SB1070 and Mexico

Hey peeps.

Its been weird watching the SB1070 news here in Mexico. One Mexican politician after another has come forward all swagger and bravado about the parts that were killed in the bill.

So these men in ties rumble into the microphones. But on the whole, there’s no accountability for Mexico’s economy. An economy that’s as thin and fragile as the last potato chip in the bottom of the bag.

There’s no talk of the intersectionality of the issues. There’s no talk about the correlation between the numbers of undocumented Mexican immigrants and the Mexican off-key melody that forces them to dance across danger to the U.S.

And of course, there’s no talk about the racial profiling that exists here in Mexico. That someone with darker skin like my husband gets followed by security in a department store like Sanborn’s.

So weird is the word when I watch the dirge-like progression of the events around SB1070 from here in the Global South.

Because the Mexican government’s official reaction to SB1070 feels and looks like a cheap suit.

Señores, your seams are showing.

Whistling Dixie in July

Hello kids.

The expression “too little too late” is banging around my head this morning.

It comes up when I think about President Obama’s speech last week on immigration combined with the US Justice Department suing Arizona over SB1070.

There’s this big and obvious push to make it look like Obama and the US government finally woke up.

But I truly believe that it is all about a focused and concentrated political strategy for the upcoming November elections.

Once again, undocumented immigrants and their families aren’t at the center of this issue.

As I’ve stated previously, Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) passing this year is about as likely as one of my cats standing on two legs and belting out a Lady Gaga song.

So why all of the sudden intensity?

Kids, it feels to me like an ex trying to win us back.

You know how it is. Once you’ve made the decision to walk away, the other person wakes up.

But it’s too little too late.

President Obama, you know that ring of hope that you placed on my finger on Election Night in 2008?

I just pawned it for some much-needed cash.

Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Televisa and World Cup Homophobia

Hey peeps.

So we’re coming closer to the World Cup, right? Huge excitement here in Mexico – we’re on deck for the first game against South Africa.

Naturally, Televisa (the big news channel here,) has intense coverage about the World Cup.

But something happened this morning. One of the sports commentators for Televisa, Miguel Gurwitz, was doing an interview with Cuauhtémoc Blanco.

For those of you who don’t know, Cuauhtémoc is one of the vets for Mexico’s World Cup team this year.

He’s no saint by any stretch of the imagination. But he has his place in Mexico’s soccer history.

In their interview this morning, Cuauhtémoc suddenly came out of left field, and started joking with Gurwitz about how being isolated before the big game was getting to him, i.e., he wasn’t getting any sex.

You know, we’re all human, I’m cool with that part. I even laughed when Cuauhtémoc slyly hinted about it.

But what came next? Cuauhtémoc started to make gay jokes with Gurwitz. Talking about how good he looked, and that you reach a point where anyone looks good, i.e. “even” a man. Pretended to grab him a few times.

Gurwitz bantered back with him, albeit a little nervously.

Cuauhtémoc then spoke to Carlos Loret de Mola, the head anchor for the morning show. Cuauhtémoc took Gurwitz’s hand, started to swing it, and took on a higher pitched voice. While swinging Gurwitz’s hand, he cooed to Loret de Mola that, “He and Gurwitz decided to get married in South Africa.”

Everyone was laughing heartily. God forbid that anyone take them seriously, right?

Cuauhtémoc then proceeded to coo to the anchor, Loret de Mola that, “He looked great in his suit.”

Loret de Mola had a choice right then. He could have used humor to educate and break down stereotypes. Or he could have done what was expected of him.

He did what was expected. He said, “Que paso, que paso?” Literally translated, it’s, “What happened?”

But its code for what men say here when the homophobic jokes aimed towards them come up. The “que paso” is used to show that clearly this doesn’t apply to you. That clearly you are straight.

Listen, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Miguel Gurwitz and Carlos Loret de Mola are not the only Mexican men in the world making homophobic jokes. And Mexico certainly isn’t the only homophobic country in the world.

But I get tired of homophobia being as commonplace as tortillas here. It’s just not funny. It’s not OK for Mexico’s homophobia to be splashed all over the morning news. A morning news channel that, for better or for worse, is watched by thousands in this country.

I know that I didn’t grow up in Mexico. But this idea that homophobia is a natural and historical part of Mexico’s cultural fabric is not something that I’ll ever accept.

Yes, I’ll still be watching the big opening game this Friday. But I’ll be thinking about this quote by Clint Eastwood:

“The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.”

Indeed, Clint. Indeed.

New York DREAMers are Hungry for Change

Hey peeps. Feliz Lunes.

OK, based on what I’m reading/hearing from different sources, the possibility of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) is probably dead this year in Washington. Very faint pulse.

I’m not happy to write that, but let’s call it like we see it.There are a whole bunch of factors that play into this dismal view; nevertheless, things are looking grim.

So why not pass the DREAM Act as a stand-along bill right now? For me, it is a no-brainer: Pass the DREAM act, bring in thousands of young pro-immigration supporters who can come out of the shadows and fight for the rest of us.

Members of the New York State Youth Leadership Council have been on a hunger strike outside of Senator Chuck Schumer’s office since June 1.

Today is June 7.

They risk their lives, and will continue with the hunger strike until Senator Schumer, (one of the original co-sponsors of the DREAM act) brings the DREAM act forward in the Senate as a stand-alone bill.

I naturally want CIR for all. However, that’s a lot more complicated right now.

So keep the pressure on for the DREAM act as a stand-alone bill. Click here to take action.

And if you’re in New York, please give each and every one of the DREAM act hunger strikers a big hug for me.

Pro-Immigration Neo-Nazis

Happy Friday peeps. Have you taken my blog’s donation button for a spin yet?:)

You know, something came up recently that has come up many times before:

People simply don’t understand that I live full-time in Mexico with my husband.

As a writer and performer, I have my own website, complete with a super-short bio. Even have a quick FAQ section for my show, The Deportee’s Wife. (Where I reiterate that I live in Mexico with R)

And yet, I can’t tell you how many times people in the States ask things along the lines of,

“How often do you visit your husband in Mexico?”

“When did you two decide to separate?”

“Is it hard with the two of you living in different countries?”

“We need you for a show in the States in a week/two days/this afternoon…etc…” (And of course, no offer of travel expenses)

Sure, there’ll be moments when I’m in the States for extended periods of time, due to my artistic work. That information is also on my website.

But here’s what gets me heated – the majority of the time, the confusion about where I live comes from people involved in the pro-immigration movement.

They’re usually white, middle-to-upper class, and have the “best” of intentions:

They want me to come and perform my show. They supposedly want me and my show to be a space for dialogue.

But they’re not listening. Forget about listening, they’re not reading.

And what I find fascinating is the unspoken assumption: Because I have formal education, grew up in an upper-middle class environment, US-born, of mixed race yet “pass,” etc…the unspoken assumption is that there’d be no way in hell that I’d live full-time with my husband in Mexico.

No matter how great a guy he may be.

Now, let me be clear here – all of us who have an immigration situation that directly affects our lives have the right to make whatever decision we want to in regards to our living situation.

So I’m no better a spouse than my US counterparts who stay in the US when immigration hits and splits their own family’s life. We all have our reasons.

But if these supposedly pro-immigrant white and privileged US-based activists who want to hire me/interview me/photograph me asap and can’t bother to read a one-paragraph bio in English and my small FAQ section, well then, here’s my question to them:

How are you  pro-immigrant activists purporting to give their voice to the voiceless, i.e. the undocumented people in the US?

Because if me with all of my privileges is met with such a degree of ignorance/lack of all types of listening, then how are undocumented people with a lot less privilege in the US being heard?

Let me put it to you like the New Yorker I am: If you’re a white, middle-upper class, formally educated  pro-immigration activist who has no direct and personal examples of immigration decimation in your own life, then you must identify and deal with your areas of privilege BEFORE you dive head-first into pro-immigration reform.

And you must listen like you’ve never listened before. There is no other option.

If you don’t follow that rule, I’ll take dealing with an anti-immigrant neo-nazi any day over dealing with the likes of you.

At least with the neo-nazi, I know exactly where we both stand.

PS. A first-a PS on my blog! My friend directed me towards this short video, by News with Nezua. Perfect.

The Diamond-Studded Saw That Replaces Immigration Reform

Kids, happy Wednesday.

So let’s start class today, shall we?

The BP leak is gushing thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There’s lots of finger-pointing. Lots of political tap-dancing. Thousands of families are affected, and naturally, the land itself.

US Immigration is deporting thousands of immigrants back to countries like Mexico. There’s lots of finger pointing. Lots of political tap-dancing. Thousands of families are affected, and naturally, the land itself.

More problems ahead for BP as stated in the New York Times today: “The latest attempt to contain the gushing into the Gulf of Mexico hit a snag Wednesday when a diamond-studded saw operated by an underwater robot got stuck in the riser pipe it was intended to slice off, federal officials said.”

The US Department of State is now increasing fees for all nonimmigrant visa applications.

This includes the fiancé(es) visa, commonly known as the K visa.

There’s never time available to address immigration reforms.

But there’s apparently all the time in the world to raise immigration fees.

So kids, let’s just think of these fee increases as the US Government’s  “diamond-studded saw that got stuck in the riser pipe that it was intended to slice off.”

I’ll let you decide who the underwater robot is.

Because let me be clear here: The US Government is intending to slice off as many immigrants as it can.

What If Someone Broke into Your House of Rhetoric?

So a page out of the anti-immigration reform movement’s playbook is some form of the following:

“What is someone broke into your house and stayed there. And ate your food, and had kids in your house, etc…”

I can not and will not speak for all of Latin America.

But I will take the liberty today to speak for some of el pueblo de México.

Here are three topics that you can start to research so as to better understand why Mexicans aren’t arbitrarily, “Breaking into your house.”

I’m not going to chew them up and spit them out into small bites for you. There’s already an incredible amount of solid information out there.

I’m a big believer that if this topic means something to you, (regardless of if you’re pro-immigration reform or anti-immigration reform,) then you need to go and educate yourself. Take ownership of your personal education on this issue.

1. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – Who signed it? When was it signed? Why was it signed? Who came down from the mountains when NAFTA was signed, and why? What has happened to small farmers in Mexico since the signing of NAFTA? Has Mexico entered the “first world” as was promised upon the signing of NAFTA?

2. Neoliberalism – What is it? Is it good for the US? Is it good for Mexico?

3.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services Spend some time on their website here. Pretend that you are applying for permanent residency to the US, or that someone you love is applying for US permanent residency.

My recommendation would be to spend no less than 30 minutes in the site.Then look up the definition for institutionalized racism. See if you can make a connection between the two.

Once you’ve done all that, then I’d love to know if you think that undocumented Mexicans are still, “breaking into houses.”