The Marc Steiner Show

Archive for immigration

Aviva Chomsky: Fighting For DACA

Avi chomsky (Credit: Her Fb Page)September 7, 2017 – Aviva Chomsky

For our latest podcast we interviewed Avivia Chomsky, Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American Studies at Salem State University. We discussed the history of DACA and the effect that rescinding this policy will have on 800,000 DACA holders, and 10 million undocumented immigrants.

Her most recent book is is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Beacon Press, 2014) and her writings can be found on the Nation, Tom Dispatch, and much more.



Immigration Roundtable: ICE Raids

ICE Raid (Credit: The Inquisitir)February 13, 2017 – Segment 2

We hosted an Immigration Roundtable with four immigration attorneys. 

With: Maureen Sweeney, who has directed the Immigration Clinic at the Maryland Carey School of Law since 2004 and is a founding board member of the Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition; Nadine Wettstein, who heads the Immigration Program for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and was formerly the Director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center; Sirine Shebaya, Civil Rights attorney in Washington, DC, who was one of the organizers of the Dulles Justice Coalition created in response to the recent travel bans, and former Director of  the ACLU of Maryland’s Immigrants’ Rights Program; and Reena Shah, Executive Director of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission and former Director of the Human Rights Project at Maryland Legal Aid Bureau.

Immigration Roundtable: Trump’s Travel Ban & What’s Next

January 31 2017 – Segment 2

Immigration Roundtable with Sanho Tree, who directs the Drug Policy project at the Institute for Policy Studies; Zainab Chaudry, MarylDonald Trump (Credit: Business Insider)and Outreach Manager for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); and Elizabeth Alex, Regional Director of CASA Baltimore.

The Last of These: An Examination Of Immigration Detention Centers In The US

October 16, 2015 – Segment 5Thelast

We present an archive edition of The Marc Steiner Show as we listen back to an interview with directors and producers of the documentary film The Least of These, which examines the realities of immigration detention centers across our country. With: Clark Lyda, Director and Producer of The Least of These; Jesse Lyda, Director and Producer of The Least of These; and Marcy Garriott, Producer of The Least of These.

Talking About Race: Rights for Domestic Workers creativecommons copyright: David BaconOctober 14, 2015 – Segment 3

We turn to the plight of domestic workers with Open Society Institute-Baltimore as part of their Talking About Race series: Rights for Domestic Workers.  Joining us for this discussion is Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Rachel Micah-Jones, Founder and Executive Director of CDM: Centro de los Derechos del Migrante; and Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA. 


From The Archives: Immigrants, Refugees & Asylum Seekers Share Art and Recipes In ‘Kitchen Stories’

Kitchen Stories (Photo Credit: Kitchen Stories Project on Facebook)September 24, 2015 – Segment 2

We’re joined by Baltimore artist Julie Lin, who tells us about her project, “Kitchen Stories”, which has brought together groups of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, to create art, share recipes, and cook. One of the Kitchen Stories participants, Enas, joins us, as well.


National News Roundup: President Obama On Immigration & Pending Ferguson Decision

Obama Immigration SpeechNovember 24, 2014 – Segment 3

We host a National News Roundup, with topics to include President Obama’s speech last week and executive actions on immigration policy, and the pending Grand Jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri. With: Dr. Richard Vatz, Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Towson University’s Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development; Imara Jones, Host of CaffeineTV, an online daily news brief, and Economic Justice contributor for; and Michelle Chen, Contributing Editor at In These Times, Associate Editor at CultureStrike, and co-producer of “Asia Pacific Forum” on Pacifica’s WBAI and Dissent Magazine’s “Belabored” podcast.

National & International News Roundup: President Obama’s Immigration Plan, The Islamic State & More

President ObamaNovember 17, 2014 – Segment 3

We look at national and international headlines, including President Obama’s comments on immigration and the Islamic State with: Dr. Faheem Younus, Senior Fellow at the Hoffberger Center for Ethics at the University of Baltimore and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland; Zoe Carpenter, reporter in the Washington Bureau at the The Nation magazine; Dr. Lawrence Brown, activist, public health consultant, and Assistant Professor of Public Health in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University; and Dr. Max Hilaire, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Morgan State University.

Reyna Grande: The Distance Between Us

Reyna GrandeOctober 13, 2014 – Segment 1

It’s WEAA’s Fall Membership Drive! Call us this week during the show between 10:00 AM and noon eastern time at 410-319-8888 to make a pledge.

We meet National Book Critics Award Finalist Reyna Grande. Her memoir, The Distance Between Us, is this year’s One Maryland One Book selection. 


National News Roundup: Supreme Court, Immigration & The Zimmerman Trial

George Zimmerman TrialJune 28, 2013 – Segment 2

We shift to a national focus with a roundtable discussing the week’s headlines including the Supreme Court rulings, the Senate’s immigration bill, and the George Zimmerman trial. Joining our roundtable is:

  • Arun Gupta, founding editor of The Indypendent magazine and  the Occupy Wall Street Journal;
  • Tony Campbell, president of Marylanders for Coherent & Fair Representation, Inc.;
  • Edward Wyckoff Williams, political analyst and contributor to The Root;
  • and Avis Jones-DeWeever, Host of “Focus Point with Avis Jones-DeWeever,” a production of New Visions New Voices.

Weekly News Roundup: NSA, Immigration, & Syria

President ObamaJune 21, 2013 – Segment 3

We have our weekly round table on national headlines. This week our panelists include:
  • Marta Mossburg, columnist for The Baltimore Sun and the Frederick News-Post;
  • Margaret Flowers, co-director of and co-host of Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio Show;
  • and Imara Jones, economic justice contributor for 




Immigration Reform

Border wallApril 23, 2013 – Segment 4

Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators proposed immigration reform legislation. We’ll discuss it with The Nation writer Aura Bogado and Charles Lollar of New Day Maryland.


A conversation with Sonia Nazario

NazarioApril 15, 2013- Segment 2

We talk with Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother, about the plight of children who are undocumented immigrants and thus do not have the right to legal representation in this country.



February 4, 2013 – Segment 3

We have a roundtable discussion and debate on immigration reform, with President Obama’s announcement of a new immigration reform plan. We are joined by:

  • Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies and author of the books The New Case against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal and How Obama is Transforming America through Immigration;
  • Erica Almaron, Executive Director of Juntos, a Latino immigrant communty-led organization in Philadelphia;
  • Elizabeth Alex, lead organizer for Casa de Maryland Baltimore.

September 4, 2012 – Segment 2

We turn our attention to the riders of the UndocuBus, immigration-rights activists who have been riding across the U.S. since July 28 and will end their trip in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Democratic National Convention. They are protesting the increase in immigration enforcement by local police in many areas, through the 287(g) program.  Our guest for this discussion are:

June 26, 2012 – Hour 1

We discuss the US Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law this hour. We start off with Daniel Rodriguez, Head of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. Then we switch our focus to Maryland, as we talk about the Maryland Dream Act with Brad Botwin, Director of Help Save Maryland, and Maureen Sweeney, clinical instructor at the University of Maryland’s Immigration Clinic.

June 19, 2012 – Segment 2

Today on the Steiner Show, we will converse about immigration, discussing both President Obama’s recent order allowing more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation, and the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s stringent immigration law. We will be speaking with activists from Arizona including student Daniela Cruz; columnist from the online news service Colorlines Julianne Hing; and policy analyst Shelby Emmett, co-host of the Exceptional Conservative Show on the American Conservative Nation channel of blogtalkradio.

April 25, 2012 – Segment 2

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Arizona’s controversial immigration laws, that among other provisions require state law agents to run immigration checks on anyone they believe to be in the country illegally.  We discuss the court case and American immigration policy with:
Ajmel Quereshi, Adjunct Professor at Howard University
Michael Cutler, Senior Fellow with CAPS (California Population Stabilization), Senior Immigration Editor for And Magazine, host of the Talk Border Radio Show, and former INS agent

May 10, 2011 – Segment 3

This afternoon President Obama gave an address about reforming America’s immigration system.  We’re joined by Elizabeth Alex of CASA de Maryland and Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold to get their takes on the speech and what we need to do to fix our broken immigration policies.

January 10, 2011 – Hour 2

Anthony McCarthy co-hosts a look at Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, in which six people were killed and 14 injured, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Our guests are:

Former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, who represented Maryland’s 1st District from 1990 – 2008.
Bryan Kaplan, a volunteer for the Gabrielle Giffords campaign and Employment Coordinator for the Lutheran Social Services Department of Refugee and Immigration Services in Tuscon
Kat Rodriguez, Program Director of  Derechos Humanos in Tuscon
Karen Dolan, Director of the Cities for Peace and Cities For Progress Programs at the Institute for Policy Studies

July 21, 2010 – Hour 1

When Barack Obama was elected president, some believed that a new era of racial healing had begun. Others argued that his presidency would only disguise racial divisions, without truly bridging them. The news is full of stories of racial tension: protests over Arizona immigration laws, the NAACP resolution condemning racism in the Tea Party, racial slurs hurled at Civil Rights leaders and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the firing of Georgia Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, and more. Are these stories evidence that the promise of a new era in race relations was false, or are they merely growing pains as we move towards a difficult goal?  

Marc and Anthony McCarthy co-host, and are joined by:

Sherrilyn Ifill, a civil rights lawyer and Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, as well as a frequent contributor to

Stephan Thernstrom, Professor of History at Harvard University

Stacey Peterson,  Professor of Communication Arts at the College of Notre Dame in Maryland

Lester Spence,  Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University


July 1, 2010 – Segment 2

We talk to Joanna Smith Ramani, Director of Strategy for the Doorways to Dreams fund in our weekly series "Your Money Matters."

Then, an interview with Laurie Roberts, a columnist for the Arizona Republic, about the Arizona Immigration Bill.

We then discuss President Obama’s speech today on immigration and the immigration reform debate with:

Steven Camarota – Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies

Elizabeth Alex – Lead Organizer/Senior Manager of Casa de Maryland


June 30, 2010 – Segment 3

Discussion from the US Social Forum about the strict laws about immigration with Victor Medina and Diane Ovalle. They talk about life for immigrants in Arizona and the attempts they are making to fight against the new laws. 

What are you views on this issue and immigration as a whole? Do you believe the laws in Arizona go against the constituition?

April 13, 2010 – Segment 3

We sit down with leaders from the Immigration Outreach Service Center (IOSC)  at St. Matthew Catholic Church, which assists immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers here in Baltimore.  They are celebrating their 10th anniversery on Monday, April 26th at Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  Joining us were:

Father Joe Muth, pastor of St. Matthews Catholic Church and founder of the IOSC

Jean-Marie Holloway, Executive Director of the IOSC

Owen Charles, Board Member of the IOSC

Dr. Anthony, Board Member of the IOSC


Visit the IOSC website for information about their upcoming celebration!



October 1, 2009 – Hour 1

Joining Marc in a lively discussion about immigration is John Leopold, Anne Arundel County Executive and Ricardo Flores, Director of Advocacy at the Latin American Youth Center who debate immigration as a world issue. Later, Bill Barry, Author of  Union Strategies for Hard Times looks at immigration and its impact on the middle class.

April 30, 2009 – Hour 2

What is the relationship between racism, immigration, and the privilege
and practice of citizenship? Does our citizenship criteria promote or
eliminate racial hierarchy? Are societies with strict immigration
policies more racist?

Our guests are:

Michael Hanchard – Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University

Mark Sawyer – Associate Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at UCLA

Javier Moreno – Researcher at the Spanish National Research Council

*Please note that the podcast joins the show a few seconds into this hour, as the beginning of the recording was cut off.

April 16, 2009 – Hour 2

The second hour of today’s show was separated into two segments.

For the first segment, Marc spoke with Ellen Brown about America’s monetary practices, as well as her book entitled WEB OF DEBT: THE SHOCKING TRUTH OF OUR MONEY. Ellen Brown is an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles, California.

For the second segment, Marc spoke with guests about their documentary entitled THE LEAST OF THESE.  This new documentary is an in-depth examination of immigration dentention centers, such as the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Texas.  The panel included:


The Visitor: A Talk with Writer/Director Thomas McCarthy

Welcome to a conversation with Thomas McCarthy, the writer and director of a new film called The Visitor.

Tarek teaching Walter the drum

This movie is the tale of a middle-aged college professor, Walter Vale, who comes home to his  New York City apartment after an extended abscense.  He is surprised to find a Syrian man named Tarek  and a Senegalese woman named Zainab living in his apartment.  They are surprised to see him as well, because they believed they had legally sublet the place.  After an exciting introduction, Walter takes pity on the now-homeless couple and invites them to stay in his apartment-thus beginning a relationship with the warm drum-player Tarek and the prickly but beautiful jewelry designer Zainab.  Tarek begins to give Walter drum lessons, which offers Walter a sense of passion that had been missing from his life.  One day, while coming home from a drum circle, Tarek is arrested in the subway.  When Walter arrives at the apartment and tells Zainab, he learns that she and Tarek are undocumented immigrants, and that Tarek’s arrest could mean deportation.

Marc caught up with director and writer Thomas McCarthy, who all Wire fans know as the slimy reporter Scott Templeton.  When he isn’t acting, Thomas is writing amazing movies like his first work, The Station Agent, and this more recent accomplishment, The Visitor.  Marc chatted with Thomas about the creative process of writing and directing, how he cast this multicultural cast, and his thoughts on how movies can speak on sensitive political issues like immigration.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think.  Running time is 31 minutes.


From Marc – May 8


On May 19th, from 6 to 8 PM, I will be hosting a special two-hour, live call-in with Baltimore Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso on WEAA, 88.9 FM, your community radio station.

One of the issues we will talk about is violence in our schools. In many city schools, it is palpable when you walk through their halls or when you talk to students and teachers who are in them every day.

It is fine to give more control to individual principals and schools, but there needs to be a system-wide policy to address what is in their control to address. Violence cannot be tolerated. Students who attack teachers and other students have to be dealt with firmly. Students have to know the limitations. The response can be therapeutic and healing, but it must be swift and with consequences.

Then you can talk about what individual schools can do.

So, please, join us on the 19th; it will be great being back on the air with you and taking your calls.


So, I wandered over to the WYPR website yesterday. Don’t do that often. Actually, this may the second or third time I have done it since they kicked us off the air. I thought I would take a gander to see what was going on.

The Board of Directors meeting scheduled for May 20th at the Learning Tree has been turned into an internet meeting to be streamed live. Apparently, so many folks still outraged by the senseless cancellation of our show called in to say they were coming to attend the meeting. So, the folks at the top at the station said we could be in compliance with Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) open meeting rules by streaming it on the web.

It is amazing they really have no respect for the people of this community or their station’s listeners and members. It is outrageous and very telling when the leaders of that station are afraid to face and listen to their listeners.

For a while a few years ago, I was excited by how much underwriting was being brought into the station. It was to be a model for the nation’s public radio stations on how to address the dwindling federal support for public broadcasting. Then I realized that while underwriting grew, funds for expanding and building membership were being eviscerated at the station. Underwriting accounted for over 53% of funds and membership was down to the thirties. Underwriting by large corporations has steadily grown at WYPR since the station’s founding. The influence that the corporate money buys is significant, but that is clearly to the liking of the management.

I now realize that this is not the salvation of public radio, but the bells chiming that could be its death knell. Public broadcasting is supposed to be adventuresome, where opinions outside the mainstream are heard and given voice, where creative experimentation is unleashed, where members and listeners actually participate.

We are losing control of our public airwaves and we must demand them back.


I was reading in the Sun about the MTA light rail dilemma, which got me thinking about mass transit. So, more people seem to be using light rail because of high gas prices. That is a wonderful thing. Most seem to believe we can’t get people out their cars into public transit. Well, I think over the long run we can. Keep gas prices high, stop building new developments, squeeze the auto industry to make hybrid/electric/hydrogen vehicles, and for god’s sake put money into mass transit and stop building so many bloody highways. Life can change. It takes, it takes patience …… it takes money.

In the meantime, MTA has to get its act together. The state should take some of that highway money (those highway contractors and developers are powerful lobbies in Annapolis) and put it into MTA and the MARC to buy more cars, high speed (give them a lane) hybrid alternative diesel busses, and more maintenance workers and inspectors. In the long, they should build more rail (so MARC runs faster and the Light Rail has at least two tracks with more routes.)

That is the answer. Short term – buy more cars and busses. Long term – give us more rail.

It can be done. Am I nuts? What do you think?


The common wisdom has been, and primary election vote analyses tell us, that higher income people with more education, African-Americans, and younger voters are voting for Obama and that older voters, white women, Latinos, to a degree, and working people with less education are going with Clinton. No matter what happens, a portion of the Hillary voters will never vote for a Black man and a portion of the Barack voters will never vote for Hillary or a woman. The majority of primary voters, many of them new or voting for the first time in many years, could be Democratic voters in the fall.

It means that the two candidates have to come together and convince their supporters to support a new tomorrow together or they may once again lose despite Americans’ frustrations and anger over the state of the economy and the war in Iraq.

They have to ignore the demagogic demons of cable talk TV, these so-called pundits with nothing to say but divisive viscera of mistrust and hate. Democrats have to stop talking about Reverend Wright, ignore and rise above the media’s obsession with their “bittergate" and dividing people with emotionally charged rhetoric over race and class. Sure, race and class are at the core of our fears, our mistrust, and the most horrendous parts of our history.

They have to speak forcefully, passionately, persuasively and intelligently about those things that concern Americans. You have to speak to people’s hopes and fears about the future. There is no reason why the wealthiest nation on the planet cannot guarantee a decent income, health care, and schools that we want our children to go to. Someone has to make sense of immigration and our relationship to the world economy honestly and clearly. People will hear it. Americans want us out of Iraq; we did not want to be there in the first place. Now it has to be clear that the Republican mess has to be cleared up, and it won’t be easy. Say it clearly; it will be heard. Most Americans want large corporations and the financial investment industry to be regulated and allow small business to flourish. People want immediate help and a vision for the future. Most folks don’t mind paying if they know where they are going. That is as long as the paying for is equitable where the wealthiest and the major corporations are carrying their weight and then some.

Talk about those issues and bring our future into the clear light of day and most Americans will go…"Reverend WHO?”

The Republicans have their vision and their candidate(s). The Democrats better see to theirs unless they want to sit by the gates of the White House panting like a thirsty dog for the next four years.


So, one of my favorite spots to eat near our new Hampden office is Soup’s On, located on 36th Street in Hampden. They’re closing this Saturday for three months. Just two days left to get your favorite soup, salad, chicken pot pie, iced coffee and dangerous cupcakes. The lovely Cynthia, proprietor and creator of Soup’s On, is going to have a baby. Get her wares while you can, or wait till the end of the summer.

Also, went to Luca’s Café in Locust Point, on Fort Avenue across from the Phillips Seafood HQ. The food was just phenomenonal and prices, well, four of with a few drinks was $96 bucks. Great wine list too. Check it out.

At the Baltimore School for the Arts, students and faculty are putting on four one-act Moliere plays. It runs through Sunday. Don’t miss it. The plays are really well acted by adults and students. My old friend Tony Tsendas is hilarious, right in his element (I think he channels the Marx brothers.) Richard Pilcher directs it all. Don’t miss it. Our School for the Arts (and Carver in Baltimore County) is among the best in the nation.

10/4/07 California Prisons and Wesley Clark

from the New York Times.  Read the accompanying article here.

California is one of those places that sets trends.  Making restaurants smoke free…the fitness craze…”green living” and nutrition.  And if you think about it, they also show us what problems the rest of the country can expect.  Illegal immigration, water shortages, gang activity, a real estate market more and more people are getting priced out of….California began to struggle with these problems before anyone else.

 With that in mind we were interested when we heard about a documentary that will air on the Discovery Channel on Sunday at 9pm called Breaking Point.  It is an investigation into the problems of overcrowding in California prisons.  Those prisons were built to house about 100,000 people.  Today they have more than 170,000 inmates.  Prisoners are being segregated by race and gang affiliation in an attempt to keep some kind of peace.  Inmates are sleeping on cots in hallways and gyms.  And it costs as much to house, clothe, and feed a prisoner each year as it does to send someone to Harvard.

We’ll talk with Ted Koppel who hosted and produced this documentary, and James Blue, an award w

inning producer who worked on the documentary who just happens to live in Baltimore!

and then….

“I’m coming for you, WYPR.”

He’s not seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States this time around, but he still has a LOT to say about leadership, citizenship, and politics in America.  Marc talks with retired General Wesley Clark about his new book A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country.


06/14/07 1 pm Watching America

Tomorrow, get ready for an hour talking about planning for the influx of people coming into Maryland because of Base Realingment and Closure with Lietenaunt Governor Anthony Brown.

Scratch that. Elected officials are busy, and when your boss is the Governor and asks you to clear your schedule to come to a meeting, you listen! No harm, no foul. We’re working to schedule another date soon. Good thing we had a special super secret show in the works!!

watching-america-begin-copy.jpg is a website I try and check on a daily basis. It’s a place where you can read articles from the foreign press about America. The people who run the website have dozens of articles translated each day from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Russia, China, and more. In conversations with the founder of the website, William Kern, we thought that Watching America could translate into a radio special, too. So tomorrow we are putting some hurt on the phone bill at WYPR (which reminds me…are you a member yet?) and talking to foreign journalists around the world.

We’ll talk to:

  • Ahmad Khalidi, a co-editor of Mideast Mirror, a London-based daily, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Journal of Palestine Studies.
  • William Waack, a newscaster for O Globo, Brazil. He’s spent multiple decades as a reporter, editor, and international correspondent for the Brazillian Press.
  • Andrei Sitov, the Washington Bureau Chied for the Itar-Tass news agency of Russia.
  • and Hugh Williamson, the Berlin correspondent for the Financial Times since 2001.

We’ll be talking with them about how America is viewed by their audience and in their countries. What does the world think of our domestic debates over immigration? What does the world think of our scandals (federal prosecutor firings, Plamegate, etc.) shows the foreign press writing about topics such as tensions between Iran and the U.S. (understandable; has consequences for the entire world) and Paris Hilton’s trip to, and from, and back to jail (less understandable; of course I care, and desperately, but why do they?)

Enjoy the show. It will be the first of many such programs on Watching America.


 I’m going to jump in here with a few quick words about this hour’s show.  I just came out of the studio, where we recorded the interview that will be played at 1pm.  The conversation never came around to Paris Hilton or any of the recent political scandals, but it did cover a lot of very interesting ground.  To find out the details, you’ll have to listen.  If you don’t catch it at 1pm, just go to  We’ll have the audio up there as soon as possible.

We taped the show in advance in case we had any trouble with all of the international phone connections, and to better coordinate with schedules in so many time zones.  Since we won’t be taking calls as it airs, we’re really looking forward to some feedback right here!


06/12/07 1 pm Voices of Immigrants


With immigration reform legislation floundering and the status of millions of people who reside illegally in this country still undecided, we thought it would be an appropriate time to have another show where we hear directly the voices of immigrations, documented and undocumented.

We’ll be hearing from Ruben Chandrasekar, an immigrant from South India, who lives here in Baltimore and works for the American Friends Service Committee.  He works on immigration issues, so he can speak not just about his own experiences but also those of people he helps everyday.  Also, Luis, who is an undocumented immigrant from Guatamala.  He came here to try and make enough money to help his mother escape an abusive relationship. 

I’m a big fan of getting all the facts…which is why when we have shows on immigration we’ve heard from people who can talk about how it can effect schools, hospitals, the economy, how long it will take an ambulance to get to your house.  But part of the facts we need to gather is also why people come here, under what circumstances, and what will happen if they are denied a path to citizenship or if the legal route into this country is made more difficult. 

I hope you enjoy it.


05/30/07 Immigration

We’ve got a huge two hour special on immigration for you today.

 We begin with a look at the history of social attitudes towards immigration in America.  We’ll be joined by Daniel Tichenor, professor of political science at Rutgers and the author of two books on immigration.  He’ll talk about how this current ruckus over immigration is nothing new-that the American collective freaks out about immigration every few decades or so.

Then, a good ole fashioned debate with Matthew Spaulding of The Heritage Foundation and Flavia Jimenez of the National Council of La Raza.  We’ll talk about the immigration reform legislation currently being considered by Congress.  Does this bill make anyone happy?

In the second hour, we are going to take a look at the epicenter of illegal immigration-the Arizona-Mexican border.  I was shocked to learn while researching this show that an average of 300 bodies are found in southern Arizona alone each year.  The bodies of course are of border crossers who set out on foot and were killed by exposure to the elements, or who were abandoned by their “coyotes”.  We’ll hear from Mike Wilson, a member of the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation who operates water stations for border crossers on the land of his reservation, and Reverend Robin Hoover, the founder and director of Humane Borders, who operates 86 water stations on public land.  They see this whole debate in terms of a humanitarian crisis. 

We’ll also be joined by Ignacio Barraza, the mayor of Nogales, Arizona.  Nogales is Arizona’s largest border town. The image below is the warning map for border crossers that Humane Borders created for Nogales.  Border towns have a lot of challenges to deal with beyond just dealingwith a constant influx of people, many of whom need medical attention.  There are other things that come across the border-drugs and arms to name a few.  Those things bring with them a criminal element that those border towns have to deal with.   It’s not easy.  You could argue that these border towns offer a hint of how towns hundreds of miles away from the border, all across the country, will be affected if we don’t figure something out. 

Also joining us will be Joseph Mathew.  He is the director of a documentary called Crossing Arizonathat explores the reality of life along the Arizona-Mexico border.  His film profiles politicians, activists, and militia leaders all struggling with their own ideas about what to do regarding illegal border crossers. 

I hope you enjoy it!

-Jessica Phillips

The red dots indicate recovered bodies.  The blue flags indicate water stations operated by Humane Borders.