New Orleans Many fronts have only one message: stop the anti-immigrant rage now! Protesters in Chicago showed up at a Cubs versus Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game and said it was time to boycott Arizona. The Major League Players Association has condemned Arizona. The New York Times in a stern and striking editorial yesterday demanded essentially that President Obama step in and do right on Arizona and push every button possible from a legal move by the Attorney General to refusal to share ICE immigration records kept federally for Arizona authorities to abuse. Asking organizers in Phoenix what is on tap for next week when I’m there, and the answer was essentially, “don’t worry, there’ll be plenty!”
Last night the sister and fiancée of a friend of my daughter’s from Canada were visiting. Carl had driven the ACORN International bechak during Mardi Gras and he and a buddy had borrowed my canoe once. Super guy. From a farming family around London who had gone to university in Waterloo. I’d talked to him about helping out with ACORN Canada in Hamilton or Ontario. That was then though. Now, his sister and boyfriend were not really down here for the Jazz Fest, though they had popped in for a day, but more directly were packing his gear and tools and cleaning out his place around the corner so he could get his deposit. He had gone back to Canada to see his folks and driving back through Windsor outside of Detroit with another sister to fly back to New Orleans where he had been helping with the recovery off and on for years, was held by immigration for 8 hours and denied entry and barred from returning for the next 5 years. Immigration looked through all of his cell phone messages and interpreted several as “work” in New Orleans, which is a no-no without a green card. Suddenly, one of the many important pieces in the cities recovery gone. New Orleans should apply for humanitarian visas for anyone who will help our desperate city.
While talking to Inge and Wayne, I got a call from my companero with CASA de Maryland as he was ending his day on another late Silver Spring night. To keep a long story short, Gustavo Andrade told me about an action they had done earlier in the day with 60 folks from CASA and the workers’ center to protest the jailing and threatened deportation of woman with 3 kids in Prince George County who had been arrested for selling a $2 phone card to a neighbor. Because of a 287g type agreement between PG and ICE, they had pulled her number and she came up as having overstayed a visa. This is another perfect example of the criminalization of immigrants that is central to the failed 287g program that mysteriously the Obama administration in a “get tough” guy has proven unable to improve or reform and needs to throw away.
Time to send the Statue of Liberty back to some country that believes in welcoming immigrants, freedom, liberty, and the rest of those quaint sentiments that seem unable to conform with modern public policy.