Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Show me your papers" - Arizona

In allowing the notorious "show me your papers" provision of Arizona's SB 1070 bill, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively supports the rollback of rights and protections that have been long fought for and honored in this country -- specifically,  the freedom from racial discrimination. Importantly, the Court struck down the other three provisions that had been challenged in the case.
Ruling on whether or not the "show me your papers" provision (Section 2B) "pre-empted" federal authority in immigration, the highest court in the country decided it was "premature" to block it. However, we are alarmed that this provision, very much the heart of SB 1070, can only be implemented through racial profiling.
The provision requires state and local law enforcement to determine the immigration status of any person lawfully stopped, detained or arrested whenever there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person may be undocumented, and to verify that person's status with the federal government.
As an Arizona community leader has pointed out, "and we know what 'reasonable suspicion' is: brown skin."
Although the ruling left open the potential for legal challenges on the implementation of the law, we are deeply concerned, in the meantime, about the rights and protections of our communities in Arizona. Already, it has been the practice of police in the Tucson sector to "hold" people they have stopped for 20 minutes until they can make contact with a federal agent - not a problem given that there are literally thousands of Border Patrol agents constantly milling around, particularly with the decrease in cross border migration. This practice will undoubtedly increase the number of immigrants who are being detained and deported simply because they were driving their children to school, going to a grocery store, or just going about their daily lives.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Soy #132- Mexico

Supreme Court blocks some of Arizona SB 1070

 The U.S. Supreme court today struck down most provisions of the Arizona law SB 1070 while sustaining one of its most controversial provisions.
The court sustained the “show me your papers” provision of the law that requires state law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.
The most conservative members of the court voted to sustain the entire law.  Imagine this.  Judges who consider themselves conservative support a law that requires all persons to carry papers to show their immigration/citizenship status.   This is a practice most often found in repressive regimes such as that of Syria or Nazi Germany.
The decision was a partial victory for the Obama administration, which had sued to block several parts of the law.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coup in Paraguay - it matters

What Will Washington Do About Fernando Lugo's Ouster in

    This hasty, trumped-up impeachment of President
    Lugo amounts to a coup d'etat. The US must back
    democratic process

by Mark Weisbrot
Friday June 22, 2012

Paraguay's president, former Catholic bishop Fernando
Lugo, greeting the crowd after his swearing-in ceremony
in Asunción, in 2008. Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters
A coup d'etat is taking place right now, Friday
afternoon, in Paraguay.

That is how it has been described by a number of
neighboring governments. And the Union of South American
Nations (UNASUR) is treating it as such, taking it very
seriously. All 12 foreign ministers (including those of
Brazil and Argentina, who are deeply concerned) flew to
Asunción Thursday night to meet with the government, as
well as the opposition in Paraguay's Congress.

The Congress of Paraguay is trying to oust the
president, Fernando Lugo, by means of an impeachment
proceeding for which he was given less than 24 hours to
prepare and only two hours to present a defense. It
appears that a decision to convict him has already been
written, and will be presented Friday evening (at 20.30
GMT). It would be impossible to call this due process
under any circumstances, but it is also a clear
violation of Article 17 of Paraguay's constitution,
which provides for the right to an adequate defense.

Making decisions on electoral work

Here is a task I have engaged in.  Watch the Mitt Romney speech to NALEO on Thursday.  Read the Washington Post piece today on Bain Capital.  Then, watch Barack Obama’s speech to NALEO.  (NALEO- National Association of Latino Elected Officials).

Then, having done your homework, see if you can support the current general position on the left. – We should sit out this election.

BTW.  I have strong criticism of Obama’s policies on the economy.  My criticisms are based upon these readings.
The Economic Crisis
Gar Alperovitz, America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy.  (2005) John Wiley and Sons
 Baker, Dean.   Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy, (2009)
Bivens, Josh,  Failure by Design, The Story Behind America’s Broken Economy. 2011.
Engler, Mark. How to Rule the World: The coming battle over the Global Economy. (2008)
Frank, Thomas,  Pity the Billionaire: The Hard Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.  Metropolitan Books. 2012.
 Fox, Justin.  The Myth of the Rational Market: a History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street. (2009)

A new student movement emerges in Mexico

 Abigail Thorton
A nascent student group calling itself Yo Soy 132 (or I Am 132) held its second national march June 10, in protest of Mexican presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto. Estimates had the crowd numbers in Mexico City alone at over 90,000–almost double the estimated 46,000 that were present for the first march against the candidate in mid-May.
Much of the recent organizing in the country has been explicitly against the possible victory of Peña Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI by its Spanish initials, that is positioned to potentially return to power after 12 years out of the presidency and before that over 70 years in power. The PRI is considered by many to have been an authoritarian regime, and some Mexicans fear the possibility that with the return of the PRI, there could also be a rollback of freedoms in this still fledgling democracy.
Recent momentum and interest in what many had considered to be a lackluster presidential campaign has been credited to the development of this new student movement. At a campus visit by Peña Nieto to the Universidad Iberoamericana (known as the Ibero) on May 11, students at this private university surprised many by surrounding the conference and shouting accusations, questions and demands that the candidate leave the campus. Amidst this unexpected protest, Peña Nieto left abruptly, with students in pursuit. Videos of the scene were quickly uploaded to various social media networks, and images of the candidate fleeing the campus immediately went viral.
The Americas Program

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Developments in the immigrants' rights arena

Last Friday, President Obama announced he would grant "deferred action" on deportation to certain young immigrants eligible under specific guidelines for a two-year period. While we welcome this decision, we also recognize its limitations in scope and implementation. Some immigrant youth will have much-needed reprieve, but countless others in our communities will continue to fall through the net. Our struggle continues. Several key developments in recent months - from the SCOTUS hearing on SB 1070 to Alabama's HB 658 to the new Border Patrol strategy - illustrate the challenges that we continue to face as diverse communities and as a movement for rights, justice and dignity of all people. We hope you'll join us in this journey as we continue to affirm the need to offer real opportunities for adjustment of status, a generous legalization program that upholds our humanity and respects our dignity.
Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 expected  

Later this month, the Supreme Court is slated to announce their final ruling on Arizona's anti-immigrant racial profiling law, SB 1070. What does this mean for our communities and how will we respond? We have compiled a few key resources to help make sense of it all.  Read more... 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sisyphus Chicano Style

Abandonment or Struggle
Rodolfo F. Acuña

When asked what I have learned from writing about Arizona and what is going to happen in the future, I feel like the legendary king of Corinth immortalized by Albert Camus’ essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” You remember the guy who was condemned for eternity to roll a rock up a hill.  Every time he felt that he was making progress, the giant rock rolled back to where he started. 

The moral of the story, according to Camus, is the absurdity of thinking we can learn the meaning of life.  This absurdity compels us to turn to religion for answers -- religious faith supposedly tells us the meaning of life without us having to find the answer for ourselves. It gives us faith that we can roll the rock up the hill even though it keeps rolling back.

For over forty-three years I have been pushing a rock called Chicana/o Studies, obsessed with the notion that we as a community can push the rock to the top of the hill. Chicana/o Studies would give a greater number of us access to knowledge that would free and enable us to solve the contradictions of American society. 

Instead of reaching the top, the rock has become heavier and it has slipped back to where we started in 1969. Still we believe that we can reach the top of the hill despite the size of the rock. Truth be told, it would be easier to leave the rock behind and “make it in my own.” 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

National Network IRR on the change in Immigration Policy

We Welcome Promise to Stop the Deportation of (Some) Young Immigrants
Safety and Security for All Immigrants Still a Dream
We welcome President Obama’s decision to stop the deportations of over a million immigrant youth who may be eligible under terms described today. We hope this will be a first step towards ending the punishment of all undocumented immigrants and the separation of families.
We congratulate the tens of thousands of youths, their families, friends and allies who have fought for over a decade for relief from deportation, initially through the proposal of the “DREAM Act” and more recently with calls for an executive order by President Obama. Without a doubt, the very visible actions of undocumented youth and students in recent years “coming out” as undocumented, and leading nationwide actions and mobilizations, has been critical to this evolution of policy. Only yesterday, the TIME magazine cover story focused on young undocumented immigrants: “We are Americans – Just not legally.”
Not lost is the fact that Obama’s announcement comes as news polls are showing that Latino voters may not be as eager to cast their vote for him this November as they overwhelmingly did in 2008. The news also comes as we await the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB1070 -- a ruling expected to further bolster state-level policing and racial profiling of immigrants.

The Importance of Mexican American Studies- Acuña

Mexican American Studies :A Pedagogy
Not Sociology
Rodolfo F. Acuña

We have allowed the uninformed and ignorant to define what Mexican American Studies is. Every time I discuss the subject I feel as frustrated as a scientist trying to explain science to a creationist. No matter how well you know the field those who do not want to believe will distort your words to fit their preconceptions and belief system.

As I have explained, MAS or Chicana/o Studies is not sociology. MAS has courses in sociology that examine the MAS corpus of knowledge but MAS does not belong to the field of sociology.  If it were just sociology, it could be reduced to one or two courses on race.

MAS is a strategy that incorporates multi-disciplines. The truth be told, if the academy had cared about Latinos, which are the second largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world, it would have hired specialists to explore the role of Mexican Americans and other Latinos in the United States.

If this had happened Latino courses would be integrated organically within departments. But consequent to the racism in higher education this field of study has been ignored. Even today, most academic departments do not offer a single MAS or Latino course or employ a single Latino faculty member.

Incredible but most schools of education have not developed courses on how to teach or counsel Latino students. This is criminal since I would not expect, no matter how good she is, an optometrist to perform open heart surgery.
{ed. note.  Including CSU-Sacramento since the end of Bilingual Education Dept.}