Tram is the author of We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11 . She is former editor of ColorLines magazine and now works at the California Reinvestment Coalition.

Growing Power

Will Allen, a 2008 Colorlines Magazine Innovator, was recently awarded the “genius grant” $500,000 as a 2008 MacArthur Fellow.

Ratner's Work Connects Racial Justice and Civil Liberties

It may be baffling to some people why the American public hasn’t become outraged by the fact that our government conducts torture in our name, even in the wake of Abu Ghraib and the transformation of once-obscure terms like “rendition” and “waterboarding” into the vernacular of popular culture. Is it because many of us have been kept in the dark by a combination of the government’s secrecy and the media’s negligence?

The War on Immigrants

Daisy’s post yesterday made me think about the war on terror and the national security state in relation to the immigration debate. All too often, I think we still have one conversation over here about “post-9/11 issues” and another one over there about “immigration reform.” In one box, you can expect to hear about domestic spying, torture and rendition, military tribunals, and secret detention. The other box is about legalization, guest workers, anti-immigrant ordinances and raids. But what are the connections between these two boxes?

Honoring an Investigative Journalist

bailey.jpgphoto credit: Maynard Institute for Journalism Education This summer, on an August morning just a few blocks from the ColorLines office in downtown Oakland, Chauncey Bailey was shot to death as he walked to work. The first journalist murdered within the U.S. in 14 years, Bailey had been the editor of the Oakland Post at the time of his death.

Bush and the "Boat People"

It seems like the disaster in Iraq has compelled Bush to play amateur historian again. Earlier in the war, he was fond of evoking WW II, comparing Saddam to Hitler and Iraq to the “axis of evil.” As comparisons to the Vietnam quagmire inevitably cropped up, Bush was careful to reject that politically deadly analogy. Yet here we are, in the dismal days of his unraveling presidency amid escalating sectarian violence in Iraq and growing demand at home to pull back troops, and Bush is suddenly a student of The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

Immigration bill buried; lessons and questions

Today the Senate bill died, after failing the cloture vote needed to cut off debate and move toward passage. This effectively means that immigration reform legislation is buried this year. Those of us watching the debate and working toward comprehensive reform have ridden a political roller coaster this month as the legislative process lurched back and forth between pushing through and falling apart.

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

An L.A. Times story yesterday reported the results of a poll that found only half of Angelenos would obey official orders to evacuate in the event of a terrorist attack. The Department of Health Services report, released this week, elaborates on the county’s worrying lack of emergency preparedness—especially among low-income and non-English speaking residents. Well, you can’t say we didn’t tell ya.

Immigrant Rights: A Question of Strategy and Vision

This is a critical time in the Senate process for immigration reform legislation. Senators are hoping to move through crucial amendment votes this Monday, and to wrap up work on the bill by the end of next week. Especially now, there are urgent questions confronting the immigrant rights movement about strategy and vision.

A Game of Monopoly

Black communities’ struggle to return to New Orleans has national significance for an overdue debate on urban inequality.

Insights from Angelina and a boy named Pax

Lately, I’ve been mesmerized by the newest Angelina Jolie adoption. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports, in need of brain candy to get me through another flight. This latest adoption also hits close to home, since it involves a 3-year-old Vietnamese boy taken from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, where I lived briefly as a child. Of course, I don’t much care what Angelina and Brad do with their jet-setting lives.

Katrina All the Time

Last week, Bush took a tour through the Gulf Coast, making promises to move the recovery process along. His recovery czar, Don Powell, tried to do damage control for the Administration’s continuing PR problem with Katrina, emphasizing that this was Bush’s 14th visit to check up on the region. But the prez himself sounded decidedly underwhelmed with the situation in his own sound bytes. “To the extent we can, we’ll help,” Bush said, and then enjoyed Creole cuisine in the French Quarter.

Q & A - Elvira Arellano

A 31-year-old single mother and undocumented immigrant, Arellano took sanctuary and became a lightning rod for a debate over the rights of immigrant families.

Elvira Arellano - INNOVATOR

Arellano has firmly asserted the reality of undocumented families and their 4 million U.S.-born children into the immigration debate.