Saturday, October 27, 2012

When good intentions go wrong

That awkward moment when an ally wants to help out with the best of intentions, but something goes wrong along the way? This is one of those moments. Josefina Lopez of "Real Women Have Curves" fame is someone I have met in multiple facets. I have met her as a playwright, as a neighbor in Boyle Heights, a fellow lover of the arts, and as a patron of her theater Casa 0101. I've heard Josefina share her families story of coming to the US on multiple occasions. However, in this latest story, Josefina said something that made me do a what the fuck?

"The Amnesty law definitely had an impact on me. I was a back before it was cool to be a I became legal and so did my whole family and it changed everything for us. It gave me the freedom to finally do what I wanted -- to go to college."

Yeah, what the fuck right? She was a 'dreamer' before it was cool? Huh, it never once occurred to me in the last 20 years of being undocumented, that I was cool for living such a life style. Josefina wrote that little tid bit in a piece where she talks about how her family came to live in LA. In the piece, she talks about her dad being a bracero, what they went through and how they adjusted their status with the Amnesty of the 80's. She also talks about being undocumented for 13 yrs.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where was I on June 15th?

I'm gathering my paper work for Deferred Action little by little and when I started thinking about what I was doing on June 15th when the announcement was made, I remembered I was on my way home to shower and change clothes caused I got drunk the night before hahahah. I saw the tweet about the announcement as I was getting on the bus that very morning at 7 am.

Course I was also out and about later on in the day because there was a rally planned the same day the DACA announcement just happened to be made.  I had the privilege of having my presence on June 15th be recorded by news media who interviewed me on the announcement and my thoughts on it. And I do mean privilege because not everyone is in a position to be hit up for interviews at the drop of a hat, have the opportunity to have their voice heard, to represent to a certain extent my peers and to have something tangible to prove my presence that day. 

First there's this Southern California Public Radio recording of me being talking over the phone, giving my thoughts right off the top of my head as an action was going on. I come in at 7:28. The second piece came later in the day via a phone interview I did with a reporter for the Huffington Post, which you can read here.

As I'm putting all this paper work together and I realize that putting my life out on blast the last few years is paying off in unexpected ways. My cyber life may very well help me prove my continued presence in the US to the government. It also makes me think about how things will work out once the person going over my application sees that I'm a quasi-celebrity/high profile person within the dream movement. Will that influence that application process for the better or for worse?

Friday, October 19, 2012

ICE Holds to be Challenged

“It’s important that people realize that this could happen to anyone. It’s not just undocumented immigrants. I’m lucky that I can get out and be heard — many of the people I met in there can’t.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is taking on a case to help folks who have been held in held in jails for extended periods of time because of ICE holds placed on them.

"Six people have brought a landmark class-action lawsuit against Sheriff Baca and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on grounds they are or were illegally detained in the jails and stations of Los Angeles County Jail for days, weeks, or months after they were entitled to be released because they are the subject of “immigration holds.” Immigration holds, sometimes called “immigration detainers,” are notices issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requesting that an individual in local custody be held pending further action. Unlike warrants, they are issued without any judicial determination of probable cause, and they are frequently issued in error."

Duncan Roy is one of the folks suing the LASD because he was held for 3 months and denied bail, despite being authorized to be in the country. This is the kind of shit that happens to immigrants on a daily basis, not just here in Los Angeles, but all over the US. Duncan himself talks about the unequivocal differences in his ability to have be bailed out because he was in the US with a permit versus folks who are undocumented and can't afford to post bail.

This isn't the first time something like this happens either, citizens have been deported because of policies like Secure Communities. And even though this law suit is going to put the spot light on immigrants being denied bail because of ICE holds, it'll never be enough until these kind of policies are terminated.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trivial Phone Upgrades

I've been upgrading random little things as of late. Once I got my scholarship check from my summer internship, I paid back some debts, class fees etc. I started catching on other items that I wanted to upgrade. One of them was my phone. I went from a crappy HTC Wildfire S to and Evo 3D V, as you can see from the phone screen shot. I ended up getting rid of my jail broken Iphone earlier this year by going to Virgin Mobile. Best decision I ever made. $40 a month for unlimited texting, internet and 300 minutes. Way better than what I had before.

I had the Wildfire for a minute, and while it was nice to have internet access on my phone again, it wasn't cutting it. The phone had a 512 mb internal memory. I barely had enough room to do anything, let alone get more apps and features. That's why I traded up to the Evo 3D since it was one of the better phones Virgin offers. I looked up the specs and everything before I made up my mind and I'm waaaay better off with it. The fact that it has 1 gb of internal memory versus the 512 mb the wildfire had, means that I've been able to catch up social media wise.

After all that's how all of this got started and built up, through a smart phone. When I first started becoming more active in writing for this blog, and a few others I contribute to, my Iphone was my number one tool for accessing the internet, taking pics, video etc. Both smart phones and the Iphone itself have come a long way from the first generation model that I had, which makes it easier and cheaper for me to grab a phone that's giving me more options, tools and resources to work with than I've had the last few years.

So what does this all ultimately mean? Nothing really. I love technology and I geek out on apps, gathering information, taking pics, being on instagram all that mumbo jumbo. Ever since I got a laptop last year, things have been easier technology wise in all aspects of my life. Having a smarter phone only compliments it, even though I'll still a few steps behind the curve tech wise. But that's cool, I know how to make the best out of what I have and still come out on top.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Obama loves Dreamers apparently

This foo !!!! President Barrack Obama released a video today called, "Buen Ejemplo - Anuncio de Televisión de Obama for America." In the video, Obama says the following in a decent Spanish accent, "En los jóvenes conocidos como los DREAMers, veo las mismas cualidades que Michelle y yo tratamos de inculcar en nuestras hijas. Respetan a sus padres. Estudian para superarse. Y quieren aportar al único país que conocen y aman. Como padre, me inspiran. Y como Presidente su valentía me han hecho recordar que ningún obstáculo es muy grande. Ningún camino muy largo."

Loosely translated, Barrack says that he admires dreamers because we remind him of his daughters and the values they're instilling in them. That we respect our parents, want to study to move up in the world, and that we want to contribute to the country we love [the US]. That through us, we remind him that there's no obstacle too big, and no road too long.

Mutha fucker, seriously?? I call bullshit on this video. Obama got into office partly because he said he supports the Federal Dream Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform. He touted that he would pass both by his first term. Thus far, all he's done is deport record amount of immigrants by using vile federal programs like Secure Communities. He's promoted a militant presence on the border chalking it up to fighting drug dealers. And if it wasn't for Dreamers pushing him, he never would have thought about Deferred Action.

And even then, Deferred Action is minuscule because his administration could have done much more, but they just performed the bare minimum and alienated millions in the process. This is a cheap move by Obama, using Dreamers to get voters. Not to mention that the video takes folks to his website where there's another clip of famed talk show host, Cristina Saralegui and an ask for money.

Reducing our movement to a fucking comercial. Fuck that man, there's Dreamers out there that support Obama and his shit for whatever reason, but I'm not one of them, specially when you get to the national level. Call it different political views, but if Obama is going to try and boost his numbers and image from Dreamers, he's got another thing coming.  

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Media and the use of the word 'illegal'

As a journalism student, I've always called bullshit on reporters using the word 'illegal immigrant' when referring to someone whose undocumented. I know first hand how things work and I know that there is a choice. Writers, editors, reports everyone has an option of choosing illegal, undocumented or even unauthorized when doing their stories. Using illegal just because the Associated Press says it's a neutral word, which it's not by the way, is just another cop out.

Straight out, the word illegal, like other derogatory words in history, is just that, a fucking put down created to polarize the issue of immigration, make it seem like an evil thing and to get the country to hate on immigrants. Don't believe me? Think it's a conspiracy theory? Read this and then tell me other wise. And it's worked perfectly. All of the media uses illegal and even folks who are undocumented identify with that word.

For me, more than anything, changing a word won't do much because folks will still find another way to convey their hate. Whether it be through a specific word, gesture or idea. That shit is never going to stop because no one can ever truly be neutral or objective, as reporters claim to be. Folks will always take sides on things. To that end, I'd just rather ignore them versus argue endlessly with them.