Friday, November 29, 2013

Obama visits activists fasting for immigration reform

Activists have been fasting on the National Mall since Nov. 12 and have attracted several White House and Congressional leaders who have visited to show solidarity. The Obamas spoke with 18 day fasters and two activists who have been fasting for 18 days: Eliseo Medina (left) and Dae Joong Yoon (right), and thanked them for their "sacrifice and dedication."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can President Obama Do More To Stop Deportations?

Fast for Immigration Reform - Update

Pressure and Passivity on Immigration

President Obama made the case for immigration reform again on Monday, in a speech in San Francisco that seemed mostly directed to Republicans in Congress, who aren’t listening. (See post below)
Noting the Republican resistance to passing a single comprehensive bill, he struck an oddly lighthearted note. “It’s Thanksgiving,” he said. “We can carve that bird into multiple pieces — a drumstick here, breast meat there.” This drew chuckles. By suggesting that large-scale immigration overhaul can be done incrementally, he was retreating from an argument that has guided reform advocates for a decade: fixing the broken system requires three things at once — tighter enforcement, an improved flow of new immigrants and legalization for the 11 million living here outside the law.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform

Our broken immigration system has caused a moral crisis -- where every day more and more families are torn apart by deportations.
Today, faith, immigrant rights, community and labor leaders began a fast in front of the Capitol's doorstep and at locations across the country to send a clear and visible message to Congress: we will not wait for reform any longer.
The campaign launch of "Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship" was announced this morning at a press conference at the campaign's community tent in front of the Capitol. The event featured prominent leaders and members of the immigrant community including former International Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, Eliseo Medina; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson, NETWORK Lobby Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell, Sojourners President Rev. Jim Wallis, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism Director Rabbi David Saperstein, National African-American Clergy Network's Rev. Barbara Williams Skinner, NAKASEC Executive Director Dae Joong Yoon, Make The Road NY's Lucy Tzunun, PICO National Network's Rev. Al Herring and Interfaith Worker Justice Public Policy Director Rev. Michael Livingston.
Eliseo Medina expressed his commitment to the cause of immigrant justice and this fast during the presser, saying,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Barack Obama on Immigration Reform - November 25, 2013

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Well, hello, San Francisco!    It is great to be back in California.  It is great to be with all of you.  I love San Francisco.      
And it’s fitting that we’re here in Chinatown, just a few miles away from Angel Island.  In the early 1900s, about 300,000 people -- maybe some of your ancestors -- passed through on their way to a new life in America.  And for many, it represented the end of a long and arduous journey -- they’d finally arrived in a place where they believed anything was possible.
And for some, it also represented the beginning of a new struggle against prejudice in a country that didn’t always treat its immigrants fairly or afford them the same rights as everybody else.  Obviously, Asians faced this, but so did the Irish; so did Italians; so did Jews; and many groups still do today.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obama, Tear Down this Wall!

Dreamer's arrested outside of Boehner's Office

Eleven million dreams will not be stopped. Today, more than 200 DREAMers took to the halls of the U.S. Capitol office buildings to protest House Speaker John Boehner's refusal to hold a vote on citizenship for the nation's 11 million aspiring Americans.
Earlier today a group of DREAMers crossed the Key Bridge from Arlington, Va., and marched to the Capitol.
While the hundreds of DREAMers filled the hallways outside Boehner's and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) offices, 11 people took arrest for refusing to leave Cantor's office. A group hummed "Amazing Grace" outside the Republican leader  Boehner's office.
Source: AFL-CIO Blog. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Border Issues Deserve a Humane Solution

INTRODUCTION - There is probably no one who can speak to the citizenry from a greater moral high ground than Enrique Morones from Border Angels.  He has been at the forefront on the ground for over a decade offering humanitarian aid to the sick, elderly, young, and dying migrants attempting to cross the Mexico-United States border in search of a new and better life than the one they left behind.  His work became ever more urgent with the imposition of Operation Gatekeeper in 1994 thanks to President Bill Clinton and Senator Diane Feinstein.  More than 10,000 migrants have perished since that inhumane policy was enacted.  Enrique has become the nation's moral conscience on the border.  This is what he has to say about immigration reform and the urgent tasks of the day.  

Border Issues Deserve a Humane Solution

By Enrique Morones

The U.S.-Mexico border has never been more secure, but we still hear from many people: "Secure the border!" "Get in line!" "Citizenship for all."

We rarely hear from the migrants themselves. Not only do I hear from them everyday, I also see them daily - both dead and alive. For the past several months we have had a growing coalition asking for a piecemeal approach to humane immigration and not the militarized version being offered now. The migrant community wants the Dream Act, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), to process those already in the system and passage of the agricultural jobs bill. This would qualify more than 4 million of the current 11.5 million undocumented people in this country today.

When most of our forefathers and foremothers came to this country, there was never any question of legal vs. illegal. They just came. Many even had a statue welcome and encourage them. "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses."

Friday, November 15, 2013

The War on Chicana/o Studies - Acuña

Los Muertos de Hambre :The War on Chicana/o Studies  Unmasking the Illusion of Inclusion 
By  Rodolfo F. Acuña

Muertos de hambre is a derogatory phrase often used by Mexicans to refer to people who are predators, i.e., human vultures, vendidos. They are so starved for attention or recognition that they pounce on scraps of garbage discarded by their colonial masters.

The history of Chicana/o Studies is replete with examples of myths such as that they are failing because of a lack of enrollment. The truth is that they fail because they are denied a place on the Monopoly Board (General Education, electives and the like) that runs the university and rewards departments.

The CSUN Chicana/o Studies Department has a unique problem, it has been too successful. It offers 175 plus sections per semester, and campus wide departments are salivating at the prospect of picking off pieces of the program. The sad thing is that without the Mexican student population the university would be half its size.

Ed. note. For parallel descriptions of hiring at CSU-Sacramento see;

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Native Protest Movement

                     Sacramento City College
Cultural Awareness Center & ; International Studies Program
Presents Native Protest Movement.   Francisco Dominguez , Photographer
Monday , November 18, 2013 Cultural Awareness Center 3:00~4:15 p.m.

For more information contact the CAC @ 916-558-2575.
Students requiring additional accommodations  contact
DSPS at 916-558-2087.  Sacramento

CAC is now on Facebook  : SCC-CAC

Little Manilla, Filipino history

Good piece in the Sacramento Bee by Steve Magagnini

On Oct. 2, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB123 requiring public schools to teach their students about the contributions of Filipino Americans to the state’s fields of plenty and the farmworkers movement that transformed American labor.
Many Californians don’t know that Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers movement were inspired by Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz and other Filipino farmworkers who led the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) and started the Delano grape workers strike of 1965. “The students of California need to learn that the sacrifices made by both Filipino and Latino workers benefited all California,” Huerta said.
Much of that history is detailed in “Little Manila Is In The Heart,” a new book by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, an associate professor of history at San Francisco State University and a daughter of Stockton’s once-vibrant Little Manila District – for half a century the apex of Filipino life in America. Little Manila – like Sacramento’s Japantown and Chinatown – was wiped out by urban redevelopment in the 1950s and ’60s. But its legacy lives on in California’s fields and levees, said Mabalon, 41.
What do Californians need to know about Filipino Americans?
They built the Central Valley with their bare hands in asparagus, tomatoes, celery, peaches, tomatoes and grapes. Filipino and Mexican immigrants and their families turned California into the seventh-largest economy in the world. There are still Filipinos working in the fields and sorting asparagus with Mexican immigrants. The first seven Filipinos – called Indios by the Spaniards – arrived on a Spanish galleon that landed around Morro Bay on Oct. 18, 1587.

Chicana/o Mexican American Digital History Project grows

We have created an online history collection of Chicano/Mexican American/Latino activist history in the Sacramento region 1940- present.  We make this history available to students and teachers to balance the lack of inclusion of Chicano history in public schools, text books, and college classes.   Additional digital materials are welcome.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Ray Suarez leaves PBS Newshour for Al Jazeera

Latino newsman Ray Suarez has left   his position  as a senior correspondent at the PBS Newshour.  His new book is a companion volume to the series on  history of Latinos in the U.S. aired in September on PBS.
Earlier in October, Suarez announced that he was leaving PBS after 14 years on the network's flagship "Newshour." He told told Fox News Latino that he did not see "much of a future" with the network, although he did claim that his departure was not bitter and that he left "on good terms."
Suarez announced on Twitter that he is the new host of the program “Inside Story” produced n Al Jazeera America.  It is broadcast at 5 pm. Eastern. Mon-Friday.

The PBS Newshour has new direction and no Latino journalists.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Chicano/a Studies- Not Hispanic

Identity Crisis: An Arrested Development
By  Rodolfo Acuña

The debate as to what to name Chicana/o Studies will have future repercussions. The proposals are not new; they are not innovative; and they are symptomatic of the historical struggle of Mexican origin people in the United States to identify themselves. 

The problem is that the group has grown so large and the stakes so high that the consequences will hurt everyone. Unfortunately, the level of the discourse lacks logic, and it prolongs a resolution to the identity crisis of Mexican Americans.

Admittedly, Latinos have a lot in common, but we also have a lot of differences, e.g., in social class, population size, where we live, and our history to name a few dissimilarities. These differences strew the landscape with landmines especially for those who already believe that all Latinas/os look alike. It makes it easier for them to lump us into one generic brand.