kyledeb: January 2011 Archives

In case you missed it, Barack Obama had this to say about immigration during his State of the Union address last night:

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.
Barack Obama (25 January 2011)
I don't have much to write, today.  I'm up early preparing for a trip to see the family of Selvin ArĂ©valo, today.  For those of you that haven't been following, I put everything I had into getting Selvin out of detention in Maine.  Right after we got him out, we learned that his appeal for asylum was denied, and while we were able to file another appeal, he is still very much at risk of detention and deportation every day. 

I don't plan on letting him get deported any time soon, though, so I thought it would be good for me to visit his family while I was here in Guatemala.  I'm bringing a video of him for his family to watch and will try to bring a video back to Selvin.  If you're all lucky, and Selvin says it's okay, I'll be able to edit out something of the whole experience for all of you to see. 

Wish me luck in the meantime.  I'll be back in Boston on Friday and back to pushing full force to empower migrants. 

It's not about
win or lose
Cause we all lose
when they feed
on the souls of the innocent
blood drenched pavement
keep on moving
though the waters stay raging.
Matisyahu - 2009 
The reactions I've witnessed to the violence in Tuscon have made me physically sick.  Ever since I heard the news on Saturday, I've been glued to twitter, the television, and my computer screen, looking for someone to say something that makes some kind of sense.  It seems the only people that have anything worthwhile to say have been keeping mostly silent, using this time to reflect as we probably all should. 

Writing is one of the ways I reflect, taking the thoughts that swirl around me, sometimes wreaking havoc on my spirit, and channeling them into something tangible that I can take apart and make sense out of.  I publish these thoughts publicly here in deference to one of Hillel's famous ancient lessons: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  And when I am for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?"  In short, I'm sick of waiting for someone to say something worthwhile about a tragedy that has shaken me to my core, so I'm going to give it a try.
Citizen Orange was down for a couple of hours tonight after the Movable Type script "mt-comments.cgi", which is what makes the comments run here caused undue strain on the server that hosts Citizen Orange.  This is the second time something like this has happened to Citizen Orange.  The first time there was a problem with the Search script, which is why you'll notice the search box on the right doesn't work. 

Bluehost, as always, was very helpful and understanding in helping me to deal with problem, especially since I'm not as technologically saavy as I should be.  They told me what was wrong and for now I just basically deleted the "mt-comments.cgi" script, and will leave it that way until I can figure out a more permanent solution.  I don't believe this is a political attack on Citizen Orange, it's the just the result of a bunch of spam bots overloading the outdated Movable Type installation I have here. 

I've put the maintenance and updating of Citizen Orange off for much too long while focusing on the DREAM Act.  I'm going to be speaking with my co-blogger Dave, shortly, about the best strategy for Citizen Orange moving forward so that we can inject some much needed capital into getting this site up to date.  In the meantime, if you know of any Movable Type experts that can get the comments up and running on Citizen Orange again as a temporary fix, I'd appreciate the help. 
See updates and suggestion below.

Another year has passed and guess what?  People still hate migrants.  People have hated migrants for millenia, and they probably will hate migrants for millenia more (if society lasts that long).  It's cynical to write that out, but at the same time, when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, it helps to ease my anxiety when I meditate on this.  To understand that the struggle will always go on forces you to hold fast to the things that matter, today, and to keep yourself healthy for the struggle, tomorrow. 

I hope everyone was able to rest, relax, and spend time with loved ones over the holidays.  I want to express gratitude to my co-blogger Dave for sacrificing his time during the holidays to keep content fresh, here.  I continue to be privileged with the opportunity to escape the harsh New England winter to bask in the Land of Eternal Spring here in Central America.  I'll be returning to Boston late next week.  I have yet to find or know a more beautiful country on this earth than Guatemala, and I fight for the day when, emancipated from inhumane and unjust immigration laws, my undocumented brothers and sisters in the U.S. can witness this beauty alongside of me.  You never leave my thoughts and prayers. 

What follows is an outline of the pro-migrant strategy I'm going to try and pursue in the coming year.  These are just initial thoughts, subject to change, and input is always welcome, here.  I've discussed this over the phone with several people already, and I thought it would be good to write it out for reference.