Category Archives: Videos

HuffPost Live Video: Everyone Should Have the Basic Human Right to Go Home

I was on HuffPost live yesterday holding down the fort, along with Viri Hernandez, for our friends who broke down the arbitrary U.S.-Mexico wall to bring people back home. The #DREAM9 are now detained at Eloy Detention Center — the worst detention center in the country. Alas, HuffPost was more committed to trying to talk to me about bigoted Republicans.

That’s a no go. You want to talk to me about douchebag Steve King and how the Republicans are denying 11 million a rotten pathway citizenship while my friends are looked up in detention by a Democrat? No, I don’t want to talk about Steve King. Rep. King is not the President of the United States. He hasn’t been responsible for 1.7 million deportations, massive growth in the criminalizing of immigrant communities or the fact that our freedom-fighting friends are locked up in detention. That is squarely on President Barack Obama. No one else bears responsibility for 1.7 million deportations in the past 6 years.

Bring Them Home is about fighting for people who have been and will be left out of immigration reform efforts. Bring Them Home is about making sure everyone, not just the #DREAM9, can come home.

I don’t want to hear about “pathway to citizenship.” Those are empty and hollow words for people of color. What does pathway to citizenship mean if you are Trayvon Martin in America? What does it mean if you are a black man? The ones who are pushing for the pathway to citizenship constitute the gang of 8 in the Senate, and the so-called D.C.-based immigration advocates, who are mostly straight, white men. They’re the ones who benefit the most from their citizenship, which includes their white privilege, male privilege and straight privilege. But citizenship means different things for different people. Having spoken to hundreds of undocumented immigrants, including parents, I can basically state that most don’t necessarily want citizenship but the right to be able to live their lives without any sort of fear and the right to be able to come and go home.

BRING THEM HOME.

Please send all media requests directly to media@theniya.org or call 704.286.6581.

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TEDTalk – Redefining “Model Minority”

I was tired of being the exception to the rule. So I decided to flip the rule on its head.

Video here.

Alas, my speech was cut short by two minutes due to the usual extenuating circumstances (sorry person of color, you’ve spoke long enough), so here is the full text.

Enjoy.

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Filed under Ethnic Studies, Immigration, Videos

Obama Announces Relief for Some Undocumented Youth

After years of organizing from undocumented youth, the Obama Administration has relented and granted immunity from deportation to certain young people in the United States without legal status.

The news comes on the heels of undocumented youth occupying Obama for America offices around the country, with requests for an executive order to stop the deportation of DREAM Act eligible youth.

The memo from DHS indicates that eligible applicants must:
• Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
• Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
• Have maintained continuous residence
• Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
• Are currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings as well as to those who apply affirmatively.

“Deferred action” will last for two years and can be renewed.

DHS has released a FAQ for those with more questions which is available here.

This process is not yet in effect and requests should not be submitted at this time. In the coming weeks, USCIS will outline and announce the procedures by which individuals can engage in this process. Beginning June 18, individuals may call the USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with questions or to request more information on the new process. The hotline offers assistance in English and Spanish. Individuals seeking more information on the new process should visit USCIS’s website (at http://www.uscis.gov).

Individuals who believe they can demonstrate that they satisfy the eligibility criteria and are about to be removed should immediately contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) or by e-mail at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she has resided in the United States for at five years immediately preceding June 15, 2012 includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.

Documentation sufficient for an individual to demonstrate that he or she came to the United States before the age of 16 includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records

A note of caution to everyone in removal proceedings who may be eligible for adjustment of status to that of a green card holder: if the deferred action is not renewed or Obama loses re-election, it may be difficult to initiate removal proceedings to get relief again. Please consult with your lawyer.

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Filed under Immigration, Videos

How To Break An Onguard or Kryptonite U-Lock On Your Bicycle

This morning, Rich and I stole a bicycle in broad daylight from Thomas Jefferson street in Georgetown. Granted, it was my own beloved Diamondback bike. Still, no one seemed to care as Rich sawed away at the U-lock for half an hour.

You fit right in as long as you act like you are doing nothing wrong or out of the ordinary.

(Or maybe no one cared because Rich is white).

The bicycle was locked to the post from Friday afternoon till Tuesday morning. I had originally lost the key, with spare keys in California. By the time I received the keys on Monday, the bicycle had endured 3 days of cold weather and the lock had jammed. None of the 4 spare keys worked.

Anyway, I’m posting this video because I know u-locks such as Onguard and Kryptonite have a tendency to jam with or without proper care. My Onguard Bulldog lock was over 2 years old and had gone through quite a rough time from the trails of California to the streets of D.C.

I know the “hammer” trick with Onguard locks but it did not work. WD40 was an epic fail. A crowbar and hammer could only take away the casing. Rich came up with the idea of freeze-on and a regular saw blade but it got us nowhere. At that point, I’d have been mightly impressed with anyone who could have taken it.

The locksmith wanted $185. Finally, we tried the District Hardware Bike store on 24th street NW who told us that a carbide edge fit on a hacksaw will do the trick. We were both quite skeptical. But it worked, and it only cost a little over $7.00.

Thank you Rich for saving my bike and me!!

This is the end of the bike saga. I’m using my DC Driving Permit from now.

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Priyanka Chopra in Saheli-Ana: Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?

I can turn my brain off for a second and enjoy this video of Priyanka Chopra in a new avatar:

Of course, I don’t understand why the other woman has to appear dressed like a man to denote that kind of ‘Dostana.’ This adoption of gayness for humor is a troubling trend that reveals the deeper homophobic attitude of India. Why on earth is a gay relationship funny and any different than a straight relationship?

So far, only men have been acting gay for humor on the big Bollywood stage (Saif Ali Khan and Shahrukh Khan have entertained us with their gay act for far too many Filmfare Awards), but now Priyanka takes the cake for going a notch further.

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Filed under Desi, Videos

A small tidbit from Netroots Nation

Apparently, Sum of Change and most people in the room thought our panel was depressing. Welcome to my life.

They all shared stories about their efforts to fight a struggling battle. They were not very optimistic, they all shared depressing stories and sentiments about numerous immigration inequities, but were hopeful and dedicated to getting comprehensive immigration reform passed. While the immigration reform bill in congress has taken a back seat to other issues, such as healthcare, there are millions of people whose lives and well being are being held hostage by the unjust execution of antiquated laws. While positive news on the national scene is hard to come by, these panelists are working to facilitate as many small scale successes as possible.

The panel was about the ‘social change blogosphere.’ I am not even sure how much dreamactivist.org works on social change. We are working on integrating immigrant youth into the capitalist wage-slave system by adhering to false American ideals and values that do not exist. How much social change can that really bring forth?

No, I am not being too self-critical. I just got told by one of my old professors that I need to break the dominant (capitalist) paradigm. His central question-statement is:

“How about empowering everyone to not fight for a share of the dwindling pie, but to take over the bakery and make as many pies as we need?”

Now this professor is never really happy with anything I do but he also never gives up on pushing me to follow my ideals. So I can’t argue with that statement. We really need to own the means of production in society to make any meaningful change. All we have been doing is trying to get rid of one marginalized identity to make ourselves more mainstream.

Alright, yes, I suppose when put that way, I can be depressing.

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Filed under Immigration, Neo-Liberalism, Videos

Desi Girls Representing Fiji

Here is the most embarrassment video of all times — my sister and my dance performance at Chabot College for International Students Night this past Spring.

It’s amazing how, even after spending more than a decade in this country, we are considered ‘international.’ After all, international relations doesn’t just happen between states and bureaucrats; it happens between people. It’s actually preferable to call it transnational. That has less of a foreign implication.

Enjoy.

Disclaimer: This dance performance is in no way representative of Fiji–a multicultural country.

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