thoughts on immigration from home (and away)

April 30, 2007

In the last few days the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured a number of immigration-related columns, in preparation for tomorrow’s march and rally downtown in support of comprehensive reform. I will be there, supporting the rights of my family and friends who have been employed in this country for many years, and also working on a commentary for the Thursday paper.

For your reading pleasure: Dan Banda, a former Journal Sentinel community columnist and documentary maker, commented on why he hopes this year’s march will matter; Rachel Ida Buff, a history teacher at UWM, wrote about the human realities of the immigration debate; and current fellow community columnist Vivian Roe, reaffirms her position as my complete opposite among the current columnist group with this commentary on the rights of undocumented immigrants to hold a rally.

Edit: I was just reading some news on the Washington Post, and found this interesting commentary on all the “Lazy, job-stealing immigrants.” Hehe. I like his take on the costs of border security against what we might be “saving” when it comes to the alleged wage decreases as well as the fact that he points out that incarceration and unemployment rates are actually significantly lower among immigrants as compared with native-born Americans.


new blogging friends

April 29, 2007

I’ve evangelized two friends to wordpress in the past few weeks…. do I get a prize?

They’ve both just started blogging, but one is moving to chaotic, gigantic Mexico City to be with her recently deported boyfriend (and his adorable nieces)…..

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and the other is working as an extra, on shows like The Office and CSI, while seeking his big break in Hollywood.

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I want to read their stories, what about you?


Happy Birthday Fermin!

April 27, 2007

We’re not big birthday celebrators, but that’s definitely worth mentioning. Too bad I can’t participate in the Mexican tradition of stealthily pushing your face into the butter cream this year. Next year though, you better watch out!

You know I would send you a card, or a present, but it would get stuck in customs, and the card would be made in China so it wouldn’t get through, and they would require I fax in the same commercial invoice for $10 of goods five times, and then, unsatisfied, they rifle through the package and read the card and then just send it back. And then I would have wasted yet another $70 on Fedex’s super-reliable international shipping.

In other news, I’ve taken a few days off from obsessively reading immigration blogs and other mostly bad news that I find on the internet about immigration reform, and taken to playing a little text-based role-playing game called Kingdom of Loathing, introduced to my by my co-worker. I’ve never been into video games, but this is a really good way to pass time during those slow times of the day. It has little in common with the violence or intensity of the games my dad and brother play, and the wit and humor of it has held my interest at least for a few days.

Time for the weekend!


just some more light reading

April 26, 2007

One of these days I will blog something good, but today is rainy and depressing, and I don’t have the will or the enthusiasm to write. It sounds ridiculous, considering how many times I have left the country in the past year, but I need a vacation. Well, it’s more like, I need to spend a few days with my husband rather than wondering if him and I have a future in this country. Too bad I have like 10 hours of vacation time left for the entire 2007 calender year.

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Hooked on Violence

New York Times

by Bob Herbert

Published: April 26, 2007

Two days after the massacre at Virginia Tech, a mentally disturbed man with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun opened fire in a house in Queens, killing his mother, his mother’s disabled companion and the disabled man’s health care aide. The gunman then killed himself.

Sixteen months ago, in the basement of a private home in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, four aspiring rappers, aged 19 to 22, were summarily executed in a barrage of semiautomatic gunfire. Two teenagers were arrested five months later, and one was charged as the gunman.

I had coffee the other day with Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and she mentioned that since the murders of Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, well over a million Americans have been killed by firearms in the United States. That’s more than the combined U.S. combat deaths in all the wars in all of American history.

“We’re losing eight children and teenagers a day to gun violence,” she said. “As far as young people are concerned, we lose the equivalent of the massacre at Virginia Tech about every four days.”

The first step in overcoming an addiction is to acknowledge it. Americans are addicted to violence, specifically gun violence. We profess to be appalled at every gruesome outbreak of mass murder (it’s no big deal when just two, three or four people are killed at a time), but there’s no evidence that we have the will to pull the guns out of circulation, or even to register the weapons and properly screen and train their owners.

On the day after Christmas in 2000, an employee of Edgewater Technology, a private company in Wakefield, Mass., showed up at work with an assault rifle and a .12-gauge shotgun. Around 11 a.m. he began methodically killing co-workers. He didn’t stop until seven were dead.

An employee who had not been at work that day spoke movingly to a reporter from The Boston Globe about the men and women who lost their lives. “They were some of the sweetest, smartest people I’ve ever had the chance to work with,” he said. “The cream of the crop.”

The continuing carnage has roused at least one group of public officials to action: mayors. “We see the violence that is happening in America today,” said Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston. “Illegal guns are rampant. Go into almost any classroom in Boston — sixth and seventh grade, eighth grade, high school — and 50 percent of those kids know somebody who had a gun.”

The mayor noted that since the beginning of the year, more than 100 people have already been killed in Philadelphia, and nearly 80 in Baltimore. Most of the victims were shot to death.

Last year Mayor Menino and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, at a meeting they hosted at Gracie Mansion, organized a group of mayors committed to fighting against illegal firearms in the U.S. “It is time for national leadership in the war on gun violence,” Mr. Bloomberg said at the time. “And if that leadership won’t come from Congress or come from the White House, then it has to come from us.”

The campaign has grown. There were 15 mayors at that first gathering. Now more than 200 mayors from cities in 46 states have signed on.

When asked why Mayor Bloomberg had become so militant about the gun issue, John Feinblatt, the city’s criminal justice coordinator, mentioned the “human element.” He said: “I think it’s because he’s watched eight police officers be shot. And because, like all mayors, he’s the one who gets awakened, along with the police commissioner, at 3 in the morning and 4 in the morning, and has to rush to the hospital and break the news that can break somebody’s heart.”

Those who are interested in the safety and well-being of children should keep in mind that only motor vehicle accidents and cancer kill more children in the U.S. than firearms. A study released a few years ago by the Harvard School of Public Health compared firearm mortality rates among youngsters 5 to 14 years old in the five states with the highest rates of gun ownership with those in the five states with the lowest rates.

The results were chilling. Children in the states with the highest rates of gun ownership were 16 times as likely to die from an accidental gunshot wound, nearly seven times as likely to commit suicide with a gun, and more than three times as likely to be murdered with a firearm.

Only a lunatic could seriously believe that more guns in more homes is good for America’s children.


rumored, but rarely seen

April 24, 2007

Please watch this short video.

and an article that shows what happened to the agent in a similar but unrelated case.


couldn’t have said it better myself

April 22, 2007

A friend from Immigrate2US thought I would enjoy the writings of Mark Morford, of the San Francisco Chronicle. I read a few of his columns and indeed found him humorous and well-spoken. In addition, I found this column that I literally couldn’t agree more with, on the topic I said I didn’t want to talk about anymore, gun control. However, I think this very succinctly states the way I feel about this issue.


I may have found a topic for my column

April 19, 2007

The show “Ugly Betty” just referred to Sheboygan as a town in Michigan. (It’s in Wisconsin). I can forgive that, but then Constance the immigration worker suggested that Ignacio would immediately become a “legal man” were they to get married. (He’s currently an undocumented immigrant in the show). Salma, Salma, you’re gorgeous, and a brilliant actress, but please, do some research!