Sunday, January 31, 2010

GIR

GIR is a satire.

It stands for "Gabe Immigration Reform" and it was spawned from an inside joke that some of us have.

In an arena often full of seriousness and melancholy, it is my contribution. An effort to not only bring a light to the ridiculousness that is the current immigration system, but also an effort to bring smiles to people.

Of course some people can't differentiate between humor and reality so here is the disclaimer (in case you missed the satire part above)

Disclaimer: The GIR Video Series is a satire on the current US immigration system, where one of the only legal pathways for a DREAM Act students would be through marriage. The person in the video is trying to seek marriage for legalization purposes in much the same sincerity as he is trying to win the Nobel peace prize by finding the cure for cancer, then win an academy award, and play in the NBA, in which case, would allow him to legalize under the circumstances of extraordinary talent. The person in this video is not interested in marriage but rather raising awareness at the ridiculousness of the broken immigration system.

Hope it makes y'all smile

GIR Campaign launch dec 25th 2009




GIR January 2010 update

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union has no room for Immigrants

38 seconds is what immigration reform got. The last issue to be touched before ending his speech.

Talk about commitment. about 7000 words in the President's speech and this is the commitment to immigration reform:

"And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system - to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation. "
Translation:
"I'm putting this only to semi satisfy my 'promise' to pro immigrant groups and latinos; in reality i don't really have a time table or the interest in dealing with this yet. But now you can't say i didnt touch immigration reform in my state of the union address"


Is this the same Obama that during the campaign bragged of how he "marched right with" us in Chicago? The same Obama that said that the DREAM Act could be passed immediately? The same Obama who promised immigration reform in 2009, then again promised it in 2010? The same Obama who has an Aunt that is affected by the very same arcane immigration system that he is maintaining at status quo levels?

I remember watching intently during the 2008 democratic debate, where Jorge Ramos touched upon the immigration debate. Then Candidate Obama made it a point to highlight the urgency of the DREAM Act. He said "I do not want two classes of citizens in this country"

I remember this moment:

I'm really starting to believe in this "change" he was talking about.

Prerna, over at Change.org, is right when she says
We should see a Senate bill soon, but whether Congress and the President put all their energy into getting it passed this year is another story for another day. Latinos voted for change when they voted for President Obama. But we should also act like we are hungry for change, rather than sit on our laurels expecting things to fall into place.

For Obama, if this type of failure continues well into 2010, many disgruntled voters will just stay at home come midterm-elections and Democrats will lose more seats due to their unwillingness to pass legislation of great importance to immigrant communities, a growing part of their base.

I sum it up with: what a dissapointment.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Its 1:26 am and im awake

I wonder how we know when the universe aligns?

Is there a cosmic jolt and boom!

did you just feel it shake?

I believe in signs, strategically placed all around us to give is clues.

"yo dood, over here"

And i think i felt my jolt.

well. let the search begin


a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me--

who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was

-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
- EE Cummings.




Tomorrow is another day. Ill figure out then

Friday, January 22, 2010

Furries

Sometimes i'm privy to some weird shit....these guys are called Furries:



I bet these doods can relate to finding some one who understands you online :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Can Brown do for You?

The aftershocks of Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts are being felt in every corner of the United States’ political spectrum. Republicans are once again foaming at the mouth. Democrats, well, they continue to be Democrats, weak, timid and like an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Word is spreading like the plague. Health Care Reform is dead, Finance Regulation Reform is dead, Energy Reform is dead.

Immigration reform is dead.

It’s spreading to immigrants. From frustrated students, undocumented immigrants working everywhere, to even legal immigrant and citizen family members.

“I’m worried”, text from my 21 year old sister after the election results.

“shit”, IM from a Southern California student activist

“We should start thinking about a plan to move”, my 62 year old father on the phone this morning, on how this will affect the immigration time table.

I feel numb. Like I was punched in the gut. How Americans can choose to forget so quickly what the past 8 years under republican rule brought them is beyond me. How they can fail to see that republicans have stood in the way of every single thing that Obama has tried to do is mind boggling. How they can once again be suckered (yes suckered) by the slogan of “change”, only this time by the very group they where trying to “change” from, is surreal.

Brown says the he is his “own man” and reports to no one. Yet he tauted himself as the 41st vote agaist HCR, and when it comes to immigration he embraces the same Draconian “enforcement only” policies that Republicans have promoted for years. Yep, more change.

In 2008 I promised myself that I was going to give myself until the end of 2010 before I threw in the towel and said goodbye to my country. The United States.

I’ll be damned if I am going to go with out a fight.

So Mr. Brown and fellow republicans. Get ready, because I am not giving up.

And when I finally get to vote as a citizen, I will not so easily forget, like they did in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Odd (job) Man

Jobs

Pre Bachelors:

Taco Bell - Dishwasher, Cashier, Cook, Window Cleaner.
Sheet metal shop- Graveyard Shop helper, Reg Schedule Accounting Clerk
McDonalds- Cashier, Janitor, Truck Unloader,
Warehouse #1 - Pallet loader, Warehouse Monkey, Warehouse monkey lead, Dispatcher
Burger King- Cashier


Post Bachelors:

Contract Technical Writer- Wrote manuals, translated white papers, ect
Warehouse #2 - truck unloader, Boxer ( i made boxes)
Foreign Contract manufacturer #1- assistant "engineer", oversaw line employees, translated SOPs,ect.
Foreign Contract manufacturer #2 - Warehouse monkey, laptop repair tech, Customer service, all around fireman




Will work for Papers

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fear Tactics

The following texts were among the many i received Thursday afternoon:

" Wei ay redadas de emigracion"
" Just received news that ICE is doing a sweep in Bay area be careful"
" ICE check points in san jose"

Memories of 2006 came back. Hearing about an immigration raid next door to where i worked. Hiding in the back of the warehouse through my lunch. the fear.

The word was spreading, even while i was at work. Immigration Check points in multiple streets. Immigration checking people's status at bus stops. The streets and the bus stops all where in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. profiling.

It makes me angry.

Angry to feel so impotent to the fact that at any given moment i could be driving down the wrong street, at the wrong time. With a flash of a light, a criminalizing procedure and one question, my whole life, my whole foundation is uprooted.

Angry at the impotence i feel because i want so bad to change this system, where a father is torn from his family because he was taking the bus home from work. Where a mother driving her kid to karate practice is now in a detention center, because she took a wrong turn. Where a student is afraid to drive to class, because there is a check point.

"papers please" = Fuck you. you second class citizen, you're a criminal in our eyes and you will be hunted like one. Who cares if you have a family. Who cares if your son is a US citizen, or your case is pending.

What? you have a degree, well use it in your country. What you pay taxes? go pay them in Mexico. Huh? your wife is a US Citizen, well she will need to go with you.

Sorry.

My father was here in 1978. He told me of how Immigration would stop a man on the street if he looked "illegal". Looked "illegal".

It's 2010. Obama administration. Change. progress. yet the persecution. the fear mongering. the separation of families still occurs.

I want that Change Mr. Obama. Because so far i don't believe in what ever "this" is.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

RIFA Movement Building Traning

Prelude:
Almost nine hours in a car. We left at 1:30 headed to Oakland to pick up Ju, and then once there hit the 880 to the 580 to the 5...oooof. Traffic was intense until we hit the 5 and then it was smooth sailing from there. I took the week somewhere around Modesto and drove us in to beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Arrival time 10pm.

The training was held at the downtown Marriot Hotel (all i had to say was: Sup fancy), our room on the eight floor was sweet. I think i like this. Then I got a text from my buddy Gift "i'm here".

Gift, is one of the very first people that i connected with on DAP, yet he always had this aura of mysteriousness, at some point i even thought he might be undercover ICE. Through out the past year we have connected, since our experience has been very very very similar, same age, worked through school and now this. I had promised to meet him way back in april 2009. Finally it would become a reality.

The training would not start until Saturday at 9am, so I had told Gift i would be free to hangout friday. He and a buddy picked me up at the hotel and we went for a few beers, and some nice conversation. Once again i am amazed at the level of ease with which the transition from digital to analog contact occurs. Not an awkward moment, no weird silences; nothing but laughs and good times. We ended up going on a hunt for Kogi tacos (Korean BBQ taco truck...yes i know...there is a god). Overall the night was awesome, so i extend my biggest gratitude to "jack" for being such a cool dood and driving us around.
Back to the Hotel 3:30am.

Training:

I was not sure what to expect at this training. To be quite honest, i was a bit skeptical about it all. Being a bit burned out from some of the let downs from 2009. Yet i figured it would be great to add to my knowledge base of the movement and to meet and network with some great people.

I saw many familiar faces there, Matias, Kemi, Lizbeth, Erick and Benita (whom i knew only via electronic 1's and 0's). I also met a ton of new people (shout outs include): Cyndi, Jeff, Yohanna, Jose, Julieta, Carlos, Macrina, Ivette, Juan, Ivan,Italia, The Rosa kids, and many many more.

The first part of training was focused on the power of narrative, the power that our stories have to make people connect and join our cause. We broke off into smaller groups and shared our stories, then gave each other feed back. The regrouped in the conference room and a few of us were picked to share our stories. There was a powerful story told by a young lady who's name escapes my mind at the moment; she told of how eve with the barriers she faced she continued to go forward and get multiple degrees only to face the frustration of being unable to use them. I was also called to share my story, and as always i improvised and grabbed from by trunk of bits and pieces. This was the biggest crowd to date for which i have shared my story (120ppl) and it felt so liberating. The support for us was extraordinary.

The next part of the training focused on moving from a story of me to us, and forming strategy and goals. then focusing on specific skill sets that form the team. Overall i was impressed with the level of participation, support and attentiveness at this (my first) training.


I was satisfied to see so many people of so many backgrounds coming together to plan and start the movement to get just and humane immigration reform passed.

We left Sunday night at around 6:30, and even though i arrived at my apartment at 2:30 in the morning, i felt re-energized, motivated and calm

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back From LA


I went to LA for a Movement Building Traning. Which prepares one to be an organizer in one's community. I met a ton of great people and even had tacos with some one i've been trying to meet for ages. More detailed post on this tonight.

Anyways, Im back and Energized

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

lost...will pay

I lost my paper journal at a coffee shop last weekend. damn.

Ive been keeping a journal since 19, when i started working at McDonalds. Ive gone thru one per year. this was journal 8 - year 20.

Some where out there a person is reading my innermost rants, looking at my random sketches and wondering what the hell is wrong with this person jaja.

Anyhow. if you see a ragged old moleskin covered in news paper trimmings, give me a heads up ya?

Theres a reward for the emotional value of the content.

Friday, January 1, 2010