New Year Sunrise (Photo credit: joka2000)
The New Year brings new challenges.
On the to do list is getting licensed as a lawyer, obtaining a green card, traveling abroad to see friends and family, hitting the gym more frequently, and finishing a book, though not necessarily in that order.
I also hope to blog much more, and be more intentional in my writing. Last year, my top blogs were centered mostly on immigration issues, which is probably an area of expertise, but doesn’t define who I am, what I care about and what I want out of life.
I want to break free from my chains and start anew. And that begins with feeling, talking and writing more about things of interest to me: culture, technology, development, post-colonialism, climate change, forced migration, and so on.
Wish everyone love, light and peace in the New Year.
In case you missed some of my “wonderful” (or crappy) writing during this tumultuous year, I’m listing the very best. I went through 30 pages of my blog and rediscovered more reasons to write. Blogging is really a case study in charting my growth and reaction to adversity, while capturing intense emotions after they are long forgotten. In no particular order:
- The Invisible South Asians in the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement – I see this as one of the more important blogposts I have written and I’m still trying to make sense of how model minority status compels an entire community into silence. If you are coming to the SAAN Conference in Michigan, do give this a read.
- Finding Home Again: Published in Ambiente Magazine and my school newspaper, this documents my queer immigrant journey over the past decade.
- USCIS Reinterpretation of CSPA: A Deference to Screwed Priorities. This piece is only on the list because it won an award. And maybe because it is the reason that I am undocumented and fighting removal proceedings.
- Ground Zero in North Carolina: When Dream Freedom Fighters and (White) Cops Collide. This was a brilliant post about an action in North Carolina where a lot of my friends were arrested. HuffPost refused to publish it because it was controversial.
- Gender Boundaries. This is almost on the emotionally heavy side and one about my gender identity and presentation and a brief glimpse into my life as a gender-queer person.
- How To Place Yourself In Deportation Proceedings and How to be Jaded are funny, satirical pieces and you should read them if you have not already.
- Love – This is a rare personal insight into who I really am beyond social media.
- Critique of Professional and Decentering Citizenship. What is life without some deconstruction?
- Sh*t My Mom Says serves as a constant reminder that mothers are amazing.
- I feel, therefore I am Free
Have a great holiday season AND send me things you feel I should read!
I may appear like I am always ready for a fight but I am actually quite happy and content with life.
The last two weeks have been hectic, but also quite great.
I fought back home foreclosure, formed a public relations shaming campaign called OneWestFail, and received attention from the corporate office at OneWest. They just mailed a new package this week, and now my mom’s case is with an escalation specialist in the headquarters. They will not foreclose and have agreed to work with us for a HAMP Modification. Just yesterday I spoke with an LA Business Journal reporter who is looking into OneWest and stumbled onto the site. Apparently, I have quite a few people sharing their stories and putting their names down for class action. I will get back to them soon with corporate office contacts and list of lawyers who are handling lawsuits in various states.
The devastation in Haiti ironically presented a great opportunity for immigration reformers here to finally get temporary protected status. Deportations to Haiti were halted, temporary protected status granted and over the weekend I also pushed for humanitarian parole, which was granted this Monday. The intellectual side of me is finally kicking in and now I can step back and criticize mainstream media coverage of Haiti and the ongoing occupation of it by the North-Atlantic hegemony.
Anees Sous. I seriously don’t know why Mohammad feels compelled to help almost everyone who comes across our site, but I can’t say no either, so I agreed to help at least setup his site using the same template from the OWBFail campaign and push it out online at Change.org. We got a temporary victory, with Anees getting 30 more days, but only with Mo working directly with Congressperson John Conyers’ office. If we had more time, the online aspect could have been developed into a campaign to get the Arab-American community involved in immigration reform, but there are not enough hours in the day. Anyway, now Mo is working on putting up a site so that people can train themselves to organize for their own cases and all the sign-on requests can go to one place.
Today, I worked with Eric at NewComm to set up an action against the National Council of Science and the Environment to dis-invite gumball Roy Beck from their New Green Economy conference. Their ED was adamant about providing the white nationalist Roy Beck a ‘forum.’ I think the least I want from this is to send enough letters and make enough noise so that NCES seriously rethinks and issues a statement denying affiliations with the anti-immigration agenda. I also hope Beck chokes on one of his gumballs.
And the last two weeks, I have been ill so I am supposedly taking a long weekend off to catch up on playtime. I am still looking for a full-time job (resume here) but pretty happy with my current gig at Change.org as well. Maybe this elevated mood also has to do with making time for the gym daily and the full-tuition scholarship offers from good law schools in the United States. If I have to stay here in Fall 2010, I might as well go to law school for free.
I updated my resume (available here) given I need a full-time job to save home from foreclosure and raise money for college.
I’ll do anything that I am qualified for especially in the following fields: LGBT, women rights, environment and anti-racism politics. And I can do new media jobs and weave movements in my sleep.
I just moved my blog to a new dedicated server (from BlueHost to 1and1) and changed the look. I may have lost some data in the transition, especially the comments mysql file might not have updated properly and the IntenseDebate sync did not catch everything.
Some moron (not worth naming) is baseless accusing me of deleting comments so I thought I would clarify in case other weird stalkers start complaining that I am somehow censoring them. As the promigrant sphere knows, I don’t waste my time sparing with racists, nativists and dumbasses in my private space or via email or even allow those comments to be published. I have the freedom and right under the law, to censor people who harass and accuse me on my private blog. There’s enough hatred in the world and we don’t need more of that in my space.
The accusation that I deleted comments that were already published on my blog is just moronic given I just went through some intense data transfer this past week. Maybe people should fact-check before making accusations but certain privileged members of our society don’t feel the need to do so. If you have that attitude, your comments are not welcome here. Rubbish belongs in the rubbish bin.
New Years Resolutions
- Get Healthy and Fit Again
- Worry only about things I can control
- Use this blog more often
- Change “public interest” to “Prerna interest”
- Try to get less mad about dumbasses – the world is full of them.
Happy New Year.
I am not referring to the Priyanka Chopra starrer where she makes a new Guinness World Record for the number of characters she plays in the movie.
But the movie certainly brings up some unanswered questions for me.
Earlier this year, I met with a Hindu astrologer priest at the insistence of my mother. I usually don’t participate in such things, but I thought I would just for my amusement. He had good things to say about me and my career but came with 3 main warnings:
1. Don’t network and associate with other people too much. You are starting to do this right now and it’s actually not good for you.
2. No one can really harm you, only you have the ability to harm yourself.
3. Someone close to you will betray you.
I didn’t listen to any warnings then. Now that hindsight is 20/20, I can see how these statements ring true for the past 6 months. I am not sure how I got to this point and I don’t know where to go from here but to just retreat from my associations and disappear into other worlds. It’s an ongoing project.
So if you get axed from my online networks, don’t take it personally. I am simply doing house-keeping.
Post New York-Chicago, I am in a transition phase and so this is a disclosure of priorities.
Some very amazing people work @ the best immigration organization in the United States – dreamactivist.org – so we are all working on transitioning as well into a body that works better, and includes the energy and talents of more people rather than overburdening 1-2 people. That can never be good. I will be taking several steps back to focus on other things but still be involved in whatever capacity the organization needs me. I did a fantastic job on it–I could have done far better in the past 5 months–but I will save that for my next project. I don’t doubt that something good will come out of this. The bottom-line is that I want to see the emergence of more fearless young(er) leaders running around for immigration reform and there are good people working on making sure that dream comes to fruition.