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New Beautiful Short Film Highlights Three DREAMers

New Beautiful Short Film Highlights Three DREAMers

Video description:

A compassionate look at undocumented youth in the United States. Through a series of interviews with undocumented kids, activists, policymakers, non-profit leaders, educators and members of the clergy “Illegal” seeks to raise the consciousness level of the American public regarding the importance of full immigration reform. Though an important step was taken with the president’s order to halt the deportations of some young undocumented residents, we must remember that his executive order could change as early as January under a new administration. Our work is far from over.

“Illegal” is an independent documentary film financed by Houston philanthropist Curry Glassell.

Apple Stores in Georgia Won’t Sell iPads to People Speaking Farsi

Apple Stores in Georgia Won't Sell iPads to People Speaking Farsi

WSB-TV in Alpharetta, Georgia has interviews with two people who were denied iPads and iPhones at two different Apple Stores after employees learned they were from Iran.

Sahar Sabet, 19 and a U.S. citizen, says it all started when an employee asked her what language she was speaking with her uncle.

“When we said ‘Farsi, I’m from Iran,’ he said, ‘I just can’t sell this to you. Our countries have bad relations,’” Sabet said.

“I would say if you’re trying to buy an iPhone, don’t tell them anything about Iran. That would be your best bet,” Zack Jafarzadeh, who had a similar experience at a nearby Apple Store told WSB-TV.

On Tuesday, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Apple to change its policy after learning about WSB-TV’s report.

“Apple must revise its policies to ensure that customers do not face discriminatory treatment based on their religion, ethnicity or national origin,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “If the actions of these Apple employees reflected company policy, that policy must be changed and all employees retrained.”

Somehow Kelly Ripa Managed to Make a Deportation Joke While the First Lady Double Dutched

First Lady Michelle Obama went on Live! With Kelly Monday morning and she double Dutched in wide-legged pants!

(And yes, at 3:30 minute mark you hear Kelly Ripa threatening those poor kids with deportation.)

Spanish Talk Shows Biggest Name Cristina Saralegui Endorses Barack Obama

Spanish Talk Shows Biggest Name Cristina Saralegui Endorses Barack Obama

Jorge Ramos may want nothing to do with him but Spanish-language daytime talk shows’ biggest name announced her support for the re-election of President Barack Obama.

This is the first time that Cristina Saralegui has endorsed a President or actively participated in a presidential campaign.

Saralegui’s “El Show de Cristina” premiered on Univision in 1989 and had high ratings for years until it was canceled in 2009 due to low viewership. Her endorsement is still huge though because she’s Cuban and her devoted audience skews older—two groups that have historically voted Republican.

President Obama holds a 34-point lead over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among registered Latino voters, according to a March NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll of Latino respondents.

Southern Baptists Poised to Elect First Black President

The Southern Baptist Convention is expected to elect its first black president at its annual meeting on Tuesday.

Associated Press has more on today’s historic vote:

The nation’s largest Protestant denomination is set to take its biggest step yet toward resolving its troubled racial past.

On Tuesday, the Southern Baptist Convention is expected to vote on whether to elect an African-American pastor as its president for the first time in the denomination’s 167-year history. The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. is so far running unopposed.

Seventeen years earlier, Luter was one of the authors of an SBC resolution that apologized to African-Americans for its past support of racism and resolved to strive for racial reconciliation.

The presidential election is not expected to start until 2:50 p.m. Central time on Tuesday.

Amazon.com on Pace to be Bigger Than Walmart by Decade’s End

Amazon.com on Pace to be Bigger Than Walmart by Decade's End

Amazon.com is already the world’s largest online retailer and if they continue growing at the current pace they’ll be bigger than Walmart by the end of the decade.

And by the looks of it they are no better than Walmart in terms of worker conditions. Check out this excerpt from a September 2011 Morning Call investigation in an Amazon.com warehouse:

The 34-year-old Allentown resident, who has worked in warehouses for more than 10 years, said he quit in July because he was frustrated with the heat and demands that he work mandatory overtime. Working conditions at the warehouse got worse earlier this year, especially during summer heat waves when heat in the warehouse soared above 100 degrees, he said.

He got light-headed, he said, and his legs cramped, symptoms he never experienced in previous warehouse jobs. One hot day, Goris said, he saw a co-worker pass out at the water fountain. On other hot days, he saw paramedics bring people out of the warehouse in wheelchairs and on stretchers.

“I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one,” Goris said. “They can do that because there aren’t any jobs in the area.”

The issues run past their labor practices also. 

Last year they went after small-business owners with a promotion offering discounts to customers who bought books they scanned while they were standing in a brick-and-mortar store. They’ve also played expensive politics to avoid paying taxes across the country.

Below, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance illustrates just how Amazon.com got to where they are today.

Biggest Wave of Immigrants is Now Asian

Biggest Wave of Immigrants is Now Asian

Asians recently passed Latinos as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States.

“Asians have become the largest stream of new immigrants to the U.S. — and, thus, the latest leading actors in this great American drama” of immigration, Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, wrote in the report.

The report calls the educational credentials of Asian immigrants “striking.” More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals.

Recent Asian immigrants are also about three times as likely as recent immigrants from other parts of the world to receive their green cards—or permanent resident status—on the basis of employer rather than family sponsorship (though family reunification remains the most common legal gateway to the U.S. for Asian immigrants, as it is for all immigrants).

It’s important to note the basic demographics of these groups are different on many measures. For example, Indian Americans lead all other groups by a significant margin in their levels of income and education. Seven-in-ten Indian-American adults ages 25 and older have a college degree, compared with about half of Americans of Korean, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese ancestry, and about a quarter of Vietnamese Americans.

On the other side of the socio-economic ledger, Americans with Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and “other U.S. Asian” origins have a higher poverty rate than does the U.S. general public, while those with Indian, Japanese and Filipino origins have lower rates.

Immigration scholars have attributed the decrease in Latino immigration to a variety of factors including increased deportation and border enforcement and the economic downturn in the U.S.

Adidas Pulls Shoe in Response to Slavery Controversy

Adidas Pulls Shoe in Response to Slavery Controversy

He may not be a household name but Jeremy Scott’s designs have been worn by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna and Kanye West. His name may become more familiar by the end of this week though… but for all the wrong reasons.

On Monday night, Adidas announced they have canceled plans for a sneaker with a shackle-like ankle designed by Scott that some critics said resembled a symbol of slavery.

The sneaker “is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery,” Adidas said in a statement. “Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”

The Roundhouse Mid was inspired by a furry toy called My Pet Monster. “My work has always been inspired by cartoons, toys & my childhood,” Scott said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Arkansas Tea Party Rally Kicked Off With Racist Icebreaker Joke

Arkansas Tea Party Rally Kicked Off With Racist Icebreaker Joke

An Arkansas Tea Party member got a really warm welcome after she started her speech with an inappropriate joke that made fun of black people.

The Baxter Bulletin transcribed the joke:

“A black kid asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’

“‘Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’

“‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’

“‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”

NYT Report: 300,000 U.S. Citizen Children Follow Parents to Mexico

NYT Report: 300,000 U.S. Citizen Children Follow Parents to Mexico

In just five years between 2005 and 2010, about 300,000 U.S. citizen children moved from their homes in the United States to follow their parents who were deported to Mexico or returned on their own volition. The children form what the New York Times described in a story today as “an entire generation of children who blur the line between Mexican and American.”

MSNBC: Rinku Sen on Immigrants and the Economy

MSNBC: Rinku Sen on Immigrants and the Economy

Last week President Obama issued an executive order to grant work permits and end deportations of young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act, offering a two-year reprieve to people under the age of 31, who were under the age of 16 when they first came to the United States. Colorlines.com Publisher Rinku Sen appeared on MSNBC Melissa Harris Perry show to discuss immigration, the economy, and how closely US policy matches up with our values.


Joe Arpaio’s Office Arrests 6-Year-Old Undocumented Girl

Joe Arpaio's Office Arrests 6-Year-Old Undocumented Girl

On the same day that President Obama announced relief for some of the country’s undocumented youth, Arizona Sherrif Joe Arpaio’s office detained a 6-year-old undocumented girl.

Here’s more from the Arizona Republic:

The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

“She’s been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she’s from. She told us she’s from El Salvador. That’s what she told us,” he said.

Last week, Arpaio told reporters that his office still plans to arrest undocumented immigrants with the same fervor that has made him a national face of immigration detention.

“I think people from Mexico are now going to feel, ‘Hey come on in and we’ll get by with it.’ But it won’t happen in this county. They will still be arrested,” Arpaio told reporters.

TAGS: joe arpaio

Workers Allege Forced Labor at Walmart, Plan March in NYC

Workers Allege Forced Labor at Walmart, Plan March in NYC

Mexican guestworkers who exposed forced labor on Walmart’s Louisiana supply chain will march on the New York City offices of Walmart board members on Tuesday. They will be joined by community and labor allies.

According to a press release from the National Guestworker Alliance:

The workers went on strike from Walmart supplier C.J.’s Seafood on June 4, reporting to the federal Department of Labor (DOL) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that they had been subjected to forced labor, shifts of up to 24 hours with no overtime pay, constant surveillance, and threats of violence against themselves and their families in retaliation for seeking basic labor and civil rights.

Within days, Walmart attempted a cover-up, sending company representatives to meet with the supplier while refusing all contact with the whistleblowers. A Walmart representative attempted to mislead a reporter about the status and findings of three federal investigations. Probes by the DOL Wage and Hour division, OSHA, and EEOC are ongoing.

The workers also plan to deliver a Change.org petition with over 5,000 signatures demanding that Walmart be held accountable for its labor practices.

Gov. Jan Brewer Issues Executive Order Ahead of SB 1070 Decision

Gov. Jan Brewer Issues Executive Order Ahead of SB 1070 Decision

While the country awaits the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070, Gov. Brewer isn’t wasting any time in implementing the draconian immigration law. The Arizona governor recently issued an executive order to prepare police officers in that state for SB 1070’s implementation.

According to the Associated Press Brewer issued a two-page executive order telling the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to redistribute a training DVD for SB 1070.

Colorlines.com reporter Seth Freed Wessler notes that Brewer’s preemptive moves may actually reinforce some of the most troubling aspects of the law. Wessler said the following:

Oprah Defends Kardashian Interview on Struggling OWN Network

Oprah Defends Kardashian Interview on Struggling OWN Network

Oprah’s OWN network aired an interview with the Kardashian family on Sunday. In it, the reality TV stars talked about everything from the infamous sex tape that catapulted Kim into the spotlight to the controversial role of mother Kris Jenner, who’s been criticized for pushing all six of her kids into the media spotlight.

Oprah’s taken her own amount of criticism for interviewing the family in the first place.

5th Grader to Give Previously Banned Speech on Marriage Equality

5th Grader to Give Previously Banned Speech on Marriage Equality

New York City elementary school student Kameron Slade is scheduled to give a speech on marriage equality today. The speech will be given as part of a special assembly of fifth graders that was scheduled after news broke last week that Slade’s school principal had banned the speech for being “inappropriate” for the school-wide competition. The boy calls for tolerance and acceptance.

Here’s more from NY1:

Rodney King’s Autopsy Planned for Today

Rodney King's Autopsy Planned for Today

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine what caused Rodney King’s death. The 47-year-old was found dead at his home’s swimming pool in Southern California early Sunday morning.

Twenty years ago King became the brutalized symbol of police brutality after his beating by four LAPD officers was caught on tape. The acquittal of those officers later led to the 1992 L.A. uprisings, which left over 50 people dead, thousands injured, and billions of dollars in property damage. In the middle of the carnage King pleaded for peace, asking, “Can we all get along?”

TAGS: Rodney King

Obama: Halting DREAMers’ Deportations the ‘Right Thing to Do’

Obama: Halting DREAMers' Deportations the 'Right Thing to Do'

Protecting the select portion of undocumented immigrants who would qualify for the DREAM Act from deportation is in the best interest of the nation, President Obama said this afternoon from the Rose Garden of the White House. This morning the Obama administration announced that it would grant DREAM Act-eligible youth a two-year reprieve from deportation, along with the potential for work authorization.

“Put yourselves in their shoes,” Obama said, listing the hardships and everyday survival mechanisms of undocumented immigrant youth who were raised in the country and are “Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” yet continue to face deportation.

“It makes no sense to expel talented young people who for all intents and purposes are Americans,” Obama said. Obama said the initiative was borne out of inaction from Congress, which narrowly failed to pass the DREAM Act in December of 2010. Yet Obama called out Republicans in particular, who have shown no meaningful interest in taking up any legalization measure, and instead recommend only harsher enforcement to deal with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The DREAM Act would allow a select portion of undocumented youth who commit at least two years to the military or college and clear a host of hurdles to become eligible for citizenship.

Today’s move will not provide young people a path to citizenship, Obama emphasized. “It’s not a permanent fix. This is a stop gap measure.” The only real, long-term solution remains policy overhaul from Congress, the president said.

Obama said the initiative was also the result of efforts to improve immigration enforcement to focus on “criminals who endanger our communities rather than students earning their education.” Still, in the last year that the Obama administration has supposedly been enforcing prosecutorial discretion guidelines that should have left DREAMers out of the deportation queue, many would-be DREAMers have received deportation notices, and been deported.

Watch the Season 2 Premiere of ‘Awkward Black Girl’

Watch the Season 2 Premiere of 'Awkward Black Girl'

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is back with a new season. The popular web series premiered “The Sleepover” on Thursday night. Watch it and enjoy!

Occupy Atlanta Activist Fights Eviction From Family’s Longtime Home

Occupy Atlanta Activist Fights Eviction From Family's Longtime Home

Carmen Pittman is a 22-year-old black woman who’s played an important role in Occupy Atlanta. She’s been fighting to save the home that’s been in her family for generations. In 2011, the home was sold at auction after Carmen’s grandmother became bed-ridden with pancreatic cancer and was unable to pay a mortgage that resulted from a sub-prime loan. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution noted this week that Georgia is the “epicenter of the foreclosure crisis.”

Carmen documented her family’s struggle in a moving video that’s after the jump.

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