martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

Cynical, United Republican Obstruction Denies Passage of DREAM Act

Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate failed to muster the 60 votes needed to move forward the Defense authorization bill, including the DREAM Act amendment.

Today, the immigration reform movement and immigrant youth were stymied by an obstinate Republican minority more interested in scoring political points than in delivering for the American people. Republicans in the Senate caved - again - to partisan pressure from their leadership to block progress on a bill that is not only vital to our national security, but that provided a vehicle for other important measures, specifically the DREAM Act. This Congress has been one Republican filibuster after another, but the American people have grown very tired of this story.

Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) deserve enormous credit for having the political courage to introduce the DREAM Act as part of the Department of Defense Authorization bill. Their courage on this bill is in stark contrast to the Republicans, who showed their true colors. No one should have any doubt where Republicans stand on the futures of promising immigrant youth and immigration reform. Their "need not apply" and "you're not welcome" message to Latinos and other immigrants was loud and clear.

In fact, it is plainly obvious that the GOP was terrified of going on the record and voting against Latinos on the DREAM Act. The excuses about "objections to the process" are just a smokescreen. Let me state it plainly: This was a vote against young people in America, against Latinos and their families, and against immigrants.

The juxtaposition of the gridlock and partisanship in D.C. with the groundswell of support and activism in the states is stunning. Supporters of immigration reform created more than 70 events in 26 states, and generated over 50,000 calls and 90,000 faxes to Senators on the DREAM Act. Reform Immigration for America and its partners created 140,000 constituent contacts with Senators just in the last six days. The immigration reform movement has matured and it will continue to use its vast organizational power to make real immigration reform a reality.

We are not ever going to give up. The DREAM Act is an important stepping-stone to comprehensive immigration reform, common sense policy, and an overall good return on America's investment. We should let these young people, who love America, pursue their higher education dreams and serve in the United States Armed Forces. Supporters of reform will be looking for every opportunity to move legislation as a part of DOD or otherwise. We will not stop until we have achieved the DREAM act, AgJOBS, and our permanent goal: comprehensive immigration reform.

La Migra y Usted: El sueño se convirtió en pesadilla

Por Armando García

Tenemos malas noticias, ya es un hecho que en materia migratoria este año no va a haber una legalización para unos 11 millones de indocumentados. La última esperanza se perdió esta semana cuando el Senado del país no aprobó considerar la propuesta del Dream Act que hubiera beneficiado a miles de jóvenes indocumentados conseguir su residencia legal en este país.

La votación en el Senado fue de 56 votos a favor 43 en contra. Se necesitaban 60 votos mínimo para que la pieza legislativa, que estaba dentro de las propuestas de apropiaciones para el Departamento de Defensa, se moviera para su aprobación.

El ambiente político en Washington, no es el apropiado, ni para una reforma integral, ni tampoco para reconocer las vidas de miles de estudiantes, que están dispuestos a servir y defender al país en las fuerzas armadas, ni tampoco para legalizar aquellos que son estudiantes ejemplares que al poder llegar a la universidad y titularse, se hubieran convertido en personas profesionistas especializados, contribuyentes potenciales al progreso de este país. La historia sabrá juzgar a todos aquellos demócratas y republicanos que votaron contra esta oportunidad.

Los legisladores con mentalidad cerrada que optaron en rechazar el Dream Act y que están en campaña para reelegirse el próximo noviembre, tendrán que pagar las consecuencias de sus actos, cuando el voto hispano decida su futuro.

Según el Migration Policy Institute actualmente hay entre 825,000 a dos millones de estudiantes indocumentados que se podrían haber beneficiado del Dream Act.

Los jóvenes indocumentados son inocentes de estar en este país. Sus padres los trajeron cuando eran bebes o niños. No fue su decisión. Pero ya aquí hicieron lo que todos los demás estadounidenses: ir a la escuela. La gran crueldad del sistema educativo norteamericano es que le permitió ir a la primera, secundaria y preparatoria y luego se les prohibió ir a la universidad. Los pagadores de impuestos ya han invertido en la educación de ellos. Se perdió una batalla, pero no la guerra. Hay que seguir hasta conseguir una reforma migratoria que legalice a todos los indocumentados en este país.

La Migra y Usted es una columna que publica regularmente este medio sobre temas migratorios. Acepta preguntas de los lectores sobre trámites de inmigración y son contestadas por este conducto. Dirija sus preguntas por correo electrónico a: Si necesita asesoría, puede hablar en San Antonio, Texas a la línea de ayuda al inmigrante del LULAC Council 4987 'Migranetcenter' (210) 390-5731.

jueves, 16 de septiembre de 2010

Former Guatemalan special forces soldier sentenced to 10 years in prison for making false statements on naturalization forms regarding 1982 massacre

MIAMI - Following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Gilberto Jordan, 54, a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison and revocation of his U.S. citizenship for unlawfully procuring his U.S. citizenship by lying about his participation in a 1982 massacre at a Guatemalan village known as Dos Erres.

Jordan, of Delray Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty on July 7 to the federal charge before U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch in the Southern District of Florida, where he was also sentenced today by Judge Zloch. After Jordan completes his criminal sentence he will be remanded to ICE custody and placed into removal proceedings.

ICE Director John Morton said, “Today’s sentence sends a message to those human rights violators worldwide. We will not turn a blind eye on the perpetrators of such egregious crimes. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations agents will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that human rights violators cannot seek safe haven in the United States.”

According to the indictment and court documents, in approximately November 1982, a Guatemalan guerrilla group ambushed a military convoy near Dos Erres, Guatemala, killing soldiers and taking a number of rifles. In response, a patrol of approximately 20 Guatemalan special forces soldiers, known as “Kaibiles,” including Jordan, were deployed in December 1982 to the village of Dos Erres to search for the stolen rifles and find suspected guerrillas. According to court documents, on or about December 7, 1982, Jordan and the special patrol entered Dos Erres with the support of approximately 40 additional Kaibiles, who created a security perimeter around the village so that no one could escape. The members of the special patrol searched all of the houses for the missing weapons, forced the villagers from their homes, and separated the women and children from the men.

Court documents further state that members of the special patrol then proceeded to systematically kill the men, women and children at Dos Erres by, among other methods, hitting them in the head with a sledgehammer and then pushing them into the village well. According to court documents, members of the special patrol also forcibly raped many of the women and girls at Dos Erres before killing them. Approximately 162 skeletal remains were later exhumed from the village well.

At the hearing on his guilty plea, Jordan admitted that he had been a Kaibil in the Guatemalan military who participated in the massacre at Dos Erres. Jordan also admitted that the first person he killed at Dos Erres was a baby, whom Jordan murdered by throwing in the well.

According to court documents, when Jordan applied to become a U.S. citizen in September 1996, he falsely denied that he had ever served in the military or committed any crimes for which he had not been arrested. In July 1999, when Jordan was interviewed by a naturalization examiner in connection with his naturalization application, he falsely swore under oath that the answers he had earlier provided on his application were true and correct. Jordan was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on Aug. 25, 1999.

“Gilberto Jordan obtained the privilege of U.S. citizenship by lying about his prior military service and concealing his brutal, murderous participation in the Dos Erres massacre,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “Over the last 30 years, the Department of Justice has strived to ensure that human rights violators who flee to the United States are found, that their reprehensible past actions are proved, and that they are stripped of their ill-gotten U.S. citizenship. This case and others like it demonstrate that such perpetrators will not be allowed to make this country their home.”

“The Southern District of Florida is home to many hardworking immigrants who have fled political persecution,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “Today’s sentencing and the judge’s decision to impose the statutory maximum sentence make clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses cannot hide among us and blend in with their victims. They will be found, prosecuted, and punished.”

The case was investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in West Palm Beach, and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit and ICE’s Office of International Affairs. The Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Hillary Davidson and Brian Skaret of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Marie Villafaña of the Southern District of Florida.

ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit places a high priority in investigating human rights violators, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and violations of religious freedom, who frequently seek to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States. These individuals may assume fraudulent identities to enter the country, seeking to blend into communities inside the U.S.

sábado, 11 de septiembre de 2010

Editorial: La independencia de ayer y la de hoy

Por Armando García

A 200 años de la Gesta de Independencia de la República Mexicana para liberarse del yugo de la Corona de España, vale la pena reflexionar un poco la importancia histórica que esta lucha tiene para el México moderno y también para Latinoamérica.

La independencia de México se conquistó en los campos de batalla, una guerra de guerrillas, con focos de insurrección en gran parte del territorio. Similar situación ocurrió en otros puntos del continente americano donde la genialidad política y militar de algunos que combatieron contra el imperialismo de esa época, fueron los primeros presidentes de las nuevas naciones.

La esencia real de la gesta histórica de hace dos siglos, se olvida en las celebraciones oficiales, en los comentarios demagógicos sobre los héroes patrios que se tiende a mitificarla en palabras, con narraciones de recuerdos vagos y adornos florales y banderas tricolores en estatuas de los héroes de la Independencia.

Hoy la imposición constante y aceptable de un imperialismo en el continente, sólo ha empujado el ahondamiento de las diferencias entre los ricos y los pobres. Se habla de esa política como la panacea del desarrollo, cuando el incremento de la pobreza y las migraciones, el atraso económico y la dependencia crecen en demasía y los mandatos de los organismos financieros internacionales son sagrados.

Son los pueblos que viven en sociedades donde la inseguridad pública es la vida cotidiana, donde la miseria, la explotación, la humillación, el hambre, la desesperación, el desempleo son los rostros que a una década del nuevo siglo deberían incorporarse a una lucha real, frontal hacia un cambio que se mueva hacia un desarrollo económico integral. Estos pueblos y sus líderes; si los hubiera en este momento, podrían ser los nuevos gestores de una independencia en el continente.

Pero a falta de liderazgo real, si los patriotas de ayer resucitarán, de seguro se levantarían de nuevo para luchar contra la dominación, colonización, culturalización foránea del presente, y de seguro contarían con el apoyo de esos pueblos por su definitiva independencia en el siglo XXI.

Los pueblos de México y Latinoamérica podrán ser independientes, pero ¿acaso son realmente libres?

miércoles, 1 de septiembre de 2010

U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade

The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

This sharp decline has contributed to an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.-to 11.1 million in March 2009 from a peak of 12 million in March 2007, according to the estimates. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades.

These new Pew Hispanic Center estimates rely on data mainly from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and decennial census. The unauthorized immigrant population is estimated using the widely accepted residual method, in which a demographic estimate of the legal foreign-born population is subtracted from the total foreign-born population. The difference provides the basis for estimating the size and characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population.

The Pew Hispanic Center's analysis also finds that the most marked decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants has been among those who come from Latin American countries other than Mexico. From 2007 to 2009, the size of this group from the Caribbean, Central America and South America decreased 22%.

The recent decrease in the unauthorized population has been especially notable along the nation's Southeast coast and in its Mountain West, according to the new estimates. The number of unauthorized immigrants in Florida, Nevada and Virginia shrank from 2008 to 2009. Other states may have had declines, but they fell within the margin of error for these estimates.

Not counting Florida and Virginia, the unauthorized immigrant population also declined in the area encompassing the rest of the South Atlantic division that extends between Delaware and Georgia. In addition to the decline in Nevada, three other Mountain states-Arizona, Colorado and Utah-experienced a decrease in their combined unauthorized immigrant population from 2008 to 2009.

The report, "U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade," authored by Jeffrey Passel, Senior Demographer, Pew Hispanic Center, and D'Vera Cohn, Senior Writer, Pew Research Center, is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website,

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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