kyledeb: March 2008 Archives

Damn Mexicans linked to two hilarious Wonkette posts about the Department of Homeland Security that I thought would be good Tuesday reading. 

The first article describes outgoing USCIS director, Emilio Gonzalo, whining about a New York Times article on the horrible backlogs that have resulted during his tenure.  I love it that they call him a dumb blogger, and I also love all the comments that were published on the USCIS blog.  In addition to the comments Wonkette pointed out, here are a few more happy USCIS customers:
Over the weekend, I was emailed by Roberto Lovato about the death of a musical genius, Israel "Cachao" Lopez.  I hope he doesn't mind if I respectfully quote his email, because I think it describes perfectly why a tribute to "Cachao" is so important:

After reading the mediocrity and ignorance of the press obituaries about Cachao, I found myself frustrated at how the big media devalues the life the dead with the same ferocity with which it devalues the living, as in the case of undocumented among us.

So, I decided to write and share my own tribute (below) in the knowledge that, if we do not celebrate our own, if we do not make their light brighter in this still troubled country, nobody will. Cachao's accomplishments were of the first order, deserving of much more than the "mambo guy" sidebars slapped sloppily onto the pages of most media.

UPDATE: Here's the Video

Looks like I'm getting thrown into the Presidential horse race, and bringing it to this blog.  I just read the speech Obama gave to address the issues of race that have come to a boil in the Presidential campaign.  I have to confess the last part of it brought tears to my eyes.  I don't agree with all of it, but it certainly is well argued and well written.  And I don't feel like I'm being talked to through dozens of focus groups, polls, and sound bites.  Most of all, I wanted to read the whole thing through.  
I just put up my first post on immigration for the MTV Street Team.  If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know a lot of the information I put out there but I figure it's a good introductory post on the subject.

ICED Video Game Trailer

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In lighter news, Breakthrough has released a new trailer for it's ICED Video Game.  I wrote about it sometime ago, and symsess, who does our pro-migrant round-ups, at American Humanity wrote a review on the game.  Without further ado, the trailer...

Image: From logik789 Flickr

It's no secret that we are losing the battle. Despite all the positive developments in the pro-migrant blogosphere, despite all the heroic people standing up for our humanity, every we day we allow migrants to live through this fear and government oppression is a day we lose.

Today I bring you the story of two migrants, rendered faceless by national media.  These are people, PEOPLE I say, that matter so little to the national press that I haven't been able to find pictures of them.  Their stories are shocking enough to merit words on a page, but they are not personally important enough to be humanized through a picture.  Despite the suffering they've gone through they are till "others" in the United States.  I don't care if you think migrants economically impact U.S. citizens, no person deserves to be treated as these individuals have been treated.  I hope that anti-migrant advocates see the type of country their creating, and the sort of suffering they are inducing.
It has been only five months since Nez handed me the keys to this beautiful blog and I put up my first post.  In a short time, with the help of amazing writers like Janna, Yave, Changeseeker, Lividsnails, and Symsess, we've come a long way. 

Yesterday, we surpassed two major milestones.  We achieved a technorati rating of over 100, and we now have over 100 subscribers to our feed.  Coincidentally both are at 103 right now.  From now on you'll be able to view these live technorati rating and our feed subscriber badges in the middle of the far right hand column.  (Supposedly it takes a few minutes for the technorati badge to show).

View blog authority

I've never had that many subscribers to my feed, and although I was able to inch close to a technorati rating of 200 Immigration Orange, that was after a much longer time.  I can't stress how huge these accomplishments are for Citizen Orange, especially within the context of the pro-migrant blogosphere.  Keep up the good work everyone!
Image from El Periodico

With the excellent pro-migrant round-ups that symsess has been providing lately it's become increasingly difficult to come up with original information.  For inspiration, I've gone back to reading Guatemalan newspapers everyday, something that I used to love to do when I had the time. 

Today, El Periodico brings us news from a conference in Los Angeles on the transnational criminal youth gangs that have been choking the Northern Hemisphere since the U.S. started increasing the deportations of criminal migrants in the 1990s. 
The United States has failed to uphold its international obligations to protect the human rights of migrants, subjecting too many to prolonged detention in substandard facilities while depriving them of an adequate appeals process and labor protections, a United Nations investigator said Friday.
Teresa Watanabe - Los Angeles Times

Enough said.
In a special election in Illinois, another Republican running on an anti-migrant platform has been defeated.  Democrat Bill Foster comfortably defeated Republican Jim Oberweis. This is a huge upset for Republicans, since the seat was held for a long time by former GOP speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert.  It also supports long growing body of evidence that shows anti-migrant rhetoric does not win elections.  Matt Ortega describes Oberweis' anti-migrant roots:
When anti-migrant organizations talk about "Attrition Through Enforcement", keep in mind that this is what they mean.  For everyone that advocates enforcing unreasonable and broken laws, for everyone that says, "what part of illegal don't you understand?" realize that this is the sort of country you are creating.

I've written about this trend before but it has gotten worse. Immigrant communities in the Boston area are in a heightened state of fear as people impersonating law enforcement officials barge into their homes and extort money from them.  The Boston Herald documents several reports of this oppression.  The latest suspects are pictured in this post:
Image: Nepean District Historical Society

The mainstream progressive blogosphere has been frighteningly silent lately, as a major migration battle looms over the U.S. Capitol.  Grassroots migrant rights organizations across the nation are mobilizing in opposition to the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act:

Call your representative TODAY and demand that they reject the SAVE Act!

Pressure is mounting in the Democratic-led House of Representatives to act on the SAVE Act (HR 4088), an enforcement and deportation-only bill introduced and sponsored by more than 140 Democratic and Republican opponents of humane immigration reform.

[Click here] to reach your representative.

- MIRA Coalition (the link is mine)

A epic battle is being waged against anti-migrant Democrats in Congress, and it's important that the blogosphere makes sure the pro-migrant side, the side of justice, comes out in front of this. 

Image: World Wide Lens

With all the migrant suffering in the world, I do my best to stay upbeat and look for hope in the darkness. Unfortunately, this will not be one of those days.  This morning I happened upon a post at Brave New Films by famed Latina author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, entitled "Latino artists bear the burden of anti-immigrant frenzy" on her own blog.  Valdes-Rodriguez's post filled me with an overwhelming sense of dread.  The United States and other parts of the world, through the U.S., are being deprived of an entire subset of viewpoints as a result of the hostile nativist attitudes that have emerged in recent years.

I don't know why this post affected me so much in the midst of everything else.  I think it's because when fighting injustice one has the tendency to believe that you can't kill an idea, that you can't silence the truth.  But here you have a clear case where truth is being silenced.  I'll let Valdes-Rodriguez take it from here: