Yesterday’s meeting between President Obama and the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez of New York, and U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, resulted in all agreeing to push for passing the DREAM Act before this Congress adjourns.
From the Official White House Readout :
The President reiterated his support for fixing the broken immigration system and urged the CHC leaders to work to restore the bipartisan coalition backing comprehensive immigration reform. The President repeated his hope that, with the election season’s pressures past, Congressional Republicans would work with their Democratic colleagues not only to strengthen security at the nation’s borders, but also to restore responsibility and accountability to what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system. The President reiterated his strong support for bipartisan Congressional action on immigration reform at the earliest opportunity, noting that the American people expect both parties to work together to tackle the challenges confronting our nation.
It is clear that both Obama and at least Rep. Gutierrez wanted Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) before DREAM Act, but without a viable proposal on the table, the DREAM Act is being viewed as a “down-payment” on CIR. What remains to be seen is if the DREAM Act is indeed brought to a vote, if it will be attached to a defense bill, as it was most recently, attached to another bill, or presented on it’s own.
Today we take a look at Part Ii of the Amnesty International and Gael Garcia Bernal short film series on Central American migrants traveling through Mexico towards the U.S.
This part is called 6 out 10 , because that is the estimate of the number of women who are sexually assaulted as they travel to the United States through Mexico. Most of the women featured in this part of the film are mothers. According to the film, many women who make the trip to the U.S through Mexico expect to get raped, and take precautions to prevent pregnancy.
According to various news sources and organizations, later this afternoon U.S. President Barack Obama will be meeting with some lawmakers regarding immigration reform. Those who will allegedly be at the meeting include Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). What kind of immigration reform will be pushed is still up in the air.
Some politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have recently expressed their support and desires to bring the DREAM Act for a vote.
However Senator Menendez has stated that he sees DREAM as a fall back position. From Politico :
“I would not like to start there,” Menendez said. “I am a strong supporter of the DREAM Act. If that is all that can be achieved, then I certainly support the opportunity.”
I hope that Menendez’s plan, if he has one, doesn’t resemble NY Senator “Biometric Chuck” Schumer’s plans as they were presented last year.
This could just be another one of those meetings for show where nothing comes out except more statements in support of immigration reform while enforcement is amped up in the United States. But that’s just the cynical side of me writing. I really hope that this meeting yields something positive including steeping away from enforcement first language and policies. What’s a little different this time around is some Republicans stepping up in favor of the DREAM Act, which was lacking the last time it was presented for a vote.
There’s a statistic making it’s way around the Latino twittersphere/blogosphere today that reads like alarmism. According to the Pew Hispanic Center there is no national (read U.S.) Latino leader or at least most Latinos can’t name one.
By their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider “the most important Latino leader in the country today,” nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said “no one.”
Just reading this you would think that Latinos were wandering aimlessly around the U.S. not knowing what to do with themselves, waiting for some sort of prophet to lead them out into the promised land. An alternate and equally problematic reading of the report suggests that Latinos are too lazy to step up and be their own leaders. That we lack ambition.
While many may consider covering the work of such important musical and historic figures and adding a modern twist, which Rubén does from what I have seen/heard so far, disrespectful. I think it’s a wonderful way to introduce new audiences to old legends and give them new life.
Violeta, Mercedes, y Victor have all served as lullaby sources for my ChileRicans. I’m excited that as they grow up, so can how they and others approach this music.
Check out Rubén y HOPPO!’s version of Victor Jara’s Te Recuerdo Amanda , while I try and get my hands on the entire cd.
I really wanted to highlight this series because of how accessible it is to many. I can imagine people in my neighborhood accessing the four films via their cell phones. In light of the anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. combined with the revealed horrors Latinos from Central and South America face when traveling through Mexico al rumbo a los E.U., this film coming in part from a Mexican seems really important. There seems to be a new market for reality tv focusing on the border. Using buzzwords like “war”, outlets like National Geographic Channel and Current TV each have their own series about those who cross the frontera for a better life. But those series feel like exploitation films to me, with an U.S. gaze framing the crisis not so much in terms of the inherent human rights of the migrants, but rather the fear of invasion.
20 year old San Francisco City College student Steve “Shing Ma” Li is scheduled to be deported to Peru tomorrow, Monday. In Peru he knows no one. That’s because Steve’s family is Chinese. He was born in Peru before being brought to the U.S. by his parents.
Li’s parents, who face their own removal order, immigrated to Peru from China in the 1980s, partially to help Li’s aging grandparents and partially to escape China’s one-child policy. And there Li was born, before his family immigrated again in 2002 to the U.S. to escape political instability in Peru. His family filed for political asylum in the U.S. but were denied. A judge put out a removal order for their family in 2004, which Li’s parents quietly tried to ignore, all unbeknownst to Li.
On September 15th, ICE arrested Li and placed him in a detention center in Arizona where he has been ever since.
Since the announcement of the final deportation order, there has been an outpouring of support including rallies and petitions. On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman said that she was working with other members of Congress to “recommend that (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) grant deferred action in this case.” However on Friday afternoon, Li’s lawyer, Sin Yen Ling, received a fax that denied deferred action.
“The last paragraph said deportation is always hard on family and friends and the community but unfortunately the application for Steve does not rise to the level that warrants deferred action status,” she said.
It looks like California Sen. Barbara Boxer can step in to issue a private bill on Steve’s behalf.
Meanwhile, friends, supporters and organizations continue to fight on his behalf and wait if Li will turn into another person deported under the Obama administration and under a Congress that has refused to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform or the move the DREAM Act or if Li and his parents will be able to stay in the U.S. as a family.
Fox Business Network is expected to announce that it has signed Dobbs as early as Wednesday afternoon. It’s the latest high-profile hire for the cable network, which launched a little over three years ago and is in 57 million homes. Although that is far fewer homes than its chief rival, CNBC, Fox Business last week managed to beat CNBC on election night, both in viewers and the key adults 25-54 demographic.
When Dobbs left CNN last November after clashing with management there, he said some leaders had been urging him to “go beyond the role at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day.”
How long do you all give him before that “great understanding” includes immigrant bashing? I wonder if Dobbs tried to get work at any other networks and a Fox outlet was the only one that would have him?
Another reason to be grateful that I don’t have cable.