Saturday, December 31, 2011

Existential Dreams

Existential Dreams

Alone at night

Me, myself and I

We talk a lot

Between the three of us, we can never decide

Who to condemn for this dreadful life

We never asked to be here

Whether it stemmed from a moment of passion that lead to unprotected sex

Or the whimsical decision to move to another country

We question the day in which this life was granted to us

Breathing in this air, unknowingly becoming an heir

Heir to countless broken dreams

A broken family

From one generation after another after another

Love, compassion, support, all those things that come with family

Empty shells of hate, despair, spite, ignorance, materialism

Family that communicates through violence and shouting

Always with the shouting, never with the loving

Alone at night

Me, myself and I wonder wherefore this life?

To what end should we live this life?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Updates & Changes

I made some aesthetical changes to the space. Nothing to serious, just a switching up of the colors here and there. Not much to change really, I don't like any of the other templates blogger offers, and I still haven't gotten a domain name to get cooler ones, so this'll do. In terms of the layout of the page, simple works best. I have the main entries, which now have tabs at the bottom so folks can share them on twitter and facebook.

I updated my bio and the headline atop of the page where the blog name is at. I still kept the picture of the flags only to piss off folks who don't like it. I ran through all the links I had on the right and made some changes. Some of the folks I had listed haven't updated their pages in years, so I took them off. I also added a few new ones that hopefully folks will check out when they get a chance.

Ohhh and the site now has a mobile version in case anyone reads my stuff on their phone, which up to a few weeks ago was also me. It gave me a QR code, but since I wasn't able to make sure if it was working, I decided to not share it. Maybe later on I'll set that up. Anyway, as always, thanks for reading my random thoughts that keep me from going insane in the membrane. As another year comes to a close, only time will tell what the next will bring.

Erick Huerta
"El Random Hero"

Monday, December 26, 2011

On Having Kids

God damn they're annoying sometimes. Running around screaming and jumping all over the place. Spilling and knocking over things everywhere they go. Sometimes I don't know if I should throw a shoe at them or at their parents for not doing anything about it and for giving them soda and candy.

Gah, but as of late, I've been having babies on my mind. If you would have asked me that a few months ago, I would have told you that the only babies on my mind are baby turtles. They're ever so cute. And as more and more folks are having them around me, those questions come to mind.

Of course I'm not having any kids ANYTIME SOON. The world is to messed up for that. Yet, all these feelings of longing and caring keep coming up. And then I start thinking on how I'm not getting older and societal and cultural norms are implying all the notion of having a kid, house, wife and a dog because that's what's measured as "success" or "being happy." But I know that's bull shit and totally ignore it, but the heart wants what it wants.

That's when reality sets in and things become real, like real, real. As in, I still live at my aunts house, sleep on the floor, have no job, haven't finished school and in no way shape or form am ready to be in-charge of another human beings life. I think I'll continue to live vicariously through others and family until I am ready, because even when you think you're ready, you're really not. Needless to say, getting a dog will suffice.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Queer, Undocumented & Unafraid

Making the connection between one movement to another is something that usually happens after I have personal experience with it. As lame as that is to say, that's my process. It's when I see something first hand that a light bulb in my head will turn on and start making connections that I've overlooked. And in my life, I've never had gay friends or knew anyone who was openly queer.

Needless to say that my community demonizes anyone remotely queer because of cultural norms. I myself grew up throwing around "gay" as a derogative term to emasculate friends during name calling matches. Very mature of us, right? And it's only been in the last few years that I've met queer folks who are not only out, but proud and loud. These are some of the most amazing folks I have had the pleasure of meeting and glad to call friends.

From El Rancho

Click on the Picture to Enlarge
Facebook has this new time line layout. I noticed it the other day and figured I'd make the switch now, rather than later and not deal with any problems. Yet, yesterday I kinda noticed something that struck me as clever and unexpected. The juxtaposition between my profile picture and the picture of my family in the background.  One of the new changes in the layout is that you can have an image act as a header on your profile. Keeping in mind that this is one of the first things folks will see when stalking you, I decided to go with something that spoke to me. Needless to say that this new layout is reminiscent of how myspace worked.

I ended up going with a pic of a pic I took of my family. As you can see, the family is pretty large. This is a picture my uncle showed me. He pointed out not only himself, 2nd to the right wearing a white shirt, but he pointed out my great grand-dad and great grandma, who are sitting, and my grandpa, who is wearing a white shirt and is standing in between both the great grand parents. He didn't mention anything, but I'm guessing my father must have been in this pic if it's a family portrait. If he isn't, it also explains a lot.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Location of DUI Check Points 12/20 - 1/1

Sharing a Los Angeles Sheriffs Dept. press release about the upcoming holiday DUI checkpoints happening across town. Given that the LAPD is being more mindful of undoc folks who are driving without a license versus people driving tipsy or with a suspended/revoked license. Officers have always had the discretion of allowing the driver to call someone with a license to come pick up the car within half an hour of the stop. And if that's not an option, the car can still be towed, but rather than having the car on hold for 30 days and paying hundreds of dollars in fines, the person can get their car out the same day. Little changes that make a dramatic difference for folks who are just trying to get to work or are out with their families. It's obvious that they don't share the address of the stops, but none the less, it's worth sharing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Were it not for ....

Sharp Tounge: Luke Chueh
There is a lesson to be learned here. What it is remains to be seen. And as is custom in my life, I will go through the motions of whatever I need to feel in order to make sure I can come to terms with what happened. I was expecting to have a job for the New Year, something that would allow me to get paid for what I already do, but I didn’t get it. I can ask why someone else was chosen over me, and I can make up my own assumptions about the process as well, but that won’t change the out come of the decision.

And what does that say about myself? That I can’t be happy that a friend got the job and that he’ll do a good job at it. But those feelings are ok to have. I’m not a jedi, a Buddhist or a super hero of any kind. I am a man. A man who lives through his emotions, is subject to irrationality, psychosis and error. I’ve never spent a thousand years meditating under a waterfall, so I think it’s ok for me to feel how I feel. Reactionary to say the least, but nothing I’m not use to.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reports of US Citizens Being Caught in Secure Communities

In my last post, I wrote about how easy it is to get caught up in the drag net that is Secure Communities if you are undocumented. Well, more and more reports are coming out into the lime light of US Citizens being caught in this drag net as well. This just goes to show, that when local police try to act as immigration officials, it's only going to create endless problems with an already defunct system that should be terminated. It also highlights the fact that immigrants receive far worse treatment when they are being processed, held in detention centers and put through this inhumane system.

The New York Times featured two of the most recent cases of citizens being held against their will because they were profiled as being undocumented and of Latin Decent. Antonio Montejano lives here in Southern CA and despite not having a criminal record, the judge dismissing his case about him shoplifting, officers didn't believe him when he pleaded with them that he was a Citizen. If you see the video above, he has an accent, which is how the police profiled him as being "Mexican" and undocumented.

“Just because I made one mistake,” Mr. Montejano said, “I don’t think they should have done all those things to me." He said he thought the police did not believe he was an American because of his appearance. “I look Mexican 100 percent,” he said.

It was only through the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, that Antonio was released after they showed proof of his citizenship with his passport and birth certificate. Homeland Security has stated that they "need" to "fill" a quote of deporting 400,000 people every year, and anyone caught in-between that net is collateral damage and the price for "keeping the country safe." Neve mind the fact that folks are suffering from sexual abuse and indefinite imprisonment in immigration detention centers, that view people as money and could careless about their lively hood. Things are only going to continue to get worse as the next year comes around the corner. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Public Transportation Can Lead to Your Deportation

In this post 9/11 world, going about your everyday business can lead to anything, from getting arrested for having "intent" to being deported for riding the train. This is something that I am conscious of every fleeting moment of my life. Not a single second is wasted in acknowledging the presence of authority where ever I may be. Whether it's inside a bank or building with cops/security inside/outside or when the sheriff's department is hanging out at train stations with bomb sniffing dogs/checking fares.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life Doesn't Ask For Papers

I can help step back as of late to everything that's going on around and see that folks are maturing, getting older, settling down and doing those everyday things like getting married and having children. While the majority of my thoughts have and always will revolve around my identity living outside the system and as an activist trying to be a part of it, what that means and how there is a never ending fight for human and workers' rights;  there are everyday things that don't click inside my mind until I find myself congratulating friends on their blessings.

For everything that we go through as undocumented, working class, people of color.... the idea of friends getting married and having kids is both foreign and wondrous. Not all of us are going to be undocumented for the rest of our lives. We're all going to move ahead with our lives one way or another. I guess it's that, since I have these kind of conversations about the future and what'll it'll be like. Romanticizing the idea of "when I have my papers....." happens more often than not, specially when folks are feeling blue and stressed.

Friday, December 09, 2011


Whether it's lack of communication from partners or having to deal with the bureaucracy of a broken system that doesn't let you add the stupid classes you need so you can get out of community college already and transfer somewhere else because you're tired of being at that lame ass school. Grrrrrrrr...... But hey, things could always be worse right? Damn holidays always for making people want to spend time with their family and appreciate life for what it is and to be over all thankful, how dare they.

I find myself with a lack of structure once again. Again, the holidays throw the normalcy of things off for a few weeks. It's nice and all, but a person like me needs structure. Waking up, going to work, coming home. Rinse, lather, repeat. Left alone to my own devices, I tend to wonder off and start things and then get bored with them half way through. If a project I'm working on doesn't have a set deadline, then it'll never get done. Something about having pressure that makes me productive.

At the same time, it's nice to have some down time. Catch up on the everyday, mundane things like television and video games, which is something I treasure. And some reading here and there. Since I don't live with my family, I live with an uncle and his family, I don't don't do the dinner around the table things. I'd rather go on a bike ride in the middle of the night than to have to make small talk with folks who think I have no real job or skills because I spend my time infront of a computer or playing video games. Supportive, I know right ?

Still, life goes on and before I know it, things will be as they were once again, considering I'll be in school  Monday through Thursday for an hour or two. Not to mention the need for a job and to continue on ahead with all the work I do and don't do. And of course making sure that I'm up to date on all the lastest chisme that's going around town. That in itself is pretty routine I guess. Just gotta make the best outta it like always.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Undocumedia Workshop

If you are in the Los Angeles area, check this out.

Dream Team Los Angeles in Collaboration with Dreamers Adrift will be hosting an Undocumedia workshop.
This workshop is open to current media makers, both undocumented & allies, and to those who are seriously committed to creating and contributing to their own forms of media .
This workshop will focus on strengthening our media skills ( in multiple platforms of media ) and creating a vision of what and where we want to see undocumented youth media.
Priority will be given to those who are part of a group/organization. Space will also be given to those individuals who are not part of an organization, but want to contribute to the creation of undocumented media.
If you are interested in attending please send the following to
Organization ( if you are part of an organization )
What type of media do you create or are interesting in creating ?
What does undocumedia mean to you ?
Space is limited to 30 people, so please submit your information ASAP to secure your attendance to the workshop.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Looking Back Through Old Pictures

Me circa 2006 at Wizard World
Since I got my computer back, I've been recovering things here and there. I've also been rediscovering some of those things as well. Aside from all the music, a ton a pics I've had from bak in the day, which is only a fe years ago really, have me looking back at how things were back then, simpler really. I was definitely in a different point in my life, a non-politicized point that had me going to comic book conventions rather than rallies and conferences.

Some of those pics are pretty awkward since they're pictures of me and former girl friends. Ahhh memories. I do so love reflecting every once in a while, seeing how things were and how even though I may not be where I wanna be, at least I'm not where I use to be. And it's also just fun to look at things and be reminded of where and when I was at that moment, day trip and them move along with things. Ahhh memories.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Undocumented and Awkward Eps. 3

In this episode of Undocumented and Awkward, Dreamers adrift touch on the topic of driving and car ownership. It's funny how the issue of transportation lends itself to awkward situations. My experiences include getting the third degree from others about why I won't learn to drive. Turns out that after a while, telling them that you're undoc and legally shouldn't be driving isn't an answer in this day an age.

Sure, I can learn to drive and I can get a car, but one thing I've learned in life is that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it. Course everyone is different. Some folks want to drive and want that independence/freedom that comes with a car. Asking friends for rides and taking the bus gets old real fast. To me, car ownership means responsibility that I don't really want right now, and honestly can't afford.

Having a car means that one has to have a steady job/income for gas/maintenance and what not. It means being a safe driver because you technically are driving without a licence and can be pulled over at any given time. Los Angeles is a car city, and while public transportation is there, it's not the most convenient in the middle of the night. Which inhibits your social life and job opportunities as well.

While I won't be getting a car anytime soon, I will end up learning to drive, mostly because I've enjoyed the few times I've gotten behind the wheel :D And riding my bike around town has worked to my advantage all this time and it's not something I'm going to be giving up soon either.


Friday, November 25, 2011

How I met Julio Salgado

Julio Salgado is down to earth, always fun to be around with, constantly putting a smile on anyone's face with a joke and always willing to contribute and help out anyway he can. I had the pleasure of meeting Julio for the first time in June of 2009, when Dream Team L.A. had their first action as a newly formed group. It was a mock graduation at City Hall. Julio was covering the event as an intern for Gustavo Arrellano, who had me and one other person on his then radio show, at KPFK, to talk about the event. Small world huh ?

Ever since then, I've seen Julio here and there at events or at panel discussions talking about his art work. That's why I figured, since CNN en Español profiled him, check the video above, I'd figure I share not only the vid, of Julio talking about his art work and how he uses it to support the movement, but also to tell the story of how I first met him. And I'm looking forward in continuing to learn more about him and sharing a smile or two.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What it's like to be Undocumented in Alabama

It's easy to take things for granted. Staying inside your bubble whether it's in your neighborhood, city, state and even being around your own people and circles. It's easy to have a sort of protective filter that leaves us numb to what is happening anywhere else. I myself am guilty of this because I hardly leave my East L.A., Latino, and immigrant rights circles bubbles, which offer a level of protection from what goes on in the world. But once in a while, something will come along and burst that bubble, even if it's for a moment.

That's why this video of Dreamers a drift interviewing Victor, a 19 year old Dreamer who grew up in Alabama, talking about what it's like living in the south pre and post HB-56, really puts things in perspective. Watching the video and hearing him describe what he's seen and experiences, mirrors much of myself growing up here in L.A. But what's going on in Alabama right now takes it to a level that I never thought this country would reach. To instill fear in communities to the point that running away from their lively hood is the only solution. Which is ironic, seeing that most families leave their home countries because of laws and corrupt governments making it unlivable, just like Alabama.

At the same time, there's a new generation of dreamers standing up and taking on the fight, just like Victor. Seeing everything that is going on and the damage it's caused those around him, much like me, have spurred him to fight. To stand up for himself and for his community. You can't help get emotional one way or another hearing him speak. Keep your eyes and ears posted to the movement, I'm sure we'll be seeing and hearing about Victors work in Alabama as the days and months pass by.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

3rd United We Dream Congress

Unfortunately, there's not much I can say about visiting Texas, other than I've been there and I didn't get to see anything :( It is pretty flat though, I will say that. And during my last night there, I finally got the opportunity to try some BBQ !! Nom nom nom !! But how did I end up in Tejas you ask? Well I was there, along with fellow Dream Team L.A. and Orange County Dream Team folks for the 3rd United We Dream Congress. Yes, more than 400 individuals, that are part of the nation United We Dream Network, got together to meet one another, connect the local and national fights going on and to have fun in-between all that work. This was my first time going and I didn't wanna pass up the opportunity to be in a room with soo many individuals that are all part of the DREAM movement, but also from all over the U.S.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Undocumented & Awkward

You gotta love the crew over at Dreamers a Drift. I've shared a beer or two and partied on occasion with them. They have smiles for miles and are some of the most down to earth folks, not only in the movement, but that I know. They're exceptional in articulating the life of Dreamers through film and video. Seamlessly hold up a mirror and capturing the reflection, that is our everyday lives.

This time around, they've kicked it up a notch with their new series, "Undocumented & Awkward."Like much of their other work, they ran with the simple concept of featuring some of the not so smooth parts of a dreamers life. Whether it's running into old friends and having to explain that you're still doing the same ol' 9 to 5 hustle, or having problems getting into a club that isn't matricula friendly, which was the first installment. This is how they break it down:

As undocumented immigrants living in this country, there are many instances in our lives which result in awkwardness not experienced by American citizens. Things that millions of others take for granted, such as driving to the grocery store or the ability to go to a bar to enjoy a nice cold beer after a long hard day at work, can turn into awkward silences at best, or deportation situations at worst.

I already told them how hilariously awesome the videos are, short and to the point. Of course, I couldn't help myself in throwing in a suggestion or two in there, and neither should ya'll. Send them an email over at and they might take you up on your offer. Just think of the last awkward moment you had at the bank? the store? or even on the street, it's all good in the neighborhood.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

100 Percent Increase in Efficiency

While it may seem trivial and nothing extra ordinary to most folks, to me, this is one of the BEST things to happen this year. I finally have a lap top of my own. It's not borrowed, a hand down, gift or anything. I bought it fair and square and I worked my ass to earn it over the summer I tell you what.

For years this has been my ball and chain. I've done everything from using computers at the library, school and friends houses to get things done, that now that I have one of my own, to do what ever I please with, it's a breath of fresh air to say the least.

Sigh :) It's been a long time coming and I still can really come to grips with the fact that I am finally a lap top owner. I've been customizing and changing settings the last two days. Getting programs I want, putting stickers here and there and enjoying the benefits of having a stable digital life now. Truly, just on twitter alone I've increased my presence three fold, which may or may not be a good thing, but what'eves. There's sooooooo many projects that I've put on hold or forgotten about because of my lack of access to technology, but now I have no excuse not to do any of the kind of work that I was able to produce back when I had a computer at school in the newsroom.

At the same time, I've grown so much that now that this ball and chain has been removed, I'll be able to run that much faster than i was before. I get excited just thinking about it. That also means that I'll be posting on here way more regularly than before, when I would just do it once in a full moon. There's so much going that now I'll be better able to share it with folks. Exciting times indeed.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Existential Questions to Assign Blame

More often than not, when I'm talking about days of future past, whether it's growing up here in the U.S. or of what I remember from Mexico, it's always through a romanticized lens. Memories of learning English, my mom washing clothes on rocks down by the river, playing with friends and shared high school experiences with others. It's all a good time when we talk about those past events and are able to laugh about them now. But that's just how the past works, even the grimy parts of it keep on getting brighter.

Then there are those memories that are attached to smells, sights and in this case sounds. I have plenty of those and the trouble with memories sometimes is you can't pick and choose them. They're just ... there whether you like it or not. As a form of self preservation, I know most people will keep that stuff to themselves, reflect on things when the moment is free and move on about their day. This is one of those memories that is going anywhere anytime soon for me, and it comes up more and more often now a days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Killing Joke

I ran into this video, of students doing a rendition of "Batman:The Killing Joke" with shadow puppets. It's in spanish and an awesome video that captures the most intense moment in that story line. Batman and Joker talking about being cut from the same tree of tragedy, but both taking completely different paths. How the Joker sees life as one giant bad joke that no one can get out of, so the only thing to do is laugh. Very much cryptic, sardonic and exemplary of my current mood shift the last few days and weeks.

This is one of my all time favorite stories, and from one of my all time favorite writers, Alan Moore. I read the Watchmen shortly after graduating high school and not knowing what to do with my life. Some how reading his stuff and a few other select books helped put a lot of things into perspective. Specially in a time in my life where fictional characters, who can do anything were trying to deal with everyday life problems. Ironic how that works.

I guess it's finding yourself in that cross road of between Batman and the Joker, that kinda prompted the video and me wanting to read that story again. For me, it's one of those things that help me make sense of my own stuff, and deciding how to move ahead. Considering how soo much is happening right now, it's unfair what I see happening to close friends. That it seems like a cruel joke is being played on them. Which just brings out the feelings and thoughts inside of me that fall under that kind of thinking.

Being poetically cryptic is something I do bask in when I am there. Much like some of my favorite poets, it makes for some great writing, observations and opening new doors to old paths. At the same time, it brings me back to listening and re-appreciating specific bands and artist. Guess the best thing about all this that I still manage to be productive while basking in a pity party for myself. Getting older rocks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friends Getting Arrested/CA Dream Act 131 Signed

Yesterday 5 leaders in the undocumented student movement were arrested, demanding the Obama administration to grant all Dream Act eligible youth an executive order, that would stop all dreamer related deportations and give us work authorization until Congress get's it together and passes the federal DREAM Act. The video up above is from Univision, which I make a quick appearance on. For the English speakers, here's the write up from Southern California Public Radio. It was an amazing, emotional and powerful action that kicked off the national administrative relief campaign.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Administrative Relief Rally This Wednesday

Stop the Deportation of DREAM Act youth

After much advocacy and organizing work from immigrant rights groups, the Obama Administration has done little to stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants across the country.Even though President Obama has publicly stated that DREAM Act eligible youth are no longer risking deportation, thousands of undocumented immigrant youth continue to face deportation to a country they don't know.

Wednesday October 12th at 9:00 am to demand President Obama to stop the deportations of DREAMers. He has the exercise his executive powers and grant Administrative Relief and work authorization with the stroke of a pen.Undocumented immigrant youth, labor, faith-based leaders and community members will come together Wednesday October 12th to launch the National Campaign for Administrative Relief and demand a stop on deportations of DREAM Act eligible youth.

WHEN: Wednesday October 12th, at 9:00 AM

WHERE: Pershing Square (corner of 5th St. and Olive St.) in Los Angeles, CA

And be sure to sign the White House petition to demand Admin Relief:

Friday, October 07, 2011

Grant DREAM Act Eligible Youth Administrative Relief

So what is Temporary Protective Status ? Well let's copy and paste the guidelines from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services web site shall we.

"The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:
Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane)
Other extraordinary and temporary condition

During a designated period, eligible individuals:
Are not removable from the United States
Cannot be detained by DHS
Can obtain an employment authorization document
May apply for travel authorization

Although having TPS, by itself, does not lead to permanent resident status (a green card), a TPS beneficiary may immigrate permanently under another provision of law if qualified." 

Thursday, October 06, 2011


Last summer, when a million and one things were going on, Dream Team L.A. members were helping, then student, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, in doing a short movie about the Dream Act struggle and the students who make it up. As her worked progressed and filming began, she reached out to the group in terms of having folks participate in the movie as extras for some of the group shots.

This is a behind the scenes pic I took during the shoot at USC. We all had a good time doing it and were curious about how the film came out in the end. Living in L.A., your always around movie shoots and it's part of the day to day scenery, but it was cool to be a part of it and funny to see ourselves during the scenes we took part of.

The movie is only 20 min, but it hits the nail on the head. Anyone who is familiar with the Dream movement will see themselves in this movie, one way or another. Thenmozhi brought a lot of respect and dignity to the movie project, because of her own personal experiences and being able to relate and find the intersections. It's def worth checking out and sharing, so SHARE IT !!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Las Vegas & Me

Details will follow on the next post, but I'm off to Las Vegas for two days. First thing I thought of when I made the plans, I'm gonna take my friend, whose also a journalist, and we are gonna do Vegas right, ala Dr. Gonzo and Brown Buffalo. Ironically enough, I resemble the Acosta and my friend Thomson. I'm super excited since it's the first time I visit the city and I'm not passing it by on my way somewhere else.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

The days pass me by like rain drops. Everyday, there's a meeting or two to be in. An event to be in solidarity with or to demand something from someone. To stop something or to start. I'm starting to believe that I can predict the future, because every day is exactly the same. The same faces, same fist, same injustices and the same old bull shit. It's getting to be that the fire and passion that once conjured bellowing chants and unbridled passion are fading away. It's getting so that being an activist becomes a routine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dream Summer 2011

It was an honer to be part of the first Dream Summer. I had an amazing experience, working 10 weeks on a camapign that connected the labor movement to the immigrants rights movement. I took a lot more away than I ever expected, and I'm looking forward to possibly doing it again next year.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My Life on Video

One of my life's dreams has always been to be on the "Real World." That dumb MTV reality show that puts the most dramatic, emotionally unstable, horny, binge drinking people on tv for everyone to watch them crash and burn.  American can't help but to rubber neck when they pass by a horrible accident. I would totally be a perfect fit for that show, except all my crazy swearing and yelling would be in Spanish and thus, subtitled. I don't think the real world is taking in undocumented folks, yet, so the next best thing I have to get that kind attention is this here blog, but things have taken a turn for the better I tell ya what.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

10 Weeks

It's not the destination, but the journey getting there that makes the venture worth while. The trials and tribulations that one is presented with, being placed outside comfort zones and the people one shares these experiences with are what made this internship an amazing experience for me. More than anything for me, I took away as much as I could from this experience. I had skills to start off with, but doing the work I did this summer, collaborating with fellow interns and even just traveling outside of california made it all a memorable summer.

Never in my life have I had the opportunity to do the kind of work I did, with the help and resources of those who have been doing this kind of work for years. Sharing their experiences, tribulations and philosophies that culminated into the people they are today, sharing it with those who are starting on the same path they started out on, long ago. But unlike me, they didn't have someone guiding them, they just got thrown into the pool and they had to learn to swim on the spot.

Now, there's this transition of kinda not knowing what to do next, you know ? When you go from one place to another and finding that in-between space to make sure you don't lose the momentum you just garnered and taking it somewhere else to continue making things happens. This means adding and refining my resume to make sure that I properly reflect the work that I accomplished this summer. And work I did.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Hedgehogs Dilema

Once, there was a hedgehog who wanted nothing more than to be close to
other hedgehogs. Tried as hard as he did, he could never get close
enough to them. He was afraid of hurting them and in turn, getting
hurt himself because of their quills. No matter how hard he tried, he
never found a way of getting closer to other hedgehogs without someone
getting hurt. So he spent the rest of his life alone, never being able
to get closer to another hedgehog.

~ con safos ~

Sunday, July 31, 2011


For lack of imagination, I find myself constantly thinking of things.
Like anyone else, questions of life, the past, present, and future
come up. What the day, week or month will bring. Sometimes even trying
to figure out everyday things, like how to pull out a wedgy in public
without it being noticable.

But I also find myself thinking of undocumented theory. Analyzing
situations, events and issues in the movement, our life styles and
what any of that means. Everything from mixed status relationships to
working dynamics with people I could give two shits about. It's all
stuff that is always bouncing around in ma' head.

But once in a while, I stop to smell the roses. I admire the everyday
asthetics and ignore everything else going on, even if it's just for a
minute. I do this on bike and train rides a lot. To ignore the worlds
suffering for a brief moment. To ignore my own suffrage as well. But
even then, when my thoughs turn to happyness, reality sinks in again.
Time to deal with the world again.

~ con safos ~

Monday, July 25, 2011

¿ How would your life be different if you had papers ?

That's a loaded question that floats around, like a bee flying from
one flower to the next. I was asked that again today in a friendly
interview and I had to think about the answer this time around. It's
such a rhetorically, fluid question that it has no answer. Much like
the ocean water that turns into a gas, forms clouds, travels across
the world, falls down as snow, melts into a river stream, is consumed
by a bear, is released as urine on a tree and evaporates once again,
it's constantly changing.

My answer this time around was that I would be the complete opposite
of who I am. In my life, lack of access to resources, opportunities
and quality guided my life style. Over the years, not being able to
drive and get a licence turned from not being able to do it, to not
wanting to drive because I want to reduce pollution in the enviroment
& ride my bike not because I have to, but because I chose to.

It's safe to say that I wouldn't be the same person I am today if my
legal status wasn't an issue. I would have graduated from high school,
found myself a steady 9-5 job to sustain me, have a girlfriend and go
on about my life like that. Rinse, lather and repeat. Buying and
amassing useless andsuperfiloud material possesions that would never
make me content.

But that wasn't the hand I was dealt. My life up to this point and
everything that has lead up to it cannot be changed for better or
worse. What happened, happened and it lead to me being who I am.
There's always questions of if's and buts, but I don't think that way
anymore. I use to think what it would be like to have mutan powers
like the x-men, but that reality is more tangible than the one I'm
currently living. Papers or no papers.

~ con safos ~

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Social Justice Birthday

Today I am 27 years old. I could careless about my age, but I am
enjoying getting older. Seeing more white hairs in my locks, body
parts making all sorts of noises willingly/unwillingly and just
enjoying life for whatit is. It's not about the destination, but the
journey getting there that matters to me. That's why I've never made
it a point to celebrate it.

Part of that stems from my childhoodor lack there of, and because I
just don't like to. It makes me feel uncomfertable. That's why I don't
tell anyone or remind them, it's just another Tuesday to me. So today
insteadof getting drunk or going out, I protested.

In the morning I marched and played the drums with janitors taking
part in an action in downtown LA. It was an old fashion march to make
their presance known in their current campaign. It was pretty hetic
and well attended. Then I headed off to pickett a business in west LA
that is robbbing workers of wages & a few other labor law practices.

At the end of the day, I was too tired to do anythingbut shower and
lie down. All in all it was a good day. I also forgot to mention that
I saw Captin America at a midnight showing, so I was running of 5 hrs
of sleep. Totally worth it. Here's to another year around the sun, as
I'm one year closer to death. Happy deth day to me.

~ con safos ~

Monday, July 18, 2011


My being is one built on going against everything. I'm my life, trying
to fit in at every turn, I reached the point of finally being
confident in myself and doing what I want regardless of anyone or
anything. I've also realized that my life is built on being the
antithesis of my father. The man who gave me life, who has caused
grief & countless strife. I live to do everything he never had the
chance to do himself.

A lot of my friends grew up without dads and it's common sentiment,
spoken/unspoken that those of us with dads should be appreciative of
that. But the questions turns into a choice between two lesser evils,
growing up fatherless or having an abusive one in your life?

At the end of the day, I don't blame my father for his faults, but
more on his actions and choices as an Individual. My mother deserves
better than him, yet she's been with him all this time and raised a
family. Something I can never understand. She's put up with more than
I care to count.

Yet, my father is a productof the lack of choices he himself had as an
abused child, little to no formal education and making a living by the
sweat of his brow. That's all he knows and it's gotten him this far,
but it's not much. That's why I became his opposite, consciously or

My loves, passions, ways of interacting with the world, the way I
think and even dance are to protest his. I've even had friends tell me
that I don't look like I belong withmy family, that's how much I stick
out from them. But unlike my father, I have had the freedom to make
the choices he was never even presented with.

I am what he could have been if life didn't say other wise. The hate I
feel toward him will never be gone, but as I get older it does dwindle
down. After all, how can one be mad at their parents for giving them
life and bringing them into this world ? Well .... Who said I wanted
to be alive in the first place ?

~ con safos ~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Driving While Random

This is one of many post thatwas coming, me finally learning how to
drive at 26 yrs old. It's funny to find myself doing every day things
like flying and driving in my 20's rather than my teens, which is when
most folks do these things. But nothing motivates one to do something
they put off for years like necessity. Cause I have to drive for a
job, lame but it needs to be done. Also, I told myself I would drive
by the endof the year, so boo yaa

As for the experience itself ? Well I wasn't scared or too nervous
about it. I'm comfertable in cars and always payed attention to
drivers when in the front seat, but doing is different that seeing. It
took me a bit to get use to it, feeling out the gas and brakes so as
to not make sudden stops and starts. I had to be on my toes for
everything around me, using the mirrows, except the rear view mirrow.

I drove around a parking lot going in turns and I loved it. This ...
sense of "hey look at me !! I'm a motorist !!" reminds me of the
Simpsons ep. when Mr. Burns had to learn to drive after Homer punched
him out. I didn't hurt anyone though or hit anything. Yay !!!

I did drive on the streets for a while until it got too crazy and I
was like, "umm let's switch now." It had the help of an amazing person
the whole time and they were very mindful of not freaking me out with
"stop" or "turn here" yells. Even though I scarred her a few times.

Hell at one point, sublime came on the radio and as I was singing
along, the sun setting ahead of us, nothing existed for those moments.
Just us in the car singing and taking in the moment. I still need tons
of practice until I'm ready to go on the streets let alone the freeway.

If it's one thing about the movement, we all share and transfer skills
with each other. Whether it's writing a paper, finding scholarships of
learning to drive, we all look out for each other like that because we
have our own ways of doing things. We know what's going through our
minds and the fear that comes with new experiences. Plus we make it
fun along the way too

~ con safos ~

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Moments of Briefness

Today I felt physically I'll by all the negativity that I both harbor
and bring into my life. I felt like complete doo doo and the only
thing that took my mind and body away from that was work. Doing work,
immersing 1's self in the task at hand always seems to be the best way
out of these moments. That's probably why I had a moment of dejavu.

Yet, today of all days in which it was business as usual, i stopped to
smell the roses. This consisted of Going to work and organize, get
outta work and go to a protest/rally in solidarity/supporting homeless
folks fighting gentrification in downtown LA. Everything was right as
rain until the arrest came.

Once the action escilated to that level, I saw a sister who I consider
my other self, do what she does best, do work. Having been around
actions like this, she kept her cool and did what needed to be done.
She acted as a buffer between police and activist and made sure
everyone was safe.

In watching ther ake care of things from atop a fire hydrant, I
stopped for a second to breath and laugh at the irony of life. I laugh
because as undoc individuals, we do soo much more than outsiders can
or choose to see. So much so that we forget ourselves we're undoc in
the heat of the moment. Even when surrounded by 5 police officers, she
never backed down, had her say and continued on.

We both chuckled later on because we both know things would be
different if the cops knew about our lack of legal status. To know
that their power is being challenged by those who are beyond the
perpetuated stereo types of undoc folks. And in that lies the joke.
Ha, ha, ha, ha

~ con safos ~

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I've been meaning to post up their videos and talk about Dreamers-a-Drift, but you know ... I forget to do it when I get in front of the computer because I'm too busy checking fb. Anyway, check out their latest video, which is one their best one yet. With each and every new video they bring out, their skills keep improving and growing. I have the pleasure of knowing all the folks behind the project and can vouch for them super down to earth and great people to have around anytime.

Their unique style, visuals and blending of words, music and video really make them stand out not just within the dream movement, but as artist in their own right. They have quite a few videos on their site, all of which relate to the dream act and past events that have taken place. Check it out when you have some time to kill, you won't be disappointed. And be sure to keep up with them on the fb and twitter, cause you can never be too over connected with anyone in this day an age.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A Good Day

I went on a hike and took a dip in a waterfall. Last time I did
something like that was in Mexico at my great grandmas ranch.
Afterward I had a cemita for brunch. I caught up on emails. I saw a
play at Griffith park while catching up with a confidant. We ate tacos/
quesadillas made by hand. Today was a good day.

~ con safos ~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Immigrant Dreams

~ Art work by Artemio Rodriguez

I had a dream last night that I was deported back to Mexico, but I was able to make my way back to the U.S. by speaking English. I mentioned this to someone and they told me, "they are immigrant dreams." "Only immigrants have dreams like that." It's not the first time I've had dreams like that, about running into ICE, friends and family getting deported or me going back to Mexico. Can't really say what brings them up or the why behind them, but they happen and for the better part I just keep them as that, dreams. There's no making sense of them either because that won't get me anywhere, other than asking more questions that I don't have an answer to.

Still, there's a part of me that stops to think about the dreams and what they meant. This morning when I started pondering about it, the song 'ten years gone' by zepplin came into my mind as background noise. I guess more than anything, a common theme in those type of dreams is the passage of time and things only getting worse, rather than better. Then again all these dreams can mean nothing other than my mind trying to work things out as I visit the sandman or they can mean everything. See, that's why I just leave them be cause too many questions come up. Ayy caramba.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Goes to Washington

Much like Olmect Head #4 here, I felt outta place in DC, but I'll talk
about that later. First thing some people must be thinking is how did
I fly while being undoc ? Well I'm not gonna talk about that.
Secondly, how did I end up in Washington DC, the nations capital ?
That'll be a secret too but know I was there for a week and loved
every second of it !!

It was freaking cool to be a tourist for once. It was my first time
flying, being out of LA and basically going out and seeing the rest of
the world. I loved it !!! It's nice to try different things once in a
while and it makes one appreciate what we have at home. Specially
regional foods cause the food in DC has nothing on LA tacos.

Flying in itself was pretty momentous because I had to get through TSA
and that whole proccess. But after my first time I was like, hey it's
no different than getting carded at a bar. Flying felt like being on a
roller coaster and landing was pretty fun, as well as looking out the
window and what not.

Duringmu week stay I saw the white house of course, went to a baseball
game and explored through public transportation. Hands down I lovedthe
museums the most, specially the natural history museum. Thatone had a
bunch of net-o stuff. I did get sad with all the animals though.

I'm not much for tourist things, but I really did wanna see the white
house and all that good stuff. Turns out you can rent a bike for the
day there. It wasn't untilmy last that I saw that, other wise I would
have rented a bike and gotten lost in the city. Plus I stuck out cause
of my fashion sense. I didn't dress like the locals and I don't wear
tourist gear.

Im looking forward to traveling again to other states. Getting over
this flying barrier opened up the door to a lot of new opportunities
that will bear fruit. I know I grew little as a person because I was
in a foreign place, and it felt nice for a change

~ con safos ~

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rundown on last few weeks

Soooooo these are a few things I was going to blog about the next
day after they happened, but for some reason I didn't. Mostly
because I got caught in doing something else, which is always a good
thing for me. Idle hands are the devils play thing, and for me and
idle mind means I just think about the wrong things, unless I'm
putting those thoughts to paper, in that case, it's a good thing.

So, in no particular order; I've been doing some AB 540 workshops at
schools. I did a full day at South Gate HS thanks to the help of a
great friend, who made everything happen and set it up. She's super
cool and down go earth. Majority of the kids at these AB 540
workshops were kids who are undoc and benefited from this info, so
that alone made it a HUGE success.

I spent some much needed time with friends going through somethings,
mostly lending out my ears and thoughts as they went through stuff.
I know I've needed those spaces before, so I never turn away anyone,
no matter what I may have going on. These are my friends and just
like anyone else, I'm there for anything and everything. It's that
kind of support that helps to keep us going in the long run, not to
mention all the money we save on therapy :P

The last thing is to say how freaking awesome X-Men first class
was !!!! And Kung Fu panda 2 as well. I saw each movie the weekend
they came out and I loved them !!! X men is pretty obvious to those
who know me. The story for this movie hits very close to home, cause
of the themes of alienation, segrigation, the other, finding others
like you etc. A lot of similarities between the mutants in the movie
and being undoc. Kung Fu panda was just hilarious, great story and
moral out come and it too hit close to home. So yeah, more to come
in the next few days, like me flying fornthe very first time !!!!!

~ con safos ~

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Intersecting Realities: Visions of Immigrant Narratives

Save the date for June 18th 6 p.m. for what will be one of many art shows that looks at the Dream Act movement from the point of view of the individuals who make it up. This is a show that has been a long time in the making and through a collective effort of individuals and artist, a space has been created in which the movement will be seen a little differently that the normal political context. Seen the way we see it ourselves everyday going to work, school, being activist, artist, brothers, sisters, daughters,sons ... human beings making the best of what was given to us.

People see us as the students, dreamers, activist and youth, but rarely do those same people get to see the other sides of our lives outside of these spaces. Truly, a persons personally is like a kaleidoscope, perpetualy changing, sometimes too fast to notice. So, please join us if you are in the LA area that weekend for what will be a night to remember for years to come.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Collected Resources for AB 540 Students & Allies

One of the first things I started doing when I made the choice to go to school, trying to adjust my legal status and just generally looking for help and resources was to try and find them. Problem is they weren't around back then. Everyone was pretty much going off by the seat of their pants and making things happen as they went along. 10 years later and those paths and road that were paved through by first generation 'dreamers' are not only still around, but much more accessible.  Thus, I present you links to Educators for Fair Consideration. They have created a hand full of student, ally and parent resources that break down tons of resources for both undocumented folks and allies. there's a full run down of the various resources guides they provide.

The first is Student Guides. This page has guides that can be downloaded which includes:

The MALDEF scholarship guide 
Lucille Roybal-Allard scholarship guide as well

They also have guides and information to counselors, teachers and school administrators in order to be better able to help students. 

And of course a guide for parents on how to help their children succeed in school           one in English and another in Spanish