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Posts tagged politics.
Undocumented Unafraid : a poem

Being undocumented
Used to bring you shame
With no one to give fault to
Our parents were the ones to blame
.
Not having a 9 digit number
you wrte stripped of your rights
Making you depressed and withdrawn
With the real war an inner fight
.
Feeling alone
With no shoulder to cry
When they asked are you legal
You made up a lie 
.
You wonder and wonder
What will I do after school
When everyones recieving scholarships
While I stand like a fool
.
Prohibited from working 
Because of a s.s card
Life went from being difficult
To extremly hard
.
AM I THE ONLY ONE
You scream and you yelp
Can anyone hear me
I truely need help
.
Yes we can help you
GUYA is here
We’ll reach out our hand
With nothing to fear
.
We must win all our fights
To defend our unalienable rights
We will always stand
To protest this unlawful banned
Whereve you see us
We will march in a parade 
Celebrating the beauty
Of students who are undocumented and unafraid

-Emir P

Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA) 

Keish Kim speaking in front of Georgia Board of Regents in behalf of GUYA and the Undocumented students in Georgia. 

Asking to RESCIND the ban on Undocumented students. (Policy 4.1.6) This policy states that admissions offices check immigration status before admitting students and if they are not lawfully present, they cannot attend the public universities in Georgia. Currently under this policy the 5 most competitive public university enforce this. Including UGA, GA Tech Georgia State University, GCSU, and Georgia Health Science University. 

So, on November 8th, 2011, GUYA was granted a seat at the Board of Regent’s committee of Organization and Law to present a 10 minute presentation. This was Keish Kim’s speech asking the board to lift the ban before halting more goals and dreams of the invisible, undocumented students in Georgia. 

The scarlet U represented all the Undocumented students who were underrepresented and were unable to stand with us. We are standing up and speaking out for all of them. 
Undocumented and Unafraid. Unashamed and Unapologetic!! 
Greed and Myths about a Collective Group of People: The Perfect Combination

On the day Troy Davis was lynched, I spent most of my time in front of the State Capitol. I was very hopeful that all of the work, as a member of the Free Troy Davis Committee and GUYA, I had done would pay off and Troy would get to live. I also know I was part of one of the best collectives I’ve ever been in my life. As the dreaded hour crept near, I could hear indistinct talks of storming the Capitol and occupying it if Troy were to be lynched. The air was thick and difficult to take in, and why wouldn’t it be? An innocent man’s life was about to be taken by the State.

The State that only wanted to get rid of the name Troy Davis because the incompetence, injustice and crimes against humanity in its Criminal Injustice system were ever so exposed and made obvious by that name.  The system which is always out for blood; the blood of working- and poor-class people and people of color. The system that teaches its enforcers that poor people and people of color are the enemy and trains them on how to shoot down those targets. The system that does nothing to address crime, what causes it or how it can be prevented; how we can be sure there won’t be a “next time”. The system that runs on putting poor people inside cells to make money, and that makes sure to tag people once they have been inside so they can continue to hold you longer and squeeze more money out of you the “next time around”.

As the clock hit 7PM, the bells of the church in front of the Capitol went off. I held the hand of an African-American woman and we rested our heads on each other’s shoulders, trying to hold back the tears as we realized we had lost one of our own. At the time we had no word, no updates on Troy. We didn’t know his lynching was delayed. All we knew was that we needed to find comfort in each other and for about 4 minutes we did. Then, then we got word about Troy. It was announced that he was still alive, and there was an indefinite delay. We didn’t know how to react to the news, so we all cheered; celebrated the fact that Troy was still alive. It was during this time I had a realization.

This realization was something I had known for some time, but chose not to pay any attention to. It wasn’t something that caught me off-guard in the very least. It was a simple dark corner in the back of my mind, I had chosen not to explore. The system that lynched Troy Davis was the same system out for the blood and livelihoods of the immigrant community. The prison-industrial-complex is that system. Public and private. The public element of that system lynched Troy Davis and the private element is making a fortune incarcerating my people, aided by the Federal government.

The tools used to build this gigantic, disgusting, systemic infrastructure range from many obvious, and not so-obvious, traditional elements. Some of the most obvious (and traditional) elements are racism, scapegoating of immigrants, class-warfare and the fetishizing of throwing significant portions of our population into imprisonment. Things our “tough on crime” society alarmingly idolizes. Never mind the fact that the private-prison industry is subsidized by tax-payers and that lynching innocent and incarcerating hard-working people does nothing to address the real, on-going problems. Leaving all aside, the ugly face of this system is exposed and it is racist, classist and xenophobic. While people may assume silence towards injustice and inhumane practice is “neutrality”, the reality is that silence is quiet agreement. While you may think of yourself as an impartial bystander, not standing up to this makes you an enabler.

Troy was imprisoned for over 22 years, and then lynched. What exactly was his crime? Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and having the wrong skin color. Today under HB-87 here in GA, my people can be imprisoned for up to 15 years and be imposed a fine of up to $250,000. What is the thing we do that calls for such harsh punishment? Attempting to feed ourselves and our families is that big crime. By searching for work and using the only papers we can get, we are “committing” a crime comparable to rape or murder.  Knowing undocumented immigrants already in the country have no way of obtaining lawful status, this law makes perfect economic sense for the private prison industry and the politicians receiving their share of profits through campaign contributions, such as our Gov., Nathan Deal, as well as, it manages to throw a bone to the “public” concerned over undocumented immigration: feigning the act of acting proactively to fix the problem. The problem right now and the thing that the public is really concerned about are jobs. Jobs claimed as “stolen” by undocumented immigrants. Never mind the fact that we don’t hire ourselves, or choose to crash the economy.

Contrary to what many politicians on the right-wing may have you believe, the lives of undocumented immigrants are not decadent life-styles of materialism, driving new cars or being able to eat out at restaurants often while collecting food stamps, using hospitals for free, and sending kids to school for free. I would know; I have lived that life for almost 11 years now and that description is way far of the mark.

We are hard-working people who pay our fair share of taxes, I paid more taxes last year than Exxon and GE paid. I can’t apply for a loan for school, but I can sure apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) so the government can keep track of the taxes I have paid. I try to be as careful as possible EVERYWHERE I go because I am afraid of ending up in the hospital. I am afraid I won’t be treated due to my immigration status or being treated and having a bill I won’t be able to pay down for years. Since I can’t afford medical insurance and WILL NOT BE AIDED BY “OBAMACARE” IN ANY WAY, I choose to stay as far away from hospitals as possible, NOT live my life in them as many politicians want you to believe. As for schools, we all pay taxes. Taxes that go to buying food for students of low-income households pay for teachers, for the staff necessary to run a school, for textbooks, and for the salary of people who have never taught a child to make decisions about our kids’ education. So, as you can see, I am not much different from you. I am an American in every way, shape or form and so is my mother, father, sister, the undocumented student trying to get into the college of his DREAMs, the cook working in the back to be able to send money back home, and the friend or family member being pulled over and deported for not having a license. We are all Americans; we just don’t have the right documentation.  We are trying to do what we can to feed our families, just as many families barely scraping by are attempting. We are not enemies; we are on the same side. We are being oppressed by the same oppressor who pisses on us and doesn’t even call it rain anymore, instead it tells us to be “grateful with what we have”. Well, “mighty” oppressor, The People have found their voice, The People have realized their strength in numbers and are not afraid of fighting back anymore. We will be heard; we will bring you to justice and claim what is ours: the right to a better life.

    Written by: GM

Standing in solidarity with the NC10 that got arrested today for protesting unjustices practiced in the state. Besides the 7 youth who have participated in a peaceful civil disobedience, 3 DREAMers, Mohammad and Isabel was arrested for grounds unclear at the moment, and Viridiana was also arrested for attempting to ask the officers a question about unclear arrest of 2 paramedics who were aiding the tired protesters by handing out water and cough drops. 

Please help the DreamTeam Nc by pitching in few of your dollars http://undocumentedunafraidnc.chipin.com/dropping-the-fear-in-nc to cover the bail out and other various legal expenses. 

and watch the unjust arrests through recorded live streaming > http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17107677 

The Generation of ‘White Noise’

  The society that which we find ourselves is an interesting one, there is the belief that the generations of today, which include X and Y, are lazy and without resolve. Do you believe this true?

  Everyone lives life the best they can, circumventing the tribulations that are placed before them. What about the a young group of undocumented people that belong to these generations that are not allowed to partake in regular, common activities that one normally has in the country that is considered home? There are arguments all over the place of everything and anything, and immigration and its victims are no exception.

  I don’t know about you but there are individuals that could help improve society in many ways, yet are put down or brushed off on the account of information that is gathered through many misinformed, through what is said by someone of ‘credible’ source or lack of research, mediums. On various accounts, it has been shown that allowing the undocumented youth to get legalized would be a better thing for the USA. An educated, contributing, entrepreneurial population helps a country succeed farther, that is what the US has in its society, but the art of turning a blind eye to a situation that should have been addressed before it had gotten this far is not their fault. Politics doesn’t stop in Washington, it also runs deep everywhere in the country. When the word ‘illegal’ starts taking the place of a type of race, it becomes interesting where one gets their misinformation; I’ll give you a hint, sometimes it is the legislators, wink, wink.

  How many people do you hear saying, ‘I understand their plight, but illegal is illegal’?

  The ability to reason is one of the things that separate humans from the ‘animals’. People have acknowledged that immigration is flawed and needs an overhaul. The thing is we are using an old based system that is trying to adjust, resolve, in some cases control the lives of those that come to the US. Everything is under the table until a collective that can’t take this injustice starts to raise their voice. Nobody expected the undocumented youth to continue what was considered a lost cause, but here they are making noise to surpass that which has been ignored.

  The undocumented youth and its allies will keep fighting the struggle that exist within our society, whether the legislators want to acknowledge it or not they are coming harder and harder. Where the legislators fail at coming together for resolutions about the US, the undocumented youth are more united than ever to prove why they are part of the US. The white noise that you ignore is metamorphosing into something that you can’t ignore anymore. Those that are not prepare, don’t worry knowledge is coming your way.

  I would recommend a movie called The Distinguished Gentleman, a 1990’s movie that shows in its own way the politics of congress. It’s not the best movie, but it will give you an idea, without completely boring you. Keep up the fight and show Congress, Congress Candidates, Obama, and Presidential Candidates that the undocumented youth are not to be put on the back burner anymore.

A Concerned Individual

During the last couple of months, those of you who have been following the political atmosphere in the country have probably realized the heavy debating between both parties around several issues like immigration. The Republicans, to no surprise, put forward racist, anti-immigrant laws that terrorized millions of immigrants across the United States. Meanwhile, the Democrats that campaigned in 2008 with the message of “hope: and “si se puede!” were no-where to be seen. 

Not only was Washington in silence but it also contributed to the tense xenophobic atmosphere in the country. With agencies like ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and county wide police departments, citizen status was enforced upon the population of many states. Not long ago, some of the members of the Democratic administration boasted on the large number of deportations it has achieved, which totals around a million -a much higher number than the Bush administration. 

The only change that was brought upon the immigrant community and other working people was for the worse. The increased deportations, raids, detentions, education bans and lack of work and health benefits is something that has affected everyone.

This time around, the Democrats have begun to play their tune of “change” once more. It is obvious that the presidential election is around the corner and both parties will promise the earth and the sky as long as a vote is exchanged. The immigrant youth, the community and its allies are more conscious than before and ready to work outside both parties to reach its aspirations for a better life for all. 

This is why it is important for the community as a whole to fight together for its own interests and this is why it is important for grass-roots activism to thrive among all communities to not only to resist the attacks but also to make gains for a brighter future.

Signing off,

LU

GUAYABAS: My story, my fight -NB

*I’m writing off the top of my head so don’t mind the bad grammar or punctuation. I been meaning to write this and I just got to get it down. So here it goes.*

So for the past 4 yrs I have been involved in the movement for immigration reform and currently the Dream Act movement. I have met countless students and activists who share their story of being undocumented and the struggles they are going through and why they are involved in the movement. And I have struggled to share a similar story and make a clear connection with them because my story begins in a very different way. I was not undocumented. I was not an exceptional student. As a matter of fact I am a high school drop out, former gang member, and convicted felon. You see, not quite the same story huh? 

So how can I say I have a story to tell about being undocumented? Because for 5 yrs of my life I was labeled by the government as one. And was put on trial for deportation. You see, my past lifestyle led me to be arrested for a number of charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. At the time of my arrest I was slapped with an immigration hold and told that I was going to be deported. Unknown to me was the fact that I was a U.S citizen. I was kicked out of my house at an early age and didnt know that I acquired citizenship through my Father when he became a citizen.

I.C.E offered me a very tempting deal. Plea guilty, sign your deportation, and you will be out of here very soon. My response: Im not guilty, Im not undocumented, Im not going to plea guilty, and if you want to deport me than Im going to fight you in court to the very end. I was found guilty at the end of my trial and sentenced to 5 yrs in prison. My date for removal proceedings was set.

Many of my fellow inmates called me stupid and thought I was a fool to not accept that offer. And they had a very good reason to do so. Almost nobody beats a removal proceeding being a convicted felon. But I decided to be that “fool” and sacrifice my freedom to fight for my rights.

My story as an activist begins inside the Georgia Department of Corrections where undocumented people have it the worst. As a prisoner you have no voice. As an undocumented prisoner you are in an even worst position. You are placed in closed security prison which is a level right under maximum security. Even though most undocumented prisoners have minimum security charges. You are denied most access to education. Priority goes to documented prisoners. I can keep on going about the discriminations that you go through in prison for being undocumented but the list is just too long. Trust me it is awful.

Instead of ranting about that let me share with you what I decided to do about that. I, along with a group of other latino brothers, decided to stand up and fight for the little rights that we did have. We came out of the shadows and fought for dignity and justice. Not with violence but with every legal measure that we could take.

What did we accomplish? A spanish section in the monthly prison newsletter of which I was the editor. Latino food items in the prison store. Equal access to better jobs (yes we have jobs in prison. LOL) Equal access to G.E.D classes and College classes. E.S.O.L classes. Computer skills classes ( that I taught myself)  I, along with two other undocumented students were allowed into college course that was federally funded through a local community college. We graduated as the Top 3 in our class. Straight A’s through out the whole year. We  received special acknowledgement by the Warden himself. The list goes on!

After countless attempts by I.C.E to get me to sign my deportation order they finally put me in front of a judge. Did I mention this was 4 yrs later? Yes, they did keep their word. They said I would be in in prison for a long time before I saw a judge. So here I am in front of a judge listening to him say “What are you hear for? I’m looking at your file and their is no remedy in your case. There is no way around this.” Still I stood my ground. With no lawyer by my side I asked for another hearing. My family went all over Atlanta from lawyer to lawyer hearing the same thing ” your son is a convicted felon. There is now way to stop his deportation.” My second hearing came along and I still didnt have a lawyer. The judge hesitated and warned me that if by the next hearing I didnt have a lawyer I would be deported. So my parents kept looking and spent every last dollar they had on lawyer consultations. and every time hearing the same thing “there is now way to stop his deportation”.

Here I am the day before my last hearing and still without a lawyer to defend me. Its 4 pm and my family was just told my another lawyer that he couldnt help me. He gave them a number to another lawyer and said that they could talk to her and see if she could help. So they did. I have to say God was on my side. She said she would try to help me. I went before the judge AGAIN. And this wonderful lady called in and spoke with the judge to ask for an extension since everything was last minute. She went through my file and saw what countless lawyers couldnt see. That I was already an U.S citizen. Her name is Carolina Antonini.

I have been out of prison now for 4 yrs. I am currently in college and an activist for immigration reform. There are many others who are in the same situation as I was but I refused to give up. I decided to take a stand against the injustice that one suffers for being undocumented.

This is my story. And I pray that those who read it gain courage and keep hope in the midst of all this drama that is going on. Never let anybody tell you that you don’t have any hope. QUE SIGA LA LUCHA!!!

-NB 

***CALL NOW!!! HIS DEPORTATION IS SET FOR THIS FRIDAY THE 17TH! ***

direality:

***Please read this DREAMers story and CALL***URGENT Action Alert !!! Coach Miguel Aparicio needs your help to stop his deportation Call Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security 202-282-8495

Call Assistant Secretary to ICE, John Morton and leave a message urging him to stop the deportation of Coach Miguel Aparicio 202-732-3000.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/You-Can-Stop-Coach-Miguel-Aparicio-s-Deportation.html?soid=1102516353608&aid=hp58AAZoui0 

CALL NOW!!

HEART AND SPREAD!