d’Action Globale pour les droits des migrants, refugiés et déplacés du 18 décembre 2013 - Jornada de Acción Global por los derechos de l@s migrantes, refugiad@s y desplazad@s el 18 de diciembre de 2013
Dear friends
I am writing to you regarding next Global Action Day for migrants, refugees and evacuees rights, on December, 18th 2013.
It would be important keeping on the way that allowed us to give more visibility to this Day and especially to the convergence of our initiatives.
As you could see at the Migrants World Assembly, held in Tunisi, December 18th has been included among the common initiatives to realize. We want to reflect with you about a possible topic, connotative for this year’s Day.
In addition to keeping claiming the request for the ratification or implementation of the International Convention about the protection of migrant workers and their family members, it is important to put in the first place also other aspects regarding the fight for migrants rights.
I take the liberty of suggesting an idea about what could be a topic for this year in my opinion. During the last World Migration Forum, held in Manila, several organizations highlighted the problem of the migrant criminalization.
This criminalization leads, among other things, to the realization of migratory policies all around the world with the only purpose of locking migrants, causing a creation of more and more kinds of detention centers.
For this reason, we could maybe dedicate this December 18th to the migrant criminalization problem, and to the reporting of detention centers.
I am looking forward to your suggestions so that we could establish, as much as possible collectively, the topic that will be given prominence on December 18th 2013.
Please send your suggestions to:
Warm regards,
Edda Pando
(Arci Italia)
Chères amies, chers amis, chers camarades,
je vous écris au sujet de la prochaine Journée d’Action Globale pour les droits des migrants, refugiés et déplacés du 18 décembre 2013.
Il serait important de continuer sur la voie que nous a permis de donner une visibilité majeure à cette journée et surtout à la convergence de nos initiatives.
Comme vous avez vu à l’occasion de l’Assemblée Mondiale des Migrants qui a eu lieu à Tunis, la journée du 18 décembre a été incluse parmi les initiatives communes à réaliser. Nous voudrions discuter avec vous par rapport à celui qui pourrait être le thème caractérisant de la journée cette année.
En plus de continuer, évidemment, à revendiquer la demande de ratification ou mise en œuvre de la Convention Internationale sur la protection des droits de tous les travailleurs migrants et des membres de leur famille, il est important de poser au premier plan même d’autres aspects qui concernent la lutte pour les droits des migrant et des migrantes.
Je me permets de donner une idée sur ce que je considère pourrait être un thème pour cette année. A l’occasion du dernier Forum Mondial sur la Migration réalisé à Manille, de nombreuses organisations ont soulevé la problématique de la criminalisation de la figure du migrant.
Cette criminalisation porte, entre autres, à la mise en œuvre de politiques migratoires dans le monde entier dont le seul but est d’enfermer les migrants, en donnant lieu à la création toujours croissante de différentes typologies de lieux de détention.
Donc, nous pourrions peut-être dédier ce 18 décembre au problème de la criminalisation de la figure du migrant et à la dénonciation des lieux de détention.
J’attends vos suggestions afin qu’on décide le plus collectivement possible le sujet auquel donner relief le 18 décembre 2013.
Nous vous prions d’envoyer vos suggestions à :
Je vous embrasse
Edda Pando
(Arci Italia)
Querid@s amig@s y compañer@s
Les escribo en relación a la próxima Jornada de Acción Global por los derechos de l@s migrantes, refugiad@s y desplazad@s el 18 de diciembre de 2013.
Sería importante seguir el camino que nos ha permitido dar mayor visibilidad a la jornada y sobre todo a la convergencia de nuestras actividades.
Como han podido ver, la Jornada del 18 de diciembre ha sido incluída entre las iniciativas comunes aprobadas por la Asamblea Mundial de Migrantes que se realizó en Túnez. Quisiéramos poder razonar con ustedes para verificar cuál puede ser el argumento que caracterize la jornada este año.
Mas allá de seguir reinvindicando la ratificación o aplicación de la Convención internacional sobre la protección de los derechos de todos los trabajadores migratorios y de sus familiares creemos es importante poner el acento sobre otros aspectos que conciernen la batalla por los derechos de l@s migrantes.
Me permito dar una sugerencia sobre aquel che podría ser el argumento de este año. En el último Forum Mundial de las Migraciones en Manila, diferentes organizaciones plantearon el problema de la criminalización de la figura del migrante.
Esta criminalización lleva entre otras cosas, a la aplicación de políticas migratorias en todo el mundo cuyo único objetivo es encerrar a l@s migrantes en diferentes lugares de detención.
Es por ello que podríamos dedicar este 18 de diciembre a la denuncia de la criminalización de la figura del migrante y de los lugares de detención.
Envín por favor sus sugerencias de manera que podamos decidir colectivamente qué argumento resaltar este 18 de diciembre de 2013.  
Pueden escribir a:
Un abrazo
Edda Pando
(Arci Italia)
Cari amici/che compagni/e
Vi scrivo in merito alla prossima Giornata d'Azione Globale per i diritti dei e delle migranti, rifugiati ed sfollati il 18 dicembre 2013.
Sarebbe importante continuare sulla strada che ci ha permesso di dare maggiore visibilità alla giornata e sopratutto alla convergenza delle nostre iniziative.
Come avete potuto vedere nell'Assemblea Mondiale dei Migranti che si è svolta a Tunisi la Giornata del 18 dicembre è stata inclusa tra le iniziative comune a realizzarsi. Vorremo ragionare insieme a voi rispetto a quale potrebbe essere l'argomento caratterizzante della giornata quest'anno.
Oltre ovviamente a continuare a rivendicare la richiesta della ratifica o l'applicazione della Convenzione Internazionale sulla protezione dei lavoratori migranti e dei membri delle loro famiglie è importante porre in primo piano anche altri aspetti che concernono la battaglia per i diritti dei e delle migranti.
Mi permetto di dare uno spunto su quello che considero potrebbe essere un argomento per quest'anno. All'ultimo Forum Mondiale delle Migrazioni realizzato a Manila, diverse organizzazioni hanno posto la problematica della criminalizzazione della figura del migrante.
Questa criminalizzazione porta, tra le altre cose, alla messa in atto di politiche migratorie in tutto il mondo il cui unico scopo è quello di rinchiudere i/le migranti dando luogo alla creazione sempre maggiore di diverse tipologie di luoghi di detenzione.
Quindi forse potremo dedicare questo 18 dicembre al problema della criminalizzazione della figura del migrante e alla denuncia dei luoghi di detenzione.
Attendo i vostri suggerimenti affinché si decidere il più possibile collettivamente l'argomento a cui dare risalto il 18 dicembre 2013.
Vi chiediamo di mandare i vostri suggerimenti a:
Un abbraccio
Edda Pando
(Arci Italia)

sábado, 18 de mayo de 2013

se clausura el foro

Este domingo 19 DE MAYO DESDE LAS 12 MEDIODIA se clausura el foro
binacional en el Museo del Chopo A UNAS CALLES DEL PARABUS REVOLUCION




Minimizan impacto de controversias de Obama en reforma migratoria

Washington, 16 May (Notimex).- El legislador republicano Mario
Díaz-Balart y su colega demócrata Luís Gutiérrez minimizaron el
impacto de controversias recientes del gobierno de Barack Obama en una
reforma migratoria.
  "No creo que vayan a tener un impacto sobre la reforma migratoria",
dijo a Notimex el legislador Díaz-Balart durante una gala en la
víspera del Instituto de Liderazgo Hispano del Congreso (CHLI).
  El gobierno de Obama enfrenta investigaciones sobre el atentado en
Bengasi el año pasado, las auditorías del Servicio de Rentas Internas
(IRS) a grupos conservadores y el espionaje telefónico a la agencia
noticia AP.
  "No permitimos que esos asuntos" del IRS y otros "interrumpan" el
esfuerzo sobre inmigración, dijo por su parte Gutiérrez que junto con
el senador republicano Lindsey Graham fue premiado por el CHLI.
  "Una cosa no tiene nada que ver con la otra. Y los republicanos han
sido muy buenos con nosotros para un acuerdo bipartidista. Esa
problemática no se puede permitir que entre en las negociaciones
aquí", anotó.
  Gutiérrez y Díaz-Balart integran un grupo bipartidista de ocho
legisladores en la Cámara de Representantes que impulsa un plan de
reforma migratoria con un camino a la legalización de unos 11 millones
de indocumentados.
  "Esperamos tener una legislación bipartidista para presentar en la
Cámara de Representantes", dijo Díaz-Balart, aunque no precisó una
fecha para definir unos ajustes técnicos y señaló que pese a las
diferencias continúan avanzando las negociaciones.
  El senador Graham, a su vez, forma parte del también grupo
bipartidista de ocho senadores que ya ha presentado un proyecto
bipartidista de ley, el cual está en la fase de votación de enmiendas
en el Comité Judicial.
  Al recibir el premio del CHLI, Graham puntualizó que confía en la
aprobación bipartidista del proyecto de ley en el pleno del Senado
para junio próximo, que luego tiene que analizar la Cámara de

El 30/04/11, Primitivo Rodriguez Oceguera <primo1019@hotmail.com> escribió:
> Apreciado Rubén gracias por tu correo.  Con gusto le hago algunos
> comentarios.
> 1.      Senadores contra cualquier cambio a la Minuta sobre la Ley de
> Migración.
> Los tres Senadores que presidían las comisiones dictaminadoras de la
> iniciativa de Ley de Migración, Humberto Andrade (PAN), Jesús Murillo Karam
> (PRI) y Tomás Torres (ex PRD) sostenían los argumentos de que su Minuta
> sobre dicha Ley era buena –mejor que las leyes existentes-, que reformarla
> en la Cámara pondría en peligro la aprobación de la Ley por los “delicados
> equilibrios” logrados en el Senado, y que más valía algo que nada, y que en
> todo caso, la Ley se modificaría en la primera oportunidad.
> Me imagino que tales argumentos los compartían otros Senadores.
> 2.      Papel jugado por el Tío Sam.
> La Diputada Norma Leticia Salazar, Presidenta de la Comisión de Población,
> Fronteras y Asuntos Migratorios, dictaminadora de la Minuta, señaló en
> reunión que tuve con ella que personal de la embajada estadounidense “seguía
> con cuidado” el proceso de dicha Ley. Por otra parte, un asesor del Senado
> en la materia me dijo que Estados Unidos había manifestado su preocupación
> en dos puntos centrales: que se otorgara cualquier tipo de visa o permiso a
> migrantes indocumentados en tránsito a EUA, y que se quitaran de la Ley las
> referencias a seguridad fronteriza, seguridad pública, y seguridad nacional,
> objetivo de la misma.
> 3.      Iniciativa Mérida y Ley de Migración.
> La Iniciativa Mérida contempla tres combates o guerras: contra el
> narcotráfico, el terrorismo y la migración indocumentada. El Instituto
> Nacional de Migración (INM) se encuentra entre las instituciones de primer
> nivel para llevar a cabo tales combates o guerras.
> El mismo día que se aprobó en San Lázaro la Ley de Migración se votó también
> a favor de crear la “Policía Fronteriza,” –versión mexicana de la Border
> Patrol, de la migra. A la vez, días antes se dio a conocer que más de 1,200
> soldados y militares se integrarían a bases de la frontera sur para combatir
> narco, posible terrorismo y “tráfico de migrantes.”
> También en días recientes se comenzó a hablar en Estados Unidos y aquí del
> desbordamiento del narco a Centroamérica, y en consecuencia, de la urgencia
> para que EUA y México fortalezcan los planes fronterizos y regionales de
> seguridad.
> El contexto en que tienen lugar esos hechos lo forman distintas
> declaraciones de funcionarios y militares estadounidenses en audiencias del
> Capitolio subrayando la grave vulnerabilidad de la frontera sur de México
> ante el narco, posible terrorismo, y migración indocumentada.
> Por todo ello, la nueva Ley de Migración dejó feliz a Washington. Cumple con
> sus intereses de control migratorio, y sus planes de prolongar y “mejorar”
> la Iniciativa Mérida.
> El caramelo que el gobierno de Barack Obama permitió a México es la
> descriminalización de la migración indocumentada, reconocer derechos
> humanos, civiles y sociales de migrantes, y dar apoyo a organizaciones que
> los asisten. Con disposiciones legales como ésas, México cubre bien su
> imagen, y sobre todo, encubre el contenido real de la Ley de Migración:
> instrumento para controlar migrantes, cerrar fronteras y combatir narcos y
> “terroristas.” Justo lo que quiere el Tío Sam.
> 4.      ¿Se reformará la Ley de Migración en la próxima sesión del Congreso?
> De entrada habría que decir que Palo dado ni Dios lo quita. Si las
> legisladoras y legisladores en verdad quisieran una ley de migración
> integral, justa y soberana, el camino para lograrlo era claro y sencillo: no
> haber aprobado en el Senado el Dictamen de la Ley de Migración, o bien,
> haber reformado la Minuta senatorial en la Cámara de Diputados.
> Aprobar una ley en una sesión del Congreso y prometer reformarla a fondo en
> la siguiente tiene todo el sabor de algo que se produce y distribuye en
> cantidades industriales por legisladores, gobernantes y partidos: ATOLE CON
> EL DEDO. Más cuando la grilla por la sucesión presidencial estará ya a
> máximas temperatura en el mes de septiembre.
> ¿Los partidos representados en el Congreso de la Unión se atreverían a
> desafiar a Washington aprobando en el próximo período de sesiones
> –septiembre/diciembre- una visa humanitaria, visa de transmigrantes, o
> cualquier otra modalidad de permiso para migrantes indocumentados en
> tránsito, y borrando de la Ley de Migración las referencias a seguridad
> fronteriza, pública y nacional, para sustituirlas por “seguridad humana”?
> ¿Alguien cree con seriedad lo anterior, así se realicen acciones de presión
> social para lograrlo?
> 5.      Conclusión.
> Rubén, espero de verdad estar equivocado en lo que apunto. De no ser el
> caso, la aprobación el viernes de la Ley de Migración, con sus muy graves
> deficiencias, hará más difícil que antes, mucho más difícil, lograr una
> legislación migratoria que proteja y valore la vida y derechos de cientos de
> miles de niñas/os, jóvenes y adultos de Centroamérica y otras regiones que
> transitan por México con el propósito de cruzar a EUA, y por igual, lograr
> una legislación migratoria que valore y fortalezca la dignidad y soberanía
> de la nación y de su pueblo sin fronteras.
> El Congreso, Felipe Calderón, el PAN y el PRI propagarán en medios
> nacionales e internacionales que México aprobó una ley migratoria que no
> tiene paralelo en el mundo, una ley que restaura la autoridad moral del país
> y proyecta su liderazgo mundial en la materia. ¿Cuál sería, entonces, la
> necesidad de cambiarla?
> Que hoy, mañana y pasado las/os migrantes en tránsito continúen abordando La
> Bestia y perdiendo en las vías del tren brazos, piernas y la vida; que ellas
> y ellos sigan siendo víctimas de golpes, extorsión, secuestro, violación,
> tortura, y asesinato; que no disminuya la trata y la explotación sexual
> infantil en Chiapas y otros estados; y que en la frontera sur se agudice la
> militarización no importará, será lo de menos.
> Un abrazo.
> ¡Migrantes somos y en movimiento andamos!
> ¡Hasta la Victoria, Siempre!
> Primitivo

sábado, 20 de abril de 2013


By David Bacon
TruthOut (4/15/13)

        In San Diego, California, nine activists completed six days of a hunger strike outside the Mission Valley Hilton Hotel on April 10 -- the day demonstrations took place across the U.S. demanding immigration reform. Hunger strikers were protesting the firing of 14 of the hotel's workers, after Evolution Hospitality, the company operating the Hilton franchise, told them that it had used the government's E-Verify database to determine that they didn't have legal immigration status.
"The company says that E-Verify is making them do this, even though many of the workers have been working here for years," said Sara Garcia, a supporter and hunger striker from House of Organized Neighbors, a local community organization. "But they started firing them when the workers were organizing a union."
"I clean 16 to 18 rooms a day, and they pay me $8.65 an hour. No one can live on that," explained Leticia Nava, a fired worker. " I'm a widow with three children who depend on me. What is happening is not just. We are immigrant workers, and the only thing we're asking is to work. That's not hurting anyone."
Garcia and Nava accuse the company of using the government system for immigration enforcement in the workplace, a database called E-Verify, in order to retaliate against 14 women for their union support. But they also say that the E-Verify system is used much more extensively, to fire workers even where no union organizing is taking place.
San Francisco demonstrators call for an end to immigration-based firings.

"Many companies are doing the same thing. They're manipulating the system because what they're really interested in is low wages," Nava charged. "This isn't the first time this happened to me. I was fired the same way two years ago. Now my children are all scared because they see it's harder for me every day. Tomorrow I'll have to go out and find another job, and E-Verify makes that more and more difficult. The impact on us is not just money - it affects all aspects of my life."
Nava and Garcia joined the tens of thousands of immigrants and immigrant rights activists who demonstrated on April 10, calling for the reform of U.S. immigration laws. Yet on the same day, legislators drafting reform proposals in the U.S. Senate proposed changes that would make Nava's experience more widespread than ever, which were then contained in a bill they introduced a week later.
Both Garcia and Nava agreed that getting rid of E-Verify should be part of immigration reform. "This part of the law is inhumane and unjust," Garcia says. "It has economic, psychological and even moral effects. Instead of children worrying about schoolwork they're worried about how they'll survive or even just eat." Nava declared simply, "This part of the law should be eliminated."
Congress, however, proposes to exact a price for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. The "Gang of Eight" Senators drafting the reform bill announced they intend to expand the E-Verify system to cover all employers, and make its use mandatory. This was only one of a number of measures that would increase the severity of many of the anti-immigrant measures already part of U.S. law.
Lorena Reyes, who was fired from her job as a housekeeper at the San Jose Hyatt Hotel because she supports the union and protested sexual harassment, marched for immigrant rights.

The Hilton workers and their supporters, as well as the union helping them, UniteHere, all believe that immigration reform should include a legalization process. They want one that would give the 11-12 million undocumented people living in the United States a quick and accessible way to gain legal status. That demand ran through all of the hundreds of demonstrations around the country, from the 30,000 people on the mall in front of the Capitol Building in Washington DC to the thousand marchers in downtown San Francisco. It was a demand voiced by hundreds of janitors and security guards in Silicon Valley, and by teachers and elementary school students in Berkeley, California.
The Senators, however, are proposing a plan that would require undocumented people to spend a decade in a provisional status before even being able to apply for permanent legal residence. Then they would have to maintain that status for another three years before they could apply to become citizens, and gain basic political rights. The citizenship process is so overloaded that processing applications now takes months, even years. And instead of anticipating the logistical bottleneck of millions of people applying for citizenship at the same time, the Senators declared that legalization applicants would get no dedicated process.
People seeking legal status would have to "get in the back of the line" - their visa applications would be processed only after all other pending applications. That could have people waiting even more years. Today the government is still processing visa applications for some relatives of U.S. citizens and residents that were filed over two decades ago. The undocumented would only become eligible for residence if they learned English, and were continuously employed for 10 years, or were family members of someone who was.
Silicon Valley janitors and security guards marching for immigrant rights.
The Senators further announced they would charge each applicant a penalty of $500 to file an application, another $500 six years later, and a further $1000 before they could apply for residence, on top of fees to cover the costs of the program. Leticia Nava, for instance, would have to raise $2000 right away for herself and her children, and would acquire an additional obligation of $6000 plus fees. At $8.65 an hour, paying it would be hard. The idea of long waiting periods and obstacles was criticized by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who warned, "Families, including siblings and children must not pay the price of our broken policies."
An even greater shift in U.S. immigration policy is in the works, however. The Senators chipped away at the family preference system itself. They announced that there would no longer be a category allowing visa applications for the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. At the same time their bill would create a new program eventually giving 120,000 visas a year to people with the work skills demanded by U.S. employers, rated on a point system. The undocumented could apply for these "merit-based" visas, but would compete against others.
This moves U.S. immigration policy backwards in time. Through the cold war it was structured to allow employers to bring workers, called braceros, to labor on the railroads and in the fields. At the same time, ferocious immigration enforcement led to the deportation of as many as a million immigrants a year -- called "wetbacks" -- who tried to work outside of that guest worker program. The civil rights movement abolished the bracero program, and with the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, a family based system replaced it.
A Silicon Valley student in the April 10 demonstration.
"Even before the braceros we had contract labor, like the system that brought my ancestors, Chinese farmers, to build the railroads and set up irrigated agriculture here," explained Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights in Oakland, California. "Whether we were Chinese migrants or braceros, we were just labor. Companies could spit you out and send you back home. They still can - we still have programs like that. We need to recognize the humanity of people. We're not just workers -- we're human beings. We need a system in which we can create families, have our spouses come, raise our children and be part of society. So the Senators are really changing the definition."
Even more direct labor supply schemes will be part of the Senators' bill. Currently the three main official guest worker visa programs, H1B, H2A and H2B, allow employers to recruit about 250,000 workers outside the country every year, and bring them with visas that require them to work in order to stay. Some allow workers to change jobs (H1B), while others require them to remain with the employer who contracted them (H2A and H2B). Some, but not all, visa programs require employers to recruit locally first (H2A), and allow workers to eventually apply for residence (H1B).
In parallel with the Senators' deliberations, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced agreement on yet another such program, called the W visa. It would allow employers to recruit workers to fill labor shortages documented by a new Federal commissioner, require them to recruit locally first, and peg wages of guest workers to an employer's existing wage scale or to prevailing wages in the industry in which they're recruited. Workers would be able to change jobs, but could not remain out of work for longer than 60 days or they'd have to leave the country.
Ana Avendaño, assistant to AFL-CIO President Trumka and director of immigration and community action for the AFL-CIO, wrote that under this proposal "employers have the comfort of knowing that, as the economy picks up, workers-foreign or domestic-will be available to fill jobs that will fuel economic growth. Workers have the comfort of knowing that local workers will have the chance to apply for those jobs."
In San Francisco, the march included activists from the Chinese and Filipino communities.

        Making a deal on a new guest worker program is a means to win over Republican Senators and Representatives who respond to employer lobbying. In its mobilization efforts around the country, the AFL-CIO and other Washington DC-based lobbying groups have announced their central priority is a "pathway to citizenship" - that is, a legalization program for the undocumented.
This goal is painted in broad strokes. "There is absolutely no distinction," said President Trumka at an event kicking off an April 10 rally, "between workers who were born in this country and those who came here to build a better life. We're all in the same boat, every one of us who works for a living. We rise or fall together."
Other organizations, however, have been critical of those aspects of the Senators' plan that will increase enforcement and expand labor supply programs. Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen warned "CWA will monitor any proposed changes to visa programs like the H-1B visa, which are sought after by business but have cost U.S. technicians and other workers tens of thousands of jobs." The Senate bill would raise the numerical limit on those visas. Columbia professor and former labor organizer Mae Ngai noted in the New York Times "From the agricultural 'Bracero Program' of the 1940s and '50s to the current H-2 visa for temporary unskilled labor, these programs are notorious for employer abuse."
In Washington State, Rosalinda Guillen, director of Community2Community, a farm worker group that organizes cooperatives and advocates for immigrant rights, worried that once undocumented agricultural laborers gained legal status they would face competition from guest workers brought into the country by growers. She noted that the state's agricultural lobby is pushing intensely for guest workers. The Senate bill transforms the existing H2A agricultural guest worker program into two new ones -- W2 and W3, and sets up a special legalization process for farm workers in exhcange for making the programs more attractive to groweres.
The San Francisco marchers included a contingent from the Progressive Workers Alliance, a group of organizing projects among low wage workers.

"Farm workers deserve an opportunity to begin building healthy sustainable careers in the food system," she explained. "As long as corporate agriculture is allowed to legally bring in an exploitable workforce our food system will continue to decline and farm worker families will continue to be the lowest paid workers in the country, working one of the most dangerous jobs, so consumers can eat cheap food and corporations can continue to get richer!"
Many of the April 10 rallies highlighted other problems with U.S. immigration law. In Berkeley, California, a group organized by teachers and the Alameda Central Labor Council lined a pedestrian bridge across the freeway. They were led by children from Jefferson Elementary School, who spoke to the crowd. One, Kyle Kuwahara, read a letter he'd written to President Barack Obama, protesting the decision by U.S. immigration authorities to refuse to allow fourth-grade student Rodrigo Mendoza, along with his family, to return home to Berkeley after a vacation in Mexico.
"He has been in our school for five years and he is a friend of mine," Kuwahara wrote. "Rodrigo is not free to come back. In school we are learning about all these important people like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks who fought for people's civil rights and freedom. So what about Rodrigo's freedom? Who is fighting for his freedom?"
The Mendoza family's crisis higlighted the massive enforcement wave of the last four years, in which over 2 million people have been detained and deported. Almost all the April 10 rallies demanded a moratorium on mass deportations while Congress debates reform proposals. Some even demanded that the huge system of privately run immigrant detention centers be dismantled.
Jefferson Elementary School students called on President Obama to allow the Mendoza family to come back to Berkeley.

        Many in the Berkeley crowd had also engaged in a long fight to save the jobs workers at a local foundry, Pacific Steel Castings. In December and January a year ago, 214 undocumented workers were fired after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency examined company records in a process called an I-9 audit. After identifying workers who had no legal immigration status, or "work authorization," ICE then sent the company a letter demanding it fire them. The same process has led to the firing of hundreds of thousand of workers across the country during the Obama administration.
City councils throughout the East Bay sent letters to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano pointing out that the firings would not only be a disaster for the families involved, but would damage local communities. Political pressure succeeded in delaying the firings, but couldn't stop them. Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin accused ICE of undermining her city's already-devastated economy in the middle of a recession. "Their firing is a violation of their human rights," she said at the time. "When they say that [immigration] raids are targeting criminals, it's not true. People who are just trying to make a living are being targeted big time."
The company and the workers' union, Molders Union Local 164, released a joint statement, in which Pacific Steel declared, "These terminations were not only devastating to the workers and their families, but also to the workforce at PSC ... [We] implore the protestors to direct their attention to the Department of Homeland Security and federal policy makers." The union also criticized "the broken and unfair laws used by the government to disrupt and destroy the lives of many of our friends and colleagues."
A month before the April 10 demonstrations, one union even went on strike against the firing of three workers in an E-Verify check. The workers lost their jobs when Waste Management, Inc., fired them for lacking "work authorization." The company sent them the notice in the middle of a bitter conflict over the union contract with Local 6 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Berkeley teachers and the Alameda County Labor Council organized the students to come to the immigrant rights demonstration.

"I believe the company is trying to intimidate workers," said ILWU organizer Agustin Ramirez. "For a long time workers didn't fight with this company. But recently they decided to terminate the contract, which expired years ago. The company was threatening their jobs, and by terminating the contract they could go on strike. So WMI used this way to try to stop them. It was like WMI was telling the workers, 'since you dare to question what we do, then we'll question your documents.'"
The ILWU filed an unfair labor practice charge, accusing the company of "unilaterally implementing the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program" and "terminating employees for alleged lack of authorization to work in the United States," among other charges. Then the workers struck for a day over the company's legal violations.
"While the company is using immigration law for retaliation," Ramirez said, "the real problem is the law itself, because it makes firing the punishment for lacking legal status. The reality is that all the workers have families here, and are trying to stabilize their situation. One even came to the U.S. when she was only three, and has an application for the Dream Act program [which defers deportation for students for two years and gives them work authorization]. The company fired her anyway."
Fights against the use of E-Verify have grown over the last two years -- at Hilton and Waste Management, at the Mi Pueblo Supermarkets and at many other worksites. Immigrant workers have organized marches and demonstrations against the I-9 audits, which have hit not only union molders at Pacific Steel, but union janitors in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Seattle and other cities, and non-union workers at Chipotle restaurants and the American Apparel clothing factory.
San Francisco marchers.

In the 1990s a similar wave of firings directed against unions and organizing drives gave political weight to immigrant activists inside the AFL-CIO, as they fought for a pro-immigrant policy. They argued that "employer sanctions," the law that provides the legal basis for E-Verify and I-9 audits, was an inherent violation of workers' rights - to organize, and to work and support their families. At the AFL-CIO convention in 1999, they were able to convince the federation to call for repealing the law.
In 2009, however, the AFL-CIO Executive Council adopted "The Labor Movement's Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Point two calls for "A secure and effective worker authorization mechanism." Yet the massive wave of immigration-related firings is the way work authorization is actually enforced. Local fights against firings inevitably question support for sanctions in Washington DC. They suggest that instead of treating increased enforcement as something to be traded for legalization, that ending it should be part of labor's immigration reform program.
Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Coalition predicts that unions and immigrant rights organizations may eventually be divided over whether to support Congressional reform proposals, since they call for vastly increased enforcement. "A lot of families are suffering now because of earlier immigration deals trading legalization for enforcement. We need to think long term -- if the deals today are going to create more problems for families in the future."
In some communities anger against previous tradeoff deals is palpable. The Coalicion de Derechos Humanos in Tucson called comprehensive immigration reform "primarily a vague promise used to attract immigrant and Latino voters, [while] border communities have suffered the costs of irresponsible and brutal enforcement policies, resulting in death and violence." Increased border enforcement was part of the tradeoff for immigration amnesty in 1986, and was beefed up again in the Clinton administration immigration reform package of 1996.
A member of United Service Workers West in the Silicon Valley march.
A recent study found the federal government spends more on border and immigration enforcement than on all other law enforcement agencies combined. The bill drafted by the Senate "Gang of Eight" would spend at least another $3.5 billion immediately on border enforcement,, with the possibility of $2 billion more later. It would include building more walls, and using drones and other means of electronic surveillance. Moving forward with some aspects of legalization would only come after the government made plans for the surveillance and cutting down undocumented migration, and showed efforts to implement them. The special court in Tucson that tries 70 young migrants, brought before judges in chains and sentenced to time in a federal lockup for border crossing, would be expanded to process 210 per day.
Derechos Humanos also called for the repeal of employer sanctions and the E-Verify system. It advocates ending guest worker programs because they increase job competition and pit resident workers against those brought to the U.S. by employers. Instead "job creation and training programs should be implemented for all unemployed workers, ensuring a healthy and robust workforce," according to a recent statement responding to the Gang of Eight proposal.
Rising demands for a more rights-based reform than the one on the table in Washington will certainly make negotiations more difficult. In the past, those calling for one have been accused of undermining efforts to achieve what's "politically possible," at least according to the beltway calculations. But these voices won't be easily shut out of the national debate.
Jon Pedigo, a priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in San Jose, organized a breakfast for people of faith as part of the April 10 actions in the heart of Silicon Valley. In his homily the Sunday before, he told parishioners, "The authorities will try to silence these voices by dismissing them as irrelevant. We have learned through these 50 years of organizing campesinos, low wage workers, and immigrant families that you cannot shut down the conversation. You cannot SILENCE the truth of our woundedness. We must confront authorities with stories of children's fearing that their parents might be taken away from them and deported. The voices of mothers whose children have been torn from their arms cannot be ignored."

Coming in 2013 from Beacon Press:

THE RIGHT TO STAY HOME: Ending Forced Migration and the Criminalization of Immigrants

DISPLACED, UNEQUAL AND CRIMINALIZED - A Report for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on the political economy of immigration


Radio interview with Leticia Nava, fired Hilton worker, and Sara Garcia, Casa de Vecinos Organizados, about the impact of E-Verify firings and immigration reform

With Solange Echevarria of KWMR about growers push for guest worker programs. Advance to 88 minutes for the interview.


See also Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)

Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

Entrevista con activistas de #yosoy132 en UNAM

Interview by activists of #yosoy132 at UNAM (in Spanish)
Two lectures on the political economy of migration

For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org