by Tania Villegas
On September 16th 2017, the Autry Museum at Griffith Park opened up its new exhibit La Raza. The exhibit features photographs taken by La Raza Newspaper photographers during various events throughout the Chicano Movement.
La Raza Newspaper served as a voice during the Chicano movement with photographers acting not as journalist but as artist capturing moments during the activism.
Walking around, analyzing the photos, it was emotion because looking at these photos is like looking in a mirror and seeing what is currently happening in our country. Protests seem like they’re happening almost every week, from huge protests like the NFL Player protest to the Protests happening on schools.
This January, being apart of the Women’s Marches across the country or seeing the news coverages shows the extent of how far our current administration has done to create this type of activism against them. It’s an emotional time where we have someone as a leader who threatens not only women’s right, but rights of human beings. This exhibit not only shows the history of Chicano roots, but it’s also showing that history can repeat itself and its our duty to continue to fight for our rights when they are threatened.
This exhibit is not just photographs showing the history of the Chicano Movement, as Luis C. Garza, a Photographer for La Raza Magazine during the Chicano Movement, put it, it’s a mission statement.
LA RAZA is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. For more information, visit the Pacific Standard Time website.
This morning, Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration is calling for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – an immigration policy created in 2012 by President Obama that allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two- year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
The loss of these immigrants would hurt the American economy, especially in states like California and Florida because of the high number of DACA participants. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs.”
Many CEO’s of large companies that include Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and various other businesses have fought against the rescinding of DACA. This is not a surprise because the deportation of the individuals protected under DACA would mean that these companies lose thousands of employees. According to MSNBC, 91 percent of immigrants under DACA are employed with social security and pay taxes. While the majority of the students are handling a full time work schedule and are full time students, the majority of their money is being spent to provide for their family. Monica A, a student at Cal State Dominguez Hills pays approximately 30% out of pocket to pay for her tuition and on top of that pays $495 every 2 years to request for her renewal.
At Cal State Northridge, 76% of undocumented students are protected by the DACA program. President Dianne F. Harrison and Chancellor Timothy P. white released statements to the student body and staff, commenting on their disappointment towards the rescinding of this program. The CSUN Dream center was opened in 2016 in order to provide students under the program by providing resources that would be particularly helpful for those in need.
During Obama’s second term as president, it came to his attention that an executive policy was needed to protect those that want to pursue a better life but without the privilege of being born in the United States. Those affected are known as Dreamers due to their residential status and are affected financially and through the pursuit of reaching higher education and their careers. The Obama administration introduced this executive order by passing Congress and created the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA).
What this means to the economy?
Around 800,000 participants fall under this program therefore, this will affect the economy in the long term run by decreasing the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to statistics ran through CNN economists, the economy will be affected by decreasing its GDP value by $280 billion dollars. Not only that, but employers will loose $2 billion dollars within the next two years. The amount of current employees loosing their job is around 700,000. Therefore, this provokes 400 CEO’s including Apple, Facebook, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Snapchat to unite and urge Congress to institute new legislation by signing a letter being sent to the White House.
Mr.Trump issued a statement as followed, “Our enforcement priorities remain unchanged.” He also stated, ” We are focused on criminals, security threats, recent border-crossers, visa overstays, and repeat violators. I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
The Trump Administration’s dececion to rescind DACA brought swift reaction from across the country.
Univision reporter, Jorge Ramos, “ Trump decision on DACA is cruel, cold hearted, and benefits no one. He didn’t even have the courage to announce it himself.”
John Jerry Johnson -it’s sad for dreamers, they are hard working, they go to school, they pay taxes, social security and serve the military.
Scott Burns -okay, send them back to their country they don’t even know the language.
Mark Zuckerberg -it’s particularly wrong to offer young people the American dream, encourage them to come out of shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it .
Lauren , am a dreamer, I am not a criminal, I am Mexican, I am not a rapist.
Former president Barack Obama states we are talking about young adults that grew up he US, attended our schools and may not know anything but this country, may not know any language but English.
Joe Biden tweeted “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America”
According to the Justice Departemnet, as of today:
- No new applications
- If your DACA expires between now and March 5th 2018 you are eligible for renewal, must renew by October 5, 2017
- If your DACA expires after March 5th you are not eligible for renew
- The administration is looking for a legislative solution within the next 6 months
by Lorraine De La Torre
When immigrants come to the United States, they seek to succeed, they want better living conditions, but they do not just want it for themselves but for their families too. They sacrifice leaving everything knowing that they will not be able to return for a long time or ever.
I interviewed a young 23 year old woman named Cindy Jimenez. She is a old first generation Mexican-American daughter of immigrant parents. Like other immigrants stories, Cindy’s immigrant story demonstrate the perils of the current violence in Mexico and our current political predicament.
In 2011, as a senior year in high school, Cindy’s grandmother in Guanajuato, Mexico passed away. Her father had not seen his mother for 13 years, so he made the decision to go back to Guanajuato, Mexico to see his mother one last time. Although his family and friends tried to convince not to go, he bought a one way ticket to Guanajuato.
Once the funeral ended, he spent time seeking a trust-worthy “Coyote.” Time passed so quickly that he ended up missing Cindy’s high school graduation. He found a coyote that he thought would bring him home safe.
Cindy’s father made his way up from Guanajuato to Tijuana where he was going to meet the Coyote. He saw the truck and the Border which was not too far. Once in the truck, it was dark and others were joining Cindy’s father to return “al otro lady.”
However, Cindy’s father sensed something was wrong. He felt the truck take many turns, and they kept on driving and driving. He didn’t think he would be in that truck for too long. Once the truck stopped, he saw that many men were opening the doors of the truck. They were policemen with masks and guns in their hands yelling at everyone to get out. Shortly after, Cindy’s father knew he was being kidnapped.
Cindy’s family received a call demanding that they $8,000 or they would never see their dad again. The family became distraught, scared, and stressed, but Cindy took action. She knew that she needed to do something for her family and so, she did. Instead of attending her first first year of college,she began to work to raise the ransom. She worked 10 hour shifts 7 days out the week. She not only needed to raise money for her dad but she also needed to support her mom, sister and brother and the mortgage. She did this until they were able to raise the $8,000 to bring her father back home. Fortunately, after about 5 months, the family raised the $8,000, and Cindy’s dad returned home safe and sound.
Although she missed her first year in college, she decided to catch up to graduate on time. She attended L.A. Mission College, L.A.Valley College, and East L.A. college for her first year back in school. She took up to 17 units each semester to get caught up. On top of that she also had a full-time job. After two years, she transferred to Cal State L.A. and graduated in the summer of 2016 with high honors. In the Fall of 2017, she will be attending Salus University College of Audiology to earn her Doctor of Audiology.
I asked Cindy how she was able to do all of this, and she answered “I don’t know, I just did it.” Although, this might seem like a plain answer, there’s so much underlying strength, motivation, and will in it. Cindy did it and she’s still doing it. She is the true definition of the American Dream and she’s not letting anything stop her from accomplishing her goals.