SATURDAY 6-PACK: January 20, 2018

A weekly listing of articles, audio clips, and other tidbits I’ve encountered that seemed interesting, insightful, or otherwise useful …

Yeah … there’s a shutdown happening.  But the road to the shutdown started when Senators Lindsay Graham and Dick Durbin presented a compromise on immigration to the occupant of the Oval Office on January 11th.  This agreement covered a number of concerns about immigration and had been in development for four months.  After having indicated that he would sign any deal congress produced, the occupant rejected this proposal and used very disparaging language about certain countries.  This wholesale rejection of a bipartisan agreement green-lighted the take-it-or-leave it approach by would-be leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell … an approach that also involved pitting one group of children (represented by CHIP) against another (represented by DACA).
Since immigration is a major factor in this, here’s six places for a deeper dive into better understanding immigration:
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Back in December, This American Life (perhaps THE finest hour of radio in any given week) produced a two-part show in December called “Our Town, ” detailing experiences with immigrant workers in an Alabama town.  It’s two hours well-spent:
(PS .. analysis shows Jeff Sessions gets it wrong: the immigrant workforce is not depressing the wages of the native workforce.  If you want the details, the analysis is also on website for This American Life.)
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About a year ago, Lulu (Lourdes) Garcia Navarro became the host of Sunday Edition, the Sunday morning news program on NPR.  And at some point last year, she also became a naturalized US citizen.  Did she have things to say last Sunday?  You betcha! Here are the pertinent segments from last Sunday’s show:
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Two op-ed pieces appeared on the same day in the Star Tribune that addressed the topic of immigration with candor, experience, and fact.  Since they appeared together, here they are as two-fer:

http://www.startribune.com/was-trump-right-or-wrong-about-immigration-let-s-consult-the-data/469438003/

http://www.startribune.com/reflections-of-a-minnesotan-from-a-country-on-the-president-s-list/469438033/

 

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A couple of sticking points around immigration involve families: family reunification policies (now being called “chain-migration”) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Family reunification builds immigration policies that place a high value of the nature of families to want to be together in the same place.  The DACA program was developed to allow immigrants, who were brought into the US as children, who grew up as Americans, who may have siblings who are US citizens, who have built lives and families for themselves here,  to stay here.  This, too, places a high value on keeping families together.  This is why it is so troubling that many who publicly identify as Christians and cite “family values” as an  essential aspect of their religious faith are quickly and vociferously calling for immigrant families to be shredded to pieces.  Consider this perspective from Benjamin Corey:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/conservative-christian-tell-me-again-about-how-youre-pro-family/

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This week also saw the annual commemoration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The title of this piece cites King, but the content speaks to driving forces the bring refugees and immigrants to our shores — and why we need people such as these:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor/2018/01/15/answer-no-change-world-better/#

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And finally, in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Erin Wathen works the themes of King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” to speak right to the discomfort of many of us who are privileged to be white and American, calling us to lean into our discomfort and face some hard truths:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/irreverin/2018/01/white-polite-part-problem-honor-mlk-day/