May 2009 Archives

ANTI-IMMIGRANT TANCREDO SAYS SOTOMAYOR PART OF LATINO KKK at Greg Siskind's Blog. Tancredo seems to be getting worse than ever. How a civil rights group is akin to the KKK is beyond me. Don't think I've been exposed to any stories of La Raza burning crosses in people's yards or lynching whites. Apparently some white conservatives are so scared of a more fair world that they'll resort to anything to keep the status quo.

Bring it On Racist Tancredo! Silly Smear Machine Republicans Like You Who Live in Glass Houses Should NOT Call the Honorable Judge Sotomayor a Racist! at Immigration Talk with a Mexican American.

Racist Tom Tancredo, the guy who called Miami a 3rd world country, the racist who told people in El Paso concerned about a fence dividing up their land to move to Mexico and, to top it off, in March he admitted the Immigration issue IS about Race. In March, Tancredo said, "Throughout history, people who are NOT white Anglo-Saxon have become American by adopting a white Anglo-Saxon culture." He insists all minority immigrants have to become white northern Europeans if they want to assimilate to become Americans. What a racist nutcase!

Is Judge Sonia Sotomayor a "Reverse Racist"? at Immigration Prof Blog.

The Plan Behind the Sotomayor Attacks at Nuestra Voice.

Movable Type ate a post I spent hours writing on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, last night.  Today, I just want to get things down. 

One thing I've been meaning to get down for sometime is an article that was written in The Hill about the prospects for U.S. migration reform

Dick Durbin, the U.S. Senator from Illinois, specifically says he has the votes to pass the DREAM Act, but that he prefers include it as part of broader comprehensive migration reform.
Thank God David Neiwert uses his megaphone over at Crooks and Liars to speak the truth on U.S. migration policy.  Neiwert always does an excellent job standing against nativism and racism. 

Today, what stood out to me about his post on E-Verify, though, is that he educated people about unsexy policy speak.  It's unavoidable in the U.S.'s broken and complex migration system, and it's good to see Neiwert educating his broad progressive audience about these issues.
Act On A Dream Rally 1 May 2009 - Citizen Orange.jpg(Picture: Harvard Act On A Dream Rally - 1 May 2009)

I took the weekend to rest after what was a hectic last two weeks of school.  I won't be able to relax until I get my grades back, but I've started to ease into a summer of pro-migrant advocacy.  There's so much that I want to write about, but I should start with Drew Faust's endorsement of the DREAM Act.

Helping immigrants assimilate brings acclaim to nonprofit at Immigrants in the USA blog.

The Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday honored the Avance program in El Paso for being one of four "exceptional immigrant integration initiatives" in the U.S.

History! Congress Announces First-Ever Hearings on UAFA at Immigration Equality.

In an exciting, and historic, development, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced just moments ago that he will convene a Congressional hearing, on June 3rd, about the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).

6th Annual Migrant Trail Announced at Latino Politico.

Weekly Immigration Wire: Women Central to Immigration Story at The Unapologetic Mexican.

I'm struggling to get through the last few days of school, so I'll have more time to write after this week.  Still, I wanted to link to an article that just appeared in the Boston Globe.  It is the outcome of almost a year of organizing.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust yesterday backed federal legislation that would clear the way for illegal immigrant students to apply for legal residency, an endorsement that stunned students and drew criticism for a president who has largely steered clear of fierce debates.


Faust, who declined to be interviewed, is not the first leader to endorse the Dream Act. But her action adds a powerful new voice to the debate over a bill that has languished in Congress since 2001.
Maria Sacchetti - Boston Globe (21 May 2009)

Victory is sweet.

T. Don Hutto featured on The Sanctuary blog at T Don Hutto.

Award-winning blog, The Sanctuary, posted on the patterns of abuse in immigrant detention centers here in the US, beginning with T. Don Hutto. While the case of sexual abuse at Hutto is a couple years old, issues like the shackling of women giving birth and medical care continue to plague the immigration detention system.

New DREAM Act group starting up in L.A. at American Wetback.

Explorer scout training to fight terrorism and border violence borders on overkill at Latina Lista.

Good news for The Sanctuary! The Sanctuary to Receive NAM Journalism Award. The Sanctuary is a great site for pro-migrant activism and definitely deserves this awards. Congratulations!

ACTION: AgJobs Reintroduced Today, Show your Support! at Standing FIRM.

THIS is Why We Need Hate Crime Legislation at Awearness blog.

The not-guilty verdict on the murder of Luis Ramirez is one such injustice. Three teenagers were found guilty of simple assault. Not surprisingly, this verdict was delivered by an all-white jury.

The Luis Ramirez Murder: A Logical Step in the Process of Establishing a Subhuman Class at The Sanctuary.

Three things immediately shock the conscious soul upon learning about the murder of Luis Ramirez. The simple manner in which he died is the first of those.

Who really killed Luis Ramirez? at Standing FIRM.

Shortly after Ramirez was brutally murdered, his grieving fiancé had a premonition about the outcome of justice in the case saying, "I know they're going to try to make him look like nothing, and try to justify what the kids did, even though there's no way they could justify this. I know I'm not gonna get the justice I deserve, 10-1 these kids are going to get probation or a slap on the hand. Because he's an illegal Mexican they don't care, right away he's less important."

Luis Ramirez Murder: Looking Back at Early Witness Videos Confirms Murder As Racial Hate Crime! at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.

The room erupted in cheers after all verdicts were read and deputy sheriffs had to restrain members of the defendants' families from rushing to them until after the jury had been dismissed.Stan Standard Speaker article

What would make one cheer when a man was murdered?  In the case of Luis Ramirez those that caused his death, and their families, seem to have little remorse for their actions.  It is one thing to be glad you are not going to jail and an entirely different thing to celebrate in front of those people who loved the man you helped kill.

People in Shenandoah celebrated, went out into the streets and rejoiced after an all-white jury found Brandon J. Piekarsky, 17, and Derrick M. Donchak, 19, guilty of lesser charges and acquitted them of criminal homicide and aggravated assault. from Vivir Latino

No matter how you slice it Luis Ramirez was provoked and beaten to death by a group of young men in Shenandoah, PA. However, anti-migrant agitators, more specifically those in and around Shenandoah, made it clear that they would not view this death from the eyes of those who loved him. Instead this incident became reason to protest against undocumented migrants and to support a group of white young adults who seem to bring little value to this world. This is a classic "protect our own" story and protect their own this town surely did.

Marcello Lucero's killing follows months of anti-immigrant agitation. This is an older post at Long Island Wins on the murder of Marcello Lucero.

This modern age Lynching is Quietly instigated and tolerated at Ponte Al Dia. This is an editorial on Luis Ramirez mentioning Marcello Lucero and others tragically murdered for being Hispanic.

Patchogue vigil for slain Ecuadorean immigrant. Story from Newsday.

Justice needs a helping hand in the case of Luis Ramirez at Latina Lista.

Luis Ramirez was attacked by a group of teens in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania last summer. He died two days later. Yet, the teens brought to trial for his murder were found to be guilty of only simple assault. Now, there's a campaign underway to see that justice is served.

Prosecute hate crimes, demand justice for Luis Ramirez at Immigrants in the USA blog. Links us to an America's Voice article. The sad fact that these racist teens got off after provoking a man a Hispanic man into a fight is a sick reminder of how backwards many places still are.

Human Rights First Report: 98 Detainees Died in Detention at Blog For Arizona.

While those of us that favor human rights work to pass the DREAM Act one small town is showing us what we're up against. In Shenandoah, PA two teens were acquitted by an all white jury for taking part in the beating death of Luis Ramirez. Apparently if you're a racist all you have to do is pick a fight with a minority and if they fight back you can get away with killing them. Is this America?

Posts on this terrible tragedy: Kill a person and its considered assault not murder? at Dream Act Texas and Shenandoah, PA under Gestapo Rule: People who oppose Acquittal Do Not Speak Out for Fear of Repercussions! at Immigration Talk With a Mexican American. ITWAMA has been following this story quite closely and also has the post Piekarsky = 1 vs American Public = 100, America Supports Justice for Ramirez!

I have been researching blogs and discussion forums all day. The consensus is 100 to 1 in favor of Justice for Ramirez. The vast majority believe the murderers should be held accountable for the death of Luis Ramirez.

Just after this incident a group called Voice of the People USA held a rally in Shenandoah to support these teens, who are by no means role models for anyone (unless you're racist). The leader of that group finally got some sense and did not protest at the trial which seems to have caused this group to disband. Many that supported VOPUSA felt that protesting on behalf of the teens was appropriate and needed. These people are celebrating the death of an "illegal" immigrant and hope it will send a message to other immigrants.

A jury's hate-crime verdict in rural Pennsylvania reinforces the racial divide at Orcinus.

ACTION: Support Middlebury College Students as they ask their President to come out in support of the DREAM Act by emailing Barbara McBride (

Students in the Northeast have been busy.  I've been in touch with students from at least half a dozen colleges here that are pushing to make their schools be more supportive of the DREAM Act.  A friend of mine from Middlebury College in Vermont, Cedar Attanasio, has asked me to publish his letter to President Ronald Liebowitz asking him to come out in support of the DREAM Act.  Attanasio also wrote me in an email to say they've been getting "tons of student signatures, the student government is with us, and we're pushing the prez again on Tuesday."  Combined with our recent efforts at Harvard, it looks as if a movement is rising across the northeast.  Below is Attanasio's letter:

May 1st 2009: Austin TX

| | Comments (5)


"Obama escucha. Estamos en la lucha."

I marched on May 1st and didn't catch swine flu.

As the swine flu scare gives nativists a new "close the border" drum to bang on us more sensible people got together and rallied for human rights. Here in Austin we gathered at the state capital building. After a short presentation we marched down Congress Ave. and back up to City Hall. Many held signs that said "pass the DREAM Act" and a group of students dressed up in their grad gowns chanting "What do we want? The DREAM Act. When do we want it? Now!"

Other signs asked to stop the raids and to shut down T Don Hutto.  At one point in the rally I was handed a hand-made sign that read "If any are illegal we all are."

I was just informed about this last night.  The Harvard Crimson and the Boston Globe are reporting that a student at the Harvard Divinity School, Nur Munir, has been detained.  The Harvard Crimson Editorial Board has already come out in support of Munir and is asking Harvard to take a more active role to help him finish his education.  Harvard Act on a Dream hope's to address Munir's detention during a rally, today.  I will update this post as I receive more information.
ACTION: Sign the Petition asking President Drew Faust To Support the DREAM Act

Today is May 1, 2009.  Three years ago, on this day, I went to Georgetown University to speak before a group of students about my attempt to retrace the route of a Guatemalan migrant into the U.S.  My feelings from three years ago are summed up pretty well in an op-ed I wrote for the Harvard Crimson at the time.  The scene at Georgetown was described in Prensa Libre, Guatemala's main newspaper:


Georgetown University's campus was converted into an improvised cemetery.

In a peculiar form of protest, dozens of crosses and a rose were displayed to symbolize the hundreds of immigrants that die upon crossing different sectors of the borders of Mexico and the United States.

There, Kyle de Beausset, a young U.S.-Guatemalan, showed his solidarity with his compatriots in a speech where he cited the singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona to the sound of applause from the crowd.

"Today's protest is not about amnesty, nor is it about immigration reform. It is more than that.  It is about restoring basic human rights and dignity."

Prensa Libre - Claudia Munaiz (2 May 2006) - Translated by Kyle de Beausset
Though I'm often humbled by migrant advocates that have been doing this work for decades, I can't help but feel that I've come a long way in three years.  Today, it feels like I've come full circle.
This op-ed is going to be published in the Harvard Crimson, today, on May 1, 2009:

Harvard University, one of the world's most prestigious educational institutions, is refusing to take an active stance on one of the most glaring educational injustices of our time. Last month, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act was reintroduced into Congress, but Harvard has yet to lift a finger to help get the legislation passed.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.