Monday, June 18, 2012

Conf Call to answer questions RE: Deferred Action

Educators for Fair Consideration is hosting a national conference call this Thursday, June 21st, at 5 pm to answer questions from folks. E4FC is an amazing organization that already helps dreamers with free legal advice and clinics and in stopping deportations. If you have any questions, RSVP and have them answered by an immigration lawyer, don't go spending your money some where else and possibly get the wrong info.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Qualification guidelines for deferred action

With the announcement of Deferred Action, a lot of folks have been, including myself, have been wondering what the guidelines are going to be for both qualifying and applying. That being said, NO ONE SHOULD BE PAYING A LAWYER, NOTARY OR ANYONE FOR ANY KIND OF HELP OR INFORMATION YET. Once USCIS creates the application process for deferred action and work permits, that's when folks can go to trusted immigration lawyers, if they need it. For the time being USCIS has posted up Frequently Asked questions, which I have copied and pasted after the jump. I'll be sharing more info on this as things come along.

Undocumented & Permitted

If you haven't heard the news by now, on Friday June 15th the Obama administration announced that there will be new deferred action for immigrant youth who more or less fall under the umbrella of the Federal Dream Act. If you wanna read about the specifics on who and how one qualifies, follow this link to the DHS press release. As soon as the announcement was made, folks started going nuts over the news, and why shouldn't they.

I got the news myself via tweets at seven am about the announcement, I was on my way home on the bus cause I had a few drinks the night before and crashed at a friends house. At the same time, there was an action already planned for that morning at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Alameda, so things were moving fast. Not to mention that earlier this week that movie I was a part of premiered, Time magazine put out their latest issue with Dreamers and Jose Antonia Vargas on the cover, the dream movement was getting mad attention. Media was hunting us down all day for interviews, pictures, interviews etc. to get our reaction on what happened. I even ended up on live radio while the action at the detention center was still going on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Everyday reminders

It wasn't until my friend Nancy pointed out something that was right in our faces that I took notice. Here in LA, the Metro Gold Line route passes right in front of the Metropolitan Detention Center. A few blocks away from Union Station and from the Twin Towers jail. Whether it was being able to see the detention center from the window of the train or passing by on by/car, it serves not only as a reminder of where I could end up, but where others who get caught up in the system do end up.

That's why when Nancy noticed that you can see the folks inside through the windows, it took the mind fuck to another level. Seeing the faces and hands hanging on the bars, looking out the window, it's some intense stuff. And it's even sadder to say that no one ever really notices this. Everyone is listening to music or reading a book, going on about their day on the train, never really noticing those who are imprisoned. For both Nancy and I, it's a daily reminder of why we do what we do. So no one has to end up there, locked up and stripped of your humanity.

is one that has a long history as working class families from the eastside commute west

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thoughts on Limbo video project

Limbo: New film that has me in it

Remember last year when I mentioned that I hooked up with some guys making a movie that involved me filming my everyday life ala Mr. Brainwash? Well the film is finally online and waiting for you to see it. Here's the info: 'After winning the 25k Grant from the Vimeo Awards, Director Eliot Rausch partnered with Producer Mark Schwartz and the Dreamers of Los Angeles to create LIMBO. This 19 minute film exposes the lives of 3 undocumented students, living in the US without legal status. Never having touched a camera, the 3 students were gifted with a small handycam and trained for half a day by Lukas Korver and Matt B. Taylor. They were asked to film everyday for 3 months. Through their lens, this is their story.' Check out the video of Eliot talking about his work and the project.

The film went live today and now vimeo, the director and everyone involved in it are putting it out there so folks can see it. Of course, I'm posting it everywhere and emailing folks to not only check out the vid, but to share it as well. For now, ya'll can do the same. I was planning on sharing what I thought about the whole process now that it's come full circle, but I'm gonna sleep on it for a bit and come back to it.


Friday, June 08, 2012

On being a hater

I'm catching myself hatin' on others more and more often. It's something that has been lingering on my mind and now that I'm catching myself as I do it and seeing others do it as well, it's leading to a whole lotta thinking and reflecting on why I find myself hatin' on others. The times I've caught myself doing it, I've reflected on the situation and what was going on around me.

Majority of time, I find myself hatin' on those who I believe haven't suffered, struggled or worked hard enough in their lives. I'll meet someone and before I get to know the person, I'll judge them and make a sort of analysis of how they are as a person. Genius right? Nothing like assuming things about others.

I've noticed that when this does happen, I use it as a way of knowing how and what I can talk to the person about and how I can go about it as well. More often than not, I'll meet someone who I think has their nose stuck up somewhere, check out their style and go from there. It works most of the time, most of the time. I have been wrong before and that is only in getting to know the person that things have change. Other times, my assumptions about said person are confirmed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Repository of resources for undocumented students

You know the first thing I noticed when I saw the cover for the newly released College Board guide: Repository of Resources for undocumented students ? That awkward ass picture of the two guys on the cover. I'm looking at them and I'm like, what's with the trimmed eye brows and tennis ball like hair cuts? I mean, this kind of 'image' is better than having 3 latino/a kids on the cover who perpetuate the stereotype that all immigrants are from Mexico, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

Anyway, the newly released guide collects and list scholarships, undocu-friendly student orgs/spaces in California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. These are all states that have instate tuition laws for undoc students and the author of the guide, Alejandra Rincón, does a great job of copying and pasting website information to state specific args, orgs, text of tuition laws etc.

While there are other guides like this floating around already, there can never be too many, except when it comes to scholarship resources, that pool is getting smaller and smaller the more and more students learn about them and apply to them. But then again that just means that more scholarships needs to be made right? The guides value really comes in that she collected a good deal of resources from all the diff states, which is something that hasn't really been done before. That and the fact that it was done with the COllege Board, which will mean a greater number of teachers, administrators, counselors and students will have access to it and that means more undoc immigrants going to college. Good times.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the immigrant youth movement book review

Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the immigrant youth movement elegantly captures some of the personal stories and accounts as experienced by those in the Dream Act and undocumented student movement. From the first civil disobedience action by undoc immigrant youth in Arizona, the coining of 'undocumented and unafraid,' to sharing the unprecedented influence Tam and Cinthya left behind, the book captures a rare view of how multifaceted this young movement is.  

Following up on the work first started in the 2008 book, 'underground undergrads,' which featured the stories of different undocumented UCLA students and their personal struggles back when the movement was still growing, UU2 adds to the legacy that this movement is carving as it continues to grow, develop and come into its own. While I never did fully read the entire first book, knowing the folks who put it together, reading parts of it here and there and seeing how it was used as a teaching tool, it's safe to say that this second book directly shows how much progress has been made with in the last few years.