Category: Uncategorized

Festering lettuce: Labor shortage in Salinas and Senator Feinstein’s legislation

Lettuce heads fester in the dark rows of fields surrounding Salinas. When the Pacific air comes in the early afternoon – just before the cool fog sweeps through the agricultural Salinas Valley, a faint odor cuts through the fresh ocean breeze. It’s an odor that sticks with you, usually at the end of the season when farmworkers astutely select the best greens to serve the world, discarding ugly or wilted lettuce which helps replenish the soil.

Continue reading “Festering lettuce: Labor shortage in Salinas and Senator Feinstein’s legislation”

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

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

Salinas Dreamer’s alleged gang-affiliation an error, but still faces possible deportation with uncertain policymaking

Hours before Juan Manuel Martinez’s bond hearing in San Francisco on April 3, the 19 year-old Salinas Dreamer is not out of the clear, despite a recent correction made by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department that could have landed Martinez in a prioritized path to deportation.

Continue reading “Salinas Dreamer’s alleged gang-affiliation an error, but still faces possible deportation with uncertain policymaking”

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.

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

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

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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. Continue reading “Putting Tiburcio Vasquez into Perspective: Fremont Peak and the Monte Bella School”

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

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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.

Continue reading “What pollsters and news outlets covering Latinx voters can learn from Ralph Ellison”

Not getting callbacks? You aren’t alone. Un(der)employment for Millennials of Color

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Source: Latino Millennials at Work.

It’s been months since I’ve found stable employment after graduating from college last year. And now I have this interview that relates to my major and coincides with my beliefs, and I have background experience in this work. If anything, they wrote this job description about my life. Excitedly, I prepare an argumentative strategy and follow-up questions in anticipation of the interview.

After I finish my interview with the hiring manager, I rave to my parents and friends about how well I did. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I have this. Happily, I write a “Thank You” note to top off the celebration.

But the offer never comes. I wait for a response, even considering giving an annoying call Business Insider doesn’t want you to do. Then finally, after a couple of weeks, I get a “Thank You” back message and my heart sinks.

I open the rejection email and feel confused.

Continue reading “Not getting callbacks? You aren’t alone. Un(der)employment for Millennials of Color”