By : Peter Costantini
SEATTLE, USA, Aug 31 2023 (IPS) - The Yakima River runs southeast from the Cascade Mountains through central Washington state to merge with the Columbia a little north of Oregon. From the small city of Yakima on down, its course broadens from a winding canyon into a wide valley bounded by austere low ridges of gray-green sagebrush and tawny grasses. In mid-April, the new leaves of the willows and cottonwoods light up the riverbanks with luminous chartreuse.
SEATTLE, USA, Sep 9 2022 (IPS) - For a while in 2018, the Donald Trump administration’s “family separation” policy looked like it might become the Stalingrad of his war on immigrants. It was clearly a bridge too far politically, given the global outcry it provoked. Even parts of the Republican party couldn’t stomach it. So Trump retreated strategically on family separation, and intentionally left the program so disorganized that reuniting parents and children became a still-incomplete ordeal.
SEATTLE, US, Sep 28 2021 (IPS) - A widely condemned Trump administration program designed to slash legal immigration to the United States, initially terminated by the Joe Biden administration, has been reinstated by court rulings on a Republican lawsuit. Human-rights and immigrant justice advocates have gone on the legal and political offensive against the decision, and are pressing the Biden administration to bypass the court’s roadblock.
SEATTLE , Apr 7 2021 (IPS) - “A crime against humanity” and “a disgrace to our great country”: that’s how 99-year-old Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor of the Nazis at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials, characterized the Donald Trump administration’s coercive separation of thousands of immigrant children from parents seeking asylum.
PHOENIX, Arizona, Jan 12 2021 (IPS) - The Valley of the Sun is a vast, flat stretch of Sonoran Desert, etched by arroyos and studded with small, jagged peaks. It spans about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west to east and 40 miles (64 kilometers) north to south in south-central Arizona (the state that borders southern California to the east). After cruising through southward on one of the tangle of freeways that vein the expanse, we can leadfoot it another 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast to Tucson across much the same hardscape, only gradually gaining elevation. The saguaro cacti grow more thickly, but the higher cordilleras maintain a discreet distance most of the way.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, US, Nov 2 2020 (IPS) - It sits stolidly, bolted onto a concrete base outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s office in Phoenix, Arizona. Weighing in at around 600 pounds, it sports “anti-tampering features” and “heavy-duty, all-weather construction”. Security agents check it periodically and it appears to be watched by a camera. As I scrutinize it, a man in an SUV pulls up and deposits a ballot in its slot. He tells me he votes this way every election, then drives off.
SEATTLE, Jan 4 2018 (IPS) - A century ago, Italian immigrants told a joke: “Before I came to America, I thought the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, I learned three things: one, the streets were not paved with gold; two, the streets were not paved at all; and three, they expected me to pave them.”