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Hate Groups Fuel Backlash Against Child Refugees

The spike in children coming to the US border has been called a “border crisis” by the media. Protests have sprung up around the country in response to this crisis. Some protesters call it “a border surge of illegal immigrants” while the more extreme groups call it “an invasion” and have vowed to do something about it.

The facts: More than 57,000 children fleeing violence and endemic poverty from Central America have been apprehended at the border. They are then taken to detention facilities and shelters across the country, and over 30,000 have been released to relatives, sponsors or parents, mostly in California, Florida, New York and Texas. 

But the communities where the children and families would be held have erupted in a backlash that has mixed communities with anti-immigration activists, hate groups, and in some cases, militias or militia-type groups.

The first incident was in Murrieta, California, on July 1st, after the mayor made it official that Central American undocumented immigrants would be detained in a facility in the community. This video by David Lane of DailySoCal.com shows protesters blocking off the road for three buses carrying undocumented women and children.

Since then, other protests have taken a turn for the extreme, with armed protesters rallying in Michigan, Virginia, Maryland and throughout the East Coast.

There have also been reports of militias actively patrolling the border and militia-type groups mobilizing by the dozens to the border, an initiative the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Patrol has discouraged.

According to Mark Potok, a specialist on hate groups and extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center, three groups are behind the more coordinated efforts: ALIPAC, Overpasses For America, and the social media campaign #MakeThemListen. They called for a national protest on July 18th and 19th, 2014, in 300 cities across the US. According to Potok, the turnout to the rallies was low, with just 40 making it out to a New York City protest in front of the United Nations.

But the language has been virulent, and the protests called to picket locations like the Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., where relief efforts for the children were coordinated, or the Peppersound Campground in Oracle, Az, where  child refugees would potentially be held. The organizers are calling for more protests in early August, in what they call a sustained effort to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants to the country. 

Mark Potok highlighted the role of Fox News in fueling the backlash against efforts to house immigrants. Potok also mentioned the role nativist organizations like the Federation for American Immigration – FAIR, Numbers USA and the Center for Immigration Studies, whose senior policy analyst Stephen Steinlight, said of Obama on his immigration policies: “I would think being hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good for him.”

Potok’s comments echo calls by the Anti Defamation League for civility in debate around the children refugees and migrants. The ADL specifically calls out comments by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who asked who would take the blame if “disease is spread across the country” because “the government spreads the illegal immigrants across the country.” The ADL also reprimanded  Rep. Rich Nugent (R.-FL) for claiming that “a lot of these children…quote un-quote…they’re gang members. They’re gang affiliated.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled ALIPAC and FAIR as hate-groups, a label that William Gheen, ALIPAC’s director, rejected in a letter earlier this year. Gheen also declined to Latino USA’s request for an interview, with the following statement: 

ALIPAC is a peaceful racially inclusive organization and we do not support media or groups designed to divide Americans among racial lines. We reserve our interviews for media designed for Americans of all races and ethnicities only and therefor must decline to interview with NPR Latino USA. We would reject any similar request from any groups or media that were focused on blacks only or whites only or anyone called ‘Caucasian USA’. So we object on our principles opposing racism and we have found that we almost never get a fair report on our positions from employees or companies that owe their incomes to continued or accelerated illegal immigration into America from Latin American nations. Thank you for inquiring.

Fox News has not answered our request for comment. FAIR replied saying Potok’s opinion was not qualified since the Southern Poverty Law Center has no government affiliation.

James Neighbors, from Overpasses for America, did agree to an interview with Maria Hinojosa. We have included the entire interview in the SoundCloud file below the segment.

 

guests

 

Mark Potok mugMark Potok is one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism and serves as the editor-in-chief of the SPLC’s award-winning, quarterly journal, the Intelligence Report, its Hatewatch blog, and its investigative reports. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Mark has appeared on numerous television news programs and is quoted regularly by journalists and scholars in both the United States and abroad. In addition, he has testified before the U.S. Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and in other venues. Before joining the SPLC staff in 1997, Mark spent 20 years as an award-winning journalist at major newspapers, including USA Today, the Dallas Times Herald and The Miami Herald. While at USA Today, he covered the 1993 Waco siege, the rise of militias, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh.

 

IMG_1638James Neighbors was born on July 12, 1967 in Tacoma, Washington (Fort Lewis), traveled early in his life, before settling in the Norman, Oklahoma area in 1977. James came upon the inspiration for Overpasses for America when he was drawn to an article online about a protest calling for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama. With his knowledge of business from past job experience, his understanding of the plight of the working poor (having experienced this himself), Neighbors created the Facebook movement to gather the numbers of patriotic Americans who shared the same hope for a revived nation. 

Cover photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Child Refugees: Underage and Alone In Immigration Court

More than 57,000 children fleeing violence and endemic poverty have come to the United States border in 2014 according to Customs and Border Protection. A majority of them could actually qualify to stay in the country under protected status. But more than half of them will not have the legal help to prove it.

A survey conducted by the United Nations Office for Refugees in the US found that as many as 60 percent of these children could qualify as child refugees or some other form of humanitarian relief that would allow them to stay in the United States.  The other 40 percent are economic refugees fleeing endemic poverty or are seeking family reunification. The United Nations has advocated for an immigration procedure that would allow the children to state their cases.

But under the current system, more than half of the children coming from Central America will not have a lawyer or any form of legal counsel to state their cases in immigration court. This is according to an ongoing study by TRAC, a program at Syracuse University that tracks immigration procedures.

Sarah Gonzalez spoke to Stacy Jones,  an attorney at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, about what it’s like to be underage and alone in immigration court.

 

guests

 

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Stacy Jones is Senior Staff Attorney at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. USCRI’s Immigrant Children’s Legal Program provides pro bono legal assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings before the various immigration courts throughout the United States. Stacy has previously served as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at USCRI and worked in private practice, for other nonprofit organizations, and for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  She is also a contributor to The Migrationist, an international immigration blog.  She received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, after earning a B.A. in Spanish and International Relations from Lehigh University. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Photo of Southwest Key compound in Lakeside, CA, 2005 by SandyHuffaker/GettyImages

This Week’s Music: ¡Escape!

This week’s music includes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s captions: Live Show At The Greene Space

This week, we bring you some creative insights from musicians and performers, live from WNYC’s Greene Space. Soundcheck host John Schaefer joins Maria Hinojosa to interview and hear performances from psychedelic salsa band La Mecánica Popular and Argentinian musician Juana Molina. We also look into diversity in New York theater with members of the Labyrinth Theater Company.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:
Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.
For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

 

The Latino Mental Health Picture

People of all backgrounds can suffer from mental health issues, but some groups fare better than others.

Latinos are considered a high risk group for issues like anxiety, depression, and addiction. They are also less likely to get help. The reasons are both internal and external.

We talk to two experts to get an overview of the state of Latino mental health.

 

guests

 

 

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Manuel Guantez, Psy. D., LCADC

Dr. Manuel Guantez has served as the Chief Executive Officer at Turning Point since June 2001.

Dr. Guantez received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Montclair State University and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship at New York University.

In his very early career, Dr. Guantez worked in residential and outpatient addiction treatment conducting individual, group and family therapies, and coordinating programs for some of the more challenging treatment populations, including adolescents and persons with co-occurring disorders.

Dr. Guantez is an international speaker and consultant working with the United Nations to help other countries achieve the gains in combating addiction that we have seen here in the United States. A former U.S. Marine and Presidential Honor Guard, Dr. Guantez brings a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience to our field. He lives with his wife and two children in New Jersey.

 

 

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Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, LCSW, MS, MPH, PhD

Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos is a professor and director of the doctoral program at the Silver School of Social Work. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has expertise in the role of families in promoting adolescent health, with a special focus on preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies. Additional research interests include parent-adolescent communication, intervention research, HIV prevention, and alcohol and drug use. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has conducted research primarily in urban, resource-poor settings, including the South Bronx, Harlem, and Lower East Side communities of New York City. In addition, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has extended his focus to HIV-prevention among vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is co-director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at the Silver School. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos received his PhD in social welfare from SUNY Albany, and his MSW from New York University. In addition, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos holds a master’s degree in management from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and a master’s degree in public health from the Global Health Leadership NYU MPH Program.

 

Photo by Pascal Maramis via Flickr

Deena and Jay: Living with Depression

Ever since she was a young girl, Deena realized that something wasn’t right – that she never felt happy or comfortable in her own skin. She suffered from depression. But in the South Texas, Mexican-American family she grew up with, there was a stigma around mental illness that prevented her and her family from seeking treatment.

In college, Deena met Jay. They got married, had kids. After each birth, Deena suffered really bad post-partum depression. After she miscarried her third child, things fell apart. Deena’s depression was getting worse. On top of it, her marriage to Jay began to unravel. She decided to try getting on medication.

The doctor prescribed her Lamitrogine (also known as Lamictal), an epilepsy drug with a secondary use of treating manic-depressives. A week later, she developed flu-like symptoms, then irritation in her eyes and throat. She didn’t realize it at first, but these symptoms were the beginnings of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening condition that often happens as the result of an immune reaction to medication.

With Stevens-Johnson, cell death causes the outer layer of the skin to separate from the body and die, including the the epidermis inside your body and internal organs. Deena has to be airlifted to a military hospital, where doctors saved her life by oxygenating her blood outside of her body for almost a month while she was in a medical coma.

Deena survived. But with various medical complications ranging from damaged eyes to a scarred throat, life is full of new challenges that impact her mental health. While she was under, her husband Jay had to make the decision to put her on the machines that saved her life. Deena says that sometimes she wished he had let her die.

Now they have to figure out how to pick up the pieces of their life and marriage, and raise their kids. Nothing about it is easy.

 

Sabiduría: A Special Olympics Athlete’s Passion

The Olympics may be over, but Special Olympics happen all the time–and that’s good news for 16-year-old athlete David Rodriguez, who loves to compete. For this week’s sabiduría, or words of wisdom, we hear from David and his mother Mercedes Maldonado about the joys of winning, and why Lionel Messi is an inspiration.

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David Rodriguez is a 9th Grader from Grand Prairie, Texas. He regularly competes in the Special Olympics Texas in soccer, basketball, track and field and bowling. His favorite soccer player is Lionel Messi.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images. 

 

 

 

Backwash, A Poem About the Male Gaze

For this week’s Fiction Edition we end on a different note: an audio poem adaptation by Chicago-based radio producer Anthony Martinez, voiced by the poem’s author, Cristina Correa. “Backwash” is a tough lesson about the claustrophobic effects of the male gaze.

 

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AnthonyMartinez

Anthony Martinez is a Production Assistant with WBEZ’s Sound Opinions. As an independent producer he’s produced works for Curious City and Life of the Law. In 2012 he was a recipient of The Association of Independent’s in Radio’s New Voice Scholarship.

 

 

 

 

Photo: “Red-Stare-Cases” by Idamon on Flikr 

 

Citizenship and belonging: a conversation with Lulú Martínez

Lulú Martinez is a 2013 “Chicagoan of the Year,” an immigration reform activist, one of the Dream 9, and a student at UIC. Maria Hinojosa and Lulú had an in-depth conversation about citizenship, belonging, courage, activism, and leadership.

 
 
WATCH VIDEO:

Lulú Martínez — Latino USA interview at UIC from The Futuro Media Group on Vimeo.

 
 

WHEN:
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12 pm to 1:30

 
WHERE:
Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center (MC 218)
University of Illinois at Chicago
803 S. Morgan Street

  
 
BIOS:
  
Lulú Martínez is an undocumented queer Chicana from Mexico City and a student at UIC in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at the University of IL at Chicago. She is also a member of the Fearless Undocumented Alliance (FUA). She immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and brother at the age of three and began organizing after one of her peers was put into deportation proceedings. She helped co-found the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL), a Chicago-based undocumented youth-led organization. Lulú spent two years organizing in the Southeast with the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA) and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), from whom she learned to apply a feminist theoretical lens into her work and vision. Her shared identities and experiences continue to encourage her to move towards a path of truth-seeking, deep spiritual and political thought and organizing efforts that recognize multiplicities in the spaces she shares. More recently, she participated in the DREAM 9 action and self-deported to Mexico as a way of overcoming physical and imagined borders to help organize a border action in which several families who had previously been separated by deportation were able to return home to the U.S.. She is currently organizing the third Bring Them Home campaign in which 150 families will turn themselves into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ask for re-entry into the U.S. to be reunited with their families.
  
Maria Hinojosa has a 25-year history as an award-winning journalist including executive producing and anchoring both a radio show and television series: Latino USA, distributed by NPR, and America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, airing this fall on PBS and the WORLD Channels. In 2010, she launched the Futuro Media Group to produce journalism giving voice to a more diverse America.

Hinojosa has reported for PBS, CNN, NPR, Frontline, and CBS Radio and anchored the Emmy Award winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award. She is currently the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Chair of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, and lives with her husband and their son and daughter in New York.

 
 
DIRECTIONS:
Campus Map: The Latino Cultural Center is located east of the Richard Daley Library, adjacent to the central Plaza. Map to LCC
  
Parking: The closest parking facility to the Latino Cultural Center is the Halsted/Taylor Parking Structure located at 760 West Taylor Street. For more information including including rates please see UIC Parking Facilities.
  
By CTA “L” Train: Take the Blue Line toward Forest Park to the UIC Halsted stop. That is right at Harrison & Halsted. Walk to the campus Quad and the Latino Cultural Center is on the Quad Plaza.
  
 

MADE POSSIBLE BY:
This event was hosted by the Futuro Media Group, producer of Latino USA, and the UIC Latino Cultural Center, and supported by the Ford Foundation.
 
  
 

IUD? IDK.

After condoms, the Intrauterine Device or IUD is the most popular form of birth control in the world. So why do so few women know about it or use it in the U.S? This story looks at the controversial history of the device and why, despite its dark history, American women shouldn’t overlook it.

 

uch_012920-1Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. She is Chief of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the Fellowship in Family Planning and heads the Program in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

 

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