Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Border Wall Must Stop

This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to take more than 100 protesting landowners to federal court in an effort to allow government surveyors access onto their land. DHS is preparing to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border but many landowners along the border, especially in Texas, have refused to allow surveyors onto their land. These acts are more than acts of civil disobedience – they are acts of survival. Although many of these landowners despise the fact that a government imposed wall will unjustly separate sister communities along the border, it is possible that most landowners simply do not want the government stripping parts of their land.

Along the South Texas border, many families have been on their land since the 1700s when the Spanish government provided land grants to people living along the Rio Grande. Now, in an effort to “protect” the United States from undocumented immigrants, DHS is attempting to tear away portions of people’s homes to build a wall that stretches from California to Texas.

The arguments used by activists along the border vary as much as the people making the arguments. Immigrant activists argue that a wall isn’t the solution. Property owners argue that the government doesn’t have the right to take their land. The Chamber of Commerce argues that a wall will affect business in border communities. But the argument that has rarely been voiced is the one about the American government’s history of bullying South Texas – a community that most Texans don’t understand, much less politicos in Washington D.C.

Situated at the southernmost tip of the U.S., the Rio Grande Valley is as far South as you can go along the U.S. – Mexico border. Hearing people switch from English to Spanish in any given situation is as common as hearing a Seattleite order a double latte. South Texas is a place rich in culture, where the 4th of July is celebrated by parades with local high school Mariachi groups performing. This one simple celebration illustrates the fact that these communities are separated only by administrative borders.

But this community, rich in dual cultures, also has one of the highest rates of unemployment, with more sub-prime mortgage rates than anywhere else in the country. Another incident of bullying? Perhaps. Or, perhaps this is simply indicative an unyielding economy. But why then are there high incidences of children living in colonias suffering from hepatitis? Running water or electricity seems fundamental, but in these colonias, families make do without. In a life of the haves and the have nots, most South Texans have resigned to the fact that they are forgotten by their government and instead rely on one another. These South Texans know that their only support is within the community and with each other.

But now, with architectural blue prints in hand, the government remembers that the South Texans are there. They are walking onto their lands and into their homes with billions of dollars lining their pockets – but that money is not to help ease a hungry child’s cry, or a sick child’s need for medicine. Instead, this money is earmarked for a border wall in their neighborhoods and backyards. DHS insists on tearing apart these communities despite the many, repeated protests by so many South Texas residents.

Residents feel helpless. The eyesore of a wall separating sister communities seems inevitable unless legal challenges are successful. But most distressing is the unanswered question of what this wall will do to the existing communities on either side of the border. With a wall separating neighbors, it will slowly begin to erode the support systems that have for so long helped the ever-pervasive population of have nots.

Right now, it’s not looking good. The attack on immigrants and communities of immigrants must stop. It’s our border, let’s protect it.


Blogger cindylu said...

It surprises me how little attention this border wall and the negative impact gets in the mainstream media.

Thank you for this!

Glad to see you back!

12:24 AM

Anonymous mari said...

Are you back!?!? Can I call you Counselor, now? ~ A post dated April 2007 and now, boom, back in January 2008 ~ SO glad to see you back on-line! And, I agree: thank you for posting this! ~ mari

6:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen this The Yes We Can Song.

1:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton voted for the Wall!!

Is illegal immigration an issue that is important to you?

Would you like to see the next president of the United States sort this question out once and for all?

Would you like to see a new immigration policy that is fair and just for everyone – citizens, immigrants and undocumented workers?

Let's look at Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's plans closely to figure out which one will do the most for immigrants, Latino's and working Americans.

Their immigration policies are similar in many ways.

They part company in their approaches. These are important differences, because they will profoundly affect American taxpayers and undocumented workers.

Both understand the importance of safeguarding the borders. We all understand that. We live in dangerous times and need to be vigilant. We live in tough times, and taxpayers are stretched to the limit.

Both know the majority of illegal immigrants are not dangerous; they are people who have hopes and dreams for their families. Both would like to see laws introduced to keep documented and undocumented families together.

Both agree that it is essential to work on economic development with Mexico and other neighbours to promote jobs in those countries.

Both are aware of the futility of undocumented workers living in the shadows in fear of governments, in fear of being caught. Both would like to create a legal path to pull non-documented workers out of those shadows with adequate assistance, including the chance to learn English.

Both plan to sanction, in a non-discriminatory way, employers who hire undocumented workers.

Both believe it is important to reaffirm America as a nation of immigrants.

Sounds as if they are right in sync, doesn't it? But let's look at the significant differences in their approaches.

Hillary Clinton looks to big government and politicians to sort out the problems. She stresses strict enforcement of the laws. She sees the government as a watchdog In September 2006, she voted for the Secure Fence Act, authorizing the construction of 700miles (1,100 km) of fencing along the United States-Mexico border.

She favours three-tiered government enforcement that would add greatly to the tax burden of ordinary people.

She blames Latino immigrants for taking jobs away from working African Americans.

She has waivered in her positions; for example, endorsing the idea of drivers' licences for non-documented workers, then flipflopping.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, looks to the government to create the path. His vision transcends race, gender and class -- no "them versus us." He knows what people can accomplish working side by side. His focus is to reduce the immigration bureacracy and ultimately lessen the tax burden.

He plans to increase the number of legal workers allowed into the U.S. to keep pace with economic demand and to discourage illegal immigration.

He does not want to divide the country, blaming one group for the lack of jobs for another group.

He believes in pulling together to create jobs for all groups. He believes drivers' licences are tools along that path.

If you are comfortable with big governments and trust them to spend your tax dollars to watch over you and immigration, then vote for Hillary Clinton.

If you believe common ground cannot be found through politicians, and believe that just a leg up from governments is needed to bring about the individual freedoms necessary to transform immigration, then vote for Barack Obama.

5:33 PM

Anonymous Sylicast said...

Obama es para la frontera!


10:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:29 PM

Anonymous Sylicast (la chusma) said...

Imagine this... Imajinate: Obama leading us to new hope.

Listen to David Archuleta sing "Imagine" here in a way that inspires Obama's hope for a new direction.

Con Obama si se puede!!

5:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting reading before making your final decision.

Yes, We Can't
The author was on MSNBC/Tucker today.

Barack Obama and Me
An abbreviated version is here if you don't want to read the whole article:
Another insight into this article:

Race Man - How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.

Obama and his Problem with Ethics and Judgment

Obama staffer gave warning of NAFTA rhetoric
more info here:

Reading Between the Lines

The Obama Delusion

9:14 PM

Blogger Latina Perdida said...

The wall is not a solution, it's a problem, it is just more money being spent. Money that can be used to better our education system, health system, and so many more problems in this place.

4:29 PM

Anonymous Debt Free Hispanic said...

Tell em eh, also tell em to save cash and not use credit card eh.

5:49 PM

Blogger juanito said...

Thank you for your post and spreading awareness about the shitty situation we will be in if we allow this wall to be built. It is coming down to the line, the project is set to start in early July. There is a lot of activity around the issue down here (the RGV Valley), but we are going to need serious organization, direct action, and media coverage if we are going to stop the construction.

I hope you continue to post. I especially like the cholo word of the day posts. There were a couple words there that I'd heard before but didn't know what they meant.

Andale, carnal,

11:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow you guys are all drones! I am a TEXICAN ancestry is MEXICAN. But I am a AMERICAN! ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL! No matter what they are, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, and fucking green! If a person enters this country in the cover of night or bright of day illegally then its wrong! Whats so hard about that? I personally believe the Military should patrol the borders North, South, and Both Oceans! Also i have no associations to MEXICO. I have been their a couple of times to get drunk! Drones wake up?? LOL

9:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

texican.... shit...

not american...

thannk god not mexican...

border trash...

tatooing the virgin guadalupe wont make you mexican...

earning dollars wont make you american...

you dont speak spanish..

not english but fucking spanglish... jeezzzz

never come back to mexico....

And dont say youre mexican...

it puts us in shame...


11:58 AM

Anonymous Oh, Please said...

Why are you selling the lie that this is about "immigration"? It isn't. It's about illegal immigration. It's not about people with greencards. It's not about people who immigrate legally. It's not about Mexicans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, Somalis, or Malays who respect American law and immigrate legally. It's not about my grandparents who immigrated legally, nor is it about my friends and co-workers who immigrated legally, or who just come here to work for a few years with the appropriate visas.

It's about criminals.

I ask why you're lying, but it's a rhetorical question. We both know why you're lying. Even though you'll lie about that, too.

You're lying because you want to pretend that honest people are racists, and liars like you are nice guys. Well, liars aren't nice guys. I work in the software industry in New England. I've known a lot more foreigners in this country than you have, and of a hell of a lot greater variety of origins. They all obeyed the law, and it's a pain in the ass to do that, because our immigration situation is a slow, overcomplicated mess, thanks to our government being four times the size it needs to be. Still, they obeyed the law. People do. Every day.

If you care about immigration, push to simplify the legal process. Don't push to reward criminals while punishing the law-abiding.

7:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in Fairfax and Prince William counties, the housing collapse and meltdown was primarily a Latino experience.

Begginning in 2004, low income Latinos began purchasing expensive homes in the county. By 2006, Fairfax County set-up a special task force enforce zoning violations. Most of the homes purchased had become boarding homes for dozens of illegal latino immigrants.

By 2007 Fairfax county had expanded zoning enforcement by 2007 to combat widespread overcrowding, trash, building code violations. Many neighborhoods had begun to resemble shanty towns filled with illegal immigrants.

By 2008, the flood of foreclosures began as payments reset on the unaffordable mortgages. By late 2008, 1000's of newly arrived Latino's had their homes foreclosed. Trash, overcrowding, sexual assaults all dropped. The sun began to shine again.

Unfortunately, the massive mortgage fraud conducted by the Latinos began to have a negative affect on home prices, starting the spiraling down we see today.

3:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:15 PM

Anonymous lopez said...

I do not like the idea of a wall between america and Mexico. how will i be able to ever see my family. I Call my Mexican living family on my tracfone every day. Tracfone is the only cell phone company with which you can call internationally for the identical price as any other call. Its very cheap for me to call mexico, and makes me feel as we Mexicans are making some progress.

6:53 AM

Blogger 陽台 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:35 AM

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9:54 AM


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