Thursday, July 29, 2010

TOP Ten parts of Arizona new law not blocked

TOP Ten parts of Arizona new law not blocked
By Al Carlos Hernandez,

A Federal judge ruled that major portions of Arizona's SB 1070 were illegal, leaving other portions in tact.  Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez provides the TOP TEN portions not blocked:

10. Unlawful to wear spandex if you are short and weigh over 175 pounds.

9. If 4 Men ride in a one seater, the vehicle must be an automatic, not a stick shift.

8. Cannot hire a day laborer who is more attractive than your significant other.

7. Non-Latinos cannot wear Sombreros to Church picnics.

6. "My Mama" is now an acceptable response when asked where you came from.

5. "Your Mama" is still inappropriate.

4. Although illegal, employers who hire undocumented will get work done quickly.

3. Protesters arrested will still be predominantly Gringos who wear sandals.

2. Drug dealers are encouraged to run so they can be beat down and jailed.

1. Still no good reason not to get legal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Latinos in Oregon show wide language gaps

OSU researcher’s study of Oregon Latino residents shows wide language gap
By: Angela Yeager, Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study of Oregon’s Latino residents shows that while first- and second-generation immigrants from Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries maintain a Spanish-speaking dominance, English is dominant by the third generation.

By the fourth generation, the study shows, any traces of Spanish language are almost completely minimized.

The findings by Susana Rivera-Mills, an Oregon State University linguistics expert, contradict some of the arguments for an English-only educational structure. A ballot measure proposing such a structure was rejected by Oregon voters in 2008. The study was just published in the Southwest Journal of Linguistics.

Instead, Rivera-Mills suggests the real crisis is that fourth-generation immigrants find themselves unable to communicate in the native language of their grandparents, thus losing a cultural connection to their identity. In fact, in her own classes at OSU, she finds students of Spanish-speaking heritage enrolling to relearn Spanish so they can communicate with their parents, grandparents and other relatives.

Rivera-Mills is an associate professor of Spanish linguistics and diversity advancement at OSU and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She arrived at OSU in 2007 from Northern Arizona University, where she conducted similar sociolinguistics research on immigrants in Arizona.

“It is important to note that despite the shift to English, this pattern among Spanish speakers already differs from the traditional three-generational pattern than has been found in primarily European immigrants,” she said.

Unlike European immigrants who become English monolingual by the third generation, research has shown that Spanish speakers retain a strong sense of identity to their native culture well into the fourth generation, despite the struggle to maintain the native language.

According to the 2006 Census update, approximately 11 percent of the Oregon population is Latino. The Pew Hispanic Center found that in 2007, 46 percent of Oregon's Latino population was foreign-born. Of the total Oregon population defined as “Latino,” 83 percent are of Mexican origin. This growth is fairly sudden compared to states such as Texas and California, which have longer immigration and native Spanish-speaking resident histories.

From 1990 to 2000 Oregon experienced a 144 percent increase in the Latino population with an additional 31 percent increase just five years after that. This sudden growth holds many economic, educational, political and social implications for the state, Rivera-Mills pointed out.

The study surveyed 50 Oregon Latinos, in the northern and central regions of the state. Rivera-Mills said while her research provides only a snapshot of Oregon, in-depth research done in states with a longer history of Latino immigration has yielded similar results, showing the use of Spanish almost disappearing within three or four generations.

The people interviewed all resided in Oregon for a minimum of five years with many having been residents of Oregon all of their lives. Their origins/heritages are diverse, coming from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and other Latin American countries, with the predominant number being of Mexican origin.

Because Oregon’s Latino population is primarily made up of first- and second-generation immigrants, Rivera-Mills said the number of Spanish-only speakers is proportionally higher than in states such as California and Texas. Census data shows that about 78 percent of the total Latino population reported speaking Spanish at home and that most report being bilingual speakers. As could be expected, this rating decreased significantly among third- and fourth-generation participants, some of whom reported being able to understand Spanish but not being able to speak it, read it or write it.

Another interesting finding from the study looked at attitudes toward language and grammar. Earlier immigrants strongly believed that Spanish speakers should speak “correct” Spanish and know the grammar rules of the language, while third generation residents often use a mix of English and Spanish, also known as “Spanglish.”

Rivera-Mills said the long history in the Southwest of Spanish speakers shows that these conflicting perspectives between recent and more established immigrants do not fade away quickly.

“Unfortunately, once settled, many immigrants forget their own struggles in adapting to a new language and culture, and are not as supportive of new immigrants in their communities,” she said. “However, by the third generation, we find that linguistic and cultural traits that originally distinguished us fade away and we become part of the complex and diverse U.S. culture.”

In addition to this research study, Rivera-Mills also has two new books recently published. One, called “Spanish of the U.S. Southwest: A Language in Transition” is co-edited with Daniel Villa of New Mexico State University. The other, titled “Building Communities and Making Connections,” was edited by Rivera-Mills along with Juan Trujillo, assistant professor of Spanish at OSU.

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts
The College of Liberal Arts includes the fine and performing arts, humanities and social sciences, making it one of the largest and most diverse colleges at OSU.  The college's research and instructional faculty members contribute to the education of all university students and provide national and international leadership, creativity and scholarship in their academic disciplines.

Hispanics Up One on Arizona

Guest Political Cartoon - Michael H. Gonzales

Latinos in AZ win one, for now

Judge Blocks Key Parts of Immigration Law in Arizona
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD, NY Times, July 28, 2010

PHOENIX — A federal judge, ruling on a clash between the federal government and a state over immigration policy, has blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law from going into effect.

In a ruling on a law that has rocked politics coast to coast and thrown a spotlight on the border state’s fierce debate over immigration, United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix said some aspects of the law can go into effect as scheduled on Thursday.

But Judge Bolton took aim at the parts of the law that have generated the most controversy, issuing a preliminary injunction against sections that called for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times.  MORE.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Concert to fight AZ anti-Latino law


LOS ANGELES, CA - Rage Against the Machine will play their first concert in Los Angeles in 10 years at the Hollywood Palladium Friday with all proceeds going to benefit Arizona organizations fighting SB 1070.  Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band will also perform.

Benefit concert performers will be joined by long time civil and immigrant rights activists Tom Seanz, President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), Arizona grass roots leader Sal Reza of Puente, and other community leaders. This will be the Soundstrike’s first official press conference. 

The SoundStrike artist boycott of Arizona has gained international attention and support. Hundreds of artists have committed to exercise their conscious and their collective power to both reverse the punitive, discriminatory and misguided Arizona law as well as to help lead a more productive national debate on diversity and unity.

 “SB 1070 if enacted would legalize racial profiling in Arizona,” said Zack de la Rocha, Soundstrike participant and Rage vocalist.  “This law runs counter to music’s essential purpose, which is to unite people and not divide them. We want to thank the artists of conscious that have joined the Soundstrike throughout the world who use their role as artists to stand for civil and human rights.” 

About The SoundStrike
The mission of The Sound Strike is a call for Artist’s to Boycott Arizona due to the passage the Sb1070 law. For more information please visit our website  


TOP Ten new Arizona State Motto ideas

TOP Ten new Arizona State Motto ideas
By Al Carlos,

10. Where the brave run free and really fast.
9. Hijole! there is a BP sized leak in the fence.
8. Papers before people.
7. A Wonderful place, if you are the right race.
6. Mexico at first, Mexican once again.
5. Bring us your courageous and poor, we will exploit them, then deport them.
4. A huge disappointment to those who thought they snuck into California.
3. We came, we saw, we got carded.
2. Un Documented, Un Deterred.
1. God enriches, politics erode.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brown Losing Latino Vote

Brown losing Latino Vote
By Adrian Perez, Publisher, The Perez Factor, July 14, 2010

For nearly a year Latinos in California have been waiting for gubernatorial candidate and Democrat Jerry Brown to reach out to them and ask for their support.  Instead, Brown, who is also the State’s Attorney General, has been relying on name recognition and assumed support from California’s burgeoning Latino voters.  Now, with the latest Field Poll showing him on a dead-heat campaign against political newcomer, Republican Meg Whitman, and losing Latino votes to her, Brown is trying to get back the Latino support.  But, is it too late?

As this column has mentioned numerous times, the Latino vote in California cannot be taken for granted and will play a significant role in this year’s elections.  Field Polls conducted earlier this year showed Brown was losing Latino voters under the age of 45.  Last week’s poll confirmed that gap and also showed Whitman was gaining among all Latino voters.

In response to the Poll, supporters of Brown argue that Whitman is buying the election.  This argument is like saying we need to put gas in the car to get anywhere.  Money is what makes any campaign run, and the more a candidate has, the bigger is the potential edge to getting elected.  That’s what happens when both parties fight campaign reform.

The public and private unions (representing teachers, government workers, nurses, labor, etc.) are supporting Brown’s campaign, but find themselves being out spent by a wealthy and formidable female candidate, whose camp realized early on that the Latino vote is essential to become governor.  Realizing a potential loss at the helm, these groups will more than likely refocus their efforts on Assembly and Senate seats, where they can assure themselves a win and maintaining their political stronghold.

Whitman’s focus on opposing Proposition 187 and Arizona’s SB 1070 in Spanish media has been key to winning over many undecided Latino voters.  In addition, her messaging has persuaded some Latino Democrats who are uncertain about Brown’s ability to run the state, to switch and support her candidacy.

In the meantime, or at least until the most recent Field Poll was published, Brown had been running a low-budget, shoestring style campaign, leaving many early-on Latino supporters out in the cold.  This was especially true among young Democratic voters who were ready to start campaigning for him, but were instead placed on hold or ignored all together.

Brown’s poor campaign strategies and Whitman’s aggressive media blitz have resulted in Latino voters supporting Whitman by 11 percentage points over Brown with only 14 weeks of campaigning left.  To soften the negative impact of the Field Poll and address the loss of Latino voters, Brown recently surrounded himself with numerous prominent Latino Democratic leaders and held a press conference in Los Angeles.

"Listen, you can put up your billboards in Spanish and you can buy stuff on Spanish television, but the people aren't fooled,” Brown said in a public statement to Whitman.  “The people know the truth.  Between now and November, we're going to deliver that message up and down the state."

Unfortunately, his statement may be coming a bit late and sound a bit hollow since he should have taken these steps immediately after the primary election.  Additionally, the Latino Democratic leaders should have been sending this message to their communities as soon as everyone learned Brown would be the presumed Democratic candidate.  But neither Brown nor the Latino Democratic leaders did anything.

Compounding his loss of Latino voters, the Field Poll also showed Brown behind Whitman among young voters (18-39).  Feedback gathered on internet polls suggest young voters think Brown is “too old” or, as a sarcastic note suggested, he reminds them of Mr. Burns from the “Simpsons” cartoon.  This voting bloc is significant because they are expected to show in large numbers on election day, due to Proposition 19, which will attempt to legalize marijuana use in the state.  Brown has stated he is opposed to the passage of the proposition while Whitman has remained relatively quiet on the issue.

Jerry Brown had the Democratic gubernatorial candidacy handed to him when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome bowed out to run for Lt. Governor.  He was indirectly confirmed as the ideal candidate when U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein opted not to run for governor.  Even Hollywood has stepped up in raising funds for his campaign.  Yet, Jerry Brown and the Democrats don’t appear to want California’s Governorship.  Latino voters, like all voters, will support the candidate who shows they want the job the most.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Latino legislator seeks to fix bad work policy

Latino Legislator Seeks To Fix Bad Work Policy
Adrian Perez, Publisher, The Perez Factor - July 10, 2010

While Arizona’s political leadership is working toward disenfranchising its relationships with Latinos, California’s political leadership is moving toward strengthening its relationship by sponsoring legislation that will right nearly 70 years of a bad law.  Through Senate Bill (SB) 1121, the state seeks to ensure that farm workers receive overtime pay for work performed beyond 8 hours a day or 40 hours per week.  The proposed law assumes that farm work is equivalent to that performed in other industries.

Carried by State Senator Dean Florez, SB 1121 proposes to delete the portion of the Labor Code that exempts farm workers from receiving overtime pay, a law adopted in 1941.  Specifically, it would allow the inclusion of farm workers in being paid overtime, allow a 30 minute break after 5 hours of work, and an additional 30 minute break after 10 hours of work, unless the employee and the employer agree to waive the second break.  The bill has passed both the state Assembly and state Senate and now awaits Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature.

“I am hopeful that the Governor’s experience as an immigrant who initially supported himself through manual labor will give him empathy to grasp the importance of this bill to some of California’s hardest workers,” said Florez, who is termed out this fall.

Traditionally, farm workers are comprised primarily of those Latinos who lack language and learned skills to perform other work, and yes, many may be illegal immigrants.  They are currently the only employees in California who are specifically exempt from receiving overtime when they work more than eight hours in a day, although they often labor 12 or more hours a day at harvest time.  Either way, the work performed is usually hazardous and sometimes dangerous, requiring work in hot and sometimes very cold weather with continuous exposure to dirt and pesticides without proper protections. 

These workers are not offered employer provided healthcare and cannot afford to pay for this luxury on their own.  As a result, many seek medical treatment at free clinics or wait until health conditions worsen requiring being seen at hospital emergency rooms. 

In an Employment Development Department’s report entitled “California’s Agricultural Employment,” shows that 48.6 percent of the state’s 400,000 farm workers reported earning less than $35,000 per year and one out of every 8 farm worker families reported an annual income of less than $15,000 per year.  This is clearly disproportionate compared to only 21 percent of all nonagricultural workers reporting an annual salary of less than $35,000 and only one in 20 reporting an income of less than $15,000.

Florez and others who have fought for and supported the rights of California’s agricultural workers, believe Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may sign the bill.  Especially since those opposing the bill are using the same arguments that exempted farm workers from overtime pay back in 1941.  Including that it may require farmers to switch crews in the middle of a job or perhaps even plowing their crops under, which may be cheaper than paying overtime.

There is no question that California’s farmers have been struggling of late due to a lack of water, lack of employees, and the market slump.  However, many are provided government subsidies or are able to sell their water to offset their losses.

Throughout his career, Florez has successfully fought to improve the safety of farm worker transportation, to implement workplace heat regulations that provide for shade, rest and water, and to protect workers from the hazard of pesticide drift.  He has identified SB 1121 as one of his legislative priorities for his final term in the California State Senate, which ends this year.

Many of us want to thank Senator Florez for championing causes that are important to those less fortunate Latinos whose function is to keep the state’s agricultural industry going.  However, the Governor should sign SB 1121 not to help Florez attain a great legacy, which he already has, but to fix a wrong that was adopted nearly 70 years ago.

AZ Governor Greeted By Protestors

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Met by Protestors During the National Governor’s Association Meeting in Boston

Today, a dramatic protest took to the streets of Boston to protest the presence of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer during the annual meeting of the National Governor’s Association. Despite torrential rains, a two-mile march went from the rally site at Copley Square to the Sheraton Hotel, where the governors were meeting. March organizers estimated that over 600 people participated in the three-hour rally and march.

Demonstrators came from throughout the region, with organized transportation coming from Worcester, Fitchburg, Providence, New Haven, New London, New York City, Syracuse, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

At the rally opening, Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition, said “Today, our message will be heard: Legal Rights for Immigrant Workers! And this is not only a message to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, but to all of the state governors. We will not let the racist Arizona law SB 1070—or any racist bills being considered across the country—go unchallenged.”

The rally was co-chaired by Zaldana; Bishop Felipe Teixeira of the Diocese of St. Francis of Assisi, CCA in Boston; Marco Castillo of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) in Connecticut; and Frances Villar, also of the ANSWER Coalition. Speakers included Sergio Reyes, Boston May Day Committee, Rev. Claudia de la Cruz, La Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas-UCC; Mary Kate Harris, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality); Katherine Diaz, Da Urban Butterflies; Ruben Miranda, Departed Diaspora; Tito Meza, Proyecto Hondureño; Vanessa Kerr, Student Immigrant Movement (SIM); Gladys Gould, La Liga Global; Tanisha Douglas, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Priscilla Lounds, March Forward!; and others.

It began to rain as demonstrators started the two-mile march from Copley Square to the site of the Governor’s conference. Within minutes the storm turned into a heavy downpour as the march approached the Sheraton Hotel, passing by the location where Brewer and the other governors were meeting. Though the streets began to flood, everyone remained undeterred. In fact, the energy of the crowd intensified, and the chants demanding an overturn of the Arizona law grew louder during the dramatic two-hour-long march through the streets of downtown Boston.

“Jan Brewer and other state officials in Arizona can be confident that protests will follow their every appearance throughout the country. Immigrant workers and the targeted Latino community in Arizona need to know that people everywhere will stand with them in the face of racial profiling and vicious repression. The July 10 demonstration is one example but there will be many more to come,” said ANSWER spokesperson Jennifer Zaldana. “The turnout and energy of the protest in Boston today shows the level of commitment the people have to the struggle for full rights for all immigrants. Brewer claims that her racism and bigotry represents the majority sentiment in this country, but we are proving that to be a lie.

“Next, people will take to the streets of Phoenix on July 28, the night before SB 1070 goes into effect. This is only the beginning of a movement that will challenge all anti-immigrant legislation around the country.”

Arizona: The Death of the Fourth Estate

Arizona: The Death of the Fourth Estate
By Rodolfo F. Acuña

The press in theory is supposed to safeguard democratic principles.  During a parliamentary debate in 1787, Edmund Burke supposedly referred to the press corps reporting the activities of the House of Commons as the Fourth Estate. Hypothetically the press was the champion of the public.

According to its supporters, the Fourth Estate acted as a mediator between the public and the elite. Journalists listened to and recorded the activities of those with power. An enthusiastic John Dewey believed that the public was capable of understanding and discussing policies and should be part of the public vetting process. Thus, the press would provide a forum where the people could weigh the consequences of policies being considered by those who governed.

Hence, the journalist’s foremost duty was to tell the truth. But, over the years there has been an erosion of the public trust in the Fourth Estate, as the media has been monopolized by those President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 called economic royalists that control the country.

President Roosevelt summed up this process of the monopolization of society saying, “New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.”

The Arizona media is the worst example of an institution abandoning its mission to educate the public. On the current immigration crisis, the media’s coverage of SB 1070 has been spotty both inside and outside the state. Regarding HB 2281 that outlaws ethnic studies, the media has been mute with the news either distorted or not reported.

I learned recently from two reporters that new editors around the state had directed their staffs not to cover opposition to the laws. For example, coverage of civil disobedience by students has gone unreported.

In order to shine a bright light on what is happening I contacted several Chicano journalists. A respected journalism professor wrote of Arizona: “As you well document and others have also, in recent years Latinos have been unfairly targeted, scapegoated and vilified by much of the general audience media, not just the usual right wing targets. This isn't the first time, as we both know from our long work in this area.  But at a time when the ‘mainstream’ media are steadily losing audiences, they seem to think they can build a more credible news report by either ignoring or misrepresenting the largest and fastest growing segment of the population….”

The problem in Arizona and indeed in most of the country is nothing new—it is systemic. As the traffic of undocumented Mexicans and others increased through southern Arizona in the 1980s and 1990s due to federal policy changes, the issue of immigration was politicized. Border Patrol sweeps in El Paso and San Diego channeled the traffic of undocumented Mexicans through southern Arizona, forcing many to brave the hazardous desert of southern Arizona. In this atmosphere many of the ranchers took the law into their own hands, hunting down Mexicans, entreating others to join them in the hunt.

Beside herself, Professor Guadalupe Castillo of Pima College in 1980 asked a New York Times reporter, why the national media was so silent, he responded, “The border is a Third World country, and people just don’t give a damn.”

The silence of the press encouraged Patrick Hanigan, his brother, Thomas, and their father, George, in August of 1976 to round up three undocumented workers, who crossed their ranch, which fronted the Mexican border west of Douglas, Ariz. The Hanigans tortured them, using hot pokers, cigarettes, and knives and fired a shotgun filled with bird shot at them. The ordeal lasted several hours before the Hanigans sent the three workers naked and bleeding back across the border.

An all white jury acquitted Patrick and Thomas Hanigan in 1977 of fourteen counts of assault, kidnapping, and other felonies. Their father died before the trial. A public outcry led by Chicano organizations forced the Jimmy Carter administration in 1981 to try the Hanigans on civil rights violations. A federal jury found Patrick guilty. Thomas, because of his young age, was acquitted. At least fifteen killings and more than 150 incidents of alleged brutality occurred against Mexicans in Arizona alone during the 70s.

In 1981 another all-white jury in Arizona state court found a former rancher, W.M. Burris Jr., 28, guilty of the unlawful imprisonment and aggravated assault of a Mexican farm worker. Burris suspected his employee of stealing, so he chained the worker around the neck. The jury, however, found him not guilty of the more serious charge of unlawful imprisonment and kidnapping.

The most obnoxious wanna-be ranger was Roger Barnett, who boasted that he made thousands of arrests of Mexican migrants on “his ranch.” Barnett and his followers sent out a racist flyer inviting white supremacist groups to come help them "hunt" Mexican “aliens.”

During these three decades, a reasonable person would have expected the Arizona media to inform Arizonans about civil behavior. Instead they have been intimidated by those who shout the loudest. They have betrayed their public trust and not had the courage of their convicts.

Edward R. Murrow must be turning over in his grave. The media has abrogated any duty to objectively inform the public. For instance, Arizona just passed a law allowing almost any adult to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon for any reason -- with or without a permit. The media has refused to take a position.

However, I wonder what the position of the media would be if Mexicans, Latinos and African Americans started showing up at rallies with guns strapped to their waists?

Occasionally the media gets it right. Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch advocated the securing of the border, but also called for providing a path to legal status for all undocumented immigrants. Neither is a liberal but they recognized good economic policy. The news conference was mentioned by the press and then dropped; the electronic medic was even less probative.

Clearly the Fourth Estate is no longer a factor in American life. It does not want to offend the Burrises and Barnetts of Arizona. Hence, as Roosevelt foresaw “the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service” with the media serving clients and investors.