Deporting Dobbs

After 30 years, commentator Lou Dobbs—infamous for his tirades against undocumented immigrants—has left CNN, as TPM reports. Dobbs employed disturbing, dangerous, and dated language to slur immigrants, often equating them with disease and infection. There is a connection between this type of demagoguery and violence.

Clearly, the organizing efforts of groups like Basta Dobbs have borne fruit, as even Dobbs admits. GRITtv recently covered the “way the mainstream media equates ‘Latino’ with ‘immigrant’” and Latino organizing efforts to correct this perspective.

“Over the past six months, it’s become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country, and affecting all of us,” Dobbs said in his last live broadcast for CNN. Other commentators belonging to the old school of racist separatism ought take note. It’s a new day in the USA.


Much like the ideological frames that Dobbs was fond of, our current immigration policies wrongly mark some citizens as harmful so that others can “benefit.” This week, ABM Industries in Mineapolis worked with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to execute a silent raid similar to September’s raid on American Apparel. In the case of ABM, 1,250 janitors were fired in an economy where massive job loss further harms struggling communities.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues laboring under this illusion, as National Radio Project reports, and the effects of enforcement-first policies have been drastic. Once upon a time Latinos and immigrants and whites lived together mostly peaceably in Maricopa County, AZ. Now, people scream “build a wall, deport them all” and law enforcement sweeps are aimed at the undocumented. Fear rules the town. National Radio Project reports on these seismic changes, and also how gangs are able to extort community members because nobody dares call the police.

Tyler Moran reports for New America Media on how the broken immigration system affects all workers, and not just the undocumented. Systems that would normally redress unfair working environments fall apart when workers cannot stand up for themselves. Moran calls this dynamic “a secret weapon for keeping down wages and working conditions.”

Using a wicked sort of revolving door style, “unscrupulous employers” hire the undocumented for lower wages, and if they happen to complain about conditions or pay, the employer calls the Department of Homeland Security or uses the threat to suppress challenges. This type of exploitation brings down the wages and conditions for all, and has no place in a modern society.

Jorge Rivas reports for RaceWire on recent attempts by some cable news networks to diminish the worth and meaning of Megrahtom Keflezighi’s New York marathon win. Even though Keflezighi legally immigrated and is an American citizen, to CNBC Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell, the win was “empty.” And Keflezighi’s Americanness itself is merely “taking a test and living in our country.” Dividing “real Americans” from people like Keflezighi is an ugly reflex. It does nothing to prom0te a healthy country.

Emily Deprang reviews Helen Thorpe’s Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America for the Texas Observer. The story unfolds on a bus trip from Tucson to Houston and back and “details four young Mexican women” in varying legal situations—two with papers and two undocumented. DePrang calls the book “an epic journey through the realities of undocumented life” and feels that “every American—documented or not—deserves to meet Marisela, Yadira, Elissa, and Clara.”

Marcelo Ballve, reporting for New America Media, recaps the minute, but important, shifts that have come about since last week’s elections, and how they may aid the coming immigration reform showdown. “Viewed through the lens of the immigration issue,” the results are not dramatically telling on either side.

In states like Virginia and New Jersey, Republican hardliners gained power. But in other places, like New York’s 23rd district and California’s 10th district, the Democrats picked up two seats. This two seat gain should make it “just a bit easier for House Democrats to marshal the votes” they need to advance immigration reform soon. Ballve explores numerous other states, stances, and policies—such as the 287(g) program—and how the political landscape has been affected. Clearly, it’s all very much in play.

Finally, a note on Veteran’s Day from Alemayehu Addis, an immigrant and a veteran.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

By Nezua, Media Consortium


bob m.
bob m6 years ago

Thanks Lou.

Marena Chen
Marena Chen8 years ago

This illegal migrant thing is not peculiar to the US only. It's endemic all over the world. The EU countries, UK, Australia etc are plagued with them. These countries do not have enough jobs for their own people and now they have to worry about the drain on their already fragile economies by having to care for the illegals as well. It's a real dilemma.

Chris Owen
Chris Owen8 years ago

My GF logged in while I was out so My post was in her name
Ashley H.

Ashley H.
Past Member 8 years ago

I lost a 40$ per hour job Plus benefits to 4 Mexicans. I worked for this company for 5 years prior.

I am certified, have and continue to pass courses in my field.

The Mexicans how ever I was to teach what I PAID FOR and know so they could take over and do my jobs.......

I have over 12 years of experience in my field and they have none in the field.... What am I to do in this case?

I told the manager NO explained why and I got fired the same day I could have trained them and gotten fired after a month of "On The Job Training" but why get shafted for that long.

Illegals do not pay taxes but get AIDE, Public School, and other services.

The only thing standing in their way is a check box
"Are you a US Citizen Yes or No" which do you think will be picked?

I now RESENT the fact that I a WHITE obvious AMERICAN has to provide a I9-FORM a Birth Cert, SS card, DL card, a Passport, and other Proof that I was BORN in the USA and can work here LEGALLY.

It is pretty obvious that I AM LEGAL but I am discriminated against EQUALLY to get a job.

I applied for a job with the streets department and since I was not a MEXICAN was told I could not be hired. That they could not train me to spread concrete or dig a ditch with a pick axe and shovel.

Mary C.
Mary C8 years ago

The only "lazy Americans" who won't take those jobs are the crack addicts having kids for a living. Too much is wrong with this country.

jl s.
J L S8 years ago

Human rights? Seriously? Permission to break the law isn't a human right.
Care2 giving a thumbs up to Dobbs ouster = NOT in line with Care2's support of a healthy, clean environment and, ANIMAL WELFARE.
(What mexico means to me ...)
Mass illegal immigration from Latin America ~
is killing the United States. WE, the people are that slaughtered horse.

Debra Holliday
Debra Holliday8 years ago

Roger, you're right there are thousands of Americans who would jump at the chance to get these jobs. Here's some proof:

And as far as that "Jesus thing", Zoe, I really wish you people would stop blaming hard working AND GIVING Christians for what you don't understand. Sheesh! You wouldn't believe the Christian organizations that do so much for poor people they are run ragged!! I know, I'm one of them! So get off our backs!
Besides, if we keep helping illegals in this country, we will go bankrupt!! We need legal taxpaying, employed citizens to uphold our laws! If Mexico is so bad they run our borders, then PLEASE don't turn America into Mexico!

Carole D.
Carole Dunn8 years ago

I'm of 2 minds when it comes to illegal immigration. Our own economic policies have caused many Mexicans to cross the border in search of work. After NAFTA was passed many Americans lost their jobs and a great deal of damage was done to Mexicans too. The trade agreement made American corn cheaper than Mexican corn and one million Mexican corn farmers went out of business. Guess where they came?

I have a great deal of compassion for the immigrants, but American workers are suffering too. The idea that Americans won't do certain jobs doesn't hold water. Americans will do any job if it has a living wage, but so much illegal immigration and big business greed have driven down wages.

I have 2 college degrees, but when I could no longer get a decent job because of age discrimination and the outsourcing of so much computer work, I cleaned houses for 13 years. I made very good money, but I couldn't have done it if I were paid coolie wages. I would shovel elephant dung if it paid well enough, and so would plenty of other Americans.

America needs to lead in changing the trade agreements that hurt workers and enrich big business. In the meantime, we have to take care of our own. We're in a race to the bottom and it doesn't help anyone, Americans or immigrants. We bring people from all over the world here, and then use and abuse them, hurting our own at the same time.

As for Lou Dobbs, he's a mean-spirited old hypocrite.

Northern N.
Cam V8 years ago

I think all anyone is saying Zoe is if you want to go to America obey the law of the land and do so legally.

Canada is in desperate need of immigrants. We are the second largest country in the world land mass wise but have one of the smallest populations. Why not come here? It is a beautiful country and we would welcome the growth! Our social programs are also very generous to those who want to move here legally - free everything! That's the only drawback! We are bankrupt as a nation and need more people to help pay the interest on the debt we will never repay because of all the government hand outs ....

Zoe Lavoie
Zoe Lavoie8 years ago

I think all the america's should have no boarders all the peoples here should be able to move where they will ....I was recentl visisting Yuma AZ. I saw the Colorado river diverted to irrate the desert for crops by nature that water should have gone to mexico as far as I can see that water is stolen water ..stolen from the people just outh of the imaginary line called the boarder .back to the states it occurred to me that Im a mexican {no offence to mexicans inttended} all the convieniences all the things I take for granted I have for being on this side of the boarder not because of talent, skill, { I do keep on working and working like that stupid energizer bunny}guess I have some drive I get paid ok. im not so smart so Ill stop here but i would remind all you christians out there about a Jesus thing ,do unto others as you would have them do to you