Sunday, June 28, 2015
The National Basketball Association draft was last week. As ImmigrationProf blog has highlighted, the NBA has increasingly gone international. The draft reflected thius and Satnam Singh became the first basketball player from India to be drafted by an NBA team. The Dallas Mavericks selected the 7-foot-2-inch, 19-year-old with the 52nd pick in the draft.
Here are the details about Singh. Although Canadian-born Sim Bhullar became the NBA's first player of Indian descent last year, Singh would be the first player actually born on the subcontinent to make the league.
Singh was born in a village in Punjab with just 700 inhabitants. They nicknamed him "Chhotu" -- Punjab for "Little One." There were no basketball courts there -- his dad's wheat farm is 4 miles from the nearest paved road -- so he was sent off to a basketball academy at age 12.
ESPN reports that three of first seven players drafted are international players. The Orlando Magic took Mario Hezonja (Croatia) with the fifth pick after the New York Knicks took Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia) at No. 4. The Denver Nuggets made it three international players when they took Emmanuel Mudiay (Congo) with the seventh selection. The only year there were more international players taken in the top 10 was 2011 (four players). With the 26th pick, the San Antonio Spurs took Nikola Milutinov (Serbia). The Spurs have drafted nine international players in the last 10 years, the most by any team.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Kenley Jansen (born September 30, 1987) is the closer for for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. Jansen was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, which for you non-geography buffs is an island off the coast of Venezuela. Jansen's career MLB statistics are here.
Jansen has had some health issues over the last few years but appears to be fine now. Last night, he earned the save and combined with Clayton Kershaw for a one-hit 2-0 shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jansen relies almost exclusively on a cut fastball in the 92–97 mph range, but it occasionally tops out at 100 mph. His other main pitch is a slider in the low 80s. Jansen has recorded extremely high strikeout rates, garnering 14.6 strikeouts per 9 innings through the 2012 season. This is the second-highest total in history among pitchers who have thrown at least 140 innings.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Professional basketball in the United States has become increasing international in scope, with many more players from nations other than the U.S. playing in the NBA today than a decade ago. Not surprisingly, both teams in the finals have some foreign born players:
1. Matthew Dellavedova, Australia
2. Kyrie Irving, Australia
3. Timofey Mozgov, Russia
4. Tristan Thompson, Canada
5. Anderson Varejao, Brazil
1. Leandro Barbosa, Brazil
2. Andrew Bogut, Australia
3. Festus Ezeli, Nigeria
4. Ognjen Kuzmic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thursday, April 30, 2015
In this article, Sam Batkins describes some of the immigration difficulties faced by several Major League Baseball stars, including Rafael Soriano, Kendrys Morales, Jose Lopez, Jose Constanza, Wirfin Obispo, Dian Toscano, Kendry Flores, Juan Sandoval, and Alex Colome.
From the Bookshelves: Uprooting Community: Japanese Mexicans, World War II, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands by Selfa A. Chew and Shameful Victory: The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Scare, and the Hidden History of Chavez Ravine by John H. M. Laslett
There are two history books that soon will be released that may interest readers of the ImmigrationProf blog.
Joining the U.S.’ war effort in 1942, Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho ordered the dislocation of Japanese Mexican communities and approved the creation of internment camps and zones of confinement. Under this relocation program, a new pro-American nationalism developed in Mexico that scripted Japanese Mexicans as an internal racial enemy. In spite of the broad resistance presented by the communities wherein they were valued members, Japanese Mexicans lost their freedom, property, and lives.
In Uprooting Community, Selfa A. Chew examines the lived experience of Japanese Mexicans in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands during World War II. Studying the collaboration of Latin American nation-states with the U.S. government, Chew illuminates the efforts to detain, deport, and confine Japanese residents and Japanese-descent citizens of Latin American countries during World War II. These narratives challenge the notion that Japanese Mexicans enjoyed the protection of the Mexican government during the war and refute the mistaken idea that Japanese immigrants and their descendants were not subjected to internment in Mexico during this period. Through her research, Chew provides evidence that, despite the principles of racial democracy espoused by the Mexican elite, Japanese Mexicans were in fact victims of racial prejudice bolstered by the political alliances between the United States and Mexico.
The treatment of the ethnic Japanese in Mexico was even harsher than what Japanese immigrants and their children in the United States endured during the war, according to Chew. She argues that the number of persons affected during World War II extended beyond the first-generation Japanese immigrants “handled” by the Mexican government during this period, noting instead that the entire multiethnic social fabric of the borderlands was reconfigured by the absence of Japanese Mexicans.
On May 8, 1959, the evening news shocked Los Angeles residents, who saw LA County sheriffs carrying a Mexican American woman from her home in Chavez Ravine not far from downtown. Immediately afterward, the house was bulldozed to the ground. This violent act was the last step in the forced eviction of 3,500 families from the unique hilltop barrio that in 1962 became the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers that is now known as Dodger Stadium.
John H. M. Laslett offers a new interpretation of the Chavez Ravine tragedy, paying special attention to the early history of the barrio, the reform of Los Angeles's destructive urban renewal policies, and the influence of the evictions on the collective memory of the Mexican American community.
In addition to examining the political decisions made by power brokers at city hall, Shameful Victory argues that the tragedy exerted a much greater influence on the history of the Los Angeles civil rights movement than has hitherto been appreciated. The author also sheds fresh light on how the community grew, on the experience of individual home owners who were evicted from the barrio, and on the influence that the event had on the development of recent Chicano/a popular music, drama, and literature.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Gursimran "Sim" Bhullar is a basketball player for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for New Mexico State. On April 2, 2015, Bhullar, who is 7 feet, 5 inches tall, signed a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings.
Bhullar's parents migrated to Canada, where Sim was born, from the state of Punjab in India. His signing has made quite a media splash.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to pick up Cuban ballplayers. Today, MLB.com confirmed that Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera has agreed to a $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers. One of the most prolific offensive players in Cuba when healthy, Olivera impressed scouts in open showcases and private workouts in the Dominican Republic last month.
Monday, February 23, 2015
The National Immigration Forum ran an ad at the Daytona 500 supporting increased immigration. The ad was slated to run on the Daytona 500 Jumbotron twice an hour, 12 hours a day, including during the race. The ad also will run at the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway later in the year.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Chavez Ravine is the current site of Dodger Stadium, a Major League Baseball stadium in Los Angeles, California where the Los Angeles Dodgers play. Chavez Ravine was named for Julian Chavez, a Los Angeles councilman in the 19th century.
The above film, Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, is a PBS documentary telling the story of how Dodger Stadium came to be. The film shows how this Mexican American community was destroyed by greed, political hypocrisy and good intentions gone awry. During the early 1950s, the city of Los Angeles forcefully evicted the 300 families of Chavez Ravine to make way for a low-income public housing project. The land was cleared and the homes, schools and the church were razed. But instead of building the promised housing, the city sold the land to Brooklyn Dodgers baseball owner Walter O’Malley, who built Dodger Stadium on the site. The residents of Chavez Ravine, who had been promised first pick of the apartments in the proposed housing project, were given no reimbursement for their destroyed property and forced to scramble for housing elsewhere.
Fifty years later, filmmaker Jordan Mechner explores what happened, interviewing many of the former residents of Chavez Ravine as well as some of the officials who oversaw the destruction of the community. Narrated by Cheech Marin and scored by Ry Cooder and Lalo Guerrero, CHAVEZ RAVINE combines contemporary interviews with archival footage and Normark’s haunting black-and-white photographs to reclaim and celebrate a beloved community of the past.
Hat tip to Ernesto Hernandez.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Some people only watch the Super Bowl for the halftime show (viewers seemed to love or hate the Katy Perry robotic, shark-infested, post-modern extravaganza) and the glitzy new commercials. (I must say that I could not tell what most of the commercials were selling.). The Coca Cola commercial raised the ire of none other than Glenn Beck, who saw the commercial as divisive and promoting immigration. While I may have missed something, the ad seemed to me to promote tolerance and inclusiveness.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Super Sunday? Super Bowl Helps Arizona Adopt More Friendly Image, But Immigrants Say They Are Still Targeted
It is finally game day and the Super Bowl will be played in a matter of hours. And it will be played on a warm winter day in Arizona, which has seen a fair amount of ferment over the years on the issue of immigration. The state's S.B. 1070, a tough immigration enforcement measure, made the national news and was struck down in large part by the Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States.
The International Business Tribune reports that, with the Super Bowl in town, new Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey met with more than 70 CEOs this week hoping to lure new investors to a state that has struggled financially for years because of a global boycott triggered by tough immigration policies. Ducey took office in January succeeding Jan Brewer, who was for many the face of Arizona's anti-immigrant movement.
In contrast, community activists opposed to the state's many anti-immigrant measures, however, said life in Arizona remains difficult for Latinos, who are often targeted by conservative lawmakers and law enforcement officials. Tensions between conservative white residents and Hispanic voters is being whitewashed during the Super Bowl to impress visitors and potential investors, the activists said. "By hosting the Super Bowl here, people think everything is fine now and everything is beautiful, but the reality is Arizona is one of the most anti-immigrant states in the union and that hasn’t changed," said Salvador Reza, who was born in Mexico but has lived in Arizona for 22 years. "We still feel it every day."
Jude Joffe-Block reports the latest on Maricopa County Sheriff (Arizona) Joe Arpaio's legal saga in Melendres v. Arpaio, a case in which a federal district court in 2013 found that Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MSCO) had engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against Latinos in its law enforcement activities.
District Judge Murray Snow is expected to soon order a hearing to decide whether Sheriff Arpaio should be held in contempt for violating court orders. Lawyers for the sheriff are asking to settle the charges.
In finding that the MSCO had violated the rights of Latinos in Maricopa County, the court ordered sweeping changes at the department, and appointed a monitor to oversee compliance. In recent months Judge Snow has expressed concern that the sheriff's office has seemingly violated several court orders and, earlier this month, he tentatively set aside four days in April to hold a possible civil hearing to find out if Arpaio and his commanders should be found in contempt of court.
On Friday, lawyers for the sheriff asked Judge Snow for a settlement meeting. The motion for a settlement conference was filed on the same day that Arpaio sent an e-mail to supporters announcing his plans to run for re-election in 2016, which would be the seventh term for the 82 year old sheriff.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often featured on this blog for his immigration shenanigans, is featured in an electronic billboard overlooking Times Square in New York City welcoming Super Bowl visitors to Arizona.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Former Immigrant of the Day Bermane Stiverne lost the World Boxing Council Heavyweight championship last night in a decision to Deontay Wilder. Stiverne was the first heavyweight champiuon born in Haiti and now fights out of Las Vegas. He is in the process of becoming a naturlized U.S. citizen.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Roger Moute a Bidias, a native of Cameroon, began playing organized basketball in 2009 in his homeland before coming to the United States in 2010. He currently plays for the Cal Bears men's basketball team.
Roger is the younger brother of former Division I standouts Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (UCLA) and Emmanuel Bidias a Moute (UCSB and Texas State-San Marcos). Luc helped UCLA to three straight Final Four appearances.
When Roger Moute a Bidias was younger, he had designs of leaving his homeland to play his chosen sport at an elite level. Growing up in the soccer-is-a-way-of-life culture in Cameroon, Moute a Bidias immersed himself in the sport. But as he became taller, he told himself he should at least give basketball a try. He moved to the United States for high school and excelled, ultimately earning a scholarship to play at Cal.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Alcides Escobar is a professional baseball player and starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals. Last night, in the Royals' blowout of the San Francisco Giants to force a Game 7 World Series game, Escobar was 2-5, with a run and RBI.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were tragically killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder and top prospect was set to compete for a starting job in the St. Louis Cardinals outfield in 2015.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Taveras (born June 19, 1992) played as a rookie in the 2014 National League Championship Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit a game-tying pinch-hit home run, helping to propel the Cardinals to a victory over the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Taveres was one of the highest-rated prospects in all of Minor League Baseball. He was the recipient of many awards and won batting titles in three minor leagues, including in the Midwest League with a .386 batting average in 2011. Through 2013, Taveras' career minor league batting average was .320 with 45 home runs and 275 runs batted in in 374 games.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Gregor Blanco is the center fielder and leadoff hitter for the San Francisco Giants and played in the team's Game 3 of the World Series last night. He also has played with the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals. Blanco signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants in November 2011, and was selected to be part of the Giants' 2012 Opening Day roster as an outfielder.
The San Francisco Giants won the third game of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-4 walk-off win in 10 innings. With a runner on base, Blanco squared up to sacrifice bunt. He bunted and the pitcher threw the ball into right field allowing the runner to score.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Steve Nash,is a professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful high-school basketball career in British Columbia, he earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University. In his four seasons with the Broncos, the team made three NCAA Tournament appearances, and Nash was twice named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year.
Nash graduated from Santa Clara as the team's all-time leader in assists and was taken as the 15th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998. By his third season with the Mavericks, Nash was voted to his first NBA All-Star Game and had earned his first All-NBA selection. Nash led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals the following season. After the 2003-04 season, Nash returned as a free agent to the Phoenix Suns.
In the 2004-05 season, Nash led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals and was named the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was named MVP again in the 2005-06 season. Named by ESPN in 2006 as the ninth greatest point guard of all time, Nash has led the league in assists and free-throw percentage at various points in his career. He is also ranked as one of the top players in NBA league history in three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, total assists, and assists per game.
In July 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Nash.les was the best fit for him and his family. Nash has been hobbled by injuries for the last two years. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Nash will be out for the entire 2014-15 season. Nash will miss the entire season because of a back injury, putting his future in the NBA in doubt.
In 2006, Nash was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He also received the Order of Canada in 2007 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Victoria in 2008. Nash is a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC professional soccer team.
Nash was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to a Welsh mother and an English father. He holds British as well as Canadian citizenship. Nash's family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, when he was 18 months old, before settling in Victoria, British Columbia.
Thursday, October 23, 2014