Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Know your rights

Remember my post about what to do during an immigration raid ? Well CHIRLA has a you tube video to go along with that post. Pass them both along to other's you think would benefit from knowing this kind of information.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saying no to great opportunities

In the last few days I have been contemplating something that I shouldn't be and that's passing on an internship. Without getting into any incriminating details, I basically passed on an internship opportunity this week because it means putting my self at risk. Again without getting into too much detail, the government has way of knowing everything you do in your life, whether you want them to know or not. Taking on this paid internship would have meant doing things that I shouldn't be doing in the first place. I am not a legal U.S. resident , thus I cannot legally work or apply for internships that pay. Obviously I have considered the chance that I might still be able to be part of the internship without pay, but I need to focus on other things, despite again passing up such a great opportunity. This is not the first nor the last time I will have to make a decision like this. I have turned down many a job because of my legal status and every time I go through this stupid cycle of semi-depression. Every time I get my hopes up thinking that this time around they're be some way for me to be able to take on a better paying job, I get denied. I've done it so many times now that it has sadly become a routine. People see the type of person I am and want to help me, but what good is that help if the U.S. says I don't qualify for that help because of my illegal residence. The depression use to be a lot worse a year ago. Ohh man when I got frustrated back then about work, life and my x-girl I would go outside and punch walls till my knuckles bleed. Now adays I just pretend like everything is cool, when in reality I'm still dealing with what happened inside my head. Sometimes all that thinking makes me hungry for junk food that'll only make me fatter. Passing by on great opportunities is part of my daily life. I don't get excited about anything anymore really. Why should when I know that I'll be denied and tossed to the side. I know that there are internships that don't ask for the things that I lack, but those are hard to come by and sought after, just like scholarships. I know that it's not impossible to make it because others have and sometimes I look to those who came before me for inspiration. Then again they had the support of family and friends. I on the other hand am grateful and extremely lucky to have the friends that I have, but at the end of the day it's just me and my dog against the world. That's what I'm reminded of when I have to turn down great opportunities, it's me against the world. Somedays I even feel like going to sleep and never waking up ever again. Course those are the days when I'm depressed or bummed out, kinda like today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ICE ACCESS and 287(g) program

Reading a story in the New York Times about a mother being arrested I came across something interesting. The story focuses on a mother giving birth to her son while under arrest and having been denied access to her son after the birth. She was initially arrested for driving without a license in Nashville,but like I mentioned before, the story focuses on a much bigger issue that affects all undocumented residents here in California and the greater U.S. and that's Immigration Customs Enforcement Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ICE ACCESS). There are 13 different services available under ACCESS and the one used to detain the mother is 287g, which gives law enforcement officials the power to act as immigration officers and detain people they might suspect to be illegal immigrants. The program is suppose to focus on dealing with convicted criminals and deporting them, but that wasn't the case with the pregnant woman. Looking through ICEs web site, I found out that the Los Angeles sheriffs department has the right to detain someone who they think is an illegal immigrants in prisons, for now. This is also in affect in Orange County, San Bernardino and the Riverside sheriffs department. Like special order 40, it will be twisted and per-versed into doing malicious acts that some will deem unfair and unjust. Officers must go through training after meeting qualifications. they are trained and supervised by an ICE officer, who over sees the entire operation to make sure everything is being done by the books. After they complete the training, they implement their judgment when out on the field and in their daily patrol as to whether to detain any person who is suspect, much like a regular crime.
I can understand that it would help remove violent crime offenders, but it can also be abused in urban and remote areas. I never even heard about this program and finding out about it makes me wonder what other programs law enforcement agencies have with ICE to stop and deport immigrants with criminal records. It's obvious that cholos and criminals need to be deported but it's also important that people who don't have criminal records be deported for something as simple as a citation or driving without a license. With so many things happening all the time it's hard to keep up with every law and regulation that could mean deportation for doing something stupid. This is why I chose to keep underground and in the shadows when it comes to being in public and interacting with the rest of the world. Driving a car is to great a risk and I'd rather deal with public transportation that fearing getting pulled over every time I get behind the wheel. I'll stick to riding around the city on my skateboard and riding the public limo for now.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Your trendy right now," said fellow blogger Cindylu at the monthly latino bloggers meeting on Monday. Me ? Trendy ? At first I interpreted her comment and thought that she meant I dressed/looked trendy, but a few moments later she clarified that she meant it as the current topic of interest, the current issue people and the media is focusing on. With the L.A. Times publishing a story about undocumented college students and our struggles every so often, her comment kinda forced me into looking at everything in a new light, which is good. I never really saw it that way, I know it's one of the "it" issues facing California and the U.S., but it helps to have other's chime in with their point of view. I touched on it last post but I guess it never really hit me because I'm looking at it from the inside rather from the outside. In my circle of friends I'm the only one who's undocumented and attending college on my own accord. It's stupid and ignorant of me to write this but my friends aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. If anything I'm the most "educated" and "experienced" from all of them. I suck for writing that but they know how I am already and if they read this, which I'm sure they won't, they won't get butt hurt or anything. Undocumented students are being stereo typed as valedictorians with high grade point averages who are intelligent and basically over achievers, not that that's a bad thing mind you. I however don't fall under that category. Sure I'm taking honors classes, I have a 3.0 GPA, I'm on the schools newspaper and I work part time, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm smart, I just like to keep busy. Every student is different and we all have our own personal reasons for going to school and bettering ourselves. I know that we all share similar struggles and come from similar backgrounds, but in the end we all have different reasons. My reasons are purely personal and in a way selfish because I'm doing what I want to do and not what my parents want me to do. I have the same cliche story of my parents coming to the U.S. for a better life and giving me the opportunities that I wouldn't have back in Mexico, I'm from El D.F. chilango cabrones. Giving it some serious thought, I am trendy and like any trend it'll eventually fade away, except when it does I'll still be here in the shadows. It's frustrating that when people protest they protest on issues that won't get anyone anywhere. The U.S. is not going to give amnesty to more than 12 million people just like that. Students however will actually contribute back to society in the form of having jobs, buying houses, cars and paying taxes like all Americans. Capitalism for citizenship was also another topic that was discussed and touched on, but that's a different post all together.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Life after college in question

The L.A. Times ran a story on undocumented students enduring hardships in school. Honestly, all I see is the same information being regurgitated over and over again. Yes undocumented students struggle to attend college and/or universities, but then again so do legal residents and citizens. I read some of the comments left by readers on the story and I am pissed off. F all those jerks who say that undocumented students should be kicked out of the U.S. and sent back to their home land. Some of those comments are dumb and ignorant and I usually ignore them, but it gives me an idea as to what the general populace thinks about this issue. It all comes down to undocumented students taking away American jobs and taking valuable space from legal residents and citizens in schools. It's really a pointless argument because attending college is a choice that a person commits to. You want to be there, no one is forcing you to be there and spend your money on tuition and books. It's just frustrating sometimes that despite all the strides undocumented students make in our schooling, we still get tossed to the curve. Anyway, the article is basically about students questioning their future after they finish their schooling. What good is it having a degree if you can't even apply for a job. I personally have to deal with this issue because I'm in the same boat as they are. How can I establish a career if I can't even legally work in the U.S. ? At the same time what else am I going to do ? Settle for a simple life of mediocrity getting married, having kids and working a regular job ? There is nothing wrong with wanting that kind of life, but that just isn't for me. Marriage, kids and settling down are things that I want in my life, just not now. Every semester I question my endeavors and debate if continuing school is something that I should continue to pursue. Thinking negatively like that only helps to drive me even further into continuing my education and becoming the first college graduate in my family. I am the oldest in my family and I want to set an example to my three younger sisters. To show them that they can dedicate their lives to into doing something they love rather than settling for what ever is handed to them. The story also touches on the subject of students still being in school even after graduating because again, not papers, no job. I myself am already dealing with this topic because I can't afford to attend a university full time and be able to make a living for myself. It's too much money and I would literally have to work full time and go into debt just to finish school. I'm half way done at ELAC and I fear and dread having to pay thousands of dollars for my tuition rather than a few hundred dollars. I'm still debating what course of action I should take, but if worse comes to worse, I'll be at ELAC getting associates degrees in photography, desktop publishing, business and what ever else interest me. Even though I can't afford to take my education to the next level, I can still keep on learning and broadening my horizons.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Health care

New American Media reported on a health care crisis that is looming in California in part to our governor. It all stems from the budget cuts that are affection all aspects of life. For immigrants such as myself, it only means that daily life is going to get harder and everyday commodities are becoming scarce. I never had health care and my mom never applied for it even when she qualified for it. when I asked her about it she said she didn't do it because she didn't want to deal with all the paper work and answer questions that they required answered. In all honestly I always thought it was because of the language barriers. Growing up, I was the family translator. They had me translate every kind of letter and conversation in offices and businesses in person and over the phone. Growing up my mom took every opportunity to get me and my sisters free vaccinations for school at local health clinics. She never miss an opportunity to get free testing or check ups. I remember those times because we would always end up being in crowded clinics with kids running around all over the place making all kinds of noise and just being kids. She also did the same for dentist and any other opportunity she had to keep us healthy. Some of those clinics are still around but most of them focus on offering free pregnancy test and physical exams. The girls offering them get paid by commission care more about getting people in the door. In all my time here in the U.S. I've never had a real proper physical check or dentist appointment. The only times I've been to the hospital was when I pooped my ear drum when I was eight or when anyone else had to go to the hospital. To this day I still don't like being in hospitals. They rattle my nerves. If the governor does cut back on healthcare the way he plans, it only means that other moms won't be able to inoculate their kids because they can't afford it.