Adventures of a Forced Migrant Contact Me
Anti-immigration forces call groups like the National Council of La Raza ‘The Tan Klan’ and the latest insinuation is that judicial nominee Sotomayor is also a part of the Klan.
What is the Tan Klan? The so-called Latino Klan without the hoods and nooses.
Of course, one would never find members of La Raza and ‘the Tan Klan’ lynching and violently attacking persons who are deemed different. The label not only insults and trivializes the horrific history of black Americans who suffered at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, but also unjustly purports that contemporary brown people somehow have the same power of persecution without consequences.
I decided to make a badge in support of ‘the Tan Klan.’ A friend remarked that it looks quite like a bandaid, and we both agree that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is a bandaid solution. The anti-immigration forces do not have solutions. The solutions offered by the Tan Klan are not long-term.
Real immigration reform involves battling how neo-liberal globalization drives migrants from poorer countries to richer countries, how the state constructs the labels and categories of legal and illegal. No one in the DC establishment is willing to do that.
Alas, a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California proclaims,
Medi-Cal patients are more likely than uninsured or privately insured Californians to visit hospital emergency departments for conditions that could be treated in a clinic or doctor’s office.
And (drumroll, please)
immigrants are not crowding the state’s emergency rooms – in fact, foreign-born Californians who are not U.S. citizens are among the least likely to seek treatment in the ER.
“I’m here and this is my dream. So it’s cool.”
Cejudo, crying the moment the match ended and wrapping himself in an American flag, defeated Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan 2-2 on tiebreaker and 3-0 in the best-of-three match.
He is the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants who bypassed college to pursue his dreams of being an Olympian and won the gold medal in the freestyle wrestling event–the first U.S. champion of the sport’s lightest weight class since 1960.
“He’s testament to the fighting spirit of America,” his coach Mike Duroe said. “This means so much to him. Gold medals are the American dream.”
At just 5-feet-4 and 121 pounds, Henry Cejudo is the the youngest of six children. The Denver Post reported on July 31:
Being the youngest, Cejudo said, “I always had to fight for things – blanket, remote control, food.”
In Phoenix, Cejudo remembers living in rough apartment complexes where crime was ever present, murders not unusual.
“I never forget where I come from,” he said. “The struggles, everything, I just use it as motivation.”
That fire comes out when he’s on the mat, even in a practice match here, where you can feel his intensity.
“You’re going to lose if you think you are,” he said. “I was always like that, ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always had that mentality.”
Organizations like Americans for Legal Immigration (a euphemism for Americans Against Latino Immigration), a site that advocates strict immigration levels, would also love to do-away with “birthright-citizenship,” which would have ripped a talent like Henry Cejudo from the United States. William Gheen does not care; for him, the issue is black and white:
“America and Spain are the only two countries left in the world that have birthright citizenship. And that is something that our organization and many others would like to see changed because of its wild and flagrant abuse by illegal aliens.”
Read More …
An older and more diverse nation by mid-century – Report released by the Census Bureau
What predictions can we make from a majority-ethnic minority population in the future?
More liberal politics? Increase tolerance of difference? An end to white privilege, institutionalized discrimination and racism?
IT tells us nothing. Women are the majority-minority and yet that fact is not reflected in electoral politics, the gender make-up of Fortune 500 CEOs or reimbursement of the ‘second-shift‘ for that matter. A sheer majority in numbers cannot make much of a difference without institutional power and/or support.
But it is clear that a majority-minority population cannot be ignored:
But the mere numbers require that Latinos move beyond low-wage and low-skilled jobs, said Mark Salling, a demographer at Cleveland State University.
The Center for Immigration Studies did not pass up an opportunity to use the projected figures to trump up their hue and cry over immigration:
“The point here is what does it mean for the quality of life, the quality of the environment – profound questions,” he said. “It’s not the weather – this isn’t happening because Americans are choosing to have large families. It’s happened primarily, not entirely, but largely because of a federal program, immigration – that is, the toleration of illegal immigration and very generous legal immigration.”
What they failed to mentioned is that the percentage of people that would require social security and medicaid in 2040 would necessitate a larger percentage of the working age population than currently projected. We either need to redo our health and pension plans, ensure that people don’t live past 64 or allow more legal immigration.
In the study, researchers examined information on more than 13,000 New Yorkers from all five of the city’s boroughs, who voluntarily had their height and weight measured. The data, collected at community-based health centers and hospitals using this this body fat analyzer between January 2000 and December 2002, was used to calculate each person’s BMI.
For Hispanics, whether the neighborhood is largely English speaking or not is an important predictor of body size. The less English spoken in a neighborhood, the less weight gain occurs, according to researchers, whose findings appear in a recent issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
“Simply put: the longer an immigrant lives in the U.S., the heavier that immigrant becomes. Scholars theorize this weight gain as due, in part, to acculturation the adoption of U.S. diet and physical activity habits,” said Park. “Although in the popular imagination, acculturation is thought to be a positive factor for immigrants, in many arenas of health, acculturation has been shown to have a negative effect.”
The new study supports earlier research that found that weight gain is most consistent and significant among Hispanic immigrants to the U.S., who face a particularly high risk of obesity and attendant health problems even when socioeconomic status is taken into consideration.
The link to the study can be found here. I wish journalists would clearly cite the actual source of study because oftentimes it takes a while to search and find it and only the most interested users bother to go to the source of information.
I can actually attest to this sparingly, since the study only seems to hold true among Hispanic immigrants and I am not. I gained about 40 pounds since I started residing in the United States without any changes to my height or level of physical activity. I have shed about 15 of those down to 115 in the past year after getting more health conscious, but the point is that Americans do consume foods with higher calories. And the more we “assimilate,” the more we tend to consume “American foods” on the go instead of ethnic, home-cooked meals which are generally and broadly-speaking, healthier. I don’t think the morale of the story is that we should hide out in our own ethnic enclaves–but that mirroring American consumerism and diet is the wrong way to go.
Supporters of cultural assimilation beware–Encouraging and pushing for assimilation i.e. “English-only” can be contradictory. According to the research of Tomás Jiménez, an assistant professor of sociology at UC San Diego:
That efforts by opponents of illegal immigration to stamp out the ethnic identity of immigrants and their descendents, and to emphasize assimilation, backfire… Nonimmigrant Mexican-Americans who were already largely assimilated feel a closer connection to their Mexican identity when they see it as under attack.
“People who feel the country is fractured by ethnicity may be doing more than anyone to harden ethnic identity,” he said.
The study holds up when compared to conflict theory. When a minority culture faces attack from the dominant culture, it resists or pushes back.
While we are on the topic of assimilation and “illegal immigration,” is it not strange that the biggest proponents of assimilation are also the ones that prevent avenues for immigrant assimilation–Studies show that being undocumented is a barrier to assimilating.
As Duke University economist Jacob Vigdor explained in The Washington Post: “If you’re in the country illegally, a lot of the avenues of assimilation are cut off to you. There are a lot of jobs you can’t get, and you can’t become a citizen.”
Therefore, if we want our immigrants to assimilate, should we not ensure that they have the necessary institutional support to do so? Otherwise, it is ridiculous to expect migrant workers to speak American-English.
One last note. Americans DO NOT speak English but a bastardized version of it. Over the past decade, my English has actually deteriorated. I used to be a spelling bee champion and nowadays I let the Firefox browser correct my spelling. Same goes for my grammar. It is not correct to say “Who are you going to the movies with?” but rather “With whom are you going to the cinema?” Besides the error of ending in prepositions, I use way more passive language than I used to — we used to be graded down for “passive usage.” Most Americans have no idea as to what that means! Anyway, I am no fan or supporter of any “pure language” theories so the deterioration of English does not bother me. What does bother me is this:
Lets learn to speak English first, eh?