Victims of Mexico’s Drug War Rally for Peace and Justice At Texas Capitol

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2012

CONTACT: Craig Adair, 512-297-6611, cmadair@gmail.com
CONTACT: Ana Yáñez-Correa, 512-587-7010, acorrea@CriminalJusticeCoalition.org

Victims of Mexico’s Drug War Rally for Peace and Justice At Texas Capitol

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), led by renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, is taking part in an historic caravan from San Diego, California, to Washington, D.C., in August and September 2012, and it will arrive in Austin on August 25th.

Sicilia, who lost his son in drug-related violence in 2011, will join other families who have lost loved ones to violence in Mexico to advocate for an end to the bloodshed and for new government policies and reforms in both the United States and Mexico that will help to combat violence.

WHAT: At least 60,000 people have died in Mexico’s drug war since 2006, and as many as 10,000 have disappeared. During the 27 stops along the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity route, families of victims from Mexico will share their stories to highlight the human costs of the war on drugs, while Sicilia and others will discuss policy changes that can reduce drug-related violence. In Austin, local singer/songwriter Gina Chavez will perform at noon on the south steps of the State Capitol Building.

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 12:00PM – 3:00PM

WHERE: Texas State Capitol Building, South Steps. Parking is available at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto Boulevard (between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th streets).

ORGANIZERS: The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, MORENA Austin, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Texas NORML, Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, SOA Watch Austin, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and many volunteers

Read more about Javier Sicilia here and the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity route here.

Download the flyer here (English) or here (Spanish).

###

Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy

From the White House Blog 7/12/2012:

America is a nation of immigrants. Our American journey and our success would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to our shores from every corner of the globe. It is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the important contributions by the generations of immigrants who have helped us build our economy, and made America the economic engine of the world.

How do immigrants strengthen the U.S. economy? Below is our top 10 list for ways immigrants help to grow the American economy.

  1. Immigrants start businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants.
  2. Immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, small businesses owned by immigrants employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, and according to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion annually.
  3. Immigrants are also more likely to create their own jobs. According the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of the foreign born are self-employed compared to 6.6 percent among the native-born.
  4. Immigrants develop cutting-edge technologies and companies.  According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started 25 percent of public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors. This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.
  5. Immigrants are our engineers, scientists, and innovators. According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists. Additionally, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, foreign-born inventors were credited with contributing to more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities.
  6. Immigration boosts earning for American workers. Increased immigration to the United States has increased the earnings of Americans with more than a high school degree. Between 1990 and 2004, increased immigration was correlated with increasing earnings of Americans by 0.7 percent and is expected to contribute to an increase of 1.8 percent over the long-term, according to a study by the University of California at Davis.
  7. Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015.
  8. Immigration reform legislation like the DREAM Act reduces the deficit.  According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, under the 2010 House-passed version of the DREAM Act, the federal deficit would be reduced by $2.2 billion over ten years because of increased tax revenues.
  9. Comprehensive immigration reform would create jobs. Comprehensive immigration reform could support and create up to 900,000 new jobs within three years of reform from the increase in consumer spending, according to the Center for American Progress.
  10. Comprehensive immigration reform would increase America’s GDP.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that even under low investment assumptions, comprehensive immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016.

 

Read complete blog post »

Washington Post: Why immigrant workers are critical to the economic recovery

On March 16, 2012, J.D. Harrison writes:

Foreign-born workers represent an exceptionally high share of the labor force in roughly half of the country’s fastest-growing and largest-growing sectors, according to new analysis of government data, suggesting that immigrants have a critical role to play in the ongoing economic recovery. Read more …

San Antonio Express News: ‘USA’ chant reflects deep social woes

This is one of those moments when you can see the way national origin and class work out to make a hierarchy of belonging to “America.”  This is a disturbing story about obnoxious high school kids and it also exposes some truths that no one likes to talk about.  Victor Landa says it better below:

When do chants of USA! USA! become a racist rant? It sounds, at first hearing, like an Orwellian proposition. But take that proposition to one of the most American of venues, the high school basketball gym, and that seeming double-speak becomes an ethnic affront; it’s all in the intent.

That’s exactly what happened last week during an important regional basketball match between San Antonio’s Alamo Heights and Edison High Schools. The Alamo Heights Mules defeated the Edison Golden Bears, and with that defeat the Mules advanced in regional tournament competition. But in their post-victory celebration a group of Mules partisans chanted USA! USA! This is the nuance that turned a patriotic chant into a perceived ethnic/cultural slur: both the Mules and the Golden Bears are American High School teams. The USA! chant was entirely out of place, it was not an international competition — unless you dig further into preconceptions.

Alamo Heights is a mostly nonminority, affluent high school. Edison is predominantly Latino, lower- to working-class campus. Within that context the chant has a different implication. It is, at best, demeaning. At worst, it’s insulting. The implied intent is that the victors are American, and defeated are not. The implication goes further still: if the members of the Golden Bears squad are not American, as the chant implies, then what are they?  Read more …

NYT: Illegal Immigrants Get Scholarships While Aid Bill Idles

Kirk Semple reports on March 8, 2012:

Among all the numbers that populate Nataly Lopez’s life — including phone digits, addresses, pass codes and friends’ ages — there is one that she never forgets: the cost of a semester’s tuition at Baruch College, where she is a sophomore.

Ms. Lopez, 21, is an illegal immigrant from Ecuador and has struggled to make ends meet, working several jobs to be able to pay for school.

“Two thousand eight hundred and five,” she said. “I know that number because I have to reach it to get to the next semester.”

State proposals that would make government financial aid available for illegal immigrants like Ms. Lopez are pending in Albany. Frustrated with the pace of federal and state legislative action, advocacy groups, with the support of New York City officials, have developed a stopgap solution — for a small number of needy students, at least.  Read more…

Fox News Latino: On Immigration, Polls Show Most GOP Voters Share Gingrich Stance

When Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said in a November debate that undocumented immigrants who have deep roots in the United States should have a chance to legally work in the United States, some jaws dropped.

His rivals questioned his conservative credentials, and observers wondered whether he had doomed his chances with Republican voters.

But a series of polls – including one by Fox News released Friday – on immigration show that a majority of respondents, including registered Republican voters, think undocumented immigrants should have a shot at legalizing their status, as long as they meet certain criteria. Read more …

al.com: Alabama immigration law has denied basic human rights, report says

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Alabama’s immigration law has led to illegal immigrants around the state having their basic rights denied and should be repealed, a human rights group contends in a report being issued today.

“The initial human impact has been devastating, though the full consequences remain unknown,” stated the report, “No Way To Live: Alabama’s Immigrant Law,” issued by Human Rights Watch.

“A group of people have found themselves unable to live the lives they had lived for many years. Some were barred from access to basic services like water, and many more were told they could not live in homes they own,” according to the report. Read More …

Texas Observer: The Other Side of the Dream

“Many Central Americans ride on the roofs of trains through Mexico on the first leg of their journey to the United States. Some migrants say they have lost arms and legs to “The Beast,” as the train is called. Others have been victims of assault, rape, corruption and kidnapping by crime gangs. For many, the journey ends in Mexico, not the U.S.

Begun in 2008, The ‘Other Side’ of the Dream is a series of portraits of migrants, depicting the price they pay to find work and build a future for their families.”  See photos …