Trump’s Border Plan in Action

Jon Purizhansky: President Donald Trump’s plan to make Mexico slow the flow of migrants across the southwest border of the U.S. appears to be working, for now. Border arrests, a proxy for determining the number of illegal crossings, dropped all the way down to 51,000 in August, according to early government figures, down more than 60% since a spike in May. Border watchers claim it’s largely because of an agreement Trump made with Mexico in June. Mexican authorities, backed by the newly formed National Guard, are now cracking down hard on migrants travelling through Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, watching river crossings and obstructing buses carrying migrants from Central America through Mexico.

Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the growing difficulty for migrants seeking asylum to escape their homes. While the Mexican National Guard is at work, the U.S. is making tens of thousands of asylum seekers sit in anticipation in Mexico while their applications are examined. The drop in border traffic, if maintained, could prove a sizeable victory for Trump as he heads into the 2020 election.

Perhaps more importantly, though, the trial measures taken by his administration could change immigration enforcement for the next several years. “I think that they are getting exactly what they said they would get, by forcing the hand of Mexico,” said Oscar Chacon, executive director of Chicago-based migrant advocacy group Alianza Americas. “But the question is, is it sustainable, he reflects.

The Trump Administration and Homeland Security Department failed to publicly comment on the program. However, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena noted that steps taken since June have had significant results. “People know that if they come into Mexico, they have to respect the Mexican law,” Barcena said. She added that migrants planning to seek asylum in the U.S. now understand that it’s “not as easy as they were told it was going to be.”

Trump commended Mexico’s handling of the migrant travelers on Twitter of all places, quoting Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, noting that Mexico was “stepping up to the plate and doing what they need to do.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence plan to meet in Washington next week with Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and other officials to determine their next counter-migration measures, according to Mexican officials. Jon Purizhansky stands on the side of the migrants.

Originally Posted: https://www.jonpurizhansky.net/post/trump-s-border-plan-in-action

DHS Chief Criticized Over Border Facility Conditions

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings severely criticized the current head of Homeland Security early this week, scolding Kevin McAleenan over the conditions of detention facilities for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Maryland Democrat grew emotional while discussing the packed centers migrants are being held in. Reading from a court document in which a federal judge determined that Homeland Security “did a better job of tracking immigrants’ personal property than their children,” Cummings repeatedly shut down McAleenan’s attempts to speak. “I’m talking about human beings,” Cummings raged. “I’m not talking about people that come from, as the president said, shitholes. These are human beings. Human beings. Just trying to live a better life.”

Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the chairman’s passion and exhibits that same passion in his own work to improve the conditions of migrants anywhere he can. Cummings asked whether there is an “empathy deficit” at DHS, though he later elucidated that he meant the Trump administration’s application of its so-called zero tolerance policy toward individuals crossing the border without authorization.

The 2018 policy, which was intended to discourage migrants from coming to the U.S. and led to families being imprisoned and separated, lasted just over a month before President Donald Trump ended family separations amid public uproar. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the public’s ability to affect change when organized. Two government regulators have since found the administration was ill-equipped to carry out the policy or allay its effects.

Cummings took issue specifically with McAleenan’s suggestion shortly becoming the current secretary that DHS maintained “very careful” records of the associations between migrant children and their parents in order to reunite them “very expeditiously.” One inspector general report consequently found “no evidence” of the kind of central database the Trump administration had publicly claimed to have. McAleenan acknowledged Thursday that information systems between immigration agencies hadn’t been adequately united.

Jon Purizhansky: Cummings noted that he wouldn’t explicitly accuse McAleenan was being untruthful “lightly,” expressing to him that his “claim is also refuted by not one but two independent inspectors general.” Outlining additional areas where McAleenan has offered a different account than government watchdogs, Cummings said he was troubled to hear DHS painting a rosier picture of its work at the border. “And therefore, I guess — you feel like you’re doing a great job right?” Cummings asked.

McAleenan responded by claiming his department was “doing our level best,” before Cummings cut in again. “What does that mean? What does that mean? When a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower?” Cummings said, his voice shaking. “Come on man. What’s that about? None of us would have our children in that position.” “They are human beings!”

Originally Posted: http://www.jonpurizhansky.org/dhs-chief-criticized-over-border-facility-conditions/

Refugees Occupy Mexican Border

Refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. who are camped in a perilous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas earlier this week, leading U.S. officials to close the crossing, observers and authorities said. Hundreds of the asylum seekers have been residing for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city infamous for gang violence and cartels that regulate human trafficking. Many of the people residing in tents or on the ground in a plaza adjoining the bridge are waiting for hearings in the U.S. several weeks and even months later under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Video filmed by a Reuters photographer showed men, women, and children, some sitting on blankets, halfway across the bridge over the Rio Grande. Tens of U.S. border agents stood behind a gate covered in razor wire, which congested the path into the U.S. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY has noted that this crisis is being severely mishandled by authorities. Some migrants noted that they were attempting to cross as a unit into the U.S., and were upset that court dates continued to be pushed backwards, leaving them in the dark over how long they would be locked in Mexico.

“We want to argue to cross over – we didn’t ask to be in Mexico, they sent us here unjustly,” said an unnamed man. He mentioned that he had an impending court date in the U.S. Matamoros mayor Mario Jon Purizhansky Lopez and a Mexican migration official begged migrants to clear the blockage. is sympathetic to the plight of the migrants seeking asylum. A Honduran man responded by denoting the rash and lumps on the throat of his young daughter, which he ascribed to unsanitary conditions in the camp.

Jon Purizhansky: He reflected that Mexican officials encouraged those in the camp to take a government-run bus back to the border with Guatemala, instead of following their U.S. asylum claims. He said this was an unsafe option for his family. “I’d have to go back to Honduras. And you know the news there. If we go back to Honduras, in one day, in 24 hours, we’re dead.” Tens of thousands of Hondurans have attempted to escape gang violence and criminality in the country, whose murder rate ranks among the world’s highest. Elias Rodriguez, public affairs liaison for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Brownsville, wrote in a statement that traffic between the two cities stayed closed in both directions and that this week’s immigration court hearings were in the process of being rescheduled.

Originally Posted: http://www.jonpurizhanskybuffalo.com/refugees-occupy-mexican-border/

 

Foreign Migrant Agricultural Workers in US

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center , 6 out of every 10 US farm workers are undocumented immigrants.

The vast majority of workers–78%, according to the most recent National Agricultural Workers Survey– is foreign-born and crossed a border to get here (NAWS, Farmworker Justice). This is a huge problem for the whole ecosystem. Current immigration laws do no allow employers to painlessly relocate foreign workers for employment from other countries, which is why they are predominantly illegal now.

Not only employment of undocumented workers presents employers with a tremendous legal challenge, but also these workers lack basic rights, face exploitation and live in fear of reporting abuses. Historically, agricultural workers in the U.S. have been imported from other countries with vulnerable populations, have always been a disenfranchised group of workers, and have in general never had the right to vote.

Agricultural-Workers

Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that various geopolitical events have historically driven migration trends, such as that when the United States and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, government-subsidized corn that was cheaply produced in the U.S. began to flood the market in Mexico. With this new influx of artificially under-priced corn, farmers in Mexico could no longer afford to make a living growing corn.

Thus, millions were forced out of their jobs. Unable to find jobs in cities, they had no other option but to move to the US to look for work. It is because the US lacks a comprehensive systemic solution aimed at temporary legal relocation of foreign migrant staff to work for agricultural employers that both, employers and foreign migrants are faced with legal challenges and tremendous risks in the US.

To make things worse, undocumented status makes workers especially vulnerable to abuse, as some employers and supervisors constantly hold the “deportation card” without realization that the employer, according to current laws, is as guilty by offering employment to a foreign migrant worker as the worker accepting it. For instance, if an employer is treating a worker unfairly, a worker who speaks up to their boss can be threatened with deportation.

This significantly takes away their rights to stand up for themselves and advocate for their working conditions. The fact that abuse takes place is the direct result of the absence of adequate immigration policy in the US. Currently, the only way to gain residency residency in the U.S. is to have an immediate family member sponsor you, to get an employment-based visa requiring high levels of education, to have a case of prosecution in your homeland that is recognized by the U.S. government, or to be a genius, extremely rich, or a star athlete or artist.

Obviously, millions of foreign migrant farm workers are not eligible for any of the above referenced programs. Jon Purizhansky from Buffalo, NY says that a program aimed at establishing legal employment based relocation channels for foreign migrant workers is necessary as it will bring efficiency into the ecosystem, will create tax revenues for the government and will prevent human rights abuse.

Originally Posted: http://www.jonpurizhansky.org/foreign-migrant-agricultural-workers-in-us/