Archive for immigration

Teen on hunger strike: "My mom [was] handcuffed, pushed into van" by 10 I.C.E. officers

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hunger strike immigration Cynthia Diaz teen

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Melissa Harris Perry interviewed hunger strike activist Cynthia Diaz, 18, who spoke out on the detention of undocumented immigrants, one of whom is her own mother. The hunger strike is taking place outside of the White House.

Her words and actions affected me deeply, as did Melissa Harris-Perry's:

DiazI am doing this hunger strike for my mom. She was unfairly deported in May, 2011. When I.C.E. raided our home, it was a Saturday morning, I was 15 at the time, and I have a younger brother who was 13. ...My dad's screaming out, "Cynthia, they're taking your mom!" I was confused because I didn't know what that meant and so I went to my front yard and there I saw ten I.C.E. officers all over my front yard and I saw my mom being handcuffed and pushed into a van.

And then the door shut and we were really confused.

My brother heard everything but he didn't leave his room because he didn't want to see what was happening.

That was really traumatizing for me because, like I said before, I was only 15 at the time...

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona... I have a brother and my dad who are U.S. residents, but I didn't know until they took my mom that, you know, she was undocumented.

MHP: So you're an american citizen. You have U.S. permanent residents in your family, and you have not eaten in days because you are trying to get your president and your government to let your mom out of detention. ...

Diaz: I talked to her last night. right now she's in San Luis, Arizona in, a private detention center. She does tell me that it's really cold there, the beds are really uncomfortable, the food is not pleasant at all.

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Letter compares "Illegal immigration" to Kevorkian's "second-degree murder"

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so-called illegal immigration rights sign
Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor include opposing views on "illegal immigration." If you can get through the first one, kudos; then please proceed to the second, because our voices matter:

Re "The GOP's 2016 handicap," Opinion, April 9 and "Jeb Bush calls immigration an 'act of love,'" April 8

Illegal immigration is an "act of love," says Jeb Bush. My foot it is.

Bush should tell that to those who obeyed the law to come to the United States, and to those around the world waiting to enter legally. They waited (or are waiting) patiently for years, even decades, to get their green cards, adhering to the much-maligned and supposedly "broken" immigration system.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, notorious for assisting more than 100 people with ending their lives, probably thought he was committing an "act of love" each time he helped someone commit suicide. But a jury of his peers convicted him of second-degree murder and sent him to prison.

As an independent voter, I respected Bush's political views and opinions, and would have considered voting for him had he not uttered those melodramatic words about immigration.

Rogelio Peña

Montebello

***

When I served in the state's National Guard, I had the honor and privilege of commanding a unit. We had several soldiers who were not citizens of this country. They were every bit as dedicated and reliable as the others.

I never once saw or heard any behavior by them that led me to believe their national loyalties lay elsewhere. In fact, I actually had been around citizen soldiers who weren't bashful about displaying Confederate symbols.

So I was disappointed to read about House Republicans who had harsh words for undocumented immigrants who have lived here since childhood and wanted to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) should be ashamed for telling the undocumented who want to serve their country that "we have a bus for you to Tijuana."

Anyone willing to put on the uniform and risk dying for this country deserves a chance at citizenship. King and others in Congress who think like him demonstrate why there should be term limits in Washington.

Kimberlyn Hearns

San Bernardino

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Not news: Republicans could slide even further with women, Latinos

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gop disaster zone republicans

Women and Latinos do not trust Republicans. Oops, sorry, Captain Obvious got hold of my keyboard again. But he's right, which is also obvious:

obvious

And those are only two of the most recent headlines. The GOP's history of misogyny and racism is appalling, and their efforts to deny their fellow human beings equal rights is disgusting.

Republicans have sworntogod that they want to broaden their appeal. Oh really? Well, if their relentless assault on women's reproductive rights, gay rights, voting rights, and their treatment of undocumented (and documented!) immigrants (or anyone else, for that matter) who don't look or sound like them is the barometer, then they're in deep trouble.

They're still saying exactly the same old thing about the same old things. Reed Galen, a GOP strategist in Orange County who also worked for Bush said, "If we want that number to grow, we have to find ways to talk to Latinos about the issues we all care about." How many Republicans have made identical comments? And how many have actually followed through, or even done the opposite? Exactly.

Remember their post-2012 election "autopsy"? That reinvention they keep promising... not so much. How's that reachy-outy, makeovery thing workin' for ya, GOP?

The Los Angeles Times takes it from here:

Donnelly, the GOP front-runner according to public opinion polls, has stood by his 2006 speech, delivered when he was leader in the volunteer Minuteman border-patrol organization. In it, he said illegal immigration would lead to a fight comparable to the Civil War. [...]

"I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war," Donnelly told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday, after reports of the speech caused an outcry. He said he did not believe the remarks would hurt his prospects among Latino voters.

See how they've changed?

The Pelosi flap on the new Breitbart CA website prompted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield to ask that his column be taken off the site.

Republican strategists said that while the imagery was "problematic," they viewed it as less significant than the immigration issue.

So the problems with their antiquated policies, views, and (mis)treatment of women are "less significant." Not right up there on their To Do list. Got it.

Keep up the good work, guys. If it weren't for dirty tricks and gerrymandering, they wouldn't stand a chance in 2014. And don't even get me started on the Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires...

UPDATE: New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line. 'Nuff said.

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GOP candidate Tim Donnelly: Breitbart CA site A-OK, undocumented immigrants are rapists, child molesters

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Former Minuteman and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia) speaks at a state Capitol rally in support of his legislation, AB-26, on April 4, 2011.

Meet conservative California GOP candidate for governor, Tim Donnelly. Actually, you'd be better off avoiding him. He's hoping to beat Gov. Jerry Brown. Good luck with that, Tim. Why? Well for one thing, per the Los Angeles Times, he's fine with his columns appearing in a new ultra-conservative website, one that features an appallingly controversial image:

Republican candidates for governor are using the website to publicize their platforms.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) wrote a column criticizing Democrats’ education policies, including a recent attempt in the Legislature to restore affirmative action to university admissions in California.

Donnelly said Monday he had not seen the Pelosi image, but he was happy to have his column gain a wide audience.

Here's the ABC headline describing Rep. Nancy Pelosi's reaction to the image: "Nancy Pelosi Says Breitbart-Altered Pic of Her Twerking Is ‘Tasteless.’"

Here's the image:

pelosi breitbart twerking

Gee, that's not at all sexist, completely offensive, and infantile. But the new Breitbart California site defended it, because, you know, Benghazi. Or Obamacare. Or sick and desperate. Or something.

Let's move on to the second L.A. Times article that goes into more detail about the real Tim Donnelly.

For starters, Tim Donnelly was a leader of the Minuteman organization, a group of militia men ("bigots and weekend warriors") that got off on patrolling the US-Mexico border. They "thought it should be legal to kill illegals."

In a speech a few years back, Donnelly described undocumented immigrants as "an insurgency," and compared crossing the border to war.

Note to Donnelly: "Illegal aliens" is a slur. These are people, and people are not illegal. Their acts may or may not be, but they are human beings, not "illegals." Tim Donnelly, in his own words:

"Right now, in the United States of America, there are 850,000 gang members, two-thirds of whom are illegal aliens," he said. [...]

In the 2006 speech, Donnelly painted an alarming picture of illegal immigrants' effect on the United States. They have caused the destruction of schools, the bankruptcy of hospitals forced to provide them free medical care and led the government to abandon its citizens, he said, asserting that the country was on the brink of a battle similar to the Civil War.

The notion that illegal immigrants come to this nation for a better life "is one of the lies," he said. "At least 20% are coming to commit the crimes that American criminals will no longer commit."

He paused as the crowd laughed, then continued: "Of that 20%, how many are rapists? How many are murderers? How many are child molesters? And how many are terrorists? We don't know."

"Crimes that American criminals will no longer commit"? What, American bad guys started boycotting certain crimes? They look down their noses on some criminal acts as beneath them, do they? Certain ones have fallen into disfavor, have they?

Here's the real crime: Everything he said, plus the crowd's disgusting response. I wonder if any of his audience members might have been rapists or child molesters? Oh, sorry, my bad. It was likely a monochromatic group (read: white), and we all know white people don't commit despicable acts like those.

He's all yours, GOP. By the way, how's that outreach thing workin' for ya?

You can read more about him at the link if you can stomach it.

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Cover-up: Border agents created pretext to shoot Mexicans

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cover up 2 cover-up

What's that saying again? Oh yeah: The cover-up is worse than the crime... or as in this case, at least as bad. The Los Angeles Times is reporting on border patrol agents who purposely got in the way of oncoming cars in order to justify using deadly force against Mexican drivers. And then U.S. Customs and Border Protection kept their violent little activities hush-hush... from Congress.

The law enforcement experts who wrote up a review of dozens of cases recommended that agents should be trained "to get out of the way… as opposed to intentionally assuming a position in the path of such vehicles." Ordinarily, law enforcement agencies make use-of-force policies public, but not in this case.

And to make matters worse, per Mexican authorities, U.S. border agents who kill Mexicans "are rarely disciplined and the results of investigations are not made pubic for years." According to the Times, the authors said that border agents would stand right there in the road so they could shoot drivers who were trying to avoid arrest. These drivers "posed no direct lethal threat to them or others." Welcome to the U.S.A.:

Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.

The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which had commissioned the review, has tried to prevent the scathing 21-page report from coming to light.

House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them [...]

The [internal] response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can't cause serious physical injury.

Meanwhile, in Arizona:

Border-area residents, upset with what they called an increased militarized presence in their community, began an effort Wednesday to monitor Border Patrol actions at a federal immigration checkpoint about 25 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona.

Organizers with a humanitarian aid group called People Helping People in the Border Zone have called on the Border Patrol to remove the checkpoint in Amado, a town of about 300 people. Some residents say they have to deal with unnecessary delays, harassment and sometimes abuse at the checkpoint.

welcome

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To anti-immigration groups, this one's for you: Immigrant church feeds families in need

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ImmigrationNCMealsw396h214

Check this out, a simply beautiful video that challenges what the usual staunch opponents of immigration reform want you to believe about immigrants. Bummer for all those conservatives who refer to immigrants as "illegals" and who oppose a pathway to citizenship. Why? Because if this is what they oppose, they're even bigger hypocrites and more tone deaf than we thought, and that should go over real well in November:

"We came here, not just to lift ourselves up economically, but also enrich the community."

"It's like a family reunion going on..."

"It doesn't matter what country we're from or what language we speak."

"I feel good when people leave happy."

Uniting NC:

A small Spanish-speaking immigrant church in North Carolina is doing all they can to make life better for everyone around them. Every week members of the church, many struggling to get by themselves, come out to cook a hot meal and distribute groceries for the week to local families in need. In the process, they've created a beautiful community.

http://www.unitingnc.org/
http://www.durhamchurchnc.org/emanuel/

Wait what? This is happening in-- dun dun dun-n-n!--North Carolina? Yes, despite the GOP's best efforts to screw up that lovely state, indeed it is.

Remember when those on the right insisted that we don't need no stinkin' tax increases, Affordable Care Act, or food stamps, because, they claimed, everyone should fend for themselves? Charities and churches will gladly take care of those in need, they said. Well, no, we said, not at the humungous scale necessary, that would be unrealistic. More like impossible.

However, on a much smaller scale, communities can make a difference, in this case a diverse community in which not everybody even *gasp!* speaks the same language. A little generosity can not only bring people together, but as we see here, provide food for families who need a boost, served with a side order of pride and friendship . A real live win-win.

See, conservatives? That's called-- What's that catchy little right wing phrase again? Oh yeah-- family values.

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AUDIO-- Rep. Paul Broun: Georgia will only go Democratic if "all these illegal aliens" get to vote

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so-called illegals immigration rights signPhoto via

Note: Apparently the audio code is messed up, so please follow the link below for audio.

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said the following on a local radio show, via the Hill:

"It only helps the Democrats if we legalize all these illegal aliens in this country who the Democrats want to put on federal welfare programs, and actually they're on federal welfare programs today. The Democrats want to make them all basically dependent on the federal government so they can continue their radical, big government agenda. They want to get people so that they're looking to for bigger and bigger government.

"The only way Georgia's going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia, give them the right to vote. It would be morally wrong, it would be illegal to do so, under our current law. Actually, all these illegal aliens are getting federal largesse and taking taxpayers' dollars. And that's the only way that this state is going to become Democratic again, in the next number of decades."

One: Hey Paul Broun, they are not "illegal aliens," they are people. People who are trying to make it. People with families. People who pay taxes. People who scrub other people's toilets and take care of other people's kids. People who are kids themselves, trying to get an education so they can contribute to society responsibly, unlike yourself. People who scare the crap out of you, because without their votes, you and what's left of your party are toast.

Two: STFU.

Three: If you, Paul Broun, are fundraising off of this kind of disgraceful disparagement, then it is you who is the moocher, the taker, benefiting politically on the backs of those who are struggling to make a better life for themselves. Without them, this country's economy would sink. By the way, genius, check out the image at the top of this post.

Here are all our Paul Broun posts if you want to read more about this brainless, soulless, compassion-less, racist ignoramus.

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