Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Silk Roadblock

Yo-Yo Ma's celebrated project for global understanding through music runs into Donald Trump's sour note.

Max Whittaker/Silk Road
Max Whittaker/Silk Road Silk Road musicians like Kinan Azmeh, performing here with Cristina Pato, have had their ability to travel freely impeded by American and British immigration authroities. This article appears in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . I n 2000, the revered cellist Yo-Yo Ma embarked on a project that would today seem quixotic: uniting a group of musicians from every corner of the globe, with the goal of using music to transcend national and cultural boundaries. He couldn’t have imagined then how radical a statement the simple existence of the Silk Road Ensemble would soon become. Silk Road joined together virtuoso musicians on instruments from different cultures that had never before been played together. These include the pipa and sheng from China, the Galician bagpipes, the oud from the Middle East, and more than a dozen others. Artistically, the result is astonishing. Culturally, the message is that appreciating “the music of...

Can a Revamped Farmworker Visa System Prevent Abuses?

Foreign nationals who work on American farms remain vulnerable to exploitation by employers who rely on a temporary agricultural visa employment program.

(AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman)
(AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman) A migrant farmworker marks a row of sorghum in Plainview, Texas, on August 18, 2015. F our years is a long time to suffer the indignity of unpaid wages and miserable housing. But Martin bit his tongue. A Mexican citizen, Martin came to the United States on an H2A temporary visa for seasonal agricultural workers. Martin’s contract specified that he would be housed and work on a central Texas cattle ranch for $10 an hour. But when he arrived at his destination, there was no ranch, no cattle, and no housing. Instead, the company that recruited Martin and other workers required them to drive out to the mountains near the state’s southwestern border to build barbed-wire fences for $65 dollars a day. Despite freezing nighttime temperatures, he had no choice but to sleep in his pickup truck or an open-air shack. But almost anything was better than working back in Mexico, where the daily minimum wage is 80 pesos (about $4). He didn’t mind...

Trump’s Travel Ban Is Back

After months of confusion, refugee resettlement agencies brace themselves for the limited travel ban.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren Travelers wait in line near an Emirates ticket counter at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A limited version of President Trump’s controversial travel ban is back in place after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could impose restrictions on certain foreign travelers and refugees. The constant back-and-forth rulings have created a bureaucratic nightmare for those involved in the refugee resettlement process, and Thursday’s developments promise even more disruption. While President Trump proclaimed victory, refugee and human rights advocates have been on tenterhooks this week . The high court’s decision was certainly a blow to opponents of the ban, but just how hard that blow is will depend on the Trump administration’s next moves. The government’s new guidelines would significantly limit the total number of noncitizens and refugees that can enter the country, according to a State Department background briefing Thursday afternoon. The...

Virginia’s Power Broker

A legislative power grab and a controversial pipeline project have drawn new scrutiny of Dominion Energy.

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
(AP Photo/Steve Helber) Judy Hinch of Chesapeake, Virginia, joins a protest again the construction of a natural gas pipeline through rural Virginia on May 6, 2015. F or decades, Dominion Energy has been one of the key generators of both electric and political power in Virginia. The top corporate political donor in the state, Dominion has benefited from a sweetheart rate structure that keeps profits higher than the national average for electric companies. Among the company’s allies are Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Democratic nominee to succeed him, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, as well as many key Republicans. Now, however, a popular backlash is building against Dominion’s political giving and its inside legislative influence, compounded by a controversial pipeline project. Dominion could become the symbol of the anti-corporate sentiment that has been strong in the base of both political parties since the 2016 election. Dominion, once known as the Virginia Electric...

Rolling the Dice on Deportation

Donald Trump has shaken up the immigration system, causing a new cloud of uncertainty to hang over undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers.

AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File
AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File An unidentified Guatemalan woman stands inside a dormitory in the Artesia Family Residential Center, a federal detention facility for undocumented immigrant mothers and children in Artesia, New Mexico. F or the last three months, Jesus Peraza has been unsure which would come first: the birth of his third child or his second deportation. Now he knows. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to deport him. “Jesus feels as if he’s been caught up in some awful lottery,” says Jared Jaskot, Peraza’s attorney. Peraza was arrested by ICE agents after dropping his son off at school in southeast Baltimore, nearly 20 miles from the Howard County Detention Center, where he has been kept since March. Under the immigration procedures established by the Obama administration, someone like Peraza, whose only criminal offense is illegally reentering the country after being deported as a teenager, would have been an unlikely candidate for detention and...