Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

“Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”: How ICE and Other Agencies Vilify Immigrant Youth

An interview with Immigration Law Professor Laila Hlass

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
“ Violent animals.” “Menace.” “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing.” This is the language that President Donald Trump and members of his administration have used to describe immigrants both entering and already in the country. It’s a two-step process: First, intentionally employ imprecise speech to condemn undocumented youth as a whole and then, quietly, qualify the comments. It wasn’t all undocumented youth that they meant, you see—just the MS-13 gang members, just the bad guys. But this policy of ambiguity is far from harmless. Even before Trump, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other sub-agencies of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with the internal enforcement of immigration law had been known to use even the most baseless rumor of gang affiliation as a cudgel against immigrant youth, often resulting in detainment or deportation. Now, under Trump, the climate of paranoia and xenophobia has spread. Tulane...

D.C. Council Members Join Congressional Republicans to Override Voters’ Decision to Raise Tipped Workers’ Wages

District voters passed Initiative 77, but “Freedom Caucus” House leaders and Democrats on the council say the vote shouldn’t count.

trickle-downers_54.jpg The fight over increasing the tipped minimum wage in Washington, D.C., is making for strange bedfellows. Having long bemoaned congressional Republicans’ habit of meddling in District affairs, a majority of the D.C. Council now find themselves in the uncomfortable position of joining in common cause with two members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. The Republican representatives—Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who chairs the Freedom Caucus, and Gary Palmer of Alabama—moved Wednesday to block Initiative 77, a voter-approved ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in the District. The measure passed with 55 percent of the vote in the June primary elections after a vicious (and expensive) messaging campaign to defeat it. The Freedom Caucus push arrived the day after seven of the council’s 13 members co-introduced legislation to overturn Initiative 77, aligning local Democrats and congressional...

How the Tax Cut Sacks Puerto Rico

For the Puerto Rican economy, already bleeding jobs and citizens after a decade-long recession compounded by Hurricane Maria, the Republican tax overhaul was one more blow.

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . In keeping with the anti-Latino posture of the Trump administration, Puerto Rico has been subjected to a double policy assault on top of the natural disaster of Hurricane Maria. First, FEMA has failed dismally to respond to the human suffering and nearly $100 billion in damage from the hurricane, a display of both low priority and sheer incompetence that never would have been tolerated in a mainland state such as Florida where citizens can vote. Recent research suggests that the actual death toll caused by the hurricane could be more than 70 times the figure put out by the Puerto Rican government. And now, in the 2017 Republican Tax Act, the Republican Congress has added to Puerto Rico’s misery. It has undermined artificial tax benefits that have served as partial economic compensation for Puerto Rico’s odd political status as a quasi-colony. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens,...

Denying the Child Tax Credit to Undocumented Children

A little-noticed provision in the Republican tax reform will strip billions in tax benefits from an estimated one million mostly low-income undocumented children residing in the United States.  

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews Rosa, second from right, an undocumented immigrant who wants her family's last name withheld, is surrounded by her son Edgar, far right, daughter Olga, far left, and grandson Logan at their home in New York T his article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Whether it’s being ripped from their parents at the border or being forcibly withheld from joining their relatives in the United States, undocumented children have become casualties in the Republican crusade against immigrants deemed undesirable. The Republican Tax Act is the newest assault. The new tax bill increases the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child under age 17 for U.S. citizens, but denies the credit to immigrant children without a valid Social Security number. The bill’s authors estimate that the provision will save more than $20 billion over the next ten years—an indirect transfer from poor immigrants to the wealthy,...

D.C. to Decide on Giving Its Servers a Raise

Next week’s election includes an initiative to hike the tipped worker minimum ($3.33) to the level ($12.50) for all other District workers.

trickle-downers_54.jpg The “2026” pop-up bar occupies the basement of a two-story building in Washington’s trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood, where young professionals observe the tradition of the weekly happy hour with near-religious fervor. Upstairs, the parent bar, Rebellion, brims with the usual sounds of glasses clinking and laughter. Head to lower level, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting, reimagined for a new age. The dimly lit and almost-empty bar stretches to the end of the room. Two servers sit idle on their smartphones while the bartender finds ways to keep busy. This not-so-happy hour is dolorous by design, part of a campaign by restaurant owners to depict a ballot measure, known as Initiative 77 , as a threat to their workers. The measure will come before voters in the city’s primary elections on June 19. The initiative would gradually phase out the District’s current two-...