[Marxism] Latinos Work to Shore Up Border

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 14 09:40:01 MDT 2005

The debate over undocumented immigration has escalated in recent
months with the rise of the mis-named Minutemen and other lynch-
minded bands of self-selected enforcers of the US border. One of
the most ironic aspects of this is the rolling out of Blacks and
Latinos citizens speaking out against immigrants who lack papers.

One can understand the shortsighted attitude of some Blacks whose
ancestors didn't have immigration documents, only bills of sale
to legitimate their arrival in the United States. Having survived
the holocaust of slavery, the rise of Jim Crow, and so on, and
having found a modest niche in US life via the rise of industrial
unionism and the CIO, and a further stake in US life after the
civil rights movement, some Blacks are very bitterly opposed to
undocumented immigration. If you've ever seen the John Sayles film
LONE STAR, you see the Mexican American variant of this attitude.

And then there are the Cuban immigrants, post-Revolutionary type,
one of whom is highlighted in this Los Angeles Times story today.

It would be interesting to learn how and when Francisco Jorge came 
to the United States. Did he, like so many other Cubans before him, 
benefit from the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which grants Cubans 
privileges which no immigrant from any other country on the planet 
receives? It's a racist as well as an anti-communist provision.

Just like Uncle Clarence and Sister Condi, who themselves wouldn't 
be where they are today without the Black Liberation movement and 
the sacrifices made by generations of Black predecessors, we can 
see clearly that this man perversely benefits in his own way from 
the Cuban Revolution but would like to see ONLY Cubans continue to 
receive the privileges which he received. He's adapted to and has 
adopted the worst elements in US culture. Someone like this is, 
of course, too boorish and too stupid to understand the message 
in the movie A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN, we can confidently assume.

All he wants to do is take, take, take, and trample on the rest.
Racism, being one of the fundamental building blocks of political 
and social culture in the US, which pervades the consciousness of
everyone blessed to live in it, of all races and nationalities.
Check out this model citizen of the United States of Freedom:

"New allies include Francisco Jorge, 54, an electrical technician 
who emigrated from Cuba as a boy and also attended the May conference.

"Jorge, who lived in East Los Angeles before moving to Mojave, Calif., 
as an adult, said he resents undocumented immigrants who give birth 
in the United States so their children are citizens. He is also irked 
at those who he says allow themselves to be exploited by large companies 
that pay them low wages — a practice that he believes lowers the wages 
of others.

"During the Minuteman operation in Arizona, Jorge became its spokesman 
to the Spanish-language media — and frequently he defended himself to 

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Latinos Work to Shore Up Border
Although at times reviled for their stand, 
some are working with other groups 
to stem the flow of illegal immigrants.
By Jennifer Delson
Times Staff Writer

August 14, 2005

Lupe Moreno knows the immigrant struggle. She has lived all
her life in Santa Ana, a gateway community for Mexican
immigrants. Her father helped smuggle them into the
country; her former husband sneaked in illegally.

Now Moreno is part of the growing movement to stem the flow
of illegal immigration.

"I want people to know that there are Latinos who are
law-abiding," she said. "We need to protect our borders."

Although polls suggest that the majority of Latinos are
sympathetic to illegal immigrants once they have settled in
the United States, opinions vary by generation, home
country, economic class and personal values. Some Latinos
are strongly opposed to crossing the border illegally.

A few, such as Moreno, stand out because they have publicly
embraced political activism, banding together with mostly
white organizations to register their opposition.

Their participation appears welcome. Indeed, at a May
convention in Las Vegas, organized by the staff of a
conservative radio talk show and attended by well-known
figures who oppose illegal immigration, Moreno and a
handful of other Latinos stood together on the stage at
Cashman Field, where they were applauded for their position
by more than 200 people in the mostly white audience.

"It's important that we have these folks here, because I
think it shows that we are attracting a wide variety of
people," said Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the citizen
border patrol known as the Minuteman Project. "This is not
just about white against Mexican. It's not a racist issue.
It's about putting an end to illegal immigration."

Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative
Immigration Studies University at UC San Diego, said that
Latinos who oppose undocumented immigrants "are useful to
the anti-immigrant camp. They give it credibility and help
blunt accusations of racism."

Latinos who take a stand against illegal entry say they
have good reasons for their activism, but they pay a price
for speaking out.

"This is not about racism, but about doing the right
thing," Moreno said. "[People] think we are all brown so we
are loyal to people who break the law."

Moreno said her dedication to the cause contributed to the
breakup of her 26-year marriage, as her then-husband could
no longer tolerate her increasing criticism of undocumented
workers. He declined to comment for this story.

Her children, she said, worry that she is in harm's way,
because she is perceived by some Latinos as a turncoat.

Anti-illegal-immigration activist Andy Ramirez of Covina
said he has faced similar backlash. "They say we are
traitors, or coconuts," Ramirez said.

Earlier this year Ramirez, 37, formed Friends of the Border
Patrol, similar to the Minuteman Project, which led citizen
patrols in April along the Arizona-Mexico border to monitor
and report illegal crossings. Ramirez hopes to conduct
patrols on Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day, and
Minuteman founder Gilchrist said he would be there in

Ramirez, a onetime professional hockey player disabled by
multiple sclerosis, said he had waited hours for medical
care in hospitals that treat undocumented immigrants.

He believes that people who come to this country illegally
consume resources that could improve the lives of legal
U.S. residents, including money for health and education.

Other Latinos resent the competition that undocumented
immigrants bring to the workplace, said Louis DiSipio, a UC
Irvine political science professor.

Although activists like Ramirez and Moreno are among a
small minority, polls and voting patterns suggest that
opinion among Latinos on immigration is by no means

A Gallup poll in June, for instance, found that 32% of
Latinos believe immigration levels should be decreased, and
three in 10 believe that the government should not make it
easier for undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

That is in comparison to half of non-Latino whites who
favored a decrease and eight in 10 whites who thought the
government should not make attaining citizenship easier.

Ian Haney López, a law professor at UC Berkeley, said
Latinos in the United States have long held mixed feelings
about whether to keep ties with Mexicans and therefore,
undocumented immigrants.

Latinos feel pulled between two identities, he said. When
there is a strong desire to be American, some Latinos cast
aside everything Mexican.

>From that perspective, "what jeopardizes Hispanics is the
continuing influx of immigrants," said Lopez. "They are on
the street corners. They tend to be dark, poor and
uneducated. That brings down the status of the group."

Others say it's normal for Latinos' opinions to diverge on
this and other issues.

"There is a political pluralism in the community," said
Harry Pachon, president of the Tomas Rivera Policy
Institute at USC. "As you get second, third and four
generations, it's not unusual that there will be a varying

Moreno became active in the anti-illegal-immigrant movement
in part because she felt guilty about her family's past,
she said.

Her family home had served as a safe house for undocumented
immigrants. Years later, in 1990, a nephew in Northern
California was murdered by a Mexican national.

In 1993, she attended an informational meeting with about
100 people organized by Barbara Coe, an author of
Proposition 187, and became an ally.

Moreno worked behind the scenes, collecting the names of
supporters and lobbying national lawmakers for stricter
border controls. At the Las Vegas meeting in May, she drew
comfort from the 12 other Latinos who stood with her
onstage, standing on the same principles.

"Things are heating up," said Moreno of the current tension
over illegal immigration. "For the first time, Latinos are
coming out of the woodwork to support us."

Now she cheers at rallies from Arizona to Alhambra,
opposing undocumented workers and the Mexican
identification card, known as the matricula consular, which
allows many to open bank accounts and acquire other
trappings of legitimacy in this country. She works on her
new website http://www.latinoamericans.org which includes
articles about recent protests and encourages donations and

Just in the last month, Moreno and other Latinos have
participated in patrols at the border with Border Watch, a
citizen group, and a rally against a day laborer site in
Laguna Beach. On Tuesday, she said she would go to
Sacramento to lobby against allowing driver's licenses for
undocumented immigrants

"If you are a patriotic Latino American," her website
reads, "and you are tired of hearing Latino left-wing
activist groups mislead the public by asserting that they
represent you with the usual remarks about our country
being racist, and that anyone who is against illegal
immigration is against immigration, [then] join us in
raising our voices for family, truth, God and America."

New allies include Francisco Jorge, 54, an electrical
technician who emigrated from Cuba as a boy and also
attended the May conference.

Jorge, who lived in East Los Angeles before moving to
Mojave, Calif., as an adult, said he resents undocumented
immigrants who give birth in the United States so their
children are citizens. He is also irked at those who he
says allow themselves to be exploited by large companies
that pay them low wages — a practice that he believes
lowers the wages of others.

During the Minuteman operation in Arizona, Jorge became its
spokesman to the Spanish-language media — and frequently he
defended himself to reporters.

Latino activists have popped up elsewhere around the
country, organizing their own Minuteman brigades and
complaining about the effect of undocumented immigrants on
local communities.

Rosana Pulido of Chicago, the 49-year-old grandchild of
Mexican immigrants, spent four days with the Minuteman
patrol in Arizona and is now organizing Latino activists to
fight illegal immigration.

"I think there are lot of people who are surprised that I'm
doing this," Pulido said. "But I feel I'm getting a lot of
support, not totally from Hispanics, but from people who
realize that no matter where you come from, you need to be
here legally."

Mexican American Robert Vasquez, 55, a Republican county
commissioner in Canyon County, Idaho, wants his county
declared a disaster area because he says undocumented
workers are straining the county budget, primarily through
costs to the county health system. He wants the county to
sue employers who hire illegal immigrants.

"There are people who have said I'm racist or a traitor,"
Vasquez said. "This is not a racial issue. It is an
economic one."

In Orange County, parent Vivian Martinez advocated the end
of bilingual education in Santa Ana, even though more than
half of the residents are foreign-born. Martinez said she
was concerned that Santa Ana students were learning more
Spanish than English in the public schools.

Moreno considers her opposition to illegal immigration an
act of patriotism.

"There are Latinos who respect the law and love this
country," she said.

"We are not like them," she said of undocumented Latinos.

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