Archives for immigration

RadioActive 11/1/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Root Causes of Migrant Caravan and Political Violence in Central America and US

Key Discussion Points:

a) This week, we again turn to the thousands of migrants travelling together from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala towards the US to seek asylum.
b) We look further at the political repression experienced by Hondurans since the US supported 2009 coup and at the environmental, human rights and economic impacts mega-projects have had on the population.
c) We also reflect on the connections between the recent hatred fueled violence in the US and the demonization of immigration.

And, as November 6th deadline for public comment looms, we look at the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal the 1997 Flores Amendment, which prohibits the US federal government from holding migrant children in detention centers for over 20 days.

Grahame Russel, director of Rights Action
Reporting by Sandra Cuffe, travelling with caravan:

Dennis Chinoy, US El Salvador Sister Cities, PICA (Power in Community Alliances)

Information on Flores Amendment:

RadioActive 10/25/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Migrant Caravan from Central America: Root Causes and Human Rights

Key Discussion Points:

a) As thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala travel in a caravan through Mexico towards the US, we speak with Patricia Montes, executive director od the immigrant rights organization Centro Presente, in East Boston.

b) We look at the root causes, and connections to the United States policies, including poverty, unemployment, gang violence and political repression, including following the US backed coup in Honduras in 2009.

c) We also look at human rights impacts, as the Trump Administration seizes on the caravan to inflame knee jerk, anti-immigrant sentiment during the mid-term election, now saying he will “call up the US military and close our southern border.”

Guest: Patricia Montes, executive director, Centro Presente ,

An Evening with Farm Labor Activist Baldemar Velasquez & others

Audio recorded at event

On Thursday, September 20th at 7-9 p.m. at the Crosby Center in Belfast, WERU Community Radio and Americans Who Tell the Truth presented renowned activist and union leader Baldemar Velasquez, founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO. Velasquez is a highly respected advocate for migrant workers and immigrants, himself the son of immigrant farm workers from Mexico.

There was also a panel presentation and question-and-answers featuring Velasquez and Jorge Acero of the Maine Department of Labor, Edith Flores of Mano en Mano, and Cynthia Phinney of the Maine AFL-CIO. Music opening and closing the evening was performed by father and daughter duo Shawn and Maizey Mercer.


Democracy Forum 5/18/18

Immigration: Can We Live Without It?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
Immigration and jobs
Federal policy
Effect on economic development and workforce in Maine

Dany Bahar, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution
Carla Dickstein, Senior Vice President for Research and Policy Development at the Coastal Enterprise Institute
Martha Searchfield, Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Chamber Commerce

To learn more about this topic:
Immigrants’ Contribution to Maine’s Workforce and Economy, from the Coastal Enterprise Institute
Building Maine’s Economy: How Maine Can Embrace Immigrants and Strengthen the Workforce, more from CEI, 2016.
100 Years Ago, Maine’s Economy Was Powered by Immigrants reporting in the Bangor Daily News, September, 2017.
The Trump administration failed to study immigration vetting. So I did. David Bier from the Cato Institute in the Washington Post
Migrants and refugees: The unlikely key for economic development, Dany Bahar for Brookings.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine:

Maine Currents 2/6/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributor/Engineer: John Greenman

Segment 1: Immigrant’s Rights Rally at Bangor Bus Station
Segment 2: CMP Draws Complaints Over Billing Increases & Storm Response

Several Mainers braved the bitter cold on Saturday to attend a rally in Bangor calling attention to recent reports of Border agents asking bus passengers in Bangor where they were born, the possible upcoming deportation of a Waterville resident, and DACA recipients in Maine. (Recorded by John Greenman)

A large number of customers are taking to social media to complain that their Central Maine Power (CMP) bills doubled or tripled in January. Jennifer Gamage of Dixmont joins us to tell her story, and we hear the response from CMP and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). In addition, representatives from several rural towns complained today to the state legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology committee about CMP’s response following the October wind storm.

RadioActive 1/11/18 (rebroadcast 1/18/18)

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Trump Administration’s Rescinding of TPS for El Salvador and other Immigration Policies

-Today we look at a number of the Trump Administration’s hostile immigration stances and policies.

-This week, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security announced it would end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans in the United States, adding to the list of countries already struck from the humanitarian program, including Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

-We look at the rescinding of TPS and the impacts it would have on Salvadorans in the US and in El Salvador. And we look at the realities of so-called “chain migration” and other programs the Trump administration has vilified.

Rachel Reyes, Center for Migration Studies in New York City
Dennis Chinoy, US El Salvador Sister Cities and PICA (Power in Community Alliances), in Bangor, ME

Maine Currents 4/26/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Anti-immigration bills introduced in Maine

We take you to last week’s public hearing for LD 366 “An Act To Ensure Compliance with Federal Immigration Law by State and Local Government Entities”, LD 847 “An Act To Hold Refugee Resettlement Agencies Accountable to Maine People” and LD 1099, a resolve that would have “Required the State To Bring Suit against the Federal Government for Failure To Comply with the Federal Refugee Act of 1980”. All were introduced by Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Amherst.

In breaking news just before we went to air, the Judiciary Committee voted “Ought Not to Pass” on LDs 1099 and 847, and tabled LD366.

Update: We mentioned on the show that we had contacted Rep. Lockman to inquire about two issues that were raised during the hearing: His testimony that the City of Portland had redirected educational funding to refugee support, and the comments made by members of the public that he did not stay to hear their comments after introducing the legislation. We did hear back from him after the show. Here is his response: “I was there for most of the hearing, stepped out twice to do TV interviews, then had to attend my own committee.” And he provided this link to a 2015 article entitled “LePage to fight Portland over asylum seekers money”:

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Wednesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and

RadioActive 10/11/12

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Issue: Envronmental and Social Justice News

Program Topic: UM Professor Robert Glover on Immigration, part 2, at the University of Maine’s Socialist & Marxist Studies lecture series (Part 1 aired on the News Report on 10/10/12). Recorded by John Greenman

Key Discussion Points:
a) immigration
b) academic theories on the topic
c) democracy

Call In Program: no