Two days ago I wrote about Pedro, the 22 year old living in Arizona who was brought here as a young child from Mexico and was facing deportation today.
Today there is a little bit of good news. Pedro was granted a 30 day window by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ‘s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency office in Phoenix, AZ to remain in the country while his case is being further reviewed.
“I now realize that the only way for me to be able to stay in Arizona, my home, is for President Obama to allow for me to stay. It is his choice whether I am deported to a country I do not know or if I am allowed to stay in Arizona and give back to my community. I ask President Obama to please let me serve this nation,” says Pedro.
In the absence of the DREAM Act, which would have allowed Pedro an opportunity to stay in the U.S., Pedro’s attorney is seeking for Pedro to be allowed to stay in the U.S. via deferred action based on the fact that he wants to enlist in the U.S. Marines.
22 year old Pedro was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was 7 years old by his grandmother, who raised him. The young man, who lives in Arizona and has no living relatives on either side of the border, has been told that he has until Tuesday to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who could deport him.
You can send an electronic fax to DHS/ICE
You can add your name to the petition and make calls.
Before Congresswoman Gifford and others were shot in Tuscon, Arizona , 17 year old Ramses Barron Torres was shot and killed by a bullet originating in Nogales, Arizona. There have been no national moments of silence for the apparently unarmed teenager. No memes speculating on the sanity of the shooter(s) or if violent rhetoric played a role. That’s probably because Ramses Barron Torres is Mexican and was shot by U.S. Border Patrol.
The story on what actually happened to Torres depends on what source you believe. From Immigration Clearinghouse:
It took the players all day to get their stories to a point where it was agreed that the agents fired their weapons into the air, and they put Torres as either “in the US, throwing rocks at agents, when he fell and hit his head on a rock and died”, or, he fell from the fence which he was trying to scale while chunking rocks at BP agents, a truly awesome display of athletic ability were it to be true.
But something wierd happened. Torres body showed up at a hospital in Nogales Sonora with a gunshot wound, throwing all to hell the claims that he was in the US throwing rocks at BP agents.
The Sonora State Investigative Police, or PEI, said 17-year-old Ramses Barron Torres, who died shortly after 3 a.m. at a Nogales, Sonora hospital, was shot in the back of the right arm, with the bullet continuing into his chest cavity, puncturing a lung, and lodging in the left side of his ribcage.
In “the back of the right arm” meaning Torres would have had his back to the BP agents who murdered him.
Just like part of the push back against Arizona’s SB1070 includes legal wrangling, so does the fight against HB2281, which bans Ethnic Studies in the state.
Arizona State Attorney General, Tom Horne, started the year by claiming that the Tucson Unified School District is out of compliance with HB2281 because of a Mexican-American study course, If found out of compliance and do not cut the course within a 60 day period, TUSD could lose 10 percent in state funding, an estimated $15 million.
TUSD has some options. The first is a hearing to prove that they are in compliance with HB2281. Additionally 11 teachers are filing a lawsuit claiming HB2281 violates the first and fourteenth amendments.
Via / KGUN9 and UPI
In the Show Me Your Papers state of Arizona, ringing in the new year means that bells won’t be ringing to start Ethnic Studies classes in the state since effective yesterday HB2281 bans them.
The official reasoning behind the ban is to prevent courses that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity “instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” But really what the ban does in precisely the opposite. It codifies the normalization of whiteness with furthers the “othering” of everything else. It socializes young people into consent and acceptance of “American” culture as dominant and superior, meaning everything else is inferior. HB2281 is like the changes made to textbooks in Texas but applied to the art and liberty of teaching.
In August and September of this year, VivirLatino drew your attention to a possible connection between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing SB1070 into law and the for profit prison corporation Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Now a new report from NPR draws a line connecting the author of SB1070, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, and “a secretive group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. Insiders call it ALEC”. Members of ALEC include the tobacco company Reynolds American Inc., ExxonMobil, the National Rifle Association, and Corrections Corporation of America.
According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in “a significant portion of our revenues” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.
In the conference room, the group decided they would turn the immigration idea into a model bill. They discussed and debated language. Then, they voted on it.
“There were no ‘no’ votes,” Pearce said. “I never had one person speak up in objection to this model legislation.”
Four months later, that model legislation became, almost word for word, Arizona’s immigration law.
They even named it. They called it the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.”
Just saw this over at Change.org:
Tim Elfrink at Miami New Times (full disclosure: I work for the paper) reports that the law drafted by Florida state representative William Snyder, and supported by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, includes a clause that “Even if an officer has ‘reasonable suspicions’ over a person’s immigration status … a person will be ‘presumed to be legally in the United States’ if he or she provides ‘a Canadian passport’ or a passport from any ‘visa waiver country.’” Elfrink points out that aside from four Asian countries, all other visa waiver countries are located in Western Europe.
What the…? Yep, that’s right. The Florida law in a nutshell: If you’re a white non-Hispanic, you’re presumed to be in the country legally and don’t need to show any proof. If you belong in the “all others” category, better carry your papers.
Of course, there’s an explanation for such blatant racism, as Snyder told a radio host: “What we’re doing there is trying to be sensitive to Canadians. We have an enormous amount of … Canadians wintering here in Florida … That language is comfort language.”
Ah, yes tons of Canadians wintering here in Florida … along with MILLIONS of South Americans. In the biggest tourism destination in the state, Miami, people from South America comprise 52% of the visitors alone. That’s not even counting tourists from Central America and the Caribbean. These are people with plenty of disposable income, and plenty of tourism options. If Florida became a state suspicious of Latinos, they would just take their billions of dollars elsewhere. For a state whose economy relies so heavily on tourism, especially from Latin America, you’d think politicians would be a little bit more worried about making everyone feel comfortable. But that’s what makes it obvious this little clause isn’t about tourism at all. It’s about using every thin veil and pretense possible to try to legalize racial profiling.
Things just get ever better, don’t they?
Read the whole thing here.
Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio (yup he’s still around) was trying to not fix the inhumane conditions inside the jails within his jurisdiction as ordered by a lower court’s ruling. The court ruled that jails in Maricopa County do not meet constitutional minimums when it comes to food quality and housing conditions for inmates on psychotropic drugs. Yesterday, The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s appeal of the 2008 U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake’s decision.
Now Arpaio must end severe overcrowding and ensure all detainees receive necessary medical and mental health care, be given uninterrupted access to all medications prescribed by correctional medical staff, be given access to exercise and to sinks, toilets, toilet paper and soap and be served food that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines. Basically, the judge ordered that yes Sheriff Joe, the incarcerated are humans and need to be treated as such.
The ACLU proved at the 2008 trial that the sheriff routinely abused pre-trial detainees at Maricopa County Jail by feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time during intake.
Via / AZ Central and the ACLU
Image Via / SPLC