DEEPA FERNANDES is the host of the popular morning show, "Wakeup call" on Pacifica radio station WBAI in New York City. Her award-winning radio features have aired on the BBC World Service, and Public Radio International. Her writing has appeared in the Village Voice, In These Times, and the New York Amsterdam News. Targeted, her first book, is the result of four years of research collecting narratives from immigrants as well as human rights groups, community organizers and lawyers who are challenging the Bush Administration's policies.
Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigrationby Deepa Fernandes
In Targeted, journalist Deepa Fernandes seamlessly weaves
America has always portrayed itself as a country of immigrants, welcoming each year the millions seeking a new home or refuge in this land of plenty. Increasingly, instead of finding their dream, many encounter a nightmare—a country whose culture and legal system aggressively target and prosecute them.
In Targeted, journalist Deepa Fernandes seamlessly weaves together history, political analysis, and first-person narratives of those caught in the grips of the increasingly Kafkaesque U.S. Homeland Security system. She documents how in post-9/11 America immigrants have come to be deemed a national security threat.
Fernandes—herself an immigrant well-acquainted with U.S. immigration procedures—takes the reader on a harrowing journey inside the new American immigrant experience, a journey marked by militarized border zones, racist profiling, criminalization, detention and deportation. She argues that since 9/11, the Bush administration has been carrying out a series of systematic changes to decades-old immigration policy that constitute a roll back of immigrant rights and a boon for businesses who are helping to enforce the crackdown on immigrants, creating a growing "Immigration Industrial Complex." She also documents the bullet-to-ballot strategy of white supremacist elements that influence our new immigration legislation.
- Seven Stories Press
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Deepa Fernandes' book, Targeted, is only six chapters long, but each one is crucial to understanding what's really happening in our 'broken' immigration system. It's worse than broken. It's cruel. Having helped several asylum-seekers and other immigrants for the past nine years, I know too well the painful realities she describes in her first four chapters - realities most Americans know nothing about. For this reason alone, I hope Targeted is read by many. Deepa brings us face to face with people whose rights are being ignored and trampled by a string of cruel laws rushed through Congress, as well as an enforcement mechanism that routinely ignores due process. Until Americans see what our government is actually doing, we will not have genuine reform. What most opened my eyes were Deepa's last two chapters. In chapter five, she exposes the unprecedented expansion and privatization of our already vast detention system - currently housing 33,000 immigrant detainees on any given day at $97 per person, per day. She also shines a light on what she aptly calls the 'immigration industrial complex,' those benefiting from this spending binge. In the final chapter, we learn the names of people and hate groups working behind the scenes to manipulate our current immigration debate. We see how they've skillfully gotten their nativist agenda legitimized as part of the mainstream debate. We watch how they managed to get unfair laws passed by an inattentive Congress. I strongly recommend Targeted to anyone daring to take a deeper look at what's really going on beneath the current rhetoric. Thank you Deepa, for your courageous and thorough coverage of an immigration system urgently in need of real reform.