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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.

BREAKING: Obama Will Halt Deportations of DREAMers

BREAKING: Obama Will Halt Deportations of DREAMers

President Obama will stop deporting undocumented youth who are eligible for the federal DREAM Act, the Associated Press reported.

This class of immigrants will also be granted access to work permits, as well, but not citizenship. The order is expected to impact up to 800,000 young people.

The announcement comes after over a year of demands from community including a week of actions during which undocumented youth staged sit-ins in Obama’s campaign offices demanding exactly this kind of action. Despite Obama’s support for the federal DREAM Act, a legalization bill for a select portion of the country’s undocumented youth, in the two years since its failure in Congress Obama has continued to deport those who would be eligible for the bill, activists argued. Activists pressured Obama, as the November election nears, to grant relief to young undocumented immigrants as some measure of proof that Obama’s immigration record would include more than his current distinction of having deported more people in his one term than any other president.

The DREAM Act would allow youth who grew up in the country, commit at least two years to the military or higher education and clear a host of other hurdles to become eligible for citizenship down the line.

Trayvon Martin’s Dad has a Moving Message for Father’s Day

Trayvon Martin's Dad has a Moving Message for Father's Day

Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin hopes no one will have to feel the pain he has endured since his son was gunned down in Florida earlier this year.

“I’ll share a prayer for all the dads across America who share this grief with me,” Tracy Martin says in the video.

Jon Stewart Takes on Rick Scott’s Voter Suppression in Florida [Video]

Jon Stewart Takes on Rick Scott's Voter Suppression in Florida [Video]

Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter Brentin Mock and blogger Aura Bogado cover the challenges presented by new voter ID laws, suppression of voter registration drives, and other attempts to limit electoral power of people of color. Check out their Voting Rights Watch blog.

Check out the ‘Florida’ tag page to get the latest on voter suppression in Florida.

TIME Mag’ New Immigration Cover Story: ‘We Are Americans - Just Not Legally’

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Jose Antonio Vargas is on the cover of the new issue of TIME Magazine.

The terms “undocumented,” “unauthorized” and the the phrase “not legal” are used instead of the “i-word.”

On the cover, photographed by Gian Paul Lozza, Vargas stands before 35 other undocumented immigrants living across the country.

“This Time magazine issue is going to reach a lot of homes and a lot of white people and non-immigrants of all backgrounds that may have a deeper conversation on immigration and immigrants as a result of reading it,” said Mónica Novoa, campaign coordinator of the Drop the I-Word public education campaign.

“We hope people will pay attention to the choice to put the i-word in quotes and to use ‘undocumented’ instead. We applaud Define American, Jose Antonio Vargas and all of the young people involved, and hope this sparks an interest in more people standing up for immigrant rights,” Novoa went on to say.

“As members of a society with supposedly evolved human values we must answer this question: Are we ok with creating an underclass of people and denying a large segment of the population the right to affordable education, life-saving healthcare, fair labor and the right to have in-tact families?”

A Guide to the U.S.’ Worst Restaurants for Workers

A Guide to the U.S.' Worst Restaurants for Workers

The newly released ROC National Diners’ Guide 2012 provides information on the wage, benefits, and promotion practices of the 150 most popular restaurants in the United States. The Guide lists responsible restaurants where you can eat knowing that your server can afford to pay the rent and your cook isn’t working while sick.

With over 10 million workers nationwide, the U.S. restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the country’s economy, even during the current economic crisis, according to Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-U.) The group says despite the industry’s growth, restaurant workers suffer under poverty wages and poor working conditions.

“If you care about sustainability — the capacity to endure — it’s time to expand our definition to include workers. You can’t call food sustainable when it’s produced by people whose capacity to endure is challenged by poverty-level wages,” the New York Times’ (all things food related writer) Mark Bittman wrote in an opinion piece earlier this week.

Not surprisingly, most of the most notable abuses occur at the bigger companies. (There’s a list at the end of this post.)

There’s a few surprises on the good list though: Five Guys Burgers and Fries and In-N-Out Burgers offer their employees paid sick leave and offer all their non-tipped workers more than $9/ an hour.

There’s also a few notable high-end restaurants on the list including Ilan Hall’s The Gorbals in Los Angeles. Hall, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and the pastry program at the school’s Napa Valley campus who has worked for Tom Colicchio at Craft and for Mario Batali at his Spanish tapas place, Casa Mono, both in New York. Most people recognize him as the guy who won the second season of “Top Chef.”

Take a look at the list of worst restaurants for workers’s below and download ROC-U’s report at Rocunited.org/dinersguide.

Police Chief Defends Detaining Teen’s Mother After Neighbor’s Fatal Shot

Police Chief Defends Detaining Teen's Mother After Neighbor's Fatal Shot

A 75-year-old Milwaukee man immediately confessed to fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor when police arrived but the officers still detained the teen’s mother and forced her to sit in the police car for more than an hour rather than let her hold her dying son or join him at the hospital. Officers also searched through the mother’s home looking for stolen firearms (that were never found) and arrested her other son on a year-old truancy violation.

Associated Press has more details: > The actions might have seemed harsh, Milwaukee police Chief Ed Flynn acknowledged Wednesday, but that’s an unfortunate aspect of homicide investigations — the detectives’ top priority is to gather facts, and compassion is only a secondary concern.

Prosecutors say the boy, 13-year-old Darius Simmons, was outside his home May 31 when his 75-year-old neighbor confronted him about stolen firearms. When Simmons protested his innocence, John Henry Spooner shot him in the chest as Simmons’ mother watched, the criminal complaint said.

Flynn said investigators get only one chance to collect evidence and interview witnesses at the scene. That means keeping witnesses apart to prevent them from talking, even family members who are mourning and want to be together, he said.

“None of it makes sense. My sister was treated like she was the suspect,” Simmons’ uncle, Leon Larry told the AP. “And searching the house, it looked like they were trying to give the suspect a reason for what he did, an excuse for what he did. That’s garbage.”

‘Obama Boy’ Has a Crush on the President, R&B Style

'Obama Boy' Has a Crush on the President, R&B Style
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High School Senior Sings His Way Off UMich’s Admission Wait List

High School Senior Sings His Way Off UMich's Admission Wait List

High school senior Lawrence Yong from Los Angeles just sang himself off the admissions waitlist at the University of Michigan.

Last year just 42 of the 14,600 students offered a place on U-M’s wait list last year got in and Yong knew he had to do something to set himself apart. The high school teen covered the Jackson 5’s “I want you back” with his own set of lyrics written specially for the admissions office at U-M.

“In all honesty I only expected it to get maybe 100 or 200 views. Maybe from a couple of my school friends and then some people at church,” Yong told AnnArbor.com. “It was really incredible. I am not entirely sure how it spread so quickly but that’s exactly what happened.”

Yong’s video “Michigan, give me one more chance!” had more than 43,000 views at the time this story was published.

Johnson & Johnson Becomes 19th Company to Withdraw Support From ALEC

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday that it would no longer fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The announcement comes a week after ColorOfChange launched radio ads across the country exposing the connection between Johnson & Johnson and the policy group, which has pushed legislation that hurts black communities such as voter suppression bills and so-called Stand your Ground laws.

“As Americans learn more about ALEC’s extreme agenda, companies understand that their brands suffer through association with a group that has weakened our democracy and made it harder to earn a living wage,” said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “The ColorOfChange community commends Johnson & Johnson for acting in the best interest of consumers and cutting ties with this shadowy organization.”

“The extreme ALEC agenda harms all of us on a daily basis,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation in a statement. “It’s disturbing that so many American companies still have a hand in advancing legislation that suppresses the right to vote, impedes access to health care, weakens public education and jeopardizes public safety. I commend the persistence of the hundreds of thousands of activists who have demanded accountability from corporations supporting the ALEC agenda. Johnson & Johnson’s departure from ALEC is a big victory, and the other corporate funders who have yet to leave ALEC should take note.”

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