Tuesday, March 31, 2009

College for the Rich

The economic downturn has encouraged some colleges to give preference to students who can pay the full tuition. The natural consequence is that students needing significant financial aide will go further down the list. I wonder how that will affect DREAMers.


"Paying in Full as a Ticket to College," New York Times, March 31, 2009

300+ die in boats leaving Libya


They were from Somalia, Nigeria, Eritrea, Kurdish areas of Syria, Algeria, Morocco, the Palestinian territories and Tunisia.  How desperate were the Palestinians to load up with 365 in one boat (called "rickety" by the journalist)? -  There were three of these boats and over 300 people died - that they know of.  As of the time this article was published only 23 bodies had been found.

What are people facing that they feel they have to take this risk?  Why are they putting their children in such danger?  It must mean that their conditions at home are far worse.  

Some say that many of these types of boats full of migrants, not just those going to Italy, but those trying to reach the U.S. (from Haiti and Cuba) are purposefully intercepted and sunk...  

--
300 African migrants feared drowned off Libya

by Ali Shuaib
Reuters
Tuesday, March 31, 2009; 7:32 AM

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - More than 300 Africans including women and children are feared to have drowned after their boats capsized off Libya during a new upsurge of illegal migration to Europe, officials said Tuesday.

At least 23 bodies of drowned migrants were recovered by Libyan coastguards near the wreckage of three rickety boats which sailed from the coastal village of Sidi Belal near Tripoli, Libya's most influential daily, Oea, said Tuesday, quoting security officials.

One of the boats was carrying 365 people although it was only supposed to hold 75, Libyan officials said. It was one of four migrant ships which sailed from Libya between Saturday and Sunday, apparently heading for Italy.e have found no more bodies or survivors or the boat," a Libyan official said. 
link to complete article

Attacked for being a Mexican

Diego Osorio, columnist for milenio.com published a piece on a young man named Juan Carlos living in New York, who is originally from Sonora.  While living in Harlem Juan Carlos had no problems, he now lives in Staten Island and has been beaten for what he says "me pegaron por se Mexicano" (they hit me because I'm Mexican).  

This is not white racism.  The tension is between African Americans and Mexican migrants.  Osorio says the FBI reported 595 hate crimes against Latinos in 2007.  I wonder how many were not reported because the victim was undocumented.


Osorio:

"Fernando Gutiérrez, Germán Ramírez y Raúl Méndez, were beaten on various occasions with baseball bats, only because they were Mexican"

Sólo por ser mexicanos

Lun, 30/03/2009 - 10:46 — Osorno
ESQUIRLA- Milenio Semanal

Conocí a Juan Carlos hace dos meses en Nueva York. Un treintañero mexicano que junto a sus padres cruzó el desierto del Sásabe, en Sonora, cuando tenía ocho años de edad. Según me contó, en aquél entonces no había para los migrantes tantos peligros como hoy: no te asaltaban, violaban o secuestraban tus propios guías mientras cruzabas ilegalmente. Pollos y polleros eran derechos por lo regular. Hasta había algo de solidaridad en el asunto.

Hoy en Sásabe —me consta porque estuve ahí hace poco— la excepción es encontrar un traficante que no te joda. Muchos de ellos deben pagar cuotas al narco y se han vuelto despiadados con los migrantes.

Después de que cruzaron, Juan Carlos y sus padres vivieron en Anaheim, California hasta que, una noche, cuando regresaba de trabajar, Juan Carlos fue detenido y deportado por la Migra. La segunda vez que Juan Carlos cruzó fue a los 20 años de edad. Solo. “Quién sabe cómo”, dice, fue a parar a Nueva York. “Ya que cruzas, cualquier lugar es mejor que México. Aquí el único problema es que hace mucho frío”. Juan Carlos vivió primero en una casa del Alto Manhattan, la zona donde está el barrio de Harlem, lugar emblemático de los afroestadunidenses, pero que desde hace algunos años se ha transformado. Vamos, hasta el ex presidente Bill Clinton tiene una oficina ahí. En algunas calles de Harlem, sin embargo, aún existen grupos de pandilleros que atacan con pretextos raciales. Para un latino, y sobre todo uno despistado y recién llegado, el solo hecho de caminar por la calle equivocada representa una ofensa para estas bandas. Juan Carlos tuvo suerte: nunca fue golpeado.

Se fue luego a vivir a Staten Island, una pequeña isla frente a Manhattan donde llegan ahora la mayoría de los nuevos migrantes. A diferencia de sus años en Harlem, en Staten Island sí le tocó a Juan Carlos ser golpeado en dos ocasiones por pandillas de afroestadunidenses.

—¿Te querían robar?
—No.
—¿Entonces?
—Nomás..., me pegaron por ser mexicano.
—¿Pero eso qué?
—A los morenos no les gustamos los mexicanos. A veces son peores que los güeros. Yo no tengo ningún amigo moreno.

Por los días cuando estuve en Nueva York, en la portada del periódico latino El Diario aparecía la fotografía de un hombre que al parecer nunca podrá volver a abrir su párpado izquierdo. Era un joven colombiano que fue golpeado por una banda de afroestadunidenses. Walter Sánchez caminaba por la calle Watchong cuando fue abordado por cuatro jóvenes negros, quienes comenzaron a decirle hispano y algunos insultos en inglés para luego iniciar la golpiza.

En diciembre pasado hubo movilizaciones masivas en la ciudad que pasaron desapercibidas en México. Organizaciones de Queens, el barrio latino más importante de Nueva York, hicieron marchas exigiendo justicia contra los ataques contra hispanos, incluyendo la petición de castigo para un grupo de policías neoyorquinos involucrados en las violaciones sexuales de mexicanos y ecuatorianos. Según un informe del FBI de octubre del 2008, hubo 595 crímenes de odio anti-hispano en 2007, en tanto los meros incidentes de odio ascendieron a nueve mil seis casos en 2008. Supe también de las historias de otros mexicanos, como Fernando Gutiérrez, Germán Ramírez y Raúl Méndez, vapuleados en distintas ocasiones con bates de beisbol sólo por ser mexicanos.

“Ojalá que Obama ponga orden entre su gente”, me dijo Juan Carlos. “O que ya pronto haya un presidente hispano”.
link

ICE makes about face: releases workers detained last month in Washington State

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ICE releases workers arrested in Washington raid


The Associated Press/Washington Post
Tuesday, March 31, 2009; 6:51 PM

SEATTLE -- Many of the 28 workers arrested by immigration agents last month in a northwest Washington raid have been released and given permission to work, in another sign of how the Obama administration is handling illegal immigration differently than its predecessor.

The raid at a Yamato Engine Specialists plant in Bellingham was the first mass arrest of immigrants since President Barack Obama took office and appeared to contradict his policy that federal agents focus more on employers who hire undocumented workers than on the workers themselves. Shortly after the arrests, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered a review of the raid...
more

Monday, March 30, 2009

Notes from the Political Scoop Blog

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Dream Act Changes

So far I've only been able to read the Senate version of the bill, S.729, and there have been two major changes made to the bill.

The bill that was voted on by the Senate in October of 2007 and had and age limit of 30. This time the age limit has been raised to 35.

The other change is the in-state tuition language. The last bill left it up to the states to decide whether to provide in-state tuition to Dreamers or not. The new bill has the in-state tuition option. link

Politician's Pro-Immigrant Tour Stops in Florida

The tour across America supporting immigration reform is a great thing.  However, the AP writer who wrote "Lawmakers bring immigration tour to Fla" started her article in a strange way - she says "Parents living in the U.S. illegally should be punished" -- quoting U.S. Rep Mario Diaz-Balart.  Of course there has to be some kind of fine.  But starting out the article with "punished" means many things.  Does Wides-Munoz mean prison time?  Does she mean deportation?  Perhaps she needs to be more careful how she choses her words.  While she might have meant a minimal fine, she could have been insinuating something much more severe.
---
Lawmakers bring immigration tour to Fla
By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ
AP Hispanic Affairs Writer/Miami Herald

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Parents living in the U.S. illegally should be punished, but separating them from their U.S.-born children is not the answer, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said Sunday during a gathering of more than 1,000 people at a pro-immigrant rally.

Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, was one of four U.S. representatives to speak in Homestead. The farm community is part of a 17-city tour advocating comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally.

"We have to recognize and deal with (their violation) but in a just way. Separating and leaving U.S. citizens without their parents is not the best solution. We need reasonable consequences," Diaz-Balart said.

Religious and social groups organized the gathering Sunday. A similar event took place Saturday in Orlando.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, has traveled across the country on the tour. He said he hopes the events will "hold the president's feet to the fire" and remind the administration that many who voted for Barack Obama want immigration reform....
link

Gaza: The Story of Tom Hurndall

The Only House Left Standing:  The Journals of Tom Hurndall, Trolley Publishers, 2009

From the book description:
On April 11th, unarmed and wearing an internationally
recognizable orange peacekeeper jacket, he was severely
wounded while carrying Palestinian children to safety. He died
nine months later in a London hospital.

see "A Reckoning in Gaza," London Guardian, October 8, 2008
Robert Fisk’s World: A brave man who stood alone. If only the world had listened to him

I wish I had met Tom Hurndall, a remarkable man of remarkable principle
London Independent
Saturday, 28 March 2009

I don't know if I met Tom Hurndall. He was one of a bunch of "human shields" who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him because – looking back over the history of that terrible war – Hurndall's journals (soon to be published) show a remarkable man of remarkable principle. "I may not be a human shield," he wrote at 10.26 on 17 March from his Amman hotel. "And I may not adhere to the beliefs of those I have travelled with, but the way Britain and America plan to take Iraq is unnecessary and puts soldiers' lives above those of civilians. For that I hope that Bush and Blair stand trial for war crimes."

Hurndall got it about right, didn't he? It wasn't so simple as war/no war, black and white, he wrote. "Things I've heard and seen over the last few weeks proves what I already knew; neither the Iraqi regime, nor the American or British, are clean. Maybe Saddam needs to go but ... the air war that's proposed is largely unnecessary and doesn't discriminate between civilians and armed soldiers. Tens of thousands will die, maybe hundreds of thousands, just to save thousands of American soldiers having to fight honestly, hand to hand. It is wrong." Oh, how many of my professional colleagues wrote like this on the eve of war? Not many.

We pooh-poohed the Hurndalls and their friends as groupies even when they did briefly enter the South Baghdad electricity station and met one engineer, Attiah Bakir, who had been horrifyingly wounded 11 years earlier when an American bomb blew a fragment of metal into his brain. "You can see now where it struck," Hurndall wrote in an email from Baghdad, "caving in the central third of his forehead and removing the bone totally. Above the bridge of his broken nose, there is only a cavity with scarred skin covering the prominent gap..."

A picture of Attiah Bakir stares out of the book, a distinguished, brave man who refused to leave his place of work as the next war approached. He was silenced only when one of Hurndall's friends made the mistake of asking what he thought of Saddam's government. I cringed for the poor man. "Minders" were everywhere in those early days. Talking to any civilian was almost criminally foolish. Iraqis were forbidden from talking to foreigners. Hence all those bloody "minders" (many of whom, of course, ended up working for Baghdad journalists after Saddam's overthrow).

Hurndall had a dispassionate eye. "Nowhere in the world have I ever seen so many stars as now in the western deserts of Iraq," he wrote on 22 February. "How can somewhere so beautiful be so wrought with terror and war as it is soon to be?" In answer to the questions asked of them by the BBC, ITV, WBO, CNN, al-Jazeera and others, Hurndall had no single reply. "I don't think there could be one, two or 100 responses," he wrote. "To each of us our own, but not one of us wants to die." Prophetic words for Tom to have written.

You can see him smiling selflessly in several snapshots. He went to cover the refugee complex at Al-Rowaishid and moved inexorably towards Gaza where he was confronted by the massive tragedy of the Palestinians. "I woke up at about eight in my bed in Jerusalem and lay in until 9.30," he wrote. "We left at 10.00... Since then, I have been shot at, gassed, chased by soldiers, had sound grenades thrown within metres of me, been hit by falling debris..."

Hurndall was trying to save Palestinian homes and infrastructure but frequently came under Israeli fire and seemed to have lost his fear of death. "While approaching the area, they (the Israelis) continually fired one- to two-second bursts from what I could see was a Bradley fighting vehicle... It was strange that as we approached and the guns were firing, it sent shivers down my spine, but nothing more than that. We walked down the middle of the street, wearing bright orange, and one of us shouted through a loudspeaker, 'We are International volunteers. Don't shoot!' That was followed by another volley of fire, though I can't be sure where from..."

Tom Hurndall had stayed in Rafah. He was only 21 where – in his mother's words – he lost his life through a single, selfless, human act. "Tom was shot in the head as he carried a single Palestinian child out of the range of an Israeli army sniper." Mrs Hurndall asked me to write a preface to Tom's book and this article is his preface, for a brave man who stood alone and showed more courage than most if us dreamed of. Forget tree huggers. Hurndall was one good man and true.
link

The Church of the Santa Muerte Fights Back



Milenio.com published an article in Spanish (see article at the end of this post) today, that states the church of the Santa Muerte has announced a "holy war" - They have sent letters to Amnesty International, Mexican President Calderon and other organizations protesting the destruction of a number of Santa Muerte shrines.  While they used the term "holy war," they state they are now only planning demonstrations in the plazas of different Mexican cities.

They are actually an organized church, named, "Iglesia tradicionalista México-USA."  The group is reacting to many of its shrines in the border state of Tamaulipas  (see article below) having been destroyed last week.  This is a movement they say ordered by the government as part of its fight against organized crime.  Santa Muerte is known to be the patron saint of narcotraficantes.  As the name of the church implies, it is a movement that has spread throughout Mexico and the United States.  This is evident in the U.S. with Santa Muerte decals seen on the back windows of some pick up trucks.


9:40am -- Who Is 'Santa Muerte'?
By Bruce Daniels - ABQnewsSeeker
Friday, 27 March 2009 09:40

Mexican authorities are tearing down shrines to this drug traffickers' beloved saint.
Santa Muerte (or Saint Death), also known as La Santísima Muerte (or Holy Death) is one of those strange religious figures born in the hothouse of Mexican religious practices (not always terribly orthodox) and is venerated by people of many different backgrounds both in Mexico and in parts of the United States.

People pray to Santa Muerte for recovery of health, stolen items and kidnapped family members, or for love, luck and protection, according to Wikipedia.

But Santa Muerte also is patronized by drug traffickers, kidnappers and other criminals or people who live in violence-plagued neighborhoods throughout Mexico, and many of the shrines that dot northern Mexican have been funded by the narcotraficantes.

That's why officials in Nuevo Laredo this week destroyed more than 35 statues dedicated to Santa Muerte that lined the roads and highways in and around the Mexican city across the border from Texas, according to The Associated Press. One of the statues was located at the base of the international bridge linking Mexico with Laredo, Texas, the AP reported.

Soldiers stood guard Wednesday as city workers continued demolishing the statues -- most depicting a robe-covered skeleton resembling the Grim Reaper -- in an operation that began before dawn on Tuesday, the AP said.

A local official who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation from drug gangs told the AP that remnants of the statues would be kept at local police stations for their owners to reclaim.

And the owner of one statue, who also asked that his name not be used, said he spent $2,000 building his shrine, the AP reported.

Two similar statues -- one of Santa Muerte and another dedicated to that other outlaw patron saint Jesus Malverde -- were torn down Sunday in Tijuana, according to the Mexican newspaper El Diario.

According to a 2004 article in El Universal Online, Santa Muerte is called "the saint of last resorts," and is considered the flip side of La Virgen de Guadalupe, nearly rivaling La Virgen in popularity, because, as a Mexican poet and novelist told El Universal, "That which one can't ask of the Virgen, one can ask of her."
link
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Santa Muerte iniciará la guerra el domingo

Milenio.com - by Eugenia Jimenez
Realizarán movilizaciones al Zócalo y la basílica de Guadalupe. Además enviarán una carta a la Presidencia y a Derechos Humanos para que se “frene la destrucción y satanización” de ese culto.

Lun, 30/03/2009 - 05:02
El obispo de la Iglesia México-USA, David Romo, argumentó que la Virgen de Guadalupe también es venerada por delincuentes.

México.- Con el eslogan “Despierta México”, la Iglesia de la Santa Muerte convocó ayer a sus fieles a iniciar una guerra santa, la cual consistirá en realizar movilizaciones en plazas públicas y en el Zócalo capitalino el próximo Domingo de Ramos.

El obispo de la Iglesia tradicionalista México-USA, David Romo Guillén, afirmó: “Este año será el Domingo de Ramos de la Santa Muerte. No valen los argumentos de que somos otro grupo o tenemos intereses diferentes, esta lucha es por nuestra fe en la Santísima. Llegó la hora de que los devotos se den cuenta quién realmente cree de corazón y quién está por negocio”.

Destacó que en la historia de México se han registrado episodios de represión contra su devoción.

Por ello, recordó que el pasado 24 de marzo se derribaron 30 altares a La Pelona ubicados en Tamaulipas sin ningún sustento legal, pues se valieron de mentiras y calumnias para derruirlas.

“No podemos ser insensibles ante esta arbitrariedad. Convocamos a los fieles para que iniciemos una guerra santa por nuestra fe. El término suena fuerte, pero ya iniciamos algunas acciones: interpusimos una denuncia ante la CIDH y Amnistía Internacional.”

Además, “hoy entregaremos una carta a la Presidencia de la República, la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, la Comisión Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, el Senado y la Cámara d Diputados para pedirles su intervención y así frenar está acción discriminatoria”.

“Es injusto —declaró Romo— que con el argumento de la lucha contra el crimen organizado ataquen la devoción de más de 5 millones de mexicanos.”

La mayoría de los delincuentes no son devotos de la Santísima, por el contrario, son seguidores de la Iglesia romana y de San Judas Tadeo, su patrono, aseguró.

El dirigente de la Iglesia Tradicional Mex-USA afirmó que si al destruir o atacar una fe se avanza en la lucha contra el crimen organizado, pues se tendrían que derribar los altares dedicados a San Judas y la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Agotaremos, dijo, las instancias legales para que se detenga “la persecución, destrucción y satanización de nuestra devoción”.

Romo Guillén anunció que habrá más movilizaciones y que por lo pronto tienen programadas dos más para el Viernes Santo y el Domingo de Resurreción, las cuales serán hacia el Zócalo capitalino y la basílica de Guadalupe.

Destrucción

El pasado 24 de marzo, elementos del Ejército mexicano y policías de Tamaulipas destruyeron 30 altares de la Santa Muerte en la entidad.

La semana pasada, el obispo de la Iglesia de la Santa Muerte, David Romo, anunció que iniciarían una “guerre santa” y destruirían altares a San Judas Tadeo.

El sacerdote Manuel Corral, responsable de Relaciones Institucionales del Episcopado, indicó que no se puede hacer un llamado a la violencia a los fieles si se incumplió una ley.

La Secretaría de Gobernación se desmarcó de este asunto, pues no tiene injerencia sobre la Iglesia Católica tradicionalista México-USA, la cual perdió su regristro como asociación religiosa en mayo de 2005.
link



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Re-Directing the Anger: Going after Employers not Employees


In a significant shift from the previous administration, DHS has delayed scheduling immigration raids saying that they are looking at prosecuting employers instead of workers.

This may also be a sign that American anger is shifting. We have been angry for a good while, but we were taking out on immigrants who many thought were stealing from our homeland - As I mentioned in previous posts, I always thought the anger was really at our government and corporations who were making life hard for regular people to survive and at our culture that continuously pressures us to acquire more money and material things (even though it was acquired through debt).

Now the anger is beginning to shift towards those who are really hurting the country - those who hold most of our wealth - Another thing has happened, the presidential administration who helped bring us to the brink is no longer in office. It is much easier to be angry at former presidents.

Even so, some believe that we are not showing enough anger at those who brought us down. In the NYT op-ed piece "Feeling Too Down to Rise Up," the author is asking why we are not having massive protests. He believes that we are too isolated from each other, that we vent out anger in blogs but not really in a collective manner.

The anger is there, in the UK at the 35,000 person protest at the G20 meetings this week. Yes, I know that is England, not the U.S. But there is hope for us yet. Stopping immigration raids is a beginning. Re-directing our anger at those responsible for our troubles is a good move. Now we have to find something productive to do with the anger. Throwing eggs at the houses of AIG employees won't get us anywhere. Actively protesting might, but writing can do even more. Write in your blogs, comment on blogs, newspaper articles, facebook; anything that is distributed on the net. Let people know what you are thinking - show the world that the blue eyed bankers don't run the show. Tell Obama and Napolitano that they are doing the right thing by stopping immigration raids.




--
Delay in Immigration Raids May Signal Policy Change
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement may be shifting focus from detaining illegal workers to prosecuting executives at the companies that employ them. A senior government official says raids are being delayed.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 29, 2009; Page A02

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.

A senior department official said the delays signal a pending change in whom agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement choose to prosecute -- increasing the focus on businesses and executives instead of ordinary workers.

"ICE is now scrutinizing these cases more thoroughly to ensure that [targets] are being taken down when they should be taken down, and that the employer is being targeted and the surveillance and the investigation is being done how it should be done," said the official, discussing Napolitano's views about sensitive law enforcement matters on the condition of anonymity.
link to complete article


"'Blue eyed bankers to blame for crash,' Lula tells Brown," London Guardian, March 26, 2009

"Feeling too down to rise up," New York Times, March 29, 2009



Explaining civilian deaths in Gaza - and Iraq

The reports of IDF soldiers' behavior during the Gaza assault make them sound like monsters.  Yet, as an Israeli friend told me, what about all the Iraqis killed by the U.S. invasion?  Neither is right.

If I recall correctly, President Bush made the Iraq war (and Afghanistan) sound like a "holy war" - making it OK to kill whoever was in the way.  How do we let things like these happen?
--
Israeli military in PR offensive to explain civilian deaths in Gaza
Senior officers have met reporters to insist offensive was 'moral and ethical'

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
London Independent
Monday, 30 March 2009
The Israeli military has moved to deflect a mounting barrage of criticism over the deaths of hundreds of civilians during its 22-day offensive in Gaza.

The public relations drive by the Israeli Defence Force has been given impetus by allegations made by some soldiers that permissive rules of engagement failed to protect civilians.

The allegations – currently being investigated by military police – have generated widespread publicity and led senior officers to meet reporters. At these meetings, they have sought to reinforce the military's assertion that, in the words of the Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazy, "the IDF acted morally and ethically. If there were incidents like these, they were isolated." The move also follows a series of reports from groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documenting civilian deaths which they say violated international law.

The latest was last week's detailed Human Rights Watch report which said the IDF's "deliberate" and "reckless" use of white phosphorus was "evidence of war crimes".

Israeli military intelligence last week released new figures indicating 1,166 Palestinians had been killed in the conflict. Of these, it said 295 were "uninvolved citizens" while 162 were "without an identified affiliation".

Both the military and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, have lists of names which PCHR – but so far not the IDF – has published. PCHR says 1,417 Palestinians were killed, and of these 926 were civilians, and 236 combatants.

Part of the discrepancy – though only part – is a matter of definition. PCHR includes as civilians both civil policemen – many of whom were new graduates killed in the bombing of a passing out parade on the offensive's first day on 27 December – and unarmed political activists. It argues, like Human Rights Watch, that this is supported by international law. The IDF however defines them all as among 709 Hamas "terror operatives". 
link to complete article


see "IDF lets Rabbis Blur Boundaries between religion and state," Haaretz Israel, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DREAMers speak on Progressives opposing DREAM

Dreamactivist lays down a very good post on why some progessives continue to oppose the DREAM act because of the military provision.

In the past, Dream Act Texas has discussed this issue, but today we let dreamactivist further explain this.
--

Why do some 'Progressives' Oppose the DREAM Act? And Why They are Wrong

by DREAM Activist

Published March 28, 2009 @ 01:54PM PST

Several important allies have raised some crucial points that hinder progressive support for the DREAM Act—points that several activist students have had to encounter in the form of artless dissent from leftist intellectuals and liberals.

We are talking about dissenters like the Association of La Raza Educators, Immigrant Solidarity Network, American Friends and Service Committee, a few Latino immigrant rights activists, and even the National Lawyers Guild that refuses to take a stance on the DREAM Act. Why? They dislike the military provision in the DREAM Act that could make certain ethnic minority students such as Latino kids in the barrios more susceptible to recruitment by military officials. This is not a moot point—it is a cause for concern but it requires several hundred grams of historicizing and perspective.

More

The DREAM Act, 287G and Benita Veliz




You are a DREAMer, you haven't been able to get a drivers license.  You are at a stop sign and a police officer sees you and thinks you didn't make a complete stop.  Your life is ruined after that.

Some officers think they have better things to do than look for people who roll through stop signs.  After all, there is real crime out there - people getting mugged, houses getting burglarized, and the occasional car-jacking.  But of course, this particular officer thinks his time is better spent stopping pretty girls at stop signs.

If 287G is implemented it would give even more power to officers like the one who stopped Benita Veliz in San Antonio.  A possible roll through at a stop sign could make a DREAMer's life come to a desperate halt.

As the New York Times explains:

"Her fateful encounter with the law happened on Jan. 21. A police officer pulled her over, saying she had rolled through a stop sign. She says that is not true, but she acknowledges driving without a license. She had a Mexican consular identity card, and after a series of questions, the officer called immigration authorities. She was jailed overnight and released on bond."

The life of Benita Veliz is even more reason to pass the DREAM Act.  By the way, she has no criminal record, in fact she was high school valedictorian, graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from St. Mary's University where she attended on full scholarship.  Write or email your Senator or Congressman NOW.


see dreamacttexas post  "The Houston Chronicle and 287G,"  March 17, 2009

G20 Protests in London - From All Sides

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--
-
G20 protest: Thousands set off on 'rainbow alliance' march

• Thousands of police monitor G20 protest
• TUC leader warns off troublemakers

* Alok Jha
* guardian.co.uk, Saturday 28 March 2009 12.12 GMT

Demonstrators attend the Put People First march through central London, beginning several days of protest surrounding the G20 summit. 

Thousands of protesters from around the country are gathering today in London, despite the wind and rain, to march for "jobs, justice and climate" ahead of the G20 summit next week. The events mark the start of a week of demonstrations ahead of the meeting of world leaders in London on Wednesday.

Today's march, which started on Victoria Embankment with protesters waving a range of flags and placards, has been organised by a "rainbow alliance" of more than 150 unions, environment, charity, faith and development groups called Put People First (PPF).

One of the organisers, the TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said there had never before been such a wide coalition brought together with a direct message for world leaders. "The old ideas of unregulated free markets do not work, and have brought the world's economy to near-collapse, failed to fight poverty and have done far too little to move to a low-carbon economy," he said. "Of course, the G20 will not solve everything in a day's work, but leaders must sign up to boost the world economy and govern it better, and show us that they are trying to build a better world." - link to entire article


click here for link to BBC video of protest
"G20 Demonstrators March in London," BBC News, March 28, 2009

Read this book while you are still young...




by Ann Bausum (for readers ages 11+)

Kids need to be reading this book, so that when they grow up they won't become Minute Men. This week, DREAMers in Washington DC, there to lobby for the DREAM Act, met a number of anti-immigrant college students. In a heated discussion, those against the DREAM Act could not be convinced it was a good thing for the country. What creates this type of person? Why are they so set on thinking that DREAMers will only take away something from them? Why would they expend so much energy fighting for something that will bring good things to people?


here is a brief review (from Kirkus Reviews) of Ann Baunum's book:

...Contending that "[a]rguments for and against immigration tend to repeat in cycles," the focus is on the implicit warning contained in five stories: the 1882 exclusion of Chinese immigrants, the 1919 deportation of anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, the tragic 1939 refusal of entry for Jewish passengers of the St. Louis, the World War II detention of Japanese-American citizens and exploitation of Mexican migrant workers that began during the same era...

Have we stopped reading?



In my World Cultures and Literature Class at the University of Houston, I find the biggest challenge to get my students to read their assignments. They are fine if it is their turn to present on a reading. Otherwise, its like pulling teeth - or giving them dumbed down multiple choice tests to force them to read the assignment.

The economy may be killing the newspapers, but our culture has also pushed the dagger deeper. We are all about youtube videos, TV shows, movies, World of Warcraft - anything that stimulates the brain at a high rate of speed. But reading is just too slow for most of us.

Once in a while a few students will get particularly interested in a topic. These days it is a book we are (supposedly) reading titled Good Muslim, Bad Muslim. The few that are reading it are fascinated. They are looking for more information; they discuss it among themselves. What makes the difference between these young people and the ones who don't care? I wish I knew.

And now... our newspapers are dying. The only major Houston newspaper has now joined the injured. "Chronicle laying off 12% of its employees," March 25, 2009. How much is the economy and how much is it that we just don't read anymore?

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The Death of American Newspapers
Democracy Now
March 27, 2009

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to a major crisis, the crisis of newspapers in this country. Juan?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, the New York Times and Washington Post have become the latest newspapers to announce plans to downsize their staffs. On Thursday, the New York Times Company said it will lay off 100 people, about five percent of its staff. In addition, the Times is temporarily cutting the pay of its non-union workers by five percent in return for ten days leave. The layoffs and salary cuts will affect employees at both the New York Times and Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has announced it is offering employees another round of early retirement packages, or “buyouts.” Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said the buyouts will, quote, “allow us to reduce costs and gain efficiency while we continue to restructure for the future.”

AMY GOODMAN: As papers across the country continue to fold or downsize, policy officials and experts are contemplating a series of proposals to help newspapers stay afloat.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland has introduced the Newspaper Revitalization Act. He wants to make it easier for newspapers to become nonprofit publications.

Meanwhile, two longtime media activists from the group Free Press have proposed a bold solution: a government intervention to save American journalism. In an article in The Nation magazine, Robert McChesney and John Nichols propose a multi-part journalism economic stimulus package. They call for all Americans to receive an annual tax credit for the first $200 they spend on daily newspapers, free postage for many periodicals, government funding for high school and college journalism projects, and a large expansion of funding for public and community broadcasting.

To talk more about this, we’re joined by Bob McChesney from Madison, Wiscsonsin, co-founder of the media advocacy group Free Press and a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Bob. Lay out the plan.

ROBERT McCHESNEY: Well, the plan simply is this. The commercial system of journalism, which has dominated in the United States for the past 150 years, is collapsing. It’s disintegrating. And we’re really left as a society with a basic option: are we going to have journalism or not?

If we’re going to simply sit around and hope that the business community, Wall Street and Madison Avenue, are going to come up with a way to rescue it and give us the sort of journalism we need, we’re not going to get there. It’s pretty clear that’s not going to happen.

And that means we’re going to have to turn to enlightened policymaking, direct and indirect government subsidies, to give us the resources to do journalism. And you already did a great job, Amy, of outlining the key elements of what we see as an emergency stimulus plan. And by “emergency stimulus,” we mean something that will get us through the crisis so we can have time, buy time, to come up with a coherent plan that we can eventually have multiple newsrooms of well-paid quality journalists covering their communities across the country that will segue into the digital era. link to interview

Mexican President Calderon Speaks to the Financial Times

Mexico calls on Obama to boost aid for drugs war

By Adam Thomson in Mexico City

Published: March 27 2009 02:00 | Last updated: March 27 2009 02:00

Felipe Calderón has called on the new US administration to contribute potentially tens of billons of dollars in additional funds to help Mexico fight its war on drugs.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the Mexican president said that neither the financial aid offered so far by Washington, nor US efforts to curb illegal activity along its 2,000-mile border had proved sufficient.

"The help should be equivalent to the flow of money that American consumers give to the criminals," he said in reference to US citizens' consumption of narcotics supplied by Mexico's drug cartels. When asked to estimate that sum, Mr Calderón replied: "Between $10bn and $35bn (€30bn, £24bn) - the truth is that nobody knows."

Mexico's centre-right premier has long insisted on the need for more commitment from Washington but this is the first time he has been so outspoken on the issue since he declared an all-out war on the narcotics industry just over two years ago. Since then, combating the cartels has become the overriding focus of his administration.

Mr Calderón's suggested figure dwarfs the scale of funding that Washington has promised Mexico to date. Congress last month approved a $300m package as part of the Merida Initiative, a three-year programme to help Mexico fight the cartels - $150m less than the US administration had asked for and $100m less than last year's budget.

Mr Calderón, who made no effort to hide his disapproval of the scaling back, said: "Obviously the money is not enough, particularly if the amount is reduced like that."

In addition to extra funds, Mr Calderón said that the US had to do more to reduce domestic drug consumption, as well as crack down on the illegal flow of arms from the US into Mexico. Officials on both sides of the border estimate that 90 per cent of the arms used by Mexican cartels come from the US.

"If we want to address this problem seriously, there has to be a far greater commitment [by the US administration]," said Mr Calderón.

The force of that message is unlikely to be lost on Washington, which has expressed growing concern about Mexico's bloody war and is sending a slew of top-ranking officials south of the border in the coming weeks to discuss security issues.

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, yesterday concluded a two-day visit to Mexico and Barack Obama, US president, has confirmed that he will stop off in Mexico in mid-April on his way to the summit of the Americas in Trinidad.

Washington's concern is barely surprising: more than 6,000 people were murdered in drug-related violence in Mexico last year - roughly three times the figure for 2007. About 200 of those victims were decapitated, and some were found diced and left in vats of acid.

Much of the violence has occurred along the country's northern border, which is shared by California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Mr Calderón was this month forced to send 7,000 soldiers and federal police to take over Ciudad Juárez, the city that neighbours El Paso, Texas and is home to many US manufacturing companies.

The decision came after local authorities admitted that a turf war between two competing cartels for Juárez's smuggling routes into the US as well as control of the local market was spiralling out of control.

Most of all, Mr Calderón's message is likely to catch the attention of the US secretary of state. Mrs Clinton has admitted that the US shared the blame for the growing violence in Mexico. "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," she conceded on her flight to Mexico. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."

Mr Calderón, who met Ms Clinton on Wednesday, welcomed what he described as "a change, not only in the discourse, but also in the attitude of the American government", towards Mexico's war on drugs.

During her trip to Mexico, Mrs Clinton emphasised that Congress has now authorised a total of $700m for the Merida Initiative and that the US wants to speed up its delivery of military hardware to Mexico.

Speaking at an event with Mexico's foreign minister, she added that the Obama administration would try to work with Congress to provide $80m for Blackhawk helicopters for Mexico.

Mrs Clinton yesterday also signalled her support for a new US assault weapons ban. "I think these assault weapons, these military-style weapons, don't belong on anyone's street," she told NBC, while acknowledging that reinstating the 1990s ban was politically a "very heavy lift".

Additional reporting by Daniel Dombey in Washington

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Film: Los Que Se Quedan - Those Who Remain

"Those Who Remain" (Los Que Se Quedan) played at the Guadalajara International Film Festival.  Lets hope it also shows in the United States.  We need to see it. 

See blog post from LA Times "La Plaza."

DREAM Act Details

From the politicalscoop.blogspot.com:

DREAM Act Bills - 

The Senate Bill is S. 729.

The House Bill is H.R. 1751.

As of this post, the Senate bill has 7 co-sponsors, and the House bill has 9.
----
Immigration Impact Blog - Immigration Policy Center

For Immediate Release

DREAM Act Introduction Shows Political Muscle for Immigration Reform
Legalizing Young Immigrants Would Boost the U.S. Economy

March 27, 2009

Washington, DC - Yesterday, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act; while Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced a House version of the bill called the "American Dream Act." Both pieces of bipartisan legislation would permit a limited number of undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years. The following is a statement by Angela Kelley, Director of the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) in Washington, DC.

"With yesterday's bipartisan introduction of the DREAM Act, the House and Senate delivered yet another signal that the political tide for immigration reform is getting stronger. The bill seeks to remedy the predicament of a specific group of undocumented children who are blocked from realizing their full potential. By providing a path to U.S. citizenship, the DREAM Act would allow these children to pursue a higher education and contribute fully to our economy.

As the IPC noted in a 2007 study, Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams, legal status brings fiscal, economic, and labor-market benefits to individual immigrants, their families, and U.S. society in general by permitting qualified children to pursue post-secondary education. The combination of legal status and a college education would allow DREAM Act students to earn significantly higher incomes than those with only a high-school diploma, contribute more in taxes, and have more money to spend and invest. Currently, this wasted talent imposes economic and emotional costs on undocumented students and on U.S. society as a whole.

The DREAM Act is a smart step that maximizes the talent and potential of children who were brought here by their parents, were educated in our schools, and are ready to contribute to America's future. Still, the bill is only part of the answer. Congress must tackle the tough problem and resolve the status of the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in this country. Only a comprehensive approach will help get our economy back on its feet, restore the rule of law, and uphold our values as a land of fairness and opportunity."

More Information from the Immigration Policy Center:
Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams: The Lost Potential of Undocumented Students (Report)
"Congress Flexes Muscle for Broader Immigration Reform with DREAM Act" (Blog Post)

###
For press inquiries contact:
Wendy Sefsaf, 202-631-0358(cell) or email wsefsaf@ailf.org
Andrea Nill, 202-507-7520 (office), or email anill@ailf.org

Latest from Citizen Orange on the DREAM Act



FIVE Actions You Can Take for the DREAM Act:

If everyone could take the following actions, and get others to see them as well by digging, stumbling, redditing, mixxing:



Give it a thumbs up on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon) too!

1. CALL - The National Council of La Raza has a page to help you call your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.
http://capwiz.com/nclr/callalert/index.tt?alertid=12988601

2. FAX - America's Voice has a page to help you fax your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.
http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/speakout/DaretoDream

3. EMAIL - Change.org has a page to help you email your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.
http://www.change.org/ideas/932/view_action/ask_your_congressperson_to_support_the_dream_act

4. PETITION - Dreamactivist.org has the official petition in support of the DREAM Act.
http://dreamact2009.com/

5. TEXT - Text "Justice" ("Justicia" for Spanish) to 69866 to be the first to know when the DREAM Act is introduced. FIRM's Mobile Action Network is an excellent way to stay connected and have maximum impact at just the right moment.
http://fairimmigration.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/action-join-the-fight-for-immigrant-rights/
link to Citizen Orange post

Keeping Healthy: Looking for Salicylates

London Independent:

"Fruit and vegetables are known to have high levels of salicylates, which are also the active anti-inflammatory ingredient of aspirin. Vegetarians meanwhile are known to have low rates of cancer, as well as having higher levels of salicylates in their bodies."


--
Anti-cancer benefits of fruit and veg are underlined
London Independent
By Chris Green

Friday, 27 March 2009

The salicylates in fruit and vegetables may in fact play a bigger role in protecting against cancer than the antioxidants on which research has focused until now

A diet high in fruit and vegetables, especially organically grown ones, may protect against cancer and heart disease and could be equivalent in this respect to taking a low dose of aspirin every day, scientists say.

Fruit and vegetables are known to have high levels of salicylates, which are also the active anti-inflammatory ingredient of aspirin. Vegetarians meanwhile are known to have low rates of cancer, as well as having higher levels of salicylates in their bodies.

The conventionally grown fruit and vegetables treated with pesticides that are found on many supermarket shelves have lower levels of salicylates than those grown organically.

A review of the possible link between cancer prevention and this substance found in aspirin, published in the medical journal The Lancet, says many herbs and spices are also especially rich in salicylates. This could explain international differences in cancer rates, the study said.

The salicylates in fruit and vegetables may in fact play a bigger role in protecting against cancer than the antioxidants on which research has focused until now, the researchers say...
complete article


DREAM Act: There is no Us and Them




Senator Dick Lugar's Press Release on Introduction of the DREAM Act
--
OpenCongress Blog feed
DREAM Act Coming Up Again
March 24, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

It looks like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) is going to reintroduce the DREAM Act early next week. It’s a controversial piece of legislation that would grant temporary residency for graduating high-school students who are immigrants and have not obtained legal permanent residency. To be eligible, students: had to enter the country as children; have been living in America for five years; and agree to attend college or enter military service. Students who comply would be granted a six-year temporary residency, which would be dependent on completion of a two-year degree and or military service. If they obtain the degree or fulfill the military service requirement, without violating other regulations, they would earn permanent residency.

Proponents of the bill argue current immigration law does not adequately address the problem of children who are living in America illegally, and that coupling permanent residency with college or military service ensures applicants are contributing to society.

Last year, the DREAM Act fell eight votes short of cloture in the Senate (see Donny’s detailed post for more). As with several other pieces of legislation in the 111th Congress, however, this time around the bill has a supporter in the White House. President Barack Obama helped to pass similar legislation while in the Illinois state legislature, and has voiced support for the federal legislation on the campaign trail.

Critics contend the legislation would spend federal money on undocumented immigrants at the expense of American citizens, and that the bill would encourage illegal immigration. They also argue that citizens and residents would be forced to compete with undocumented immigrants for spots in college and university classes.

The education factor is a big one — while the legislation does not appropriate funds for students, it would enable eligible immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at schools in some states. According to the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, 65,000 undocumented immigrants in America graduate high school each year.

Of course, OpenCongress will have full text of the legislation as soon as it becomes available.
link to complete post