kyledeb: August 2008 Archives

Like a recurring nightmare of Hurricane Katrina, a powerful Hurricane Gustav is expected to hit the gulf coast on Monday.  Reuters has a list of possible scenarios, none of which look very good. 

Thankfully, it looks as if the local, state, and federal agencies are doing everything they can to make sure this is not a repeat of Katrina.  We need to give credit where credit is due, and it looks as if President Bush is taking the right steps to confront this potential disaster head on.  The Republican National Convention will likely be delayed or shortened, according to the New York Times.  This is another development I welcome.  Humanity has been put before politics.

Still early reports already suggest that there is at least one set of people that is being forgotten as the hurricane approaches.  There is a huge unauthorized migrant population in the Gulf Coast region.

It's good to see Michelle Obama getting in on the act and delivering a pro-migrant message as well.  I can't find the exact text of her remarks to the "Hispanic Caucus", but from the Associated Press article, it looks as if they were good.

DENVER (AP) -- Hispanics should not have to live in fear of raids by immigration agents, Michelle Obama told a Hispanic caucus to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.

Her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, wants to reform immigration policies and provide illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, she said.

"We would have an immigration policy that brings 12 million people out of the shadows," she told cheering caucus members who shouted "Yes we can" in Spanish.

Steven K. Paulson - Associated Press (27 August 2008)

I wish the BBC would do more in depth recording on migration instead of just putting out articles every time migrants drown, dehydrate, or starve on their way to Europe.  71 more African migrants have drowned on their way to Malta, according to the BBC.

The lesson for people in the U.S. is that no matter how desperate the circumstances, migrants will continue to come.  U.S. citizens can either allow the atrocities to continue, or they can accept it, and work on the real root of the problem which is global inequity.
Here's Liza's post at the Awearness Blog, XP's post at Para Justicia Y Libertad, and Roberto Lovato's post at Of America.  Already loving the perspectives they bring.
Nativists beware! At this moment, migrant bloggers from across the nation are invading the Democrat National Convention in Denver, Colorado. 

They bring crime and disease with them.  Thinking freely is their crime, and they are spreading the infectious diseases of truth and justice.  These migrants are taking jobs and traffic away from other bloggers.  They are parasites taking advantage of free services like wireless internet connections.  They should all be locked up in Denver's, "Gitmo on the Platte" and deported back to their home states.

Oh man, I could keep this parody of nativist speak going, but it wouldn't do justice to what my esteemed blogmigos are in the midst of accomplishing. 

Liza Sabater, of Culture Kitchen, has been able to put a remarkable team of bloggers together to cover the DNC through her connections with Kenneth Cole's Awearness Blog.  Kai Chang of Zuky and Nezua of The Unapologetic Mexican are part of the team.  Maegan La Mala of Vivir Latino, and Kety Esquivel of Cross Left, will also be making apperances.

I would be remiss if I didn't mentioned that my esteemeed and respected friend, XP of Para Justicia Y Libertad, was able to find his way to Denver through his connections with Scholars and Rogues

If these names seem familiar to you, look no further than The Sanctuary's Who We Are page to refresh your memory.  The Sanctuarysphere has invaded the Democrat National Convention.
Picture: Guy Calaf / Vanity Fair, Italy

I think a huge part of what motivates me to develop myself as a global citizen is the following: at least one of every two children that is born into the world today lives in conditions that those reading this can't even imagine.  Half the world lives on under $2 a day, and it's a world that people with access to a computer can't hope to relate to. 

It would be a lot easier for me to live in this world if I believed half the world deserved that fate.  It would be a lot easier for me to live in this world everyone in this world has a chance at success.  I know the truth, though.  The truth is success and privilege has more to do with chance than ability.  I've known to many good, hard-working people that have landed on the wrong side of chance to believe otherwise.  Their only sins are the circumstances they were born into.

Nothing illustrates this better than the fate of the half-brother of Barack Obama, who was recently found by a reporter with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair.
Christopher Sherman of the Associated Press reports:

A former Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty Tuesday to hitting an illegal Guatemalan immigrant in the face with his pistol and to putting the barrel of his pistol against the head of another illegal immigrant while interrogating him.

Santiago Perez, of Edinburg, admitted Tuesday in federal court in Houston to both cases of violating the civil rights of the two immigrants while working as a South Texas Border Patrol agent in 2006 and 2007.
Chistopher Sherman - Associated Press (19 August 2008)
Sombrero Tip to Mexico Trucker.

Nina Bernstein of the New York Times reports.  It appears the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center, in Central Falls, R.I., has made a habit of accusing migrants they are faking back pains.

The lawsuit, filed in Providence, asserts that employees at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center, in Central Falls, R.I., denied a wheelchair to Marino De Los Santos, who said that he suffered serious injuries to his neck, back, chest and spine in two falls at the center in 2006. According to the suit, employees accused Mr. De Los Santos of faking his injuries and refused to take him to scheduled examinations by a spine specialist.
Nina Bernstein - New York Times (19 August 2008)
Photo: Saurabh Das / Associated Press

New York Times reports that Henry Cejudo, the son of unauthorized migrants, has just won the gold for the U.S.  For most nativists, however, Henry Cejudo is not a U.S. citizen.  He is an "anchor baby".
The term "anchor baby" riddles the site of supposedly "pro-legal, anti-illegal migrant" websites.  An "anchor baby" is the child of unauthorized migrants who has been given U.S. citizenship by birth. 
The following is an op-ed I wrote for New America Media that contrast the hypocrisy of George W. Bush deriding China for human rights violations, while a Chinese migrant dies in Bush's own detention centers.

What Have We Become? - Medical Neglect in Immigrant Prisons Reveals America at Its Worst

New America Media, Commentary, Kyle de Beausset, Posted: Aug 17, 2008

BOSTON -- On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, while Bush was preparing to express his "deep concerns" over China's human rights record, Chinese immigrant Hiu Lui Ng was dying in the custody of our great nation's own U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. For months, according to the New York Times, 33-year-old Mr. Ng had complained of excruciating back pain. Officials accused him of faking it.

When a judge finally ordered that Mr. Ng be brought to a hospital, it was discovered that he had a fractured spine, cancer all over his body, and very little time to live. He died five days later, leaving behind a wife and two young sons.

It's been years since I've sat down and wrote an op-ed to be published.  I had forgotten how hard it is.  I write my blog posts like I write emails.  I don't fret over every word.  I don't pay attention to the structure. 

With op-eds it's different.  There's a specific formula to them.  I'm sorry to say that my return to formal opinion journalism hasn't resulted in my best work, but it gets the point across.  Without further ado I link you to my first published piece with New America Media.
It's been about a year since I started dedicating myself full-time to the fight for migrant justice, particularly through the use of new mediums of communication.  If someone were to have told me one year ago that we'd be where we are today, I would say they were crazy. 

What once was a disparate band of online acquaintances, each doing their own wonderful things, has now become a force to be reckoned with in new media.  I knew that the united voices of the founders of The Sanctuary would be powerful, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that things would move as fast as they have.

Today, as The Sanctuary moves from it's cumbersome address of, to the sweet and right sounding, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the recent groundbreaking developments of this increasingly important new media outlet. 
Kety Esquivel did The Sanctuary proud yet again with her appearance on CNN.  The McCain campaign has yet to answer our questionnaire and it's unfortunate, because I've been doing my best to keep an open mind, and to defend McCain when he moves towards a more pro-migrant position.  Here's the video of Kety, and if you watch closely, you'll see how McCain responds to our questionnairre through Leslie Sanchez:

Any nativist will tell you that polls show 1,000% of 'Mericans support speaking only English in the United States of America.  It doesn't matter if the U.S. can't even understand the languages of the countries it goes to war with (you don't need to understand people to shoot at them).  If people can't speak English like they're supposed to, they're not real 'Mericans

Using this iron-clad logic, I thought I'd compile a list of five English lessons for those that want to learn to how to be a real 'Merican and speak English.

1. Make English America's Offical Language

Ellie Klerlien of the National Council of La Raza just informed me that We Can Stop the Hate highlighted my video exposing the racism of the San Diego Minutemen here.  It seems the more you read about the San Diego Minutemen, the more I realize that the racism I caught on tape just scratched the surface of what they're involved in.  Still, it's good to know that my work is appreciated.
Breakthrough has put out their latest video on migration using a Star Trek Theme.  The crew of the enterprise tries to deport Spock only to find out they needed him.

Do any Trekkies out there have any Star Trek parallels they'd like to compare with the current situation migrants are going through. CBS actually has the whole Star Trek: The Original Series online now. 

How about Season 3: Episode 16 the Mark of Gideon?  Leaders of the planet Gideon try to solve their overpopulation problem by killing everyone off.  Sounds pretty close to "attrition through enforcement" to me. 
If you haven't heard it already from my blogmigos, the Obama campaign has gotten back to us with their answers to the questionnaire we've sent out to everyone.  The McCain campaign has not only been silent, they've shown a plain lack of courtesy. 

"The first phone call I placed was answered cordially.  I was told that someone would get back to me.  I never heard back from anyone," said  The Sanctuary editor Kety Esquivel of who has appeared on CNN to discuss the questionnaire.  "The second time I called, the person I was  speaking with hung up and the third time I called the line was disconnected."
The Sanctuary (4 August 2008)
Kai is beginning what looks to be an excellent and important series over at about the Chinese American experience.  Stop by and check it out if you have the chance.
Julia Preston's article in the New York Times speaks for itself. (sombrero tip to the ImmigrationProf Blog)
The Boston Globe reports on the latest Border Patrol recruiting drive here in Massachusetts.  While everyone else gets laid off there's no shortage of jobs that further militarize the U.S. 

It's funny, nativists don't want 'Mericans speaking Spanish, but it looks as though fluency in Spanish is a must for the Border Patrol.  Here's another interesting statistic:

About 53 percent of agents are Hispanic, about 45 percent are white, and about 1 percent are African-American, officials said.
Rachana Rhatti - Boston Globe (3 August 2008)
It seems the Latinos that nativists frequently target are not only dying for them in Iraq, but they're also doing the work for them protecting the border.
(Picture from the Boston Globe / Michele McDonald)

For someone like myself, who spends far too much time thinking about injustice, I fear sometimes that I'll get used to it.  I fear that my heart will encase itself in steel to protect itself from the pain.  I don't know if I'm fortunate or not, but it looks as if my heart hasn't grown cold yet.  My heart wasn't able to insulate itself from the story of Rakan Hassan.

If you read one newspaper article today, let it be the story of Hassan in the Boston Globe today.  When the author, Kevin Cullen, tells of breaking the news about Hassan to his son, I bawled.

Sombrero Tip to Blue Mass. Group.