April 2008 Archives

Breaking News: Chicago Church Receives Word that DHS is Ending Truce with Sanctuary Movement at Latina Lista. Latina Lista has received word that the church housing Flor Crisostomo may be detained by DHS tomorrow. This is sickening news.

May Day for Undocumented Workers at Dream Act Texas.
Marches and Rallies on May Day. Tomorrow, May 1, there will be marches and rallies throughout the country. The marches and meetings will have different objectives - to make the country more aware of the plight of undocumented immigrants ; to protest the raids and inhumane attitude and behavior of ICE; to show support to immigrants.
Also read 10 Deadly Sins of Xenophobia.

2008 Law Reviews and Articles - Immigration at I am a DREAMer.

Immigration marches return with messages aimed at voters at Just News.

Unbelievable! Homeland Security works with Sci-Fi Consultants to Scare LATINOs out of Emergency Rooms! at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

Introductions and Holas

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Soy Pico.

What an honor to be asked to join people as visionary, committed, resourceful, and kind as Kyle and the writers for Citizen Orange. I am humbled.

Actually, Pico is my handsome and dashing young Chihuahua. I write here on Citizen Orange and at my own blog, wildchihuahuas, using his name because he is undoubtedly the bravest, most daring, most playful, toughest, most curious, most tenacious, sassiest, and most loving being I’ve ever met, and he is both a Mexican and an immigrant, of course.  In many ways, he is my role model.
I swear, for migrant haters cracking down on migrants is the solution to everything.  The Boston Globe reports...
Bloggers are already picking this up, but I'm proud to announce that after much work, me and my blogmig@s here at Citizen Orange have been able to come to a consensus on a new mission statement that defines this online space.  It's a really important step.  Not only has it brought the small community of Citizen Orange writers closer together, but I feel like it has pretty clearly etched out what our place in the sanctuarysphere should be. 

The next step, of course, is to open that mission statement up to the scrutiny of the readers of Citizen Orange.  We value your opinions.  Intelligent participants in this online community make Citizen Orange all the more powerful.  With this in mind, if anyone has anything to say about our mission statement, big or small, we'd love to hear it.  You can find it in the "About Citizen Orange" section of our blog:

Citizen Orange is a U.S.-based, Guatemala inspired, weblog founded for the explicit purpose of organizing around global justice. It is the successor to Immigration Orange and operates on the principle that the pro-migrant movement in the United States has the greatest potential for eradicating a host of global injustices and generating respect for peoples born on a different piece of the earth.

In order to be successful the pro-migrant movement has to move the debate from questions of nationality to questions of global inequity. It has to move the debate from questions of legality to questions of justice. Migrants are first shackled to the arbitrary piece of land that they are born onto and then chained to the forces that compel them to leave. We need to remove those shackles and chains. Citizen Orange works for migrant emancipation.

Citizen Orange is an ally space. This means Citizen Orange does not seek to represent the migrant voice, but exists, instead, as a space to support migrants in their struggle for liberty. Humility compels us to make this extremely important distinction. Even though we are all migrants, the extremity of global migrant oppression forces us to recognize that even privileges we take for granted, like access to the internet, separate us from the vast majority of migrants.

This does not mean that we cannot relate to the migrant experience through our common humanity. We constantly strive towards understanding and empathy through Citizen Orange and our daily lives. It just means that we will not profess to speak on behalf of migrants. Citizen Orange is not the place to look for a space representative of the migrant voice. If you are searching, look through our blogroll for answers, or in a community near you. Citizen Orange is not the migrant voice, but we do seek to support it and amplify it through our efforts.

Feel free to tell us what you feel about it in the comments section.  If you prefer giving feedback more privately your welcome to use our contact form.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Get out this Thursday, May 1st and support migrants. Check your local immigrant rights groups on the Do Something link at A Dream Deferred.

May 1st Coalition Events in Arizona at Latino Politics blog.

Please go out and support the pro-migrant marches and rallies on May 1st. To find out what it's all about read 5 Reasons to Participate in the Immigrant Rights Marches on May 1st at Of América.

Thou Shall Not Talk About Race in Public at Dream Act Texas on Obama and Reverend Wright. Also read Lawsuit filed against ICE for inappropriate procedure during raids and A response to Arizona's HB 1108.
The definition of a good citizen (in the U.S.) these days has become much more narrow and selective. It has gone way past "love of country." It is now like the people Foucault talks about - those who think the same, dress the same, and act the same.

Also on Wright and Obama at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American read Soap Opera Politics Vol 1, Issue 8: Rev Wright & Obama.

Documenting the Undocumented - Part 1 at I am a DREAMer. Read the stories dreamers reaching for the dream.


I don't know whether to be honored, disgusted, or afraid, but it looks like anti-migrant leaders are reading Citizen Orange.  On April 4, 2008, I got my first ever link from VDARE, a bastion of online migrant hate.  The post was written by Donald A. Collins, a board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, one of the leading U.S. anti-migrant organizations.  I usually try not to link to anti-migrant sites, but this post doesn't make much sense without it.  This is Collins' post.  It links to my post about "Democrats who [favor] causing illegals to return home".
Arizona's HB1108 would censor books and ethnic studies courses at Dream Act Texas.
[The Arizona]" legislature is considering a bill that would ban public-school classes that "overtly encourage dissent." As a throw-in, the bill would also ban university organizations that appeal to memberships "based in whole or in part on race-based criteria."

Somos Guerra
at The Unapologetic Mexican. The war machine is fueled by our money and desire to consume.

Labor leaders meet to discuss Mexican immigrant workers' rights at Just News.

On Immigrant Crime and Human Tragedy and Cities Need Immigrants at Immigration Prof Blog.

Watch the video featuring Janet Murguía's National Pres Club speech on the vilification of migrants at Migra Matters in Janet Murguía on immigration: Take Hate out of Debate.

Dream Act Texas: Arizona's tightening grip on diversity - SB 1108
Help fight Ariz. bill to ban ethnic student groups like MEChA, Black Business Students Assoc.
Confused about Immigration? Get the Facts at Wild Chihuahuas.
One of the toughest things about fighting in this nasty anti-immigrant war is that there seem to be more nativists than there are pro-immigrant sane people. Or at least they talk more and talk louder and have their own TV show.
Immigration 101 The impact of Employer Sanctions on Immigrants at Long Island Wins blog.
This is the third in a three-part series on Employer Sanctions, laws originally passed in 1986 to halt illegal immigration by going after the employers who hire the undocumented.

Thumbnail image for nahmias book.jpgIn the winter of 2002, Rick Nahmias set out to answer a question that should probe every person living in this country: what is the human cost of feeding America? 

There are many ways to attempt to answer that question.  You can look at the numerous studies and statistics available on agricultural workers.  You can listen to the inspiring speeches of great labor leaders such as Cesar Chavez.  But Rick Nahmias is an artist and his approach to answering that question involved taking his camera and setting off on a trip to meet and talk with farmworkers and capture their stories in a visual way, putting a human face on some of those most impacted by the immigration debate.

The result of his quest is now available in a new book published by the University of New Mexico Press: The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers.  It includes a forward by UFW Co-founder Dolores Huerta.

It’s easy for many of us for whom obtaining food is as simple as making a trip to the nearest supermarket to never think about the human cost of our food, to never see how dependent we are on the workers without whom we would likely starve to death.  Their invisibility in popular culture contributes to the exploitation and abuse that is all too common in the industry. 

There are a couple of events coming up soon for those in the New York metro area who want to make their voices heard to convince America to repeal our draconian immigration laws and give migrants a fair shake.

The May 1 rally at Union Square is the place to go for all your 2008 migration protest needs.

And there is a new documentary on the migration debate in the U.S. that looks very promising--free screening before the rally on May 1.

But first, a vigil on April 26 to promote passage of the Child Citizen Protection Act (CCPA) (details on all these events below).

Former DREAMER Almost Deported Part I at Dream Act Texas. Continued in Former DREAMER almost Deported, Part II.

Immigration explodes when people don't have enough food

The potato famine in Ireland brought millions of Irish to the U.S. A large percentage of people who migrate without documents come here from Mexico and Latin America because they cannot feed their families. What are the consequences when this starts happening in most of the world?

Latino Children Facing the New Trail of Tears! at Immigration Talk With a Mexican American.

Time for my 5th Generation T-Shirt at Dos Centavos.

Looks like I'm going to have to CafePress me a "I'm a 5th Generation Texan, Stupid Gringo!" t-shirt. Professor Stephen Klineberg just released his big survey and things do not look good, as far as attitudes toward Latinos go.

Points of Unity for May Day Marches at Vivir Latino.

Watch Know The Truth About Immigrant Detention here at Citizen Orange.  (thanks Janna)

Earth Day: An Ironic Celebration in a Country Intent on Destroying a Fragile Ecosystem to Build a Fence at Latina Lista.

Even more ironic is that on the U.S. government web page for how everyday citizens can get involved with Earth Day, there is a suggestion to join the "Take Pride in America" program.

Driving While Black or Brown - Racial Profiling in Arizona at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.  Arpaio isn't the only Arizona lawman practicing racial profiling.  Read the list of statistics from Arizona detailing this disturbing trend.  Also read The Road to Dystopia! Another Reason to SAY NO to the SAVE ACT!. Don't forget that this terrible act is still looming.

Web site pick: Minutmen Unvarnished at Migra Matters.

Minutemen Unvarnished tracks the activities of the San Diego Minutemen as they harass and threaten day laborers, employers, and Latinos in general, at various locations throughout the region. They video the minutemen in action and present them uncensored in all their racist glory.
Check out this excellent, concise video about the recent widespread detentions taking place all across the country.

Earth Day is a day to focus on things to help keep the world alive and ensure it remains livable for many years to come. But it's not only important that the world be livable in regard to the environment; we must also nurture our society through compassion and humanity. The world can be the most lush green place we've ever seen, but without compassion it won't be a world worth living in and certainly not one we can enjoy.

I believe it's also important to realize that so many people throughout the world "live green", as we like to say, without even trying or really wanting to. They simply don't have the ability to exhaust natural resources by leaving lights on in every room, having televisions blasting next to surround sound systems and other electricity hungry devices. So when we commit to "living green" let's also commit to living with compassion and fairness. We must live in fairness to each other as well as the environment.

Dream Act Texas: More ICE Raids in store for Houston. Gestapo raids only create fear rather than offering solutions.

Long Island Wins held an event last week titled "Don't Make Our Mistakes: Lessons from Riverside, New Jersey in the Costs of Attacking Immigrants". Here is a link to video highlights of that event.

Video Highlights from "Don't Make Our Mistakes: Lessons from Riverside, NJ" - What is the long lasting effect of intolerance? In Operation Neighborhood Shield ICE went after "gang members." ICE calls themselves police when knocking on doors which destroys the trust of the actual police in a community. If you've seen images of ICE agents conducting a raid you'll note the only difference between them and a soldier in Iraq is the full black rather than camouflage outfit. I'd also bet the ICE agents have better weapons and armor than our soldiers. Can you imaging opening your front door to find a heavily armed groups at your door?  That makes for a scary image.

Read the Newsday Op-Ed on Our Event Last Week about the above event at Long Island Wins.

CNN reports on another Haitian migration tragedy (via Immigration Prof Blog): 

The bodies of 20 migrants have been recovered from the sea near the Bahamas after their boat apparently capsized, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday as it searched for survivors.

The bodies of 19 Haitians and one Honduran were recovered and three survivors -- two Haitians and one Honduran -- have been found, said Barry Bena, a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami. Authorities are interviewing the survivors to determine what happened.

The search-and-rescue mission began Sunday after fishermen heard people screaming in the water.

The accident happened about 15 miles (25 kilometers) northwest of Nassau, Bahamas, according to the Coast Guard. A cutter, helicopter and a jet from the Coast Guard and two Bahamas military vessels continued searching the area Monday, Bena said.

Every year, thousands of Haitians try to leave the Western Hemisphere's poorest country aboard rickety, overloaded boats for other islands or the United States.

Soaring food prices have pushed many into abject poverty and triggered riots earlier this month in Haiti, but this has not yet translated into a spike in the number of migrants.

Last year a migrant boat capsized near the Turks and Caicos islands, pitching Haitians into shark-infested waters. At least 61 people died.

No matter how much nativist groups scream and yell the truth is that the vast majority of migrants are wonderful hard-working people.  Contrary to claims that they are criminals studies have shown that communities with the biggest migrant populations actually have less crime.

Damn Mexicans is starting a series of posts to explain the fact that so many nativist candidates are failing to win their districts and, as we've seen in the presidential primaries, fail to win the bid of their party when the people have a voice in the decision. The first of these posts is titled Why The Nativists Never Win.

Eristic Ragemail asks Who Has the Best Chance at Enacting Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In this post we get analysis of each candidates promises on immigration reform.

The Big Lie: Immigrants are criminals at Long Island Wins Blog. Also read Shocking development in Suffolk Legislature.

After the failure of IR 1105 introduced by Brian Beedenbender to pass out of committee last month, most of us breathed a sigh of relief. It was premature. Today, Presiding Officer Bill Lindsay took advantage of the absence of Legislator Elie Mystal to push the bill out of committee and before the entire legislature. This means the bill will be voted on Tuesday, April 29.

In the “credit where due” file, we have the NY Times picking up on the connection between the papal visit and the Pilgrim’s Pride raids.  I complained a few days ago about the absence of coverage of the fact that even as Bush was welcoming one of the foremost advocates for immigrants in the world to the White House last week, federal immigration agents were locking up migrants and breaking up families in widescale coordinated raids around the country.  

The story broadly covered some of the pope’s remarks on immigration:

Even as he was flying to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of protecting immigrant families, not dividing them.

He raised the issue again in a meeting on Wednesday with President Bush, and later that day spoke in Spanish to the church’s “many immigrant children.” And when he ends his visit to New York on Sunday, he will be sent off by a throng of the faithful, showing off the ethnic diversity of American Catholicism.

The choreography underscores the importance to the church here of its growing diversity — especially its increasing Hispanic membership.

Of the nation’s 65 million Roman Catholics, 18 million are Latino, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and they account for more than two-thirds of the new Catholics in the country since 1960.

. . .

The separation of families “is truly dangerous for the social, moral and human fabric” of Latin and Central American families, the pope told reporters aboard his plane. “The fundamental solution is that there should no longer be a need to emigrate, that there are enough jobs in the homeland, a sufficient social fabric,” he said. Short of that, families should be protected, not destroyed, he said. “As much as it can be done it should be done,” the pontiff said.

In the telling of history the victor gets the pen. For this reason so many do not know the true history of immigration in this country. We see those anti-migrant groups that claim they're for "legal" immigration fantasize about a movement of people who came to America and were welcomed with fanfare. This is simply not reality. Many migrants arrived to the United States dirt poor and when they weren't struggling to maintain a livelihood they were battling ignorance and intolerance from previous immigrants.  At Of América we read that Arizona is seeking to control information available in schools.  It is important that we continue to tell a true history lest we let the worst parts of it be repeated over and over again. 

Read yave's post titled Quote of the Day for an account of the Know Nothing Party, of the past, which bears a striking resemblance to the anti-migrant groups of today.

Arizona Uber Alles: Legislators Target Chicanos in Attempt to Close Intellectual Borders of Schools at Of América.

By targeting Chicano studies, MECHA and other groups and individuals promoting critical thinking among Latinos, the forces of white fear get two important benefits: they get to motivate their aging, flaccid base with the political Viagra of a new “threat” while also turning critical thinking among Latino youth into a dangerous and expensive endeavor.

Dream Act Texas: When you Call out My Parents you are Also Calling me Out

When you all call out my parents, you are also calling me out. This is my very personal opinion, and i have a huge problem with this, i am thankful everyday to my parents. There exists no doubt in my mind that my parents as well as your parents made a very difficult decision and they were very much aware of the consequences, but they took a risk and here we are. It may not be exactly the plan they had for us, but they knew that we would be in a better place... and aren't we?

Quote of the Day

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Who said this?

I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

Answer below the fold.

Employers Go Free after Immigration Sweeps, Meanwhile Latino Communities Terrorized! at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

I cried this afternoon when I looked at the pictures of the Immigration Sweeps that swept across five states yesterday.

With the raids increasing please visit FAIR Immigration Reforms Movement's resource page for Fighting the Raids.

Another Video Showing Minutemen Members Armed at Pro Inmigrant.


Dream Act Texas: The Price of the S.A.V.E. Act and Stopping S.A.V.E. will help the national budget.

At last the New York Times acknowledged there is a problem with the S.A.V.E. Act -- and actually named the title of the bill.

Marisa Treviño questions Julie Myers' characterization of social security misappropriation as a significant proportion of the broader category of identity theft.  This, of course, was the primary justification ICE gave for churning through immigrant communities again in its raids this week, leaving the emotional and spiritual equivalent of the wreckage left by a rogue tornado. 

While not trying to minimize the hardships and nightmares that a stolen identity wreaks on its victims, I have to take issue with Ms. Myers' statement when she says - "A significant percentage of identity theft is carried out by illegal aliens trying to avoid detection and gain employment.."

According to a survey released in November 2007 by the Federal Trade Commission, only 1% of identity theft victims report their identity being used for employment purposes.

Since it's known that undocumented immigrants main purpose of using fake Social Security numbers is to gain employment then Ms. Myers seems to purposely exaggerate the facts to paint the undocumented worker as a hardened criminal intent on causing personal harm.

When in fact, it's been reported to be the opposite.

When given the opportunity to purchase the documents needed, undocumented immigrants do so willingly and gladly -- even when they fall victim themselves to scam artists.

The widescale ICE raids in several states on Wednesday surfaced briefly in the news, only to be subsumed by discussion of the presidential primary debate, recession, and the papal visit. 

The coverage these raids have gotten is problematic, to say the least, especially when you consider that the raids are implicated in each of these other three stories.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that men and women in search of a good life, must be detained"

This sick and twisted game being played on migrants must stop.  Read the various posts on yesterday's raids.

ICE Raids Focus on Poultry Farms at Immigration Prof Blog. Also read Immigrant Integration in the Latino Metropolis.

Ensure Immigrant Detainees' Access to Ministry at NIJC Immigration News Blog.

ICE Raids Return to Instill Fear, Sow Hatred Before Mayday Marches at Of América. We're fighting against a sick cycle of giving hope to migrants and then sending the gestapo out to hunt them down. Just before the big May Day marches we have one of the largest raid sweeps in several months. Well, as a citizen I won't let our government's fear mongering keep me from supporting my fellow men and women.

Immigration sweeps underscore the extent businesses fear not complying with new rules at Latina Lista.

I plan on attending the march in New York.  Make sure and attend your local march.  Please let us know if there are any other events planned not included on this list (though it looks very thorough).  This May 1st let's show the world that we support migrants and their contribution to this country.

Hoy Marchamos, Manana Votamos. Today we march, tomorrow will vote. Marches and Actions announced for May 1st. at Pro Inmigrant.  Thanks for the list of marches and actions!

Global Food Crisis at Dream Act Texas.

In Bangladesh at least 15,000 garment factory workers went on strike earlier today to call for higher wages to cover the soaring price of food.

Also read America's bitter sense of deprivation. Are we protecting our right to over consume or just trying to preserve the limited resources held in common perception?

After I described the DREAM Act and the current situation for DREAMERS -there seemed to be an explosion when we began the question and answer period. The comments were intense and angry. The students did not agree with allowing DREAMERS in-state tuition - one young man told us directly that immigration has really hurt the Black community.

Deporting Wisconsin’s best and brightest at One Step Closer.
In a recent op-ed in the Charlotte Observer (via Immigration Prof Blog), presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed the issue of immigration reform.  He is known to be supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already here in the U.S.  Overall, I think he is the candidate with the best proposed policies on immigration, for the reasons I outlined here.  

But in reading his op-ed this week, I noticed a troubling development.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on Racism in the Debate Over Immigration and U.S. Immigration Policy Harms Children at Immigration Prof Blog

Smart Borders is a wonderful blog written by a person who lives right near the Texas/Mexico border. Read Something there is that Doesn’t Love a Wall, Part 1.

With all the grace and diplomacy of a Chinese Emperor, Homeland Security has waived 39 laws for the wall in Texas and 19 different laws for the Arizona portion. And, just like the Great Wall of China, people will surely die as a result of this costly edifice.
Also read Life Is A Story.
The most beautiful thing about nonviolence, then, is the fact that it always holds out hope for redemption. Because nonviolence never physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually views the “other” as an enemy or essentially evil, reconciliation is a constant possibility.

The immigration line to the U.S. is really a black hole at Generation 1.5.

It's bad enough that radio shock jocks and cable TV personalities demonize undocumented immigrants. But what bothers me even more is the reflexive response by well-meaning Americans that undocumented immigrants ought to "get in line and wait their turn."
What they don't realize is that our immigration system is so broken that there is no line.
This "line" is written about in yave's post here titled "There Is No Line."

"Inquilinos Unidos ... Jamás Será Vencidos!"

Thumbnail image for please don't evict me

Tenants from Queens and Harlem came to Madison Square on Saturday to protest Credit Suisse's financial backing of Vantage Properties, LLC, a real estate management company.  The tenants came to protest Vantage's financial strategy of forcing rent-stabilized renters out by repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits against them in housing court.  Vantage's goal is to speed up gentrification in up-and-coming neighborhoods by using illegal tactics to effectively evict low-income tenants. 

Vantage has gone on a buying spree throughout New York City over the past two years, snapping up approximately 9,200 rent-regulated apartments.  The company has made certain financial documents available to the Securities and Exchange Commission that outline its business strategy.  The company hopes to vacate 20-30% of its apartments in certain buildings within the first year after acquisition, renovate the units, and then raise the rent to market level.

But landlords can't just kick out rent-stabilized tenants--there are laws that prevent that.  So Vantage has come up with a new strategy to "recapture" high numbers of rent-stabilized apartments in western Queens and Harlem for wealthier tenants: harass its rent-stabilized tenants through frivolous lawsuits until they pack up and leave on their own.

Update: Read more about this story at the Daily News.  (I'm also told it was in El Diario, but I can't seem to find it.  If anyone else does, please let me know in comments.)

Music For Change

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For mere pocket change, you can help empower latino youth voters, and add 15 hot new songs to your iPod!


Sharing personal accounts is a great way to bring empathy and compassion to this issue. As we all know real people are affected by the problems with our immigration system and hearing your stories will help foster the compassion which can lead to positive change. I am a DREAMer calls out to everyone to Share your immigration story.

Dream Act Texas offers information and a phone number in 59 arrested in Virginia - call 866 341-3858 for info. on their whereabouts. Illogical Deportations gives us the Servano family in PA who have been living legally in the U.S. up until they applied for citizenship.

Man Eegee guest blogs at The Unapologetic Mexican in Neil Boortz Makes A Lousy Human. Neil chimes in on how he'd make a terrible Mexican and we just have to wonder what people are thinking.

With the raids continuing make sure to watch Prepare for ICE Raids – CHIRLA "Know Your Rights!" Video at Yave Begnet.

With the launch of the A Dream Deferred blog, the world can no longer feign blindness to the suffering of migrants.  While most bloggers in what we have dubbed the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere struggle to get hundreds of online viewers, this month tens of thousands have already collided head on with the migrant voice.  These "voiceless others" that nativists have beat on for centuries now have a megaphone and they are speaking out loud and clear:

"Terrorism, crime, the economy, health care, and education: we are not to blame for all of the world's problems!  Yet, despite being treated as less than human, we still want to help solve them.  All we want, is the freedom to do so."

These are the DREAMers, a nickname for the possible beneficiaries of the DREAM Act.  But the term DREAMer has come to mean so much more than that.  They truly do live their life off of the dream that they will one day be able to contribute to a country that refuses to acknowledge their existence, with some even actively crushing it out.  If I were in their position I would have given up long ago.  I probably would have drawn inspiration from Marcus Garvey and his "Back to Africa" movement, and left.  Instead they stay in the only home they know with the dream that one day, their government will acknowledge their humanity.

This is why we are fighting at Immigration Equality.

We need you to get motivated and take action during our Lobby Week (May, 6, 7, and 8). And just in case you need a reason to fight, here is yet another story that highlights the injustice we are trying to eliminate.

Legal Immigrants, Until They Sought Citizenship at Just News. Just another example of our flawed system. People who are living legally in the United States shouldn't be taking a risk when they decide to apply for citizenship.

A new film addressing the issue of immigration titled The Visitor is out and showing in many cities. From what I can see in the trailer it looks like a wonderful story in which one man discovers the beauty of another's culture and is awakened by their interaction. This is how the world should work - sharing, compassion, and community. Visit “The Visitor” - New Film Takes on Immigration for more at Immigrant's List

Join in the discussion about migrant workers and their importance to American agriculture by attending a free screening of American Harvest on Monday, April 14, followed by a question and answer session with filmmaker Angelo Mancuso.

For an opportunity to meet some of the migrants featured in the film, get up to the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival on Sunday, May 4 for another screening of American Harvest.

Also look for the theatrical debut of the award-winning film in Rochester, NY this coming June. Show other theaters around the country that there is an audience for American Harvest and help promote its national release by contacting your favorite independent cinemas and asking them to show it.

Manana Marchamos/Tomorrow We March: Immigrant Rights Groups Gearing Up for Mayday Marches at Of América. Please feel free to link to May Day events in the comments section.

Mesa braces for unrest! Mesa Police Chief Pleads for Help from Community Leaders: "Save me from Arpaio!" at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

In the News This Morning, Friday, April 11th at Long Island Wins Blog.

At Dream Act Texas Another DREAMer suffers the consequences of the system:

It's one of those stories that doesn't seem to make a lot sense. A senior at Upper Perkiomen High School faces deportation after living in the United States for the past 12 years. Her family can't believe what's happening.

Apparently Katie Couric has turned in her warm sparkling morning mug in for an evening sourpuss. A desire for more ratings perhaps or a revealing of the true self. Read Imitating Dobbs may not be such a good idea for Katie Couric at Dream Act Texas for more.

Global Crisis: prices of staple food grew 80% in last 3 years and One less anti-immigration lawmaker in Congress at Dream Act Texas. Also read A few words by Michael Chertoff Part I and the other four posts that make up this series.

After Hours at ICE at Immigration Equality Blog. "In case you missed it, here is a story that offers a view into the wild and crazy lives of our friends over at ICE."

Watch America’s Immigration Legacy at Para Justica y Libertad.

Students Protest Border Patrol Recruitment at Eristic Ragemail.

Border Stories has posted three new videos, and they are excellent. These films promote understanding of migrants like nothing else I've seen. Spread the word.
If they knew everything that we suffer throughout the whole journey, I don't think they could bring themselves to stop us.

In light of widespread predawn raids as part of Operation Return to Sender, the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) prepared an informational video on how to prepare for an ICE raid.

The video plays out different scenarios in which undocumented immigrants commonly come into contact with ICE or local law enforcement, including workplace and home raids, as well as routine traffic stops.  In the clip, you see people reacting in ways that can reduce their risk of being deported, and you see people reacting in ways that greatly increase that risk.  The narrators explain how to assert your rights in different situations.  It is worth watching--certainly for migrants--but also for friends, family, and advocates who might be in a position to explain to others what to do and what not to do when confronted by ICE.

The video can be ordered here and a subtitled Spanish/English version can be viewed here.

CHIRLA edited a shorter version for YouTube (currently w/o subtitles), above, which at present appears to be sadly underviewed.  Help get the word out about this great resource and get those page views up! 

The "Know Your Rights" card described in the video can be printed up here (pdf).  CASA of Maryland also has a good illustrated guide for preparing for an ICE raid available in English and Spanish (pdfs).   

ICE Using Unconstitutional and Illegal Means in Raids at Eristic Ragemail.

Congratulations to Dream Act Texas for reaching 25,000 hits on their site. It's truly a good place to get important information and they keep fresh content daily. As I said in a previous post I advise adding them to your RSS feeds to make sure you're always up on the latest posts. Of course you can visit here and see them too. Read 25,000 hits for Dream Act Texas in less than 9 months and learn more about Marie-Theresa, The dream of taking back California, In A Little Bit About Me and Thanking our Readers read about the Dream Act Texas blogger Julita.

Hot Topics on His Panic Blogs.: Working together for a common cause: American Dream and Justice for all at Pro Inmigrant. Find a list of posts from the blogs represented here and let's work together to promote the real dream of America - compassion, justice, unity and civility.

Death in the Shadows at Vivir Latino.

Life for undocumented immigrants in the US is tough. Some cities make it illegal for landlords to rent to you; high school graduates desiring to go to college find an obstacle when it comes to paying for college due to their ineligibility for financial aid; and you might be picked up by ICE while out shopping and get deported.

Gestapo Arpaio Resurrects Operation Wetback Part 2 at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

Seton Hall Sues ICE UNHCR Compilation of Case Law on Refugee Protection in International Law March 2008 at Immigration Prof Blog.

Do you remember the moment you realized an issue was an issue? at Long Island Wins.

..Because I've been there. And you've been there. And if you haven't been there, I hope you have someone you can talk to that has when you are there and that they hold your hand and offer you as much solace as they can.

Refocusing The Immigration Debate at Latino Politico. Man Eegee asks "how do we do it without always being on the defense?"

Border Reporter writes EL NARCO-ARMADOR Y SU FAMILIA.

Cliche That Needs a Reality Check at Damn Mexicans. - I have to agree with this sentiment. Most people who came here were leaving terrible situations. They weren't rich people looking for a new place to build a palace. Yet, you hear so many anti-migrants screaming about wanting "the best and the brightest." There's is a convenient dismissal of our past in much of the anti-migrant sentiment so enjoy this wake-up call from Damn Mexicans.

Under Pressure, Neo-Nazi Landlord Puts Properties on Market at Hatewatch.

Show the League of Women Voters some love at I am a DREAMer.

Brent Renison, the Oregon attorney who has been working tirelessly to eliminate the nonsensical "widow penalty," appeared recently on NPR's "This American Life" with Ira Glass.  You can check it out here (scroll through to nearly the halfway mark to the start of the segment: "This American Wife"). 

Meanwhile, the federal class action lawsuit to extend to the rest of the nation the exemption to the penalty currently only available to people living in the Ninth Circuit continues apace.  So far so good for Renison and his diligent co-counsel, Alan Diamante, and the hundreds (possibly thousands) of widows and widowers whose hopes rest with federal litigation and efforts to convince Congress to end this inane and unfair penalty. 

Visit the Surviving Spouses Against Deportation (SSAD) website for more information.

MTV Video: Endless War

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I've been away for a while doing work for the pro-migrant community and work that will get more exposure for this blog and all of its amazing writers.  Something that's been taking up a lot of time is videos for MTV, but I finally made my first decent one and had it featured on the front page of the Choose Or Lose website.  Click here to see it.

Please watch Who Wants to Deport David Beckham? and make sure and send a letter to your representative at Immigrant's List. Did David steal a job from a hard kicking American?

WALLS, WALLS, WALLS at Border Reporter.

Democrat Gabrielle Giffords sent a letter out to the press this afternoon blasting the Homeland Security Department for sneaking in another 100 miles of wall in Arizona without consulting her or anyone else on the project.

Smart Borders: Insider, Outsider - Is that the question?

During the No Border Wall Walk this part March 8-16, thousands of people honked encouragement as we walked 126 miles from Roma to Brownsville.
Also read April is the Cruellest Month…
On this April 1, the United States government opted to bypass more than 30 laws in hopes of rushing construction of a controversial border wall.

I beseech you to contact your Congressmen, since Congress authorized these waivers just today. I beg you to pray with me that Americans will come to their consciences and oppose these waivers. How we react to these waivers and the impending border wall in this cruel month will decide the legacy of our generation and our nation.

When you don't like the law … ignore it at Migra Matters. More on the side-stepping of law by the Bush administration.

Border fence to stop illegal wildlife migrants at Long Island Wins.

[T]he race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong ... 
Ecclesiastes 9:11

Restrictionists are still pushing their pet legislation through Congress--as if the current laws aren't bad enough.  Please take a moment to visit Orcinus for a list of wavering Democrats who are under pressure to accede to nativist efforts to push the misguided SAVE Act through the House. 

They could use your calls and emails to let them know that we are a migrant nation and the SAVE Act would be a big capitulation to the politics of fear and hate! 

Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see if your Rep is on the list.  If so, give them a call!
From Movement Vision Lab we have this excellent video of an American DREAMer:

At what point did we close the borders on the American dream? Juan's story, similar to the stories of many undocumented youth, shines a light on America's unfounded fear of immigrants and pushes us towards building a more just immigration system based on community values.

Read the rest here.

Happy belated birthday to Cesar Chavez. Yesterday many marched for worker's rights amongst other happenings. Click here for stories on Google News.

For those in Arizona here are some events in César Chávez Events In Tucson brought to you by Latino Politico.

The Unapologetic Mexican dijo "¡FELIZ CUMPLEANOS, Señor Chavez!" in Cesar Chavez Day?.

Para Justicia y Libertad also says Happy Cesar Chavez Day.

On Cesar's birthday Latina Lista writes yesterday, What do GOOGLE and McCain Have in Common? Both Forgot What Today Is.

That point became painfully clear when I noticed that the one entity that could really put their stamp on making this day authentic let the anniversary go by without even an o drawn grape — yes, the GOOGLE splash page.

Official Language: Penalty - Learn English or GO TO JAIL! (Includes Legal Citizens!)

For all of you who promote "Official English" and who said this would never happen, here it is. A Judge has ruled "Learn English or Go To Jail!" The judge imposed this sentence on those here legally. As we move closer to a "Gestapo State," even with no standards set, the judge says, “There’s no way young kids can be hurt by knowing how to read and write the English language.”

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