Day laborers sit inside Bay Parkway Community Job Center on September 28,

New York must stand up for immigrant workers rebuilding Sandy-hit areas

[caption id="attachment_2358" align="alignleft"]Day laborers sit inside Bay Parkway Community Job Center on September 28, __fg_link_0__  2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.John Moore/Getty ImagesDay laborers sit inside Bay Parkway Community Job Center on September 28, __fg_link_1__ 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. John Moore/Getty Images[/caption]Hurricane Sandy struck fast and furious, and when the waters receded it became clear just how much money and people power it would take to put New York City back together. 

As the cleanup began, another reality became clear. Immigrant construction workers, especially day laborers, who became first responders after the hurricane were operating as an underclass in an under-regulated construction industry.

Maria Marroquin awarded Bay Area Local Hero for KQED Latino Heritage Month

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2013

Mountain View, CA—The Executive Director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, Maria Marroquin, was selected to be a Bay Area Local Hero for 2013 KQED Latino Heritage Month.  Maria was selected from dozens of highly qualified candidates and will be awarded the honor on Tuesday, September 10th, at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts in San Francisco. 

Carlos Danger

When disgraced ex-Congressman turned mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner needed an alias to carry on his explicit online chats, he needed something that said: OK, so I’m a cartoon…but I’m a bad boycartoon. And so was born, Carlos Danger.

Last week, Univision’s Satcho Pretto had the unrepentant Weiner on her Despierta América morning show. Ten minutes into the interview, she finally asked what her viewers really wanted to know. “You picked the pseudo name Carlos Danger,” she said. “Why did you pick a Hispanic name?”

Then, working hard to keep from laughing, Pretto continued, “…and how dangerous were you really?”

It’s a question that’s asked regularly of the U.S.-Mexico border. Just how dangerous is it really?

Fence, Camera, Drone.

Back in March, a few weeks before the Senate’s Gang of Eight filed their bill, Senator John McCain invited three of the other Senators to join him for a visit to the border. This sub-Gang of four was admiring the border fence separating Nogales, Arizona from Nogales, Sonora when a woman clamored over the top and made a run for it. Sen. McCain sent out a tweet about the exciting international event.

The reactions to the woman climbing up and over the 18-foot high galvanized steel fence varied. They were:

1. That danged fence isn’t high enough. We need to invest more money, on a double fence patrolled by megalodons.
2. See? Fences don’t work. Stop wasting money on a border fence that’s nothing more than a symbol.
3. I really need to get back to the gym.

The Immigrant Rights Movement: Advancing Media and Cultural Strategies

Mag-Net hosted a call on media and cultural strategies within the immigrant rights movement. Listen to the discussion:

May 1st marks May Day, also known as International Workers Day. On May 1st, 1886, nearly a half a million immigrants went on a general strike to fight for a 8-hour workday.  Over a hundred years later, starting in 2006, again millions of immigrant workers and supporters participated in May Day protests against H.R. 4437, a draconian anti-immigrant bill.   Even today, the majority of May Day protests are led by immigrants.

Operation Streamline

To understand Operation Streamline, it helps to visit the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum, 60 miles north of Del Rio. This corner of Texas needed a local justice of the peace in the 1880s and Roy Bean took the job. Bean deemed his saloon a courthouse and dispensed what the state’s tourism department now describes as “his own brand of justice … with strange, but expedient decisions.”

Efficiency was king. Judge Bean had a saloon to run, after all. When he needed a jury, he called one from among his customers.  Whatever fines he imposed, he pocketed.

Once, when an Irishman killed a Chinese railroad worker and was sent to Judge Bean to be tried for manslaughter, a mob of 200 white people demanded the Irishman’s immediate release. Judge Bean set the Irishman free, holding that while homicide was the killing of a human being, there was no law against killing a Chinaman.

For CCA and Country (A visit to Eloy Detention Center)

 

Visitors to Eloy Detention Center are greeted by a mural of three flags. They are, from left to right, there the stars & stripes of the United States, the rising sun of Arizona, and the maroon corporate logo of CCA. The three flags are painted as if they are being flown on the same level, with the Corrections Corporation of America’s flag flying to the right of the flag of the United States of America. This is, as any cub scout knows, a terrible violation of decorum, and highly disrespectful of the U.S. flag. 

It is also a violation of the Federal Flag Code, 4 U.S.C. §§ 4-10, for which CCA should be instantly deported.

The Dream 9 were in Eloy when I visited the for-profit prison in the middle of the Arizona desert. All of the nine young people had been brought to the United States as children and would have qualified for DACA relief, the legalization-lite the Obama administration had conceded after three years of escalating pressure from Dreamers. But seven of the Dream 9 had lost hope and left the country before DACA was announced, and so they no longer qualify. The other three – Marco Saavedra, Lulu Martinez and Lizbeth Mateo – did something almost beyond comprehension: they voluntarily left the U.S. a few weeks ago to go fetch the others back. In doing so, Martinez and Mateo made themselves ineligible for DACA. When the nine Dreamers presented themselves at the Nogales port of entry, they were arrested and ended up in Eloy.

Border Patrol Overkill

 

SAN DIEGO — San Diego is a town surrounded by military might. To the north is Camp Pendleton and its 37,000 active duty Marines. To the west, Naval Base Coronado is the command center for the Navy SEALS. To the east, the military trains its elite special forces in the Mountain Warfare Training Facility.

And then to the south, there’s the border and Tijuana.

Given the geographic proximity to all these Marines and Special Forces machos, it’s no wonder Border Patrol agents stationed in San Diego in the early 1990’s felt a bit chagrined at their inability to stop national security threats like dog whisperer Cesar Milan from unauthorized entry into the United States.