This afternoon the United States Attorney’s Office announced via a press release (PDF) that it was closing the criminal investigation against Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio, known for using racial profiling against Latinos in conjunction with federal immigration enforcement programs like 287(g), was under investigation for quite some time by the Department of Justice which was seeking to monitor his department. The push to monitor his office was related to allegations of unfairly targeting Latinos in traffic stops in order to enforce low priority immigration offenses while allowing the investigations of sexual assaults in the county to grow cold.
As I argued when the investigation was announced last spring, there is no one monitoring the Department of Justice when it comes to prosecuting the unjustified deaths of people at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol. The announcement came at a time when the Obama administration was struggling to regain an ounce of credibility within the Latino community and the immigration advocacy community in the face of rising deportation numbers.
With the Supreme Court case against SB1070 in Arizona done and generally forgotten and with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals dominating the work of most pro-migrant non-profit organizations, the decision coming on the eve of the Democratic National Convention can be taken as additional proof that the current administration is playing a shell game when it comes to immigration policy. Over and over we are told that things are changing, memos and press statements are released but enforcement programs that criminalize whole communities are still the priority and the hallmark of Obama’s immigration policy.
Tomorrow, the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice national delegation of undocumented people and allies that left Phoenix, Arizona on the anniversary of the state’s implementation of SB1070 is scheduled to arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of this year’s DNC. The riders, undocumented people from all over the country and their allies, including mothers, fathers, day laborers, people in deportation proceedings, students, and many others have crossed 10 states and stopped in 15+ cities. They will be entering a place similar to Maricopa County, Arizona, a place that has a 287(g) program in place, allowing local law enforcement to act as immigration agents. Hopefully they and others will challenge the notion that the Democrats are doing better than their GOP opponents when it comes to immigration policy. All the Dems do is talk a better game. The actions the the current administration scream louder than any of their words.
I just moved from an area with four seasons to an area with seemingly endlessly mild weather and sunny days. With so much sun, and let’s be real city peeps, so much pollution, how do we take care of the largest organ of our bodies, our skin? Not to be alarmist but the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in Latinos/Hispanics. So how do we show off and celebrate our beautiful skin while taking care of it, without hiding behind makeup?
I’m lucky I guess. I’ve always had “good skin” if you will (such a loaded term for women in general and women of color in particular). What I mean though is that during my teens and during both of my pregnancies, when my hormones were having a party, my skin was pretty chill. I didn’t really struggle with acne. Now as I grow older and officially have hit 35, most media tells me I should worry about wrinkles and spend endless amounts of cash (that I don’t have) to hold back the signs of aging. The truth is that as I get older I actually wear less makeup – most of the time not wearing any at all. I find that as long as I keep my face clean and moisturized I’m good to go. The heaviest makeup I put on my face is a tinted moisturizer with spf. Is it genes? I’d like to think I got it from my mama, who at age 65 has amazing skin without overpowering her looks with makeup.
Neutrogena has a product out, that I haven’t tried, but the company has a good reputation when it comes to skin care products. NeutrogenaRapid Tone Repair is a lightweight silky moisturizer that absorbs quickly into skin and is clinically proven to help fade the look of dark spots, and discoloration, delivering fast results and healthier looking skin with minimal irritation and superior aesthetics. Uneven skin tone is a universal skincare issue among women in general – Whether it appears in the form of age spots or environmental damage from the sun. And let’s not forget that protecting our skin from sun rays is not just a summer thing. We must never go out without applying sunscreen or a product containing SPF.
This post is compensated in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Neutrogena.
For the past week or so, non-profits and politicians have been celebrating the hard fought battle for DREAMers to hand in applications for deferred action and pay the $465 processing fee. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that as many as 1.76 million people nationally could be eligible for deferred action and this has organizations creating essentially assembly line processing programs. Si se puede fill out forms!
If it sounds like I’m downplaying what could potentially be a way for many undocumented immigrants to stay in the country it’s only to balance the hype that is being pumped through the media and masses about the process to apply for consideration for deferred action and what it potentially means.
You’ll remember that back in in June, the Department of Homeland Security released a memo announcing the announcement of a process. Well now we have a process and an application.
Just like with the initial memo, the explanation of the process has created a loud, distracting buzz. I’m not talking about the obvious conservative backlash calling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty. I’m talking about organizations, media, and even schools calling DACA the DREAM Act as if the fighting is over and let’s all just hand over our fingerprints kids. Other orgs are asking for funding to hire attorneys to process applications and passing on the charge to applicants, many who already find the nearly $500 fee a challenge. There has been a deluge of catchy slogans, endless press releases and press conferences from politicos and the non-profit industrial complex touting this program as the end all and be all for DREAMers. There have even been press events inviting the media to watch as undocumented people hand in their application, hoping that they will be among the chosen, allowed to temporarily stay in the U.S. and maybe work for two years or until whoever the new president next year is cuts the program.
What isn’t so often discussed is that with already existing immigration processing backlogs, a closer presidential race than some would like to admit, and no appeals process, this could be a report to deport program. A handful of media outlets and organizations have admitted this and some have even cautioned not rushing to hand in applications until there is evidence that this memo and process actually means something and is more than an election year ploy. As it stands now, it’s not expected that anyone will get any deferral until after the November presidential election. So many orgs are so wrapped up in getting as many applications as they can, akin to voter registration campaigns that sign up as many people as possible with no plan for what’s next. Many of the orgs that are conducting trainings and mass processimn the applications are not offering actual legal representation for those applying for DACA. It will be interesting to see what happens if the process doesn’t align with all the hype and how the orgs who have been prematurely celebrating DACA as a victory handle that reality. In the meantime actual immigration enforcement policies have not changed under Obama. I hope that the DACA process doesn’t become just a diversion while deportation numbers continue to rise.
The lovely peeps at Nacional Records wanted to hook all of you up with 3 new remixes from Kinky’s recent album ‘Sueño De La Maquina.’. The remixes of “Despues Del After”, which we shared with you last month, include two electronic dance club bangers and a fun Los Masters Plus cumbia remix.
Kinky’s new album “Sueño De La Maquina” is now available in-stores and on iTunes!
With great reviews published recently in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Kinky has performed major shows this summer in Central Park and The Staples Center. Kinky’s new album ‘Sueño De La Maquina’ was produced and mixed by legendary Dust Brother John King, who has produced Beck, Rolling Stones and Beastie Boys.
During election years the Latino vote is often talked about in mythical terms. We are called sleeping giants or swing voters and allegedly make or break the outcome every election cycle. Of course, there is no one Latino vote. Latinos are diverse and complicated. We come from many countries, speak many languages (not just English and Spanish) are multi-racial, and multi-ethnic. There is no one Latino issues no matter how racialized politics in this country tries to tell us differently.
It’s complicated. When a Latino who is eligible to vote doesn’t register or chooses not to vote they are written off as apathetic or uneducated. Thus, even in our own communities, our political power becomes a commodity fought over not just by traditional political parties, but by a non-profit system that actually puts a dollar amount on every voter form and body at the poll.
Which topics are important to you? I vote and use as many platforms at my disposal to talk and write about my life as a Latin@. Not to be cliched but politics is personal so I care about immigration (yes even as a U.S. citizen Puerto Rican). I care about education as someone who still wants to finish my undergraduate work and who has two children in the public education system of this country. I care about healthcare as one of the millions of uninsured Latin@s in this country. I care about the way mamis are portrayed and talked about instead of being listened to and supported. I care about access to food and work as a person struggling economically. While so many want to speak about us and for us – we need to give ourselves our own voice and honestly we have. Tonight a media town hall gives another possibility.
Premiering on nuvoTV on Aug. 19 at 8PM, that’s tonight, the We Decide Latino town hall special will be moderated by award-winning journalist Natalie Morales and will feature a panel of high-profile experts who will engage with a live audience and other virtual participants connecting through social media platforms. The hour-long program will explore how the presidential candidates are addressing issues specific to Latinos in the United States, including unemployment, healthcare and education.
You can tune in tonight, join in and represent via Facebook, or follow the #WeDecide hashtag on Twitter.
Remember, every action and yes even not participating sends a message, is media. Communicates and reflects.
Disclosure : This post is compensated in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and nuvoTV.
I was super thrilled to be able to attend my first free concert in Los Angeles last Friday. I took the bus out to famous Macarthur Park to catch Bomba Estereo at the Levitt Pavilion.
The Colombianos brought their Electro Vacilón to a nice crowd that couldn’t help but shake what their mamas gave them.
Coming from the NYC free summer concert scene there were a few things that surprised me. I expected the park to be much more crowded. My local friends assured me that the crowd was actually a good turnout.
Another thing that surprised me and reveals me as a spoiled ass NY’er, is that there is no alcohol served at the concerts, not that anyone needed any liquid courage last Friday night as Bomba Estereo’s musica as intoxicating enough.
Detail of mural From inside Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, Los Angeles, CA
You may have noticed that over the past two weeks there haven’t been as many posts or even much twitter activity and for that I do apologize. Bianca has done a great job filling in some blanks, writing about the very important Latina Week for Reproductive Justice and posting her great review of Mosquita y Mari (a film I really want to see myself).
I hope to get back into regular posting next week as I settle into my new West Coast casita. I appre; ate your patience and support.
PS – Tonight, I’ll be at my first summer concert in LA : Bomba Estereo at Macarthur Park!
I’m not sure how to write a review of this film without giving spoilers but I’ll try! First, check out the trailer for the film.
You’ve probably heard of the film Mosquita y Mari because of all the awards it has won or because of the Bing Originals commercial featuring writer-director Aurora Guerrero discussing how she raised 20k overnight via kickstarter to fund the film (she raised a total of over $80k)! If you haven’t heard of how she raised the funds, here’s a Chirpstory (a series of tweets) from her talk at La Casa Azul Bookstore last week in NYC.
The 3rd annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice starts today August 6-10, 2012! The theme “¡Soy Poderosa!” centers our power is as Latinas. Keep an eye out for our posts discussing our power!
Under the rallying cry of our ongoing “¡Soy Poderosa!” campaign, we will be lifting up stories of Latina leadership and civic engagement as well as taking action across the country and online to demonstrate our power and hold decision makers accountable.
We know that Latinas are actively engaged in shaping our families and communities. But we aren’t always seen as the powerful constituency that we are. ¡Soy Poderosa! puts our work and strength at the forefront, in support of our reproductive justice agenda.
Ways to get involved:
Show Your Power: Go here to submit your Soy Poderosa photo! Let’s show how powerful our community really is.