101-Word Short Story: Dream Works

My parents tell me I was born here, in King City, but I don’t believe them or my birth certificate. Guadalajara is home. It’s an actual city with malls, trains and Costco. But now I’m here in my aunt’s trailer, on an empty main street with gas stations and oversized toy trucks. I’m supposed to start school too – I even met a teacher I don’t understand. I’d prefer picking tomatoes, though, to make money and leave. Maybe to Salinas after graduating. My older cousin lives there. I hear it has a Costco, and nice beaches, too.


Seen in Monterey County Weekly.


There’s something missing from immigration enforcement funding – and it’s an arbitrary number.


Legislation for the Department of Homeland Security looks oddly different in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Signed into law last Friday by the President, this appropriations bill keeps the federal government running until September 30, 2017. A key part includes funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a department within the DHS.

More specific to that is a sentence – or lack thereof – that would have outlined information for a daily detention bed quota, which had been included in DHS appropriations since 2010. The prior Consolidated Appropriations of 2016 did have a quota for ICE: “Provided further, That funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2016.” 2016 DHS appropriations also allocated $3.218 billion for “enforcement, detention, and removal operations, including transportation of unaccompanied minor aliens.”Read More »

The Lone Star’s Anti-Immigration Bill and California’s Prop 187: Beginning of the end or Pete Wilson 2.0?

At 3am today, following hours of debate, the Texas House of Representatives passed an anti-immigration bill aimed at profiling and deporting undocumented people. After sailing through the Texas Senate in February, Senate Bill 4 passed with a 93-54 Republican partisan vote. Several Latinx and Black legislators made impassioned attempts to dissuade the vote.

Texas Representative Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) delivers final remarks for SB4.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott will likely sign the bill, even voicing strong support for the early morning vote. The Republican governor has also cut funds to sanctuary localities in Texas, areas that did not carry out federal immigration laws.

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Putting Tiburcio Vasquez into Perspective: Fremont Peak and the Monte Bella School


Fremont Peak looms over the fields where migrant farmworkers harvest the land up and down the Salinas Valley. As one of the summits of the Gabilan Range, the peak is visible throughout Salinas, the major city in the agricultural hub.

The best view of Fremont Peak is from the East Salinas elementary school, Monte Bella, meaning “Beautiful Mountain” in Italian. Across the street from lettuce and strawberry rows, the school gives you scenery of the mountain range sloping dramatically up from the Valley’s crops. At the top of these evergreen slopes stands the peak.Read More »

What pollsters and news outlets covering Latinx voters can learn from Ralph Ellison


Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man. Source: Library of Congress.

Towards the end of his 1952 masterpiece Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison’s protagonist finds himself ostracized by the “Brotherhood,” his white-led civil rights organization. The ironically named labor group choose to disregard his community organizing and his community in Harlem for their own political advantage, benefiting white residents in Manhattan at the expense of Black people.

“Here I had thought they accepted me because they felt that color made no difference,” Ellison writes, “when in reality it made no difference because they didn’t see either color or men… For all they were concerned, we were so many names scribbled on fake ballots, to be used at their convenience and when not needed to be filed away.”

Discussion since November 8th’s presidential election has revolved around the enigmatic Trump voter that swung former Blue Wall states. The white factory worker in the Midwest disgruntled with political correctness and his union, so he took the route of “Make America Great Again.” That’s been the headline for the nation.

There wasn’t much study or consideration for Latinx voters, the fastest growing voting bloc. And for studies that did, there was little understanding for how people actually perceived issues or solutions.

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