immigration

WikiImages/Pixabay

There's a hard line between the United States and Mexico, and plenty of people who want to make it harder. 

But while the efforts to build a wall on the border continue, ties between the countries keep getting stronger.  That's the general argument of the book Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together, by Andrew Selee. 

He saw first-hand how Mexico, despite well-publicized problems, has grown more prosperous and more like the United States.  He sees the border as a seam, not a barrier. 

ICE/Public Domain

The federal crackdown on illegal immigration is focused on the Mexican border.  But agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement--ICE--are active in many parts of the country. 

ICE agents have appeared and detained people on the North Coast. 

True North Organizing assembled a rapid response network in the Arcata area to track and publicize any ICE activity in the region. 

davispigeon0/Pixabay

The state of California got chewed out by the President and the federal Attorney General recently for its attitude toward immigration raids and other enforcement actions. 

California, as a sanctuary state, is sharply resisting the crackdown on people living and working in the state illegally. 

Resistance aside, the crackdown is having an effect... by scaring undocumented workers away from farm work. 

And that is a great concern for the California Farm Bureau Federation

Santa Rosa Junior College

The debate over immigration, legal and not, is of great interest to the artist Maria De Los Angeles.  There was nothing legal about her arrival in California from Mexico at age 11. 

She worked hard, was the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and worked even harder to get to and through college, finishing up at Yale. 

Her art tells her story, including the installation of "Transcending Myths" at the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University (through March 17). 

Scribner

Set aside for a moment the arguments about the United States taking in immigrants and refugees.  Let's focus instead on the people who got here, and didn't necessarily want to be here. 

Helen Thorpe found a group of young people struggling to learn English and a new culture at a high school in Denver. 

They are portrayed in Thorpe's book The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom

Oregon State University Archives

The debate over immigration into the United States occasionally gets to the issue of workers INVITED into the country from Mexico. 

Lina Cordia, a Medford librarian and local historian, lays out the facts and figures in a lecture on the program. 

It is part of the Windows in Time series of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and it's called “The Fruits of their Labors: the Bracero Program in Southern Oregon 1942-1964.”

Lina Cordia presents the program today (November 1) at noon at the library in Medford, and November 8 at noon at the Ashland library. 

insidesou.edu

The academic year had not even begun for most West Coast colleges when President Trump announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.  Under DACA, President Obama suspended any moves to deport young people who had been brought into the United States illegally as children. 

In return, they registered with the government and agreed to work or attend college. 

College presidents uniformly condemned Trump's DACA decision, which puts pressure on Congress to do something. 

Linda Escot-Miranda is a Southern Oregon University student with some perspective on DACA and its impact. 

GeographBot/Wikimedia

Stories of immigration in the United States--both legal and not--tend to focus on numbers and generalities. 

Journalist Lauren Markham went looking for a personal tale behind the facts and figures.  She found a pair of brothers who were forced to flee gang violence in El Salvador and headed north. 

Markham tells the story in the book The Far Away Brothers, an examination of the brothers' situation and immigration policy more broadly. 

California Poised To Pass Sanctuary Law That Goes Further Than Oregon's

Aug 22, 2017
www.ice.gov

Since taking office, President Trump has signed an executive order giving federal immigration agents more power.

But California Democrats want to thwart Trump’s promise to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally: lawmakers want to make California a sanctuary state.

The measure isn’t the first of its kind. Oregon has had a similar law for decades. But California’s law would be much more limiting in how law enforcement communicates with federal agents.

In fact, if the bill passes, California would have one of the most protective sanctuary state laws in the country for immigrants. 

University of California Press

"We're going to build a wall" were practically the first words of Donald Trump's campaign for president.

The plan for a continuous wall on the Mexican border has many friends, and enemies, and practical obstacles. 

Ronald Rael is an opponent of the wall, but considers it as both architectural and metaphorical construct. 

His book Borderwall as Architecture is a mix of anger, whimsy, and design. 

University of California Press

It's a story you've probably heard a few times: the immigrant to the United States who earned a doctoral degree back home but works as a cab driver here.  It is not just anecdotal. 

Immigrants can struggle to find jobs commensurate with their knowledge and skills.  Deepak Singh had an MBA, fluency in English, and experience working with the BBC.  His first American job: clerk at an electronics store in a mall. 

He tells the story and the larger context in his book: How May I Help You? - An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage

Wikimedia

The interest in immigration is acute at the moment, but it's always there. 

Daniel Connolly spent more than a decade reporting on immigration, specifically Mexican immigration, legal and not. 

He dug a bit deeper with a focus on one young man considering his options in a country where his parents reside illegally. 

The Book of Isaias tells the story of the young man. 

ICE/Public Domain

Oregon and California already draw the ire of hardline anti-immigration groups. 

Oregon is a sanctuary state, and California is considering that status.  Within the states, local communities are also looking at sanctuary status, meaning local police would not enforce federal immigration laws. 

Ashland is already a sanctuary city; Arcata's city council will likely take a vote in April. 

University of California Press

Education is seen as the pathway to a better life in America. 

But the pathway is neither straight nor wide for the estimated two million young people who were brought to America illegally as children. 

A study that tracked 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles found significant obstacles.  Roberto Gonzales tells the story in his book Lives in Limbo

Higher Education Handles Immigration Changes

Feb 27, 2017
Southern Oregon University

The American approach to immigration changed with the departure of Barack Obama and the arrival of Donald Trump. 

And that is a concern for any and all organizations that work with and for immigrants, legal and not. 

Educational institutions in particular generally work to educate anyone who shows up. 

Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University are both taking steps to adapt to the new landscape. 

SOU President Linda Schott visits with Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble, the director of diversity and inclusion at SOU. 

ICE/Public Domain

It's no surprise that the White House is cracking down on illegal immigration; President Trump promised to do so, and many Americans expect a crackdown. 

But Latino communities report a ripple effect: people who do want immigrants out have taken to demonstrating their feelings. 

Ben Garcia at Revista Caminos, a Spanish-language magazine, is working on a piece about the people who feel emboldened to haze immigrants and minorities. 

Bracing For Immigration Action

Jan 31, 2017
Wikimedia

Two words from the presidential campaign linger into the early days of the Trump administration: "the wall." 

The president continues to talk of strengthening security on the border with Mexico, and addresses it directly in an executive order from January 25th.  

That order also includes wording about rounding up people who have already entered the United States illegally.  

People like Ricardo Lujan, a Southern Oregon University student who was brought into the U.S. at age 9.  

Best Of 2016: Crossing The Border

Dec 26, 2016
GeographBot/Wikimedia

Immigration, legal and not, is seldom out of the news for long. 

And it pretty much parked on the front pages this year and stayed there, due in large part to the election campaigns. 

Immigration will continue to be a hot topic as new people take office in 2017. 

We take parts from several of our interviews in the subject area and combine them for a full hour of immigration perspectives. 

Softening A Land Of Hard Edges

Nov 14, 2016
arroya.org

The election just finished should provide all the evidence you need that people see immigration--legal and not--from a bunch of perspectives. 

Peg Bowden, a former nurse, withholds judgment of the people coming into the United States from Mexico.  She lives hard by the border in Arizona, and works helping people with basic survival needs in the harsh desert. 

Bowden offers a view of her tasks in her book: A Land of Hard Edges: Serving the Front Lines of the Border

cUriOus: Immigration Law In History

Sep 9, 2016

The constant debates about what's wrong with the American immigration system make you wonder when it was right--if ever.

Political Scientist Dan Tichenor at the University of Oregon can take us back into the history of immigration law.  And he will, when he visits The Exchange with the first installment in what we envision as a continuing series highlighting research at the U of O. 

We call it CURIOUS/Research Meets Radio--with capital U and O. 

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