Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Anglo Attitudes, Latino Segregation in the OC


This story in the Orange County Weekly highlights the result of a new UCLA study showing that, even with rising diversity, Orange County, California isn't becoming as integrated as one would hope when it comes to Latina/os.


Celia Lacayo, a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA's Institute of American Cultures, surveyed 40 white Orange County residents.  Chosen at random, the whites surveyed ranged from 25 to 61, with most being middle- to upper-class professionals. They split almost evenly along political lines. All but two already lived in mostly white neighborhoods.

Some of the survey responsess were revealing.  The Respondents frequently expressed that they felt most comfortable in homogenous white areas. Lola, a 25-year-old director of marketing, stated:

Obviously, I wouldn’t feel comfortable living in a neighborhood that was mostly Hispanic. I would feel completely out of place. I would much rather live in a neighborhood that was predominantly white. I think . . . being around people that kind of look like each other . . . I mean, it goes back to having the same type of background.

Mark, a 42-year-old owner of a repo company, stated:

Hispanics, they just don’t fit in. The Mexicans go to the beach, and I don’t know why they always swim in their clothes. That’s always pondered me; but they’ll walk on the sand,  they’ll stay on the boardwalk, and they’ll stop right in the middle of the boardwalk and they’ll drag their boogie board or their cooler. They have a wet dirty blanket and they’ll drag it; and they’ll stop on the boardwalk. They’ll just stop there. And it’s like get out of the way. How stupid are you? It’s like you’re a nuisance. Get out of here.



August 24, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Nigerian man making Africans laugh

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Donald: Melania Trump to Hold Press Conference on Her Immigration Story

225px-Melania_Trump_2011 330px-Donald_Trump_March_2015

The controversy surrounding gaps in Melania Trump's immigration story continues. 

CNN reports that Donald Trump announced late yesterday that his wife will hold a news conference "over the next couple of weeks" to address reports that she violated immigration laws when she first came to the U.S.  Trump said his wife would prove that "she came in totally legally."

The New York Post last week published photos of Melania Trump in 1995, quickly raising questions about whether the former model had obtained the appropriate visa to work as a model in the United States. 
The Republican nominee floated the upcoming news conference just hours after he stoked yet another controversy by suggesting that gun owners could take action to stop rival Hillary Clinton from appointing judges who would infringe Second Amendment rights, should she be elected president.

August 10, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Farewell Ferris Wheel: A Documentary about Migrant Carnival Workers

You might want to think twice before you take the kids to the next local fair or carnival. This fall, PBS will air Farewell Ferris Wheel, which premiered earlier this summer during the local  AFI DOCS Film Festival.  This is a must-see film for anyone with an interest in labor rights and the U.S.'s dependence on immigrant workers.
Farewell Ferris Wheel spends six years exploring how the U.S. Carnival industry fights to keep itself alive by legally employing Mexican migrant workers with H-2B guestworker visas.

Set in the greater DC area, the documentary follows seasonal workers from Veracruz, Mexico on temporary U.S. work visas (H-2Bs).  For eight months each year, the Mexicans labor for "Jolly Shows", a company operating carnivals in the region. 

Farewell Ferris Wheel introduces audiences to both sides of the labor shortage. 

The job is grueling. Employees, separated from family, work up to 20 hours per day setting-up, operating, and taking down the rides and equipment.  They are paid little and subjected to squalid living conditions, including lack of running water and electricity.  When on-the-job injuries happen, Jolly Shows is reluctant to assist with medical care.  Nevertheless, the workers return year after year.  We learn that nearly one-third of U.S. carnival workers hail from Tlapacoyan, Mexico.

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.(CDM), a close friend of Grossman Law, and a reputable local non-profit organization with offices in Mexico, is featured in the Film for its advocacy for increased oversight of the carnival industry.



August 1, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lena Dunham And America Ferrera Slam Trump At Democratic Convention


At the Democratic Convention yesterday, Hillary Clinton was nominated for President.  In one of the speeches in support of Clinton, Lena Dunham And America Ferrera slammed Donald Trump.  For what it is worth, Ferrara was born in Los Angeles and her parents are from Honduras.

Best line of the speech:  "Look," America said, "Donald's not making America great again. He's making America hate again. And the vast majority of us, we cannot afford to see his vision of America come to be." 


July 27, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Aboard a Mediterranean rescue ship, migrants share horror stories from Libya

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Movie Review: The Immigrant (on Netflix and DVD)

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I give it 1.5 stars

The Immigrant, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, is now streaming on Netflix. You might be tempted to watch it. Save yourself almost two hours and just watch the first six minutes.

The story involves a young Polish woman, Ewa, coming to the United States with her sister in the early 1920s. The sister is detained for being a TB risk. Ewa is initially marked for deportation as a woman suspected of low moral virtue. But she's "rescued" by an American man who turns out to be a pimp. Ewa becomes a prostitute, hoping to save enough money to free her sister from Ellis Island.

Joaquin Phoenix is great. He does crazed pimp oddly well. But overall the movie offers little for the immprof after the first six minutes. (Frankly, it offers little for any movie watcher immprof or not. It's just not a great movie).

As for those few nuggets, check out 1:04-3:13, which shows the sister being screened and taken away for TB treatment and 3:63-5:57, which shows Ewa's initial screening.

The biggest plus to clicking on and watching that intro materials is that Neflix will then make a series of recommendations for you of other immigrant movies. Score.


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July 14, 2016 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Immigrant of the Day: Luis Enrique, Singer (Nicaragua)


Luis Enriqueis a Nicaraguan-born singer and composer. He attended high School in Whittier, California, near Los Angeles. He started his career in the late 1980s and achieved success in the 1990s earning the title "El Príncipe de la Salsa" (The Prince of Salsa). Enrique was a pioneer in the salsa romántica movement of the 1980s. He received two Grammy Award-nomination for "Best Tropical Latin Performance" for album Luces del Alma and his song Amiga. In 2009, his album, Ciclos, was nominated for numerous Latin Grammy Awards. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.

Enrique immigrated to the United States in 1978  He will be sharing his story as an undocumented immigrant in the United States in an upcoming book, Enrique will tell of his personal journey from Nicaragua to making a home in L.A. He was undocumented for about 10 years. 



July 10, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Immigrant of the Day: Liam Neeson (Northern Ireland)


Liam Neeson is an actor from Northern Ireland.  Neeson rose to prominence when he starred in the title role in Steven Spielberg's 1993 Oscar winner Schindler's List. He has since starred in many other successful films, including Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).  In more recent years, Neeson has starred in the action thriller series Taken (2008–15). He has been nominated for a number of awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Neeson and his family are New Yorkers.  In 2009, Neeson revealed on ABC's Good Morning America that he had recently naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Interviewer Diane Sawyer asked Neeson how he and the boys had been getting along since Natasha Richardson's death. Neeson responded:

"I'm still getting extraordinary condolence letters from American people, that's deeply, deeply touching. And that's partly the reason why I've recently become an American citizen. I've been living here for 20 years and America's been very, very good to me. I'm still a proud Irishman, of course, but I've become an American citizen and I'm very proud of that."

July 5, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fox Sports takes reporter Emily Austen off the air after racist remarks


Cindy Boren of the Washington Post reports that Emily Austen, a Fox Sports Florida and Fox Sports Sun sideline reporter who covers the Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic, has been taken off the air after making derogatory, racist and anti-Semitic remarks on Barstool Sports' "Rundown" show this week.   Austen disparaged Mexican, Chinese and Jewish people, as well as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, on the daily show broadcast on Facebook Live.  Asked about a high school valedictorian who said on Twitter that she was an undocumented immigrant, Austen said: "I didn't even know Mexicans were that smart. . . .That's f---- up. I didn't mean it like that. You see, you guys know that the Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class." 

The above is an excerpt of the video, the entirety which can be found on Vimeo.


Emily Austen


June 12, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Slam Poet George Masao Yamazawa Nails What It's Like to Be a Child of Immigrants


National Poetry Slam Champion George Masao Yamazawa is the son of Japanese immigrants — but he doesn't know how to speak Japanese. Thus, he's afraid of being the "broken chain" in his family's lineage. 

In his poem "The Bridge," which Yamazawa performed at a slam poetry competition in December, he captured the identity crises many immigrants face in America. 

Read more on this story here.


May 29, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How a Bill Becomes a Wall

A must-see video from CNN:



May 10, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Immigration Plans of Trump & Hillary in 5 Minutes

5 minutes? You've got that kind of time. Jump to 1:33 and skip the intro.



May 7, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Melania Trump (Yugoslavia)


Photo Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Our Immigrant of the Day is none other than Melania Trump, a jewelry and watch designer and former model who is married to 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Born in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), she became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and a U.S. citizen in 2006.

Lauren Collins in the New Yorker tells us some about the "Model American."  Should Trump be elected President, Melania will become the first foreign-born First Lady since Louisa Adams.

Melania got her green card in 2001 and became a citizen five years later. As Collins writes, "Melania has expressed little solidarity with less fortunate newcomers."   “I came here for my career, and I did so well, I moved here,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. You follow the rules. You follow the law. Every few months you need to fly back to Europe and stamp your visa.”  Given those remarks, it should not be surprising that Melania has expressed support for some of Donald's tough-on-immigration positions.


As the Presidential campaign continues, we can expect Melania Trump to be in the news

Thanks to Cappy White for suggesting that we recognize Melania Trump as Immigrant of the Day!


May 7, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Actress Cate Blanchett UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, yesterday announced the appointment of Academy Award winning actor Cate Blanchett as a global Goodwill Ambassador. The announcement comes as Blanchett returns from a mission to Jordan to witness the ongoing humanitarian operation for people displaced by the conflict in Syria. She met Syrian refugee families to hear first-hand about the perilous journeys they had undertaken and the daily challenges they face.

The actor takes on the role at a time when war, conflict and persecution have forced around 60 million people worldwide to run for their lives, the largest number since World War II. Nearly 20 million of these are refugees and more than half are children. The conflict in Syria is the main driver of this global crisis, forcing more than 4.8 million Syrians to become refugees in its neighboring countries alone, with more seeking safety further afield.

Prior to her appointment, Blanchett had been working closely with UNHCR for over a year to raise awareness about the forcibly displaced. In 2015, she travelled to Lebanon to meet Syrian refugees and to hear about the experiences of stateless people as part of her support for UNHCR's #IBelong Campaign.




May 3, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The 1.5 Generation Organic Farmer

Check out this NYT video Growing Organics 'Sin Fronteras.' It follows Eduardo Rivera, a Minnesotan, a member of the 1.5 generation, and an organic farmer looking to bring fresh produce to his community.



May 1, 2016 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Immigrant Doctor's Role in Bringing the Health Dangers of NFL Football to Light in Film "Concussion"



Last fall, the film Concussion opened in theaters across the United States.  In the event you missed it, you might catch it on cable, Netflix, or otherwise.  An immigrant is at the centerpiece of the story of the film.  This NPR radio story explains.

 The film put the spotlight back on the dangers of football. Will Smith portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu, the immigrant from Nigeria who was the first to publish research on the degenerative brain disease he called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Omalu, a forensic pathologist, noticed something strange in 2002 when performing an autopsy of Mike Webster, a famous former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the years following his retirement, Webster suffered from mental and financial problems. He died at age 50 of a heart attack, Omalu said.

Dr.  Omalu came to Seattle, Washington in 1994 to complete an epidemiology fellowship at the University of Washington. In 1995, he joined Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center for a residency training program. He next trained as a forensic pathologist at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office in Pittsburgh. Omalu holds eight advanced degrees and board certifications, including a Masters in Public Health (MPH) & Epidemiology in 2004 from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.  Omalu is currently chief medical examiner of San Joaquin County, California and is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.


April 29, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 22, 2016

More people are filing to become citizens in the face of anti-immigration politics


Governor Pete Wilson 1994 Ad for Proposition 187

Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times reports on a spike in naturalizations as a harsh national debate over immigration has encouraged immigrants to seek to become U.S. citizens:

"A t a recent fair at the Long Beach Convention Center, more than 3,000 immigrants got free help filling out citizenship applications and practiced casting ballots at mock voting booths. Events like this almost certainly were not what Republicans intended when they blocked President Obama's program to shield millions of immigrants from deportation. But the new nationwide push to help more than 8 million legal permanent residents become citizens — and therefore potential voters — is a direct consequence of Republican resistance to Obama administration immigration policies."  The harsh statements about immigrants by Republican presidential candidates has also fueled the increase in citizenship petitions.

In some respects, the increase in naturalizations today is similar to what occurred in California in 1994 after passage of the anti-immigrant measure known as Proposition 187:  "The passage of Proposition 187, though it ultimately was declared unconstitutional, is widely credited for helping turn California blue. Republicans faced backlash at the ballot box after organizers registered millions of new Latino voters in the years after the initiative passed, and the state has since transformed into one dominated by Democratic politics."


April 22, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Frontline: Children of Syria

Tonight, PBS will air Frontline's Children of Syria. The documentary follows four children "surviving in war-torn Aleppo, and their escape to a new life in Germany."


This film is something of a sequel to Frontline's Children of Aleppo, which profiled the same family "from the siege of their city, to the kidnapping of their father, to the struggle of becoming refugees."


April 19, 2016 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

At the Movies: The Paradise that Wasn't (Refugees in Baltimore)

The Paradise that Wasn't from Wide Angle Youth Media on Vimeo.

Each year, hundreds of young people and their families come to Baltimore as refugees. They are excited to come here and to have access to education and opportunity. But, for many youth refugees, Baltimore turns out to be a difficult place, where their American-born peers tease and bully them for being different. In this short documentary, filmmaker Evodie Ngoy, herself a refugee from the Congo DRC, helps other youth refugees tell their stories in order to challenge the prejudices that refugees face in America.



April 7, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)