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.
Living in Phoenix, AZ, puts me at Ground Zero in the pro-migrant struggle. Every day I see the war on immigrants in action. Through volunteering for Interfaith Worker Justice Arizona, I am privileged to meet and work alongside some of these men and women. I hear firsthand about their lives, I know firsthand who they are (and are not), and what “American justice” means for them. Documented or not, it means living every day in terror, and for many, working in conditions (over which they have no control) that torment, harm, and impoverish them and shame us. For the documented and the undocumented, for 5th generation citizens and newcomers alike, it means seeing white faces contorted with fury, screaming obscenities and threats of violence, and being harassed on foot and by car by militiamen and women and sheriff’s deputies. For most, it means working a hellish 10-hour day without knowing if you’ll be paid, for it often means being cheated.  It means being disappeared. It can mean deportation even for citizens. It happens.  It means being beaten and raped and sodomized and even murdered in detention or knowing someone, loving someone who has been.  It means the unexplained vanishing of a loved one to places unknown and often unknowable.  It means having your infant ripped out of your arms and taken away, perhaps permanently. It means agonizing death by dehydration in the desert for answering the call of our great bait-and-switch migrant worker exploitation con.

This is not for one second acceptable, and it is being done in our names.

I am not a Latina or a migrant, but as an aging, out lesbian, I walk my own alien trail in America. I know something about borderlands, outsiderness, and vulnerability of the physical, emotional, psychic, and economic kinds. I don’t claim that my path has been comparably horrible. I only claim that my life has taught me certain realities that, because of skin and class, I would almost certainly not know otherwise.  I have so much to learn about immigration, but at least once a month, I plan to share the lessons I learn here. I look forward to getting to know you and ask your patience if I sometimes make mistakes!

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3 Comments

Alexa Avila said:

Hola, Pico.

Pleasure to meet you.

This is not for one second acceptable, and it is being done in our names.

We must never forget.

Buena suerte.

--Alexa

Never In Our Names

yave begnet said:

Welcome, Pico. Thank you for sharing your story. I will look forward to hearing more about your struggles in the Southwest.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Welcome Pico,

Thanks for injecting more energy into an already supercharged pro-migrant space.

K

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Pico published on April 30, 2008 3:02 PM.

Migrant Scapegoating Continues in Rhode Island was the previous entry in this blog.

Attend The Rallies!: Pro-Migrant Sanctuarysphere is the next entry in this blog.

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