Chicanos Protest El Salvadorian-American Arizona Politician Rep. Steve Montenegro

POSTED ON
January 24
Arizona Rep. Steve Montenegro Protest
 
 
 
"!!Ay de los que dictan leyes injustas, y prescriben tiranía!" --  Isaías 10:1
 
 
Phoenix, AZ -- We will be protesting Tea Party Republican Steve Montenegro this Sunday (for siding with anti-immigrant Republicans) tomorrow morning at his own Church.  The goal is to inform Montenegro's own church congregation of his hypocrisy because we believe he preaches one thing to immigrant members of his congregation while doing another at the Arizona state capitol.   We were successful with informing the Mormon community of (now ousted) Sen. Russell Pearce's Mormon hypocrisy when we protested Pearce at his Mesa Mormon Church.  We educated Mormon leaders in Mesa via a Fireside.  We were also successful in getting Sheriff Joe Arpaio's attention when we protested him at the Fountain Hills Catholic Church when he an his wife avoided going to church because they were too embarrassed.  As such, it is now time for Montenegro's congregation to know about his immigrant hypocrisy.  The goal is to raise awareness to those living in his district with an effort to ensure Montenegro will not get re-elected in 2016.  We believe Montenegro cannot serve two masters as he preaches one "high moral"  thing but does another at the Arizona state capitol.
 
According to the Three Sonorans:
 
"Steve Montenegro is a person everyone in Tucson should know, because he is the main force behind a bill that was just passed that was targeted directed at TUSD. That bill is HB 2281 and Steve Montenegro was the primary sponsor of that horrible bill. Montenegro is also vilified for being a main stooge for Russell Pearce’s SB 1070, and has gone on national TV to defend that bill (video below) that has given Arizona such a negative name in the last two months."
 
 
It is time to revive the Chicano Movement as we show El Salvadorian-American Rep. Montenegro why our community will no longer be complacent with his hyporcisy.
 

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New Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Begins His Legacy Passing Education Bill Tied To Immigration Fed Test

POSTED ON
January 16

 

According to the Associated Press, "Arizona became the first state in the nation on Thursday to enact a law requiring high school students to pass the U.S. Immigration citizenship test on civics before graduation."

 
Both the House and the Senate rushed the bill without first addressing:
 
COST.  How much will it cost schools in order to implement the INS test? Senator Abelser cited concerns with failed previous legislation implemented with regard to AIMS testing and how he sees a similar pattern with regard to the INS test.  He also expressed concerns with rushing SB 1029 without first answering cost-related questions to Arizona taxpayers from a fiscally responsible standpoint.  Ableser also reminded Arizona lawmakers how the former superintendent of Arizona public education via Lisa Keegan helped enact AIMS only for the measure to end in 2014 replacing it with another tougher academics test that could cost Arizona tax payers an additional 9 million to implement new testing
 
BUDGET.  Senator Katie Hobbs addressed concerns regarding Arizona schools who are already experiencing a budget crisis and the shortage of computer resources already in some schools today in order for the INS test to be conducted online.  How will Republican Senators be fiscally responsible with addressing the current school budget crisis and computer shortages of some schools considering we have a looming $1 billion shortfall Governor Jan Brewer left Arizonan taxpayers with?
 
EDUCATION REGRESSION. Senator Catherine Miranda addressed regression concerns in Arizona education.  Arizona high schools are already teaching more complex American history and it does not make sense overall to go backwards particularly when the new assessment test replacing AIMS testing reflects tougher academic standards.
 
COURT CHALLENGE CONCERNS.  This is yet another Arizona Immigration-related Bill that adds more bureaucracy and large government ideas now being introduced into Arizona education.   SB 1070 was mostly struck down by the Supreme Court that cost Arizona taxpayers.  Currently a challenge of Ethnic Chicano studies not being taught in Arizona schools is tied up in the 9th Circuit Court of Appealsth Circuit Court of Appeals because Arizona Republicans simply cannot leave the immigration issue alone and to the feds. Arizona Senator Steve Farley pointed out the hypocrisy of some Arizona Republicans who were against President Obama's “common core” in education, yet, some of these very Republicans are okay with larger government ideas that uses “federal” Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)  testing standards that essentially introduces more bureaucracy just because it is immigration related. 
 
Additionally, our women-led organization was disappointed in President Senator Biggs for not publicly addressing Tea Party Senator John  Kavanaugh in public for violating legislative rules when Kavanaugh inappropriately addressed female Arizona lawmaker Senator Catherine Miranda by name during the SB 1029 session. We hope this does not indicate how future legislative sessions will be conducted.  Kavanaugh is a seasoned public servant in Arizona state legislature and he should know the rules with regard to the professional legislative decorum required by everyone else.
 
Below is the list of Arizona Senators who voted in support of tying public education to an immigration test:
 
Senators Biggs, Allen, Barto, Begay, Burges, Dial, Driggs, Farnesworth, Griffin, Kavanaugh, Lesko McGuire, Pierce, Shooter, Smith, Ward, Worsely, Yarbrough, and Yee. 
 
Arizona Senators who did not support the immigration federal testing tied to high school are:
 
Senators Ableser, Bradley, Carjero Bedford, Contreras, Dalessandro, Farley, Hobbs, Mora, Miranda, and Quezada (with 
Senator Pancranzi a no-vote).
 
Finally, it appears the new Republican Governor Doug Ducey is following the footsteps of Governor Jan Brewer with regard to  eagerly signing another Arizona bill tied to immigration via INS testing.  This bill was rushed through Arizona legislation and it is the first bill Ducey will sign.  Cost and budget concerns were not addressed and Arizona taxpayers will foot the bill without knowing the collateral damage of a bill that has been fast-tracked putting us at risk of potentially fighting another State bill that could end up in the 9th Circuit court of appeals if challenged.
 
 
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Arizona ban on Chicano studies goes before appeals court

POSTED ON
January 12

Meanwhile in San Francisco at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ...

From AZ Central:

TUCSON — A federal appeals court on Monday will take up the case against a ban on ethnic studies in Arizona.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear arguments in the case that has received renewed attention after a school district in Tucson was accused by state officials of violating the ban.

A lower court has upheld the Arizona law that prohibits courses if they promote resentment toward a race or a class of people, are designed primarily for people of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of people as individuals.

The ban was approved in 2010 and adopted by the Tucson Unified School District two years later because it risked losing funding. The district eliminated its Mexican-American studies program, angering teachers and students who said it improved student achievement. They went on to sue the state, saying the law was overly broad and violated free speech rights.

But the federal court found courses "designed primarily for peoples of a particular ethnic group" to be unconstitutionally vague and upheld the other standards under which Tucson's program was eliminated.

TUSD is now at risk of losing about $14.2 million in annual funding over what state officials say are violations of the ban.

Former Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal used his last hours in office to issue a report accusing the TUSD of being in violation. He cited an introductory course on hip-hop from the African-American perspective and lyrics from the rock band Rage Against the Machine as violations.

New Superintendent Diane Douglas said she agrees that TUSD is in violation but says the problem is not with the ethnic studies curriculum but with the way it is taught.

Douglas said it's a misunderstanding that the Arizona Department of Education is opposed to ethnic studies.

District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said the curriculum follows a 2013 federal racial desegregation order requiring culturally relevant courses. He said the courses are being taught at three high schools, but they will be expanded to seven next school year.

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In Retaliation For Obama’s Free College Program, Arizona Legislators Want To Pass Additional Bureaucratic Methods Within Education That Could Mean Less High School Diplomas

POSTED ON
January 12

In Retaliation For Obama’s Free College Program, Arizona Legislators  Want To Pass Additional Bureaucratic Methods Within Education That Could Mean Less High School Diplomas

 
 
 
 
Phoenix, AZ --   Republicans want to vote and introduce a bill during their first week of session that ties Arizona education to a test equivalent to INS standards. The additional education impediment appears to be improper because it uses irrelevant methodology in relation to immigrants.
 
If there is no compelling state interest, one can show with empirical data that it has a desperate impact on immigrants, which would meet the constitutional strict scrutiny test and be challenged it in court if it passes. See Brown v. Board of Ed. and Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954) [finding national origin discrimination against Mexican-Americans in grand jury selection impermissible].
 
However, the Republican bureaucratic education bill could put American citizens at a disadvantage – not immigrants.  According to USA Today, Americans were put to shame by immigrants on a sample civics test. It is unclear what Montenegro’s rational basis is for the bill considering he supports smaller government. What is the legislative purpose to this bill?
 
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Democratic Caucus Of Arizona Senate Begins New Year On Right Foot

POSTED ON
January 09

Democratic Signatures

All signatures obtained by January 7, 2014.

 

 

Remember when certain Democrats were in support of a recall against Chicana law maker (D) Catherine Miranda? As of January 7, 2015, a final signature was obtained with regard to a letter addressed to the Arizona community regarding Arizona Democratic Sen. Catherine Miranda. Let it be known the Arizona State Senate Democratic Caucus stands united against a recall against Sen. Miranda.

Frank Mills Miranda, Angel Garcia, Gail Mokry Shoultes, Lou Lernor, Shirl Mora James and I were the initial voices who held a certain democratic political action committee leader accountable for a misogynist‬ term used against the female Arizona law maker.

As a key swing Independent registered voter, we reminded the community how Republicans in the State of Arizona have been successful in the past because of their "unified front" and we told Democratic leaders they should also have a unified front in the state of Arizona -- particularly when Independents are the largest voting block putting the Arizona GOP in 2nd place, and the Arizona Dems in 3rd place.

We were disappointed to hear about Democratic lawmakers who were actually in support of a recall against their own Democratic colleague Miranda, however, the below letter helps the Chicano and Latino community get on the correct "unified front" path because we can no longer tolerate Anglo(s)political bloggers such as Arizona Eagletarian [Steve Muratore] to be part of a political assassination attempts of a fellow Chicana law maker without proper justification.

A political stoning to death of a fellow Chicana who has helped promote immigration reform will not take place under our watch, and though we don't always agree with Miranda on every political issue -- we do know that she is a staunch advocate of immigration.

More importantly, and recently,  she blew the whistle on new lawmaker Rep. Jay Lawrence who was suggesting to put "non citizen" on Arizona immigrant driver's licenses on the eve of the Arizona Super Bowl. She informed immigration advocates and we now have Jay Lawrence officially stating he will not go through with his driver's license / immigration scare idea. Those who are participated in her political character assassination has much to do with her pro life views (she is a Catholic pro life Democrat)  when Ruben Gallego hand picked Aaron Marquez to run against Miranda in light of her pro life views. Both Ruben and Aaron attacked Miranda for her pro life views.  Rep. Ruben Gallego of all people should know better than to attack a pro life Democrat because he himself began his political career when he worked under City Councilman Michael Nowakowski who is a well know Catholic pro lifer.   That said, it is important to know that there are a lot of ‪#‎Catholic‬ pro life Democrats in Miranda's district and this is why she won in the first place despite her attackers. Catholic pro lifers want to see her in office, and it will probably be a matter of time when we see Miranda become a future Chicana / Latina Congresswoman.

We applaud Miranda for being proactive instead of reactive on the immigration front and we hope she will continue to blow the whistle on wrong doers who want to scare immigrants. In my view, she helped thwart a Super Bowl debacle from brewing in light of Jay Lawrence for House and his immigration scare controversy.

Below are the individuals who signed:

Senator Robert Meza, Ed Ableser, Carlyle W. Begay, David Bradley, Lupe Contreras, Barbara McGuire, Andrea Delassandro, Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford, Katie Hobbs, Lynne Pancrazi, and lastly Rep. Martín J. Quezada.

Finally, there are critics out there who want to know why we are giving Sen. Catherine Miranda credit where credit is due in light of her being married to Ben Miranda, a controversial lawmaker, who recently passed away.

The answer is simple:  Do we judge a woman for acts committed by her husband?

The answer is no.

We often see those same critics who criticize Hillary Clinton for "standing by her man" regarding her personal marital views.  Bottom line: Hillary Clinton should not be responsible for what her husband does.  Ben Miranda's political decisions (may he rest in peace) were his decisions -- not Catherine's and Catherine so far has not supported any anti-immigrant policies in the State of Arizona.  If and when she supports an anti-immigrant laws in the State of Arizona, we will be sure to let her know how we feel and why we feel the way we do, but in the meantime, we believe in giving credit where credit is due.  She gets credit for blowing the whistle on an immigration scare and we applaud her proactive work.  The proactive work we should have seen when SB 1070 caught us in a surprise with our pants down.

 

c/s

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Jaime Seall-Gutierrez Letter to Santa Barbara News Press Editor for “Illegals Line Up For Driver’s Licenses” Controversy

POSTED ON
January 05

Photo: California Chicano Lawyer, Jaime Segall-Gutierrez with Dolores Huerta

 

Chicano lawyer, Ruben Salazar writes with regard to Santa Barbara News Press’ usage of the term “illegal” when referring to immigrants.  It’s too bad they won’t drop an antiquated offensive word and follow the Associated Press’ suit.   Please sign this petition Chipsterlife began here.  In the below, Jaime Segall-Gutierrez gives the Santa Barbara News Press a history lesson.

 

Santa Barbara News Press Needs to be enlightened

By Jaime Segall-Gutierrez

On January 3, 2015, the Santa Barbara News Press headlines read “Illegals line up for driver’s licenses”. The headline implied volumes by its single sentence. It implied that people, labeled as Illegal were breaking the law by acquiring driver’s licenses. It implied that a human being can be illegal, as if gods beautiful creation could be deemed illegal. It implied that these human beings by their mere existence are breaking this fine countries democratic laws. It put a bad taste in the readers mouth that something is afoul here, when in reality its not.

Santa Barbara is a city older than the News Press. It has a culture, celebrated every year (Fiestas), by most revelers in the city, which is older than the Anglo-American presence. Procession participants yell to the revelers “Viva Fiestas” in homage to the Spanish / Mexican culture which blessed the city with its names and uniquely stylized architecture. It is a cove of Spanish / Mexican ambience.

While Santa Barbara celebrates its centuries old culture, the descendants of said Spaniards and Mexicans are ridiculed, mocked, harassed, marginalized and now dehumanized by the News Press.

Interestingly enough, Santa Barbara prohibited Spanish Immersion for which much of the student body boycotted the schools. Recently, the powers that be, attempted to create a gang injunction, which would have made the residents of the East and West side prisoners in their own home. The dichotomy of celebrating a culture and attempting to oppress it is perplexing and for the most part dysfunctional.

Santa Barbara is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world and some of the most reactionary people in the U.S. The City and County depends heavily on cheap Mexican/Chicano labor, whether it be in the landscape industry, service industry or just plain cheap labor.

Rather than thank this community for its beautiful and unique culture and for its support, Santa Barbara punishes them for wanting to drive legally. Rather than see the virtue in everyone having a driver’s license and insurance, the News Press takes a callus stab at human beings whose only sin is being born Mexican.

Apparently, the News Press is not in compliance with the Associated Press’s Stylebook, which is the news industries standard bearer for language, by using Illegal rather than undocumented.

An apology would be greatly appreciated. Gratitude for Mexicans/Chicanos would be justified.


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Ruben Salazar Letter To Santa Barbara News Press Editor for Use of Term Illegal

POSTED ON
January 05

 

Chicano lawyer, Ruben Salazar writes with regard to Santa Barbara News Press’ usage of the term “illegal” when referring to immigrants.  It’s too bad they won’t drop an antiquated offensive word and follow the Associated Press’ suit.   Please sign this petition Chipsterlife began here.  In the below, Ruben Salazar essentially gives the Santa Barbara News Press a history lesson.

 

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “ILLEGAL” HUMAN BEING, ONLY “ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.” 

By: Ruben Salazar Esq. Jan 4, 2015 ©

 

Santa Barbara News Star PO Box 1358, Santa Barbara, CA. 93102

Attn: Editorial Board and Taylor Brianna Knopf (805) 564-5193

 

I am both a sociologist and a lawyer, and in that vein, I would like to formally register my seven (7) complaints about your news outlet’s improper usage of the term, “illegals” in your January3, 2015 front page story on California’s new law relating to driver’s licenses. It is wrong on so many levels.

 

First, usage of the racially divisive misnomer is legally wrong and borders on unethical journalism. Nowhere in the U.S. Immigration Nationality Act, the controlling federal immigration laws, is the term “illegal” defined. The word “alien” is defined. INA Sec. 1101(a)(3), The word, “immigrant” is defined. INA Sec. Sec. 1101(a)(15). Both terms are used to describe categories of persons who are not U.S. citizens. Even the term, “special immigrant” is defined. INA Sec. 1101(a)(27). But, nowhere does the term, “illegal” appear in any of the immigration laws or regulations. Thus, the word is misleading to the general public, as it does not even exist under governing U.S. immigration laws. This begs the question: if the term, “illegal” is not found under the federal immigration laws (the definitive authority on the subject), then what gives the author – who claims to have studied sociology as I have – or the editorial board of your local newspaper the temerity to use such an inflammatory non-legal term? It would behoove the board to remember that businesses don’t like controversy or unethical practices by media outlets which don’t adhere to national professional standards of journalism. This is because publicly advertising with such unethical or misleading media outlets make their businesses look unethical or sleazy. Perhaps the more accurate legal terms, “aliens,” or “unlawful immigrants” should have been used instead.

 

If your regrettable use of word, “illegals” refer to foreigners who entered the country without being inspected by an immigration officer or without proper documentation, that too could or would be misplaced. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a crime to cross the border without papers or authorization. INA section 275(a) is entitled “improper entry by alien” and deals with the civil penalties for “avoidance of examination or inspection.” Given this important civil provision, many immigration judges and lawyers in removal proceedings often use the legal phrase, “entering without inspection,” or (“EWI”). Other informed people, call these people through the less offensive legal terms, “foreign nationals“ or ”arriving aliens.” Maybe the terms, “foreign nationals,” “arriving aliens” or “EWI’s” would have been more legally and factually accurate and ethical; that is, assuming ethics and accuracy is what your local newspaper strives to achieve.

 

Second, the term “illegals” is potentially overbroad and contrary to existing immigration case law. What you may not know is that many foreign nationals initially entered because they were inadvertently admitted into the U.S. by immigration officials. For example, it is not uncommon for an individual migrant to be “waved through” inspection at a port of entry and be allowed to enter without being asked any questions by the inspecting border patrol agent. Such a non-citizen who physically presents him or herself for inspection, makes no false claim to U.S. citizenship, and is inadvertently permitted to enter the U.S., has been legally inspected and admitted, even if the inspecting office asks no questions. Such an individual has not made an entry without inspection (EWI), and so cannot be considered to be here “illegally.” See, Matter of Areguillin, 17 I&N Dec. 308 (BIA 1980).

 

Third, and perhaps most notably, the term, “illegals,” is journalistically obsolete and unfair, racially biased, and passé. We remind the Santa Barbara Star News that the influential Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is used by reputable newspapers and schools around the United States. On April 2, 2013, the AP dropped the phrase “illegal immigrant” from it’s stylebook. AP no longer sanctions the term, “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal” to describe a person. Instead, AP Executive Editor, Kathleen Carrol, tells its users that “illegal“ should describe only an action, “such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.” The 2013 AP move is part of broader national journalistic shift away from labeling people and toward labeling behavior. Even former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano once defined an “illegal immigrant” to reporters as “immigrants who are here illegally.” Thus, on a more fundamentally factual and journalistic level, no human beings are technically themselves illegal, albeit their actions may be.

 

In addition, the AP has also previously rejected the term, “undocumented immigrants.” This, too, is inaccurate, since many people in the country illegally do have documents; they have just overstayed their temporary non-immigrant visas. Accordingly, instead, the AP standards call for details: “Specify whenever possible how someone entered the country. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?” Regrettably, the Santa Barbara Star News does not adhere to the AP standards on journalistic ethics. With that kind of history and political baggage, however, many readers may start to doubt about where to get their local news from. More importantly, some major advertisers like Best Western, Sotheby’s Realty, and Santa Barbara Homes, may think twice about where to place their advertising dollars, especially once they realize some of these people are their paying customers or after they are economically pressured with bad press and boycotts from outraged consumers and political activists.

 

Incidentally, for people who have overstayed more than 180 days, they are barred them from re-entering the U.S. for 3 years. An overstay of more than one bars them from re-entry for a period of 10 years. However, these 3/10 tome bars are mere “civil” penalties for violating federal immigration laws; the actions do not rise to the level of a “crime” unless there is a re-entry after an order of deportation. See, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1369. The point here is that, despite having violated federal civil laws relating to immigration admission and documentation, even these overstay immigrants are not criminals. In reality, their behavior is diminimus and much akin to committing a mere infraction for ”jay-walking.” Labeling such a person as “illegal” based on a low level civil violation is, thus, a misnomer and is fundamentally unfair. That biased and divisive term smacks of racial code for “Mexicans.” And, it serves only to stigmatize some hard-working Santa Barbara and California Hispanic residents hoping to gain American citizenship, many of whom have ancestors and others who came to the country as children.

 

Fourth, the misleading term “illegals,” suggests that this group of foreign people physically present in the United States have no rights, when nothing could be further from the truth. Long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886) that the protections of the U.S. Constitution apply to all persons “within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any difference of race, of color or of nationality.” See, also, Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954) [finding national origin discrimination against Mexican-Americans in grand jury selection impermissible].

 

Fifth, the inaccurate word, “illegals,” is historically wrong, dismissive of the original indigenous people of Santa Barbara, and repugnant to many of the subsequent Spanish and Mexican settlers; many of whom still reside in and literally made Santa Barbara what it is today – a thriving popular and diverse resort destination. The Santa Barbara County area was first settled by Native Americans called the Chumash people at least 13,000 years ago. Later, Europeans from Spain first made contact with the Chumash after they landed offshore in the Channel Islands in AD 1543. Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino sailed along the coast in 1602, and named the Santa Barbara Channels. The first land expedition in California was led by Gaspar de Portola who explored the coastal area in 1760 on his way to Monterey Bay. Later, the Presideo of Santa Barbara was established by the Spanish in 1782, followed by the Mission Santa Barbara in 1786. The establishment of permanent settlements had devastating effects on the Chumash people, including a series of disease epidemics that drastically reduced their population. However, the Chumash survived and thousands of Chumash descendants still live in the Santa Barbara area or surrounding counties. Moreover, after the Mexican secularization of the mission Indians in the 1830’s, the mission pasture lands were mostly broken up by Mexico into large “ranchos” and granted mainly to prominent local citizens, many of who still reside in Santa Barbara. These original Santa Barbara ranchers were sometimes called, “Los Cailfornieros.” Six-hundred and four (604) of these Mexican land grants were later confirmed by the State of California, thirty six (36) in Santa Barbara County. Eventually, Santa Barbara County was one of the 26 original counties in California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. After that, Santa Barbara was (successively) transformed from grand Mexican “ranchos” and haciendas to: a dusty cluster of adobes; a rowdy, lawless Gold Rush era town; a Victorian-era health resort; a center of silent film production in the 1920’s; an oil boom town in the 1930s; a town supporting a military base and hospitals during WWII in the 1940’s; and finally it became the economically and racially diverse resort destination it remains in the present day. Based on these historical facts, is it fair and does it make economic sense to offend and label potential descendants of Spanish and Mexican American settlers and residents – who have had a continuous presence in the Santa Barbara area since the 1540’s – as “’illegal”?

 

“Who really is the ‘illegal’ one here?,” some may quip!

 

Sixth, the term, “illegals,” is politically insensitive and offensive to many of the Hispanic people of the United States, California, and of Santa Barbara. In March of 2014, for the first time ever, the official population of California was 39% Latino, surpassing the 38.8% of the state residents who are white non-Hispanic. After New Mexico, California has become the second state in the U.S. to undergo such a major demographic shift. More importantly and relevant, the 2010 U.S. national census reported that there are 423,895 residents in Santa Barbara. Out of this, approximately 76.54% are white, and 42% are Hispanic or Latino. Last year, the Pew Research Center called Hispanic electorate “an unawakened giant” that is likely to double in size over the next 16 years. Presumably, many of the so-called “illegals” here and others who will arrive in the future have ancestors or family relatives in Santa Barbara, and they may naturally find this ugly term extremely offensive. Based on these compelling demographics and electoral realities, is it politically appropriate or wise in today’s supposedly enlightened and post-racial period to label potential descendants of many Santa Barbara Spanish-Mexican settlers as “’illegal”?

 

Seventh, as you must know, the southern portions of Santa Barbara county has a bustling economy based largely on tourism, with a significant portion of people with white-collar and high-tech jobs which have contributed most recently to a liberal populace. The southern portions of the county has a strong history of left-wing activism with anti-war protests common in Santa Barbara. In fact, it is generally believed that the inspiration for Earth Day was the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. These white non-Hispanic liberal residents from Santa Barbara are also likely to be taken aback at the harsh and divisive “illegal” label. No doubt, some of these liberal whites in the burgeoning and thriving southern areas of Santa Barbara financially support the Santa Barbara Star News through their subscriptions or contributions, and would be disturbed and less inclined to continue to support a newspaper still using such radical or racially-charged terms.

 

In summary, if the editorial board or individual journalist must use a label, perhaps the phrase “foreign nationals” who “illegally entered the country” is more legally and factually accurate. It is certainly less unfair and offensive. If that long phrase is unacceptable, then maybe the Santa Barbara News Star should employ the unbiased terms, “undocumented” or “non-citizen” residents. A third acceptable alternative could also simply be, “unauthorized migrant.” Accordingly, given these three (3) reasonable alternatives in terminology, and based on my seven (7) valid objections stated above, I hereby demand on behalf of many outraged and offended “Barbarenos ,“ Santa Barbara Hispanics, and liberal white citizens, to retract the offensive, inaccurate, overbroad, unfair, and misleading term, “illegals.” Perhaps it is high time for such an old prestigious newspaper like the Santa Barbara Star News- which was established in 1850 when statehood occurred- to get with the times; and to start adopting the nationally accepted standard used by the Associate Press when referring to the 11 million people in the country illegally. Humans are not “illegal,” only their actions are. If for no other reason, you should stop using the arcane word out of sheer respect and concern over your advertisers, subscribers, and contributors, many of whom may justifiably not want to be associated with such backward dog -whistle tactics designed only to rally the more uninformed, conservative, or nativists elements in our society.

Ruben Salazar, Esq.

 

 

 

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Arizona Rep.-elect Jay Lawrence Puts Super Bowl Super Bowl XLIX In Jeopardy For Submitting Anti-DREAM Bill

POSTED ON
December 31
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2014 - New Year's Eve
 
 
 

Arizonans To Protest Super Bowl XLIX If Jay Lawrence Submits anti-DREAM Bill

 
 
 
 
Phoenix, AZ -- Arizona is infamous for not supporting the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It is also a state where former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham publicly defended a book that used the derogatory term "pickaninny" to describe African-American babies and children.  It is a state where the economic restrictionist Governor Jan Brewer signed a draconian anti-immigrant law via SB 1070 that cost Arizona millions of dollars when believers in human rights boycotted Arizona.  Arizona is a state that continued to dehumanize babies when Republican lawmakers referred to brown babies as "anchor babies".  Arizona is a state where a Republican lawmaker submitted an anti-gay bill via SB 1062. And now we have a new Rep.-elect Jay Lawrence who essentially fits in with the aforementioned bigots in light of singling out DREAM Act students and their drivers licenses in our state even though a federal judge has pointed out racial profiling concerns in our State of Arizona with regard to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department.   
 
Lawrence's bill would enable racial profiling and undo the progress the Courts have made with regard to law enforcement and immigration.  The Phoenix Police Department and Phoenix Law Enforcement Association are already under fire with regard to an unarmed black man via Rumain Brisbon getting shot to death by an Anglo police officer while delivering food to his family and we cannot support Arizona bills that enable racial profiling any longer.
 
Arizona pro-Immigrant Jewish advocate via Lou Lernor states:
 
My Jewish sensibility tells me we've seen the likes of Jay Lawrence before, wearing a Nazi uniform. It is unconscionable, in this day and age, to differentiate an Arizona Driver's License with "Non-Citizen". How is this any different than the Nazis requiring Jewish Germans to identify themselves with yellow arm bands while making passage in public? Such profiling is insulting and divisive. Jay Lawrence wants to continue the "Us vs. Them" attitude in Arizona, an attitude that has colored legislation and culture, an attitude that has been officially struck down in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and cost our state $1.5 Million dollars. Such an attitude brought down Nazi Germany as the world fought against similar mindless prejudice. Lawrence is the new face of Conservative Arizona, bound to continue contributing senseless and hateful ideas that most will see as reinforcing Arizona's reputation as the laughing stock of the nation.
 
 
We commend State Senator Catherine Miranda for taking a proactive aggressive approach to stop future Arizona Republican lawmakers like Jay Lawrence and their bigotry.  She states:
 
“I hope that the new members of our Legislature will embrace the positive and productive immigration policies that we have been focused on recently. The courts have spoken. Dreamers are getting driver’s licenses. There is no need for further attempts to stigmatize this community.”
 
We also applaud Sen. Miranda for her rapid letter to Governor Jan Brewer in light of this humanitarian concern.
 
 

 
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Homebound — Promoting Movies Starring Chicanos / Latinos Must Begin With Us

POSTED ON
December 30

 

Enrique Castillo (Blood In Blood Out, Weeds, Zoot Suit) 
Photo Credit:  Homebound

Another Reason To Revive The Chicano Movement

By DeeDee Garcia Blase

Homebound is a new independent movie that received numerous awards west of the Mississippi River. It is the story of Richard Lynn, a successful young man who returns to his small hometown, El Campo, Texas. He has to help his father Gilberto who’s ill with cancer, run the family business, a dilapidated bar. Richard Lynn, accidentally falls in love for the first time with Sofia, a Venezuelan immigrant who speaks very little English. It is a heartwarming film, with inspiring performances, unexpected twists and a passionate ending that will delight audiences around the world.

 

The movie is packed with dynamic Chicano and Latino actors like Enrique Castillo (Weeds, Blood In Blood Out, Zoot Suit) who plays a strong patriarch wanting to ensure his family is taken care of in light of his illness. His character’s background is one of a Vietnam veteran hero reminding us of those who have contributed their service and sacrifice that protects the liberties we all enjoy now.

 

Although it feels like the current face of Chicanos and Latinos is solely the immigration issue – nothing could be further from the truth. The economy is just as important to us as we have become real contributors to the economic and labor force. According to Partnership For New American Economy: “Hispanic households, both native and foreign-born, account for a large portion of America’s overall spending power. In 2013, Hispanics had an estimated after-tax income of more than $605 billion.”

 

Chicanos (Americans of Mexican descent) and Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, and our passion for movies has shown itself when our demographic group bought 25 percent of the movie tickets sold in 2013 even though we comprise just 17 percent of the population, according to the Motion Picture Association of America’s year-end study. Mexican Americans account for approximately 70% of the entire Latin / Hispanic population pie, which is Chicanos should step up and promote, buy movie tickets that depict our community in a good light.

 

You don’t have a major hit without Hispanic moviegoers,” Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, told TheWrap. In addition, it is not surprising to hear Chicanas and/or Latinas are the most avid moviegoers according to an exclusive study.

 

What will it take for Chicanos and Latinos to have a more dominant role in the entertainment industry? I asked Enrique Castillo that question and he believes “we need more of us involved behind the scenes – from script writing to producing.” He also said, “…too often we are more concerned with being in front of the camera, but we should diversify our roles in other areas because a lot of power to control and change things happens behind the camera, and influence goes behind the writer, producer and investing into film.”

 

We have a model to pattern ourselves from with regard to the successes of Hollywood. Though Hollywood does not appear eager to create a dynamic movie about one of our Chicano heroes like Corky Gonzales, it is their business decision to make. After all, why would “Hollywood” be interested in creating a new mega Chicano actor that could very well compete with the likes of Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt?

 

We must on our own accord prove we can handle the entertainment business by demanding what we want to see. Obviously we want to see Chicanos and Latinos starring in movies, and as such we should begin right here within our own communities at a grass roots level. We have the numbers and should have the ability to create our own network that will promote independent movies like Homebound. We don’t do it by playing victim – we do it by promoting our movies with social networking. Indeed, this film has already been to 9 cities already because of the support of our community with less than 5% of all television and film directed by women. Of that 5%– less than 1% are minority women. This is why it is important to support Homebound a film written, directed and produced by a Fanny Veliz. Until there is enough power in distribution, financing and promotion of a film – it will always be a struggle for Chicano and Latino film makers. But for now we should continue to promote movies that impact our communities like Homebound that visit theatres near you, and right now we want to see this movie in Arizona.

 

C/S

 

Fanny Veliz is an award winning female Latina director.  
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Mexican Americans To Phoenix City Manager: Bring Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia Back and Hire More Chicanos / Latinos Representative of Phoenix Demographics

POSTED ON
December 19
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2014
 
 
 

Mexican Americans To Phoenix City Manager:  Bring Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia Back and Hire More Chicanos / Latinos Representative of Phoenix Demographics

 
Phoenix, AZ -- There are approximately 20+ director positions within the City of Phoenix but only 2 Latinos held those positions until yesterday.  The demographics in the City of Phoenix do not reflect the leadership under Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher and the City Council.  Mr. Zuercher was unprofessional in the firing of Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia on the heels of Rumain Brisbon's death (an unarmed man who was shot to death by a Phoenix police officer).
 
There was tremendous outcry from the public who had questions for Chief Daniel Garcia who oversees the operations of the Phoenix PD.  Unfortunately Zuercher fired Police Chief Garcia (for holding a public news conference) when Garcia should have been allowed to answer questions by the public regarding Rumain Brisbon.   Zuercher must now explain why Latinos and Chicanos are not properly represented under his management in the City of Phoenix after firing Garcia.
 
We believe Garcia should have been able to defend himself considering the horrible criticisms he received no thanks to columnist Laurie Roberts of Arizona Central who wrote a scathing story about  him when he decided to run a tight ship and fire law enforcement officer Craig Tiger (whose job was on the line when he committed a DUI).  We believe Garica made the right decision.   As a former member of the law enforcement community, I believe police officers should be held to higher standards and they must walk the straight and narrow considering they have the badge to charge someone with a DUI, too.  It is hypocritical for police officers to charge someone with a DUI after they themselves are guilty of one and they must not serve as public safety officers when they are guilty of a DUI.
 
Councilman Sal DiCiccio is another person well known for not agreeing with Chief Garcia, but DiCiccio has no leg to stand on considering it was DiCiccio who supported a repeal via Prop 487.  Prop 487 would have repealed the defined Public Safety Retirement System --  a defined retirement benefit program for Phoenix police.  It is hard to tell what side DiCiccio is on given his hypocrisy.   DiCiccio is considered an extreme Tea Party Republican, who holds many anti-immigrant views his colleagues do, and it does not surprise us to hear he has had it out for Garcia since Garcia stated his department would not tolerate racial profiling in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on SB 1070 (anti-immigrant / anti-brown) law.  
 
We are demanding Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher to reinstate Chief Garcia to his position, and have more Latino directors promoted to management forthwith that reflects our demographics in the Phoenix metro area.  Garcia is on the right side of the law to call for “more power over internal disciplinary actions” that will could prevent wrongful deaths like Rumain Brisbon – an unarmed black man who was shot to death by a Phoenix Police Officer.   We believe Phoenix Police Department should have the utmost high standards and we cannot have rogue officers running amok.
 
 
 
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