You're only an "economic migrant" if you're poor and brown


Ned Richardson-Little is a Canadian academic who went to the US "in search of a better life," did research in Germany and settled in the UK, something he was able to do thanks to his economic migrant grandfather who happened to have been born in Scotland. Read the rest

The US government turned down Anne Frank's visa application


Otto Frank sought help from his college friend Nathan Strauss Jr, the son of the owner of Macy's, to get a US visa, but the US State Department turned him and his family down. Read the rest

How big offshoring companies pwned the H-1B process, screwing workers and businesses


Giant multinational offshoring firms have figured out how to game the H1-B system, flooding the application queue with thousands of requests the instant the process opens each year. It's transformed the H1-B Visa category from a lifeline for companies who need to bring in critical foreign talent into a way to shut down whole departments in the USA and replace them with lower-cost overseas workers who are exploited far from home. Read the rest

John Oliver on racism and the Syrian refugee crisis


This is Oliver at his best, using weaponized bathos that ricochets between rage-making clips of racist political figures trying to terrorize Syrians into staying away with sweet clips of the refugees themselves and an over-the-top, stone-brilliant, pop-culture-infused, heart-rending, laughter-convulsing finale. Read the rest

GOP "kingmaker" proposes enslavement as an answer to undocumented migrants

Jan Mickelson hosts one of Iowa's top talk-radio shows and has entertained many of the GOP's nomination hopefuls who want his endorsement for the all-important Iowa primary. Read the rest

We are all refugees: A Serbian on Syria

Once I was a refugee, too. During the fall of former Yugoslavia, I visited many refugees camps all over the war-torn region. I edited a book of refugee stories. Read the rest

Drowned in the Mediterranean: Libyan refugees tell their stories

James Bridle writes: "There's huge debate in the UK about the deaths of people in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, but we rarely see or hear the people themselves." Read the rest

Jesus Christ was an asylum seeker

Across the rich world, this decade has seen the rise of increasingly fierce anti-immigrant sentiment, much of it from self-identified Christians -- as you recount the Christmas story this year, remember that Mary and Joseph fled religious persecution and sought asylum in a rich country, which took them in. Read the rest

Americans believe things

And those things aren't true, according to an Ipsos-Mori poll that put the USA second-from-the-top in the race to see who's the most ignorant, preceded only by Italians. Read the rest

Meet Sedgewick the Monarch Caterpillar—and find out what you can do to save his species

Sedgewick the monarch caterpillar on the tip of a milkweed leaf.
Danaus plexippus is in trouble. David Mizejewski raised one to demonstrate its life cycle, and explains what you can do to help them thrive

#EndTheQuota: stop the Congressional mandate to jail 34K immigrants each night

Sasha writes, "Since 2010, the detention bed quota - a Congressional mandate that requires the incarceration of 34,000 immigrants in jails and detention centers in the U.S. at any given time - has stolen countless months, days and hours from immigrants and their families and communities; this website is a powerful interactive visual representation of this system, combined with stories of detainees and steps to #EndTheQuota." Read the rest

Report from America's militarized, constitution-free border-zone

The expanding powers, vicious unaccountability and violent, invasive searching conducted in America's 100-mile "border zone" should concern you. Read the rest

Migration in America

Peter Biddle recounts the stories of his migrant ancestors and their journey to America, making the point that you can't escape your fate by staying put. Read the rest

How to request your US Border file (and what you're likely to get)

Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency for his own travel records, including the notoriously comprehensive "Passenger Name Record" -- what he got was '72 pages of shit,' a redacted jumble of arbitrarily collected and retained nonsense. He didn't get his PNR. If you want to give it a try, he's signposted the procedure. Read the rest

890 word Daily Mail immigrant panic story contains 13 vile lies

The Daily Mail is an awful, racist, hard-right UK newspaper, notorious for scare stories (see, for example, this exhaustive index of things that the Fail claims will give you cancer) and generally terrible reporting.

But even in amidst all that notorious history of deceit and hate, the Mail attained something of a new low recently, with its "reporting" on the supposed wave of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants. According to the Mail, these people were poised to invade the UK on January 1, 2014, when those countries' EU membership would entitle their citizens travel throughout the EU and seek work without visas.

Jon Danzig, an investigative BBC journalist, plucked one of the many such stories out of the paper's pages, a mere 890 words' worth, and, with the help of a colleague in Romania, found 13 lies. He pressed the Mail to substantiate its story, and, failing to receive a satisfactory reply, he filed a formal complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

The Mail's xenophobic campaign against Bulgarians and Romanians has been instrumental in shifting both Labour and the Tories to adopting inhumane policies, in order to pander to people who've been terrorised into a false belief that somehow migrants are coming to both take away British jobs and collect benefits (that is, to work and not work simultaneously). Read the rest

Interactive graphic of migration within US

Chris Walker created a fascinating interactive graphic of migration patterns within the United States. It's based on US Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey estimates. Here are a few insights that Walker gleaned: Read the rest

Australians ask their government for humane refugee treatment for Christmas

Australian Asher Wolf's taken to the Guardian to explain why her family is spending Christmas petitioning for humane refugee treatment from the Australian government. Wolf enumerates the conditions under which Australia keeps refugees in its off-shore camps -- conditions that Amenesty considers to be torture, conditions where basic sanitation and health-care are denied to families fleeing war, torture and death threats. Deprived of the shoes, hearing aids, and medicine they managed to smuggle out of their own countries, these refugees, including children, are denied sufficient water, exposed to malaria and TB, and are brutalized into suicide attempts. Gay detainees are sent to camps in PNG, where homosexuality is illegal. Orphans get it even worse -- though the immigration minister Scott Morrison is their legal guardian, these children are left with no one to advocate for them.

According to the UN High Commission on Refugees, the Australian government is spending 1000% more torturing and detaining migrants than it would spend on "community processing" on the mainland. But wasting money on cruelty curries favour with racist voters, so it is the preferred option. For now. But, perhaps, not if Australians in great number write to the minister to explain that his cynical games with innocent human lives will cost him more votes than they win. Read the rest

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