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Immigration and the American Backlash

Immigration and the American Backlash

In recent weeks U.S. federal agents have arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in several states in a series of raids that signaled the enforcement of Donald Trump's order to crack down on immigrants living here illegally. John Tirman explains why the "round them up, deport them, militarize the border” approach solves nothing. He is the author of Immigration and the American Backlash, which describes the “raid mentality” of our response to immigration that seeks violent solutions for a social phenomenon.

The recent uptick in arrests, detentions, and deportations of unauthorized immigrants has alarmed the Hispanic community, civil liberties advocates, and a public concerned about illegal immigration but largely forgiving of its protagonists. The round-ups, carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seem unusually harsh. And they also seem to portend even more drastic expulsion policies.

Five Minutes with Andrew Fisher

Five Minutes with Andrew Fisher

World Hunger Day on May 28th reminds us to consider the causes of chronic hunger and what we can do to overcome them. Andrew Fisher who has worked in the anti-hunger field for twenty-five years, has led successful efforts to gain passage of multiple pieces of federal food and nutrition legislation. In his new book, Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups, he takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.

Why is this book important now?

Big Hunger contributes to the explanation of why Trump got elected in the Rustbelt states of OH, MI, WA, and PA. During the past few decades, economic inequality has surged dramatically, driven by stagnating wages. At the same time, the charitable food sector has become ever more institutionalized. This is no coincidence, as anti-hunger groups worked with corporations to build up a neoliberal/small government approach to addressing hunger through food charity.  Trump’s victory in the Rustbelt states of PA, OH, MI, and WI was a reaction to economic insecurity. By failing to organize around wages and jobs—and perpetuating dependency on free food and food stamps—which are stigmatizing- the anti-hunger community has further embedded economic insecurities, and contributed to Trump’s victory.