kyledeb: June 2008 Archives

Victory for Pedro Zapeta!

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For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an unauthorized migrant, slaved away as a dishwasher.  Making $5.50 an hour ($5.75 when he earned an extremely generous 25-cent raise), Zapeta was able to save up almost $60,000 for his dream of returning to Guatemala and building a home for his family.  Then Zapeta made one simple mistake.  On his way out of the country he forgot to fill out a form declaring he was carrying more than $10,000 dollars with him, and as a result he had almost all of his money siezed.  I first covered this story in this post

Now, thanks to the blogging of Tony Herrera, I just heard that Zapeta was able to get all but $5,000 of his money back.  It is rare when we get a victory like this.  Read Tony's post and savor it
If you opened your newspapers in Massachusetts today, you read that Governor Deval Patrick revived the in-state tuition debate in Massachusetts again through his sweeping education reform.  Predictably, the Boston Herald jumped all over it and published not one, but two heavily slanted articles, publishing lies that I've addressed in an earlier post.

I wish I could be writing this post praising Deval Patrick for expending political capital on what he himself has said is a matter of "simple justice":

"It makes good sense for us economically, and for me it's just a matter of simple justice," Patrick said during a lunch with reporters yesterday. "We don't say to these kids they can't go to state colleges and universities; they can go. What we say to them is that they have to pay a different rate from the kid who sat across the aisle from them all through middle school and high school."
Lindsey Parietti - Daily News Transcript (25 June 2008)
But then I read the fine print of The Patrick Administration Education Agenda, and though I still have questions, I'm fairly sure, at least using the language in the report, that the newspapers were wrong.

The following video from We Can Stop the Hate, expresses in clearer terms than anything else I've seen, how leading organizations in the anti-migrant movement have very close ties to hate and white supremacy. 

Even Numbers USA, the organization that tries the hardest to separate race from their discussion of immigration, has ties to white supremacy.  The executive director of Numbers USA, Roy Beck, for a time was the Washington editor of the Social Contract Press, and organization that is proud to publish the racist book, Camp of the Saints.  Here's the video:

Please Digg the video.

Personal Note: I'm sorry my posting as of late has been mostly videos.  Symsess, with his amazing dedication, though, has been holding down the fort for us. 

Watch Breakthrough's latest video:

The cries for Guantanamo to shut down have grown louder and louder, while Guantanamo like conditions are being replicated within the U.S.'s borders.  Is this the sort of country the U.S. aspires to be?
(Sombrero tip to Immigration Cut and Paste)

William Gheen, President of ALIPAC, truly is the leader of a national movement.  A movement of two dozen people that is. 

It was May of 2008 when ALIPAC announced the launch of a North Carolina "campaign to thwart illegal aliens and their supporters".  Soon after they bullied a local Charlotte newspaper columnist, Mary Schulken, for writing an article entitled "This Tide of Meanness has to Stop".  All of it building up to a big rally to pressure North Carolina legislators to support a horrific "attrition through enforcement" agenda.  Here's how the rally went:
Via the Colbert Report:

I don't know if the ImmigrationProf Blog or Greg Siskind have already done this, but if they haven't they should make Junot Diaz one of their "Immigrants of the Day". 

In case you're behind on the news, Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I've read it and I'm proud to say that I have an autographed copy.  Through the life of a "nerdy" Dominican Junot Diaz is able to comment on the migrant experience, imperialism, and so much more through his unique, often vulgar, writing style.

Watch the video above to see a humourous exchange between Colbert and Diaz about his "Americanness".  Colbert even quips that Lou Dobbs probably put a tracking device in Diaz's Pulitzer Prize.  There's some truth to the humor as only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply in the category Diaz won.

UPDATE: ImmigrationProf blog made Junot Diaz Immigrant of the Day.
(Sombrero tip to Kai at Zuky)

Watching this speech by Tim Wise cleansed my soul.  People that can articulate oppression like Time Wise are a treasure.  You have to watch the whole thing, but I especially liked his articulation of how white people, or those that buy into whiteness, are tricked into blaming migrants.  I'll quote it below.
I always go through a lot of global news on migrants that I'm afraid readers here aren't interested, and I feel like I always end up going with the U.S. migrant story to post on.  Still, I thought I'd give putting together sparse updates a try and readers can weigh in, either in the comments, or the contact us page, about whether or not they like it:

BBC: New EU Plan for Immigrants

BBC: Global Refugee Total Rises Again

CS Monitor: Iraqi Interpreters: Hope Rises to go to U.S.

CS Monitor: South Africa's President Calls Attack on Immigrants Shameful
Picture by {the infonaut} at Flickr

Sombrero tip to The Latin Americanist for this article from the Dallas Morning News:

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – With gasoline prices hovering near $4 per gallon, Texans along the U.S.-Mexico border have discovered a cheaper alternative: Mexico.

Mexican service stations all along the border report brisk sales in recent weeks as fuel prices in Texas continue to climb.
Angela Kocherga - Dallas Morning News (10 June 2008)
As nativists continue to falsely claim that "illegal aliens are stealing from U.S. taxpayers", it looks as if U.S. citizens have found a way to steal from Mexican taxpayers.  While gas prices continue to soar in the U.S., residents are crossing over to Mexico where the gas is significantly cheaper.  Why is the gas cheaper?

This post was originally written for MTV's Choose Or Lose Street Team '08.

Picture: Gov. Deval Patrick celebrates the defeat of the proposal to ban marriage equality in Massachusetts (14 June 2007)

Katherine Patrick, the daughter of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, is a courageous youth.  In the last year she has come out as a lesbian to her friends and family, and last week she came out to the whole world.  18-year-old Katherine Patrick did a sit down interview with Bay Windows, "New England's largest GLBT newspaper", to make the announcement, and the news has since been written about by the Boston Herald, the Boston Globe, the Associated Press, and countless other news outlets that reach across the globe.
Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck, and so many other nativists love to take the few cases where migrants have committed horrific crimes and blow them out of proportion.  Where are they with this story?  Three teens are being indicted for the fatal beating of Aboubacar Camara, and there is silence from the nativists.

Deporting a Boy Scout

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Picture from the Loudon Times (sombrero tip to Anti-BVBL)

13-year-old Jose Andrade, from El Salvador, doesn't understand why he can't be with his mother in the United States.  He says children should get to stay with their parents.  It's not going to happen, according to the Loudon Times.  This 13-year-old boy scout is getting deported.

The truth is most U.S. citizens probably don't understand that, "U.S. immigration law prohibits children not born in the United States from living here unless their parents are U.S. citizens".  But such is the nature of a complicated and broken U.S. immigration system that migrants are frequently the victims of.  It's also another of the many cases in which the legal/illegal dichotomy that nativists love so much is blown out of the water.

There were rumors late this week about nativist Lou Dobbs possibly considering running for governor in New Jersey.  Though the rumors were recently shot down, our friends at America's Voice still decided to go ahead with publishing a mock campaign website for Dobbs asks for people to submit their slogan ideas and try for a free t-shirt.  I thought I'd borrow from the self avowed Minutemen supporter in this picture, and submit, "This is America and our only Lanaguage is English" (sombrero tip to Duke over at The Sanctuary who I got this picture from).  I encourage others to give it a shot, too.
(Picture from Flickr)

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  Hillary Clinton just delivered her concession speech, and I thought I'd throw aside politics for a bit, and acknowledge the barriers she has courageously worked against in her run for the Presidency. 

Since the beginning of the campaign for the Democrat nomination, I tended to see Clinton as the establishment candidate.  But as the inevitability of Obama locking up the nomination grew more and more pronounced, and Clinton fought on, the discrimination she was working against really came into focus for me.  Despite the political connections she had as a Clinton, we all should have stood, and should continue to stand against the horrific sexism she was a victim of.
Yave wrote about why you should support the Uniting American Families Act the other day.  Coming from the Immigration Equality blog, yet again, is this Current video that personalizes the discrimination against same-sex binational couples. 

This just goes to show that discrimination against migrants, or anyone for that matter, isn't to far removed from discrimination against everyone else.  Just the other day, another U.S. citizen was deported from her own country.  When is the federal government going to come for you?
Dreamactivist, on A Dream Deferred and cross-posted at The Sanctuary, has dug up a good report on the fact that there is no real way to differentiate between legal and illegal migrants as nativists like to do so much.  As she points out, ALIPACers are seething as their world crumbles all around them, and Mark Kirkorian is using this as an excuse to bash legal migrants, too.  Looks like the Center for Immigration Studies isn't as "pro-legal immigrant" as they claim to be.    
Minutes after word broke about a Nickelodeon TV special on children affected by Immigration raids, messages like "What part of illegal don't you understand!?!" and "Deport them all!" bombarded Web sites and blogs.

Then, in an increasingly common reaction, bloggers from "pro-migrant" sites such as Citizen Orange and The Unapologetic Mexican countered by ridiculing the show's critics.
Antonio Olivo - Chicago Tribune (4 June 2008)
From then on, the article is all down hill.  It makes the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere sound defeated.  It makes William Gheen sound like the commander of a million person army, while we struggle with our last dieing breaths.  If people like Gheen really are winning, why do anti-migrant politicians keep losing elections?  Why is it that my blogroll has so many pro-migrant blogs?  Why is it that Citizen Orange comes out near the top of a google search of "attrition through enforcement"?  We're starting to take the web back from nativists like Gheen, and this article doesn't do our fight justice.

The Sanctuary has been mentioned before, but if you're coming here via the Chicago Tribune article, please check out this pro-migrant space made up of some of the best voices on the net.  The Sanctuary will be a spot free from a lot of the noise an misinformation spread by folks like Gheen at ALIPAC.
There's always so much injustice that I feel like I should write on, but with a growing cadre of blogmig@s helping me out online, I'll outsource this story to A Dream Deferred.  Also check out Manny's post at The Sanctuary.

Sometimes I feel like I don't want to be part of a country that deports people like Mkoyan, but then I remember, such talk is an insult to undocumented youth that continue their fight to be recognized as humans in the only country they've ever known.

The Great Immigration Panic

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If you haven't seen the New York Times editorial today, read it.  Duke wrote a great post about this over at The Sanctuary.
Most of you have probably already heard that Obama clinched the nomination.  Here's a piece of information you probably weren't familiar with though. 

A global Ipsos poll, commissioned by Al Jazeera, says from a sampling of the most engaged citizens across 22 countries that most (55%) would "like to see Barack Obama as the next President of the United States". 
Americans for Informed Democracy is holding a video contest, and among them is one of the most powerful DREAM Act video that I've seen.  I love it because it's the first DREAM Act videos that I've seen.  It connects the need to empathize with undocumented youth, with our privileges as U.S. citizens and the need to stand in solidarity with them.

Some of the gems from the video:

Mining for Bling

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You have to watch this video:

It's good to see Max and the Marginalized getting some more exposure for their song on Lou Dobbs, "Weeknights at Six".  Crooks and Liars just embedded their new video in an open thread.  Max and the Marginalized let me do a Lou Dobbs video with their song earlier on in December.

C&L has been giving some good pro-migrant link love lately.  Keep it coming and check out the video below:

Hilarious cartoon from Inkcint:

The Rio Grande Guardian reports that environmental groups are suing the Department of Homeland Security for waving so many environmental laws (sombrero tip to the 'Just News' Blog). 

It's news that has been widely reported already.  What was shocking to me though, is the long list of laws that Michael Chertoff is waiving to build the border wall:
Picture from Prensa Libre

I've got two Canadian posts coming at you this Sunday afternoon it looks like. 

I just read in Guatemala's paper of record, Prensa Libre, that the International Organization for Migration has partnered up with the Guatemalan Ministry of Labor to send Guatemalans to Canada as temporary workers.  Over 3,000 agricultural workers are participating in the program, now, according to the article.

The tone of the article is what struck me the most.  It's titled "Immigration, without risks" and starts off with the lead:
The BBC Reports. 

The significance of Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission deserves a lot more attention than I'm giving it in this post.  May this dark period in Canada's recent past be a lesson to all those that think forcefully integrating entire peoples into the majority culture is a good idea in the present. 
Watch this video (sombrero tip Latina Lista):