El Paso leads on immigration issues

Photo courtesy of César Vargas via Diario de México

Photo courtesy of César Vargas via Diario de México

Great editorial from The El Paso Times:  

Shortly after President Trump’s election in November, the El Paso Times called on El Paso to "lead the loyal opposition."  “El Paso is uniquely poised to be a voice speaking truth to the new power in Washington,” our editorial said. “It is El Paso’s time to lead.”  Read the editorial:

  

Mural across 200 homes aims to lift pride, cut crime

An Example Before the Mural Project Transforms Area. Photo by Oscar J Martinez

An Example Before the Mural Project Transforms Area. Photo by Oscar J Martinez

From the El Paso Times writer Aileen B. Flores:  "The Juárez- El Paso Magico project is adding color to the lives of hundreds of families in Juárez and to the commute of thousands of motorists who travel on Interstate 10 in El Paso.

More than 200 houses on the south side of the Rio Grande will serve as canvas to create one of Mexico’s largest murals just across from the University of Texas at El Paso.

The project is a binational effort to improve the safety and quality of life of a neighborhood that has experienced the violence in Juárez by giving residents a sense of pride and community.  Read More

Great Forum of The Border Wall

About 30 people attended yesterday's fact-filled, stimulating discussion on Pres. Trump's proposed new wall. The Social Justice committee bid farewell to our member, Beatriz Vera. She has been a contributing member who will be greatly missed. Fortunately, we are invited to visit her in her new home in Ajijic on Lake Chapala in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Committee members Francisco Llera, Angeles López Nóriz, Beatriz Vera and Jacque Wehmeyer

Committee members Francisco Llera, Angeles López Nóriz, Beatriz Vera and Jacque Wehmeyer

Concerns about the Wall? Join us this Sunday, 2:30, downtown library

"The Center for Biological Diversity will file the third in what promises to be a string of environmental legal challenges to President Donald Trump's border wall plans," says Brandon Loomis writing in the El Paso Times today. You can participate in a discussion of the issues at a EPSJ forum Sunday, El Paso Public Library, 501 N Oregon. 2:30-4:30, (free parking downtown on Sundays).  See More

Poverty is a State of Mind???

Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

From NPR:  "In rolling out the White House plan, budget director Mick Mulvaney said it was time for those collecting food stamps or unneeded disability insurance to get back to work. Days later, HUD Secretary Ben Carson declared poverty “a state of mind.” But advocates say there’s no mental block among the poor — many of whom already work, but earn too little to get by."  Read More

We love El Paso for its affordability, safety, culture, and overall pace of life

Photo of Hubble Hausman thanks to El Paso Times

Photo of Hubble Hausman thanks to El Paso Times

Hubble Hausman reiterates something that many of us El Pasoans know and need to emphasize often in an opinion piece in the El Paso Times.  "In a short time, we have come to appreciate all that El Paso has to offer.

My kids love their school and have a great group of friends and teachers. My wife and I have found wonderful communities through our children’s school and our church. And we enjoy the fact that El Paso strikes the perfect balance between the amenities of a major city and the pace of life of a smaller community.

We’ve been impressed by the entertainment options, arts offerings, outdoor recreation, and vibrant culture of El Paso – not to mention the opportunities to explore Juárez and southern New Mexico.

But what we like most about El Paso are its people. We’ve found El Pasoans to be kind and welcoming, dedicated to their community, and passionate about helping it continue to improve."  Read More

Official Data Shows Walls Don't Stop Migrants from Crossing the Border

Photo by Oscar J Martinez

Photo by Oscar J Martinez

A Time Magazine article by Emily Barone and Lon Tweeten:  "The wall President Trump pledged to build on the Mexican border is inching closer to becoming reality — even if it may not resemble the one he promised on the campaign trail. While Congress didn't allocate the funding Trump had requested to begin construction on the wall in his proposed federal budget, the plans are still moving forward in other ways. Companies recently submitted design concepts for the wall, which circulated online, and the Department of Homeland Security expects prototypes to be built this summer. To reinforce the Administration's commitment, Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited the border in April to vow an immigration crackdown."  Read More

Arizona Congressman Grijalva blasts Trump's wall.

"President Trump says he cares about people, money and the environment. But if the money belongs to the federal treasury, the people are from diverse cultures, or the environment isn’t near one of his golf clubs, his concern disappears. There is no better example of this brutal indifference than the president’s plan to build a “beautiful” wall along our southern border."  More:

Join Us--The Border Wall: Truths, Fake News, and Wacky Happenings

Photo by Oscar J Martínez

Photo by Oscar J Martínez

NEW DAY, TIME, AND SITE OF FORUM:  Sunday, June 4 at the El Paso Public Library downtown, Maud Sullivan Room, 501 N Oregon.  2:30-4:30 pm.  Free parking downtown on Sundays!

This forum will feature short videos about the proposed border wall, along with commentary from members of the EPSJ team and the audience.  Learn more about important issues pertaining to the wall, hear viewpoints of former Mexican President Vicente Fox, comedian Conan O'Brian, and ordinary Mexicans.  See acrobatic young men scale existing border walls in record time and others go through, over, under, and around barriers.  In short, learn new things, participate in a dialogue about the wall, and enjoy some laughs.

 

Immigration: How an Extreme Anti-immigration Hate Group Operating on the Fringes Became a Mainstream Organization in the Era of Trump.

Photo thanks to immigrationimpact.com

Photo thanks to immigrationimpact.com

Dan Stein was 27 years old when he came to work as the press secretary of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. It was 1982, and the group — better known by its acronym FAIR — was operating out of a run-down townhouse on P Street in Washington, D.C., a “cozy old joint” with rats in the ceiling, Stein once recalled. FAIR counted just 10 members and was essentially a fringe group; back then, its nativist, radically anti-immigration views didn’t align with positions held by mainstream politicians, Republican or Democrat.  More:

The Reality About Illegal Immigration from The New York Times

By VIVIAN YEE, KENAN DAVIS and JUGAL K. PATEL MARCH 6, 2017

"There are 11 million of them, the best estimates say, laboring in American fields, atop half-built towers and in restaurant kitchens, and swelling American classrooms, detention centers and immigration courts.

Carlos, an undocumented immigrant whou lives in Los Angeles, fears he will be deported. He has been living in America since he was 8 years old and owns a business. J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

In the public’s mind, the undocumented — the people living here without permission from the American government — are Hispanic, mostly Mexican and crossed the southwestern border in secret.

In the eyes of their advocates, they are families and workers, taking the jobs nobody else wants, staying out of trouble, here only to earn their way to better, safer lives for themselves and their children.  Read more:

 

 

 

Standing Room Only at Today's Forum

Border Relations in the Era of Trump was of great interet to many.  Some folks stayed on an hour after to continue the discussion with panelists, Drs Francisco Llera, Lucinda Vargas and Tony Payan. Dr Kathy Staudt moderated.

Chicken Farmers Say Proccessors Treat Them Like Slaves

Lindsay Holmwood on Flickr

Lindsay Holmwood on Flickr

Former chicken farmers in five states have filed a federal lawsuit accusing a handful of giant poultry processing companies that dominate the industry of treating farmers who raise the chickens like indentured servants and colluding to fix prices paid to them.

The farmers located in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas allege that the contract grower system created by Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride, Perdue Farms, Koch Foods, and Sanderson Farms pushed them deep into debt to build and maintain chicken barns to meet company demands.

They say the companies colluded to fix farmer compensation at low levels to boost corporate profits, making it difficult for the farmers to survive financially. They are seeking class action status for the suit filed in federal court in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

The scheme keeps farmers in a state of indebted servitude "living like modern-day sharecroppers on the ragged edge of bankruptcy," the lawsuit filed on Jan. 27 says, quoting from the 2014 Christopher Leonard book "The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business."