immigration

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan
T.J. Donovan/Facebook

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan has issued a new pamphlet for municipalities across the state.  Produced by his office and the state’s Immigration Task Force, the “Guidance to Vermont Cities and Towns Regarding Immigration Enforcement” provides information regarding localities’ “ability to prohibit and restrict certain actions with respect to working with the federal government on enforcing federal immigration law.”  Donovan explains why he felt it was important to provide the information to Vermont’s municipalities.

Leaders of the New York Farm Bureau are in Washington this week for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy Conference and to meet with the state congressional delegation.  New York’s largest agricultural lobbying organization has a number of priority issues, and it outlined the top three on a conference call with reporters this morning.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lawmakers in the Vermont Senate have unanimously approved a measure that positions the state as a bulwark against some of President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Photo of David Zuckerman
Verrmont Legislature

On Tuesday the new Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly issued a memo implementing the president’s immigration executive order.  In the memo, Secretary Kelly notes he is authorized to enter into agreements with states to authorize “qualified officers or employees of the state …. to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States.”  That is raising red flags in the statehouse in Vermont.  Earlier this month, a bill was introduced that would require any federal move to use local or state law enforcement first be approved by the governor.  Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, a Progressive, says the bill is scheduled for action in the state Senate today.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott met with reporters at the Statehouse in Montpelier today to discuss a number of issues facing the legislature and his administration.  One of the primary topics is a piece of legislation under consideration that would require any federal immigration actions in Vermont to be approved by the governor.

In Josh Barkan’s Mexico: Stories  the characters - chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime - are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same.

A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the walls between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Nita Lowey

President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees left many people upset and scared.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Nita Lowey speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about what comes next.

Thursday’s “A Day without Immigrants” was a protest against Trump administration policies. And many immigrants nationwide chose to close their businesses, and stay home from work or school. A New York state senator says his contribution to the boycott was announcing an immigration resource event.

Sebastian Barry is one of the most prominent Irish writers of his generation. In his latest novel, Days without End, he explores America through the eyes of a young Irish immigrant fighting in the great wars of the mid-19th century.

It’s about war, immigration, and the violent making of America, but also a moving love story between two gay men. 

A federal appeals court has denied the Justice Department's request for an immediate reinstatement of President Donald Trump's ban on accepting certain travelers and all refugees.

Statue of Liberty
BigMac / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump signed an executive order Friday barring entry into the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days. The president also blocked refugees from the country for 120 days. The action has raised legal challenges and spurred protests across the country and internationally. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Capital Region Congressman is thanking protestors who demonstrated over the weekend against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

 “I never thought I'd see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep. We are a nation of bridges, not walls, and a great many of us still believe in the words 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...'
 
"This is not who we are, and not who we should be.

"I have directed the Port Authority, the Department of State, and my Counsel's Office to jointly explore all legal options to assist anyone detained at New York airports, and ensure that their rights are protected.

"America is a nation of laws and those laws provide rights that must be respected and followed regardless of political ideology."    

Matt Biddulph/Flickr

As President Donald Trump issues Executive Orders clamping down on immigration, some state attorneys general are pushing back.  Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan has created a Task Force on Immigration to advise him on his legal authority regarding federal immigration law.

Is love alone enough to raise a child or does someone need the means to give that child a better life? Lucky Boy is the story about two unforgettable women in Northern California: an undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife.  Both are bound together by their love for the same boy.

The novel weaves together the themes of motherhood, immigration, infertility, adoption and minority life in America.  It’s also a story about California and a larger portrait of what the state looks like now – who does the work and who has the power.

A native of author California, Shanthi Sekaran was inspired by her own upbringing as a child of immigrants, by the news stories she was hearing about undocumented mothers losing their children when they were put into detention centers, and by living in Berkeley, a place that for all of its progressiveness is also incredibly privileged.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists’ Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. 

Stephen Gottlieb: Melting Pot

Nov 22, 2016

I walked by a lovely cathedral in Milwaukee and then another of the same faith one block  away. Then I noticed someone I knew and asked her what gives. She pointed out that the two cathedrals were built by people divided by their ethnic groups. How far have we traveled! These days we happily rub shoulders with people from all different backgrounds.

With more than three million foreign-born residents today, New York has been America’s defining port of entry for nearly four centuries, a magnet for transplants from all over the globe. These migrants have brought their hundreds of languages and distinct cultures to the city, and from there to the entire country. More immigrants have come to New York than all other entry points combined. 

 City of Dreams by Tyler Anbinder is peopled with memorable characters both beloved and unfamiliar, whose lives unfold in rich detail.

Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel is Behold the Dreamers. It chronicles a young Cameroonian couple making a new live in New York just as the great recession of the 2000s upends the economy. The novel explores marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trap-doors in the American Dream. 

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is out with a report on immigration in New York. Speaking with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas, DiNapoli notes immigrants have played a significant role in shoring up what would otherwise be flagging populations in several upstate cities, including Buffalo, Utica and across the Mohawk Valley.

It wasn’t surprising when the first abandoned bicycles were found along the dirt roads and farmland just across the border from Tijuana, but before long they were arriving in droves. The bikes went from curiosity, to nuisance, to phenomenon.

But until they caught the eye of journalist Kimball Taylor, only a small cadre of human smugglers - coyotes - and migrants could say how or why they’d gotten there. And only through Taylor’s obsession did another curious migratory pattern emerge: the bicycles’ movement through the black market, Hollywood, the prison system, and the military-industrial complex. 

The Coyote's Bicycle is the story of 7,000 bikes that made an incredible journey and one young man from Oaxaca who arrived at the border with nothing, built a small empire, and then vanished.

Herbert London: The Radical Turn In World Affairs

Oct 26, 2016

The voice of an angry populace will be heard. Recent elections in Germany, Austria, and Spain suggest the migration of displaced Syrians across the continent is leading to political convulsions rarely seen since World War II. Some will describe it as the radicalization of conventional politics. Others will describe these convulsions as a safety valve for the Europeans obliged to deal with the migration issue. For many, any party willing to say “stop” will receive a hearing.

Havana
Mark Williamston / Getty Images

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the uncertainties facing Cuba’s young people in 2016, and about a public lecture happening next week in Charlemont, Massachusetts on Cuban immigration and on the recent rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.

Peter Purdy of the Charlemont Forum joins us this morning. Also here is Carlos Eire, the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of Religion and History at Yale University and the author of Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy. Carlos will be speaking at The Charlemont Forum in Charlemont, MA, on Wednesday, June 22nd. The speech is entitled: “Migration, Resistance or Reform: Cuba’s Uncertain Future." 

Courtesy of SUNY Ulster and Victor Cueva

A Peruvian immigrant who grew up undocumented in Kingston is now documented. He also is an attorney and wants to give back to his community. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Victor Cueva about his path.

Stephen Gottlieb: Refugees And The Impact Of Immigration

Apr 5, 2016

Let’s talk about immigration in this current frenzy about keeping Syrian refugees out.

  In recent years, politicians in a handful of local communities and states have passed laws and regulations designed to make it easier to deport unauthorized immigrants or to make their lives so unpleasant that they’d just leave. The media’s unrelenting focus on these ultimately self-defeating measures created the false impression that these politicians speak for most of America. They don’t.

Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees, and America at Its Best by Susan E Eaton reminds us that we each have choices to make about how to think and act in the face of the rapid cultural transformation that has reshaped the United States.

    

  Over 2 million of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants have lived in the U.S. since childhood. Due to our current immigration system they grow up to uncertain futures.

In the new book, Lives in Limbo, Roberto Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college goers like Ricardo who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and dream act organizing, but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation. The other group, the early exiters like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connection in high school and started navigating dead end jobs, immigration check points and a world narrowly circumscribed with legal limitations.

Roberto Gonzales is assistant professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, his research focuses on the ways in which legal and educational institutions shape the everyday  experiences of poor, minority and immigrant youth along the life course.

Herbert London: Europe’s Migration Cancer

Jan 27, 2016

Roberta Flack, years earlier, sang what has become the Europeans theme song “Killing Me Softly.” Despite the reported wilding spree of at least a thousand North African refugees who groped women at the New Year celebration in Cologne, Germany, despite allegations of two rapes, despite condemnation by Prime Minister Merkel, the mayor of the city has requested that women monitor their “code of conduct.” Apparently German authorities will contest to their last breath that tolerance dedication will not yield. This is the tolerance that kills, softly at first and violently in time.

  During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Jan Jarboe Russell writes about Crystal City in her book, The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II, now out in paperback.

Wars in the Middle East are creating huge flows of refugees. If war creates refugees, we either have to have a way to stop the wars or a policy about refugees. Just saying we will or won’t let people in is a decision, not a policy. One must think past those decisions to the enormous consequences.

Bill Owens: Facts About The Borders

Jan 5, 2016

A recent report produced by the majority staff of Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, dated November 23, 2015, provides some interesting data and insight about the security of our borders. The report, entitled “The State of America’s Border Security,” misses the target as it focuses on identification of immigration threats, with just a fleeting reference to the facilitation of legitimate trade. If you ignore the trade issue, then the feared threats will likely multiply as the number of jobs in the immigrants' home countries decline.

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