Crime and Punishment Immigration News

“Criminals,” “Illegals,” “Terrorists” and #AllLivesMatter

My heart broke just a little bit more every time I saw the reactionary #AllLivesMatter hashtag. Because mostly, white people were using it as a rude rebuke to undermine the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. That’s sad on so many levels.

And of course, all lives do matter, so I think we should take over the #AllLivesMatter hashtag, — specifically, I think we should apply it to all online conversations about the use of torture by the government (like the recent revelations of the use of torture by the CIA).

Immigration News

May Day 2009: Marching for Immigrant Rights

I managed to make it to May Day Immigration events in both Salem and Portland yesterday! With 3,000 in Salem and a couple thousand in Portland, both were great events. KATU had a great story on the Salem march. Here’s my photos from each that I posted on Flickr:

May Day 2009 in Salem

May Day 2009 in Portland

Immigration Things That Amuse Me

Don’t Deport Me Scotty

Wow — a Star Trek spoof as a political education tool — now we’re talking!

Immigration News

Sam Adams cowing to Lars Larson on anti-immigrant hysteria

I caught on the CAUSA blog (mind you, they are one of my clients) the clip of Sam Adams on the Lars Larson show, pandering to Lars as he comes up with his latest scheme to invent some problem that can be solved by picking on immigrants.

“No city contracts to anyone who can’t prove that all his workers are legal!” thunders Lars and Sam Adams (who sounds like he might have the same horrid cold as me) meekly agrees. But what’s the real effect of a rule like that? More needless bureaucracy — something conservatives claim to be against.

Or maybe the city should take on enforcing federal laws for all its contractors. While we’re at it, the City can just start auditing all their contractors for compliance with all manner of federal and state law. Let’s have them re-prove everything that they already have to prove — and ignore the time and cost of this process. The City can also start making city contractors prove:

  • That they comply with Federal and State minimum wage requirements. Turn over your payroll to the city for audits please.
  • That they comply with OSHA standards. Easily solved with periodic workplace inspections by the city. Hire some inspectors!
  • That they comply with Equal Opportunity requirements. The city can review their applicant pools and their hired staff to ensure that they are not discriminating against people based on race or any other protected category.

Having the city duplicate the work of the Federal government is expensive and inefficient. There are already systems in place to enforce these laws. We can fix those systems rather than create new local bureaucracies. From the city’s perspective, we need to ask contractors to be in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, and make sure that they are required to report any time they are out of compliance. End of story.

Unfortunately, this deprives Larson of a problem that he can pretend to be solving by picking on immigrants. Bummer — he’ll have to come up with something else. And I’m sure he will.