February 2009 Archives
Late Breaking News:
During Congressional Testimony today, Janet Napolitano was asked by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) about the ICE raid in Washington. Napolitano said she had not heard about the raid in advance and was surprised to find out about it this morning. She asked ICE to send her details about it today so she could review why it was carried out. In her testimony, she said enforcement should target employers and felonious criminals vs targetting workers.
The Associated Press just reported:
Napolitano orders review of raid in Wash. plant
Seattle (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered a review of a raid at a Washington manufacturing plant that ended with the arrests of 28 illegal immigrants. Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith says Napolitano wants to know why Tuesday's raid occurred and what led up to it.
President Barack Obama, who appointed Napolitano, has signaled for a shift in immigration policy that would rely less on work site enforcement, focusing instead on employers who hire illegal immigrants and overall immigration reform.
Smith says the raid at the Yamato Engine Specialists in Bellingham was the first work site action that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has taken since Obama took office.
ICE spokeswoman Lori Dankers in Seattle declined comment.
Immigration officers raided an engine remanufacturing plant in Bellingham, WA yesterday and arrested 28 workers sending the majority of them to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. This Detention Center has a history of abuses including hundreds of detainees falling sick of food poisoning and in another case, 1,000 immigrants quarantined, falling ill from chickenpox. Northwest is owned/operated by the GEO Group, an international corporation that operates prisons around the country. GEO is frequently in the news for their abuse of detainees, some resulting in preventable deaths. GEO has a series of pending law suits due to wrongful deaths of detainees in their custody.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has a meeting with Janet Napolitano tomorrow '(2/26/09). Their plan is to discuss Napolitano's Immigration Plans for the future. With this raid, it is clear Napolitano and her team plan to continue the militaristic worker raids vs focusing on felonious criminals.
Calls to the CHC indicate they will be discussing today's raid and asking for a change in policy.
Questions the CHC should ask include:
1. Why are the ICE Raids continuing?
2. What happened to Napolitano's drive to arrest felonious criminals vs workers?
3. Why are workers being sent to deplorable Detention Centers with history of abuses?
4. What happened to Napolitano's plan to have the Detention Centers investigated.
CHC: The time to ACT is Now!!
Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio's book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats has been out since 2005, but I didn't see it until today. It has been bouncing around Facebook lately, and it turns out it was featured on Time's website in a three-part series at some point. (Parts I, II, and III)
The concept is simple: families from around the world are photographed with all the food they eat in a normal week, and the cost of the food is calculated and included in the caption.
The Melander family of Bargteheide (Germany)
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp (Chad)
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
According to a new study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, Latinos accounted for 40% of all people sentenced to federal crimes in 2007, even though they made up only 13% of the U.S. adult population. This is clearly a result of all of the Racial Profiling brought about by the 287(g) policies and the restrictionist policies promoted by the ANTI Immigration Reform forces.
Some groups of offenders were more likely than others to receive a sentence. Fully 96% of immigration offenders received a prison sentence in 2007, compared with 95% of drug offenders, 94% of firearms offenders and 94% of violent offenders. In 2007, 96% of Latino offenders, and 98% of non-U.S. citizen Latino offenders, were sentenced to prison. In contrast, 89% of black offenders and 82% of white offenders received a prison sentence. Hispanics are much more likely than whites or blacks to be sentenced for an immigration or drug offense (due to Racial Profiling)--two of the crimes most likely to be punished with a prison sentence. In 2007, 85% of Hispanics were sentenced for either a drug or immigration offense. This was 40 percentage points greater than any other racial or ethnic group: 46% of black offenders and 37% of white offenders were sentenced for drug or immigration offenses.
NCLR and NDN Call For Congress to Pass Immigration Reform This Year at The Unapologetic Mexican.
Across the Country, People Pray for Immigrants at Standing FIRM.
Last week the Interfaith Immigration Coalition launched the "Prayer, Renewal and Action on Immigration" campaign, calling on faith and community leaders to hold vigils and pray for the protection of immigrants and their families and the moral courage of leaders in Washington to promote just and humane Immigration Reform.
Silence of Good People at Smart Borders on Sheriff Joe and his shameful act.
You might recognize Brazilian singer/songwriter Seu Jorge from his acting roles in Life Aquatic or City of God.
But he has created a name for himself through his soothing, sometimes funky samba.
I can make out just enough of the lyrics in his song Eu Sou Favela to know this music has a message, but perhaps any Portuguese-speaking readers can let us know what he is saying here.
A favela, nunca foi reduto de marginal A favela, nunca foi reduto de marginal
Ela só tem gente humilde Marginalizada e essa verdade não sai no jornal
A favela é, um problema social
A favela é, um problema social
Sim mas eu sou favela
Posso falar de cadeira
Minha gente é trabalhadeira
Nunca teve assistência social
Ela só vive lá
Porque para o pobre, não tem outro jeito
Apenas só tem o direito
A salário de fome e uma vida normal.
A favela é, um problema social
A favela é, um problema social
The U.S. Army is offering a golden ticket, instant citizenship (6 months), to Temporary Immigrants in the U.S. who know one or more of 35 languages, excluding Spanish.
The U.S. military, stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, will recruit about 550 temporary immigrants, including those from India who know Hindi and Tamil, offering them a golden chance to become US citizens in as little as six months. The pilot program, for the first time since the Vitenam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the US for a minimum of two years, the New York Times reported quoting military officials familiar with the plan. The Army's one-year pilot program will begin in New York City to recruit about 440 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Igo, Kurdish, Nepalese, Pashto, Russian and Tamil. Spanish speakers are not eligible. It will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. Recruiting will start after Dept. of Homeland Security officials update an immigration rule in coming days. Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional experitise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.
One More Thing You Can Do! Ask your family to call their Representatives! at Immigration Equality Blog. The Uniting American Families Act is being reintroduced today. Call your representatives!
Urgent ACTION: Confirm Hilda Solis to the Senate! at Standing FIRM. Go to the post and sign the petition.
Ideas for Change in America - Final Round of Voting from Jan 5 to Jan 15 at A Dream Deferred. Check out this post for instructions on voting for at Change.org. It's important to take the time to vote as the winning ideas will be presented to Obama on the 16th.
Immigration Detention Reform Moves to Front Burner at Of America.
Guantanamo Bay isn't the only prison crisis that President Barack Obama will have to deal with. There's another crisis growing - in the many immigration detention centers carpeting the interior of the country.
Bender's Immigration Bulletin directs us to the story: Two women arrested after alleged kidnapping at Bellingham Wal-Mart.
NYTimes Takes on Sheriff Joe Arpaio at Latino Politico.
Racial Profiling in the Los Angeles Police Dept at Dream Act Texas.
Widow sues over man's death at immigration center at Just News.
Hiu Lui "Jason" Ng (HYEW' Lew Eng), a 34-year-old computer engineer accused of overstaying his visa, died of liver cancer in August, weeks after being taken to the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls. His cancer went undiagnosed until days before he died.
In support of the migrants who were chained together and marched through Phoenix by America's most out-of-control sheriff, hip-hop artists from Chicago, Detroit, and New York are coming together with local artists to perform on Tuesday, February 10 at the Stray Cat 2433 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ at 8pm.
Performers will include One Be Lo, Wordsworth, Verbal Kent, G-Owens, Fiyah Station, Nobuddie, and Bliss!
Come out and lift your voices with these artists as they call for an end to the racially-motivated attacks being carried out by Sheriff Arpaio against residents of Maricopa County. Show the world that his latest spectacle of public humiliation against latinos will not be tolerated in our country, where all people are to be treated as equals. We will not stand silent while this fascist little man treats people like animals, with our federal government's blessing!
"Parading shackled detainees for public viewing is disgusting. The dire situation in Arizona is a shameful insult to the democratic freedoms of this country, and should draw cries of outrage from anyone who values the sacrifices our nation has made in the face of oppression." -Verbal Kent; Gravel Records Recording ArtistFor more information, contact Jill Garvey (email@example.com), Center for New Community 312-266-0319 or 773-787-6353 (mobile).
When I was in college, 3,000 miles from where I am today, I was really stunned and distraught to read that many Border Patrol agents were Mexican-American. Though I knew very little about border dynamics at the time, I was struck by the lack of ethnic compassion and recognition of shared immigration stories. Deciding and then undeciding to do thesis research on the topic, it's ironic that by the force of fate, I ended up living and working on the border 3 years later and once again thinking about this tension.
What I initially found puzzling now makes a lot more sense. Although the explicit aim of the BP is to intercept illegal immigration, my conversations with BP agents have led me to believe that they are not consciously nativist in their aspirations. Rather I've found that they're focused on their personal goals for the job, "securing America" and "securing their jobs", their versions of doing good and doing well.
Nadler reintroducing UAFA before Valentine's Day! Urge your Rep to cosponsor! at Immigration Equality.(click on the link for instructions on contacting your representative.)
You can make the bill a success by convincing your Representative to support the bill from Day One. Reintroducing the bill with as many cosponsors as possible will show powerful momentum for the rights of gay and lesbian binational couples!
Sorry for the long pause in my posting. I moved to Texas at the beginning of this year and have been working on getting things together. Part of this process involved finding a place to get some volunteer time in. The place I've been working with helps people living with HIV and other terminal illnesses. The majority of the people I work with are fabulous, quality people. However, during one of our volunteer meetings I was reminded of how much crap Mexican people have to deal with. The group was discussing an upcoming garage sale and possible items to sell. A white man in the group stated "how much can we get for five Mexicans?" This statement was met with much puzzlement as the group is made up of people of all races and is supposed to be based on showing compassion. He was called out for his statement still today he is still apologizing.
What is it that makes it ok to hate on Mexicans? And why when you're at an organization that helps people do you still encounter this sort of intolerance? I guess these are questions I'll never be able to answer. With that said, thanks for your patience and here are the stories from around the SanctuarySphere.
Chained Immigrants Paraded By Arizona Sheriff at Hatewatch. Also Racists Threaten To Abandon GOP Over Election Of First African-American Party Chairman and New SPLC Report: Three leading anti-immigration groups share extremist roots.
Second, the troubled GEO Group spent the most on private prison lobbying in 2007 and actually upped its lobbying expenditures after scandals forced state hearings into private prison oversight. According to the report:
With its starring role in the scandal, Geo Group increased its Texas lobby spending tenfold, accounting for more than half of the lobby money that the industry spent in 2007.
(click here for details)
The Weld County Sheriff's Office in Colorado has raided the offices of a local business, Amalia's Translation and Tax Services, in an attempt to crack-down on "identity theft" by unauthorized migrants. The Postville raid taught us what pursuing unauthorized migrants for "identity theft" really means.
This week's Music on Monday is a movie. It's called Waltz with Bashir, and I haven't seen anything quite like it before.
The film represents director Ari Folman's efforts to deal with his memories of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He was a teenage soldier in the war. Folman told the International Herald Tribune last year:
The film talks about lost memory and how you may have a different memory from what actually happened. It asks the question I had to ask myself: where does memory hide? And I hope that audiences will start wondering about themselves. Hopefully, when you've seen it, you think about yourself - not about the guy in the film.
My goal here is not to review the movie. Watch it in the theater if you can. It's amazing.
(Watching the movie also resulted in Public Image Ltd.'s "This is Not a Love Song" being stuck in my head in a continuous loop for the last two days. See if the same thing happens to you.)
As powerful as the film was, I left the theater feeling unsatisfied. I knew I had to blog about it. [Spoilers below.]
Texas legislators have called for a review of all of GEO's contracts with state and local agencies.