Conservative Georgia Mayor unlikely but fierce opponent of new anti-immigrant law

June 29, 2011

From CNN:

Paul Bridges leans toward his desk, picks up the phone and punches in a number with the fast, laser focus of a man on a mission. The mayor of this tiny town in South Georgia is ready for battle — and looking for a new weapon.

“I need some help getting a website,” he says, spelling out the words of the domain name he wants for a site promoting immigration reform.

The man on the other end says he’ll try to help. But that isn’t enough for Bridges.

“I really don’t know what your beliefs are on this issue,” he says, “but I’m going to persuade you.”

Bridges wants the federal government to come up with a solution that gives the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States a chance to work here legally.

“You get me an invite to that Tea Party meeting and I’m going … I’d like to give the contrary viewpoints. Surely one person in the audience is going to be sympathetic.”

Bridges is an unlikely soldier on the front lines of the nation’s immigration debate. The 58-year-old native Southerner describes himself as a conservative Republican. …[But he] is one of more than a dozen plaintiffs suing Georgia and its governor, trying to stop the state’s new immigration law. They won a reprieve Monday when a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law scheduled to go into effect July 1.

You can read the full story, and see a video, on the CNN website.

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More video of arrests of undocumented workers

June 28, 2011

Slideshow: Images of Immigrants under arrest

June 28, 2011

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Illegal work/ Illegal working conditions

June 28, 2011

This video nicely encapsulates the multiple strands of illegality that converge on the issue of undocumented workers.  700 people arrested and detained for working illegally and having used false identity papers; at the same time, the meatpacking company for which they work is being investigated for violation of health and safety laws, child labor violations, allegations of sexual harassment, and for withholding pay from their workers (who, being undocumented, have no legal standing to sue for withheld wages).  If you’ve read Fast Food Nation the story of the meatpacking plant conditions will be familiar.


Video of infamous AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio

June 28, 2011

Makes the people he arrests live in tents in the Arizona heat and wear pink underwear (To humiliate them?  To brand them?  Just ‘cuz he can?)


ICE supposedly focusing on “criminal aliens”

June 28, 2011

Which is a good thing, given that, according to the article below, “assorted authorities are going well beyond this mandate” and arresting, detaining, and deporting people for things as minor as a broken tail light (!)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement busts 81 “criminal aliens” in Colorado, Wyoming – Denver News – The Latest Word.


My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

June 25, 2011

Below, a link to a recent story in the NY Times Magazine by  Pulitizer Prize winning journalist Antonio Vargas who “came out” as illegal last week.  One has to wonder if Vargas risks detention and deportation into the private prison system as a result of this confession.  The comments on this article (most, sympathetic, but a few, revealingly xenophobic) are also worth browsing:

My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant – NYTimes.com.