kyledeb: October 2009 Archives

Kirin Kalia from Migration Information Source just emailed me with a link to this very helpful collection on the latest facts on U.S. migration.  Stay informed.  Facts are important unless you are Lou Dobbs.  
Harvard freshman Jacob D. Roberts '13 has easily written one of the most well-informed and balanced accounts, yet, of the cancellation of Jim Gilchrist's invitation to Harvard.  Here is where Roberts quotes me:

The movement to ban Gilchrist from the conference was largely initiated by Kyle A. de Beausset '11, who in early October began using different university mailing lists to build support for uninviting Gilchrist due to his involvement in the Minuteman Project, which organizes civilians to patrol the border for illegal immigrants and to report crossings to the Border Patrol.

"It might be an interesting intellectual exercise for Harvard students to hear extremist views," de Beausset wrote in one of these e-mails, but he added that the "broader implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name" were more important.
After my appearance on the O'Reilly Factor on Friday night, I was flooded with facebook messages like this:

I hope you are a victim of the next 911 you piece of shit
Keith Glassman - Facebook Message (16 October 2009)

These were the reactions who found me through facebook by googling my name after the O'Reilly Factor.  The only way I know how to interpet Keith Glassman's facebook message, is that he wishes me to have the same fate as 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father.  Thankfully, I don't allow non-friends to have access to my profile.  Admittedly, not all of the reactions were as hostile.  Some conservatives even said they were impressed and asked to be friends.  One of my favorite negative reactions was that of someone who spoke like she was my mother:
Thanks to Jackie Mahendra at America's Voice for recording this video and sending this over to me.



Again, not the best performance. I wasn't able to make the most important point. I learned my lesson. Lead off with your most important talking point. Still my face when they cut me off is priceless. It cracks me up every time.
The producer told me I was going to get five minutes and they gave me just under two.  I had three points I wanted to make.  I was able to make two of them when Juan Williams cut me off.  If you want to see something funny, check out the sad puppy face I make when Juan Williams cuts me off.  I wrote out the final point I was trying to make in my earlier post:

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the reason it would have been irresponsible for HULC to invite Jim Gilchrist is because of the violence he encourages and enables with his speech.  There are countless examples of this.  Jim Gilchrist advocated violence in his statement about being disinvited at Harvard:

It is obvious why our Founding Fathers placed the Second Amendment directly after the First Amendment.  When free speech is no longer an irrevocable right, well, that's what the Second Amendment is for...to preserve the First Amendment...for everyone on U.S. territory.
Jim Gilchrist - Minuteman Project (16 October 2009)
In a statement about being uninvited from Harvard I can only interpret this as a threat to bring guns to Harvard to "defend" his right to speak.  This would be fine if this was all talk and no action, but the case of Shawna Forde has shown us that there can be deadly consequences to this sort of speech. 

Forde, the head of Minuteman American Defense, is being tried for shooting and killing a 9-year-old girl Brisenia Flores, and her father, in an apparent attempt to finance her nativist activism.  The only way to truly understand the consequences of hateful speech like Gilchrist's is to hear the audio of Brisenia Flores' mother when she dialed 911 to report that her husband and her daughter were shot and killed. (WARNING: Listening to this audio might be traumatic for those who have suffered violence.  I have only listened to it once and that was enough.)  Jim Gilchrist is a close associate of Shawna Forde's and has defended her in the past.
I was invited on the O'Reilly Factor after my comments in the Boston Globe about canceling Jim Gilchrist's invitation to Harvard.  I won't be talking to Bill O'Reilly tonight, but with Juan Williams who is taking his place tonight.

If you're coming onto Citizen Orange after seeing me on television, I recommend checking out another blog I am the co-founder of, The Sanctuary.
If you didn't read the Boston Globe this morning, I was identified as one of the protesters responsible for getting Jim Gilchrist's invitation to Harvard canceled.  The reporter, Milton Valencia, was slightly off on my name (it's always written "de Beausset) but otherwise did an admirable job on such short notice. 

Kyle de Beausset, an undergraduate student and migrant advocate, who was one of the original Harvard protesters, said yesterday that Gilchrist's removal will allow discussions to move toward policy, rather than animosity.

"It's a victory for people who are trying to get hate out of the immigration debate,'' he said. "There's a difference between having views, and hate speech.''

Beausset said more students have been alerted to the group's stance since the arrest in June of a woman with ties to the Minuteman Project.

Shawna Ford and two others allegedly shot and killed a father and son, and wounded the mother in a robbery that Beausset said was to "finance her nativist activism.''

He said the episode showed the extremes to which some members of the movement will go.

"I'm concerned about the broader national implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name,'' he said in a letter to fellow students.
Milton Valencia - Boston Globe (16 October 2009)
Jim Gilchrist's organization, in characteristic fashion, has responded with hyperbole and falsehoods.
I apologize to those of you who were trying to access Citizen Orange last night or this morning.  We were shut down down because our mt-search.cgi script was "causing a heavy load on the server."  I think it's because spam bots were constantly using the search form

The only way I was able to get Citizen Orange back online was by disabling the search form.  I'll have to leave it like that until I can figure something else out.

Penn & Teller on Migration

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Punk Johnny Cash over at Gonzo Times showed me these videos from the television series, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, for the first time:

Migrant Detention in Georgia

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The Friends Community on National Legislation indirectly called me out through their blog, It's Our Community, for my post on Luis Gutierrez, yesterday:

The blogs are all buzzing with chatter about yesterday's rally and Rep. Gutierrez's introduction of principles for his bill on comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, the principles are more vague than some of us had hoped. No, this appears not to be yet another enforcement-heavy bill like those we have seen in the past few years. So, let's take this moment to recognize this opportunity for what it is - a real opportunity to advance immigration reform this Congress - and come together.
Becca Sheff - It's Our Community (14 October 2009)
I'm not going to refute Sheff because I really respect her willingness to take a stand and push back.  That's what social media and the sanctuarysphere should be all about.  The reason I'm linking to her is because she highlights a video worth watching on migrant detention produced by Georgia Detention Watch

If you ever had any question about the U.S. government using immigration status as a vehicle of oppression and coercion, you should read the story of Imam Foad Farahi.  The Miami New Times has an in-depth report of how the U.S. federal government tried to force Farahi to use his privileged position as a religious leader to inform on his fellow Muslims.  Farahi did the right thing, said no:

"We want you to work with us," Farahi remembers the agents telling him.

And this is when the imam's five-year battle with the federal government began.

"I have no problem working with you guys or helping you out," Farahi said. He could keep them informed about the local Muslim community or translate Arabic. But the relationship, he insisted, would need to be public; others would have to know he was helping the government.


The award winning filmmaker Arturo Perez, Jr., just released the this powerful video in tandem with Presente.org's announcement that their Basta Dobbs campaign has signed up 50,000 people in support of their demand that CNN get rid of anti-migrant commentator Lou Dobbs.  I'm happy to use this opportunity to announce that Citizen Orange has officially endorsed the Basta Dobbs campaign as evidenced by the "Who We Are" page.

Part of the reason I have been dutifully quantifying the number of pro-migrant blogs in the sanctuarysphere is so that I can encourage the sanctuarysphere to throw its full weight behind bastadobbs.com.
This post was written for The Sanctuary.

Yesterday, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) unveiled his "principles for a new comprehensive immigration reform bill" amid much fanfare.  An increasingly disciplined and organized migrant rights movement was able to bring thousands to Washington D.C. in support of Gutierrez's announcement.  You can follow almost minute to minute updates of yesterday's event at the Reform Immigration for America blog.

Maegan at Vivir Latino, Prerna at Change.org, and Marisa Trevino at Latina Lista have already expressed their thoughts and I thought I'd add my own.  I'll be the first to admit that I was skeptical of Gutierrez's announcement.  The way Gutierrez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) have treated the migrant youth movement leaves much to be desired.  Why members of the CHC have still not co-sponsored the Development, Youth, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is beyond me.  The justification offered is that they want to wait for the DREAM Act to be a part of comprehensive immigration reform, but that doesn't mean you can't cosponsor the DREAM Act to show your support!  100 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have already cosponsored the DREAM Act, and it is an embarrassment that a supposed "champion" of migrant rights like Gutierrez has not.
It's good to see some activists making the connection between foreign policy and migration, and acting on it.  The Stop Deportation Network in the United Kingdom is working to stop the first mass deportation flight to Baghdad: (sombrero tip to Earwicga via Ten Percent)

The Stop Deportation network and the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, along with other groups and organisations, are demanding that the first mass deportation flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is cancelled and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately. Over the last week, detainees in various immigration detention centres have been given 'removal directions' clearly stating they will be removed to Iraq, rather than the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled region, which was stated in previous removals.
Paul-Ryan-Protest.jpgThe pro-migrant organization Voces de la Frontera continues its incredible organizing work in Wisconsin, this time by forcing Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to distance himself from Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The following is an article in the Racine, Wisconsin publication The Journal Times on the decision to organize the march:

Reconsider Columbus Day

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A lot of good pro-migrant bloggers have already written thoughts on Columbus Day.  I don't have much to add to what Prerna over at Change.org, Maegan over at Vivir Latino, and Marisa over at Latina Lista have written already.  I spent my Columbus Day the same way I try to spend every Columbus Day, working for justice.

I did want to leave everyone with a video that went viral on facebook, today.  I first came across it through Jorge Rivas over at Racewire.  It's entitled "Reconsider Columbus Day".  Jorge Rivas also links to a petition you can sign for a National Holiday for Native Americans.

I continue to put a considerable amount of effort into updating Citizen Orange's pro-migrant blogroll, because I believe it is important that we all stay connected.  In an effort update and trim down the pro-migrant blogroll, it has only grown, showing just how strong the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere has become. 

The list of almost 130 pro-migrant blogs I've come up with are not a random assortment of obscure blogs.  I'm actively in touch with an author at each of these blogs, they have all been updated in the past year, and they meet a stringent set of requirements.  Please continue to contact me if I'm missing any.  I missed quite a few obvious ones in the beginning.

I will paste the updated list, again, below, and give it a rest for a time.

Restore Fairness: bring back due process to the immigration system from Breakthrough on Vimeo.

With news that the Obama administration is planning on reforming migrant detention in the U.S. this is a good time to announce that Citizen Orange has endorsed Breakthrough's Restore Fairness campaign.

The Restore Fairness campaign is calling on the U.S. government to restore due process and fairness to our immigration system.
Restore Fairness Website (7 October 2009)
I have mixed feelings about the Obama administration's proposed detention reforms.  So far, I prefer the analysis of the National Immigration Law Center, as reported by Kevin Johnson of the ImmigrationProf Blog:

Flicker of Change, but no Legal Torch to Light The Way: DHS Report Outlines Problems with Immigrant Detention System, but Lacks Enforcement Mechanisms for Proposed Solution

The National Immigration Law Center has issued a press release claiming that the 35-page report on immigrant detention conditions released today by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) (pdf) is a critical first step by the Obama administration in acknowledging the myriad problems with the way the United States treats the nearly 400,000 men and women in its immigrant detention system. The NILC welcomes the report's finding that the framework for the current system, which is premised on a criminal justice framework, must be rejected.

However, although the report recognizes that 89 percent of detainees are nonviolent, it fails to call for any serious attempt to reduce the size of the immigrant detainee population. In addition, although the report calls for the creation of a new set of detention standards geared towards an exclusively civil detainee population, the administration has not indicated that it will make these new standards for detention centers legally enforceable.