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The Word is Text - page 9

Immigrant Women and Violence

in The Word is Text by

By Caterin Munguia and Elizabeth Mercado

My mom came to the US at the age of eighteen.

She did not come for the streets of gold or the promise of never ending work. She found herself running towards the US and away from an unstable home.

Luckily, her boyfriend had previously immigrated, and she had somewhere to go.

But what about those women that leave it all behind with no certainty of finding a home or a job once they reach the US? What makes them run so fiercely towards the unknown. Running away from unstable homes is a common theme for many women many are running from unwanted marriages or abusive homes. The US has seemed like safety for many people for many different reasons.

Ruiz, Zong, & Batalova, in their article Immigrant Women in the USstate, “The female share of the immigrant population is higher in the US than it is globally…where about 48 percent of the international migrant stock is female.” We have all heard the saying that the US is the land of the free, but is it really how free can a land be when the people in it are so afraid to get justice because they fear getting thrown out of it.

Most of the immigrant women hold their tongue and do not report the abuse they suffer because they fear being deported. According to Futures Without Violence, “Immigrant women often feel trapped in abusive relationships because of immigration laws.” No women should ever feel helpless in the place for which they believed they would be getting a new start.  Unfortunately their abusers know their fears and exploit them. In order for all people to really experience the American dream their needs to be a way that regardless of your residence status you can get a fair trial.

Being an immigrant does not mean that they stop being people and don’t deserve justice. There needs to be more mention of a safe place were women can turn. According to the Huffington post “38,028,00… [is] the number of women who have experienced physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.”



Latinos and Coding

in The Word is Text by

by Freddy Lopez

Freddy Lopez

In recent months Google has launched what seems to be an exciting project that could benefit African Americans and Latinos. The program is called Code2040, and it’s a program that is seeking to get more African Americans and Latinos into the tech companies or help become entrepreneurs. There aren’t many Latino students that go into the field of computer science and if they do, its rare. Projects like these could be a new beginning for Latinos to become someone important and play a big role in these well-known companies.

Google has begun the code 2040 project in effort to try to make companies like Google, Facebook, and eBay more diverse. Making these corporations more diverse means that the goal of closing the skills and wealth gap in the United States by the year 2040 is more realistic. The project is called code 2040 because they have projected that by those times the United States will have a majority of minorities working as technicians and have more entrepreneurs. The point is to change the ratio of employees at large companies. See mostly white people run corporations like these and the percentage of Latinos that work in these companies is far to low.  In 2014 studies show that 61% percent of Google employees are white, while 3 % of the employees are Latinos. That’s an absurd percentage due to the fact that there are so many Latinos in the United States.

Nowadays there are very few if not close to non-Latinos who have a CEO title or are entrepreneurs. Latinos are 17% of the population in the United States. But there is less then 1% who is labeled as CEO’s. According to Who Rules America in 2008 there were thirteen Latinos that held a CEO position, but that number has dropped since and in 2014 it was reported that there are only 10. Marcelo Claure a Bolivian native is the most recent Latino CEO; he is currently the CEO for Sprint.

So why is it that Latinos have a small percentage of employment in these tech companies? Are Latino students in grade schools not putting much interest in this major? According to college boards in 2013 29,555 students took the advanced placement exam for computer science and only 12% or 2,408 students were Latinos. Not many school districts in the United States offer computer science programs. But the LAUSD is trying to change that by focusing more in computer science from grades k-12. Furthermore the district has added computer science as part of its graduation requirement, all this to eventually help increase the participation by underrepresented students of color. This is a good idea if done, and can and would benefit many Latinos.

Even with all the effort that school districts and tech companies put to try to change the diversity in big corporations, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen.  According to USA TODAY 3% of Latinos are technology workers. But according to College Board in 2012 6% of Latinos graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Companies are constantly being questioned why or how is it possible that there is only half of the Latinos graduates being hired.

Its good that companies are trying to create these kind of programs to help the minorities start somewhere. It would be nice to see a Latino run a big company because we don’t have many of those. But we can also see that even with students majoring and earning degrees in computer science the lack of employment is there. How is it that the percent of graduated students is more then the ones being hired? It’s going to take a while but hopefully in the near future Latinos become successful in this kind of work.


Private Prisons Funded by Corporations 

in The Word is Text by

by Henry Solis

A study completed by Austin, Texas-based Grassroots Leadership group found that there are many prisons which are used by Homeland Security to house undocumented immigrants.

In total there are 10 facilities, 9 of those 10 facilities are private. Two corporations owned 8 of those 9 private facilities. The two corporations are the GEO group and the Corrections Corporation of America CCA. Since 2009 the two corporations that own those facilities had record profit numbers. There combined revenue in 2011 was 3.4 billion, which is more than the GDP of Greenland and the United States Virgin Islands combined.

The GEO Group, one of the two corporations, is the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services. The GEO group’s facilities are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. The GEO group provides the facilities with state-of-the-art designs and technologies, which help aid their clients. Basically the main purpose of the GEO group is to provide prisons with beds for the inmates as well as highly advanced cameras to protect and help the officers with the inmates. Looking at the services provided by the GEO group, they claim to help provide inmates with community reentry services. If this were true then why is there a quota to keep a certain amount of inmates housed at any given time.

These private jails have a daily quota that has to be met. The private prisons have spent millions lobbying congress to keep a population of 34,000 migrants detained at all times. These companies that fund the prisons do not care about the services they “provide” they simply care about the revenue they will make if there is a large number of immigrants being held in the private prisons they fund. The main beneficiaries of this quota and strict policy are the private companies. In the article, Private prison firms spend millions to ensure steady supply of undocumented immigrants they stated “the average cost of detaining a person in a private jail leased by immigration authorities was estimated to be $159 per day, and the average length of detention was 31 days”. Even though this is what they report, there have been growing numbers of detainees who have had longer sentences in the prisons. The article reported that as of late December 2012, there were almost 4,800 people who had spent at least 6 months in custody in the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, department. There were a dozen who had spent between 6 to 8 years, in one case a person was detained for 17.3 years.

Willacy County Detention Facility, TexasAccording to the ACLU report on detention centers, the Willacy County Correctional Center earned the reputation as being one of the most inhumane facilities in the country. The detainees had their civil rights abused: they experienced overcrowded living quarters that were infested by vermin, unsanitary bathrooms, deprivation of natural light, and spoiled and inedible food. A nurse that worked in that facility testified in 2009 about the extreme temperatures, bad nutrition, and bad health care. She stated, “The level of human suffering was just unbelievable”. The reason why the detained immigrants do not receive proper treatment is because they are not expected to return to U.S. communities. The private prisons companies are not required to provide the prisoners with the same vocational training, drug treatment, or other beneficial programs offered to U.S. citizen prisoners.

Clearly the numbers of people detained as well as the time they are serving have been increasing. Private prisons can have a sense of transparency. Meaning that the companies who are funding the prisons do not know what is happening within the prisons. This in fact does not protect the inmates of any wrongdoing or mistreatment by the officers towards the inmates. The number of immigration detainees has grown significantly to 400,000 a year, and 1 in 2 are being held in private prisons. In California alone, 89% of the inmates in private prisons are inmates of color, which is higher than the percentage of colored inmates in public prisons (75%). Immigrants are being targeted and detained for larger periods of time. It is immoral for people to be profiting over the imprisonment of others. Immigrants and people of color have been targeted over the past few years to fill these privately funded prisons.


Moving Beyond the Boundaries and Expectations

in The Word is Text by

 By Faviola Ozaeta 

My name is Faviola, I was born in Los Angeles, and my parents are from Durango, Mexico. Growing up with Mexican parents in the United States was confusing. I grew up in poverty, with an alcoholic father and a hard working mother. My father had rules and those rules were supposed to be followed no matter what. My mother had very little saying in all decisions that were made about our education and about the house. It was hard trying to understand why my father had all the power and my mom had nothing.

My parents brought those traditions from Mexico, the man is always the head of household and the one with the power, while woman stay home to clean, cook and care for the children. I always told my mother that’s not how things are supposed to be.  I asked myself why my mother can’t make any decisions, if she is the one that always worked.

I felt stuck between my Mexican parent’s way or the American way. It was always a dilemma, I never wanted to be like my parents when I grew up. The Mexican way for me was grow up and have children, never work and have no power. The American way was to go school, go to college, get a career and have a good job. I chose to finish high school and started going to college. I am the youngest of three children and the first one to attend college. I started college in LACC and transferred to CSUN.

I was a statistic in LACC. One of the students that would never transferred and would never receive a Bachelors. Yes, I am here, I defeated being a statistic. I do have children, but having kids has never stopped me. I continue to go to CSUN, and I am very proud to have grown up the way I did, because at the end that made me who I am and has taught me many things.future generations to have a better future than with my parents and I had. This will create a path for all my children to walk in and be better than I was.

Being the first generation being born in the United States is a struggle, but I’m very happy to create a road for all my children and future grandchildren all

I’m married with three children at CSUN, many would say that’s impossible! Always dream big and no matter how hard it is to accomplish your dreams don’t stop; it will all be worth it at the end! I will continue to pursue my career and I will not stop until I have my Doctorate.





in The Word is Text by

By Seymour Brewster

Typically, when discussing the Chicano/ Latino racial group The Afro – Latino is normally left out or overlooked despite the facts that we have existed throughout Latin America for centuries soon after the slave trade. The black people who have lived throughout Central America for hundreds of years are still not recognized for being Latino or without having the prefix Afro in front.


Many Afro-Latino resemble typical African American people but speak fluent Spanish and relate to the culture in which they live in. Most Black Latinos in the United States originate from within the Dominican and Puerto Rican populations. Aside from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, large numbers of US black Latinos can also be found in populations originating from Cuba, northern South America, and the Caribbean coast of Central America as well, including the Cuban, Panamanian, and Colombian communities, among others. Black Latinos account for 2.5% of the entire U.S. Latino population.

I am a second-generation Panamanian living in America, and I have noticed how people often misjudge my parents for African Americans. I am proud that as a group, African descendants can trace our heritage because of our skin tone to one of the most remarkable continents but still we are Panamanians and relate to being Latin. Growing up in America, I often was confused with what ethnic group I belong to, because when I am at home I feel Latino waking up my dad blasting salsa music and traditional Panamanian dishes being served but when I go to school I was recognized as African American. I believe individuals like myself that are of dark skin but are Latin descendent are striped of our heritage because of our skin tone unlike the other American born Latinos that resemble the brown skin tone.

I am here to say that I will not let society take away my heritage; I am one of the many black Latinos the make up this world and should not be unnoticed or stripped of my culture that makes me unique.


Immigrants and Professional Licenses in California

in The Word is Text by

by Seymour Brewster

Imagine after going to school, and getting your degree in law or medicine to be denied the opportunity to get your license because of your citizenship status. This is a reality for many hard working Chicano students who have completed vocational or graduate schools and are entering the next step into their career. Recently, the California Senate passed a bill that will no longer enable these individuals in reaching their career goals. Senate bill 1159 (sb1159) requires all 40 licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs to consider applicants regardless of immigration status by 2016. For a lot of individuals this is a breathe of fresh air to know they will also have the opportunity to now attend school due to the recent Dream Act, and now actually be licensed. Students that wish to pursue their dreams in fields such as medicine and dentistry can now enter into their residencies knowing that they will not be denied their license. This country homes a lot of individuals seeking to make a better lives for themselves going into to these careers despite their citizenship status and should not be punished because the delay of their citizenship to the United States. “For there to be something in legislation in California that says immigration status shouldn’t prohibit someone from obtaining a professional license — that’s extremely beneficial, ” said Rojas, a 25-year-old University of California, Berkeley graduate and a student leader in Pre-Health Dreamers. This new senate law is giving people that have came to America for the “ the American dream” the opportunity to really access that promised dream in careers that offer significant pay . California has made a major step into equality for everyone residing in the state and I believe other states across the country will recognize the direction the country needs to be moving towards. Immigrants in this country make up a large population and have contributed a lot to society should be able to access all opportunities for a better life.

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