Bullshit Organization of the Year Award: Action at ICIRR Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony

1026203_207679936049801_2018408460_oCongratulations!!! Migrant Justice Activists deliver a special, custom-made giant poop trophy to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) in recognition of their deceptive propaganda campaign in support of the senate “Immigration Reform Bill”.  This action draws attention to the fact that large and politically-connected NGO’s like ICIRR are promoting this bill because they stand to benefit financially and politically from this legislation.

for videos from the stream, delivering the poop and debates, here and also, before the cops were called, here

Why a GIANT POOP Award?? For the past several months the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has been promoting the bi-partisan bill “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act”, aka the Gang of 8 Immigration Reform Bill. In order to mobilize people in support of this bill, ICIRR has been misleading the public through false statements, such as “the bill includes a path to legalization for 11 million undocumented immigrants”, or the bill “provides for increased family unity” etc. ICIRR’s propaganda deliberately deceives people about the main provisions of the bill, which are:

  • increasing militarization and deaths at the border
  • increasing surveillance of immigrants and inventing new categories of “immigration crimes”, which escalate detention and deportations.
  • excluding poor immigrants and those without stable employment from any chance for legal status
  • undermining family unification efforts, by reducing family petitions and replacing them with a “merit-based” system that favors rich and highly educated immigrants
  • expanding guest worker programs and E-Verify, which keep immigrants vulnerable to employer abuse and exploitation

1039757_628532693826118_971045673_oOn Thursday June 20, during the ICIRR fundraiser and awards ceremony, community groups will deliver the Bullshit Organization of the Year Award in order to expose ICIRR’s disinformation campaign. This action also draws attention to the fact that large and politically-connected NGO’s like ICIRR are promoting this bill because they stand to benefit financially and politically from this legislation. According to sections sections 2533-2538 and section 2541, the bill gives financial incentives to NGO’s to cooperate with Homeland Security in implementing the provisions of the bill, and to use their influence to ensure the “cooperation” of immigrant communities with the new repressive apparatus put into motion. ICIRR’s deceptive campaign tactics are intended to create the false impression of community support for the bill, while silencing grassroots organizations who dare to criticize it.

ICIRR receives millions in state, federal and corporate moneys to supposedly advocate for immigrant rights. Instead they capitalize on the very communities that they are supposedly representing, by colluding with their politician allies whose only interest is to pose as immigrant-friendly in order to secure the immigrant vote.

** for more specific information and a detailed analysis of how politically-connected NGO’s are bribed though so-called “immigration reform”, see the educational materials here  and below.

A brief note on the action, a note of caution for immigrant organizers who are supporters of this organization — if you change your mind and begin criticizing them, asking questions or demanding to know why they are blatantly lying about policies they promote, they will turn you over to the police. When a group of ten people arrived and asked to deliver the poop award, ICIRR staff threatened to call the police. We reminded them of what they already knew: that the group included undocumented organizers, and one participant is currently under deportation proceedings — calling the cops is calling La Migra, that is the reality of that threat. We continued to wait on the sidewalk in front of the building, and ICIRR did indeed call a police unit, who arrived with their armored vehicle ready to deal with the “public threat” of some flyers, a poop and a set of critical questions. Grassroots migrant justice organizers criticize the largest, most well-funded and politically connected “immigrant rights” NGO in the Midwest?  For the second time this year, they called the cops on us.



Analysis of NGO funding provisions in the senate Bill:

The reform bill creates a nonprofit corporation, “United States Citizenship Foundation” to be
appointed by the director of USCIS. It encourages other non-for profit organizations that are seen as
allies to the immigrant community to accept the conditions of this bill (militarization, exclusion,
enforcement) in order to obtain increased funding through the United States Citizenship Foundation.
The Foundation provides direct assistance for aliens seeking RPI status, permanent residency, and or
naturalization (citizenship) (Section 2533). The bill awards grants to eligible public or private NGOs
(Section 2534).

The bill’s “Council of Directors” would be compromised of a Director from USCIS, the Chief of the
Office of Citizenship and New Americans, and 10 directors from national community-based
organizations (Sec. 2535 COUNCIL OF DIRECTORS). These “Council of Directors” from national
community-based organizations allow themselves to become accessories to the state terror and allow
its tenets of militarization, exclusion, and enforcement to continue without much critical analysis. This
is exemplified today by organizations like ICIRR that receive economic and political support from the
“Reformist” governmental establishment. It is our theory that organizations like this are pushing for
this reform without seriously questioning its anti-immigrant nature because of the funding they already
receive from the governmental establishment and the increased funding and political power they are
likely to receive once the bill is implemented. The Executive Director is authorized to carry out these
functions by: entering into contracts and other financial assistance agreements with individuals,
public, or private organizations, professional societies, and government agencies to carry out the
functions of the Foundation and Entering into such other contracts, leases, cooperative agreements,
and other transactions as the Executive Director considers appropriate to carry out the activities of
the Foundation (Section 2536. Powers).

The Secretary through USCIS may award Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance
(IEACA) grants to eligible public or private non-profit organizations (Section 2537). The organizations
will obtain funding dependent on whether or not a certain “American civics ideology” is promoted by
these NGOs. This means that organizations likely to obtain funding will be those that encourage a
nationalist, patriotic world-view. (Section 2537).
Councils will carry out programs to integrate new immigrants. State and local governments design
grants under this section by which organizations (businesses, religious organizations, libraries, etc.)
applying for this grant must communicate to the Chief on each occasion that the Chief requests. The
proposition and objective of the Councils will give priority to public and private entities that develop,
implement, expand, or enhance a comprehensive plan to introduce and integrate new immigrants into
the State. This provides a structure for State and local entities to be complicit in the anti-immigrant
nature of this bill by registering immigrants into RPI status, and “aiding” the integration of those that
qualify for further immigration status (LPR, citizenship). (Section 2538).

In addition to funds appropriated under section 451(f)(2) of Homeland Security Act of 2002 $10 million
is awarded to the Office of Citizenship and New Americans for a 5-year period ending in 2018. For the
grant programs authorized in sections 2537 and 2538 100million dollars are appropriated for a 5-year
period ending in 2018. The bill recognizes the need for future appropriations of similar amounts.
(Section 2541). Additionally, millions in corporate and private funding will be incentivized through these programs.