For a while in 2018, the Donald Trump administration’s “family separation” policy looked like it might become the Stalingrad of his war on immigrants. It was clearly a bridge too far politically, given the global outcry it provoked. Even parts of the Republican party couldn’t stomach it. So Trump retreated strategically on family separation, and intentionally left the program so disorganized that reuniting parents and children became a still-incomplete ordeal.
The specters of slave patrols and Ku Klux Klan night riders haunted the viral videos
. They showed cowboy-hatted Border Patrol agents on horseback insulting and threatening Haitian families with children as they crossed the Rio Grande into Texas. The outrage reverberated around the world and inside the Beltway. But the story soon disappeared from the news cycle.
A widely condemned Trump administration program designed to slash legal immigration to the United States, initially terminated by the Joe Biden administration, has been reinstated by court rulings on a Republican lawsuit. Human-rights and immigrant justice advocates have gone on the legal and political offensive against the decision, and are pressing the Biden administration to bypass the court’s roadblock.
“A crime against humanity” and “a disgrace to our great country”: that’s how 99-year-old Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor of the Nazis at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials, characterized
the Donald Trump administration’s coercive separation of thousands of immigrant children from parents seeking asylum.
The Valley of the Sun is a vast, flat stretch of Sonoran Desert, etched by arroyos and studded with small, jagged peaks. It spans about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west to east and 40 miles (64 kilometers) north to south in south-central Arizona (the state that borders southern California to the east). After cruising through southward on one of the tangle of freeways that vein the expanse, we can leadfoot it another 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast to Tucson across much the same hardscape, only gradually gaining elevation. The saguaro cacti grow more thickly, but the higher cordilleras maintain a discreet distance most of the way.
By late September, the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States had claimed 200,000 lives
. That’s equivalent to a slightly higher toll than the 418,500 United States deaths in World War II, adjusted for relative population and duration. [See note below.]
A century ago, Italian immigrants told a joke: “Before I came to America, I thought the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, I learned three things: one, the streets were not paved with gold; two, the streets were not paved at all; and three, they expected me to pave them.”
“Enhanced interrogation”: the George W. Bush administration bureaucrats who coined the term had perfect pitch. The apparatchiks of Kafka’s Castle would have admired the grayness of the euphemism. But while it sounds like some new kind of focus group, it turns out it was just anodyne branding for good old-fashioned torture.
Since his college days, John Schmitt says, he’s been “very interested in questions of economic justice, economic inequality.”
In 1958, when New York State was considering raising its minimum wage, merchants complained that their profit margins were so small that they would have to cut their work forces or go out of business. In 2014 in Seattle at hearings on a proposed minimum wage increase, some businesses voiced the same fears.
“Supersize my salary now!” The refrain rose over a busy street outside a McDonald’s in downtown Seattle.
Puzzled by the immigration debate in the United States? Remember the Maginot Line.
On a hillside overlooking Port-au-Prince, a muscular Haitian man in a green tank top raises a heavy steel pry bar over his head and brings it down into a hole, shattering a bit of Haiti’s limestone skeleton.
In the evening the lowering clouds burst. Through the night they loosed their torrents on the southeastern coast of Haiti.
Haitian farmers are worried that giant transnational corporations like Monsanto are attempting to gain a larger foothold in the local economy under the guise of earthquake relief and rebuilding.
In the wake of unimaginable death and destruction, Haitian farmers continue to work hard to wring food for their country out of a depleted land. But now they have company.
There are shortages of lots of things in Haiti: clean water, arable land, trees, living-wage jobs, housing, schools, fuel, reliable sources of electricity and Internet access. But one thing Haiti has in abundance is sunny days.
Photovoltaic panels are gradually appearing in Haiti, alongside streetlights, in a demonstration of what the Sun can do in a country with severe energy problems.
Reckless greed on Wall Street is a dog-bites-man story. Still, the renewed feeding frenzy of the alpha dogs of finance in the embers of the bonfire of their own vanities has inspired amazement and disgust across the political spectrum.
In the wake of a blizzard of economic hardship across North America, native land of the financial crash of 2008 and ensuing Great Recession, the shapes of other possible worlds are emerging from the drifts. Some are frozen and dystopian, but others may harbour green shoots of hope.