By Gayatri PatnaikOne of my sharpest memories as a girl was when an immigration officer came to our house in rural Finzel, Maryland when I was about nine years old. He showed up at our house unannounced and I still remember the stunned look on my mother’s face when she answered the door. I didn’t realize until much later how high the stakes were or how very close we had come to being deported. While I can’t share specifics, I can say that one of the things the officer asked for was the phone number of people my mother knew who could attest to her character. And I remember sitting there in our kitchen hearing the one-sided conversation as he called friends or acquaintances or colleagues of my mother’s, one after another. When he left, I walked with him to the door and he shook my mother’s hand and told her she was a remarkable woman and that if she didn’t hear from him in the next six months, she wouldn’t have to worry about her citizenship status further.
"Deportation relief is a stopgap measure," says David Bacon, author of THE RIGHT TO STAY HOME: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration. "We need permanent solutions so that those receiving deferred status are not vulnerable."
We need an immigration policy that brings people together, instead of pitting workers against each other, as our current system does.
A roundup of labor stories by David Bacon gives an overview of the issues facing immigrant workers in America.
Violence has displaced the Triqui people from their homes in San Juan Copala to the sidewalks outside the governor's palace in Oaxaca and across the border in the United States.
David Bacon shares images of the public workers who find themselves facing weakened retirement systems and unfair blame in the wake of this week's elections.
Today's post is from David Bacon, author of Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org, and read more about Beacon's immigration titles at "Beyond SB1070" on Beacon.org. In San Francisco and...
How NAFTA produced Mexican migration.
David Bacon looks at a new proposal for immigration reform and calls for something better.
Cesar Cota was the first in his family to attend college. "Now it's hard to achieve my dream," he says, "because the state put higher fees on us, and cut services and classes."
In 2006, Mexico experienced profound social turmoil. Dramatic political and economic conflicts uprooted and displaced thousands of families, forcing many to consider leaving home. Teachers struck in Oaxaca, and after their demonstrations were tear-gassed, a virtual insurrection paralyzed the state capitol for months.