Tag Archives: immigration

Blog Post Blizzard

I have too many interesting articles to share with you and so little time.  So, in honor of the snowcalypse in the Midwest, here’s a blizzard of fabulous things to read.  Choose your poison:

 

Why Keeping Little Girls Squeaky Clean Could Make Them Sick – NPR

WESTLAND, MI – JULY 6: Hannah Rose Akerley, age 7, of Grosse Point Park, Michigan, gets some relief from the heat by playing in a gigantic lake of mud at the annual Mud Day event July 6, 2010 in Westland, Michigan. The lake was created by mixing 20,000 gallons of water with 200 tons of topsoil. The event, which is sponsored by the Wayne County Parks Department, draws about 1,000 children each year. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

 

Middle Eastern and North African Protests Shatter Myths About Muslim Women – Ms. Magazine

Young people are coming out in full force to fight for democracy, and women are at the forefront of these protests, breaking a huge stereotype that Muslim women passive, voiceless or apathetic.

 

THIS PICTURE IS SO BADASS!!!

 

 

Beauty and the Double Standard of Aging – Sociological Images

Today I had the pleasure of reading a 1978 essay by Susan Sontag titled The Double Standard of Aging. I was struck by how plainly and convincingly she described the role of attractiveness in men’s and women’s lives: “For women, only one standard of female beauty is sanctioned: the girl. ”

 

Brisenia Flores, Another Nine-Year-Old Girl, Was Shot and Killed in Arizona – Village Voice

Brisenia Flores, 9, was killed on May 30, 2009, when a group led by anti-immigration fighter Shawna Forde raided the girl’s family home in the border town of Arivaca, Arizona. Allegedly, the attack was organized in the name of the Minutemen, a crew of vigilante border patrols, who hoped to steal money and drugs to fund their revolution against immigration. The Flores household was attacked mistakenly, for they had no drugs or money, but according to reports, Forde and her cronies commenced to shoot Brisenia’s father in the head, killing him, before wounding her mother and eventually, shooting Brisenia in cold blood…

 

 

 

The Black Power Mixtape – Democracy Now

We broadcast from Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival, the nation’s largest festival for independent cinema. One of this year’s selections that is creating a lot of buzz is a documentary called The Black Power Mixtape. The film features rare archival footage shot between 1967 and 1975 by two Swedish journalists and was discovered in the basement of Swedish public television 30 years later. We speak with renowned actor and activist Danny Glover, who co-produced The Black Power Mixtape.

 

Oscar nominations an all-white affair – The Gazette

It’s a wonder that the security guards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t stop Mo’Nique and make her show ID when she arrived to help announce the Oscar nominations early Tuesday at the organization’s Beverly Hills headquarters. After all, she was the only person of colour involved with the extravaganza, since the 83rd annual Oscar nominations have the dubious distinction of being an all-white affair…

 

 

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Club 907 Dancers Freed! : Ms Magazine Blog

Club 907 Dancers Freed! : Ms Magazine Blog.

All of the 80-plus women who were arrested during the November raid of Club 907 in downtown Los Angeles have been released. Club 907 is a “hostess club” where patrons pay for women’s companionship (e.g., dancing, delivering drinks). Officers from the L.A. police department (LAPD) raided the club on suspicion of prostitution on November 5, but ended up arresting 78 (of 81) dancers on documentation charges. Although some of the women are still facing immigration court proceedings, this is a major victory for the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the Raids Response Network of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The Club 907 raid generated a flurry of criticism. According to the LAPD, the action was initiated because police witnessed illicit sexual activity at the club during a routine inspection. But CHIRLA and others claimed that it constituted an immigration raid in violation of S.B. 40, which prohibits the LAPD from initiating “police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.” The vast majority of those arrested were handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Others expressed concern that the working conditions may have constituted indentured servitude or human trafficking, and that the LAPD arrested the victims of, and witnesses to, criminal activities at the club.

Speaking of the women’s release, Xiomara Corpeño, CHIRLA’s organizing director, said:

This is a great day for the almost 80 women who have worked so hard to have their pending immigration cases reconsidered.  These women were detained by the LAPD for a crime they were never charged with but ended up nonetheless spending almost two months behind bars. A great injustice was done unto these immigrant workers who are not criminals but working moms and clearly victims of exploitation by their employer. Six out of 10 women were moms and their children missed them deeply during Christmas and New Year’s.

The raid on Club 907 generated more than 50 national news stories. The success in this case is a testament to the effectiveness of tireless legal advocacy and intensive media attention in holding public officials accountable.

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Mexican transgender asylum seeker allowed to stay in U.S.

Last week I read The Straight State in which historian Margot Canaday traces the history of homosexuality in the twentieth century through the lens of the state.   Although in America there is currently an outlook that the issue of homosexuality has always been black and white, Canaday reveals this assumption to be false by showing how, through immigration, military, and welfare, the US government increasingly defined citizenship as white, middle class, male, and heterosexual.

In regards to the issue of immigration, Canaday found unbelievably amazing immigration records in which men and women were denied entry into the US due to their suspected “sexual perversions,” which could have been anything from having no facial hair (for men) to wearing pants (for women).  Transgenders and homosexuals were repeatedly turned away because of their sexuality.

Alexandra Reyes’s case proves a remarkable turning point in America, as it shows that Americanism does not equate sexual or gender normalcy.

Here is an excerpt from Felisa Cardona’s Denver Post article.  Read more here.

Reyes begins to cry as she remembers her father using a branch from a tree to beat her that was lined with sharp spikes. Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post.

When Alexandra Reyes’ father caught her wearing her sister’s shoes and clothes, he tied her up and beat her with spiked pieces of a tree.

“It was so horrible, I would scream,” Reyes said in Spanish. “He told me he had a son, not a daughter, and he did not accept me.”

Last week, an immigration judge granted Reyes a form of asylum that allows her to stay in the U.S. based on the persecution she suffered as a transgender woman in Mexico.

The Board of Immigration Appeals withheld her removal from the U.S. after determining the Mexican government would not protect her from abuse if she was deported.

“It would be physically dangerous for her to walk down the street,” said her attorney, Bryon Large. “She could be sexually assaulted.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not keep statistics on the numbers of transgender immigrants granted asylum. But Large said the relief Reyes got is rare for a Mexican national because some immigration judges think there is tolerance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Mexico.

Same-sex marriage is allowed in Mexico City, and many gay tourists flock to beach resorts throughout the country, leading to the misconception that the country is welcoming, said

Large, who argues that pockets of intolerance abound in rural Mexico.  In defending Reyes, one of the cases Large used to persuade the board was of a gay Mexican immigrant who fled to Canada but was denied asylum. After he was deported back to Mexico, he was killed.

Asylum is easier to obtain for immigrants from countries such as Jamaica, where gays are imprisoned, or Iran, where members of the LGBT community are executed, Large said…

She takes female hormones but has not yet had sexual reassignment surgery. She finds the American people accepting of her differences.

“What I have seen here is people are more open than people from my country,” she said. “Sometimes I miss Mexico, but I am scared to return.”

Read more: Mexican transgender asylum seeker allowed to stay in U.S. – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16560073?source=rss#ixzz1553qO4vo

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Washington Post – An education doesn’t grow on trees

I recently read Kevin Sieff’s article from The Washington Post about how two daughters of migrant workers struggle to keep good grades in school.  What a thought-provoking story about the nexus of undocumented workers, legal migrant workers, welfare, and education, and how our struggles for defining American citizenship affect children.

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Feds Sue Arizona Sheriff In Civil Rights Probe – NPR

Reposted from NPR.  Link here.

John Moore/Getty Images Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stands in front of his county jail in Phoenix on July 29, the day Arizona's immigration enforcement law SB 1070 went into effect.

The U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights unit sued Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Thursday for refusing to turn over records in a civil rights investigation.

The lawsuit says the Maricopa County lawman’s office acted in an “unprecedented” way by refusing to hand over documents that could show whether Arpaio’s tough-on-crime traffic sweeps violated the civil rights of Hispanics who were pulled over and whether he mistreated prisoners in his custody.

Federal authorities say they can’t move forward with their investigation until they get arrest records and other information.

Arpaio, who gained national attention for making inmates work on chain gangs, live in tent cities and wear pink clothes, says the Justice Department case is politically motivated. His attorney calls the federal demands wildly overbroad.

The government has been trying since March 2009 to get officials to comply with its probe of alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and having English-only policies in his jails that discriminate against people with limited English skills. Arpaio had been given until Aug. 17 to hand over documents it first asked for 15 months ago.

Amid a push for stricter immigration laws, some predict greater division in communities.

The lawsuit marks the latest clash between the Obama administration and the state of Arizona. The Justice Department sued to block a new anti-immigrant law in the state this summer, and the civil rights unit also sued the Maricopa community college system for allegedly discriminating against people who aren’t U.S. citizens.

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division. “It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities.”

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix and names Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the county.

Arizona’s new law — most of which a federal judge has put on hold — mirrors many of the policies Arpaio has put into place in the greater Phoenix area, where he set up a hot line for the public to report immigration violations, conducts crime and immigration sweeps in heavily Latino neighborhoods, and frequently raids workplaces for people in the U.S. illegally.

Arpaio believes the inquiry is focused on his immigration sweeps, patrols where deputies flood an area of a city — in some cases heavily Latino areas — to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders.

Critics say his deputies pull people over for minor traffic infractions because of the color of their skin so they can ask them for their proof of citizenship.

Arpaio denies allegations of racial profiling, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they’ve committed crimes and that it’s only afterward that deputies find many of them are illegal immigrants.

The sheriff’s office has said half of the 1,032 people arrested in the sweeps have been illegal immigrants.

Last year, the federal government stripped Arpaio of his special power to enforce federal immigration law. The sheriff continued his sweeps through the enforcement of state immigration laws.

Last year, the nearly $113 million that the county received from the federal government accounted for about 5 percent of the county’s $2 billion budget. Arpaio’s office said it receives $3 million to $4 million each year in federal funds.

In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining allegations that Arpaio has abused his powers with actions such as intimidating county workers by showing up at their homes at nights and on weekends.

NPR’s Carrie Johnson contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press

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Strawberry Shortcake and Dora the Explorer Sexed Up

So I babysit a lot.  Which means I normally have to watch a lot of children’s television.  However, a fate worse than death is being forced to watch commercials during children’s shows.  It’s sensory overload: your eyes glaze over with colors abounding, really excited children, quick-moving toys.  And it’s all over in about 15 seconds, meaning you watch about twice as many children’s toy advertisements than normal commercials.  Don’t look up that fact.  I made it up.

But either way, I’ve always noticed that children’s commercials use noticeably older children than the age group at which the toy is marketed.  And I always assumed the reason was because older children equated Awesometown on the coolness Richter scale.  Who knew self-esteem issues started so young?

After reading this blog post on Marge’s Playboy cover which mentions the new sexualized Strawberry Shortcake doll and Dora the Explorer, I began doing some exploring of my own.  Could this be true?  Could Dora have traded in her awkward bowl-shaped do for layers and makeup?  Her map for a Cosmo?

Now a poster-child for the immigration debate, Dora the Explorer has inadvertently fostered pride among Latino children and familiarized English speakers with Latino culture while exploring with her monkey friend Boots.

Take a gander at the new Dora:

How much exploring can she do in ballet slippers?

How much exploring can she do in a dress and ballet slippers?  On an obviously slow news day, ABC News interviewed Mattel and Nickelodeon who stated, “As tweenage Dora, our heroine has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look.” (Is she really going to go exploring in the “big city”?)

“Girls really identify with Dora and we knew that girls would love to have their friend Dora grow up with them, and experience the new things that they were going through themselves,” wrote Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Mattel.

In searching for a photo of the new Dora I stumbled across this madness – Dora perfume.

To which Mom-101 blogger responded, “Because evidently, if there is one problem three-year-olds have, it’s that they just don’t smell like bergamot orange.”

So I remember this Strawberry Shortcake from the 90s.  She was fun.  She played outside.  She wore jeans.  You can tell that the 90s were a good time for feminism.

But now look at her!  She’s one hot babe!

Is this even a marked improvement from her frumpy origins?  I’m undecided.

Here’s a description of her Shortcake’s new makeover from StrawberryCentral.com:

“So her owner, American Greetings Properties, worked for a year on what it calls a “fruit-forward” makeover.  Strawberry shortcake, part of a line of scented dolls, now prefers fresh fruit to gumdrops, appears to wear just a dab of lipstick (but no rouge), and spends her time chatting on a cellphone instead of brushing her calico cat, Custard.”

It’s like trying to escape from a batting cage.  Just when you think you couldn’t take any more, here’s another, now more mature, 80’s favorite: Rainbow Brite!

Do you remember what they used to look like?

At least they’re still rainbow-tastic.  Just you wait.   The little infant glow worm that used to keep you company in the crib will soon be adorning fake eyelashes.

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Photo Essay – Arizona Immigration Law

SB 1070, Arizona’s racist immigration law, would have taken full effect today if it were not for a last-minute injunction.  Today in Phoenix hundreds marched to support human rights for local immigrants.  However, many of the thousands and thousands of immigrants in Phoenix couldn’t march because they were doing what they do every day – working.

Here’s some photos to show my support for the cause.

DelMundo for News Paulo Castillo, 38, holds his nephew Edwin Galvez, 1, as they join fellow immigrants on a vigil outside Arizona’s State Capital. Read more:

“This is not just about SB 1070,” she said. “This isn’t just about Arizona. To some people it may seem like a victory; we are saying it’s not.”

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