Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Ok, so news broke out that an amendment to the marriage bill coming up for a vote in the MN Legislature will define government marriage or the recognition of marriage by government as "civil marriage."
My reaction: duh!
I really hope that those who have been wary of the bill and religious liberties now get behind this bill. It clearly separates via clear language what is a civil marriage (by the government) and a religious marriage (by your religion you are a part of; each religion can choose who to marry).
A reaction that I've spotted from some marriage supporters is to oppose this amendment because "OMG we want full marriage!" What is important to understand that "civil marriage" is "full marriage." The bill, with this amendment, is the same as before but makes those wary of religious implications comfortable.
Anyways, my other reaction to this was: thank a Latin@ for starting the conversation about civil marriage and religious marriage. During the campaign against the anti-family amendment last year, one of our core values as we went around the state having conversations with members of the Latino community was how these two marriages can be separate.
Those of us who grew up outside the US know that there's civil marriage and a religious marriage. Often times both are performed at the same ceremony, but the certificates are different and have different value. When it comes to government recognized responsibilities and rights, you must have gotten your civil marriage. No other way around.
Glad we were of help :)
Thursday, June 28, 2012
These are great news for everyone!
Can't wait for the press conference Friday June 28th at noon at City Hall.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
He now has to pick a running mate.There have been many people mentioned. Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (GOP) seems to have a good shot at it. When I heard that, my mind went to 2007, a crucial year for young immigrants in MN, a year when Pawlenty did everything possible against us. And then I realized that picking him would only hurt Rmoney's chances to the White House (if he ever had any).
I'd like to shed some light to why Rmoney cannot pick T-Paw. And if he does, both can say good bye to the White House after this decision.
Reason #1: Tim Pawlenty made every effort to block the MN Dream Act, to block progress for many young Latin@s and other immigrants
Two anti-immigrants, two anti-Dream Act cannot run for office any longer. As it is becoming the norm, running on an anti-LGBT rights platform is no longer acceptable. Likewise, being a hard-core anti-immigrant candidate for national office is no longer acceptable. Ask John McCain. Running as an anti-young undocumented immigrant will set your pants on fire. And do not forget that we will question you anywhere and everywhere--your guaruras are gonna be PISSED. hehe.
Now, back to T-Paw. I've been involved in immigrant-related work for years. I started working on the MN Dream Act early in High School in St. Paul, MN. Tim Pawlenty was Gov. then. In 2007, we passed the MN Dream Act for the first time in both chambers! For the first time the House of Representative took a vote and passed it! The debate was heated, but we won! It was included in the Higher Education Omnibus Bill. Then, not to our surprise, the up-coming presidential candidate, threatened to veto the WHOLE Omnibus bill if the DREAM Act was included. From MPR:
"The [Dream] Act for the 2007 legislation session died when a conference committee removed it from the higher education omnibus bill on May 7, 2007 [because] Gov. Pawlenty had threaten to veto the entire bill, had the tuition provision remained."So, we weren't able to pass the MN Dream Act because Tim Pawlenty opposed us in every way possible. What you might not know is that we forced him to pass a MN Flat Rate Tuition (really super small clause) that made over 25 colleges and universities flat-rate for any student in the world--he didn't want to say it was for undocumented students, but it was. Best thing is is that the little clause is benefiting many undocumented students and US citizens from all over the nation. Which also means this has been great for the nation and the state.
Reason #2: Tim Pawlenty's tradition to announce anti-immigrant Executive Orders every January. And most recently endorse AZ's SB1070 and other draconian policies.
In the MN pro-immigrant community in MN, we knew T-Paw as extreme when it came to immigration. He even had a tradition of every early Januaries he would have a press conference to announce his anti-immigrant Executive Orders. And to have a hate-group (Numbers USA) praise Pawlenty's record against immigrants ain't gonna work well either (Hate-group's list is by issue):
- On May 31, 2011, during a visit to Sioux Center, Iowa, Gov. Palwenty said: "I’m not for amnesty, because I think it rewards illegal behavior." Gov. Pawlenty also said he supports tougher border enforcement and thorough identification checks by employers.
Source: http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/05/31/pawlenty-debates- immigration-with-iowans-over-coffee/?odyssey=mod|lateststories
- Gov. Pawlenty continues to speak generally against allowing large numbers of illegal aliens to stay in the country and about the importance of the rule of law. He doesn't get an Excellent because he hasn't made a detailed statement against mass long-term work permits for illegal aliens, but when he spoke to a Republican Hispanic outreach conference in Miami in January of 2011, he showed spine by refusing to join the pro-legalization group-think of the meeting.
- Pawlenty was the only Republican Hopeful who
accepted an invitation to speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network, led
by conservative pro-amnesty Republicans. Pawlenty declined to appeal to
the audience with hints at support for legalization of illegal aliens
and, instead, said America is based on the rule of law and that "we
can’t have wide swaths of the country nodding or winking or looking the
other way to broad violations of the law.” “The system we currently
have is broken,” Pawlenty said. “We
celebrate and welcome immigration. … But the system needs to be legal
and reasonable and orderly and that is not what we have now.”
- “One of the
founding principles of this country is the rule of law, so we can't have
a large segment of the population flouting or violating the law and
others large segment nodding and winking,” he said. “It corrodes respect for the law.... Deportation should depend on factors such as how long the illegal has been in the country.”
- As governor, Pawlenty signed an executive order requiring government employees and contractors to use E-Verify. But his most recent public statement on workplace verification is that he doesn't know if employers should be required to use E-Verify nationwide, a most decidedly Unhelpful stance.
- On Janurary 7, 2008, Gov. Pawlenty signed an
executive order requiring state agencies and certain state contractors
to use the E-Verify system when hiring new employees. We just need to
hear/see him publicly advocate E-Verify for all employers nationwide for
him to earn an Excellent rating.
- Gov. Pawlenty advocated the tightest
possible border security enhanced by an electronic Social Security
verification system so employers don't unknowingly hire illegal
Reduce Overall Immigration
- Gov. Pawlenty has said little about whether immigration policies should continue to force mass population growth in the U.S.
Limit Unfair Worker Competition
- In appealing for Hispanic votes, Gov. Pawlenty has shown more interest in addressing Hispanic Americans' needs to deal with very high unemployment than in appealing to them with promises to increase immigration of more Hispanic workers. His rating is limited to First Steps, partly because he has not articulated a clear vision of how immigration numbers should be coordinated with unemployment rates.
- While Gov. Pawlenty has not called for an
increase in foreign workers during the current jobs depression, he did
lobby Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas in 2006 before the
Source: http://itbusinessedge.com/, 27 February 2006.
- Asked by a Florida newspaper whether he would promise more work visas at an Hispanic conference in Miami, he said: “As
we talk about immigration and the Latino vote, we shouldn't make the
mistake of thinking the only thing they care about is immigration and
jump to that first and only. As I talk to the Hispanic community and
Latino community, they've got a lot of other concerns as well, which is
are they going to have a job, are they going to get a good education,
are they going to be able to afford college, are they going to be able
to buy health care, what's the economy going to be like. They have
national security concerns, so one of the messages I'm going to deliver
down there is we don't need to have every discussion start and continue
and end with just immigration and not pigeonhole either them or their
Secure Border & Fence
- Gov. Pawlenty has spoken of the need to use whatever resources necessary to secure the border and has authorized Minnesota National Guard to reduce illegal traffic at the U.S./Mexico border. But his statements about how he would secure the border are thin and not recent, keeping him from an Excellent rating.
- Gov. Pawlenty supports putting enough resources into securing the border “effectively.”
Source: Meet the Press, 26 May 2006.
- On July 5, 2006, Gov. Pawlenty authorized
Minnesota National Guardsmen and Women to participate in Operation Jump
Start, an initiative to reduce illegal immigration by securing the U.S. -
Support Local Enforcement
- Gov. Pawlenty has an especially strong record of ordering local enforcement of immigration laws in Minnesota, and he has strongly defended Arizona's law ordering local police to check for immigration status when there is reasonable suspicion. He just needs to make a statement about what a President should do to authorize and assist local law enforcement for him to earn an Excellent rating.
- On January 7, 2008, Gov. Pawlenty signed an
executive order directing the Minnesota State Police to cooperate with
federal immigration authorities and participate in the 287(g) program.
- On January 7, 2008, Gov. Pawlenty signed an executive order preventing any locality in Minnesota from being a “sanctuary city.”
- On January 7, 2008, Gov. Pawlenty signed an executive order allowing Minnesota to enter into an ACCESS agreement with ICE.
- Gov. Pawlenty defended Arizona's interior enforcement law, SB 1070.
- Asked in January 2011 by a Tampa newspaper if the Arizona approach to local enforcement gave him give you any “heartburn or concern,” Pawlenty said: “It
really doesn't in the sense that what it says has been
mischaracterized. I've read the law. Early on, I think the president . .
. misrepresented what the law actually says and unnecessarily scared
people. I think that was a disservice to the debate...If you read the
Arizona law what it says at its core is if the authorities have you
detained or stopped for another reason, a different reason unrelated to
immigration, and then they have a reason to believe you're here
illegally then they can ask for your documents. The notion that what I
just stated in summary allows you to pull someone over based on how they
look is not accurate.”
Punish Business Violators
- Gov. Pawlenty in 2010 on Meet the Press called for the jailing of employers who knowingly hire illegal foreign workers. For now, that puts him just over the line for an Excellent rating.
- On May 26, 2010, Gov. Pawlenty said, “You
tell our employers if you knowingly, and underline the word knowingly,
hire an illegal immigrant, then you’re going to jail or you’re going to
have a serious consequence. It will take care of most the problem in a
End Birthright Citizenship
- In August of 2010 when the national news media were searching for Republicans to decry the idea of ending the practice of granting U.S. citizenship for births to illegal aliens and tourists, Gov. Pawlenty made an unequivocal statement of support for repealing the practice.
- On August 7, 2010, Gov. Pawlenty said, “We’re
the only, or one of the few, developed nations in the world that allows
somebody to come here illegally, give birth to a child, and then have
the child be a legal citizen of our country. The only way to trump the
court’s decision is to amend the Constitution.”
If Mitt Romney chooses Tim Pawlenty as his VP, he can say good bye to a vast majority of Latin@s (even more than recent polls have stated) and people with a heart and therefore say good bye to ever becoming President.
PS - Do not forget Romneycare (ahem Obamacare anyone?)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Whatever the reason (attractinng Latin@s to GOP and/or pure love for DREAMers), I think we all can agree that whether a DREAM Act or a DREAM Act Lite comes from Democrats or Republicans (lets note that initial DREAM Act was supported by GOP since the beginning, but now that GOP is dominated by anti-immigrants, GOP wants to drop and propose new "conservative" alternative), we still need action.
Marco Rubio, the the son of Cuban immigrants (not refugees or whatever he has said...) is been "working" on a conservative alternative to the DREAM Act that will not lead to citizenship... but it does according to various reports:
Rubio’s proposal allows young people who came to the United States with their parents to have access to a non-immigrant visa that allows them to study, and after their studies are complete, allows them to work legally in the United States. Eventually, Rubio said, they gain the same status of other non-immigrant visa-holders and are eligible to apply for residency. Three to five years after they obtain a green card, they’re eligible for citizenship.
“It’s a non-immigrant visa, so it doesn’t put them on a path in and of itself to residency and then citizenship,” he said. “But it does legalize their status, it wipes out any of these immigration penalties that they might be facing, and it allows them to go on with their lives with some level of certainty.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/07/2736528/marco-rubio-the-gop-and-the-dream.html#storylink=fbuser#storylink=cpy
DREAMers and allies want action. But are all also well aware of the fact that both GOP and Dems are playing games.... AGAIN:
Prerna Lal of DREAM Activist writes ...: “I realize that the bill is a careful political calculation from the GOP to try to win back some Latino support,” and “I also understand that this entire charade ultimately has to do with the fact that the GOP does not want to grant citizenship to 12 million undocumented immigrants.”
Lal adds: “The GOP is driven by its anti-immigrant and white supremacist fringe, the Democrats are yet to develop a moral compass on immigrant rights but take us for granted nonetheless, our advocates in the non-profit industrial complex keep earning a paycheck due to stalemate on the issue, and undocumented youth continue to serve as mere political football to be tossed from side to side.”
A conservative alternative seems odd. You would think that most people, and by that I mean the republicans, would want a piece of legislation coming from Congress and not just from the President (I can hear the calls against Pres. Obama for giving amnesty like people did when the administration said "prosecutorial discretion" could be used to protect certain undocumented immigrants facing deportation). It also seems odd that the GOP/Rubio would propose the president act on his own--is Rubio going to take credit for something the presidnet can do alone?
Regardless, who cares? Something needs to be done--undocumented students and allies have been calling on the president to take action (just like the one Rubio is outlining--any undocumented students getting paid for advising GOP on this? I sure hope so!).
The political system ain't working to get something through congress. Lets hope Obama takes up DREAMers' call to stop deporting DREAM Act eligble youth and offer these visas to students just like Rubio has embraced.
Marco Rubio, keep saying our name, louder, and LOUDER!
"DREAMers, I love you! DREAMERS, I LOVE YOU!" - Marco Rubio
Sunday, September 25, 2011
For one, MN had two contenders who never had serious chances of capturing the Republican nomination. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, whose district is facing the challenge of many kids facing herrasment and some who have committed suicide, I expect to drop soon. And I really hope her pray-the-gay-away clinic shuts down soon.
Anyways, what has now captured my attention is the fact the republican front-runners are facing a litmus test from its far-right base. The fact is that none of the two front-runners (i.e. Romney, Perry according to most polls) really score well on all the issues the republican right now raise.
Romney, of course, is dreaded for his healthcare reform and state-mandate.
Now, who sometimes I think has a chance against Pres. Obama, is Perry. However, Perry of all, fails big time meeting the republican right base. Perry, whose campaign for the presidency is only about three months old, had surprised and excited many because he surpassed campaigns that were well into the race, is now suffering because of his stances on immigration for example.
What this says is that the right base of the Republican party is inherently anti-immigrant and any one who wants to capture the Republican nomination next year must adhere to this purity test. Just remember that for some years now, a trend from the Reagan Administration years, purity tests are part of court nominations or being part of a party, especially the republican party. Of course it is interesting that not even Reagan could please today's Republican crowd (i.e. he passed immigration reform in 1986....).
It is this anti-immigrant sentiment in the republican party that is hurting Perry. Perry signed into law the state Dream Act, giving undocumented students in-state tuition benefits, making it more likely that many immigrant, many Latin@ students will graduate from high school and go onto college. In some ways, this is also a good attempt to capture the Latin@ vote. Perry has even won over conservative journalists like Ruben Navarrete, especially because he has defended the Dream Act time after time.
Here is the test: will Perry stick to his guns on this small, but important pro-immigrant legislation or is he going to fall prey to the far-right controlled Republican party? They are not going to decide who wins the presidency because they are a small number of voters, but they are certainly shaping the race and will shape the primary. Perry has no chance of winning over moderates, or independents, if he wants to win over a small number of republicans who are over active and reactive.
We know that he didn't want an AZ "show me your papers brown person" law. He said it wasn't for TX, and I assume he does not want something like that nationally. We also know many other states like the AZ law and we know and have heard from the campaign trail that anti-immigrant measures are key to win over republican voters. So, here is another test for Perry; he is going to be questioned for his stance against the AZ law in TX.
Perry has to flip-flop, just like McCain did in 2008 over immigration and other things in order to win his party's nomination. Perry must denounce the TX Dream Act if he wants to stand a chance in becoming the Republican Candidate against Barack Obama. This we have seen from the last few debates; anti-immigrants have taken over. Perry does not stand a chance against them; he must become one of them if he wants to win over them.
[Even the son of immigrants are anti-immigrants--Rubio (FL)--or grandchildren of undocumented immigrants--Martinez (NM)--or immigrants themselves--Montenegro (AZ)--in order to please the Republican base.]
Perry's flip-flops over immigration are forthcoming; and not even conservative journalists like Navarrete want to admit it. The Reagan revolution is over. This is a counterrevolution against Reagan's or Bushe's hopes for that matter to create a more diverse Republican Party.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Michelle Bachman once again shows that whe she knows about her country's history is wrong or misguided. As an immigrant, I feel I know more about my country the United State of America than Michelle Backmann.
During the Republican debate last night, she got her facts wrong about immigration in the U.S. I mean, it's not a surprise really. Remember she consistently tells the story of her family's immigration history, which is, not surprising, wrong too. That's another issue though.
During the debate, Representative Bachmann said:
"But one thing that we do know, our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren't a felon. They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution.
"And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That's what we have to enforce."
I am not sure where she went to school (I think where my awesome former roommate who is probably ashamed his school is being represented this way), but even though I was not born here, I think I know some things better than Rep. Bachmann.
For one, I think it is important to point out that immigration to the U.S. has always been limited. Europeans, just as other immigration waves, had an easier path to migrate to the U.S. than other groups (Italians at some point see the system discriminating against them). Even Bachmann says that her family came to the East Cost in the 1800s and subsequently traveled to the Midwest. She never mentions what happened or what was happening with Native Americans then. Her European family was able to take advantage of the land-taking Natives were suffering. Of course that's never part of her story.
She also forgets that not everyone came here by choice. One, there were some people here already (i.e. Natives) who did not become citizens until the 1900s. Two, remember there were millions of Africans who were forced to come to the new republic and were forced into slavery (of course we also had indentured servants who eventually were able to buy their way out whereas African slaves could not). Then we also have people who lived in territories colonized by other nations (i.e. Mexicans) that the U.S. obtained at some point. While some Scandinavians for example only had to learn more English as a community and buy government bonds during WWII, Asian Americans and Asian immigrants were being forced into camps. Two communities in the same situation (rest of nation seeing them suspiciously because of their ethnicity/ancestry and which side their respective countries were fighting for) treated very differently. All of these people, during the European wave of immigration, became second-class citizens. Well, not exactly citizens, but yes second-class.
Bachmann says that immigration up until the 1960s worked beautifully. Maybe she was just talking about white immigrants or descendants (maybe not Italian though). I am in my early 20s, but I have met many people who lived during the 60s and before. I have also studied our history as a nation, and if I recall correctly, up until the 60s, segregation in the U.S. was legal. By then everyone else had at some point or another been enslaved, forced to live in confined territories, forced into camps, segregated by race or certain language (Spanish in California for example).
Immigrants, whether moving by choice or forced to, all make sacrifices. Immigrants before the 60s and today. Bachman is wrong to say that immigrants today do not sacrifice to come here, do not want to be part of this nation, do not want to pay taxes. She alludes to the erroneous, reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous idea that today's immigrants come with diseases, want to be a burden on the nation, do not want to learn English. She forgets that early immigrants spoke many languages, created their own enclaves, had their own newspapers, their own schools, and so on. Not very different than immigrants today, only that immigration laws are tougher for poor people and others today. And there is no land to take from Natives anymore.
I am certain Rep. Bachman does not understand how the immigration system worked prior 1960 and that she has no idea how it works today. She would fail the citizenship test were she to take it. At least her record on American history alludes to her potential test results. Of course, she does not have to take it since she is already a citizen by being born in the U.S. It is sad that such a figure like Rep. Bachmann misrepresents our history as a nation. And it is even more sad to know that her anti-immigrant sentiment within her lies can be dangerous.
Representative Michelle Bachmann needs to go back to middle school and learn some basics about immigration in the U.S. She should go back to learn our American history. I think I am going to challenge her to a debate on immigration history in the U.S. like that girl who challenged her to a debate on American History. Bachmann is a U.S. citizen, she should know this, right? An immigrant cannot do better than her I am sure.
She failed to get her facts right. She failed to even acknowledge that the immigration system is broken. She failed to provide any sensible solution to resolving anything. Representative Michelle Bachmann's "solutions" are based on her own version of history, a flawed American history.
Note: I did not write about many things and I apologize. I just wanted to point out how little Bachmann knows about immigration history and how her rhetoric could have disastrous consequences against immigrants today.
HARRIS: Congresswoman, you said the fence -- that you believe the fence is fundamental as an integral part of controlling the border. Let's say that in 2012 or 2013, there's a fence, the border is secure, gasoline is $2 a gallon.
What do you do then with 11 million people, as the Speaker says, many of whom have U.S.-born children here? What do you do?
BACHMANN: Well, again, understand the context and the problem that we're dealing with.
In Mexico right now, we're dealing with narco terrorists. This is a very serious problem. To not build a border or a fence on every part of that border would be, in effect, to yield United States sovereignty not only to our nation anymore, but to yield it to another nation. That we cannot do.
One thing that the American people have said to me over and over again -- and I was just last week down in Miami. I was visiting the Bay of Pigs Museum with Cuban-Americans. I was down at the Versailles Cafe. I met with a number of people, and it's very interesting. The Hispanic-American community wants us to stop giving taxpayer- subsidized benefits to illegal aliens and benefits, and they want us to stop giving taxpayer-subsidized benefits to their children as well.
HARRIS: A quick 30-second rebuttal on the specific question.
The fence is built, the border is under control. What do you do with 11.5 million people who are here without documents and with U.S.- born children?
BACHMANN: Well, that's right. And again, it is sequential, and it depends upon where they live, how long they have been here, if they have a criminal record. All of those things have to be taken into place.
But one thing that we do know, our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren't a felon. They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution.
And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That's what we have to enforce.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Immigration officials should consider such factors as:
- the person’s length of presence in the United States;
- the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States, particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child;
- the person’s pursuit of education in the United States, with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution;
- whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative, has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard;
- the person’s criminal history, including arrests, prior convictions, or outstanding arrest warrants;
- the person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships;
- the person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors and the elderly;
- whether the person has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent;
- whether the person is the primary caretaker of a person with a mental or physical disability, minor, or seriously ill relative;
- whether the person or the person’s spouse is pregnant or nursing.