Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A growing number of depressed and downtrodden? No.


"So at the end of the day what do we have? A growing number of immigrant poor? Well, yes. A growing number of depressed and downtrodden? No. Hispanic immigrants, like their immigrant predecessors, are optimists."


Trying to speak someone's language is a sign of respect


"To greet Koreans in Korean as a non-Korean is always a sure fire way to elicit surprise and a bit of cultural cool points. It doesn't matter how much I mangle the pronunciation or use the improper honorific or fail to conjugate the verb, it never fails to please at some level. Trying to speak someone's language is a sign of respect, especially for people whose chief aim is to assimilate as much and as quickly as possible to the dominant culture. It indicates that you value them, or at least care enough to recognize that they are not altogether like you, and that this is a good thing. As a Christian, trying to speak another language is a discipline of humility since it reduces my normally fluid command of language to sounding like a
stammering two year old..."


Republicans losing Latinos


"Bush won an estimated 44% of the Latino vote in 2004. While polling numbers vary, many analysts said that represented about a 9-percentage-point improvement from 2000, suggesting that Latinos might become a substantial pillar upholding a durable Republican majority."

"But in recent months, Democratic activists watched with amazement as Republicans pushed into law a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border and tried to make it a felony to migrate illegally or to help undocumented immigrants. The latter provision did not become law, but it especially angered some church leaders, who said it would have criminalized their religious duty to help the least privileged in society."

"Despite Bush's lobbying for an immigrant guest-worker program, favored by many Latinos, conservative lawmakers in the House refused to bend, forcing Bush to endorse the fence legislation and dimming his popularity among Latinos."

"A survey released this month by the Latino Coalition found Latino registered voters supporting Democrats over Republicans 56% to 19% in congressional elections. "If Republicans nationally get 25% of the Hispanic vote, it would be a miracle," said Robert de Posada, the coalition president."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Anti-a**hole immigration

Guy Kawasaki has this early review of Robert Sutton's book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. U.S. immigration policy is sorely in need of some of Sutton's anti-a**hole principles:

Do not make people feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled.

Do not mistreat people who are less powerful than you.

Focus on win-win.

Focus on ways you are no better or even worse than others.

Focus on ways you are similar to people, not different.

Tell yourself, “I have enough stuff (money, toys, friends, cars, whatever).”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Illegal immigrants used as pawns in heated campaign rhetoric

By Mark Brown

The Senate's immigration plan, the one favored by Duckworth and McCain (and yes, Kennedy), also calls for tougher border measures, but would allow those 12 million illegal immigrants to stay in the country. It would require them to register with the government and earn their legalized status by paying a fine, paying their taxes and learning English, among other requirements. It would take 11 years to clear all the hurdles.
You may consider that a form of amnesty. A lot of people who have studied this issue, though, think that eventually Congress will adopt some version of the Senate approach, because it will have a much better chance to work in the long run than just cracking down.

It just wouldn't have made so divisive a campaign issue for the midterm elections.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Multiple Fronts of Immigrant Rights Movement

Multiple Fronts of Immigrant Rights Movement

by Mark Schurmann

EDITOR’S NOTE: NAM convened a summit of ethnic media practitioners and immigrant rights activists on Sept. 21 at the Japanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Over 125 participants spent a day discussing where they see immigrant rights in their regions and how to build more powerful communications within the movement. The summit was sponsored by the Rockefeller Family Fund, The Dream Fund of the Knight Foundation and the California Community Foundation.

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'Good' Latinos and 'Bad' Latinos in the Age of Homeland Security and Global War

Cruising on Military Drive
'Good' Latinos and 'Bad' Latinos in the Age of Homeland Security and Global War
by Roberto Lovato

Not far from the white walls of the Alamo, Mexican and other Latino immigrants are again being cast as the anonymous "bad guys" as they run up against the political, physical, and psychic borders of the U.S. immigration debate. As the Bush Administration and the Republican Party continue their steady spiral downward, they have done what Bill Clinton and other politicians have done in times of crisis: declare war. Viewed from this perspective, the election year focus on immigrants serves the same function as the Iraq war in terms of keeping the populace on war footing, this time against the "invaders" denounced on billboards in San Antonio and across the country.

In what is not so much a coincidence as it is an urgent political necessity, the Bush Administration and the Republican Party have, in their desperation, taken the frame of war and applied it to the issue of immigration. Witness Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) who set the tone of recent hearings of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Non-Proliferation by remarking that Homeland Security officials report that "Al-Qaeda has considered crossing our Southwest borders," and "It may already have happened."


But not all is dreary in the Latino Americas. The repressive and assimilationist pressures influencing the identity of "good" Latinos in El Salvador, at the Alamo, and in Iraq are also giving way to another kind of struggle, another kind of Latino: the movimientista. One of the collateral effects of the raids, exploitation, surveillance, and other repressive components of the war on immigrants has been to energize and inform identities of defiance among many Latinos. Because they are arguably those most affected by national security policies and their cultural implications, immigrants have been forced to take their place alongside African Americans, women, Latin American revolutionaries, and others who sought to redefine freedom beyond the usual notions.

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