Arizona Immigration Forum Sponsored by AZ State Sen. Catherine Miranda & More

March 29

Join Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda, Consulado General de Mexico en Phoenix,  Centro de Recursos para el immigrante en Arizona and a panel of immigration lawyers to discuss President Obama's proposal and everything a person should know about the terms and conditions to qualify for Immigration Legal Status. 

Place:  Trevor Browne High School - 7402 W Catalina Dr., Phoenix, AZ

Date:   Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time:    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

For more information please contact: (602) 254-6162



Puerto Ricans Ought To Be Careful Attacking Chicana Mexican American Heroes

March 28

Puerto Ricans Should Be Careful Attacking Our "MLK" Equivalent Chicana Mexican American Heroes Like Dolores Huerta

By DeeDee Garcia Blase

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has been a long time advocate regarding the immigration issue, however, the same cannot be said of Rosario Dawson.  According to FOX News Latino, Rosario Dawson, an actress of Puerto Rican / Cuban descent and political activist wrote a scathing open letter to the Mexican-American labor activist before Easter late last week in response to Dolores Huerta’s op-ed that essentially lambasted Bernie Sanders’ record on immigration.  Huerta is a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton,  and she was stumping in my state just last week before the Arizona primary election.  It is duly noted Dawson did not write a scathing open letter to Congressman Gutierrez who is an actual lawmaker who is also supporting Sec. Hillary Clinton.

Those of Puerto Rican descent like Dawson ought to think twice about attacking our Mexican American heroes like Dolores Huerta. Dolores is a Martin Luther King equivalent to many Chicanas, and in my opinion, it is not really a smart thing to do considering Chicano Mexican/Americans make up approximately 65% of the entire Latin population.  Puerto Ricans only make up between 9-10%, while those of Cuban descent make up of about 3% and so forth. Chicanos are the lion share of economic and labor contributions.  Buzz of a boycott against Rosario is now getting around on social media because of her disrespect to our icon. With the number of movie of Chicano / Mexican American ticket buyers in the great southwest,  I would say Dawson's disrespectful approach could backfire on her at the box office.

Bel Hernandez is the President / CEO of Latin Heat Media with over 25 years of experience advocating for Chicanos as well as other Latin ethnic groups within the entire Hispanic population.  She is a Mexican American Chicana who is well respected in the entertainment industry.

Bel Hernandez stated:

Hypocrite Dawson. Stop attacking Dolores Huerta just because she is voting for Hillary and not your guy! You say “I have been doing voter registration for 11 years," good for you. However, you are no Dolores Huerta (and you were a terrible choice to play her in the film Cesar Chavez...I didn't say it back then but I now say it loud and clear). You will never compare to Dolores who has been doing voter registration, fight for civil rights and workers who has been doing so for 56 will never accomplish anything near what Dolores has accomplished...not even if you live to be 120. Stick to the issues and stop disrespecting someone just because they are not voting like you.  #‎IUsedToRespectYou Thanks for proving who you really are.

David Damian Figueroa, respected entertainment industry professional and non-profit advisor, who oversaw Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund's (MALDEF) corporate and foundation partnerships, communications, special events, and branding initiatives chimed in and wrote:

" hurts me to know that someone she cared for and helped so much betrayed her in print. I am dumbfounded by how passionate folks are in writing all this horrible stuff about my dear friend on social media.....disregarding her body of unmatched work for over 6 decades. But when it comes to registering voters, feeding and clothing the homeless and, marches, organizing, mentoring and so many other selfless acts those folks are nowhere to be found. It takes hard work and sacrifice to create social change and Dolores has been doing this tirelessly and with no complaint. If Rosario disagreed with Dolores, she could have called her to say I disagree with you Dolores. Plain and simple. Why Rosario chose to go to such lengths to TRY to take down Dolores just baffles me...."

As a result of Rosario writing a scathing letter about our Chicana hero, Dolores Huerta, she is also receiving backlash from the likes of Cindy Casares, a columnist for the Texas Observer, who blasted  Dawson in an op-ed for the Guardian US saying that if Huerta has concerns about Sanders, people should listen to them.

Casares wrote:

"...In case there was any doubt as to whether Sanders approved of her message, Dawson was subsequently picked to introduce him at speaking events in San Diego and Los Angeles..."

According to Think Progress, "Sanders’ position on immigration has been called “complicated” and he has been criticized by immigration activists for supporting the idea that immigrants coming to the U.S. are taking jobs and hurting the economy, a theory that has been proven incorrect."

Though President Obama voted in support of immigration reform in 2007 under President George W. Bush, Bernie Sanders voted against the much needed policy change despite millions of Chicanos and Latinos who were marching for it across the Nation.  Bernie voted for a stricter immigration policy when it was passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate in 2013, and I believe he did so because he knew he needed Hispanic voters when he decided to run as a Presidential candidate.   Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro blasted Bernie on Twitter for his vote to help protect Minutemen vigilantes.  3 years later after Bernie’s vote to protect Minutemen,  a young Mexican American girl near the border of Mexico in Arizona was shot to death in front of her mother by Shawna Forde who was a Minuteman murderer found guilty in the court of law.


Brisenia Flores shot by a Minuteman Murderer Shawna Forde in Arizona.


Where was Dawson at recently in my State of Arizona while Jane Sanders participated in the Tent City media stunt alongside Sheriff Joe Arpaio?  Perhaps she was oblivious to publicity stunts that help fund Arpaio’s re-elections.

In a recent op-ed Len Sherman, a former aide and Arpaio biographer stated:

Millions of dollars needed for his [Arpaio] increasingly difficult re-election campaigns rolled in, along with the media attention he so desperately craves.

This is not the first time Mexican Americans have take issue with Puerto Rican misunderstandings.  For instance, founder of Think Mexican took issue with Puerto Rican-led website Latino Rebels and wrote:

Julio Varela’s own words speak for themselves. Not only is Latino Rebels really a front to promote his marketing career, its business model is based on exploiting the Mexican community and our culture. And this has now lead to divisions and infighting between us.

Most politically-savvy individuals understand that the Hispanic and Latino vote is not a monolithic one. 

For instance, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (who is a Canadian-born son of a Cuban immigrant who bribed his way into our Nation) is a living example of this.  The majority of immigrant advocates know and understand that Chicano Mexican Americans have been bearing a lot of the burden with regard to fighting for fair and legal immigration – not only for Mexicans, but for the Irish, the people of India and etc. 

Puerto Ricans receive automatic citizenship, therefore, they may not really feel the same level of pain Mexican families experience when their families are being ripped apart due to the broken immigration system Republicans refuse to want to fix.  Cuban immigrants receive the wet-foot-dry-foot policy, who also may not share the same level of heart ache Mexican American families experience because they are able to receive privileged amnesty along with tax payer funded government benefits while Mexicans do not.

Dawson does not express the views of Chicanas who are in support of Hillary Clinton.  Unlike Rosario, we are not as forgiving as the Puerto Ricans are on the issue of immigration.  We haven’t forgotten Bernie’s “no vote” against immigration reform in 2007 despite the millions of us who marched for it across our Nation beginning in 2006.   

I would not be surprised to see Mexican Americans (who were once a big fan of Dawson) begin to avoid watching her talent on the screen and/or boycott her shows and film all together.  Time will certainly tell.  In any event, I hope other ethnic groups within the entire Hispanic population will take note that Mexican Americans are keeping mental score when it comes to our Martin Luther King equivalents. Mexican American Chicanos are a significant share of the "Hispanic" population pie, and should the time arise when Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Colombians, Peruvians and etc., need  our population numbers voting help when it comes to issues affecting their community -- it would be a good idea for them to be a little more sensitive to our Mexican American heroes. 



Won't Attend Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders Protests in Arizona After Illinois Violence

March 18

I got invited to a Trump rally protest  but I think it's wise for me to avoid going to Donald Trump protests in our gun open carry state of Arizona.  Last week, the nation and the world witnessed the violence erupt between Trump and Bernie supporters in Chicago.  The chaos we are seeing this political season between the far right and far left fringes is not what I want to see for our United States.



 Arizona is an open carry state


According to the New York Times, Donald Trump's rally in Chicago was canceled after violence erupted.

The BBC chimed in on the Illinois clash and stated:

There were chants for Mr Trump from his supporters and for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders from some of the protesters.

...  Violent clashes continued outside the venue, with helicopter footage showing chaotic scenes as police attempted to control the large crowds.


One thing that concerns me is that the State of Illinois is not an open carry state like Arizona is.  We do have tea party gun slinging whackos here who like to flaunt their open carry gun rights.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of guns because I was trained on numerous weapons when I served the military and am quite comfortable with them.  What I am afraid of is unreasonable trigger happy tea party people having their tempers flared.

One tea party Republican crazy I can think of was a local Arizona vigilante -- JT Ready:

On Wednesday, authorities said Ready walked into a house in a suburb east of Phoenix and opened fire, killing four people, including his girlfriend and a toddler, before killing himself.

Far from disabusing anyone of the idea he was bigot, Ready's email was filled with invectives about Jews and immigrants. But it detailed the politicians and events he said helped him find his way to extremism over the years.



As it stands, I am going to gladly sit these #TrumpRally protests out, and I pray and hope we do not see here in Arizona the violence we saw in Illinois (between Bernie and Trump supporters).   I sincerely hope nobody gets hurt here in Arizona.




Secretary Hillary Clinton Should Decline Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Invite after Bernie's Wife Visited Tent City

March 15

Photo Credit Sheriff Arpaio's Twitter Account:  Arpaio invites Hillary to visit after Bernie Sanders' wife tours with him.


Those of us living in Arizona are all too familiar with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's political media stunts in our State, and it appears he is back in the news again -- this time with Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane Sanders, on the eve of the Arizona Presidential Preference Election set for March 22, 2016.

Arpaio is in the middle of federal court proceedings civil-contempt hearings, as well as its underlying racial-profiling suit.  Arpaio has costed us taxpayers in Arizona millions and millions of dollars with regard to the multiple lawsuits against him.   Several years ago, I attended a meeting where Arpaio was the keynote speaker, and I heard him make jokes about the mysterious Mexican deaths in his jail.  

Lisa Allen was a longtime spokesperson for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and according to the Phoenix New Times:

Lisa Allen, a former TV reporter, has been instrumental in Arpaio's obtaining celebrity status by orchestrating media stunts, garnering media from across the globe, mitigating negative stories, and blocking journalists who have not toed the MCSO's party line.

... "[Sheriff Arpaio] is referred to as a media hog," she said. "He is referred to as a media whore. But there has always been a reason for it."

... In a meeting captured by Murray for the documentary, Allen mocks Arpaio's birther obsession, even as Arpaio crows about how much money the investigation will bring in donations from wingnuts around the country.

In a recent op-ed Len Sherman, a former aide and Arpaio biographer stated:

I recently and reluctantly resigned because voices unwilling to toe the party line are no longer welcome.

A bunker mentality rules as the walls close in, information hemorrhages to the press from numerous anonymous inside sources, and paranoia and threats from the top continue.

To understand what has happened, start by understanding that illegal immigration and the "birther" business have one fascinating thing in common: Both began as crass ploys to appeal to voters, with Arpaio’s tone hardening as he somehow, over time, convinced himself that what he was peddling was actually so.

And it worked. Millions of dollars needed for his increasingly difficult re-election campaigns rolled in, along with the media attention he so desperately craves.

I have a bone to pick with Jane Sanders, and it ain't nice.   The last thing we need right now is for Jane and the Bernie Sanders campaign to contribute to orchestrated media stunts Sheriff Joe Arpaio enjoys and benefits from.  It doesn't help Arizona Chicano and Latino voters feel any better about the Sanders campaign, particularly when the Boston Globe wrote

A review of the vote in question shows that Sanders, as a U.S. representative in 2006, did indeed vote in support of 2006 legislation supporting civilian border patrols under the Minuteman Project banner. The amendment, authored by then-Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican, aimed to prevent U.S. border officials from telling Mexican officials about the whereabouts of the Minutemen patrols.

Three years later, a little girl by the name of Brisenia Flores died by the hands of the Minuteman Militia.  Sanders may want to downplay the significance of his militia vote, but those of us who vote using immigration as a litmus test will never forget.

Photo Credit:  Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro Twitter Account


I urge Secretary Hillary Clinton to not accept Arpaio's invitation.

Arpaio thrives off of media attention, and I would remind Hillary, that mysterious deaths indeed have occurred in Arpaio's jail.  Instead of participating in media stunts, it would be better for Hillary to wait the outcome of Judge Murray Snow's ruling regarding Arpaio's civil-contempt case.  If Judge Snow defers the case for contempt to the criminal courts, I implore Hillary to convince U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo (who was appointed by President Obama) to file charges against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his "anti immigrant posse, " instead of participating in publicity stunts.

Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona House of Representative, now currently running for Arizona Senate says:

Votes are up for grabs, and it appears Jane Sanders is trying to capitalize on Arpaio’s lightning rod publicity before Presidential primary election.  I encourage Chicanos and Latinos who are planning on voting for Bernie Sanders to reconsider.  Bernie Sanders voted against comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, when President Obama voted for it. 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has blood on his hands and has been running amuck for far too long. It's high time we see him in striped uniforms wearing pink underwear underneath.


Live Trucking: Bernie Sanders promises to “take trucks off the road” if elected

March 12

Live Trucking exposed a speech by Bernie Sanders who promises to “take trucks off the road” if elected.  See video here.

Several drivers immediately Live Trucking, expressing concern over the statements. “This guy has to be stopped” said one reader.

I agree. 

Bernie must be stopped considering that under the Obama administration the unemployment rate has been going down since he inherited President George W. Bush's economic depression.  The last thing we need is for an economic extremist politician to experiment with the thing that imports and exports our goods.

According to Insider Monkey:

If you are a truck driver, you probably already know everything about the 10 biggest trucking companies in America. It is estimated that the trucking industry in America employees 9 million people in 1 million trucking companies.

Needless to say America’s economy depends on the logistics industry, because it’s involved in all other sectors of the economy in some way, and good systems for transportation are a necessity. But the numbers show that there is a shortage of truck drivers (around 50,000) in the trucking industry today. Economists say this was expected and that the average young American is not interested in working as a truck driver.

If you’re reading this and want to become a truck driver or just simply love the life on the road, we advise you to read our article about 10 biggest trucking companies in the world. Some experts say that the solution is in raising pay for truck drivers. The pay for the truck drivers has grown 17% since 2013. The average annual pay in 2015 is $57,000 (National Transportation Institute data).



If there are a shortage of jobs in the trucking industry, why doesn't the Bernie Sanders campaign simply tell his audience to apply in the trucking industry instead of trying to dismantle what is working?

If you are in the freight and trucking industry, I encourage you to not vote for Bernie Sanders (during the Democratic Primaries) or other economic extremists like Donald Trump during the general election season.   Both Sanders and Trump are extreme in their political views, and economists state they are more worried about Sanders than Trump.  That said, they list Hillary Clinton just left of center, Rubio  as right of center, and John Kasich as being in the middle.  As far as I am concerned, Hillary Clinton will have the former Bill Clinton as an economic advisor.  Bill Clinton is listed as top U.S. Presidents who did well in GDP growth, driving unemployment down and other economic decisions he made.






Economists are more worried about Sanders than Trump. #ImWithHer

March 10


On the heels of the Democratic Debate in Miami, Florida, a recent story shows economists are more worried about Sanders than Trump, and according to the WSJ, more than 80% of economists see downside risks to economy if Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders elected, survey says.

Can you blame them?

In the WSJ Survey of Economists image above, you see the two extremes.  On one hand you have Donald Trump on the far right, and on the other extremist hand, you see Bernie Sanders.  Bernie has earned his position on the far left, after all,  during the Univision Democratic Debate last night in Miami, Florida, Bernie Sanders was called out for giving the socialist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro praise

From the Wall Street Journal

Markets rebounded over the past month as economic reports bolstered the case that continued -- though moderate -- economic growth seems likely.  The average survey respondent estimates the economy will grow about 2.4% this year and next and that the unemployment rate will fall to 4.6% in 2017.

A new President promising dramatic and immediate changes could quickly upend that. 

"It's stunniing to me the markets aren't more worried about it," said Diane Swong, founder of DS Economics, an economic risk-management firm.  The rhetoric on the campaign trail is full of "pretty startling stuff -- isolationism, nationalism, reduced trade flows.  We know what that does economically."

Even though economists are more worried about Sanders than Trump, according to Bloomberg: "...Trump would fit right in with European policies. His mix of nationalistic nativism and economic protectionism has proved a winning formula for far-right parties across the continent."

Hillary Clinton,however, is preparing to lay out an economic plan that seeks a center-left ideological course, rejecting ideas put forth by Republican presidential contenders but striking a contrast with her party’s liberal wing, according to the Wall Street Journal.  And being just left of center is far better than the extremism  both Sanders and Trump have to offer American moderate and centrist independent voters.



UNIVISION Should Ask About Bernie Sanders' Praise of Fidel Castro In Miami Tonight

March 09

Tonight both a Sen. Marco Rubio Townhall and The Democratic Debate will take place in Florida. 

Here are the details to the #DemDebate:

Univision Democratic Primary Debate
9pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT)
Live Stream:
Aired On: CNN and Univision

Sponsors: Univision, The Washington Post

Here at Somos Independents, a movement of independent moderate voters led by Chicanas and Latinas, we would like to see UNIVISION ask Bernie Sanders about the glaring large elephant in the Miami, Florida room.  According to Progressives Today: Bernie Sanders Praised Fidel Castro and Cuba in a 1985 (VIDEO).  See video here.

How is Bernie Sanders going to do with the Cuban American Florida voters who have family members who risked their lives in shark infested waters just to set their foot on our dry land so that they can take advantage of our wet-foot-dry-foot policy? Florida is a key swing Presidential state that ought not be risked during the general election cycle against the anti-immigrant Republicans who were instrumental in stopping immigration reform in 2014.

Sen. Rubio may not be influential on a national basis, however, he still has some clout in Florida as Senator, and the likes of the Cuban-American Senator would destroy Bernie Sanders come general election time as he raises the issue with regard to Fidel Castro dissidents being treated in Cuba, and why they fled his regime to begin with. 

Tonight, we don't want easy tosses in the questions.  We want to see a vetting process that will prepare both Democratic candidates against the anti-immigrant GOP machine.  Florida matters, and we don't want to risk that state.








CNN giving Donald Trump More Than 30 minutes to speak on their Network

March 08

Why did CNN give Donald Trump so much talk time on their network, tonight?  Do they not know Trump is one of the most discriminatory candidates the GOP has ever known?

Update:  They did not air Secretary Hillary Clinton immediately when she spoke, so we had to switch over to MSNBC to hear her.  It's international woman's day, and the least they could have done was allow their audience listen to Hillary after Trump spoke.



Michael Bloomberg Correct On Extremism Being On The March

March 08

Bloomberg would make one helluva U.S. President in my view.  - DeeDee Garcia Blase


Thank you Michael Bloomberg for considering your run anyway. Thankful you won't spoil the vote when Hillary declared the Democratic nominee.  I would not have been able to stomach voting for the self proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, and was disappointed to learn he voted against Immigration Reform under the Bush years, and later voted to protect the Minutemen vigilantes, too.  I also could not stomach voting for Donald Trump who is currently the GOP front runner, nor Mitt Romney (king of flip flops) for that matter.

I think you are dead on with regard to extremism and what the centrists / moderate voters should do in order to keep things in balance.  Now that Hillary Clinton has won both Super Tuesday and Super Saturday, I believe your run would have hurt her.  Just the same, a Mitt Romney run for President will more than likely spoil it for the Republican Presidential nominee / winner.

See Bloomberg's op-ed below:


The Risk I Will Not Take

Mar 7, 2016 5:00 PM EST

Americans today face a profound challenge to preserve our common values and national promise.

Wage stagnation at home and our declining influence abroad have left Americans angry and frustrated. And yet Washington, D.C., offers nothing but gridlock and partisan finger-pointing.

Worse, the current presidential candidates are offering scapegoats instead of solutions, and they are promising results that they can’t possibly deliver. Rather than explaining how they will break the fever of partisanship that is crippling Washington, they are doubling down on dysfunction.

Over the course of American history, both parties have tended to nominate presidential candidates who stay close to and build from the center. But that tradition may be breaking down. Extremism is on the march, and unless we stop it, our problems at home and abroad will grow worse.

Many Americans are understandably dismayed by this, and I share their concerns. The leading Democratic candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Bill Clinton -- support for trade, charter schools, deficit reduction and the financial sector. Meanwhile, the leading Republican candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Ronald Reagan, including immigration reform, compromise on taxes and entitlement reform, and support for bipartisan budgets. Both presidents were problem-solvers, not ideological purists. And both moved the country forward in important ways.

Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don’t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so. I appreciate their appeals, and I have given the question serious consideration. The deadline to answer it is now, because of ballot access requirements.

My parents taught me about the importance of giving back, and public service has been an important part of my life. After 12 years as mayor of New York City, I know the personal sacrifices that campaigns and elected office require, and I would gladly make them again in order to help the country I love.




Anti-immigrant Canadian Sen. Ted Cruz's Spokesperson Busted Hiring Undoc Immigrants From Canada

March 04



Senator Ted Cruz is labelled the Anti-Immigration Senator because he was instrumental in killing the bipartisan Legal Immigration Reform. in 2014 after it passed the Senate in 2013.  That said, the Canadian-born and son of a Cuban immigrant (who bribed his way into our Nation after helping Fidel Castro) Senator's national spokesperson just got busted.


From The Blaze:

However, the Cruz campaign may be headed for another controversy after not properly vetting its new national spokesman – a former party leader who was once caught hiring a deportation-dodging, illegal immigrant to work at the Republican Party.

Cruz’s new spokesman Ron Nehring, who served as the previous chairman of the California Republican Party, was “busted” for hiring an illegal immigrant who had been ordered to be deported by the Federal government, had failed to complete an I-9 form, and even sued the U.S. government in a multi-million-dollar wrongful arrest lawsuit. Nehring himself had directly hired the illegal immigrant to serve as chief executive of the Republican Party and to run party operations, including the handling of confidential information.

The illegal immigrant hire wasn’t Nehring’s only snafu.

Nehring also caused controversy when he hired another immigrant from Canada to serve as Deputy Political Director of the California Republican Party using the much-aligned H-1B program made popular under President George W. Bush. For that hire, Nehring was criticized widely by Republicans in his own state for failing to follow the guidelines of that Federal program, which states that a U.S. business must seek talented Americans to employ first. It is hard to envision that the chairman of a Republican Party in the most populous state in the nation could not find adequate talent to fill a political deputy role.

I wonder what the John Tanton Networks via FAIR, Numbers USA and etc are going to do with their golden token boy now.



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An Independent American Voter Group merging Tip O'Neill Democrats and Ronald Reagan Republicans.