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Preview: Man Eegee's Latino Politico

Man Eegee

Fighting Nativism and Promoting Human Rights since 2005

Updated: 2017-09-07T18:02:38.270-07:00


President Obama's 2008 Immigration Promises


It's been nearly four years to the day that The Sanctuary released its responses to the 36 item questionnaire that was sent out to numerous campaigns at the federal, state and local level in 2008.

Only one candidate ever responded to us:  Barack Obama
The questions were developed through many conversations and emails among the editorial board of this site at the time; activists who I continue to admire for standing up for the basic principles of human rights and decency, cultivating a better future.

As now-President Obama stated in his renomination speech a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte:  "The times have changed and so have I".  This rings true for this site and the promigrant blogosphere of the 2008 era, but the constant thread woven through years of online activism on behalf of all peoples regardless of legal status is this:  politics is not a game.

For some, sure.  And they receive deserved mocking.  But to the families and young people that we advocate for and proudly follow when led, this fight is at its core a matter of life and death.  That's why its important to know where the candidates stand on issues important to promigrant communities.

Mitt Romney has already made his stance clear.  He favors self-deportation.

President Barack Obama?  His answers from 2008 are available in full at The Sanctuary.

The questions I posted there are: How would you rate his first-term immigration record based on his promises made in 2008?  And what must we do to hold him and his Administration accountable should they be granted a second term?

Arizona DREAMers Get In-State Tuition Green Light


Great news that will be sure to cause temper tantrums among the fools in charge of the Grand Canyon State:
Young undocumented immigrants who receive work permits through President Barack Obama's deferred-action program will be eligible to pay lower in-state tuition, Maricopa Community Colleges officials said Wednesday.

The decision goes against the wishes of Gov. Jan Brewer but could benefit potentially thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the Valley who under state law are now barred from paying in-state tuition.

Young undocumented immigrants who receive work permits through the program will be able to use those documents to prove they are lawfully residing in the state, the main requirement to receive in-state tuition, said Tom Gariepy, a spokesman for the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Arizona Republic

A final determination is still pending from the Board of Regents that oversees the three major public universities whether or not the deferred action documents will be usable for residency requirements.  According to the article, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona list federal documents as acceptable but there is a gray area regarding Northern Arizona University.

Either way, it looks like new avenues of educational opportunity are opening up to migrant youth.

Even in Arizona.

Moving the Fulcrum


President Obama announced a change to immigration policy last week that is intended to ease the deportation fears of up to one million migrant youth living in the United States.  In his speech he said:
In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places.

So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history. Today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years.

OBAMA: We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education. And today deportation of criminals is up 80 percent.

Washington Post
This is a step in the right direction, but after 3 1/2 years of increased raids and, yes, deportations of "students who are earning their education", it's no surprise that this news is met with skepticism.  Optimistic skepticism, but still skepticism.  Why?  For every single instance of deportation, those of us with family members, friends and colleagues caught in the broken immigration system's net have a tragic story attached to it.  Here's an example:
Henry Roche, a 26 year old resident of New Orleans faces the devastating reality of being removed from his family and deported to Guatemala in less than one week. Despite having lived in New Orleans for the past 6 years, ICE sees Henry and his family simply as a deportation case. They believe that separating his family and sending Henry back to Guatemala, the country where Henry and his family had faced acts of violence, extortion and a real concern for their safety, is justified as a moral action to be taken.

After being followed and threatened again by local criminals in Guatemala and experiencing the failed action of the local police to address the reports that he and his family had filed, Henry decided to take his dreams of becoming a dentist and join his family in the US. Henry’s family came to New Orleans to seek refuge and reunite with their relatives who have resided in New Orleans for over 36 years serving our country in the US military. A graduate of accounting from Guatemala, Henry came to the US to join his family and develop a better and safer life for himself.

It will be interesting to see the shift in the U.S. public's attitudes toward immigration reform now that the President has started making moves to ease restrictions instead of engaging in mass-expulsions.  Those of us who have been around the block for awhile know that the traditional media has done an improved job of storytelling and elevating the human face to the situation, it's refreshing to see the political world recall their ganas and follow suit. 

The only way the DREAM Act or any other type of immigration reform will be made possible is to change the politics of the debate.  The migrant rights community knows, however, that there is a bipartisan drought in courage.  We remember that 5 Democrats voted against DREAM, while 3 Republicans voted for it.  Math is math, and with the rampant cloture abuse in the Senate, the number that matters is 60 regardless of which side of the aisle gets us there.

Latino Vote - Latino Voice 2012 Survey


It's that time of the decade again when EEUU elects a President. As grassroots/netroots organizing kicks in to high gear, it's finally becoming evident to the PowersThatBe that latin@ voters are only going to grow our percentage of the electorate, so it's probably a good idea to figure out what's important to us.

While the trends will vary depending on region and ancestral homeland, these fact-finding missions can only bring about better communication between voters and elected congresscritters: a good thing. Here's one initiative that I'm supporting this cycle, brought to my attention by longtime blogmiga, Kety Esquivel, who's presenting at the Hispanicize 2012 conference right now in Miami, FL.
The Votifi platform is about connecting people based on the issues that matter to them. Our community is confronted with a number of issues and as we flex our collective muscles in the American political process I share the views of Votifi Founder Lou Aronson that as the people grow more connected to each other the elected officials will come to them.
Here is the link to Votifi's Latino Vote - Latino Voice 2012 Survey.

If you're of mocha/indigenous tendencies, please fill it out.


My Computer's New Wallpaper



(image) Now he can spend more time palling around with his National Alliance friends.

In an apparent rebuke to his hard-line politics, Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce was recalled by voters Tuesday. Senator Pearce was the author of the state's tough anti-illegal immigration law that has spawned copycat laws in several states from Utah to Alabama.

Senator Pearce's crusade against illegal immigration made him a national icon but ultimately factored into his historic recall.

His defeat, at the hands of political novice Jerry Lewis, puts a different face on Arizona and signals that voters are ready to take state politics in a new direction, says Bruce Merrill, a political scientist and professor emeritus at Arizona State University in Tempe.

“Most Arizonans are pretty moderate, and I think they just got tired of all of the venom and all of the bitterness,” he says. “It really became more – to some degree – that Russell Pearce was somewhat of an embarrassment.”


AZ Senator Points Loaded Gun at Journalist


Jared Loughner would be proud:

A state lawmaker known for championing the rights of gun-owners pointed a loaded firearm at the chest of a reporter during a recent interview at the Capitol.

Republican Sen. Lori Klein was showing off her raspberry-pink handgun when she aimed it at a journalist who was interviewing her in the lounge just outside the Senate chambers.
According to the story that was published Sunday in the Arizona Republic, Klein's .380 Ruger was loaded and did not have a safety to keep the gun from going off.

But Klein told the reporter, Richard Ruelas, that he didn't need to worry because, "I just didn't have my hand on the trigger."

Arizona Guardian

Imagine if it was the other way around?

Vargas Story Built on Foundation of DREAMs


Earlier this week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas announced to the world that he is an undocumented immigrant.The full article is worth a read as it tells his story in a way that captures the complexity of the brokenness of the immigration system. It's honest in describing his struggle to understand why identity is so tied to citizenship by mainstream thinking (it shouldn't be) as well as the help he's received from mentors to maintain his secret. Vargas then channels all of it to pushing the political debate to a more sane and just conversation.But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me. Last year I read about four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act, a nearly decade-old immigration bill that would provide a path to legal permanent residency for young people who have been educated in this country. At the risk of deportation — the Obama administration has deported almost 800,000 people in the last two years — they are speaking out. Their courage has inspired me.NYTimes.comThe students mentioned were the walkers involved with the Trail of Dreams project: Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Carlos Roa and Juan Rodriguez. They, along with countless other DREAMers across the country, have spent the past few years dragging the political establishment kicking and screaming toward justice for migrant youth through passage of the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.Watching and supporting the DREAMers in action has been a personal education for me as a migrant/human rights advocate because it has taught me the humbling lesson of privilege that I possess as a U.S.-born citizen.When I started blogging in early 2005, there was little information (at least at the sites that I visited), with respect to the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border region and the racial profiling of Latinos. I felt an obligation to share my experience as a mestizo who always conveniently got extra attention from law enforcement; plus it also allowed me to celebrate my indigenous culture that was & is under assault by a 21st Century Conquistador Mentality.Last summer, the DREAMactivists began organizing a series of civil disobedience acts to raise the political stakes on lawmakers who deserved the heat. Senator McCain, who has betrayed his former colleague and friend Senator Kennedy with lunacy, had his office taken over with a sit-in. I attended the vigil outside of the Pima County Jail on the night of the students' arrest but was able to drive four minutes back to my comfortable home and life after it was over.The DREAMers don't have that luxury; nor can they afford to wait for the political establishment to grudgingly toss them crumbs of justice. National migrant advocacy groups and allied lawmakers have resisted the leadership that the students have provided. Rep. Luis Gutierrez called their tactics a waste of time as recently as last November, yet he is seen as their biggest advocate in the House. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid was pressured at Netroots Nation in 2010 by the scariest sight to any lawmaker afraid of a mustard seed-worth of political courage: students in cap and gowns.In the words of Matias Ramos, one of the silent protestors:Yahaira, Lizbeth, Prerna and I understand the political gridlo[...]

Friday Basset Hound Blogging


(image) Apologies for sleeping on the job the past few months

Georgia Peaches Rotting on the Vine


From the department of Be Careful What You Wish For:
After enactment of House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

The resulting manpower shortage has forced state farmers to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Atlanta Journal Constitution
To point out the obvious, racism has played a heavy role in the crackdown as the demographics of the South shift to a more mestizo hue. Just ask U.S. citizen Marie Justeen Mancha.

Eric Griego Scores PCCC Endorsement


(image) The Progressive Change Campaign Committee issued its first endorsement of the election cycle to New Mexico State Senator Eric Griego, who is running for the District 1 spot in the Land of Enchantment. The seat is being vacated by fellow Democrat Martin Heinrich as he makes a run for an open Senate seat in 2012.

PCCC's mission "works to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office and to help those candidates and their campaigns save money, work smarter, and win more often. We also advocate for bold leadership on the most important and pressing causes."

The endorsement of Eric Griego falls in line with that mission and philosophy. In his campaign announcement, Griego calls out the broken and failed policies of the conservative movement that has crashed the country into our current deficit ditch. He is filling a void in the political debate that openly advocates for government to have a role in the life & livelihood of the people. Grover Norquist's bathtub won't be drowning anyone's dreams if Griego is elected.

Via the New Mexico Independent
“The conservative Republicans running the U.S. Congress have declared war on working families,” Griego said in a statement announcing his decision. “They want to privatize and ration Medicare for seniors, gut Medicaid for the most vulnerable children and families, and change the promise of retirement with dignity for Americans who have worked their whole lives. We need a Congressman to be their voice and champion on Capitol Hill.”
Griego is a politician who comes from the non-profit world of grassroots social advocacy. He is the Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which proves that he gets it that trickle-down economics is an utter failure. We need to put more people on the Hill that can generate a bottom-up demand for economic stability and justice for the working poor and middle class.

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PCCC reports that it raised $3 million in the 2010 election cycle and has set a goal of $3-$5 million for 2012. As of the writing of this post, they have raised $8K of the $10K preliminary goal for Griego's candidacy. You can help pitch in at this link.

Arizona's Continued Downward Spiral


When the AZGOP dropped SB1070 onto the heads of migrant and Latino communities, there were immediate calls for a boycott. Rep. Raúl Grijalva bravely joined the movement, putting his political future at risk but ultimately won his reelection in November 2010. Unfortunately, that election also saw a huge wave of conservatism sweep a veto-proof GOP supermajority into both the state House & Senate chambers. The agenda is now driven by the author of SB1070 himself, Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance), who was installed as Senate President in January. When Pearce took the reins, he declared that Arizona would have the country's first Tea Party Senate. A blog from Pearce picked up by the Sonoran Alliance website is signed “Russell Pearce…Tea Party Senate President-Elect.” He said in the blog, “I consider this to be the Tea Party Senate and we intend to take back America one state at a time.” - That threat - and it is a threat - is becoming reality. Yesterday, the state's Senate Appropriations Committee became the first in the nation to advance a repeal of birthright citizenship for a full vote. After a rocky start, the birthright legislation finally received committee approval on Feb. 22, overcoming the initial hurdle before the full Senate can debate and vote on the measure that is stirring so much raw emotion and is solidifying Arizona’s reputation as ground zero in the struggle to confront illegal immigration. By an 8-to-5 vote that hewed nearly along party lines, the Senate Appropriations Committee gave the green light to a two-bill proposal whose ultimate aim is to get the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the issue of American citizenship, though critics question whether the judiciary would actually answer this exact issue and not dismiss the legislation on some other grounds. - AZ Capitol Times Yesterday's hearing was packed with a passionate audience on both sides. Interestingly enough, the Chamber spoke out against the bill because they fear an even worse backlash than the one from SB1070, proving that the boycott is working. There's an opportunity to drive a wedge between them if an economic populist message starts entering the conversation as to why voters should reject the AZGOP's extremist agenda."Russell Pearce's vision for Arizona is killing jobs, etc etc" ...because it's clear that the moral argument falls on deaf ears in this state. Of course, it's vital that it continues to be made strongly, and it will. There's really no end in sight to what these Tea Party bigots have planned for the state. From banning race-based abortions to saving the republic from the threat of healthcare for the poor, it's no wonder that Baja Arizona is starting to organize a secession of its own. [...]

2011 Corazón de Justicia Award Recipients


This Friday evening, progressive grassroots groups will gather at Apollo Middle School to honor leaders in several categories for their work across southern Arizona. The annual Corazón de Justicia Awards gathering is sponsored by the Coalición de Derechos Humanos (Coalition for Human Rights). Here are the 2011 Recipients:

African-American Issues
Billie Laurie
Selected by: NAACP

Raices Taller
Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Community Empowerment
Jason Aragon
Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Nancy Zierenberg
Selected by: Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection

Mary Ellen Kennon
Selected by: Southside Presbyterian Church

Human Rights
Ethnic Studies 11
Selected by: Coalción de Derechos Humanos

Immigrant Rights
Steve Johnston
Selected by: Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Indigenous Issues
Ernest Moristo
Selected by: Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras

Vikki Marshall
Selected by: AFSCME Local 449

Noel de Tierra
Selected by: Wingspan

Women's Issues
Alison Hughes
Tucson Women's Commission

Elisa Meza
Selected by: Social Justice Education Project

The evening will include dinner and a keynote address by David Bacon, who is an associate editor at Pacific News Service, and writes for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Progressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle. If you're interested in attending, please check out the Derechos Humanos website for RSVP info. There's a tax-deductible donation of $35 to attend.

I attended last year and was energized by the networking and words shared by the recipients and speaker. Connecting on-the-ground work to blogging has helped me over the years to stay motivated & optimistic (especially with all the madness in AZ, right?). While it's not community organizing on the political/partisan level, I thought I'd share in case anyone in Baja Arizona is interested in attending.


Justice for Brisenia


In 2009, nine year old Brisenia Flores begged for her life before being murdered in cold blood under orders from a founding member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corp. Today, justice has been served:

A Pima County jury convicted Shawna Forde today of two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Arivaca residents Raul Junior Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia.

The jury also convicted Forde of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Flores' wife, Gina Gonzalez, as well as related aggravated assault and robbery counts.

Gonzlez started crying as soon as the first guilty verdict, the killing of her daughter, was read just before noon in a packed courtroom at Pima County Superior Court.

The jury deliberated for seven hours over two days. Jurors will now be asked if the death penalty ought to be considered.

An expanded version of this post is available in Orange & Green

Schedule of Services in Tucson


Tonight at 7pm Bishop Kicanas will be leading a "Mass for the Healing of Our Community, Remembrance of Those Who Have Died, and for the Consolation of All Victims and Their Families" at St. Odilia's on the northside.

Wednesday, January 12th at Noon on the Mall at the University of Arizona - several University Ministries will host a multi-faith memorial/healing service for the University Community. All are invited to pray and offer support.

The President, First Lady, DHS Secretary, Supreme Court Justice Kennedy & other dignitaries will be leading a memorial service "Together We Thrive: Tucson & America" at McKale Center on Wednesday, January 12th. Doors open at 4pm.

Via Explorer News:
During the rest of this week, there are multiple events that are occurring throughout Pima County. All the local agencies are working in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and U. S. Marshals to ensure that the events are secure for the families and members of the community to come together to mourn the loss of those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

The following is a timeline of the events:

• January 11: Mass at 7 p.m. at St. Odillia

• January 12: Rosary for Christina Green from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Odillia

• January 13: Funeral for Christina Green at 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

• January 13: Rosary for John M. Roll from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Thomas

• January 14: Funeral for John M. Roll at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

• January 14: Burial for John M. Roll to follow the funeral at Holy Hope Cemetery (Private)

Members of the public who attend the events should be aware that parking is limited at all locations. People are encouraged to carpool or make arrangements to limit the number of cars at each location.

Tragedy in Tucson


(image) Once again, my beloved Tucson is in national headlines for violence.

In the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy, my thoughts wandered to the 2002 UA Nursing College shooting that shook up this community; as well as last year's incidents at both Grijalva & Giffords' offices.

The environment in Arizona has been dangerously violent for a lot longer than the past 24 hours. You could feel it in the air as the health care debate unfolded in 2009 and then, especially for me & other AZ Latinos, during the SB1070 & HB2281 onslaught.

The rhetoric and the physical violence cannot be separated. When the fire is turned up so high, eventually something's like the pressure exerted on a fault line.

Well, an earthquake definitely rattled Southern Arizona.

My prayers continue for all the victims of this assassination plot and the families & friends deeply affected by this loss.

Grijalva's Offices Targeted Again By Haters


This is terrorism.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva’s congressional office is closed this afternoon as police respond to a suspicious piece of mail.

An envelope arrived with swastikas drawn on the outside and a white powdery substance on the inside, said Adam Sarvana, Grijalva’s spokesman.

The office is on lockdown as police investigate. Those outside the office are not allowed in, and the workers and constituents inside are not allowed to leave until police clear the scene, Sarvana said.

At about 1:45 p.m. there were several police and two fire vehicles outside the office.

It’s not the first time his office has been the target of threats.

Grijalva received death threats in April, shortly after SB1070 was signed into law and he called for a boycott in response. He closed his Tucson and Yuma offices as a result.

In July, after he called off the boycott, staffers found a bullet and a shattered window inside his Yuma office

Billboard Terrorism


Anyone know who paid for this gem? It's currently on display in Oracle, Arizona.

[UPDATE] The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says they are not responsible for it and don't know who commissioned it. Still looking into it...

Una Identidad Sin Fronteras: Verdolaga Dreams


September 1st is a day that, for the past 15 years, has given me pause because it is the anniversary of my Tata Manuel's death. He was, and is, my hero.He was taken from us far too soon in 1995 by pancreatic cancer that wilted a heavy-ish burro of a man into a frail calavera in less than a year's time. Watching him deteriorate was the saddest yet most profound eras of my life because he suffered with dignity and faith in God that had the power to unite my family in his memory through the present day.When he was still in his strength, Manuel III would spend hours upon hours cleaning the graves of our family's ancestors and friends - making sure weeds were pulled, the tierra around the plot was raked, any trees/shrubs watered, and the forms painted a gleaming white. I recall that a great tia's grave had a water jug tied to the fence that surrounded her resting place."What's that, Tata?""Well, mijo, it's in case your tia or anyone nearby gets thirsty and needs some water.""Oh."It made sense to me. This is Arizona, after all.Ever since my tata's passing, my dad became the caretaker of all the graves with that endless cycle that promised that his dad's plot would be another added to the rounds. In speaking to my Nana earlier, she told me that my dad spent the evening scraping and painting the cemento around my Tata's grave for the anniversary - this was not a surprise because it's what we do.I'm only a hundred miles from home, but it's relatively far considering that seven generations of my paternal line is buried within a ten minute drive of where my parents and last living grandmother live today. Each remaining generation taking care of the resting place of the previous. It's who we are......which means that pulling weeds is pretty much stamped into every speck of habanero in my veins.So there I've been all week after work in the tierra that I arrogantly call: Mine. Pulling weeds, raking, pruning, watering - in anticipation for my 30th Birthday Carne Asada which is doubling as a CasitaWarming Party (a year later = Mexican Standard Time) - and on the 1st of September, I couldn't help but think of all the same work that's been done for generations in my family and the respect & love that fuels it; not knowing that 100 miles north my dad was fulfilling his responsibility to my Tata and all the Nanas and Tatas and Tios and Tias that preceded him.Only I was having trouble.The weedeater was not working on these weeds - they were too juicy and remained in place, mocking the 21st Century: "you wanna get rid of us, then bend that lazy spine and pick us with your hands!" A memory stirred, but not until I had lit a candle to remember my Tata that night, said a few prayers and went to sleep.I was walking through rows of grapevines in Florence, Arizona, amazed that they could grow in the desert. Large clumps of succulent goodness in all sizes and hues. My Tata pointed to an older vine to the left and explained that the dried ones were raisins."Ohhhhhhh!" said my youthful self upon making the connection: that's where raisins come from.Nana Mary had fallen behind as my Tata and I continued looking for grapes along the row to pick and take home to enjoy. She was poking around in the dirt at the base of the vines, looking at...something."Nana, what are you doing?""Nothing mijo, go with your tata"And I woke up.The thought process got rolling without the added benefit of café: "Could it be? Nah, that's too weird. Yeah, but it's been nearly 20 years since you've seen them raw, so it's possible. Thank God for Google."Vergoladas.Verdoladas.Verdolagas!The same wee[...]

Randy Parraz for U.S. Senate


Tuesday, August 24th - is Primary Election Day in the State of Arizona. I voted early a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share some thoughts as to why I voted for Randy Parraz as the Democratic candidate who will face McCain in the General Election.Let me begin by saying that I believe John McCain can be forcefully retired in November. He was beaten handily in 2008 after a series of misjudgments (e.g. Sarah Palin) and misstatements (e.g. "That One") because President Obama was able to clearly share his vision for the country, one that is in direct contrast to the smoke & mirrors offered by the modern conservative movement. A conservatism that deregulated Wall Street causing our economy to nose-dive, drowned New Orleans in Grover Norquist's bathtub, and trumpeted up the case to send our military might into a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.Additionally, during the Presidential Debates it was evident that the Very-Senior Senator considered himself Obama's superior. The condescension and crankiness of an old white man verses the younger bienthic scholar laid it clear to 21st Century Voters that the country had an opportunity to take a chance and move forward in a real way.I think gente deserve more credit than what infotainment news outlets like Fox News give them - if one treats voters like adults, they will show respect in return. If one goes further and points out the fact that a political opponent thrives on keeping voters ignorant, an election is won.I believe Randy Parraz has what it takes to clearly draw that type of contrast with McCain in November.Arizona is the poster child for what happens when the Tea Party gets its anti-government tentacles in all levels of government: the school system derails, infrastructure crumbles, and job creation stagnates due to lack of imagination. Parraz is a candidate who can remind the public how government can work effectively.Why is Arizona not leading the rest of the country in solar energy? It's embarrassing that we're not. Parraz can make that type of case that discredits what we've all been sold by the GOP, especially the AZGOP that knows no limit to its extremism.I could go on and on, but the litany of grievances I would list share one common thing: all are in need of a passionate, articulate response. While I considered Rodney Glassman for many months, in the end, it came down to the fact that I don't think he has what it takes to energize the coalition of voters that will be needed to beat McCain. He makes the right noises for a Democrat on the stump (usually); but as an avowed cynic, my B.S. Meter does somersaults telling me that I'm hearing a salesman pitch from a lackey in search of a promotion instead of a believer in the product. [All that said, I'll still fill in the oval next to Glassman's name come November if he manages to win tomorrow, but it will be a vote against John McCain, not for Rodney Glassman.]I think there's going to be a surprise tomorrow, however, and I'll be happy to spend the fall season working to elect Randy Parraz as the next Senator from Arizona.More info:Parraz for Change websiteFacebookTwitterYouTube videos[...]

The Political Complexity of Immigration


The Tribune/WGN commissioned a poll of the Chicago area that shows that voters understand that immigration is something that must be handled with nuance and compassion
The telephone poll of 800 heads of households across the six-county Chicago region July 8-14 found that 57 percent of the respondents did not want police to seek illegal immigrants for deportation.

Almost half of those polled, 48 percent, said they believed that illegal immigrants snatched jobs and resources, taking away from society and the economy.

Nearly all of those who responded, 87 percent, believed that some sort of legal status should be offered to the nearly 11 million people in the country illegally, provided that the immigrants aren't dangerous felons, that they learn English and that they pay fines and back taxes.

I've been blogging immigration for over five years now. Earned blisters from marches, protests and vigils close to home and across the country. Voted and advocated for promigrant/prohumanity candidates. Networked to help relief find the random email from a scared brother or sister without documents.

To be honest, it feels unsettling to talk about immigration as a political issue, because it has been used a weapon to destroy the lives of migrant workers, youth, and the communities that give our neighborhoods the vibrant sense of home that we love and cherish.

On the national level, both parties have bought into the notion that there is such a thing as having enough border security - the mirage of satiating the bloodlust of nativists who would rather see a fence hundreds of miles along a desert homeland that has experienced the migration of human beings for as long as the species walked the earth.

We have to be willing to change the way we think about immigration.

We must have the courage to look in the mirror for the reasons that the Summer of 2010 will go down as the deadliest in Arizona. 214 as of July 31st.

We should challenge politicians who are trying to save their careers by offering soundbites that are reckless and unconstitutional.

We must - because it will be the only thing that slows down this march to extremism by the United States. We must remember who we are as human beings.

We must.

Which is why The Sanctuary is back.

Bullet Closes Grijalva's Yuma Office


The media narrative would have you believe that those of us who are against Arizona's Shame: SB1070 are a bunch of violent squatters, but in reality, it's the gun-toting vigilantes in support of racial profiling and ethnic cleansing who can't control their tempers

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., has closed his Yuma district office for the day after staff discovered that a bullet had shattered a window earlier Thursday.

A news release from Adam Sarvana, Grijalva's spokesman, says police are investigating the vandalism and have not released details about a possible motive. Grijalva will re-open the office as soon as possible, his office said.

Recall that when SB1070 was signed by Jan Brewer a couple of months ago, Justin Haynes was arrested for calling Grijalva's offices and threatening to "blow the brains out" of the Congressman and his staff.

The AZGOP have created these violent monsters, it's their responsibility to denounce them and prevent further violence.

Jan Brewer's Stimulus Hypocrisy


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer joins a long list of Republican hypocrites who are trying to take credit for Federal Stimulus funds that they opposed.

Jan Brewer is a socialist. Who knew?

Federal Judge Blocks Portions of SB1070


Good news. The following portions of Arizona's Shame: SB1070 have been enjoined (put on hold) by Federal Judge Susan Bolton:
Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 11-1051(B): requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to
determine the immigration status of a person stopped,
detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that
the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and
requiring verification of the immigration status of any
person arrested prior to releasing that person

Section 3 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-1509: creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien
registration papers

Portion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-2928(C): creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply
for, or perform work

Section 6 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5): authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there
is probable cause to believe the person has committed a
public offense that makes the person removable from the
United States

.pdf of full ruling here

Gov. Brewer Runs From Media Scrutiny


Looks like Nevada's Teabag Senate Candidate Sharon Angle isn't the only one running from media questions.

Watch Arizona Governor Jan Brewer burn rubber after getting asked about her staff's ties to the private prison industry and whether it had anything to do with her signing of SB1070:

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Why I Stopped Blogging Regularly


You would think that given that I've been blogging immigration-related issues for over five years while based in Arizona, the past several months would be peak time for writing at this site. Unfortunately, I'm suffering from outrage fatigue and blogging sends me into an unproductive place.

SB1070 and HB2281 fucked with my very being, my very identity - to put it bluntly.

The salt in the wound is watching poll after poll show sizeable majorities of the populace agree that brown-skinned gente should bend over and take the violation of our civil and human rights with a smile on our faces. We should "do our part" by accepting racial profiling, the oppression of our culture, and the militarization of our ancestral homeland all in the name of a false sense of security.

A rage has been building inside of me that I recognize as unhealthy, so I remain silent on this page in deference to speaking out in real life through everyday conversation and community organizing (Socialist!!!). Scanning headlines and reading commentary used to be soothing, but with such potent hate gathering around those of us targeted in Arizona, I find it depressing and paralyzing.

What's worse is that it will only get worse before it gets better. I think that's why I find myself unable to watch the downward spiral from the front row.

I'd rather sit on the stone bench in the corner of my mountainview yard, close my eyes, and listen to the wind. It gives me the strength to keep fighting for what I know with every habanero flake in my veins - history will not judge the actions of the current era in Arizona very kindly.