Monday, February 27, 2012

Noncitizen veterans protest possible deportation to Mexico

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
February 18, 2012

Brothers Manuel and Valente Valenzuela still don their dress blue military uniforms with the ramrod-straight posture from their Vietnam War days. Manuel, a former Marine, carried out rescue missions. Valente, an Army soldier, was wounded and received a Bronze Star.

The brothers, both in their 60s, are now waging a legal battle against an unexpected foe: the U.S. government. They are trying to stop the country they served from deporting them to Mexico.

On Saturday, they took their protest to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they marched in a demonstration that mixed solemn defiance with unabashed patriotism. [...]

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Apology Ceremony That We Need to Publicize

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.,
Feruary 16, 2012

On February 26th, a ceremony is to take place in California apologizing to the approximately 400,000 people of Mexican ancestry who were deported from the USA in a spate of ethnic cleansing that gripped the USA during the Depression. What is at stake in this ceremony is not only the apology but what it says about racism and ethnic cleansing in times of economic crisis.

Approximately two million people of Mexican ancestry were deported from the USA during the Depression. This was not only Mexican nationals, but Chicanos as well, i.e., US citizens of Mexican ancestry. This was a blatant example of ethnic cleansing taking place in the USA which destroyed families and exiled family members, in some cases indefinitely. [...]

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Also at:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Arizona Sheriff Facing Long Odds After Gay Outing

By the Associated Press, via New York Times
February 18, 2012

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu built a reputation as a rising, conservative star by taking a hardline stance against illegal immigration, attacking the Obama administration and appearing alongside Sen. John McCain in a 2010 re-election ad in which McCain urged federal officials to just "complete the danged fence."

But, on Saturday, Babeu's conservative image took a beating as he was forced to confirm publicly that he is gay and was involved in a relationship with a Mexican immigrant who claims the sheriff threatened to have him deported if he revealed their relationship. [...]

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Read articles from the Phoenix New Times, which broke the story:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Report: "Enforcement-Only" Immigration Strategy Still an Utter Disaster

The result has been undermining human rights, devastating families and communities, hurting local economies and placing unnecessary burdens on all Americans.

By Michele Waslin, AlterNet
February 7, 2012

Federal immigration enforcement resources have increased significantly in recent years, as have the number of deportations. Meanwhile, states have passed harsh immigration laws intended to crack down on unauthorized immigrants. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced that he supports a policy of “self-deportation.” What do these things have in common? The belief that making daily life miserable for undocumented immigrants will result in “self-deportation”—or “attrition through enforcement.” A new paper out of the Immigration Policy Center connects the dots between the strategy of “attrition through deportation” and federal and state anti-immigrant proposals and explains how attrition through enforcement has gone from being a catchy phrase coined by immigration restrictionists to a frightening reality in many parts of the U.S. [...]

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To access the report:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Immigrants laud their victory over feds in New Haven raid case

By Mary E. O’Leary, New Haven Register
February 15, 2012

NEW HAVEN — One of the immigrant recipients of a government settlement in a deportation suit summoned up the win in poetic terms Wednesday, while several speakers remembered those still jailed around the country in similar situations.

“This is a beautiful dawn after a dark evening,” said Washington Colala, as he thanked his lawyers and other supporters in a press conference at the Wilson Library that was called to celebrate the $350,000 settlement and end of deportation proceedings for 11 men. [...]

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Border Photos Show on the Border Wall Itself

La Prensa San Diego
February 10, 2012

Border Wall, Mexicali, Baja California Norte February 2 through April 30 “Beyond Borders” — photographs by David Bacon

The photographs hang on the Mexican side, next to the lanes where traffic lines up, waiting to cross into the U.S.

On February 2, the Center for Cultural Investigation of the Autonomous University of Baja California mounted an exhibition of 18 large photographs, taken by photographer David Bacon, on the border wall, next to the garita, or gate, between Mexicali, in Mexico, and Calexico, in the United States. The photographs, which measure about 6′ by 4′, hang on the steel beams that make up the wall in the section of the border that lies between the two cities. They hang on the Mexican side, next to the lanes where traffic lines up, waiting to cross into the U.S. At times, hundreds of cars spend over an hour in the lines, giving drivers ample opportunity to look at and react to the images. [...]

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Enemy Alien" Screenings in CA, Toronto, OR

a Palestinian activist’s fight for freedom draws a Japanese American filmmaker into confrontation with detention regimes of past and present.

“ that is what I call a ‘real’ documentary. An exposé of the first order.” -- Satsuki Ina, director, Children of the Camps & From a Silk Cocoon

"Enemy Alien is a must-see documentary! The filmmaker crosses boundaries and prison walls to tell the story of this peaceful Palestinian freedom fighter…a powerful and often scary real-life tale of the shared struggle between Japanese Americans and Muslim Americans." --Basim Elkarra, Executive Director, CAIR-Sacramento

Documentary, 2011, 82 minutes
A project of Life or Liberty
Directed by Konrad Aderer

Films of Remembrance
A one-day film series held in conjunction with the Bay Area Day of Remembrance
Monday, Feb. 20
Japantown, San Francisco

Screening to be followed by video chat discussion with the Enemy Alien director Konrad Aderer.

No One Is Illegal
March 16
Palmerston Library
Toronto, Ontario

The film is an official selection of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, screening as the Saturday night feature on
April 28, at the Bijou Theater in Eugene, Oregon.

The film was also just screened Sunday, February 12, at World Community Film Festival, produced by CoDevelopment Canada, sponsored by the Canada Palestine
Support Network (CanPalNet), in Vancouver, Canada.

Enemy Alien, a first-person documentary, is the gripping story of the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a gentle but indomitable Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Told through the eyes of the filmmaker, the grandson of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, this documentary takes on unprecedented intimacy and historical resonance.

As the filmmaker confronts his own family legacy of incarceration, his involvement in the current struggle deepens. Resistance brings consequences: In retaliation for organizing a massive protest from inside detention, Farouk is beaten and locked in solitary confinement, and his American-born son Tarek is arrested in a counterterrorism investigation into the documentary itself.

Twitter: @enemyalien

Distributor, educational distribution & screenings: Third World Newsreel

The New York Observer‘Exigent Times’: Konrad Aderer’s Enemy Alien

Radio interviews with director Konrad Aderer:
Asia Pacific Forum, WBAI 99.5 NYC (6/27/2011)

Insight: Mike McGowan, Capital Public Radio KXJZ 90.9 Sacramento (2/18/2011)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ICE Agents Shoot Other ICE Agents in California

Killing at Long Beach federal building: Details emerge of co-worker dispute

By Amy Taxin and Greg Risling, Associated Press
February 18, 2012

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is praising two agents involved in a workplace shooting, one of whom killed a gun-wielding colleague in an effort to save the life of another agent.

"Both of these men came to work yesterday never imagining if they would literally be fighting for their lives, but that is exactly what in fact happened, and they were tested in a very dangerous way and showed incredible fortitude," ICE Director John Morton said Friday. [...]

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Occupying the Immigration Debate

If there's one thing we should have learned from the events of the past year -- from the Wisconsin protests to the Occupy Wall Street movement -- it's that we no longer have to let the one percent dictate our agenda.

By David L. Wilson. MRzine
February 14, 2012

People in the United States may not be as rabidly anti-immigrant as we've been led to believe.

An article posted on the Center for American Progress website in December, "The Public's View of Immigration," summarizes five recent U.S. opinion polls. Authors Philip E. Wolgin and Angela Maria Kelley find that while the media and the politicians frantically call for the mass deportation of "illegals," a majority of U.S. adults don't favor the idea of removing all 11 million of the country's unauthorized immigrants. And while immigrant rights advocates don't dare use the word "amnesty," the polls show a majority of the population supporting some form of legalization for many or most of the undocumented -- in other words, they support an amnesty. [...]

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Imprisoned Immigrant Dies in Hunger Strike

Lyvita Gomes Dies After Hunger Strike In Illinois Jail

Huffington Post
January 9, 2012

A woman who was being held in a suburban Chicago jail for missing a court appearance died Tuesday after going on a hunger strike.

Authorities are trying to locate the family of Lyvita Gomes, 52, who is originally from India but had been living in a Vernon Hills, Ill. hotel, the Associated Press reports. Gomes was arrested Dec. 14 after allegedly missing a court date, and began a hunger strike shortly after. [...]

Read the full article:

See also Times of India, January 29, 2012:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Students Step Up Tucson Walkouts

Protest School District Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment

by Jeff Biggers, Common Dreams
January 24, 2012

As the nation watches the Tucson Unified School District’s spiral into disarray, hundreds of students walked out of their Tucson schools Monday in a coordinated protest against the banishment of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.

Pouring into the downtown Tucson area from Pueblo, Cholla and Tucson high schools, among other institutions, the students brought their march to the offices of floundering Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) administrators. [...]

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Police Gang Tyrannized Latinos, Indictment Says

On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Sgt. John Miller and three of his officers — David Cari, Dennis Spaulding and Jason Zullo — on charges of conspiracy, false arrest, excessive force and obstruction of justice...

By Peter Applebome, New York Times
January 24, 2012

They were known as Miller’s Boys, police officers who worked the 4-to-midnight shift, patrolling the largely working-class town of East Haven, Conn., including the small but growing Hispanic community that has spread out in recent years from New Haven.

The officers were more than well known in that community; according to residents and federal authorities, they were feared. [...]

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

FNS: Fewer but deadlier border crossings

Frontera NorteSur
January 24, 2012

Migrant crossings and Border Patrol apprehensions of undocumented immigrants might be sharply down, but attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without the proper papers could be a much deadlier proposition than in the past.

Mexican consular reports reveal that while 369 Mexican nationals died during presumed border crossings in 2004- a year when much greater numbers of people were crossing the border- at least 310 still perished in 2011, a year the Border Patrol has classified as a historic low in terms of unauthorized crossings and detentions. [...]

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