My Congressman knows better. He should be honest about immigration.

My representative in Congress repeatedly takes a disingenuous position on immigration that is divisive and perpetuates the trauma and suffering of men, women and children at the U.S.-Mexico border. If anyone in your orbit says things like, “I’ve got nothing against immigrants, but they should do it the right way,” then please consider reading what I wrote for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, NY, and its … Continue reading My Congressman knows better. He should be honest about immigration.

Facts are dangerous things

File this under “Be careful what you wish for.” Last month, while I was in Tijuana with a volunteer group helping migrants and asylum seekers, syracuse.com published an op-ed I had written about the value and shortcomings of public protests. Protests serve an important function, I wrote, but they don’t often lead to conversations with those who have opposing views. Well, I got what I … Continue reading Facts are dangerous things

Deported U.S. veterans ask for support so they can go home

TIJUANA, Mexico — As a deported veteran and director of Unified U.S. Deported Veterans in this Mexican border city, Hector Lopez has a question for people in the United States. “Doesn’t our service count for anything? Doesn’t my willingness to give my life for the United States of America, doesn’t that mean anything?” Lopez asked. “We’re veterans of the United States Armed forces here in … Continue reading Deported U.S. veterans ask for support so they can go home

Look at the faces of the children

When the fight for humanity at the southern border seems overwhelming and hopeless, I think of the faces of the children we met. It’s those faces I want to show to those among us who yell “illegals” or give us the finger during our silent vigils in Syracuse, to those who support the intentional cruelty of the Trump administration. Here’s the best I can do … Continue reading Look at the faces of the children

Callousness toward migrants not just ‘unfortunate’

“That’s unfortunate.” I heard that phrase twice in one afternoon as an observer in San Diego Immigration Court — first from a judge, and later from an ICE officer outside the courtrooms where asylum hearings take place. The first came during a hearing of a 32-year-old Guatemalan woman and her 15-year-old daughter. The woman told the judge she feared for her daughter’s safety if they … Continue reading Callousness toward migrants not just ‘unfortunate’

ICE’s arrest of landscaper on 1999 deportation order devastates family, employer

  It was bad enough, Carol Watson said, that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested the head of her landscaping crew in May, the busiest time of year at her greenhouse near Syracuse, New York. But what two ICE officers said when they told her they had arrested Justino Vixtha made it worse. “They told me they didn’t have to arrest him,” Watson said. “He … Continue reading ICE’s arrest of landscaper on 1999 deportation order devastates family, employer

We have nothing to fear

Since my return from Tijuana in June, I’ve spoken to several groups about what I saw and learned as a volunteer with groups helping migrants at the US-Mexico border. Only one group has turned me down. An Evangelical Christian church. I don’t know why they said no, but I hope they’ll reconsider. Here’s some of what I would have told them: I would have told … Continue reading We have nothing to fear