in this e-mail:
(1) Immigration debate as catalyst for hate crimes
(2) UPDATE: Federal Authorities Open Investigation into Shenandoah Murder
(3) The Ugly Side of the Immigration Debate
(4) * Plan Mexico and the US-Funded Militarization of Mexico *
(5) Report: US Military to Play Intelligence Role During DNC in Denver
(6) Immigration authorities accused of racial20profiling
(7) DFA SHOULD WAIVE BAJA'S DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY -MAZA
(8) Progress Towards Lifing the HIV Ban
(9) Ban on travelers with HIV to U.S. partly lifted
An ugly spinoff
Immigration debate as catalyst for hate crimes
July 31, 2008
The poison of hate has no place in the immigration debate. And yet, unfortunately, it has always found a home there.
It's common for human beings to fear the foreign
or the different, and for fear to be supplanted by hatred. But what is
not natural, and should never be shrugged off, is for people to resort
to violence to show their displeasure with those who have a different
skin color or practice a different religion or speak a different
There is something profoundly unnatural about
what happened July 12 in the 5,000-population town of Shenandoah, Pa.
That is where a 25-year-old illegal immigrant named Luís Ramírez was
beaten by at least six teenagers who hurled racial slurs as they
pounded and kicked him until he had co
nvulsions and foamed at the
mouth. These thugs stomped the father of two so hard that an imprint of
the Jesus medallion he wore around his neck was imbedded on his chest.
Ramírez died a few days later, leaving behind his kids and his American
Trying to do damage control, town officials
initially called it a fight that went too far. But it's obvious that
this was more than that. It looks and smells like a hate crime,
especially since the teens are said to have made a point of telling
Ramírez to “go back to Mexico,” calling him a “dirty Mexican” and
warning other Mexican residents to do likewise or wind up like Ramírez.
Authorities see a racial bias in this case,
which is why they charged 16-year-old Brandon J. Piekarsky and
17-year-old Colin J. Walsh with homicide and 18-year-old Derrick M.
Donchak with aggravated assault. All three are charged with ethnic
intimidation and will be tried as adults.
The case has a familiar ring. In April 2006, a
16-year-old Mexican-American named David Ritcheson was viciously
attacked in Houston by two racist skinheads, David Henry Tuck and
Robert Turner, after he tried to kiss a white girl. According to news
reports, Tuck broke Ritcheson's jaw, knocking him unconscious, while
screaming “white power!” and calling Ritcheson a “spic” and a
“wetback.” Turner joined in the attack, and the two young men burned
Ritcheson with cigarettes, kicked him with steel-toed boots, poured
bleach on him and tried to carve a swastika into his chest. They
finally sodomized him with a patio umbrella pole.
Tuck was sentenced to life in prison. Turner got
90 years. Nearly a year and a half after the attack, Ritcheson
Back in Shenandoah, the local Hispanic community
is outraged about what happened to Luís Ramírez, demanding an
investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. That may be warranted. If
what happened there constitutes a federal hate crime, then it should be
treated as such.
But let's not miss the big picture. It is no
coincidence that this kind of ugliness coincides with an immigration
debate that makes scapegoats out of those who come into the country
These people aren't innocent. But nor are they
the villains in this drama. That title is reserved for those who prey
on the weak and use violence to make their point.
© Copyright 2008 Union-Tribune Publishing Co
Truth in Immigration Newsletter
Below are the new items for this week:
UPDATE: Federal Authorities Open Investigation into Shenandoah Murder
July 31, 2008
Previously, Truth in Immigration
reported on the beating death of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah,
Pennsylvania and MALDEFʼs subsequent involvement. On the same day as a
vigil held for Luis Ramirez, federal authorities opened investigations
into his murder and the possible motivations for the attack. MORE
Ethnic and Gender Disparities Found on Prime-Time Cable News
July 29, 2008
In a recent report, Media Matters
documents the gender and ethnicity of every guest on the ne
primetime shows, and the results, particularly for Latinos, are not
The Ugly Side of the Immigration Debate
July 25, 2008
to ImmigrationProf Blog for flagging this story for us. Increasing
death threats aimed at prominent Latino leaders have come as a
result of the deterioration of the immigration debate. Truth in Immigration is steadfast in its mission to bring the debate back to a rational and hate-free environment. MORE
If you notice or suspect that someone is disseminating false information about immigrants and/or Latinos, please let us know at in
Truth in Immigration
634 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
* Plan Mexico and the US-Funded Militarization of Mexico *
We broadcast a report from Mexico produced by Inside USA (Al Jazeera
English) on the US role in Mexico's growing drug war. And we speak about the
Plan Mexico initiative with Avi Lewis, Laura Carlsen and John Gibler.
Immigration authorities accused of racial profiling
Immigration authorities accused of racial profiling
"On Wednesday, immigrant advocates publicly accused agents from
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol of racial
profiling — detaining only those who look Hispanic." Palm Beach Post,
July 31, 2008.
Feds join probe of Mexican slain in Pa. coal town
"The Justice Department said Wednesday it has opened an investigation
into the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant in a small northeastern
Pennsylvania town. The federal involvement comes less than a week after
local officials in Schuylkill County charged three white teens in this
month's attack in Shenandoah on Luis Ramirez, a 25-year-old father of
two." AP, July 31, 2008.
* Headlines for July 31, 2008 *==================================================================================
Report: US Military to Play Intelligence Role During DNC in Denver
COMING UP ON DEMOCRACY NOW!================================================
Friday, August 1, 2008:
* US military to play intelligence role at DNC in Denver.
31 July 2008
For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119DFA SHOULD WAIVE BAJA'S DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY -MAZA
Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza today urged the Philippine Department of
Foreign Affairs to waive former UN envoy Lauro Baja's diplomatic
immunity to give due course to the trafficking, forced labor and
slavery cases filed by domestic worker Marichu Baoanan in the US courts.
Baja, with his wife Norma and daughter Maria Elizabeth, filed a motion
in the Southe
rn District Court of New York to dismiss Baoanan's
complaint, invoking diplomatic immunity against criminal, civil and
administrative cases under the provisions of the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations and the treaties under the United Nations Charter.
"In the interest of truth and out of delicadeza, the DFA should waive
the Bajas' immunities to ferret out the facts and arguments on the
case. Ambassadors and foreign service officers accused or charged of
trafficking and enslaving Filipina domestic workers should not hide
behind the cloak of blanket and indiscriminate immunity," said Maza.
Maza cited Article 31 of the Vienna Convention, which provides
immunity for diplomatic agents from the receiving State's criminal
jurisdiction except in cases related to actions regarding any
professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent
outside his official functions, among the three provisions on exemptions.
"Even under the international treaty, Baoanan's allegations of
trafficking and slavery against the Bajas fall under a commercial
activity that exploits the poor and vulnerable for personal profit or
gain," Maza said.
The Gabriela solon also noted a Philippine Supreme Court decision in
2000 which cautioned and ruled against the DFA when it granted full
diplomatic immunity to an employee of the Asian Development Bank, an
act which the Court said was a violation of the rights
to due process
both of the accused and the prosecution.
--------------------Ban on travelers with HIV to U.S. partly lifted
--------------------President Bush signs
a measure that repeals the congressional restriction, but the Department of Health and Human Services
still lists the virus among diseases barring entry.
By Vimal Patel
Los Angeles Times Staff
July 31 2008
; President Bush
signed a sweeping measure Wednesday that provides $48 billion to combat AIDS
and other diseases globally and that also ends a long-standing U.S. ban
on foreign visitors and immigrants who are HIV-positive.
The complete article can be viewed at:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-aids31-2008jul31,0,6788256.story
Progress Towards Lifing the HIV Ban
For Immediate Release
Contact: Toy Lim 617-227-9727 ext.
July 31, 2008
Yesterday, President Bush gave the final seal of approval on a
five-year, $48 billion dollar extension of the President's Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United
States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
Reauthorization Act of 2008 is a multi-billion dollar humanitarian
program that funds overseas efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis,
In addition to enhancing U.S. humanitarian leadership abroad, the new
law removes a statutory bar to immigration and travel to the United
States for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The passage of the bill
is a powerful first step towards ending the more than 15 years of
discrimination against HIV positive individuals.
In 1993, Congress defined "communicable disease of public health
significance" to include HIV/AIDS in the immigration statute, thereby
stripping the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of its
authority to determine which medical conditions posed a threat to the
public health. HIV/AIDS was the only medical condition to be
specifically listed in US immigration law as a mandatory ground of
PEPFAR restores authority to HHS to determine whether HIV positive
individuals should be barred from entry to the United States. To truly
eliminate the bar, HHS must remove HIV/AIDS from its definition of
which make individuals ineligible for admission into the
United States. Until HHS modifies its regulations, people living with
HIV/AIDS are still, in effect, barred from the United States.
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild urges
Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt to refuse to
sanction policies that foster inaccurate beliefs regarding
transmission and that perpetuate the stigmatization of people living
with HIV/AIDS, and to take immediate steps to remove infection with
HIV from its list of communicable diseases.
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild is a
national legal support organization with a long-standing commitment to
protecting and defending the rights of noncitizens that face the
greatest barriers to justice. For more than a decade, the National
Immigration Project has been providing legal technical assistance and
support to legal advocates, immigration attorneys, and case managers
working with HIV positive and other noncitizens.
ACLU Obtains Government "Manual" For Prepackaged Guilty Pleas For Prosecution Of Immigrant Workers In Postville, Iowa
"This document provides further evidence of the government's
pressure cooker tactics for mass guilty pleas that assumed guilt
instead of protecting the constitutional presumption of innocence,"
said ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project Director Lucas Guttentag. "Along
with the workers, fairness and due process were the victims of the
Postville prosecutions." July 31, 2008.