Category Archives: GI Resistance

In light of SB1070, an Exploration of the Militarization of Immigration

Today July 29, 2010, is the National Day of Action against SB1070, the anti-immigration, racial profiling law recently passed in Arizona. SB1070 is set to go into effect on July 29th, giving Arizona police the right to stop and arrest anyone suspected of being undocumented. Yesterday, July 28th, a federal judge blocked the state from enforcing its most controversial provisions, including sections that call for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws that require immigrants to carry their papers at all times. Though this block is only temporary, on July 6th the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against SB1070 to declare it unconstitutional.

Immigration reform has been a hot topic for the past 5 years, with many calling for an end to illegal immigration. Recent polls show that the majority of Americans support Arizona’s unjust law, and having the state in control over immigration policy. About 20 other states are considering passing similar laws.

Many Americans fail to recognize how these “illegal” immigrants contribute significantly to the American society and economy. The strongest organizing against unfair laws in the U.S., like immigration, comes from immigrants. In addition to representing a large makeup of agricultural labor, and the service industry, each year 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the military. According to February 2008 data from the Department of Defense, more than 65,000 immigrants (non-citizens and naturalized citizens) were serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. Nearly 11 percent of those serving in the armed forces are of Latino origin. These statistics are backed with claims from the government that non-citizens serving in the military will have a chance at expedited US citizenship, without obtaining the regular benefits that a US citizen receives from serving in the military. Moreover, these “illegal” immigrants are forced to fight against people who are in similar standing as them in their struggle against US domination.

It is a known fact that recruiters crowd areas with large minority groups and immigrant populations. Additionally the proposed DREAM act, would give undocumented students the opportunity to obtain citizenship through 2 years in college or 2 years in the military. With the average cost of a 2-year college at over $2,000, many of these youth will most likely resort to the appealing recruiters that bombard their high schools. However, the fact that many illegal immigrants, and possibly youth, are serving in the military without any benefits, aside from a chance at citizenship, is unjust.

Furthermore, it is those same recruiters who flood the US-Mexican borders, beating, arresting, and deporting illegal immigrants. This militarization of the border causes those migrating to navigate through more isolated areas, leaving people who get injured behind. This militarization is also attributed to the recent increase in bodies of ” illegal” immigrants being found along the Mexico-Arizona border.

Despite all of this, many Americans cry that immigrants are taking their jobs when thousands of unemployed US citizens refuse to take available jobs in the service industry. Many complain that immigrants are anti-American and are useless, when the military seeks out vulnerable “illegal” immigrants promising them citizenship and a chance to kill to show their dedication to the US. All of these contradictions question the US’s survival as a country intolerant of immigrants and as a country using its military powers to exhibit its disrespect for those who contribute to its society.

You can help reform the militarization of immigrants by taking action against SB1070 NOW!


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Press conference to speak out about lack of army medical treatment

From our friends at Under the Hood Cafe:

PRESS RELEASE

June 2, 2010

Soldiers and Family Members Call Press Conference to Speak Out Against Failure of the Army to Provide Necessary Medical Treatment

Who: Active duty soldiers, spouses and other family members

When: Saturday, June 5, 2010, 10:00 a.m.

Where: Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center

17 College Street (@ West Avenue G), Killeen, Texas

Killeen, Texas – As the U.S. heads into its tenth year of combat in Afghanistan and continued combat missions in Iraq, the number of soldiers facing multiple redeployments and resulting physical and mental health problems is reaching unprecedented levels.

Here are just some of the health problems facing soldiers today:

Army suicide rates are at their highest levels since the army started tracking this statistic.1

A recent study conducted by Stanford University found that rates of (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) PTSD among service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan may be as high as 35%. With two million troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, we can expect that an astounding 700,000 veterans will suffer from PTSD.2

Army field studies have shown that more than 10% of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered at least one concussion or brain injury, the vast majority of those from exposure to a homemade bomb or improvised explosive device. Five percent to 15% of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients develop lasting problems with concentration, short-term memory, fatigue and chronic headaches.3

These are sobering statistics, but soldiers and families are increasingly finding that the Army is doing little to address these and other health issues soldiers face.  In fact, right here in Fort Hood, the Army is violating its own regulations by training soldiers for deployment despite their non-deployable status.

In an effort to call attention to this mounting problem, a group of military family members and soldiers has scheduled a press conference to speak out against combat training for soldiers with a no-deployment profile, and for the Army’s lack of medical assistance and support.  The conference is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center, 17 College Street, Killeen, Texas.

Media Contacts:

Cindy Thomas, Manager, Under the Hood Café & Outreach Center 254-768-8300

Heidi Turpin, PR/Media, Under the Hood Café & Outreach Center, 512-565-2244

1 Suicide Rate Among Army, Army Reserve, National Guard Reaches 28-Year High, Medical News Today, February 2, 2009, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/137394.php

2 Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (2009, September 15). Iraq Troops’ PTSD Rate As High As 35 Percent, Analysis Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/09/090914151629.htm

3 Two wars produce unique and puzzling brain injuries, USA Today, May 24, 2010, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-05-24-vetbraininjuries24_ST_N.htm