Mara Revkin

Mara Revkin is an editorial intern at the Prospect.

Recent Articles

Immigration Issues: City on a Hill

Issuing ID cards to immigrants and citizens alike, liberal New Haven charts a course for cities that want to treat immigrants like people.

With immigration reform jettisoned from the national agenda, the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, is resurrecting the debate in his own backyard. Rejecting the morally charged rhetoric that conservatives have used to cast opprobrium on free-riding aliens, John DeStefano is arguing that the inclusion of illegal immigrants in civil society is vital to public services that benefit the whole city. Although non-voting immigrants are politically peripheral, New Haven officials estimate that they make up 10 percent of the city's population. In an effort to validate this presence, the city's Board of Aldermen has approved a municipal ID card -- the first of its kind in any American city -- that is universally available to New Haven's 125,000 residents, including its estimated 10,000 to 12,000 undocumented immigrants. The ID enables any holder, immigrant or otherwise, to access local banks, libraries, and public services. It also entitles them to prescription drugs at the HAVEN Free Clinic,...

Day Laborers Rally in Virginia

Workers and their allies gathered to protest the impending closure of a day worker center that allowed them to safely seek employment, regardless of immigration status.

Over two hundred day laborers and union organizers from across the country convened in the D.C. suburb of Herndon, Va., last Friday to protest renewed efforts by town council members to shut down an official hiring site where undocumented workers currently congregate to solicit employment. The Herndon Official Worker Center has been open since 2005, when the town council voted 5-2 to spend $175,000 in taypayer dollars to operate it. But last year, new council members were elected on a platform opposing the center, claiming that the current operator's failure to check the immigration status of day laborers is contributing to the perception of Herndon as a lawless haven for undocumented workers. On August 14, the town council will either renew the center's permit or, as many believe, vote to dismantle it. A third option is also on the table -- a bid from a potential new operator who would require workers to reveal their immigration status. Ending the center's "don't ask, don't tell"...

RUPERT MURDOCH'S MSM-PIRE HAS ARRIVED.

RUPERT MURDOCH'S MSM-PIRE HAS ARRIVED. It looks like the media mogul has finally bullied the Bancrofts into submission. The New York Times reports that the family has tentatively authorized Murdoch 's $5 billion buyout of The Wall Street Journal 's publisher, just months before the debut of Murdoch latest on-air venture, the Fox Business Channel: For Mr. Murdoch, the Dow Jones takeover gives him not only one of the world’s great media trophy properties and a larger voice in national affairs, but also a ready source of material and credibility for his newest big gamble, the Fox Business Channel he plans to launch in October. More fair and balanced analysis, coming soon to a satellite near you. --Mara Revkin

Offering Noncitizens a Local Identity

With immigration reform stalled at the national level, cities are issuing municipal ID cards to all residents -- even those who aren't U.S. citizens.

New Haven, Conn., Mayor John DeStefano displays his new municipal ID card. The cards, which became available last week, are being offered to all the city's 125,000 residents, including some 10,000 to 12,000 illegal immigrants. (AP Photo/Bob Child)
With immigration reform jettisoned from the national agenda, the mayor of New Haven, Conn., is resurrecting the debate in his own backyard. Rejecting the morally charged rhetoric that conservatives have used to cast opprobrium on "free-riding" aliens, Mayor John DeStefano is arguing that there are significant benefits associated with the inclusion of illegal immigrants in civil society. Although these non-voting immigrants are politically peripheral, New Haven officials estimate that they comprise ten percent of the city's population. In an effort to acknowledge and validate the presence of this community, the board of aldermen has approved a municipal ID -- the first of its kind in any American city -- that is universally available to all New Haven residents, regardless of citizenship status. The ID will enable immigrants to fill prescriptions and access local banks, libraries, and public services. Most importantly, it will designate them as full-fledged participants in civil society...

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY UNDER FIRE.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY UNDER FIRE. Public health advocates warn say that Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is expected to introduce an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill that would divert funding away from NIOSH, the agency charged with defining and enforcing occupational safety regulations. The amendment would restrict the sole source of federal support for NIOSH's Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) program. In its original form, the House bill would have allocated $88.365 million for NORA, a sum that looks like small change in comparison to the estimated $128 billion -- $155 billion that occupational illnesses and injuries cost our economy every year. The Rayburn building isn't exactly rife with occupational hazards, which might explain why Rep. Barton doesn't sympathize with the 5,734 workers who died on the job in 2005 -- not including an additional 50,000 who died from occupational diseases like " Popcorn Lung ," a fatal condition resulting from prolonged inhalation of...

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