Category Archives: The History of Immigration Policy

MAG-Net May 2013 Digital Dialogue: “The Immigrant Rights Movement: Advancing Media and Cultural Strategies”

Submitted by bettyyu on Tue, 2013-06-11 15:09 on mag-net.org

May 1st marks May Day, also known as International Workers Day. On May 1st, 1886, nearly a half a million immigrants went on a general strike to fight for a 8-hour workday. Over a hundred years later, starting in 2006, again millions of immigrant workers and supporters participated in May Day protests against H.R. 4437, a draconian anti-immigrant bill. Even today, the majority of May Day protests are led by immigrants.

Currently, the immigrant rights movement is continuing its fight for comprehensive immigration reform–working to create a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented individuals in this country. At the same time, the corporate media depicts undocumented immigrants as job stealers, lazy welfare cheats, and possible “terrorist” all at the same time. This false narrative not only hurts immigrant communities, it also impacts our ability to move any transformative policy. How can the media justice and immigrant rights movements work together more effectively to uplift the stories of those families most directly impacted by bad legislation, border security and deportations? How are the online and office privacy and rights of immigrants being violated by the U.S. Government?

This Digital Dialogue will bring together organizers, media justice activists, journalists, cultural workers and policy experts who are working to advance a immigrant rights agenda that upholds the dignity, labor and human rights of immigrant communities. On the call we will hear about the various storytelling, media making and cultural strategies to advance this fight.

Featured Speakers:
Laura Muraida, Southwest Workers Union
Aura Bogado, The Nation & Colorlines
Chris Calabrese, American Civil Liberties Union
B. Loewe, National Day Laborers Organizing Network
Celso Mireles, United We Dream

Moderated by: Pedro Joel Espinosa, IDEPSCA & Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice

Uprooting Racism, Sowing Seeds of Solidarity

Uprooted is an opportunity to create a media project that highlights the breadth and scope of migrant communities and migrant justice issues. By collecting and curating media made by and for social movements, Uprooted aims to clearly articulate how migrant justice issues operate in and through different systems of oppression.

This compelling video produced by Rights Working Group and the Restore Fairness Campaign at Breakthrough* foregrounds the prevalence of racial profiling and how it affects different communities of color in the US. It allows us to see how a pregnant Latina woman jailed for not having a driver’s license is part of the same system of oppression that enables the TSA to humiliate and force Muslim women to remove their hijabs. This video draws the connection between a Kurdish American male who is pulled over and strip searched for driving in the ‘wrong neighborhood’ to the scores of black Americans who continue to be victims of racial profiling and police brutality.

This video fits well with Uprooted’s goal of creating an alternative to the mainstream media’s narrative of migration issues. By bringing together these diverse personal experiences of racial profiling, this video better enables us to envision interracial and interethnic alliances in the struggle for social justice. Racist, unconstitutional provisions, like Alabama’s HB 56 are spreading like wildfire throughout the US (see embedded map). It is crucial that we continue to form and fortify broader, more inclusive coalitions to combat the onslaught of anti-immigrant legislation that encourages racial profiling.

*The video was shot, directed and edited by Breakthrough.

A Nation of Poorly Educated Students?

In a post on peopleofcolororganize.com, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz deconstructs the myth of the United States as a “nation of immigrants.” For Dunbar-Ortiz, that myth sanitizes the fact that the United States as we know them began as a colonial enterprise. The first European men and women to settle this land were not “immigrants,” as there was no already-established nation to emigrate to, save for the nations of Native Americans already present. Those arrivals should, instead, be remembered as settlers that dehumanized and displaced millions of indigenous Americans while taking their land through a strategically administered combination of force and diplomacy. Continue reading