July 2008 Archives

O Obama, Where Art Thou? asks Para Justicia y Libertad on Obama's ignoring Latinos in Texas. Also Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up: 07/30/2008.

Watch How To Tell People They Sound Racist at Awearness Blog. Great video by Jay Smooth breaking down the difference between the "what they did" conversation and the "who they are" conversation.

Watch the video. Jay does a fantastic job at establishing a simple strategy for dealing with the unexpected Public Display Of Ignorance (or PDI).

The Postville ICE Raid: An Enormous Abuse of Power from David Neiwert of Orcinus, posted at AlterNet.

It's worth remembering that incipient police states target the most vulnerable members of society.

The Bully in Phoenix on Sheriff Arpaio at Dream Act Texas.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon escalated his feud with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday, calling on the national media to come to the Valley and observe the sheriff's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Read about, and watch, the video "A Hidden System" and the Human Cost of Detention at Of América.

NC: Immigration arrest at library raises concerns - The News & Observer.

The sheriff has suggested that the librarian's arrest was related to her care at the health department but has not said whether medical information was used to identify her. The woman's arrest and the circumstances surrounding it have become so contentious that some residents are organizing against the county's efforts to drive out illegal immigrants.

New video unmasks the "Hidden System" of federal deportations and detentions at Latina Lista.

had it not been for the conscience-stricken federal interpreter who came forward to reveal how the federal government railroaded these undocumented workers into deportation, the height of the injustice of the system would not have been brought to light.

In the spirit of vigils, rallies and protests, I bring you Joan Baez, famous Mexican-American folk singer! at Latino Politics Blog. Also from yesterday MALDEF holding vigil today for Luis Ramirez and Latino Legislators of the Week, Congressmen Baca, Gutierrez, and Sires - Meeting with the Postville Community regarding the Immigration Raids.

We Stand in No (Every) Place at The Unapologetic Mexican. Take a minute to absorb the ink of Nezua's artist pen.

White Supremacists See Their Imminent Defeat As A Good Thing at Orcinus. It seems that white supremacist groups are banking on an Obama presidency to divide the nation and bring more to their side. I say they're a bunch of hatest wackadoos who are getting the clear message that the majority doesn't prescribe to their hate.

First I would like to give mention to a blog I discovered yesterday titled Shalom Rav which gives us the story of the recent rallies to support migrants in Postville. The post is titled Demanding Justice in Postville and includes many pictures. Please take a moment to leave a comment in support of this Rabbi's wonderful actions.

1,000 March to Protest Postville Raid at Standing FIRM. Also Sherriff Joe Arpaio Honored to be called KKK, a new book Debunking the myth of the "Latino Threat" and Update: PA Teens Charged in Fatal Beating of Luis Ramirez.

Latino Politico has put together a list of over 30 blogs that have written on Jon Justice in Sites Covering Jon Justice's Sexual Escapades.

I believe we posted this before, but it never hurts to Know your rights. Watch this video on what to do if ICE shows up to your job or home at American Wetback.

'A line was crossed at Postville' at Orcinus on Erik Camayd-Freixas' article.

A Clue to the Future of ICE Raids at Dream Act Texas. ACLU on Operation Endgame which is the plan to remove all undocumented immigrants by 2012. More information in Wikipedia on Operation Endgame and A Search for Operation Endgame.

Hell Between Four Walls: Part I, Caught Inside an ICE Detention Center, Part II and Part III.

Race, Politics & the Deadly Rise of (Corporate) Media Sovereignty at Of América.

Nowhere was the threat more palpable than around that most critical of media issues of our time, Net Neutrality, the struggle to keep the internet open and free from the clutches of the exploiters of journalists, the purveyors of candy-coated UnTruth and enablers of government secrecy: Big Media.

Today's top story in the Sanctuarysphere is about the anti-migrant group ALIPAC.US.  It's been alleged by members of the watchdog site, ALIPAC.Net, that they weren't paying their payroll taxes.  In a beautiful twist of irony, the person who claims to have alerted the IRS, if they turn in the forms to claim the reward, will use the money as donation to help the people in Postville. Read Anti-Immigration Group Caught Not Paying Taxes at Damn Mexicans. Who doesn't pay taxes Mr. Gheen?

The Politics of Humanity: Who Let This Vato Go On Air at Para Justicia y Libertad. In reference to the story of Isabel Garcia this article tells us of frustration and the desiccation of tears which occurs when one's seen so much sadness.

No matter how carefully orchestrated, deportation dehumanizes people who come to this country to work hard to produce the many luxuries to which many like Jon Justice and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have grown accustomed - clean offices and classrooms, the food that is prepared for them at the restaurants they frequent, the food that is ready to buy at their local grocery stores, the homes they live in, and keeping this nation safe by serving the military.
Update on the Luis Ramirez Story: Three teens charged in beating death of Luis Ramirez at Latino Politics Blog. You can also read more at Mexico Trucker in A Turning Point? - 3 Pennsylvania teens charged in immigrant's death.

Headlining today's SanctuarySphere I'm including the various posts on Jon Justice and his rape-fantasy fondle of an Isabel Garcia effigy. Isabel Garcia is a pro-migrant human rights activist in Arizona and a public defendant.  Jon is a run-of-the-mill scapegoating hate-for-profit radio host in Arizona.  To learn more about Isabel and to learn of Jon's heinous act read the following posts.

Latino Politico
Citizen Orange
The Unapologetic Mexican
American Humanity
Alternet (call to action sent to their email list)
Feathered Bastard (Phoenix New Times)

I'm not usually a fan of the multiple public relations pitches that come through the contact us page on Citizen Orange.  Yet, I have to admit that when someone from Big Think wrote me about the story of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, I was hooked and had to share the story.  I'll embed the Big Think video that tells his story here, but below the fold I'll expound upon it.

It's the practical and moral thing to do.  David Neiwart has the reasoning over at Orcinus.

The Right To Stay Home

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David Bacon has an excellent piece on the right to stay home over at New America Media. (sombrero tip to Alternet)

.....fill out the questionnaire.

Two of the members from the SanctuarySphere, Kety and Liza, spoke last night at Obama's Platform For Change in New York.  Liza reminded us that health care, food, education, housing, safety and work are all human rights.  She also asked that the term "illegal immigrant" and "illegal alien" be dropped from the discussion on immigration as it has become a tool of extremists in this country.  She asked instead that everyone use the term "undocumented worker."  Hearing the audience clap after this statement was quite promising.  Kety brought up The Sanctuary and the questionnaire asking that we take a holistic approach immigration problem.  To finish she stated quite eloquently:

I'm here because that our nation can be something amazing, something beautiful and great, but I think that we the people here - and I think the Democratic Party has a long way to go to actualize it.  I think you have the chance now with Obama - so, let's make it happen.

Sadly there were more ICE raids this week.  This time it was Ohio - Immigration raids Ohio restaurants, arrests 58.

State and Local Round-up at Standing FIRM. Tears of Rage, Tears of Hope on the woman chained while giving birth. Also Hartford Considers Restriction to Make Community Safer by prohibiting police officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status. Update: Providence, Rhode Island Raids - How to Help!
It's a little late, but as promised, I've put together a video from the footage I caught while I was at the annual National Council of La Raza conference in San Diego.

It turns out that after I wrote my post documenting the racism of the San Diego Minutemen, an even more heinous case of racism emerged.  It was caught by Naui Huitzilopochtli (YouTube user nauiocelotl).  Naui was a little bit hostile with the Minutemen.  But coupling his footage with mine really builds a solid case for the hypocrisy of the San Diego Minutemen.  It seems the hypocrisy of them holding up signs accusing others of racism at the same time they spewed hateful terms like "wetback" and "beaner" was lost on them.

Without further ado, here's the video.  Please Digg it, give it a thumbs up on StumbleUpon, and uprate it on Reddit:

The migrant story has more facets than a finely cut diamond.  The facet of Guatemalan adoption is one that I've touched every now and again. 

The BBC is reporting that for the first time, the Guatemalan government has "irrefutable evidence that a stolen child was put up for adoption."  The story is an unbelievably sad one.
Thank goodness for Man Eegee.  I received an email from the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos a few days ago, issuing a call to action in defense of Isabel Garcia, a staunch defender of migrant rights, but as I tried to write something I realized I didn't know where to begin.  Fortunately, Manny knows the area and the players well, and his latest post, "Piñata Porn Extraordinaire Jon Justice", really put everything into perspective for me.  
Demonstrating that local activism does work a group of from Grassroots Leadership, Southwest Workers Union, No Wall-Big Bend, and PODER were able to convince Congressman Rodriguez, in San Antonio, to change his stance on the SAVE Act.

Advocates Protest the SAVE Act, meet with Congressman Rodriguez at T Don Hutto Blog.  Check out the post and accompanying video.

Friday, July 11, the group met with Rodriguez to express their concerns about his endorsement, calling on him to participate in a national sign-on letter against the SAVE Act. After arguing the expansion of the border wall and family detention included in the SAVE Act would be detrimental to families, citizens, and newcomers to the U.S., the group convinced Rodriguez to rethink his position.
Also read LULAC Calls for Abolition of T. Don Hutto.

At Smart Borders we have Something there is that doesn't love a Wall, Part 6. This post tells of the walls in Belfast erected to keep Irish-Catholics and British-Protestants separated.

These walls have increased to more than 40 today, covering over 13 miles and segregating much of this once-thriving city. Alternately built of steel, iron, and brick, these walls stretch up to 25-feet high and prohibit the movement of people from the Irish-Catholic parts of town to the British-Protestant sections.
The AP carried this article over the weekend about what appears to be the racially-motivated killing of a Latino migrant by a group of teenagers in rural Pennsylvania:


Luis Ramirez came to the U.S. from Mexico six years ago to look for work, landing in this town in Pennsylvania's coal region. Here, he found steady employment, fathered two children and, his fiancee said, occasionally endured harassment by white residents.

Now he is headed back to Mexico in a coffin.

The 25-year-old illegal immigrant was beaten over the weekend after an argument with a group of youths, including at least some players on the town's beloved high school football team, police said. Despite witness reports that the attackers yelled ethnic slurs, authorities say the beating wasn't racially motivated.

[Continued over at the DMI blog.]

In MJM: A Sarcastic Thanks for Clearing Our Community at Anti-BVBL a Manassas youth thanks her town for helping to "cleanse" her town.  While a portion speaks ill of those working low paying jobs (which I don't agree with) the majority of it brings the 'crackdowns' into perspective.

Texas Going Blue? and Lopez Lomong an immigrant who will be competing for the U.S. in this year's Olympics.

NYTimes: Pushing Back on Immigration at Standing FIRM. Also read the disturbing story Fake Cop threatens deportation and demands sex from pregnant woman and Human Rights Violations in NW Detention Center.

Also we read of another raid in Raids in Colorado!.

In Why people are undocumented - dreamacttexas 1st Anniversary Series DAT begins their series by giving us some examples of why people remain undocumented while reminding us that many cannot afford even the basic sustenance for sustaining life. We have a terrible example of human callousness in The Meaningless Dead. In Mexico strategizes for better treatment of undocumented migrants in the U.S. we learn that undocumented immigrants are being treated better in Mexico than the U.S.

Para Justicia y Libertad brings us Netroots Nation's Dos Centavos Online Video.

In Is it ever ok to say "Stupid Mexicans?" at Dream Act Texas. In light of The New Yorker's cover and the recent beating death of a Mexican migrant in Shenandoah, PA we are beginning to see some disturbing trends. Just as many can use the "nation of laws" routine to belittle Hispanics The New Yorker can satirize Obama because they're just showing what some Americans think of him.

Read Almost half-a-million undocumented residents live in Houston! at Dream Act Texas. This article links to a study showing how undocumented workers contribute greatly to the economy.

Mexican Immigrant Beaten To Death In Pennsylvania at American Humanity.

My mother sent me this video and I had to post it.  This is 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki speaking before the UN's 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

You know something is wrong when a child makes more sense than the leaders of the world.

Previous Anti-Illegal Activist Joins the Conversation at Anti-BVBL.

Jason Riley, African-American Conservative Writes Pro-Immigrant Book at Eristic Ragemail.


Watch Lou Dobb's head explode in The Secret Behind Lou’s Fear! at The Unapologetic Mexican. John Stewart uses the 'Dobbsometer' to see how the candidate are doing in gaining the Latino vote. Sadly we get our most truthful news from the Comedy Channel.

Mexican Immigrant Beaten To Death In Pennsylvania at American Humanity.

If people do not believe in my constant call for a more global approach to the issue of migration, read this latest shocking article from Guatemala's main newspaper, Prensa Libre
UPDATE: It looks as if the global perspective was discussed pretty extensively.  More in the comments.

If the internets sound a little quiet to you today, it's probably because a lot of people are at Netroots Nation.  Man Eegee from Latino Politico seems to be doing the best job at providing information relative to the sanctuarysphere.  He live blogged both the Immigration Panel and the Latino Panel.  It looks like you put a lot of work into it Manny.  Thank you.  Definitely go check them out for a summary of what looks like a good discussion.

I am reading through the American Legion's report on "illegal" immigration and one thing struck me as particularly disturbing. It was their use of the acronym OTM. Though you may have seen it before you may not realize to the American Legion it means Other Than Mexican. Doing a little research I cannot find a similar acronym used for any other nationality. There's no Other Than Canadian, Other Than Russian and no Other Than American. What's more somebody took the time to add the new meaning of this acronym to the free online dictionary.

Where is the humanity in chaining a woman, by both wrists, while she labored in agony? at Anti-BVBL. Also read The Flip Side of the Sign: Thumbs Up, Down or the Finger? about a man who drives around day labor sites toting a sign stating "deport them all." Nice.

Obama's Listening to America Program at a Blog For Arizona. Hopefully this won't get in the way of Obama's Answering The Sanctuary's Questions Initiative.

Satire of the Stupid at Zuky. Check out the hilarious cartoon in response to the New Yorker's recent cover.

Most of the criticism I've seen directed at the image has construed the problem as being that only urbane cosmopolitan sophisticates will get it, with commenters hastening to add, "Oh of course I get it, but what about the ignorant yokels? Remember the philistines!" But that's really not how I see it. Because to me, those who claim to get this image are the unsophisticates who lack the cultural and artistic literacy to understand the proper meaning of the word "satire". It's not the same as "sarcasm". That's why we have two different words.

invasion nation

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Some days you feel like writing something, and some days you just steal videos from your blogmig@s, like this Fark video I just lifted from Iamashadow.
"It's not that I'm prejudiced ... it's just that their lack of rhythm is affecting our crops." hehe.

First please check out Nezua's knock-out piece at The Unapologetic Mexican in The Conquest and Theft of América, Pt. 13. This piece uses the recent anti-immigrant law passed in Rhode Island, and subsequent raid, to illustrate the terrible treatment of people that are not immigrants - they're Indians.

Here's a story about one of the migrants in Tuesday's Rhode Island raids who was detained, but later released, Sandra Diaz of Guatemala. The article, from the Providence Journal, is titled 'I am afraid … that they will deport me.' As we all no you just don't here selfish reasons for migrants risking so much to be here. In this article Sandra states:

"When I first came to this country, I came with a visa and I didn't think of staying," she said. "But my husband is very sick with kidney problems, and I was able to get work here cleaning, so I can send him money [in Guatemala]."

In yesterday's SanctuarySphere post I wrote that the ProAmerican rally, held in Morristown, NJ, last year is where I got my first taste of the anti-migrant insanity. It was at that point that I decided to start American Humanity. It was painfully disgusting what I saw there. My post on this day can be found here in A Change Of Heart - One Year After the ProAmerica Rally.

The migrant-rights organization Immigration Equality scored a major victory today in ushering through the Senate a repeal of the HIV immigration and travel ban.  From Immigration Equality's press release (I'll post the link as soon as it goes up on their website) (Update: here it is):

Immigration Equality hails the Senate's vote to lift the HIV immigration and travel ban.  The Senate voted today to repeal the language that bars people with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S., as part of the legislation reauthorizing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  The Senate approved PEPFAR by a vote of 80 to 16.

"Congress has finally moved to end the HIV ban - a ban based on myth and misinformation," said Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director of Immigration Equality.  "For twenty years, the United States has barred HIV-positive travelers from entering the country even for one day.  Today the Senate said loud and clear that AIDS exceptionalism must come to an end." 

HIV is the only disease excluded by Congressional fiat; all other decisions on communicable diseases are left to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The repeal provision in the PEPFAR bill will remove the anti-HIV language from the Immigration and Nationality Act, and restore the determination of whether HIV is "communicable disease of public health significance," to the discretion of HHS.

Important Update: Note that the bill has not yet become law, so the waiver requirement is still in place until it does.  From Immigration Equality's website:

The Senate's version of PEPFAR has not yet become law.  Right now, if you are HIV positive and planning to travel to the U.S. or planning to apply for legal permanent residence status you must still obtain a waiver of inadmissibility.  For more information on HIV Waivers please read this section of our website.

Second Update: It's been a while since I linked to Andrew Sullivan, but take a moment to read his moving post about what the repeal means to him (via). 

I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's one of the happiest days of my whole life. For two and a half decades, I have longed to be a citizen of the country I love and have made my home. I now can. There is no greater feeling.

And I should also note that one of the co-sponsors of the bill was Gordon Smith (R-OR), a prominent Mormon in good standing in the faith.  I hope that the era of reflexive alignment of religious conservatives with anti-gay politics is coming to an end (I say "anti-gay" on the premise that the HIV ban had its roots in animus against the LGBT community).

[End updates]

Today's SanctuarySphere post brings us the terrible story of ICE raids in Rhode Island courthouses yesterday leading to dozens of arrests. Once again people hard at work are rounded up like cattle and taken away while their families sit worried and waiting. 

Community says no to ICE Raids in Providence!

Bryan Monaghan
Story Created: Jul 15, 2008 at 10:11 PM EDT

Dozens of advocates and activists demonstrated outside of the downtown Providence ICE office on Tuesday night, protesting an late afternoon raid. Representatives from Immigration and Customs Enforcement tell ABC 6 that almost two dozen people were rounded up, from Kent County Courthouse in Warwick and from the Providence District Court building.

Dozens arrested in raids at courthouses - Providence Journal


Journal Staff Writers

Leonardo Tornes waits outside the ICE headquarters building in Providence last night. The Providence Journal / Ruben W. Perez PROVIDENCE — Federal immigration agents and state police raided six Rhode Island courthouses yesterday, arresting dozens of people employed by two contractors hired by the state. The detainees are all believed to be maintenance workers.
(sanctuarysphere posts after the break)

The Sanctuary is an organic garden of sanity, justice and compassion. In this garden the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing and the fruits of hard work are being realized.  Thanks to all the farmers here pushing for truth and justice. 

Score One for the Latinosphere at Para Justicia y Libertad on the article in the Wall Street Journal about efforts to wake up the candidates.

Shackled Like An Animal During Labor at Latino Politico.

Nine months pregnant and in labor, she was shackled until two hours prior to the birth of her child and then re-shackled afterwards. Following the birth of the baby, authorities denied her the ability to breast feed the newborn, who was at a high risk of jaundice as a result of it.
Also check out Man Eegee's post on Wall Street Journal Covers Our Questionnaire.

Of América also writes on the Wall Street Journal story in Of América Mentioned in Wall Street Journal.

The Unapolgetic Mexican brings us Sanctuary Members on CNN.

What a Mess

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Sometimes I feel like I'm reading the screenplay for some shoot-em-up movie as I follow this Guatemala crime odyssey, but I'm not.  All this case inspires in me is sadness for the country I was born and raised in.
In a post I wrote earlier today, I made my thoughts about this "flip-flop" narrative known.  This is a happy day for migrant youth.  Today, a courageous member of One Dream 2009 got Senator McCain to say he supports the DREAM Act.

The Democrats have put out a video documenting the flip-flop(sombrero tip to Todd at MyDD who has been covering this with me):

I just stepped outside to witness the craziness of the protestors again.  There was a much heavier police presence today as there were protesters and counter-protestors, but I'll have more on that later.  For now, below is a copy of McCain's remarks at the National Council of La Raza conference here in San Diego:

Watching McCain's Speech

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Note: Credit for this post should go to The Sanctuary.

There are a lot less people here to see McCain in San Diego, today.  Janet Murguia, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), just introduced John McCain in a heap of praise over how John McCain has always kept the door open to NCLR.  If NCLR is so important to John McCain, then how come he doesn't list this speech in the Upcoming Events section of his website?  It lists the Coronado Campaign headquarters Grand Opening across the bay from here, but not the NCLR speech.

McCain's now mentioning his roll in trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  He's refuting Obama's complaint that McCain turned his back on comprehensive immigration reform.  He's tauting his efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the past, saying that Obama tried to pass and vote for ammendments meant to kill comprehensive immigration reform.  McCain says he means it when he says he wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and that with all due respect, he's earned that trust.  Awkward smiles all around. 
Much ado has been made over McCain's "flip-flop" on migration.  Mainstream progressive bloggers used to call migration a "pet issue" that wasn't worth blogging about.  It used to be a monumental struggle for bloggers like myself to get people to pay attention to migration policy.  Policy that I felt would not only define the future of the United States, but the future of the entire hemisphere, maybe even the world, for centuries to come.

It's hard to believe how far we've gotten since then.

Note: Link back to The Sanctuary for this post.

I'm here in San Diego where Barack Obama just spoke at the annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) conference.  NCLR flew out me here and provided with me accommodations at the luxurious San Diego Marriot Hotel & MarinaI was given the opportunity after I helped publicize NCLR's latest We Can Stop the Hate video using Digg and StumbleUpon, among other new media tools.  I didn't do it to advance myself in an particular way.  I just thought the video provided the most succinct description of the link between leading "anti-illegal immigration" groups and white supremacy.  I wanted as many people to see it as possible.

In fact, when NCLR invited me here, I did everything I could to get them to bring one of my blogmig@s along with me, or in my stead.  I identify as white and there should be a latin@ blogger here covering this conference.  I hear Todd Beeton of MyDD, and Lucas O'Connor of Calitics are here liveblogging Obama's speech, as well.  They probably weren't hand picked by NCLR like I was, but if you don't see a problem with three white male bloggers covering a National Council of La Raza conference, I'll leave that for a post that I'll write when all of this is done.  For now, we'll get back to Obama's appearance here.

I'm here in San Diego at the annual National Council of La Raza conference, where Obama just spoke.  I'm writing up a longer post on the experience right now, but in the meantime I thought I'd put up a copy of Obama's remarks:

Yesterday the questionnaire for presidential candidates regarding immigration and important related issues went out to each party. HOPEfully we'll be getting those answers. Thanks to everyone who worked diligently to make this happen. You can read each of the Sanctuary blogger's posts on this questionnaire by visiting the post titled The Sanctuary asks questions of Candidates.

It looks like Razzo over at Eristic Ragemail had enough and called Peter Brimelow of VDARE. Read his conversation in Like Marshmallow for Chocolate: My conversation with Peter Brimelow. (I failed to read the tag "satire" when I wrote this earlier.  Oops.)

Homeland Security at Smart Borders. In this post we learn that the real threat to homeland security is the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland security should mean preserving the humanitarian aspects of our society rather than building walls and weaponizing against supposed terrorists.

When it comes to the current injustices against migrants in this country some questions must be answered. We, as supporters of human rights, cannot wait for our next president to get around to dealing with this issue; nor can we wait for them to actually give us hope rather than just talk about it. Therefore, the editors at The Sanctuary have put together 38 direct questions regarding comprehensive immigration reform, the treatment of migrants in this country and abroad, trade and U.S. legislation affecting Latin American countries.

Make no mistake – this is a human rights issue and the attention necessary to correct it will require a broad range of changes.  These changes will secure the foundation this country was founded on where “liberty and justice for all” is headed as a guiding light rather than treated as a mat beneath the White House door.

Click “read more” for the full list of questions. These questions were given to the candidates nearly three weeks ago and we’re still waiting for answers. (Thanks to Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican for the image above.)

This is the story of those migrants swept of in the Postville Iowa immigration raid as told by one of the interpreters. The article, at the New York Times, is titled "An Interpreter Speaking Up for Migrants" and only serves to remind us of the injustices against those simply trying to work and survive. When I read a story about migrants being detained and unjustly prosecuted I think of what the United States is supposed to represent and stand for. We like to think this is the “land of the free, home of the brave” and place where “liberty and justice for all” is not just a slogan for a dime store t-shirt. The truth is many that come here, through whatever means, see the country the same way so it’s hard to read about people being shackled and dragged through court only to end up in prison in this land where “all men are created equal.”

From Erik Camayd-Freixas’s video on the NY Times website:

What was striking was to see these people enter – and basically you know they’re shackled at their feet, at their wrists and their wrists are shackled to their waste with chains. So they can only take a few little steps, short little steps and the chains are dragging on the floor so it makes a terrible impression. Then you see that they are all about five feet tall and you start – when they start calling their names you start recognizing Mayan names – last names. So there was a real racial contrast between the detainees in chains and the rest of the court with its grandeur. They were being charged with Social Security fraud, using a false Social Security number, but what struck me was that they were also being charged with aggravated identity theft and that just seemed awkward. It didn’t fit.

Lumping all "Teen Illegals" Together at Dream Act Texas. Check out a list of scholarships, none of which are available to DREAMers, in List of Scholarships. Also read 3 North Texas teens facing deportation receive help from Representative, When being a citizen doesn't count on the Bush regimes desire to basically do what they want, and regarding the wiretapping bill (FISA) that just passed A Short History on Racial Profiling - October 30, 2001.

Fear & Despair: Thanks, Department of Homeland (In-)Security! at La Mariposa en la Pared. Janna gives us a window into the lives of immigrants, but as she says:

Occasionally, though, I have to show the ugly things that are happening to them, all in the name of the Law. For every victory in the name of human dignity, it seems like we are suffering a thousand defeats. I say "we" because injustice against any person is cause for alarm; an injury to one is an injury to all.

More Bodies Found Along La Frontera at Latino Politico and McCain Didn't Vote on FISA.

Onedream2009.org at Dream Act Texas on a groups whose goal is to "Gather 15 million signatures (petitions) in recognition of the number of undocumented individuals in this country requesting an immigration policy that benefits all human beings.". Also Immigrant day-laborers cleaning up fire-damaged areas for FREE.... Eristic Ragemail also pointed out the interview with You Don't Speak For Me. Read more, and complain if you wish, in Mistaken Identity: NPR and it's interview of FAIR.

For those that don't know You Don't Speak For Me here's a quote from Carmen Morales who claims to be a founder:

This debate has been going on for a very long time. Remembering back 1975 and the early eighties this country took a tremendous turn and after 1986 that did it. We have been invaded by millions of illegal aliens not 12 million, 30 million, and they’re still coming on a daily basis. Another amnesty and we will lost - we will lose everything good that America has ever had to offer. Take a good look at California, Los Angeles especially and you can see what’s coming to the state of New Jersey. People who are in this country illegally and there supporters like to throw in the race card and accuse Americans of racism as if we have no right to speak to protect our land. I have never seen such disarray, chaos, and so much worthless crime in this country before.

Movement Meta and the Overton Window at Migra Matters on where two extremes of an issue meet.

(Full Disclosure: I am a consultant for the online component of the Welcoming Massachusetts campaign)

The Boston Globe did a good piece on the Welcoming Massachusetts campaign, today.  My favorite part of the article is the picture that went with it, taken by Globe photographer David I. Ryan:

The article also got some good messages out there.
In yet another case highlighting the fact that the U.S.'s broken immigration system is affecting everyone, NECN did a report on a local New England couple where a Canadian wife was an unauthorized migrant to the U.S. without even knowing it.  As a result, the usual stories repeat themselves:  families have been separated and needless suffering endures. 

Mark and Barbara Myers will not be together for their 25th wedding anniversary. Barbara may, in fact, be barred from the United States for five years, and the resulting economic hardship might result in the loss of their home. Watch the video, if you get the chance.
Over at the Sanctuary, Duke has posted the account of interpreter Erik Camayd-Freixas, who has gone into more depth then anyone about the proceedings in Postville, Iowa.  I think it's one of the most valuable first-hand accounts of what happened in Postville and it also busts the myth of the criminality of these migrants.  Some of my favorite quotes though, are the ones that humanize the migrants of which we have heard so little.  You should read the whole thing here, but I'll highlight some of them below:

Another amazing post at Eristic Ragemail exposing nativism and even throwing in a little Deutsch in Nativism as a Gateway Drug to the Verboten. When all the pieces for vilification are there you don't have to be explicit in your claims. The shadows dancing behind the curtain become full blown and vibrant images to the mind seeing what it wants to see. Nativists know they only need fuel that fear to get it to come alive just as Hitler did not so long ago.

Encouragement to all those on the Border at Smart Borders.

Illegal immigration is still a problem, because the push and pull factors of immigration were not addressed through legislative reform. An eighteen-foot wall did nothing to alleviate the more than seven-to-one pay differential between Americans and their neighbors to the South. With the increased militarization of the border and the addition of 700 miles of barriers, the flow of migration has only been redirected to more dangerous routes and means, killing more and more Americalmosts and freezing hundreds of thousands of extralegal residents here who are too afraid to cross back into Mexico.

Death on a Hospital Waiting Room Floor at DMI Blog. Seeing the way people treat migrants I have begun to see the calousness in many, but this is beyond calous - it's insane.

a little late...

The terror that is Agriprocessors continues to unfold. Postville Latest Update: Low Level Hispanic Supervisors Arrested, Warrant Out for Jewish Manager who Fled to Israel! Feds said Plant "Medieval!" at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American. Also read Postville Update: Severed Limbs Common at Agriprocessor´s Medieval Plant!

9 Year Old Sends Desperate Plea to Laura Bush to save Father from Deportation at Standing FIRM along with Update: Annapolis Painting Services Raids - How to Help! Also watch The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez on a man killed by Marines at the border.

Before passing draconian immigration bill, one state conducts self-audit to see if illegal immigration hype matches the facts at Latina Lista. Even though they're working on passing immigration legislation at least their taking the time to see how undocumented migrants impact their community.

Detention Watch Network Releases NEW Map at T Don Hutto Blog.

The Detention Watch Network has released a new and improved interactive map of immigration detention. The map includes detention centers, community organizations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices, and Immigration Courts. A fantastic resource for public education!
Also read American Immigration Lawyers Association on Alternatives to Detention.

Daily Headlines: July 4, 2008 at The Latin Americanist. Also watch the muppets perform "Stars and Stripes Forever" in Today's Video: Happy Fourth of July, "wierdos".

Detainee Deaths lead IG to conclude that ICE needs to account for its treatment of immigrants and On the use of the term “illegal alien” at Eristic Ragemail.

Ever since George Orwell pointed out the pernicious nature of words being used as code, we have recognized that in political debate words are often freighted with much that is concealed. In the current climate, nativists insist, actually demand, that undocumented immigrants be referred to as “illegal aliens.” If you can classify a whole group of people with a pejorative –alien --and then group them as “illegal,” you have carried out a neat trick: you have stripped a whole group of people of their humanity.
Welcome to the World of NumbersUSA, FAIR, and ALIPAC:

Building walls.  Making millions of migrants miserable.  That's not the world I want to live in.

(Picture from Signs of the Times)

Read The in-between Generation in a Nation of Immigrants at DMI Blog on generation 1.5 and their contributions which make the DREAM Act a necessity for the good of America.

At Just News read Advocates rally after raid, arrests.

More than 75 immigrant advocates gathered at Hopkins Plaza, in front of the Baltimore Offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, hoisting signs with slogans such as, "Don't divide our families," and "Painting Houses is not a Crime."
My post, The Intolerant States of America, made just a mild splash on the web, but some interesting things came up that I wanted to discuss.  It garnered 55 Diggs, 23 recommends and comments on Daily Kos, a few more comments over at Alternet, Blue Mass. Group, and The Sanctuary (feel free to show some love in any of these forums).

But it was a link from the blog of Samaha, that I'm most proud of.  She describes the mission of her blog as such:
I don't think U.S. citizens realize how closely the rest of the world is following the U.S. election.  I've spoken to U.S. volunteers in Guatemala and everywhere they go Guatemalans want to ask them them what their feelings are on the candidates.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, it looks as if McCain was met with "skepticism" on his trip to Mexico and Colombia.  One student in Mexico had this to say:

Some Mexicans say they favor McCain, but a zeal for Obama, as a minority, is an undertone across Latin America. "Obama will change everything if he is elected... there will be true immigration reform and not a band-aid because he has African heritage and understands the plight of immigrants," says Marco Polo Herrera, a student in Mexico City. "McCain will be more of the same."
Christian Science Monitor - Sara Miller Llana (3 July 2008)
I am still doubtful over whether or not Obama is the best candidate for those concerned with the migrant plight, but it's interesting to know that there are those in Mexico who feel that way.
There's not a person who is passionate about migrant rights that does not believe they have the answer about where the debate should go.  Workers' rights activists believe the answer lies in unions and in targeting exploitative employers.  Others believe the solution is in targeting the racism of the anti-migrant side.  Others believe the solution is in human rights, and the list goes on and on. 

I myself have always believe that the only solution to this problem is to give opportunities to migrants in the countries that they are coming from.  I believe the only solution is to move towards a world where people migrate out of want, and not out of need. 

Congratulations to Man Eegee and Latino Politico! Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Latino Político at Latino Politico. This is a great post which speaks of the energy in yesterday's SanctuarySphere. Man Eegee notes that we must strengthen one another and remember that we share a responsibility to all of our brothers and sisters of this world. This is why we're here in this realm of thought, because we believe in the good of each other. Thanks to Man Eegee for 3 years of dedication and thanks to everyone else for their dedication as well.

Immigrant Ballot Power at Standing FIRM on our newest voters. Also check out the great series of articles at The New Bedford Times in Series Spotlight: The New Immigrants. In Op-Ed: Real Change Happens Off-Line we learn one person's belief that while the internet brings us together it is not in a "real" way. I do believe we have to be active in person as well as on-line, but they can certainly work well together. What do you think?

Supreme Court Won't Hear Kansas In-State Tuition Case at A Dream Deferred. While Kris Kobach tried to take his case to the Supreme Court that undocumented students should not receive in-state tuition they refused to listen. And Leaving the United States for Higher Education tells of one undocumented student who sought an education elsewhere because it was denied here.

Here's an article in the New York Post Kobach wrote as an adverstisement for E-Verify. It's quite disturbing.

Ask a Chola records a message for Lou Dobbs in this video:

The Pro-Migrant side is so much more fun than the nativist side.
Ray William Johnson is a college student in New York who produces Capitol Hill Gangsta on YouTube and he recently put out this video:

It's good to know that at least some people take the time to research the facts as they pertain to migrants.
"I think Obama would be a disaster, and there's a lot of reasons," said [Leroy] Pollard, explaining the rumors he had heard about the candidate from friends he goes camping with. "I understand he's from Africa, and that the first thing he's going to do if he gets into office is bring his family over here, illegally. He's got that racist [pastor] who practically raised him, and then there's the Muslim thing. He's just not presidential material, if you ask me."
Eli Saslow - Washington Post (30 June 2008)
Welcome to the Intolerant States of America.  Liberal elitists will read the words of Leroy Pollard, a resident of Flag City, U.S.A., and feign disgust.  This arrogance betrays the truth that we are all part of Leroy Pollard, and Leroy Pollard is part of us.  The first person I ran into who believed the myths about Barack Obama was not a resident of a small town like Flag City, U.S.A., but a wealthy investment banker, and the parent of a Harvard graduate. 

First let me say congratulations to XP. Check out XP the Radical and Soon to be Uncle.

Harris County Grand Jury: Kill An Immigrant, Go Scot Free at Para Justicia y Libertad. Also check out the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up: 06/30/2008.

Federal judge "compels" Department of Homeland Security to honor original agreement with Texas university at Latina Lista.

As the nation gets ready to celebrate the 4th of July this week, Texans along the U.S.-Mexico border are defending their property rights in the face of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) scooping up land to construct the mandated border wall.

Check out the post UMX: Stronger Than Aryan Pride where we read of Nezua's interaction with white pride while shooting water falls at The Unapologetic Mexican.

Today's youth-and all humans-are currently untapped reservoirs of power and heart. Someone like Obama comes along and speaks to that and you see what this nation could be if there were some truth and heart here, some lessons worth ingesting, some pride worth having.
The above quote from Nezua's article reminds me of a quote from Smart Borders from a while back:
Every 6-week marking period, students are required to internalize this spirit of volunteerism and community service. Because I feel most people are just waiting for an excuse to do good, it is easy for me to ask this of my students. And most of them have responded with impressive results.
There is definitely an energy waiting to be released by a powerful cause or call to action and it's important that we ensure that it's positive. It's quite apparent that the anti-migrant groups have tapped into this energy through using fear.
The latest volley in the immigration culture war came yesterday from Kentucky:

A jury rejected the federal government's unprecedented prosecution Friday of a Lexington landlord who rented to illegal immigrants, finding him not guilty of 62 criminal counts.

. . .

The case is thought to be the first time that the government has prosecuted a landlord merely for renting to illegal immigrants.

"I'm just relieved," Hadden said after the trial. "I am relieved for all the landlords in the country. This jury saved a lot of landlords from a lot of worries."

Hadden's attorney, Russ Baldani, said the verdict sent a message.

"These are not illegals; they're human beings," Baldani said. "You can't solve immigration problems by choking off basic necessities for people that are here."

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