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The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the Conservative government's appeal of orders to seek the return from a Guantanamo prison of 22-year-old Omar Khadr.
In addition, the high court agreed to a federal request to weigh the matter on an expedited basis, setting a date of Nov. 13 and raising the prospect of the court hearing the high-stakes case during a threatened federal election. The Liberals have already raised Khadr's treatment as a reason to reject the Conservative government.
"We feel very strongly that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, said Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff in Vancouver. He said the government never should have resisted a "range of court decisions" compelling it to act.
"We find it extraordinary that the Conservative government would take this right up to the Surpeme Court when we're talking about a Canadian citizen," Ignatieff said.
"Canadians have different views about Mr. Khadr's conduct, but that's not the issue. This man is a Canadian citizen. Guantanamo needs to be closed. Canadians believe we should do our part in closing Guantanamo. And why is the Conservative government resisting something that's clearly in Mr. Khadr's interest, and in the interest of global peace and security? Guantanamo's not exactly been a bright star in global human rights." Read more.
It sounds almost too good to be true: a health care plan with no limits, no deductibles, free medicines, tests, X-rays, eyeglasses, even dental work — all for a flat fee of $250 or less a year.
To get it, you just have to move to Mexico.
As the United States debates an overhaul of its health care system, thousands of American retirees in Mexico have quietly found a solution of their own, signing up for the health care plan run by the Mexican Social Security Institute.
The system has flaws, the facilities aren't cutting-edge, and the deal may not last long because the Mexican government said in a recent report that it is "notorious" for losing money. But for now, retirees say they're getting a bargain.
"It was one of the primary reasons I moved here," said Judy Harvey of Prescott Valley, who now lives in Alamos, Sonora. "I couldn't afford health care in the United States. … To me, this is the best system that there is."
It's unclear how many Americans use IMSS, but with between 40,000 and 80,000 U.S. retirees living in Mexico, the number probably runs "well into the thousands," said David Warner, a public policy professor at the University of Texas. Read more.
G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair scheduled to visit Canada in October, 2009
In October G.W. Bush, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney, all accused of horrifying war crimes and crimes against humanity plan to visit Canada. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act each of these people if reported plans go ahead.
- G. W. Bush will be, on October 22, 2009 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal PQ to deliver a lunch-time speech at an invitation-only event organized by tinePUBLIC Inc
- Tony Blair will be the keynote speaker October 6 2009 at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guilford Hotel, Surrey BC. Blair was invited by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts
- Dick Cheney is booked for a week of fishing at the Silver Hilton Lodge on the Babine River near Smithers BC from October 8 to 15 2009.
Canada’s Legal Duties
By ratifying the Convention against Torture and the Rome Statue for an International Court, Canada agreed not only to make the torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes under Canadian law but also to participate in acting effectively to prevent and punish these crimes wherever they occur. To ensure Canada’s ability to fulfill these duties, Parliament has:
- Passed laws enabling Canada to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity wherever the crimes occurred and whatever the nationality of the suspected perpetrators and the victims. (e.g. Criminal Code, torture provisions and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.) Under the Convention against Torture , when a person suspected of any involvement in torture enters Canada, Canada has a duty to either prosecute that person or extradite him to a state that is willing and able to prosecute.
- Passed laws to ensure that Canada will not allow people suspected of war crimes and/or crimes against humanity and/or gross human rights abuses to enter Canada or otherwise provide a safe haven, even temporarily, for people suspected of any involvement in carrying out or acquiescing to war crimes, crimes against humanity or other gross human rights abuses. (e.g. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
The Canadian Ministers responsible are not enforcing these laws.
The US health care debate is being hijacked by special interests who want to keep Americans misinformed about health care options for their own purposes, former President Bill Clinton told a roaring crowd of 12,000 in Toronto Saturday.
"If you look at America, you must wonder what in the world are my friends to the south thinking? Why don't they just pass some bill? How could it be worse?" the Toronto Star quoted Clinton as saying, to loud applause.
"A lot of you have American friends; you can help us with this," the president continued. "The money's going somewhere, and the somewhere doesn't want to give it up... You have to understand there's a lot of economic incentive to keep things misunderstood and (people) full of fear."
The Mexican economy went off a cliff in the second three months of 2009, with the gross domestic product dropping 10.3 percent from the same period last year, according to government figures.
The GDP for the second quarter also declined 1.1 percent from the first three months of the year, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography said Thursday.
The GDP, which is the market value of all goods and services in a country, is used to measure a nation's economic performance.
Analysts say the main cause of Mexico's nosedive is that the nation's economy is tied strongly to that of the United States, which is mired in the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s.
About 80 percent of Mexican exports go to the United States, said Allyson Benton, an analyst with the Eurasia Group consulting firm.
"If the United States isn't importing, Mexico isn't exporting," Benton said. Read more.
"Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union," by David Swanson is due in stores September 1st, but the publisher has it now and you can get it straight from Seven Stories Press.
by Linda Milazzo
On Saturday, August 15, 2009, CNN's Don Lemon angrily confronted America's Town Hall Director Alan Hardage for Hardage's use the term real Americans. Below is the video of Lemon's emotional exchange with Hardage:
Lemon's ire over Hardage's use of real Americans echoes the sentiments of millions in this nation who take umbrage with supremacist and exclusionary characterizations that undermine the Americanism of others.
Global Depression and Regional Wars - Reviewing James Petras' New Book: Part I
By Stephen Lendman
James Petras is Binghamton University, New York Professor Emeritus of Sociology. Besides his long and distinguished academic career, he's a noted figure on the left, a well-respected Latin American expert, and a longtime chronicler of the region' popular struggles. He's also a prolific author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, most recently his new one titled, "Global Depression and Regional Wars" addressing America, Latin America and the Middle East.
Part I - Global Depression
Variety's famous October 30, 1929 headline is again relevant: "Wall Street Lays an Egg," or as economist Rick Wolff puts it: "Capitalism hit the fan" following a familiar pattern of boom and bust cycles punctuated by bubbles that always burst. Petras explains it this way:
"All the idols of capitalism over the past three decades have crashed. The assumptions and presumptions, paradigms and prognosis of indefinite progress under liberal free market capitalism have been tested and have failed. We are living the end of an entire epoch (and bearing witness to) the collapse of the US and world financial system."
Grim prospects are ahead:
- a world depression with one-fourth of the labor force unemployed;
- global trade in free fall;
- a proliferation of bankruptcies with General Motors a metaphor for a decaying system;
- free-market capitalism in disrepute; and
- "planning, public ownership, nationalization(s and other) socialist alternatives have become almost respectable" because most sacred cow "truisms" and solutions have failed.
by Linda Milazzo
On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American Evergreen College student and member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was run down by a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer. The American made bulldozer that crushed and killed Rachel Corrie was operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Rachel died while protesting the destruction of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip of Palestine.
Just twenty-three at the time of her death, Rachel was an avid diarist who vividly chronicled her peace and justice actions in Palestine up to the time she died. The play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie, sponsored by Winograd For Congress this Saturday, August 8th in Los Angeles, is a powerful rendering of Rachel's writings depicting the plight of Palestinians and Rachel's lifelong passion for peace.
All Compass Points: Canada Leads NATO Confrontation With Russia In North
Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | August 6, 2009
Continuing the pattern by top Canadian federal officials over the past year of issuing blunt and bravado statements aimed at Russia over the Arctic, on August 1 Defence Minister Peter MacKay was paraphrased as "warn[ing] Russia that Canuck fighter jets will scramble to meet any unauthorized aircraft" as a mainstream Canadian news agency less than delicately phrased it, and thundered that "Canadian fighter jets would scramble to 'meet' any Russian aircraft 'approaching' Canada's airspace." 
When you hear that the National Guard has been called in, the first thing that comes to mind is – where’s the natural disaster? Jefferson County, Alabama isn’t facing a natural disaster; it’s facing a fiscal one. Now the sheriff there says he needs help and he’s calling for backup.
Sheriff Mike Hale says there won’t be enough cops to patrol the streets in his county and the National Guard may be needed to protect the community. He spoke to Joe Johns on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday.
Joe Johns: When you look at this thing, the first thing that comes to mind is the county’s image. And I wonder if people are speaking to you this morning about whether this is a good PR move so to speak.
Mike Hale: It’s not about a PR move. The folks in Jefferson County elected me to keep neighborhoods and communities safe. The only thing I have failed to do is have the local government understand what their first responsibility is – and that’s to keep neighborhoods and communities safe. They’ve broken a contract with the people of Jefferson County and my job and my plan is to make sure that the governor will give us some funds to keep the deputies rolling. And if funds are unavailable, I need some force multipliers to work with my deputy sheriffs to keep this community safe.
Johns: Give us an idea of what would happen on the streets of the county if you didn’t ask for the National Guard and if this whole thing went into effect.
Hale: I think you can take a look at the night before that the court ruled against us. I had a homicide in one sleepy community; I had a homicide in another town. And in a very sleepy town, I had a burglary right there at one of the main businesses. The criminals are looking out and seeing how this county commission is funding law enforcement and I’ve just got a plan to – you know what? If the county commission won’t fund me, and I’ve got to go to the state for help, the Jefferson County deputies and myself, we’re going to get the job done and Jefferson County’s going to be safe. Read more.
The right to vote today. The right to vote tomorrow. The right to vote forever.
By Redeye | Left in Alabama | Tue Aug 04, 2009
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson (D. Texas) signed the National Voting Rights Act. For my fellow Americans who've always had the right and the priviledge to vote today may not be a big deal to you, but to me and mine it's a very big deal.
The right to vote is sacred to African Americans. I know it sounds cliche, but it's steeped in blood, sweat, tears, courage and sacrifice. That's why we don't think Voter Suppresion with the State Seal of Approval is funny. It's why we shake our heads at The Tough Voter ID Laws. It's why we get weep silently when the real voter suppression gets a slap on the wrist and the imagined voter fraud is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It's like pre 1965 alll over again.
My paternal grandparents were allowed to vote in the 1940's because they were educated and educators. They were teachers at what was known then as the Veterans Continuation School (pre GI Bill), a federal program designed for veterans returning home from the war to continue their education. They attended classes at night and received a stipend. One of the classes was how to pass the Literacy test. My grandparents were exempt from paying the $2.00 poll tax because they taught at the school. So you see, even though they were veterans returning home from war, they didn't have the full rights and privileges they were fighting for overseas.
Guantánamo Bay: the inside story
By Naomi Wolf | Times Online
There’s a McDonald’s on the high street, suburban houses, rats the size of dogs, and 229 of the world’s most high-profile prisoners. Six months after President Obama declared that he would close it down, Naomi Wolf heads to Guantánamo Bay to see whether anything has changed
Six months ago this week President Obama, on his second day in office, promised to close the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, and to undo the secretive and coercive detention and interrogation policies of George W. Bush. But has Obama been as good as his word?
I went to Guantánamo last month to see for myself what difference, if any, Obama’s election had made. My trip was surreal from start to end. I was in line for the rotating junket to the island, and had been given a date by a nervous-sounding and very young Lieutenant Cody Starken. I signed papers that committed me to not reporting classified information — on pain of prosecution. Then I got on a tiny aircraft — unmarked on any announcement board — out of Fort Lauderdale airport.
On the aircraft were bland-looking contractors, male and female, who deflected my small talk, and two young staffers from the Centre for Constitutional Rights, the organisation representing the detainees when no one else would touch the work, and which now co-ordinates hundreds of lawyers from across the country doing so: Pardis Kebriaei, a staff lawyer, and Jess Baen, a legal worker, tried to answer all my questions until my military handler determinedly parted us on our arrival. Lawyers are kept in a compound on one side of the military base at Guantánamo, journalists housed on the other side; they may never communicate with or run into one another. As a journalist, a handler sticks within 18in of you at all times, standing outside when you go to the bathroom and near by when you buy personal items at the commissary; your phone calls and e-mail are monitored. Read more.
There is growing evidence CMUs were created to extract information from inmates for the war on terrorism. Since privacy rights are reduced for the incarcerated, increasing attention to prisoners as a source of information was a logical step for proponents of sustaining a war on terrorism. And by stretching what constitutes a terrorism related charge, the government could consolidate prisoners believed to possess desired knowledge and ignore even basic civil liberties afforded other incarcerated people by invoking “war on terrorism.” To be sure, similar to the tenuous links to terrorism, the extent of any inmate’s knowledge about terrorism is questionable at best.
Ultimately, due to the secretive nature of CMUs, the real explanation continues to be a mystery. What is not a mystery is that the war on terrorism continues to be wrongfully conflated with Islam. This likely explains the disproportionate level of Muslim inmates. Although there are non-Muslim inmates at CMUs, at least one Muslim inmate claims that security guards have called non-Muslim inmates “racial balancers.” Whether or not non-Muslim inmates are mere decoys is unclear. But such a claim should heighten our concern that the government is targeting inmates based on a racial perception of who is a terrorist.
Despite President Barack Obama’s declaration that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam, government practices suggest otherwise.
In June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed complaints against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for illegally establishing secret prisons called Communications Management Units, or CMUs. The ACLU also alleged unconstitutional restrictions on Muslim inmates’ right to religious freedom. As a law student investigating the CMUs, the existence of these secret prisons trouble me.
The first CMU was clandestinely established in late 2006 at the federal prison facility in Terre Haute, IN. In 2008, another CMU was established in Marion, IL. According to the government, CMUs were created to “house inmates who, due to their current offense of conviction, offense conduct or other verified information, require increased monitoring of communication between inmates and persons in the community in order to protect the safety, security, and orderly operations of Bureau facilities and protect the public.”
Sounds mundane, right? But the fact is CMUs are a palpable and disconcerting product of xenophobia and the war on terrorism. Concocted during the Bush administration, CMUs are alarmingly reminiscent of McCarthy-era practices and the Japanese American internment camps. Read more.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will launch on Monday the five-day National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09)—the first national level exercise to focus on terrorism prevention—in conjunction with federal, state, local, tribal, private sector and international partners.
“Coordinating with our partners across the United States and around the world is critical to protecting the nation from terrorist attacks,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “The National Level Exercise allows us to test our capabilities in real-time to refine and strengthen our strategies for preventing terrorist attacks.”
12 slain in Mexico identified as federal officers | CNN
1,000 people have died in drug-related violence in 2009 in Ciudad Juarez alone
Twelve bodies with signs of torture found on the side of a remote highway in the Mexican state of Michoacan were federal police officers, Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, technical secretary for Mexico's national security council, said at a news conference Tuesday.
The officers, 11 men and one woman, were "ambushed while they were off duty by an armed group," Rubido said.
The slayings come on the heels of an unprecedented wave of violence washing over Mexico. Since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels shortly after coming into office in December 2006, more than 10,000 people have died, about 1,000 of them police.
In the border city of Ciudad Juarez alone, the toll of drug-related deaths for the year topped 1,000, a distinction the Mexican city did not reach last year until September.Read more.
The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.
From the violent border cities where drugs are brought into the United States to the remote highland regions where poppies and marijuana are harvested, residents and human rights groups describe an increasingly brutal war in which the government, led by the army, is using harsh measures to battle the cartels that continue to terrorize much of the country.
In Puerto Las Ollas, a mountain village of 50 people in the southern state of Guerrero, residents recounted how soldiers seeking information last month stuck needles under the fingernails of a disabled 37-year-old farmer, jabbed a knife into the back of his 13-year-old nephew, fired on a pastor, and stole food, milk, clothing and medication.
In Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, two dozen policemen who were arrested on drug charges in March alleged that, to extract confessions, soldiers beat them, held plastic bags over their heads until some lost consciousness, strapped their feet to a ceiling while dunking their heads in water and applied electric shocks, according to court documents, letters and interviews with their relatives and defense lawyers. Read more.
"Se requiere que las ciudadanos no estén ausentes ante una clase política que, desde el punto de vista ciudadano, no ha respondido y claramente ha fallado," dijo el Presidente de la República. Sociedad civil confronta a los poderes de la Unión El Universal, June 25, 2009
Translation: "It is necessary that the citizens not be seated behind a political class which, from the citizen’s point of view, clearly has failed," said the President of the Republic. (President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon El Universal, June 25, 2009)
Every once in a while, a politician tells the unvarnished truth. It's difficult to recall the last time it happened. Outgoing president Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 warning of the dangers of the U.S. military-industrial complex comes to mind. Ike told the truth but too late to matter since he was leaving power.
President Calderon is just three years into his six year term as President of Mexico.
Just two days prior to Calderon's statement, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (ALMO), Calderon's opponent in the bitterly contested 2006 presidential election, had filed a complaint against the media conglomerate owned television network, Televisa. Obrador argued that Televisa has shown extraordinary bias against his party, the PRD. Candidates are entitled to make complaints about biased coverage to the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) created as part of Mexico's 1990 election reform law.
9,728 - The estimated number of people who have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since the start of 2007, shortly after Mexican president Felipe Calderon declared war on drug traffickers. That's more than the fatalities in the Iraq war.
See the LATimes' complete series, including interactive map, multimedia gallery, video Q&A, chronology and more.
U.S. Fortifies Hawaii’s Defenses Against North Korean Arms
By Thom Shanker | NYTimes
efense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Thursday that he had ordered the military to deploy missile interceptors and radar to protect Hawaii from a North Korean long-range rocket.
The defense secretary’s disclosure came as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the military’s commitment to “vigorously enforce” the latest United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea’s nuclear program. But he declined to confirm reports provided by other Pentagon officials that the military was tracking a North Korean freighter suspected of carrying banned materials. Read more.
From the FEMA Website:
National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) is scheduled for July 27 through July 31, 2009. NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.
NLE 09 is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise. Tier I exercises (formerly known as the Top Officials exercise series or TOPOFF) are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), which serves as the nation's overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises. The NEP was established to provide the U.S. government, at all levels, exercise opportunities to prepare for catastrophic crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.
NLE 09 is a White House directed, Congressionally- mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies, staff and key operational elements. In addition, broad regional participation of state, tribal, local, and private sector is anticipated. This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09. Read more.
The Great U-Turn: Global Migration Flows Reverse for the First Time Since the Depression as Work in the Rich World Dries Up
The Great U-Turn: Global Migration Flows Reverse for the First Time Since the Depression as Work in the Rich World Dries Up
By Patrick Barta and Joel Millman | WSJ
Brígido de Jesús González lived in Queens, N.Y., for the past 20 years, working as a landscaper to support his wife and kids back in El Salvador. But with the recession clobbering his business, the illegal immigrant decided to pack up and return to his native country -- for good.
"I was thinking [of opening] a mechanic's shop for cars, or maybe a gas place, where my neighbors can come and fill up their propane tanks," says Mr. González, 50. The new businesses could be a good way to help his two sons, who now live in New York, if things get worse north of the border. "I can give them jobs if they want to come home," he says.
The developed world, which for decades has offered a difficult but promising path to upward mobility, appears to be losing its allure. Unemployment is rising, and backlashes against foreign workers are mounting.
The result is potentially the biggest turnaround in migration flows since the Great Depression, economists say. Read more.
Obama Administration Announces National Strategy to Reduce Drug Trafficking & Flow of Bulk Cash and Weapons Across SW Border
Today, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske released President Obama’s strategy to stem the flow of illegal drugs and their illicit proceeds across the Southwest border and reduce associated crime and violence in the region.
The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy directs federal agencies to increase coordination and information sharing with state and local law enforcement agencies, intensifies national efforts to interdict the southbound flow of weapons and bulk currency, and calls for continued close collaboration with the Government of Mexico in their efforts against the drug cartels. The strategy is an important component of the Administration’s national drug control policy and complements the Administration’s comprehensive efforts to respond to threats along the border.
Canada-U.S. border station on Indian territory that straddles Canada and upstate New York
was closed Tuesday by protesting Mohawks.
Canadian border guards abandoned their posts at the Seaway International Bridge near Cornwall, Ontario, Monday night after some 400 Mohawks camped out near their buildings, Sun Media reported.
The Indians who live on the Akwesasne First Nation reservation are opposed to a new law that allows Canadian border guards to carry 9 mm handguns as of June 1, the report said....
"There is no need for them to be armed," White said. "Within the same border facility are Mohawk security officers and they provide a peaceful and respectful approach to any confrontation that may arise." Read more.
Mike Davis, the last American autodidact, regularly tosses visitors in the shotgun seat of his four-wheel drive and heads for the backlands of San Diego or the Mexican border for a uniquely personalized road trip through the small wonders of our world. I've experienced this myself. Now, you get to join Davis in the shotgun seat of a car belonging to someone else -- a Mexican artist he first wrote about at TomDispatch back in September 2003 -- and get the same treatment, as well as a small sense of what a world, now the picture of hell to many of us, actually looks like through local eyes from the other side of the border. Davis, whose book Planet of Slums should be on every bookshelf on the planet, landed memorably on Bill Moyers Journal for his last TomDispatch piece. Tom
A Day Without Tourists
Tijuana Versus the Plague
By Mike Davis
"Since everyone is dumping on Mexico these days, you might as well help me do the real thing."
Sometimes an opportunity for reform comes along that is "strategic" in that it changes the playing field for efforts to win other reforms in the future. The passage of the National Labor Relations Act - establishing the right of American workers to organize unions and bargain collectively - was a strategic reform. It increased the power of people previously excluded from power, and thereby reduced the power of corporate interests. But the right of workers in America to organize has been steadily eroded by unpunished abuses by anti-union employers. Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is easy to justify on the basis of guaranteeing the basic human rights of working Americans. When the Employee Free Choice Act is signed into law, millions of private sector workers will have greater protection from having their rights violated. What difference would that make? Ask Steve Arney.
Electoral Sham in Haiti
By Stephen Lendman
Few people anywhere have suffered more for so long, yet endure and keep struggling for change. For brief periods under Jean-Bertand Aristide, they got it until a US-led February 29, 2004 coup d'etat forced him into exile where he remains Haiti's symbolic leader - for his supporters, still head of the Fanmi Lavalas (FL) party he founded in 1996 to reestablish links between local Lavalas branches and its parliamentary representatives.
From then to now, nothing has been the same. UN paramilitaries occupy the country. Washington effectively controls it. President Rene Preval got a choice - go along or pay the price. He submitted knowing what awaits him if he resists. Nonetheless, he's disappointed bitterly.
Growing numbers of children of illegal immigrants are being born in this country, and they are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty than those with American-born parents, a report says.
The study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center highlights a growing dilemma in the immigration debate: Illegal immigrants' children born in the United States are American citizens, yet they struggle in poverty and uncertainty along with parents who fear deportation, toil largely in low-wage jobs and face layoffs in an ailing economy.
What if Barack Obama had picked the Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel or Democracy Now! anchor Amy Goodman to advise him at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago this week? Unlikely, to say the least, but 75 years ago President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did something just like that, tapping a former Nation editor and fierce critic of U.S. militarism to advise his administration on Latin American policy. As a result -- consider this your curious, yet little known, fact of the day -- anti-imperialism saved the American empire.
FDR took office in 1933 looking not just to stabilize the U.S. economy, but to calm a world inflamed: Japan had invaded Manchuria the year before; the Nazis had seized power in Germany; European imperialists were tightening their holds over their colonies; and the Soviet Union had declared its militant "third period" strategy, imagining that global capitalism, plunged into the Great Depression, was in its last throes.