Friday, October 27, 2006

Our friend Mario finally awarded asylum!

Congratulations Mario! Good news in a world full of bad.

Estudiante salvadoreño de UCLA obtiene asilo político

Mario Escobar afirma estar feliz de quedarse en Estados Unidos

Jorge Morales Almada
27 de octubre de 2006

Mario Escobar, un ex militante de la guerrilla salvadoreña que llegó indocumentado a este país hace 15 años y que hoy es un destacado estudiante a punto de graduarse en la Universidad de California en Los Ángeles (UCLA), recibió ayer el asilo político por un juez de inmigración.

"Alegre, me siento alegre, porque validaron todo lo que viví en El Salvador", dijo Mario al salir del tribunal de inmigración en el centro de Los Ángeles, aún con los ojos rojos de llanto.

Y es que adentro en el tribunal, cuando el juez William Martin Jr. le dijo que le concedía el asilo, Mario se estremeció, se quitó los lentes, restregó sus ojos con los puños, y se soltó llorando, luego volteó a ver a su esposa y le echó una mirada de esperanza.

No era para menos, ya que en este país no es fácil ganar un caso de asilo político cuando el solicitante es salvadoreño.

Un reciente estudio, que analizó 300 mil casos entre 1994 y 2005, elaborado por la organización Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), de la Universidad de Syracuse, en Nueva York, revela que el 80% de las peticiones de asilo son rechazadas cuando el solicitante es de El Salvador.

Mario comentó, luego de agradecer al juez su decisión, que su estancia legal en el país representa una oportunidad para poder luchar por otros estudiantes.

"Para continuar la lucha, para luchar por estudiantes igual que yo, porque creo que los jóvenes están pasando por mucho y algo se tiene que hacer, estudiantes que quieren continuar su carrera y que no pueden, madres de familia que están siendo separadas de sus esposos e hijos, que están siendo deportados, hay que luchar", dijo en las escalinatas del edificio federal.

Para este joven de 28 años la decisión del juez le da validez a todas las personas que han sufrido a causa de la guerra civil en su país, donde su padre fue asesinado cuando él era un niño.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Columbus and Guatemala

Exploring Christopher Columbus Day
By Elias Lawless, WireTap. Posted October 9, 2006.

Today, youth across the nation are told by our government that Christopher Columbus merits honor and celebration.

Historically, recognition of Columbus Day has reflected a bipartisan consensus: It was Democrat Franklin Roosevelt who first suggested in 1934 that all states adopt Oct. 12 as Columbus Day; in 1971, under Republican Richard Nixon, the second Monday of October officially became established as a federal holiday to honor the explorer.

To "discover" more about the man behind the day off (not to mention the namesake for our nation's capital, the District of Columbia), last year, on the eve of the nationwide break from school, I headed to my university library to learn about Christopher Columbus and the days following Oct. 12, 1492.

My findings were horrific:

* Two days following Columbus' arrival in the Bahamas, he recorded in his personal log, "These people are very unskilled in arms … with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished." This first impression would prove ominous.

* In November 1493, on a return trip to Hispaniola, Columbus ordered the enslavement of six indigenous women for the purpose of allowing his crew to rape them.

* In February 1495, Columbus rounded up 1,500 Arawak women, men and children, and imprisoned them. He then selected the 500 of them that he deemed the most marketable and shipped them to Spain. Only 300 arrived alive in Seville.

* In 1498, documents indicate that Columbus enslaved another 600 Carib people.

* By the decade's end, it appears that Columbus had kidnapped at least 1,400 indigenous people to send back to the Spanish slave markets.

Additionally, Harvard historian and Pulitzer Prize laureate Samuel Eliot Morison writes, "The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide," and "the natives were reduced to a species of slavery or serfdom and declined in numbers catastrophically."

Given the realities of Columbus' campaigns of mass murder and enslavement, why do we commemorate this man ever, much less every year?

It is clear that we are not lauding his skills as a sailor, considering that history teaches us his so-called "discovery" was purely accidental. What do we care that some man from Genoa sailing on behalf of Spain landed in the already inhabited Bahamas? And how does that involve ordinary students within the United States, who overwhelmingly speak English as their primary language (and not Spanish nor Italian)?

Perhaps if Columbus Day were a somber, yearly reminder of our nation's origins, which spurred us to reflect upon our responsibility to undo these oppressive traditions, the day would be beneficial. But as it stands, by seemingly rewarding youth with a day off from school to praise the man who in many ways initiated and still embodies the mass murder of indigenous peoples, Columbus Day instead serves to reinforce these abhorrent crimes.

If we cannot recognize enormous acts of brutality committed half a millennium ago, (but, in fact, actually celebrate their chief perpetrator) then what implications does this carry for acts of brutality committed more recently?

One week after Columbus Day, elections within the United Nations will determine Argentina's replacement for the Latin American seat on the Security Council -- and the United States' current lobbying campaign may yield some sort of indication.

Rather than admonish Guatemala for failing to prosecute its past dictators and military brass for upwards of 600 massacres committed against the indigenous Maya, the United States is pushing hard for Guatemala's appointment to the Security Council. Their efforts have paid off, as many in the European Union and Central America appear to have been won over by the superpower's diverse means of persuasion.

It seems that for the United States government, publicly esteeming those who carried out, or continue to leave unpunished, a heinous genocide (many of whom remain remarkably powerful within the Guatemalan state), encompasses more than a once-a-year affair.

But can the United States' annual lauding of Columbus really be plausibly linked to its cheerleading for Guatemala? Ward Churchill, an educator at the University of Colorado, argues:

"Very high on the list of those expressions of nonindigenous sensibility which contribute to the perpetuation of genocidal policies against Indians are the annual Columbus Day celebration, events in which it is boldly asserted that the process, events, and circumstances described above are, at best, either acceptable or unimportant. … Undeniably, the situation of American Indians will not -- in fact cannot -- change for the better so long as such attitudes are deemed socially acceptable by the mainstream populace. Hence, such celebrations as Columbus Day must be stopped."
Venezuela, Guatemala's competitor for the Security Council spot, decided in 2002 to do just that -- transforming Columbus Day into el Dìa de Resistencia Indigena or Indigenous Resistance Day, to instead celebrate native peoples and "the spirit of dialogue between civilizations, peace and justice." Interestingly, Venezuela's principal pitch for its bid at the Security Council is to counteract what many view as the imperialist tendencies of the United States (those tendencies exemplified in Columbus, the hemisphere's pioneering imperialist).

Meanwhile, one must seriously question Guatemala's suitability for the Security Council given its troubles with, well, security. Following a visit three months ago, Louise Arbour, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, labeled Guatemala as "one of the most violent countries in the region … where impunity is the rule for past violations, it should come as no surprise that it also prevails for current crimes." Indeed, Le Monde Diplomatique reports that an estimated 97 percent of all current murders within Guatemala go unpunished. Not so comforting for a nation that boasted around 15 murders a day last year, a rate that appears to be on the rise this year.

Granted, the United States sees in Guatemala a lackey that will vote as the United States dictates throughout its two-year tenure on the Security Council. Fears of Venezuela aside, how can the Bush administration overlook both Guatemala's glaring lack of qualifications for the job, and, more specifically, the repulsive reality of a recent, still-unpunished genocide?

Today, a major piece to that answer may float festively down the streets of New York City, imbedded in mobs of cheering spectators, famous faces and inflated cartoon celebrities -- televised globally to millions but contemplated, much less mentioned out loud, by very few.

Elias Lawless currently lives in Guatemala.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Karina Oliva Art Exhibit

Communique from El Salvador

From Aryeh:

dear ones,
this posting would have been accompanied by lovely photos but my camera
mysteriously stopped working so hopefully my words will paint the
i have to warn you that sometimes, it ain´t pretty...
with all my love, aryeh

las montañas de morazán
2 de augusto de 2006

the first week of August is an official government vacation and thus i
decided to take advantage of the time to venture to Perquín, a small
village in the northern pine-encrusted mountains of El Salvador. I had
promised to myself that in this next phase of my work here, I would
more time off, leave the village and see more of the country to gain a
deeper understanding of its history, its popular movements and its
complexities, in addition to taking a little time for myself.
which is why i felt a bit betrayed by my body when the night before
leaving, i broke into a feverish sweat. i was determined to take these
rarely-encountered-consecutive-days-in-a-row off and so i rebelled and
boarded the bus anyway for Morazán.

on the ride north i began to take note, feverishly, dreamily, perhaps
deliriously, of the changes in the landscape. i´ve been living in
Usulután where the land is stretched flat, flat and more flat. i´m a
mountain creature at heart, which perhaps describes my instinctive move
from the flatlands of Michigan to the sierras and rolling hills of
California. my spirit quickened as the bus began to chug sluggishly
upward and the mountains began to rise and rise, stretching their
seductively upward toward the sky.

in my dreamy state i listened to the evalengical preacher who boarded
bus, working himself into a frenzy, spit flying, hailing the word of
to a captive though mostly dozing audience. When he was finished,
man began his passionate pitch to sell cheap medical remedies for
ailments which he described in full anatomical detail acompanied by
illustrative visual aids.

i finally got off the bus and sat by the side of the road, waiting for
pick-up for the last leg of the journey, while vendors came by to offer
everything from socks, tighty-whiteys and boxer shorts, to rat poison,
belts with tweetybird stamped on its buckle. i settled for a gatoraid,
hoping to replenish my dehydrated body with a few extra electrolytes.

the pick-up finally arrived and we were herded inside like cattle, both
sides lined with people sitting on benches, and those of us who had to
stand were strategically squashed into the space in order to fill the
camper to its optimal capacity. i found myself pressed back to back
an old man and for nearly half an hour, we supported each others weight
through the twists and turns of our ascent. we never exchanged names
life stories, but i felt a sweet human connection with him through our
simple act of sharing weight. when i was finally given a chance to
sit, i
turned my attention to the view available through the back of the tarp
covered pickup. my heart leapt as the tropical trees gave way to their
higher altitude brothers and sisters of pine, oak and buckeye.
i delighted in the sight of sunlit dewdrops quivering at the end of
needles. i looked forward to walking for hours through those trees,
surrendering my soul to long vistas and silence. the air was brisker,
forcing me to reach into my backpack and pull out my hoodie which i
never worn, not even once, in the heat of the Bajo Lempa. when we
I was quite weary from the journey and still feverish so I took refuge
the blue painted room of my lodge and began to reread ¨The Massacre of
Mozote¨ which took place here in December of 1981.

the Salvadoran government had initiated its new American-learned
Earth policy, or Tierra Arrasada. another description for this was
¨quitarle el agua al pez¨ or ¨take the water away from the fish¨.
means that entire villages were systematically wiped out for being
¨geurilla sympathïzers¨. this policy intentionally included the killing
chilren in order to eliminate the potential risk of their becoming

the U.S. and Israeli governments seem to be harking back to scorched
earth policies in the Middle East. Take for example, the wholescale
destruction of the city and recent genocide of thousands of innocent
Iraqis to ¨liberate¨ Fallujah of insurgents, or now the systematic
of southern Lebanon and the genocide of Qana by U.S.-armed Israel, in
which all the men, women and children who remain are considered to be
Hezbollah or Hezbollah supporters, thus justifying the carnage.

Much of the genocide of today is committed by arial strike, whereas
massacre was committed machete to throat. when the Atlacatl Battalion
arrived, they assembled the entire population into the square. in the
morning, they proceeeded to interrogate, torture and execute the men.
around noon, they began taking the young girls out and raping them on
hillsides. in the late afternoon light, the women were separated from
their children, taken out in groups and machine-gunned to their deaths.
Finally, by the end of the day, they killed the children.

Rufina Amaya, who is the sole survivor of El Mozote, had escaped from
line and hid under the cover of a crab-apple tree. She has told her
many times, of having seen her husband decapitated by soldiers, of
the screams of the young girls being raped, of hearing her small boy
yelling ¨Mamá, they killed my sister! Mamá, Help me! They´re killing
of having to dig a hole in the earth so that no one would hear her
when they finished the exterminations, they set fire to the homes,
all the animals and left the bodies unburied, to serve as a message of
what would lie in store for other would-be guerilla sympathizers.

There have been 767 documented victims, failing further exhumations. my
guide to El Mozote, a wizened old ex-guerilla told me that this number
low, that there were so many more, well over 1,000. After the peace
accords, an Argentinan forensics team came in to exhume the bones, the
scraps of bloodied garments, the little plastic horses and marbles held
the pockets of children, unearthing the truth of what may have been the
largest single massacre in Latin American history.

When word first came out of the piles of burnt flesh and decapitated
bodies of mostly women and children and old people, it was announced
internationally by the returning geurillas through Radio Venceremos.
U.S. and Salvadoran governments dismissed these reports as a ¨guerilla
trick¨ and ¨Communist propaganda¨. You see, the U.S. goverments
over 4 billion dollars in this war, supplying the Huey helicopters, the
mortars and M-16s, the M-60 machine guns and 90mm recoilless rifles,
with training in counterinsurgency techniques, search-and-destroy
operations, torture and anti-Communist ideology for the Atlacatl
and Colonel Domingo Monterrosa who were responsible for the so-called
¨necessary genocide¨.

Photographs and detailed reports hit the front pages of the New York
and Washington Post. There were debates in Congress about the
human rights violations in El Salvador, however they did not want to be
responsable for another Sandanista-type leftist victory, or ¨losing¨
country to Communists, thus no complete investigations were made, no
was cut off but in fact multiplied, and it was officially determined
the Salvadoran government was making a ¨concerted and significant
to comply with internationally recognized human rights¨. The NY Times
reporter was subsequently pulled off the beat, demoted and harrased
he finally left the Times.

Though the U.S. would rather that we forget the past so that we will
support their current atrocities to search-and-destroy ¨Terrorists¨or:
oppressed peasants/exploited workers/autonomous resistance
movements/teachers/ song-writers/poets/union organizers/community
leaders/activists/critical thinkers of all stripes/or just plain
who happen to get in their way. indoctrinating us with Orwellian
propaganda of bombing innocent civilians in order to liberate them!
so that they can impose Neoliberalism, i mean, Democracy!, under the
gun of military occupation... we must resist the temptation to look
even if we have to dig holes in the earth to hold our screams.

the memory of the massacre is actively kept alive here. it is not
something that can be healed, but the memory perhaps can allow one to
recuperate dignity, to restore humanity, to scream out to the world,
¨Never again!¨ i walked for miles to El Mozote today through
scenery, wanting to touch the scorced earth with my own hands. nature
reclaimed her right to be achingly alive, bursting forth from every
crevice. i was accompanied by my guide, Matilde, who founded the
revolutionary war museum in town. it contains old photographs charting
its causes and progress, with solidarity posters and beat up Radio
Venceremos transmitters and grenad launchers set against the backdrop
of a
childrens mural, painted with brightly colored flowers and butterflies.
made me both laugh and cry with his endless stories and continued
optimism. i asked him why he had joined the geurrilla movement, he
the army had come and burned down his house along with his crops, so he
had no other choice but to fight for the survival of his pueblo.

when we arrived to the small center of el mozote, there were people
at work, preparing a garden that will commemorate the children who were
killed. before the stone memorial where the bones of the children are
held stands a heart scultpure composed of mirror fragments. the artist
was there so i asked her its significance. she said it was for those
come to look, so that they will see themselves in the broken mirrors
perhaps wonder, what if it were them? i looked. yes, it could someday
me or my loved ones as the insanity of war and scorched earth policies
rage on.

a mural was being constructed next to the garden, made of mirrored
lightning bugs and mosaic rainbows to evoke the spirits of the
of innocence, and of hope. another mural with vivid colors adorns the
other side of the church, depicting El Mozote as it once was, with
explaining its history to the youth. In the center of the town, a
iron silohuette of a family stands before a wall filled with the names
the martyrs, and it holds a plaque with a quote that will stay with me,
"They did not die, they are with us, with you, and with all humanity."

yes, they are with me. and with you. as are all the children in the
Middle East who are being massacred today in the name of God, Progress,
The War on Terror, Freedom Fries! or more accurately in the name of
Capitalism, Empire, Oil Profits, Corporate Globalization,
Control-of-the-World´s-Resources-by-Any-Means-Necessary, or more

may destruction always be confronted with acts of creation. may we
keep alive the memory of children and of dignity. or better yet, may
we keep the children alive. may we stop this madness, as it IS
again. in this very breath.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

need theater artists in El Salvador

Hello friends, comrades, sister and brother artists!

I am writing to put out a personal call to you and your local and
international contacts. As you know, I´ve been working down here in El
Salvador for the last six months, teaching popular theater and arts
activism to youth in rural communities in the Bajo Lempa. The theater
work is part of a larger vision to develop leadership in the youth, to
them conscious, active and involved in the social, environmental and
political issues in their communities and nationally. There are few
resources and opportunities available to them and the unemployment and
immigration rates are high. I am working with La Coordinadora, a
grassroots leftist organization to establish this program on a

So far, I have formed six groups in different communities and we have
created theater pieces about CAFTA, gangs, global warming, community
organzing, and the prevention of pregnancy. They have performed with
great success in schools, festivals, conferences and various community
events with post-performance reflection and dialogue. I´ve also done
giant puppet workshops and have a group of youth who are painting
Historias¨or giant illustrated storybooks about food sovereignty,
composting latrines, wood-saving stoves, etc.

I am starting with the next phase, collaborating with a theater teacher
from San Salvador to train a selected group from these six communties
in a
five month intensive training process. I will also be doing two
projects on the side, to create specific theater pieces about the
vulnerability of the poor and disaster prevention around the annual
here in the zone, and a commemoration piece about a massacre that took
place 25 years ago.

The upcoming year will be exciting as the youth continue to deepen
skills and understanding of community theater and we will hopefully be
able to work with new recruits along with creating a more professional
troupe that will not only perform locally but nationally as well.

The situation is that I agreed to stay on as the Art Corps artist for a
second year though I could only commit to staying through June.
the committment for an Art Corps volunteer artist is one year, but they
made an exception for me because of the work and trust I´ve already
established and because La Coordinadora offered me a paid position.
Unfortunately, this would leave the communities without an artist for
last six months. I think they would be better served if there were an
artist who could stay for the entire year and for various personal
reasons, I would like to come home in March. The problem is that they
did not receive any applications from a qualified community theater
who can speak Spanish, which is where you come in!!!

If you know of any Spanish-speaking community theater artist (from
anywhere in the world) who would be interested to live and work in El
Salvador next year, please send them this email! let them know that
is a life-changing opportunity to do some amazing work down here, the
foundation has been laid and I would be able to stay through March to
orient them to the lay of the land, introduce them to the youth and get
them started.

for more info on Art Corps, their website is
more info on La Coordinadora, they are on this site:
more info on my experience and the work I´ve done, you can check my
blog and its archives, which is

hopefully this finds you all well and inspired.
please pass on this call and let me know if you have any ideas!
ArtCorps is looking for volunteer artists to live and work with local
organizations in Guatemala and El Salvador from 9 months to a year,
starting in January 2007. The artists would use their creativity to
communicate environmnetal and social messages with the community. We
for experience in community-based art, maturity and the capacity to
independently, as the artists live in rural communities far from the
capital. We provide health insurance, $1,000 for a plane ticket and
$1,300 for art materials. More information and an application are
available on our webpage,
ArtCorps esta buscando artistas voluntarios para vivir y trabajar con
asociaciones locales en Guatemala y El Salvador durante entre nueve
meses y un año a partir de enero de 2007. Los artistas utilizarían su
creatividad para comunicar mensajes ambientales y sociales a y con las
comunidades. Buscamos experiencia con arte en comunidad, madurez y la
capabilidad de trabajar bastante independientemente, visto que los
artistas viven en comunidades rurales lejos de la capital. Proveemos
seguro médico y sueldos para el viaje y materias de arte. Las
asociaciones proveen cuarto y comida. Mas información y una solicitud
inicial se puede encontrar en nuestra página web,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Students rise up in El Salvador

Body: Los resurgidos Escuadrones de la Muerte torturaron y mataron a los padres de Mariposa (ex-locutora de Radio Venceremos) el pasado Domingo 1ro de Julio en Suchitoto y ahora esta violenta represion, similar a los años 70s, de los estudiantes. El gobierno habla abiertamente de tomarse la Universidad Nacional, de hecho helicopteros volaron el interior de la Universidad y dispararon a los estudiantes, ademas aviones militares sobrevolaron el interior del alma mater, la policia acordono toda la Universidad registrando y golpeando a los que de alli salian. Ahora la pregunta del millon es: QUE HACER? Fomentemos la discucion y el debate, propuestas y acciones concretas, sobre esta pregunta.



Represion en El Salvador 3 estudiantes muertos y mas de 20 heridos

decenas de capturados

Aproximadamente a las 8:00 a.m., los estudiantes de secundaria de los institutos ALBERT CAMUS, INFRAMEN y FRANCISCO MORAZN, y de la Universidad de El Salvador iniciaron marchas pacificas para protestar por el incremento al pasaje, el aumento del 14 % de la luz eléctrica, el agua y la canasta básica.

La PNC por medio de su unidad élite UMO, detuvieron a 2 estudiantes de secundaria, sin justificación alguna y con lujo de violencia.

Cuando los otros estudiantes vieron que sus compañeros eran agredidos comenzaron a responder con piedras el ataque.

La polica disparó contra la multitud de estudiantes balas, granadas, gas pimienta. Cuando los estudiantes intentaron protegerse dentro del campus universitario, también les dispararon desde el helicóptero que sobrevolaba la zona.

Desde el techo Hospital Bloom francotiradores asestaban tiros a los jóvenes manifestantes, dejando como resultado 3 jovenes muertos, de quien aún no se confirma la identidad, 2 miembros de la UMO muertos, cuyos nombres son: JOSE PEDRO NAVARRETE, JOSE ARGUETA RUBI, 20 heridos entre los estudiantes, y 9 de la polica.

Un menor que responde al nombre de JOSE LUIS MARTINEZ VILLATORO quien se trasladaba en las inmediaciones del lugar resultó lesionado con golpes graves en el abdomen por agentes de la UMO; este no tena ninguna relación con los estudiantes que se manifestaban en ese momento.

Hasta estos momentos aún se encuentra montado un cordón policial alrededor de la Universidad, se está registrando a los transeúntes y las personas están siendo bajadas de sus vehculos los cuales también se están requisando, en busca de armas.


Escuche radio guanaco (mayavision) para eschuchar noticias de El Salvador en vivo

Pagina oficial del FMLN:

Diarioi Co-Latino:

Acciones de esta semana en Los Angeles

1: Reunion en la Casa Roja para discutir la situacion de El Salvador. Que podemos hacer?

(Tendremos un reporte telefonico directo desde El Salvador)

Dia: Mañana Viernes 7 de Julio 7:00 PM

Lugar: 1251 S. St. Andrews PL. (dos blocks al oeste de la Western, esquina con pico)


2: Pachangon de recaudacion de fondos

Dia: Sabado 8 de Julio 7:00 PM en adelante

Lugar: CARECEN 2845 W. 7th ST, Los Angeles 90005

(medio block al oeste de Hoover, busque la bandera del FMLN)


FMLN-Los Angeles

Comités de Base

Feliciano Ama

Miguel Mármol

Che Guevara


Friday, June 23, 2006

El Salvador: Another Vietnam

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El
Salvador invites you to this event:

...From CISPES Archives

(777 VALENCIA St. between 18th & 19th) San
***Suggested Donation $8.
No one turned away for the lack of funds.

This one-hour film argues the parallels between US
involvement in Vietnam and US involvement in the
Salvadoran Civil war in the 80's. It also shows how
thousands of refugees fled in fear of the salvadoran
army, national guard, as well as unofficial death

Besides food, music and movie,
e will also be talking about the ILEA (international
Law Enforcement Academy) that the US installed in El
Salvador recently. And we will be discussing about
what we can do to close this "new school of the
We hope you can come to our event to support Bay


(415) 503-0789

Massive Deportations in San Diego

Massive deportations in San Diego
Posted by: "shweta parmar"

*"Operation Return to Sender" Police/ICE Raid Against Immigrants*

*June 18, 2006*

*From: ***

"Operation Return To Sender" is a team of "POLICE ICE"
has just arrested and deported over 150 undocumented
immigrants . The immigrants are from Vista, Ca.

Police ICE looks for the following:

1. Mexican congregating at local bars speaking Spanish
and no English.

2. Mexicans having a party in large groups and the
undercover police officer hearing ONLY Spanish spoken
about their home country. This is a give away for the

3. They are hitting the apartments where large numbers
of Mexican live and work in the agriculture fields.

4. They hone in on Home Depot areas, 7/11 stores, and
others categorized Mexican corners.

5. Be prepared if they take on the K-12 schools and

6. Be prepared if ICE takes on the Mexican patients in
the hospitals.

7. ICE will be targeting Mexicans in any undisclosed
area. The hit will come as a surprise in the early
morning hours and when Mexican least expect the visit.

8. ICE comes in para-military uniforms in white with
black bullet proof jackets. They work in teams of five
to ten to an apartment complex and have their trucks
parked half a block away.

9. This information was on our San Diego local news
and might be in the National News tonight.

10. Being 23 miles from the Mexican border I see all
kinds of Mexican round-ups and massive deportations.

11. What I find most disturbing is that ICE might next
hit our schools in September, 2006. All large cities
with Mexicans populations might see extensive raids.

I hope the immigrant community now start to acquire
their USA documents.

Pedro Olivares


Immigration Sweep Brings Fear to Community

Associated Press Writer
June 18, 2006

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Fewer parents are walking their children to school in this
border city's Linda Vista neighborhood. The crowd of day laborers huddled in
a parking lot outside McDonald's has dropped by half.

A sense of unease has spread in this community of weather-worn homes since
immigration agents began walking the streets as part of a stepped-up
nationwide effort targeting an estimated 590,000 immigrant fugitives. Other
illegal immigrants are being rounded up along the way.

Juana Osorio, an illegal immigrant from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, said
her neighbors have largely stayed indoors since agents visited her apartment
complex June 2.

"People rarely leave their houses now to go shopping," Osorio, 37, said as
she clutched a bottle of laundry detergent in a barren courtyard. "They walk
in fear."

Her husband, Juan Rivera, 29, has stopped taking their two children to the
park on weekends. "We want to go out but we can't," said Rivera, a
construction worker.

In a blitz that began May 26 and ended Tuesday, federal agents arrested
nearly 2,200 illegal immigrants, including about 400 in the San Diego area -
more than any other city.

It was the latest salvo in a crackdown on illegal immigration that has
included arrests of nearly 1,200 workers at a supplier of wooden cargo
pallets and the deployment of National Guard troops on the Mexican border.
Meantime, Congress is considering a broad overhaul of immigration laws.

All this has immigrants on edge, even in places such as San Diego that are
home to thousands of illegals, many of whom have lived openly for years.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said about half the 2,179 people
arrested in the 19-day nationwide raids - dubbed Operation Return to Sender
- had criminal records, including convictions for sexual assault of a minor,
assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

While criminals were targeted, agents also asked neighbors and curious
onlookers about their immigration status and, if they were in the country
illegally, they got hauled away for deportation, too.

"We can't just turn our heads away from people we find along the way," said
Lauren Mack, an ICE spokeswoman in San Diego.

Agents staked out homes to determine when best to come knocking, interviewed
apartment managers and checked credit reports and loan applications.

Since last fall, the agency has increased its fugitive task forces
nationwide from 18 to 38, and plans to expand to 52 teams by the end of the
year. The Bush administration has proposed a total of 70 teams.

San Diego's Linda Vista is a hardscrabble neighborhood of two-story homes
favored by Mexican, Filipino and Vietnamese immigrants. As in other cities,
the fugitive task force arrived in unmarked vehicles and agents were dressed
like civilians. Mack said agents wore something to identify them as law
enforcement, perhaps an agency insignia on a shirt or a bulletproof vest
marked POLICE.

Day laborer Fredy Calleja said his uncle was arrested about two weeks ago
while watering plants outside his home. An agent asked him about someone
suspected of selling drugs in the area. When the uncle said he didn't know
the drug dealer, the agent asked if he was in the country illegally and
arrested him when he said he was.

Calleja said his uncle was deported but then sneaked across the border in
Tijuana, Mexico. He was back in San Diego a little more than a week later.

Since the blitz began, Serafina Morales has been looking for unmarked white
or black vehicles whenever she leaves the house.

"We're all scared to go to school," she said. "Many of us are letting our
children walk alone."

(c) 2006 The Associated Press.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A socialist's guide to the World Cup

Whether you're cheering on the boys from Brazil or avoiding the television at all costs, keep an eye on the political dynamics of this year's World Cup. (click on title to follow link to article)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mayan Radio Program: Contacto Ancestral

When: Today, Monday, June 19th from 9:00-10:00pm, on
90.7 FM (KPFK), Please pledge your support by
(818) 985-KPFK (5735).

What: The multilingual and multicultural Mayan radio
program Contacto Ancestral, which airs every Monday
night from 9:00-9:30pm on KPFK and is produced by a
Mayan collective, will be raising programming funds.

Please make your tax-deductible donations today
the airing of the show. You can make your donations
either by check, money order, or credit card.

Why: Contacto Ancestral is the only multilingual
multicultural Mayan radio program in Los Angeles and
Santa Barbara. This multilingual program aims at not
only preserving, and revitalizing indigenous
but also serves as an important source of
on contemporary issues facing indigenous peoples in
the Americas.
THANK YOU for your support.

In solidarity,
Contacto Ancestral

Alicia Ivonne Estrada
Central American Studies Program
California State University, Northridge

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Voices of a New Movimiento

article | posted June 1, 2006 (June 19, 2006 issue)

Roberto Lovato
Under cover of an oak tree on a tobacco farm deep in the heart of rural North Carolina, Leticia Zavala challenges the taller, older male migrant farm workers with talk of a boycott and legalización.

"We will not get anything without fighting for it," declares the intense 5-foot-1 organizer with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Pen and notebook in hand, Zavala hacks swiftly through the fear and doubt that envelop many migrants. She speaks from a place, an experience, that most organizers in this country don't know: Her earliest childhood and adolescent memories are of migrating each year with her family between Mexico and Florida. "We have five buses and each of you has to decide for yourselves if you want to go to Washington with us," she says. After some deliberation most of the workers, many of whom have just finished the seven-day trek from Nayarit, Mexico, opt to get on another bus and join the May 1 marcha and boycott. They trust her, as do the more than 500 other migrant workers from across the state who heed the call from one of the new leaders of the movimiento that is upon us.

Read Complete Article

Thursday, May 25, 2006

De El Salvador-Anastasio y los del Monte


Okay this video is a little caught up in a colonial moment but nostalgias a bitch so it moved me...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Borders without visas

Let's live up to the promise of NAFTA and allow a free flow of people in North America.
By Tim Cavanaugh, TIM CAVANAUGH is the Web editor of Reason magazine. E-mail
May 23, 2006

AMONG THE MANY measures and half-measures that are being proposed to solve the crisis of illegal immigration, there have been some real doozies: a 700-mile wall to keep people out (or in?); a temporary guest-worker program that may end up harming both American and Mexican employees; even a scheme for the largest mass deportation in U.S. history.

But here's one good idea you won't hear about. Let's allow the North American Free Trade Agreement to live up to its promise and permit citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico to move and work freely among the three countries.

If that sounds crazy, it's only because a century's worth of regulatory corrosion and toxic bureaucracy have made us forget that this is how things used to be. For most of American history, immigration was either open or so lightly regulated that the United States was effectively open to everybody. MORE

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What are you waiting for?

More info:
Go here for more detailed info and to find your senators phone numbers:

Please take a little time to call your senators. For real this stuff they are trying to pass it going to affect all of us. Like new ID cards with tracking devices. It doesnt take much to call and call often. Leave a message and just let them know that you support legalization and human rights...or go to one of these websites that support possitive immigration legislation to get more info on the specifics. I called yesterday. You have no idea how important it is to call. This is how our legislators make their decisions by hearing from you in the form of a fax or a phone call they count it as representing a larger voice of dissent. For reals. REAL TALK. It doesnt take much time out of your day. Here's a local number for Feinstein 415-3930-0707
ITS THE VERY LEAST YOU CAN DO and its pretty simple. abrazos, la mayita

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Immigration Action

Take Action Now!

Please Contact your Senators Today Regarding S. 2611, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006

This week, the U.S. Senate will be considering S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA) of 2006. The legislation represents a positive step forward in enacting a comprehensive immigration reform bill before the end of the year. Over the next two weeks, the Senate will consider amendments to the legislation, both amendments which would improve the bill and those which would cause more harm to immigrants and refugees. It is important that the Catholic network weigh in on this important issue at such a critical juncture.

CIRA contains many positive provisions, including a legalization program which includes a path to citizenship for up to 10 million persons in Title VI; family unity provisions in Title V; and a temporary worker program in Title IV. However, it also contains overly punitive enforcement provisions in Title II of the bill. Moreover, it contains provisions which could preclude some of the undocumented population from qualifying for the legalization program. It is important that our elected officials receive the appropriate messages regarding this legislation. They include the following:

Legalization provisions: We support the provisions in Title VI which provide a path to citizenship for up to 10 million persons and the provisions in Titles IV (temporary worker program) and V (family-based immigration). However, we support changes in the bill to allow the maximum number of undocumented persons to qualify for a path to citizenship. These would include:


Restoration of protections for those persons who have resided in the country for 2-5 years and who would be required to go home prior to applying for a green card, including restoration of confidentiality in the process; a right to appeal adverse decisions; no waiver of rights, and an extension of the application deadline.

Creation of a realistic opportunity for those here 0-2 years to participate in the program, who under the bill must return home and apply through the temporary worker program, which could take years.

Removal of provisions which would render ineligible any person who commits document fraud or misrepresents fact on a I-9 application. (Undocumented immigrants without legal status often are compelled to misrepresent their status in order to obtain employment)

Enforcement Provisions: We also support amendments to the bill which would remove or ameliorate harsh enforcement provisions in Title II, including:


the expansion of the definition of an aggravated felony;

increased use of indiscriminate mandatory and indefinite detention;

removal of protections for asylum-seekers, refugees, and other vulnerable populations;

the authorization of local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws;
* limits on judicial review.

Please call your Senators regarding S. 2611.

Please write your Senators regarding S. 2611.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Central America and Iraq

Grandin on Rumsfeld's Latin American Wild West Show( click on the link above to read more)
It was in Central America, remember, that President Ronald Reagan first actively faced off against the "Evil Empire." It was through Central American policy that the previously distinct strands of conservatism and neoconservatism first broke foreign bread (and foreign heads) together. It was the anvil upon which the ideas and constituencies that drive Bush's aggressive foreign policy today were first hammered out. It was the place that secular neocons and anti-communist militarists came together with the Christian New Right to oppose Catholicism's Liberation Theology, which, for them, was the radical Islam of its moment -- at a time when Reagan's CIA director was playing footsy in Afghanistan and elsewhere with the Islamic jihadists who would later be melded with the "axis of evil" into the War on Terror.

Central America was also where Republicans first embraced the idealist language of spreading "democracy" abroad as a key justification for an aggressive, violent, preemptive foreign policy. It was in relation to Central America that, through the Office of Public Diplomacy, the executive branch first used a full range of PR "perception management" techniques to sell a war -- again anticipating the media manipulation that led to the invasion of Iraq. Finally, it was in what became the Iran-Contra scandal that Republicans first tried to bypass many of the restrictions on the presidency put into place (however feebly) after Vietnam and Watergate, foreshadowing the vast, half-secret expansion of executive powers in the last five years. Not for nothing did so many of the current administration's officials and hangers on -- John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams, Otto Reich, Donald Kagan, Michael Ledeen, even John Bolton -- come out of Central America. It is a story that must be read, as must Grandin's piece on U.S. war-planning in recalcitrant Latin America.

Immigration Matters

Counterterrorism Targets: Are You One?
By Roberto Lovato

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Youth go to ES

Youth want to reconnect with their roots. We all need to do that at some point! Help out if you can or pass it on anyway. M

*Please repost and forward it to everyone you think might help.*

Dear family,
I am writing to inform you of a special project that our organization is developing. As many of may know we started an on campus organization at San Francisco State University called C.A.S.A. (Central American Student Association). The organization was born out of a need for Central and South American representation on our campus. What makes our organization different from other Latino organizations is that we want to get involved in international issues and in specific in Central America. One of our goals and missions is to take delegations of high school and college level students back to their ancestral lands. This July we are taking our 4th delegation in less than 6 months. What makes this delegation so different from the previous 3 is that they are all high school students. This very exciting and important for us because we believe high school students are the future and we must as privileged university and professional Latinos and other ethnicities begin to take and active and leadership role in their lives.

We met some of these students in the week of action for immigrant rights this past March in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco. While some of our members were fasting for immigrant rights, these high school students were there, by our side supporting the cause, marching and making sure that the hunger strikers were ok. They made signs and they organized themselves in a peaceful way to protest the racist anti-immigrant reforms. They are not just high school students, they are young warriors from our communities who have stand up for our rights. We believe in these students and we have high hopes for them. Please help us raise funds for them to experience the culture and history of El Salvador.
I call upon all you out there that care about the future of our youth to support these students in their efforts to reconnect with their roots and reclaim their identities.
We are fundraising $800 per student, which includes the flight, meals and spending funds. Our total budget for 20 students is $16,000. These students are low income students and is almost impossible for their families to afford this much money for an educational trip to El Salvador, therefore your support is of great importance for this project.

You can donate funds to our non-profit Avenues Project
and you can claim a tax-donation for your support. Tax Id .. 300035154.
____ Yes, I ____________________________ would like to donate __________ so that students can reconnect with their roots. Please add my name to the list of donors on your website (, your community newsletter, and any materials you send out to the media.

Checks payable to: Avenues Project, re: El Salvador Roots Trip
Contact Info: 510.776.3740,,,

Below you will find an important letter from high school students and teachers that I am organizing with, we are raising funds to take 20 youth to El Salvador to connect with their roots.
Please read it, spread it like wild fire, and donate even $20. Everything helps......

Gustavo Choto (email:
Organizer/Educator - C.A.S.A - SFSU (Central American Student Association San Francisco State Univerity)

East Oakland Community High School- Raza Film Class
The Avenues Project, an education non-profit organization (501 c.3)
8251 Fontaine Street Oakland, CA 94605

Dear Community Members and Supporters,
Twenty East Oakland Community High School students from the Raza Film Class are fundraising to travel to El Salvador this summer, but they need your help to make this dream a reality. Half of the students in the class are Central American and want to learn about their roots. We have family members who live in El Salvador, but we have never met them because traveling out there is very expensive. We want to learn about our country because we only know about El Salvador from pictures and stories. We want to live there for a couple of weeks and experience life in Central America. We are fundraising $800 per student, which includes the flight, meals and spending funds. Our total budget for 20 students is $16,000.

Some of the goals of our trip are helping our larger community. During this trip we will be helping the people there by making a bridge so that they can transport themselves from the countryside to the city. We will also help set up pipes so that they can get clean drinking water to their homes. We want to also visit and help out orphanages.

We need your support to help empower all of us and also allow us to meet/reunite with family members. We are all excited about going to El Salvador, but we cant make our dream come true without your support. We will be making a difference to the people of El Salvador, and it will change our lives, but we need your help. Thank you so much for your support.
C.A.S.A. (Central American Student Association)

Raza Film Class- East Oakland Community High School
Raza Film Students
On the journey
to connect with our roots
in Central America.

Name of Students:
Yanina Vazquez- El Salvador
Yesenia Vazquez- El Salvador
Adrian Arias- El Salvador
Maite Arias- El Salvador
Adriana Vega- Mexico
Francisco Flores- Guatemala
German Flores- Guatemala
Maria Felix- Mexico
Luis Sanchez- Mexico
Luis Garcia- Mexico
Jose Gutierrez- Mexico
Jose Agredano- Mexico
Omar Escalante- El Salvador
Jocelyn Padilla- Honduras
Francisco Capuchino- Mexico
Gumaro Meza- Mexico
Ricardo Gomez- Mexico
Eric Maldonado- Mexico
Reyna Rodriguez- El Salvador

Organizer & Educator,
Gustavo Choto - El Salvador

Monday, May 08, 2006

'Sanctuary City' for Immigrants Gets Pricey
By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press Writer Sun May 7, 2:14 PM ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - This famously liberal city is serving notice that illegal immigrants are welcome, even while Congress is considering tough new penalties. Police won't harass you. Education and health care are available.

Here's the hitch: You probably can't afford to live here.

Back in 1985, when Cambridge first declared itself a "sanctuary city," rent control kept apartments affordable.

Today, however, Cambridge no longer has rent control; cheap apartments were turned into luxury condominiums and the city — home of Harvard and MIT — is among the most expensive places to live in the United States. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,400 a month.

Saturday, May 06, 2006



En algunos países hispanoamericanos como Guatemala, Argentina, y algunas partes de Colombia, en vez de "tú" se dice "vos," y no se utilizan las terminaciones normales para la segunda persona del singular en el presente del indicativo, ni en el imperativo. Este es el llamado "voseo." Uds. no tienen obligación de utilizarlo ni de memorizar su conjugación, pero sí es conveniente que lo reconozcan:
PRESENTE tú piensas --> vos pensás, IMPERATIVO ¡piensa! --> ¡pensá!
PRESENTE tú comes --> vos comés, IMPERATIVO ¡come! --> ¡comé!

PRESENTE tú vienes --> vos venís, IMPERATIVO ¡ven! --> ¡vení!

Hay, sin embargo, una manera más facil de recordar todo esto:

1. Tomen el infinitivo del verbo (pensar, comer, venir)
2. Quiten la "r" y pongan una "s" (pensas, comes, venis)

3. Añadan un acento a la última vocal (pensás, comés, venís)


Igual que el presente pero no añadan la "s" (pensá, comé ...)
Hay muy pocas excepciones: tú eres --> vos sos

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Arab/Iranian/Muslim Contingent-MAY1

May 1st Immigrant Rights Mobilization
Arab/Iranian/Muslim Contingent


from philadelphia to san francisco, millions of
immigrants & allies will leave school and work, and
take the streets of the united states demanding
dignity and an end to immigrant attacks in congress.

from buenos aires to mexico city, there will be a
boycott of US products.

from tehran to sao paulo, millions will celebrate
international workers day.


Arab/Iranian/Muslim Contingent
(Mission between 3rd & 4th)
Contingent will march with other immigrant groups and
meet up with the Rally and March at 11 AM Justin
Herman Plaza, Embarcadero.

for more information call ADC-SF at 415-861-7444 or go

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Where you stay

Check it...

Monday, April 17, 2006


Millions of Central Americans live and work in North America. This
Special Issue looks at what caused the migration flows to El Norte and
the impacts of Central American migration on both home and host

Top story:
Central America: Crossroads of the Americas
Many migratory streams from Central America -- including refugees,
economic migrants, and transit flows headed north from South America
elsewhere -- have converged in North America since the 1980s. Sarah J.
Mahler and Dusan Ugrina of Florida International University outline the
region's main trends.

Central American Foreign Born in the United States

half of all Central American foreign born in the United States are from
El Salvador and Guatemala. MPI's Megan Davy examines the numbers as
as events and policies that have shaped Central American migration.

Country Profile:
Guatemala: Economic Migrants Replace Political Refugees

Guatemala's long civil war, which spurred large flows of refugees, has
given way to high levels of economic migration to the United States and
an economy more dependent on remittances. Also, Guatemala's geography
has made it a prime transit country for migrants headed north, as James
Smith of Inforpress Centroamericana reports.
Mexico: Caught Between the United States and Central America
Since the 1980s, Mexico has become home to Guatemalan refugees and served as
a transit country for Central Americans seeking to reach the United
States. Manuel Ángel Castillo of El Colegio de México analyzes Mexico's
policies toward its southern neighbors.
Canada: A Northern Refuge for Central Americans
Although most Central American refugees sought protection in the United
States, Canada admitted thousands of Central American refugees in the
1980s. María Cristina García of Cornell University takes a detailed
look at Central Americans in Canada.
Remittance Trends in Central America
In 2004, Central American countries received US$ 7.8 billion in
remittances through official channels. Are remittances hurting or
helping the region? MPI's Dovelyn Agunias investigates.
Migration and Development in El Salvador: Ideals Versus Reality

Salvadorans abroad have helped their families economically and, to some
extent, decreased poverty levels back home. Yet migration has economic
and social costs in El Salvador -- and has not yet proved to be the
answer to its development problems, according to Katharine

CAFTA: What Could It Mean for Migration?

The Central America Free Trade Agreement may be the most important
economic event in the region in 20 years. However, it seems unlikely to
reverse established migration trends, reports Salomon Cohen.

Central Americans and Asylum Policy in the Reagan Era

Not long after the United States passed the 1980 Refugee Act, thousands
of people began fleeing civil war in Guatemala, El Salvador, and
Nicaragua. Their treatment in the United States, linked to US foreign
policy, spurred the Sanctuary Movement and efforts to grant them
status, as Susan Gzesh of the University of Chicago explains.
National Policies and the Rise of Transnational Gangs
The growth of violent gangs such as MS-13, which operates in the United
States and Central America, has caught the attention of the US media
and law enforcement. However, the role of migration policies in this growth
deserves closer attention, finds MPI's Mary Helen Johnson.
Policy Beat:
Senate Debates Temporary Worker Program and Path to Legal Status for
the Unauthorized

MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on the Judiciary Committee's proposals for
immigration reform, which set the stage for Senate debate on the topic,
plus other immigration news.

Special Issues:
Don't forget to visit our previous Special Issues on:
The Top 10 Migration Issues of 2005
The Unauthorized

Human Rights and Migration

and Migration

US-Mexico Migration
Women and Migration
Integration and Immigrants
Migration and Development
Join Our List
If a friend has forwarded this email to you and you would like to
continue receiving these updates, you can subscribe by clicking on the
link below.

On behalf of the Source team, thank you for your comments and
Kirin Kalia
The Migration Information Source is a project of the Migration Policy
Institute (MPI).


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Performance Art Immigration Festival

The Central American Studies Program
Performance Art Immigration Festival

Monday, April 17, 2006

With an update on High School Student Movement
coordinated by the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA)

Key Note Speaker:

Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez,
University of Maryland, College Park
"¿Dónde estás vos/z?: Performing Salvadoreñidades in Translocal Sites"

Performance and Visual Artists:

Jessica Grande
Lizette Hernandez
Víctor Espinosa
Carlos Somoza
Luis A. Vega
María Adela Díaz

Followed by a reception hosted by the Central American United Student Association (CAUSA)

Whitsett Room
Monday, April 17, 2006 6:00p.m.
California State University
Central American Studies Program
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8246

Tel. (818) 677-3585
Fax (818) 677-7578

Sunday, April 09, 2006

website for rights for students

This website has some useful information including a student free speech rights section and some contact info for the national lawyers guild for students that need legal help because of their walkout actions.

Please distribute widely.
-----FOR THE STUDENTS WEBSITE - Posted 4.6.06
A new committee has been formed in response to the recent student activities. This group is composed of teachers, students, parents and professionals who feel that "education is a right, not a privilege", and that students inherently have the right to voice their opinions. In this committee are people who were active in the 1968 Walkouts, such as Bobby Verdugo, Paula Cristosomo and Mita Cuaron. We invite the community to help us in the students of our youth. Please check out the new web page !!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A tragedy because of the lack of support/understanding

Very sad news. This should not happen.

Sunday, April 9, 2006
12:00 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
710 S. Sultana Ave., Ontario, CA 91761

Louise Corales, whose 14 year-old son, Anthony Soltero, died on April 1 after committing suicide, will speak to the community and ask for a prayer for her son this Sunday, following the 11:00 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario, California.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself through the head on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthonys truancy and participation in the student protests.

Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights, Ms. Corales said today. I want to speak out to other parents, whose children are attending the continuing protests this week. We have to let the schools know that they cant punish our children for exercising their rights.

Anthonys death is likely the first fatality arising from the protests against the immigration legislation being considered in Washington, D.C. Anthony, who was a very good student at De Anza Middle School in the Ontario-Montclair School District, believed in justice and was passionate about the immigration issue. He is survived by his mother, Louise Corales, his father, a younger sister, and a baby brother.

Ms. Corales will speak to the community after mass on Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. She will ask for a prayer for Anthony, whose funeral and burial are scheduled for Monday, April 10 in Long Beach, where he was born.
(310) 410-2981
(310) 989-6815
R. Samuel Paz
Civil Rights Lawyer
Buckingham Heights
5701 W. Slauson Avenue
Suite 202
Culver City CA 90230
Telephone (310) 410-2981
Facsimile (310) 410-2957

Legal info on walkouts for students

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Subject: commonly used attacks against immigrants
Body: Myths vs. Facts


Immigrants pay taxes, in the form of income, property, sales, and taxes at the federal and state level. As far as income tax payments go, sources vary in their accounts, but a range of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Undocumented immigrants pay income taxes as well, as evidenced by the Social Security Administration's "suspense file" (taxes that cannot be matched to workers' names and social security numbers), which grew by $20 billion between 1990 and 1998



Immigrants come to work and reunite with family members. Immigrant labor force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S. In one estimate, immigrants earn about $240 billion a year, pay about $90 billion a year in taxes, and use about $5 billion in public benefits. In another cut of the data, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.

(Source: "Questioning Immigration Policy – Can We Afford to Open Our Arms?", Friends Committee on National Legislation Document ..G-606-DOM, January 25, 1996.


In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S. federal, state, and local governments. While it is true that immigrants remit billions of dollars a year to their home countries, this is one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment.



" IF AN IMMIGRANT THAT CAN'T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH IS TAKING YOUR JOB..YOU ARE ONE STUPID MOTHERFUCKER...." Does anyone have the right to claim a job 'belongs' to them?

The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s coincided with our lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic growth. Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs for U.S. and foreign workers, and foreign-born students allow many U.S. graduate programs to keep their doors open. While there has been no comprehensive study done of immigrant-owned businesses, we have countless examples: in Silicon Valley, companies begun by Chinese and Indian immigrants generated more than $19.5 billion in sales and nearly 73,000 jobs in 2000.

(Source: Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore, Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, VA (Mar. 1994), p. 13.


During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means we haven't spent a penny on their education, yet they are transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years

(Source: Andrew Sum, Mykhaylo Trubskyy, Ishwar Khatiwada, et al., Immigrant Workers in the New England Labor Market: Implications for Workforce Development Policy, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Prepared for the New England Regional Office, the Employment and Training Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2002.'center%20for%20labor%20market%20studies%20at%20Northeastern%20University%20studies')


Within ten years of arrival, more than 75% of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply. Greater than 33% of immigrants are naturalized citizens; given increased immigration in the 1990s, this figure will rise as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years. The number of immigrants naturalizing spiked sharply after two events: enactment of immigration and welfare reform laws in 1996, and the terrorist attacks in 2001.

(Source: American Immigration Lawyers Association, "Myths & Facts in the Immigration Debate", 8/14/03.,142..section4)

(Source: Simon Romero and Janet Elder, "Hispanics in the US Report Optimism" New York Times, (Aug. 6, 2003).


The percentage of the U.S. population that is foreign-born now stands at 11.5%; in the early 20th century it was approximately 15%. Similar to accusations about today's immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages, and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow émigrés. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today's immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate. If we view history objectively, we remember that every new wave of immigrants has been met with suspicion and doubt and yet, ultimately, every past wave of immigrants has been vindicated and saluted.

(Source: Census Data:, )


Around 75% of today's immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas.

(Source: Department of Homeland Security (


From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol's budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The Border Patrol also toughened its enforcement strategy, heavily fortifying typical urban entry points and pushing migrants into dangerous desert areas, in hopes of deterring crossings. Instead, the undocumented immigrant population doubled in that timeframe, to 8 million—despite the legalization of nearly 3 million immigrants after the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S., compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.

(Source: Immigration and Naturalization website:


No security expert since September 11th, 2001 has said that restrictive immigration measures would have prevented the terrorist attacks—instead, the key is effective use of good intelligence. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make us less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.

(Source: Associated Press/Dow Jones Newswires, "US Senate Subcommittee Hears Immigration Testimony", Oct. 17, 2001.)

(Source: Cato Institute: "Don't Blame Immigrants for Terrorism", Daniel Griswold, Assoc. Director of Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies (see:

information provided by:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mario Escobar has had his deportation hearing delayed twice.

Student’s fate depends on overburdened court

EUNICE KWON/daily bruin
Mario Escobar has had his deportation hearing delayed twice.

By Adam Foxman

As thousands across the nation took to the streets last Tuesday to protest legislation that would increase penalties against undocumented immigrants, Mario Escobar paced nervously in front of the Los Angeles Immigration Court on Olive Street.

He was waiting for a judge to either deport him to El Salvador, from which he fled following the country's civil war, or grant him political asylum.

Neither happened, as it turned out.

More than a year after Escobar's court date was delayed the first time, the fourth-year English and Spanish student's deportation hearing was pushed back for an additional six months.

Judge William Martin Jr. was prepared to hear the case Tuesday, and Escobar – with his wife, his psychologist and a friend in tow – had come to the courtroom expecting resolution in his bid for political asylum.

But the case was delayed because the counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not have his file.

Kristin Piepmeier, the U.S. government's counsel, told Martin she did not have Escobar's file because, though she had ordered it on March 17, it was accidently sent to the National Records Center in Missouri.

"I made a mistake," Piepmeier said, explaining that she expected the file to arrive "any day now."

The judge, visibly frustrated, expressed dismay at having to delay the case after setting aside plenty of time to hear the counsel's position as well as Escobar's defense and testimony from his psychologist.

He urged Escobar's lawyer to work toward an agreement with the counsel in order to more quickly settle the case, and he rescheduled the hearing for Sept. 13.

Escobar, who was in tears hours before the scheduled hearing, said the postponement made him want to scream.

"I'm still in the same predicament," he said. "All I want is for this nightmare to be over."

Escobar, who is an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, fled from his home country to the United States more than a decade ago. He is applying for political sanctuary based on the trauma he suffered during El Salvador's civil war.

His father and grandmother were killed in that conflict, which lasted from about 1979 to 1992. And as an 11-year-old near the end of the war, Escobar was kidnapped and held for almost a year by former members of the Salvadorian military.

Escobar's hearing was not the only one postponed Tuesday. An asylum hearing scheduled immediately before his was also pushed back for six months.

Delays are common in Los Angeles' immigration court, and with a steady increase in immigration cases nationwide in recent years, the situation appears unlikely to improve.

For Escobar, a delayed hearing means more months of anxiety, he said, explaining that his unresolved case is also impeding upon his efforts to become a professor.

During his time at UCLA, the 28-year-old student took early steps down that path. He gave a lecture at UC Santa Barbara on the difficulties Central Americans face in the United States, and spoke about Roque Dalton, a Salvadorian poet, at California State University, Northridge.

He is also scheduled to speak on April 7 at the Salvadorian Embassy in Washington, D.C., about a literary magazine he established as a forum for Central American issues.

But because of his status as an undocumented immigrant, he has had to turn down offers to speak in El Salvador and Canada, and he has had difficulty securing fellowships, he said.

Escobar is one of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States at whom the Senate and the House are aiming controversial immigration-reform proposals.

The differences in the two proposals illustrate the deep ideological divide – in both Congress and the country at large – over issues of illegal immigration.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently released a proposal that would give many current undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and establish a guest-worker program.

In contrast, the House's bill, passed late last year, would increase penalties for illegal immigration and erect a 700-mile-long wall between the United States and Mexico.

Opponents of the Senate Judiciary Committee's proposal call it an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Critics of the more stringent bill passed by the House have said it is unnecessarily harsh, unenforceable and would split up many families who have undocumented members. Neither proposal is final, and as many of their provisions are in direct opposition, they are likely to see fierce debate in Congress before they can become law.

But either bill, if it goes into law as written, would likely have dramatic effects on the nation's immigration courts, which are already dealing with a growing number of cases.

Between 2004 and 2005, the country's immigration courts saw a 23 percent increase in the number of cases received nationwide, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. The number of cases increased 31 percent from 2001 to 2005, from 282,396 to 368,848.

Los Angeles' court has 23 judges and received 17,182 cases in 2005.

The number in 2004 was 15,281.

And in these busy courts, delays caused by administrative mistakes – like the one Escobar experienced – are not uncommon, according to several immigration lawyers.

Armineh Ebrahimian, Escobar's lawyer, said delays of all types are common in Los Angeles' court.

And Joren Lyons, an attorney with the San Francisco-based Asian Law Caucus, said that though San Francisco's immigration court generally runs smoothly, cases are sometimes postponed because of missing or misplaced files.

If the House's bill becomes law, immigration courts could see an additional influx of cases.

The House bill, HR4437, includes a provision that would make it a felony to be an illegal resident of the United States, and would make providing assistance to illegal immigrants a felony as well.

Since the House bill seeks to crack down on illegal immigration it would, if passed, ramp up deportations and have a "severe impact on the dockets of the courts," Lyons said.

Lyons also said the path toward legalization opened by the Senate Judiciary Committee's proposal could lessen strain on immigration courts. But some facets of the proposal could increase pressure on the courts.

The Senate Judiciary Committee's proposal, for example, would allow for re-evaluations of undocumented immigrants' criminal records, which could lead to deportations based on past offenses, according to analysis of the proposal by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

This provision could increase deportations and lessen the discretion immigration judges can exercise, thereby increasing strain on the courts, Lyons said.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

UCLA Students Face Threat of Deportation

Please epis, pray for me. Check the link
March 20, 2006

By ADAM FOXMAN, Daily Bruin
(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES -- Mario Escobar's boisterous laughter dies out as
he tells his story. As other University
of California at Los Angeles students focus on their final exams this
week, he also has to cope with the
possibility of being deported to a violent country.
"It's crazy; it's a hell," said Escobar, a fourth-year English and
Spanish student.

Escobar is one of dozens of UCLA students who are undocumented, meaning
that they do not have the
papers necessary to be legal residents of the United States. While
is no official count of such students,
an on-campus support group for undocumented students has nearly 60

Like many undocumented students, Escobar came to the United States at
early age: He fled to the
United States from El Salvador after that country's civil war, which
lasted from 1979 to 1992. His father,
grandmother and cousins were killed in the conflict.

Escobar has applied for political asylum, but he has already been
once, he said. The denial came
nearly a year ago. His second hearing with the immigration court is
scheduled for March 28, and if this
petition is rejected, he could be deported to El Salvador.

The prospect of deportation fills him with frustration and fear. And
while otherwise confident and articulate
in conversation, Escobar lapses into heavy silence at the mention of
his case.

"I refuse to think about it because if I do, then I know it will bring
down," he said.

Escobar, 28, has spent much of his life in the United States.

In addition to working his way to within a year of finishing a double
major at UCLA, he has started a family;
founded a fledgling publishing company called Cuzcatlan Press;
a volume of original poetry in
Spanish called "Gritos Interiores" ("Cries from Within"); and started a
literary magazine to give a voice to
what he calls the Central American diaspora. He published his book in
2005, and the first issue of the
magazine, called "La Nueva Tendencia" ("The New Tendency"), should be
stores by April.

As his court date approaches and he faces the possibility of being
out of his adopted country,
Escobar said he feels dislocated and trapped.

"I feel like an outcast, I feel marginalized," he said.

He is also frightened by the prospect of returning to El Salvador,
because more than a decade after the end
of that county's civil war, it remains a violent place.

In a 1999 report done for the World Bank, Amnesty International found
that more than 100 people out of
every 100,000 are killed in homicides each year in El Salvador. And in
1998, more than 200 in 100,000
Salvadorian men ages 15-34 were killed in homicides. By comparison,
California had 6.8 murders per
100,000 residents in 2003, according to the New York Times Almanac for

Escobar's situation is uncommon at UCLA, but it resonates with many
immigration issues being discussed on
a national level.

Lawmakers working on a major immigration bill, which is currently in
Senate Judiciary Committee, are
grappling with questions of how to cope with the millions of illegal
immigrants currently in the United States
and what to do with future newcomers.

Questions of residency are also highly charged at California's public
universities, where some undocumented
students pay in-state tuition as a result of AB 540, a California state
law that allows students who have
attended a California high school for three or more years to pay

Though some undocumented students qualify to pay in-state tuition under
AB 540, they cannot receive
federal or state financial aid under current California law. Still, the
law has led some to argue that
undocumented students are taking resources which should go to U.S.

A class-action lawsuit filed in December against California public
colleges and universities charged that by
allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, the
were discriminating against U.S.
citizens. If the lawsuit succeeds, AB 540 could be repealed.

One story among many

While the particulars of Escobar's case are unique, his experience as
undocumented student is common,
said Roberto Manc'a, a professor of literature at Los Angeles Trade
Technical College.

"By telling Mario's story, (one is) telling the story of thousands of
other students," said Manc'a, who became
friends with Escobar when Escobar was studying at LATTC.

As Salvadorians, Escobar and Manc'a bonded over their common

Like several of Escobar's other friends, Manc'a described him as gifted
and inspirational. But Manc'a said the
uncertainty of being without immigration papers weighs on his young
friend as it does on many
undocumented students.

It's like "a cloud that won't go away; a sense of hopelessness," Manc'a

But Escobar and UCLA's other undocumented students have something
said is unique in his
experience: a support group.

The student-run group, called Ideas UCLA, seeks to provide a safe
environment for students to talk about a
subject often taboo even among friends and family -- their immigration

The group has about 30 active members, and another 30 on its mailing
list, said Saray Gonzalez, the group's
co-chairwoman. Ideas UCLA's work to educate high school students about
540 is funded by the
Community Activities Committee, which oversees funding for off-campus

Most, but not all, of Ideas' members are undocumented. Most are also
Latino, but the group has a member
each from Poland, Vietnam and Russia. The term undocumented is used
generally. For example, some
undocumented students may have work permits but not legal residency, or
may be in the process of
becoming naturalized.

Members help each other with everything from school to transportation,
work with UCLA staff members who
can advise them about subjects such as scholarships, and work to inform
undocumented high school students
about the opportunities available to them.

Students in the group rarely face deportation, but at least one group
member other than Escobar has faced
deportment proceedings, said Gonzalez, a fourth-year chemistry student.
The student who faced
deportation, now an alumnus, was ultimately able to stay in the United

Though few UCLA students have faced deportation, the slim possibility
that someone might place a call to
immigration authorities encourages many undocumented students to hide
their status, Gonzalez said.

But the top concerns cited by members of Ideas UCLA included the
perception of undocumented
individuals and financial difficulties.

"Being undocumented is highly stigmatizing," Gonzalez said.

When Ideas UCLA was founded in 2003, it gave form to a community many
undocumented students didn't
know they had.

"Now that Ideas exists it actually makes people more comfortable doing
lot of things. It gives people a
place to talk about their stories and know they are not alone," said
Tran a fourth-year American
literature and culture student who is a member of the group.

Manc'a, who often encounters undocumented students at LATTC, said the
information Escobar gave him
about the club has been a boon to his students.

"Knowing that other students are in a similar situation makes them
that anything is possible. It makes
an incredible difference," he said.

Waiting for resolution

For all the similarities and differences Escobar's story bears toward
those of other undocumented students,
as he studies for finals this quarter he is also just a man who wants
know what will happen to him.

"The war (in El Salvador) ended in 1992, and still being in this
situation, I'm tired. I want this nightmare to
be over. I want to know what it feels like to be a citizen of a
he said.

As he waits for his deportation hearing, the literature student and
author takes solace in writing.

Books have always been both an escape and a tool to deal with the past,
he said.

"Literature has been, as we say in Spanish, 'la guarida' -- a safe
... There, I can create my own
world," Escobar said.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, a UCLA Chicana/o studies professor, once told
Escobar that by writing he could gain
authorship over his own life, and he believes he has.

Within the 115 pages of his book "Gritos Interiores," Escobar includes
poems that he wrote as long ago as
1992, and as recently as last year.

One of his early poems recalls the layered Russian doll, called a
matrioska, he carried as a child, wishing he
could hide inside it like one of the interior dolls as the sounds of
burst into his home in El Salvador.
Roughly translated from the Spanish in which it was written, the poem

"I walked, I walked, I walked, and at last I found you matrioska / Open
your body and let me hide inside

In a more recent poem, Escobar described his feeling of desperation.

Seated against a pillar outside Rolfe Hall on Friday, he translated it:

"I have walked through the desert, burned, mutilated, and dead / I walk
like a shadow, hungry for an
eternal / smile / Giving a neglected cry / and rowing against the /

Manc'a said in the nearly five years he has known Escobar, the poet has
progressed from an imitator of
Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to an author with a powerful voice of his
And now, as he faces the
possibility of deportation, Escobar is working to put out "La Nueva
Tendencia" to give other Central
American writers a place to tell their stories.

"In a way Mario has been saying what I have wanted to say for a long
time," Manc'a said. "That we (Central
Americans) have a voice."