Tag Archives: immigration

National Hispanic Heritage Month 2011

5 Oct
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2011

“Renewing the American Dream”







By: Leyla Tess Berlanga

September 15th through October 15th has been proclaimed as National Hispanic Heritage Month and has been given the theme “renewing the American Dream.” On September 15th President Obama’s “proclamation” was released and I found it to be quite interesting. In the proclamation, the President mentioned how influential Hispanics are to the American community as a whole, stating that things such as “strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service” have enhanced our nation’s character. The President also expressed that “the future of America is inextricably linked to the future of our Hispanic community. “

The President is also in the midst of “selling” The American Jobs Act to the American people as well as to Washington; Hispanics account for two-thirds of the country’s population growth, are currently experiencing an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent, and there are currently over 50 million Hispanics in the United States; so I think it is safe to say that the support and vote of the Hispanic community is very important and crucial to the Obama administration.

The President has proposed the American Jobs Act to help the entire Nation, and particularly Americans like the nearly one million Hispanic-Americans who have been out of work for over six months. The President also mentioned topics such as “improving educational opportunities, and expanding access to affordable, quality health care” and stated to remain committed to fixing the country’s “broken immigration system”. He mentioned key issues that we, the Hispanic community, are concerned about and I hope that these statements weren’t made simply in lieu of this being Hispanic Heritage Month, but rather made with the intentions of being executed efficiently, properly and in a timely manner.


Alabama immigration law: prejudice over common sense

26 Aug
MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial

While we set to dedicate and unveil the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in our nation’s capitol, a whole community in Alabama is about to be segregated and no one seems to be noticing.

Alabama HB 56, which was signed into law by Gover nor Bentley in J une 2011 and set to go into effect on September 1st includes the following:

  • All business must check the legal immigration status of all workers using the E-Verify system
  • Schools will be required to find out if all students are in the country legally (data is to be used for the purpose of “ statistical analysis” rather than preventing students from enrolling)
  • Permits police to arrest persons suspected of being an illegal alien if stopped for a different reason
  • Makes it a crime for persons to knowingly give rides to illegal immigrants
  • Makes it a crime for a landlord to knowingly rent property to an illegal immigrant
  • Makes all contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant unenforceable

Various reasons were given on why the law is said to “be good for Alabama”. What MATT see’s in contrast is an immigration law based on misinformation, prejudice and fear.

This law has the capacity to harm communities of every minority. It harms businesses of every kind by making it more difficult and expensive to hire new employees. It harms the whole education system- fear and intimidation do not provide a conducive learning environment and puts an extra burden upon school districts and administrators who are trying to teach.

In other words this law harms the everyday life of all Alabamans.

We can do something about it.

This law is more oppressive than Arizona’s, but not many people seem to be taking notice. We cannot grow accustomed to laws that segregate a large and growing part of our society.

“Injustice anywher e is a thr eat to justice ever ywher e.” – Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  • Tell Governor Bentley this is not good for Alabama. Governor’s Switchboard (334) 242-7100
  • Call or visit your member of Congress! Capitol Switchboar d (202) 224-3121. Tell them that the federal government, not individual states, should control immigration enforcement. We need to come together and enact Comprehensive immigration reform.

Mexicans Find Reasons to Stay in Mexico

11 Jul

Believe it or not, Mexican migration al Norte has been reduced to a trickle of its former self and U.S. businesses are begging to stay in Mexico’s border region. Why? Education and increasing job options in Mexico are dulling the allure of an increasingly treacherous trek northward. The Mexican economy is prospering significantly faster than the United States. In less than a week, the New York Times has published two similar articles about Mexico. The common denominator in each? Mexico’s socio-economic prosperity despite violence. The article, “Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North“, provides insight:

Courtesy of iStockphoto


A growing body of evidence suggests that a mix of developments — expanding economic and educational opportunities, rising border crime and shrinking families — are suppressing illegal traffic as much as economic slowdowns or immigrant crackdowns in the United States…But Mexican immigration has always been defined by both the push (from Mexico) and the pull (of the United States). The decision to leave home involves a comparison, a wrenching cost-benefit analysis, and just as a Mexican baby boom and economic crises kicked off the emigration waves in the 1980s and ’90s, research now shows that the easing of demographic and economic pressures is helping keep departures in check.

An article titled, “Despite Violence, U.S. Firms Expand in Mexico“, explains:

When the latest bloody headlines from the drug war in Mexico reach headquarters in New York, Ken Chandler, the manager of an American electronics manufacturing plant here, jumps on the phone… He is not begging to come home. He is begging to stay… Despite the bleak outlook the drug war summons, the Mexican economy is humming along, not without warning signs, but growing considerably faster than that of the United States…The result is a boomlet in jobs in some of Mexico’s hardest-hit cities, a bright spot in an otherwise bleak stream of shootouts, departing small businesses and fear of random death.

Senator Durbin’s Office: First-Ever Hearing on DREAM Act Tomorrow

27 Jun

DREAMers are back and they’re stronger than ever! Senator Durbin (D-IL) has announced the “first-ever hearing on the DREAM Act” happening tomorrow at 10am ET.  Watch it live here!

On his website:

Senator Durbin (D-IL)


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will chair the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act next Tuesday, June 28th, at 10:00 am ET. The hearing will be in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

“I’ve been working on the DREAM Act for over ten years,” Durbin said. “In that time, it’s been reported out of committee by a large bipartisan margin, passed the House of Representatives, and received a bipartisan majority vote in the Senate, only to fall because of a filibuster. I’ll convene the first-ever Senate hearing on this bill next week to discuss how the DREAM Act will make our country stronger by giving undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.”

Durbin will chair the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. The hearing will be webcast live on the Judiciary committee’s website.

The following witnesses will testify: Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano; Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley; DREAM Student, Ola Kaso; Lt. Colonel (retired) Margaret Stock; and Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven Camarota. “

Will this lead to fresh discussion or continued frustration? What has to happen for “progress” in favor of DREAMers? How can we define progress?

“El Ángel de la Justicia”

26 May

By Doris Marquez    @Matt.org

Jessica Domínguez , una abogada en asuntos de inmigración es considerada como “ El Ángel de la Justicia” en EE.UU.

Esta mujer de origen peruano, tiene un enorme y apasionado compromiso con su comunidad, además el incansable sentido de la defensa de los derechos de los inmigrantes son su  pan de cada día.

Ella misma fue víctima de las leyes. Ni su hermano ni ella tuvieron un abogado que les preguntara su opinión sobre la separación de sus padres.

 Domínguez comentó, “Un juez tomó una decisión que afectó mi vida hasta ahora”, recuerda. “Fue una injusticia, yo apenas tenía cinco años; nadie conversó conmigo para preguntar qué es lo que yo quería”.
Esa experiencia y los consejos de sus abuelos Raquel y Jorge la motivaron a que decidiera a  estudiar leyes. Porque ella misma sabe lo que significa no tener a alguien que defienda sus derechos

“Fue algo doloroso”, rememora, durante la entrevista en sus oficinas de Century City, California.  Su abuelito siempre le decía tienes que ser doctora o abogada.  Así, la lucha legal gratuita encabezada por “El Ángel de la Justicia” y su grupo de expertos en asuntos de inmigración tuvo un final feliz, con el respaldo del gobierno estadounidense, las autoridades de El Salvador y de México.

“El Ángel de la Justicia” sin embargo  se fundamenta en su fe y su creencia en Dios. Una filosofía compartida por ella y su  equipo de trabajo y a si mismo cada día con dedicación, responsabilidad y compromiso luchan por los derechos de los inmigrantes más desposeídos.

“Considero mi licencia de abogada como un regalo de Dios”, dijo. “Es un gran privilegio poder ser el vehículo de bendición que El utiliza para ser de bendición para muchas familias, ya que El me utiliza como la voz de aquellas personas que no pueden tener voz”.

Foto: Cortesía de aol.noticias

X-Ray Exposes Human Smuggling in Mexico

20 May

By Tina Kosikowski @ MATT.org

Go ahead, take a look… Take a close look at this x-ray exposing more than 500 total migrants jam packed into semi trailers. Those are people! You see them standing, crouching, sitting, leaning… holding on for dear life. They were crammed together up to 7 people per 1 square meter. The surprising part? None of them were Mexican.

An x-ray exposed hundreds of migrants packed into semi-trucks in southern Mexico.

According to Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Migración, the majority of migrants in this case originated from Guatemala, others represented El Salvador, Ecuador, China, Japan, India, Napal, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. This single image demonstrates the reach of organized crime and global smuggling routes. Antonio Mazzitelli, head of the UN office on Drugs and Crime for Mexico and Central America, stated, “this confirms the existence of powerful international smuggling rings that operate from Asia to Latin America in order to reach the United States.”

The lines between smuggling and trafficking often blur. The difference? In this case, a migrant who paid a coyote (most often between 7,000-25,000 USD) to smuggle him or her across any border becomes a trafficking victim when he or she is exploited by smugglers against his or her will. Perfect example: female migrants who pay coyotes to get them into the United States for work as a waitress, for example, become trafficking victims when those same smugglers kidnap them and force them into sex slavery.

How is this possible? In an article by CBS, Demetrios Papademetriou, the Director of the Migration Policy Institute, stated, “We’re talking about something that’s far more systematic than people realize. They learned how to do this by trying to move drugs and other contraband.”

Yes, illegal immigration is illegal; and no, it’s not fair. But next time you hear or read about sex slavery or human trafficking, take a closer look. Most likely, those trafficking victims were first smuggled migrants in a grueling quest for a future as a waitress, landscaper, construction worker, or nanny.

Want to “fight illegal immigration” or save 500 lives? Call the Polaris Project, a non-profit NGO created to report a tip and combat human trafficking, at 1-888-3737-888.

“Tren de la muerte” hacia el sueño americano

20 May

By Doris Marquez   @ Matt.org
El “tren de la muerte” o también conocido como la “bestia”  es un camino que lleva a muchos inmigrantes al suenño americano . Me encantaría compartir con ustedes un video acerca de como los inmigrantes arriesgan su vida en lograr el sueño americano , sueño que muchas veces los pone en riesgo.