Republican pundits and lawmakers are, once again, warning of an immigration crisis at our southern border. Texas governor Greg Abbott says that if coronavirus spreads further in his state, it will not be because of his order to get rid of masks and business restrictions, but because President Biden is admitting undocumented immigrants who carry the virus. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is also talking up the immigration issue, suggesting (falsely) that the American Rescue Plan would send $1400 of taxpayer money “to every illegal alien in America.”
A PERSONAL FAVOR
A number of years ago I discovered that my wife has a memory like an audio visual recording Rolodex. She remembers conversations we had the first week we met. My memory is not nearly that good. In fact relative to my wife’s my memory is horrible.
Here in this community, it is challenging remembering who said what, especially without a feature that allows us to search by name for peoples past comments.
My memory works by geography. That’s my filing system.
If you would be willing, when we are conversing, I would love it if you tell me what state you live in or what city. I’ll remember you better. I know TPJ is in Boston, Marcy Meldahl is in Tennessee, I think Nancy Bailey just told us she lives in Georgia. Marlene in the Bay Area. I should know where Lynell is but I can’t think of it. Bruce Carpenter and Denise Huddle in Texas, I remember that from the ice storm. Anyway it’s just a tool that would help me a lot. From now on I’m going to write them down.
Thank you Heather. I live on the Mexico Arizona border and I am amazed at the amount of fear based misinformation given as if it were truth. We must all shine the light of truth upon this and upon the plight of people swept up in the maelstrom.
The source of the violence in Central America are criminal gangs financed to a great degree by the high-profit trade in illegal drugs destined for the US. The people fleeing the violence are yet more victims of the 50+ yr old US War on Drugs.
De-criminalizing drugs won’t make those gangs disappear, but it would take away most of their power, as well as weakening the US police/ criminal justice/prisons industrial complex that undermines communities of color.
But that was the real purpose, right?
The migrant workers are essential to our agriculture. I use to see the workers in the strawberry fields in San Luis Obispo, CA and be amazed at their efficiency and hard work! I don’t remember where I saw a piece on the propaganda to make these workers considered “dirty”. And making them undergo stringent cleaning process coming and going over the border. But wow! We need everyone of these hardworking people. They contribute immensely to our society!
Sounds like the political propaganda just keeps on and on. At least Biden is going after problems with intelligence and empathy.
I have contributed to a local group that provides help to families crossing the border. This group of dedicated women have even provided help on the Mexican side with housing, medical care, legal help, services for children. Trying to help before they hit immigration. It’s amazing work by dedicated people.
Thanks for the info Heather!
Lucid and concise clarification of the border "crisis." Also, I'm disgusted with these Republicans going onto FOX news and just outright lying about facts, POTUS policies and legislative actions. People who only watch FOX are ill-equipped to discern the truth from falsehood; a fact-check - rebuttal strategy is needed.
This letter was so good and informative. I didn’t understand all the nuances and the many years of complications until I read your timeline in the context of all those kids suffering today. Thank you for sharing your depth.
Yet more problems which America notices too slowly and acts on ineffectually. This is what happens with four decades of "government is the problem" BS. Furthermore, US policy in Central America and the Caribbean historically does not favor the peoples of the region. But we've taken our eye off the ball. While focusing mostly on the region itself since Reagan's new New Imperialism, its people are transforming large parts of the US, and that can be very good. Would Georgia have two new senators without its Latinx voters?
It's also bad, especially for rural Mexican communities. In the 1930s the progressive Lazaro Cardenas government enacted land reform; the ejido system, modeled after older communal tenures, stabilized smallholder farming for many decades. NAFTA started the destabilizing process, making small farming non-viable and sending millions northward. Contra (sic) Dr Richardson, these developments are actually new and catastrophic for Mexicans, and for different reasons the disorder has spread to Central America's "northern tier." Along with the illegal drug trade, that has much to do with the types of regime long common in the region, which are better at creating insecurity than addressing it.
W Lafeber, Inevitable Revolutions https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2IK9F0OXLAOCZ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0393309649
For five decades the NACLA Report on the Americas has been an invaluable resource.
Mishandling immigration will cost Biden the congress in 2022.... and the election in 2024. Mishandling brown skinned children will feed our mad dog white racists the red meat they crave. Compassion is not in their lexicon. The not golden triangle will not be solved with foreign aid or investment. This area is at war with itself. The criminal element in Guatemala in coffee is brutal. Families will not let their children walk alone. Too many end up dead by the road side, their organs cleaned out - and for sale. Catherine Goulet Ramirez, born in Guatemala February 24, 1991, and her 5 year old son David, are nearby in The North Country... good mother, nice boy... unable to return. Terrified. Their whole family is honest, but they are pressed to serve in the drug trade. There are many. Who buys the drugs? Of course, Americans. Who threatens the coffee we buy? Thugs threaten everything. The honest are scarce down there. Dreaming off about cleansing without invading is an illusion, and we are not going it. We prefer places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, and all those places that brought a strange smile to John Foster Dulles and the DOD, as we ramped to get trashed and changed this nation.
I know Mexico, while we are on the subject. Acapulco was and is no more. The Americans led by the CEO of Braniff, Ford, Sears and a few others set up there on the coast with a 36 hole golf course and a private club with an admission fee of $36,000. Many joined. It has been trashed. There is not a member left... and the most beautiful architecture has been ravaged by the mob. Mexico talks the talk. That's all.
We are kidding ourselves with business as usual. The Monroe Doctrine needs an upgrade. Antony Blinken will have his hands full. Jews fled Hitler and FDR turned them away. No one cared till we opened Auschwitz and learned that 200 camp were scattered all over Europe, Poland and Russia were indifferent, the French were complicit, Waldheim ruled Austria, and our values were the talk, not the action. Jews today are not safe in many parts of France. Hungary is a disaster, Poland is a mess, Germany is the bulwark and may fail without Angela Merkel, and we see what happens to color in Buckingham Palace.
Mankind's number one issue is color... and America must lead - and face the music. $27,000,000 to solve the mess in Minnesota will not solve it. What about thousands of others? The cop with the knee is the white cop, and many not white, that would prefer violence and took the badge and the gun to take aggression for a walk. The term peace officer went the way of the Model T.
Look what The New York Times wants to do with substack. Free speech is threatened by our leader... simply because Letters from an American is siphoning off readership - that simply wants the facts in a manageable format, not $6.50 on Sunday with selective news that spins where it should dig, and digs where is should think first, and then decide if all the litmus issues are what need attention.
Heather Cox Richardson is unique. I am learning about substack. Matt Taibbi and I were introduced at Bard College where we appeared together. I found him a bit raw, but there is no question about his integrity - and today I do not find him raw. I find him right.
Frankly, I'd like to see HRC thrive and Matt thrive... and more of them. We must reach to every kitchen, board room, church, the Grange, high school, college, hardware, bar and restaurant, and get the dialogue up to speed... and we must learn why 70,000,000 find a fascist attractive.
Letters from an American must draw the linkage... of color to fascism. Mussolini and Hitler played Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and freedom loving citizens that would not say yes to Hitler, fist in the air. Well, Josh Hawley has said yes to Trump, fist in the air.
Do any of you need to know more. Call every one you know in Missouri and give good phone. We must find the way to pull this nation back from the edge.
Doudna and CRISPR will not implant character. We must do this with dialogue lest we be forced to do it with Allied Forces a la WW II... when we ignored Hitler for a decade and he took over.
The Crash, Spanish Flue and Woodrow Wilson's Jew hating tribe of patriots were a problem. Pearl Harbor got Senator Vandenberg to say yes... and we hired IKE to do lead D Day.
What can we do about a world gone mad tonight?
I have many thoughts... but it's time for me to hit the hay.
Substack will challenge the best... and we can all contribute our two bits... if that matters.
I am saddened by the number of my 2nd generation immigrant friends of Latinx and otherwise
-even my relatives in Hawaii, who buy the right-wing media spin on this issue. How soon we forget these folks were many of us, once upon a time. Why isn't the counter message of Truth being broadcast daily with as much vigor?
Thanks for putting the facts together. I’ve been hearing some questionable things from a friend. As I dug deeper into it I found out she got the information from Newsmax & Fox! I’m so disappointed in finding out she believes the misinformation.
The likes of Cruz and Abbott make me cringe. Neither able to take responsibility for anything. Abbott blaming immigrants on increased Covid numbers, is like tRump blaming China for the virus. Such blatant xenophobia. And Cruz has taken a top place in my list of most deplorable of the crew of deplorables.
It is important to note, as Dr. Richardson has in today’s letter, that most undocumented immigrants do not arrive in the U.S. By crossing the southern border, they arrive legally most often through an airport. Almost twice as many arrive legally with a visa and simply overstay the visa.
This pattern has been true for many years. After 2017 the Department of Homeland Security stopped reporting these statistics as they did not fit the Trump administration narrative.
Awesome analysis. The most comprehensive view I've seen of the complexity of the situation at the border. Thanks.
Unfortunately, the right wing has successfully pushed the idea that Mexican = bad, and that hordes of immigrants are flooding across our border (left undefended, of course, by the Democrats) to rape our women, rob our houses, and steal our jobs. The idea found a receptive audience among the ignorant and resentful.
Now, with that negative perception deeply entrenched, rooting it out is going to be next to impossible. People will believe what they want to believe, and no amount of evidence countering their beliefs will make the slightest difference.
Correcting the false perception that the right wing has created will be like turning a cruise ship -- it doesn't turn on a dime. And this is a big ship, with powerful engines fueled by ignorance, fear, and -- yes -- stupidity.
Can't we just build a wall on Texas's northern border?
Let’s go! Becerra & Biden had better work quickly to develop a plan and communicate a solid, simple message that can filter into all media outlets. The message better be quick and it better be catchy, using all of the creative marketing forces Team Biden can buy. The Extreme Right is just moments away from developing their own snappy anti-immigration rallying cry that will drag those 70-80M voters back for revenge in 2022. Nothing rallies racists like a common enemy - especially a brown one. Otherwise, immigration fears will drown out all other accomplishments to the detriment of the Democrats in 2022. Must act now!