Tuesday 1/9 – We remain really bad at immigration.

(photo from https://twitter.com/Stl_Manifest, historic losers in our immigration wars. Check out the brief history of how people became citizens at the bottom of this column.)

1. Pass a Clean Dream Act  – Save Them, Save Ourselves.

Many of the young people covered by DACA are young professionals, working as teachers, doctors, nurses, and lawyers, who contribute greatly to the American economy”.  Both right and left-leaning research groups indicate that ending DACA, and deporting the workers who will no longer enjoy legal status, could reduce the size of the U.S. economy by anywhere from $280 billion to $430 billion over the next decade.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator [___] to insist on a clean Dream Act as a condition for funding the federal government. 

More script if you need it: We need to ensure that Dreamers can go to school, work, and serve in the military—but not in exchange for a border wall or increased deportation of other immigrants.
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trump-walls-going-happen-not-going-daca/

TELL Senator Feinstein TO CONTINUE TO BE BRAVE: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

and THANK Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

2. A profound moral failure, carried on the backs of kids. 

Ice

The Trump Administration wants to discourage illegal immigration by separating asylum seekers from their childrenUnder current policy, families are kept together at DHS and facility and detention times are kept to a minimum. If the family decides to seek asylum, they are usually released from the facility, granted a work permit and kids are usually reunited with a resident parent quickly. This new punitive proposal would jail adults and put kids in HHS shelters, possibly for years, if the parents have to wait for a asylum hearing. Asylum-seekers leave everything they know and love because their lives are in danger. Don’t let us become a party to further traumatizing children.

Minimal  scriptHi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [___]. I’m calling to express my outrage at the DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen’s plan to separate families at the border and subject the guardians of unaccompanied minors to arrest and deportation and put their kids in shelters. This inhumane policy is guaranteed to cause irreparable harm to children and asylum seekers.

Call our Senators

Minimal  script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator [___] take whatever legal means they can to prevent DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen’s immoral plan to jail parents and warehouse their kids as a method to stop illegal immigration. 

Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

3. Revoke the Revocations – Protect our TPS neighbors.

Embed from Getty Images

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations have already been revoked for Haitians and Nicaraguans living in the U.S., and now the same may happen to individuals from El Savador. TPS is granted when conditions in one’s country make it too dangerous to safely live in.

Send a letter to the Editor
Use this link here to make it really easy.

Call our Senators

Minimal  script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator [___] take whatever legal means they can to protect the TPS immigrants who’ve been contributing to our communities and economy. 

Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

A brief digression on citizenship and how people got to be Americans (or didn’t) way back when…

Many of us who go door-knocking, canvassing and registering voters, hear the same thing when talking about supporting the DACA kids. “They should have done it/do it legally, just like my family did…” That there’s no citizenship path in DACA does not seem to sway them. So, especially for people who brag about how long their families have been here, let’s see what their folks had to go through up to the 1950’s to become citizens and remind the winners how lucky they were.

  1. The first naturalization act, passed by Congress on March 26, 1790  provided that any free, white, adult alien, male or female, who had resided in the US for a period of 2 years was eligible for citizenship by applying to a court. Any kids under 21 became citizens immediately. So, you just lived here first, and then, if you belonged to the right racial group, you could join the citizenship club. Boom.
  2. 1795 – Hanging-around time increased to 5 years. And you had to give up any titles.
  3. 1848 – Treaty ending U.S.-Mexico War guarantees citizenship to Mexican subjects in new territories, including California. Federal courts later cite treaty as removing racial bars to naturalization for Mexican settlers.
  4. 1855 – Citizenship was automatically conferred to alien wives of US citizens.
  5. 1857: Dred Scott decision holds that a “negro” cannot be a citizen.
  6. 1868: Fourteenth Amendment grants citizenship to U.S.-born people including black Americans but uncertain on other minorities.
  7. The Page Act of 1875  was the first federal immigration law and prohibited the entry of immigrants considered as “undesirable”, especially Asians.
  8. 1882: Chinese Exclusion Act bars Chinese from naturalization and restricted immigration of laborers for 10 years. Beginning of “illegal immigration” in US.
  9. 1891 – First comprehensive immigration laws for the US with an Immigration Bureau set up to deport unlawful aliens.
  10. 1892: The “Geary Act” extended and strengthened the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  11. 1898: U.S.-born children of foreign nationals guaranteed citizenship, Supreme Court rules, even if immigrant parents are barred. (U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark)
  12. 1906: Safeguards set for naturalization includes ability to speak and understand English.
  13. 1906 – 1952: After filling out a declaration of intention, which recorded the applicant’s oath to the clerk of the court that it was their intention to become a citizen of the US, the applicant waited out a 2-7 year period before they could petition the court for citizenship. They then presented the affidavits of two witnesses with personal knowledge of the applicant, stating that the applicant had resided in the United States for at least 5 years and possessed a good moral character. Give up your titles, etc., etc., and you were done. If you were white.
  14. 1907: Restricted immigration for certain classes of disabled and diseased people.
  15. 1917: Restricted immigration from Asia by creating an “Asiatic Barred Zone” and introduced a reading test for all immigrants over sixteen years of age, with certain exceptions for children, wives, and elderly family members.
  16. 1921: The “Emergency Quota Act” limited the number of immigrants from any country to 3% of those already in the US from that country as per the 1910 census.
  17. 1924: The “Johnson-Reed Act” imposed first permanent numerical limit on immigration and national-origin quota system.
  18. 1931: Repeal of statute stripping women of citizenship if they marry a foreigner racially barred from becoming a citizen.
  19. 1939: Bill to allow 20,000 German jewish refugee children in over and above the German immigration limit died in committeee.
  20. 1939: 935 mostly-German Jews turned away from the US instead of letting them land and wait for their visas to be processed. 254 passengers who had to return to mainland Europe died in the Holocaust.
  21. 1940: Birthright citizenship to Native Americans granted.
  22. 1943: Repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act and permitted Chinese nationals already in the country to become naturalized citizens. A quota of 105 new Chinese immigrants were allowed into America per year.
  23. 1944: Then record 442,000 naturalize amid wartime anxiety; 96% are Europeans, 1 in 4 Italian.
  24. 1952: Law amended to say citizenship “shall not be denied or abridged because of race or sex,” ending 162-year legacy of racial bars.
  25. 1950: The UN set up its office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in 1950. After World War II, Americans became proud of helping people fleeing persecution. It became a value people saw in America itself.
  26. 1953: – In Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding, The Supreme Court ruled that, “The Bill of Rights is a futile authority for the alien seeking admission for the first time to these shores. But while an alien lawfully enters and resides in this country he becomes invested with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all people within our borders”.

References:

Undocumented Employee Rights – 5 Things to Know (Huffpo)

 

 

 

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