Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Sunday Meditation: Freedom Waits

July 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Spirit of Life, God of Love, the image of the freedom train speaks to me today. I have waited so long for a train to arrive and carry me to the promised land of peace and justice. Now, on the platform of indifference and self doubt, I see that the train is here and waiting for me to step on board. Yet someone, a shadow of who I can be, is holding me back saying, Who are you to ride with those who risked so much for freedom? Who are you to proclaim the sacred message of the inherent worth and dignity of every person? Now the conductor is calling me to get on board and I must decide what to do. Will I step up and over my own fears and prejudices? Will I dare to ride with the outcast immigrant, the unwashed homeless, the mentally and physically challenged, the hated Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist? Will I speak with compassion and love to all those who disagree with me, who abuse me, who threaten me? Will I risk my comfort to comfort others? Spirit of my great longing, awaken in me the courage to get on board.

Shick, Stephen (2009). Be the Change: Poems, Prayers and Meditations for Peacemakers and Justice Seekers (Kindle Locations 406-413). Skinner House Books. Kindle Edition.



August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I bookmarked this two years ago, and I can’t believe it seems more relevant now than it did then. 



migrations | Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Are you a US citizen? Fair question… what I worry won’t be fair is who gets asked, and who gets believed. When it comes to immigration, “innocent until proven guilty” no longer seems to apply.  Not only does this criminalize undocumented workers, most of whom are guilty only of the CIVIL (not criminal) crime of crossing the border, but also criminalizes US citizens & legal resident aliens.

How long does it take to prove your immigration status if you don’t have your birth certificate and/or passport with you? How long does it take when you do? There are news stories that document citizens and legal resident aliens being detained for up to three days, stories of citizens and legal resident aliens being deported.

How would you explain to your employer why you didn’t make it to work for three days? Who would care for your children?

Todos somos Arizona.

Are you a U.S. citizen?” he asks my husband.

“Yes.” What would have happened ten years ago, before my husband was naturalized?

“Are you a U.S. citizen, ma’am?” he asks, his gaze shifting to me.

“Yes.” I begin to panic. I never thought to bring our family’s passports along. For heaven’s sake, we’re trying to pass from Arizona to California.

“Are the children both U.S. citizens?”


via migrations | Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix

CNN Newsroom: Blog Archive – U.S. Citizens Deported « – Blogs

“You know what this proves to you? That in Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they’re legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they’re an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government, not state authorities, but the federal government, with all their technology and all their information capacity that they have, could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It’s very, very, very dangerous ground to tread,” the Chicago Democrat said.

A decision recently in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) underscores the tragic impact that current U.S. immigration policy has on families of legal U.S. residents and citizens.

In its decision (Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz et al, v. United States), the IACHR found that U.S. deportation policy violates fundamental human rights because it fails to consider evidence concerning destruction of families and the best interest of the children of deportees.

via Tragic result of immigration policy | | The Des Moines Register

Maintaining that the U.S. government was behind a U.S. citizen’s imprisonment for more than a year in the United Arab Emirates, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking federal surveillance records.

via ACLU sues for government surveillance records of former Hawthorne man | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times


Tea Parties, Coffee Parties… let’s all just have CAKE

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment

In discussions about immigration and SB1070, people from both sides of the issue are prone to making sweeping statements and accusations about the other.  I had a really awesome talk with a “small government” friend this week, and we shared experiences of trying to engage people on the other side of the debate in dialogue about the ISSUE and finding ourselves on the receiving end of personal insults, both disappointed that people don’t want conversation; they are just looking for confrontation.

*heavy sigh* We can all do better than this.

I come from a military family… my mother, father, stepfather, grandfather and great grandfather all served in the military, so I grew up “everywhere.” I’ve lived in at least eight states… both coasts, the south and the midwest. I’ve lived overseas twice, and had the opportunity to visit several other countries as a result. I know, as one of my favorite hymns goes, that other hearts are beating in other lands, all just as beautiful as mine.

This is my song, oh God of all the nations
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
This is my song, oh God of all the nations;

Read more…

going to a party… a tea party, that is…

August 12, 2010 8 comments

If you’re wondering if the title of this entry is a joke or a vie for your attention, it’s not. Well, definitely not the former, maybe a little bit the latter. This isn’t what I had planned for today, and even though this entry might make more sense if I publish the other one first, seeing as it is a detailed explanation of my personal views on SB1070, the article I have in draft will wait for another day, because right now I feel a need to “Witness.”

So, it happened like this… it was almost time to leave work, and I was well past done with stupid (I’ve been known to announce to the department, “Ok, that’s it… I’m done with stupid!”), and when I got up to put some docs I’d just reviewed in the next person’s inbox, and decided to visit a friend’s desk to insist that the happy hour we’ve been talking about for approximately two months needed to happen soon. He tortured me by listing all the weekends he’ll be out of town (damn single people), mentioned something about a rally he was planning on attending in DC, and then commented that he’d been planning on making me go to happy hour with him anyway.

Is it a tea party rally?

Well, no, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And a brief conversation about media coverage of tea party rally’s ensued… then,

How are you planning to “make” me go do something we’ve been talking about for two months?

Well, I know you and I agree on a LOT of stuff but we don’t believe the same things. And I know you’re not a wagon jumper… I know that you don’t just jump on the bandwagon, you have solid reasons behind it.

That boy couldn’t have melted my heart faster if it had been butter & he’d been holding a blowtorch. But I figured this had probably come up as a result of me wearing my Standing on the Side of Love shirt to work on July 30th, the day after the protests, which I realized in retrospect probably fueled a lot of speculation as to whether I’d spent the night in jail (alas, but no…).

So we got into a conversation about SB1070, and I explained my views on border security, the immigration system, and SB1070… what I think the problems are, what I think would fix them, etc. He listened, nodded frequently, and at the end of my monologue, said basically that my arguments are really solid, and when he’s tried to have conversations with people, all they can say is that it’s racist. To which I replied, “I agree that it’s racist, and this is why…” and as I spoke, he nodded, cracked a few grins cuz you all know I have no filters, and then said, “That totally makes sense, but nobody else that I have talked to has explained it that way.” And I talked a little bit about race relations, that in my experience, on one side you have a group of people who are very uncomfortable talking about race in mixed company because on the other hand, you have white people who are very uncomfortable hearing about race in mixed company. We as a whole are not very good at differentiating between personal racism and institutional racism, and white people are especially bad at it, and tend to assume that anytime someone says this law is racist, that they personally are being called racist and they immediately get defensive. The wall goes up and the communication goes down the toilet. More agreement from him, and he lamented that because he has favored the law, he’s been immediately being labeled a racist. I lamented that because I oppose it, because I actually believe in what we printed on the fucking Statue of Liberty, I get to be called anti American.

So as I’m preparing to go, he says, So do you want to go to a tea party rally with me? I thought about being in close quarters with that many white people (and yes, I have looked in a mirror lately)… “No, not really.” “C’mon, why? I’m serious, I’ve been to several and I’ve never seen anything like what hits the news. They’ve always been the nicest people, they just believe in small government like I do.”

And so I had to ask myself, OK Cyndi… WHY? You talked yourself hoarse two weeks ago about media bias and how deeply imbedded in our subconscious these racialized images are. Do you really believe that, and if you do, then you know that your reluctance to go anywhere with this friend who you admire and respect is based solely on a media stereotype. You’ve been all about the first principle… do you really affirm and promote the inherent dignity of all people? How many times have you commented wryly that you’re always preaching to the damn choir? You’re always talking about being the change you want to see in the world. Are you really open minded, or is that just CYNDI”S spin? Is this an opportunity for you to learn something and hopefully teach something?

So as I walked out I said over my shoulder, “I’ll go to a tea party rally with you if you go to an event with me.”

He said, Done deal.

I hope he likes yellow.

Think Mexico’s economy has nothing to do with US? Think again…

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

This isn’t so much a blog as a list of articles about how US Policy has impacted Mexican agriculture and economy.

Cyndi Whitmore’s Facebook Links

Today, August 10, 2010, 13 minutes ago

Down on the Farm: NAFTA’s Seven-Years War on Farmers and Ranchers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Today, August 10, 2010, 13 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreDown on the Farm: NAFTA’s Seven-Years War on Farmers and Ranchers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico


Disadvantages of NAFTA – Problems with NAFTA – Negative Effects of NAFTA

Today, August 10, 2010, 13 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreDisadvantages of NAFTA – Problems with NAFTA – Negative Effects of NAFTA

An outline of the disadvantages of NAFTA.

US Subsidies Cost Mexican Farmers Billions | Portal for North America

Today, August 10, 2010, 14 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreUS Subsidies Cost Mexican Farmers Billions | Portal for North America

A study released in early December 2009 argues that American agricultural dumping has cost Mexican farmers billions of dollars since the implementation of NAFTA in 1997. While the report, written by Timothy A. Wise, the Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Envir… – About North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement

Today, August 10, 2010, 14 minutes ago | Cyndi – About North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement

The North American Free Trade Agreement is the trade bloc in North America created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its two supplements, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC), whose member…

Where We Work: Mexico

Today, August 10, 2010, 14 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreWhere We Work: Mexico

MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization that uses human rights to advance social justice.

Greenpeace protests genetically modified corn in Mexico –

Today, August 10, 2010, 15 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreGreenpeace protests genetically modified corn in Mexico –

Mexico saw the first public protests this weekend over the government’s decision to allow cultivation of the first genetically modified corn, which environmentalists and others say could ruin the nation’s native crop.

Witness for Peace:HAMPTONS ONLINE: What Drives Migration? Surprise, It’s Corn

Today, August 10, 2010, 15 minutes ago | Cyndi WhitmoreWitness for Peace:HAMPTONS ONLINE: What Drives Migration? Surprise, It’s Corn

This January, a delegation of 15 Long Islanders traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, to explore the roots of migration from Mexico to the United States, meeting with Mexican migration experts, interviewing migrants, and visiting communities affected by migration. During the trip, the delegation – which i…



Source: prospectjournal.ucsd…
By Rick Relinger This paper intends to explicate the causal relationship between U.S. federal subsidies for domestically produced corn and the post-NAFTA

Inspired Faith, Effective Action » A Very Brief Primer on U.S.-Mexican History

August 10, 2010 2 comments

Another informative article from Kat, which links to some of the best/worst video I took during the protests & vigils.

Why am I writing about this? There are people who complain that immigrants come here and do not attempt to assimilate into U.S. culture. That actually isn’t true, but it’s clear from our history that U.S.Americans have done just that, and not only refused to assimilate but then took the land from their host nation…twice. There are people who have said that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are ignoring the law by crossing the border between our two nations without papers. It’s clear from our history that Mexicans have lived on this land long before it was called the U.S. When the U.S. annexed the land (by force) it split extended families apart so that some were now U.S. citizens and some remained Mexican citizens. There are people who draw a firm distinction between Mexicans and Indians (Native Americans), tolerating the presence of Native Americans but insisting that Mexicans should stay “out” unless they have a piece of paper allowing them “in.” It’s clear from our history that even Euro-Americans once recognized the commonality between Mexicans and Indians and there are Native people who still recognize that commonality today. Some of the most vocal protestors of SB1070 are Native Americans, who object to the exclusion of their sisters and brothers down south, and who themselves are the targets of racial profiling. A recent activist arrested for protesting SB1070 asked a question that has stuck with me, and I hope it will stick with others: “Why are people who are indigenous to this land being checked for status by people who are settlers of this land?”

via Inspired Faith, Effective Action » Blog Archive » A Very Brief Primer on U.S.-Mexican History – Multicultural Growth & Witness at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

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