Latino Voices

Latino Voices

ARIZONA BANS ETHNIC STUDIES IN SCHOOLS, BARS TEACHERS WITH ACCENTS FROM TEACHING ENGLISH

 

May 19, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – One week after signing a controversial immigration bill that opponents fear will lead to racial profiling by allowing police to question anyone believed to be in the U.S. illegally, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a new bill that outlaws ethnic-studies programs in public schools. The move has sparked outrage among some educators and students, while drawing praise from other quarters.

CONTROVERSY GROWS OVER ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW

 

Council votes to oppose measure; local conference unites groups in opposition

 

National polls show majority favors Arizona's new law

 

By Bill Pogue and Miriam Raftery

 

May 10, 2010 (San Diego) – The San Diego City Council has voted 7 to 1 to condemn Arizona’s tough immigration law, Senate Bill 1070. "This law threatens to divide our union," Councilman Ben Hueso said. "I believe it violates the Constitution. It victimizes legal residents as well as those who are here in the country illegally. And, it discourages the victims of crimes in the immigrant community to access justice."

 

Councilmembers joined mayors of San Francisco and Minneapolis, 12 City Councilmembers in New York City, Tucson and Flagstaff city governments in criticizing the measure. San Diego Unified School Board is also preparing to vote on opposing the measure as well as warning parents that travel to Arizona may subject their families to unlawful scrutiny.

NATIONAL LATINO LEADERS TARGETED BY DEATH THREAT, VANDALISM & COMPUTER THEFT



 

ADL OFFERS $2,000 REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO ARREST & CONVICTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 6, 2010 (El Cajon) –On Monday, April 26, a man with a shaved head banged his knuckles against the office window of a prominent Latino rights leader in El Cajon and issued a death threat. 

 

Since then, vandalism and a break-in have occurred, raising concerns that a prominent Latino organizer here may be the target of hate-motivated crimes. Now the victims are fighting back--determined not to let threats of violence intimidate them into silence.

UPDATES ON POST-QUAKE SITUATION IN BAJA AND IMPERIAL COUNTY



By Miriam Raftery

 

May 4, 2010 – ECM has received several e-mails from readers with updates on the situation in Baja, California and Mexicali in Imperial County more than a month after the devastating Easter earthquake.

 

According to an eyewitness in Mexico, flooded villages have started to dry up and trucks have been dispatched to remove large quantities of mud from homes. Crowds of people have been asked by police to return to their villages, but sleep outside of their damaged homes.

 

ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW CONTROVERSY HITS STREETS OF SAN DIEGO & CITIES NATIONWIDE

 

1,500 TURN OUT IN LOCAL MAY DAY PROTESTS; OFFICIALS & CANDIDATES VOICE VIEWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2010 – Across America, hundreds of thousands participated in May Day marches and rallies to protest Arizona’s new immigration law, which requires that law enforcement officers demand papers proving legal status from anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Supporters say the law is necessary to stem the flow of illegal immigration, but opponents fear it will lead to civil rights violations, illegal detention of legal residents, and a climate of intimidation.

HUNTER & FILNER JOIN EFFORT TO STOP CROSS-BORDER TRUCKING



By Miriam Raftery

 

April 26, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) and Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) have joined a bipartisan coalition of 78 Congressional members asking that the U.S. renegotiate the U.S.-Mexico trucking program created under NAFTA. The members sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Trade Ambassador Ronald Kirk, following an announcement that the U.S. and Mexico have established a working group to discuss the cross-border trucking issue.



“Reinstating the cross-border trucking program would directly undermine our nation’s border security, endanger public safety, and disadvantage American trucking companies,” Hunter stated last week in a press release.

HOLIDAY GIFTS STOLEN FROM AGENT RAMOS’ FAMILY ON CHRISTMAS EVE

 

 

December 24, 2009 – Local groups are pitching in to help the family of a Border Patrol Agent involved in a shooting that made international news. Early this morning, holiday gifts for the Ramos family, including four children, were stolen out of their vehicle at a La Quinta Inn during a stopover en route to El Paso. Several other vehicles were reportedly burglarized as well.

TRIAL RAISES ISSUES OF HUMANITARIAN AID TO BORDER CROSSERS



By Miriam Raftery



December 14, 2009 (San Diego) – In Tucson, Arizona on December 4, a federal judge ordered a theology student to reconsider his refusal to accept community service as a sentence for leaving water jugs for migrants crossing the border in an area where hundreds of border crossers have died in the past year alone. Walt Staton was convicted of littering by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. He plans to appeal his conviction.

 

But the judge warned, if Staton refuses to accept his sentence(which included community service, a year of supervised probation and a one year ban on entering the federal wildlife refuge where he left water jugs), he could be fined $100,000 and spend up to a year in prison, the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported.

WITNESS DOUBTS STORY OF TEEN WHO CONFESSED TO KILLING BORDER PATROL AGENT ROSAS

 

November 22, 2009 (Campo) – Christopher Daniel Castro-Alvarez, 17, pled guilty in federal court Friday to charges of murdering Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas during a robbery. In court, he testified that he and others lured Rosas from his vehicle to rob him.  But Britt Craig, who heard the fatal shots and spoke with Rosas shortly before the Agent was killed, told East County Magazine that he does not believe that the story is plausible.

FORUM REVEALS PLIGHT OF IMMIGRANTS FACING HOMELESSNESS IN REGION

 

By John Falchi



November 22, 2009 (San Diego) -- The Center for Social Advocacy (CSA), an El Cajon-based organization,  held its “Homeless in Our Community, Homeless at Our Border” awareness event at the San Diego Woman’s Club on November 6th. The program focused on a long-overlooked and growing epidemic of homelessness prevalent in the County, also recounting the haunting stories of real people facing desperate situations.

EDITORIAL: HOW MANY MORE?

 

By Enrique Morones

 

October 1, 2009 (San Diego) – Today marks the 15th anniversary of the wall of death—the border wall of shame. Since October 1st 1994 and the launching of Operation Gatekeeper here in San Diego, thousands have died. Nobody knows the exact number: 5,000, 6,000, 10,000. How many more?

BORDER PATROL OFFERS QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFO ON AGENT’S DEATH; FBI ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO SOLVE MURDER CASE

By Miriam Raftery
 

Photos by Deborah Craig
 

August 6, 2009 (San Diego) –The U.S. Border Patrol has added a $250,000 reward to the growing pool of reward money offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for killing agent Robert Rosas July 23 at the border near Campo.
 

EL CAJON HUMAN RIGHTS LEADER JOINS NEW NATIONAL COALITION FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM; LEADERS TO MEET WITH OBAMA IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEKEND

June 2, 2009 (San Diego) – “This economy is built off immigrants, and immigration reform will benefit the economy,” El Cajon resident and Center for Social Advocacy spokesperson Estela De Los Rios said at a press conference Friday in San Diego, where community leaders announced launch of the Reform Immigration For America Campaign (www.immigrationforum.org).

SCHWARZENEGGER DECLARES EMERGENCY, TRAVEL ADVISORY ISSUED OVER SWINE FLU

HUNTER SEEKS CLOSURE OF BORDER UPDATED April 29, 2009 (San Diego)—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in California to request federal funds for emergency services and supplies to combat the disease. To date, 91 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., including 11 in California and five in San Diego County. The first U.S. death, a boy who traveled to Texas from Mexico, was confirmed today and tests are being done on a Los Angeles man who died following symptoms of swine flu.

FILNER INTRODUCES BILL FOR FEDS TO PAY COSTS OF EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AT BORDER ENTRIES

By Miriam Raftery April 18, 2009 (San Diego)—Congressman Bob Filner (R-San Diego) has introduced the “Save Our Border Communities Act, H.R. 670. The bill would require the federal government to reimburse costs for local police, firefighters and other first responders to provide services associated with U.S. ports of entry on the international border. “The federal government has not reimbursed border towns for border-related incidents and the drain on local emergency services is increasingly unbearable,” Filner stated in a newsletter to constituents.

EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO JANET NAPOLITANO, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, REGARDING ALAN BERSIN--A TOP CANDIDATE FOR U.S. CUSTOMS & BORDER PATROL TOP SLOT

By Ernie McRay Editor’s Note: Alan Bersin has served as Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego City Schools and was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as California Secretary of Education. He is now in the running to head up the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol. Dear Secretary Napolitano: April 1, 2009(San Diego)--I write this letter because Alan Bersin is rumored to be on a short list of people who seek to run the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.

PHOTOGRAPHERS FOCUS ON BORDER WALL'S IMPACT ON WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENT

By Miriam Raftery

© Krista Schlyer © Roy Toft

March 1, 2009 (San Diego) — A team of 10 international nature photographers has just completed a three-week trip from San Diego to Texas, photographing and documenting impacts that the U.S.-Mexican border wall and immigration are having on wildlife, ecology, and landscape across the Southwest. To expedite construction of a 700-mile long border fence from California to Texas, Homeland Security under President George W. Bush's administration waived all laws, including environmental protections such as the Endangered Species Act.

CONGRESSMAN FILNER REINTRODUCES THE VISITORS INTERESTED IN STRENGTHENING AMERICA ACT

March 1, 2009 (Washington, DC -- Congressman Bob Filner has re-introduced H.R. 937, the Visitors Interested in Strengthening America (VISA) Act. The bill gives Port Directors the discretion to issue humanitarian visa waivers to Mexican children making brief, pre-scheduled visits to the United States for medical, educational or recreational purposes. This legislation does not affect the number of legal or illegal immigrants living in the United States - the children and accompanying adults will visit for one day and then return home to Mexico.

 

ECUMENICAL GATHERING AT FRIENDSHIP PARK DISRUPTED BY TAUNTING; MINISTER TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

Story and photos by Gayle Early

Rev. John Fanestil apprehended by California Border Patrol agents in full riot gear.

February 21, 2009 (Imperial Beach) On Saturday, about 200 people and 40 civic organizations gathered to protest the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) closure of Friendship Park on Monument Mesa in Border Field State Park. The media also had a strong presence, with reporters coming from as far as Canada. The new border wall runs through the middle of the park, shutting off the section where family members and friends separated by a closed border could greet and touch each other though the fence.

EAST OF THE LINE: LOCAL ECONOMY GETS SHOT IN THE ARM FROM BORDER OPERATIONS

By Billie Jo Jannen

Victor Leon of Potrero and Rudolfo Reyes of Campo put a raked finish on the drying concrete at the base of the border fence in the far western portion of Campo. They are working on the south side of the fence, which is constructed a short distance north of the border inside the border "buffer zone." Workers on the fence have been harassed by suspected smugglers on the Mexican side and there was at least one incident of rock-throwing toward U.S. workers.

February 16, 2009 (Campo) — Of the 670 miles of infrastructure built along the Southwest border as of January '09, about 10.5 miles of primary fencing was in San Diego County and most of that, about 9.75 miles, was in rural East County. An additional 2.6 miles in Marron Valley, south of Dulzura, is funded and expected to be completed this year.

The fence, itself, stands 18 feet above the ground, according Agent Jerry Conlin of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is sunk into a footing of concrete - six feet deep and two feet wide - and made up of steel tubes filled with concrete, called bollards. The bollards stand upright in steel framework with their feet buried in the concrete.

FRIENDSHIP PARK

Despite Border Patrol Ban, Communion Celebrations Continue at Historic Border Park--”For Now

(Karl W. Hoffman)

Editor's Note: Impacts of the border wall are important nationally and internationally, as well as for people in San Diego County. Each Sunday afternoon, Friends of Friendship Park gather at the historic venue to celebrate communion through the U.S.-Mexico border fence. Rev. John Fanestil, a pastor in the United Methodist Church and Executive Director of Foundation for Change, sent this poignant report to East County Magazine on closure of Friendship Park to the public.

SHOULD PRESIDENT BUSH PARDON BORDER PATROL AGENTS RAMOS AND COMPEAN?

Border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean

January 5, 2008 (San Diego's East County) — Assemblyman Joel Anderson has written a letter to President George W. Bush requesting a pardon for Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compeon.  Both are currently in prison, serving 11 and 12 year sentences after being convicted by a jury of shooting the unarmed Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the rear, then attempting to cover up their actions.  Davila was later sentenced to two years for marijuana smuggling.

"The sentencing and imprisonment of Ramos and Compean and the severe impact on their families has demoralized the rest of the U.S. Border Patrol which is the nation's first line of defense against the massive influx of illegal aliens into the U.S.," Anderson wrote, noting that the East County Assembly district that he represents is significantly impacted by illegal immigration.  "These men have already served nearly two years in prison, subjecting their wives and children to extreme emotional and financial hardship."

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