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Campaign for an American DREAM



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February 2012

Issue No. Four

A Specter of War How the military has played a major role in the history of immigrant’s lives and how they lay the groundwork for the paradigm through which to view the armed forces

In January, 2012, Rep. David Rivera introduced the ARMS Act to the U.S. Congress


For many immigrants who land on our

shores, they bring with them more memories than they do money. Those memories are recounted as inherited folklore and stories of family lineage. I first became an audience member of these family cinematic tales some years ago when my parents would describe in colorfully vivid colloquial Spanish how El Santa Padre Toribio Romo from Jalisco, México was assassinated by government troops many decades ago and how he had now become a patron saint of immigrants. They spoke about how the soldiers would storm Masses on Sunday and arrest the priest at the altar, they spoke about how you could walk by the train tracks and see lynched deacons dangling to the sway of the wind, a harbinger of death to come. These seemed like wild and unfathomable stories that couldn’t possibly be true and so I sat there in utter amazement simply listening. Continue on page 3

Table of Contents I. A Specter of War by O. Enrique II. On Health and Wealth-being: Beyond Access to Care by Daniel S. Madrigal III. Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to San Francisco by Minhaz Khan IV. Why We Must Stand United for the DREAM by Rob Church V. Meet the Walkers

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On Health and Well-being: Beyond Access to Care by Daniel S. Madrigal has worked out a plan with Mr. Navarro to provide the surgery. Mr.Navarro’s situation represents a paradox that many immigrants face: appropriate for the hard jobs that spur the economy, but not so valued as to receive the equal benefits of society.

Jesús Navarro needed a kidney transplant. He had a donor. He had the health insurance needed to cover the procedure. But, he didn’t have papers. That last detail lead doctors at UCSF Hospital to reject his transplant for failing to acquire “financial clearance.” He had recently been dismissed from his job and his former health insurance plan would not cover the post-transplant drugs that run $20,000 a year. Mr.Navarro’s journey illustrates the many ways US immigration and social policies are harmful to the health of immigrants. In addition to detentions and deportations, undocumented immigrants have to contend with a health insurance system that selectively choose who to cover based on employment and immigration status. Mr. Navarro, 35, had worked at the Pacific Steel Foundry for 14 years. A job that provided him with health insurance. In 2012, a “silent raid”, an audit by ICE, revealed that he and 200 colleagues lacked work authorization. They were all fired. Without a job and health insurance, he would not be able to receive the life saving procedure. Fortunately, Mr. Navarro’s story went viral, and over 140,000 people agreed that immigration status should not be a reason to deny a kidney transplant. The latest updates report that UCSF

The denial of health care access is perhaps the most obvious example of the harm that can be caused to the Jesus Navarro with his daughter in Berkeley health of immigrants. However, it is just one strand in a web of policies that diminish the well-being of immigrants. ICE raids, E-verify, S-COMM, HB56, SB1070, and now “Self-Deportation” collectively serve to dis-empower immigrant by creating fertile conditions for discrimination, stress and denial of resources. However, these injustices will not pass quietly, workers of the Pacific Steel Foundry who were dismissed after the ICE audit recently organized “Marcha Por La Dignidad.” Efforts like these and the Campaign for the American Dream are necessary responses to dismantle the web of policies that harm immigrant communities.

UCSF has about 5,000 patients on the waiting list, and the hospital is able to transplant fewer than 350 a year.

For more info on the intersection of immigration and health, visit

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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A Specter of War O. Enrique Continued from page 1 My first year of college I sat in a desk all ears to my professor and reading my history textbooks on América Latina. They all said and read the same thing. My parents had carried with them these scarring stories across the Rio Bravo of the Cristero Rebellion which pinned the Calles Administration against Catholicism in a fight for religious freedom in 1920s México. These types of stories of war have left an indelible mark on our family, on many of the families in México, and on many more families across Latin America. These were stories of how war had ravaged people and their communities; these were stories that feared the government troops raiding their pueblo and taking the young women with them; these were stories that reenacted the horrors of civil war; these were stories told and retold and saved and savored until the mouth was filled with sap from the bellicose Manchineel tree. So, for many who know these stories, they represent a basis for complete distrust and suspicion of the military.

How do we reconcile these stories with the military component of the DREAM Act, and presently, with the ARMS Act? I don’t know that we can. What we can’t afford to do is simply dismiss these stories as hogwash and folklore of the past. History of this tragic pedigree is meant to be understood, not re-lived. We must understand how the Dirty War in Argentina, which took place during the lives of our parents, can jade a person’s perspective to state sponsored violence by the state’s military in which thousands over night simply “disappeared”. We ought to come to grips with the stories of countless Mayan communities who tell us that the military dictatorship in Guatemala and the ensuing Civil War that lasted for over 30

years is responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands, especially indigenous peoples. Our collective human history behooves us to critically comprehend the Massacre at El Mozote in El Salvador. At least 200 and up to 1,000 civilian residents were murdered by the Salvadoran Army. Reagan’s Administration stayed mum because they were providing huge caches of weapons to the Salvadoran Army to fight the leftist FMLN. In México today, there is ubiquitous corruption. I remember sitting at Vesuvio’s Plaque commemorating El Mozote Massacre Cafe in San Francisco’s North Beach having a conversation with John Gibler author of México Unconquered and To Die in México about the Drug War. I asked him how he would describe the violence in México? He said one word: participation. He described how almost everyone to some degree or another participates in the Drug War ranging from little old ladies our families, our communities and taking money to trade in at Mexican our countries, and effectively exchange firms in order to launder drug ourselves. We have heard that so money to Mayors, Governors, high many are wanting to join the ranking military officials, and government armed forces not to kill innocent officials all on the cartel payroll. When so people as some “leftist radicals” many of the capos of the cartels were claim, but to defend their country. once soldiers and military officers in the I, too, would hope that that would Mexican Army there is reason to be be the reason. So, let’s be cynical of the armed forces. How could sincere about what that translates these experiences not makes a person’s into. Bertrand Russell reframed stomach churn at the mention of war? the statement much more And the list of stories goes on. succinctly, “Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never My hope is to shed light on why of killing for their country.” For so many of our own communities are these families that walk with the extremely hesitant to embrace any type of specter of war, how do we make soldiering. These reservations ought to be noble and sublime what has been understood as the history that has molded made vulgar and repulsive?

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Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to San Francisco BY MINHAZ KHAN


elcome to the City by the Bay,

America. Herein lies the launching point for the Campaign for an American DREAM. It’s valuable to reflect on a city that from almost any point on its hilly geography can present breath-taking views and angles of the city. From the Golden Gate bridge, the two cities (SF and Oakland) can seem very grecian or Byzantine-ian. In the downtown of San Francisco, the second densest in the U.S., it can definitely feel like its densest city, New York, with bustling sidewalks, an array of cabs and public transportation, as well as close quarters. It’s amazing to wonder how we ever got here. Originally the Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in several small villages when in the 18th Century a Spanish exploratory party discovered it and later settled there calling it Yerba Buena. After gaining independence from Spain and becoming a part of Mexico, the US claimed the land during the MexicanAmerican war, as well as all of California, and renamed it San Francisco, after the first Spanish settler who is credited with discovering the land and people who resided there. Mexico ceded the land when the war was over and California soon gained statehood. In the 19th century the gold rush brought wealth seeking Americans, one third of whom were from the South, as well as an influx of Chinese

immigrants. While the first Chinese immigrants were welcomed, they were mostly wealthy immigrants. When railroad labor and other cheap tasks drew more humble workers, discrimination and abuse towards the Chinese grew rampant and eventually laws such as the Naturalization Act of 1870 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 restricted immigration of Chinese immigrants into the U.S. These laws have since been changed. Today, according to the 2010 Census report, 33% of the population consider themselves Asian. People of Chinese ethnicity make up a whopping 21% of the population and are most heavily present in Chinatown, Sunset District, and Richmond District. San Francisco does not only attract immigrants from other countries but other states as well. Only 37.7% of its residents were born in California, while 25.2% were born in a different U.S. state. More than a third of city residents (35.6%) were born outside the United States. Yet, San Francisco ranks only behind Seattle for the city with the highest percentage of residents with a college degree. Also, San Francisco has the 2nd highest per capita GDP in the United States after Washington, D.C. San Francisco ranks third of American cities in median household income. Amazing what a melting pot can do.

World War II, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors (Vietnam) led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of activism in the United States. San Francisco has a large immigrant population and a credited history of activism. Yet, these two factions never seemed to meet in the most recent undocumented movement. Being undocumented is seen as something not to flaunt or be proud of amongst the Asian cultures. Activism as of late had its loudest whimper during the Occupy movement. And a large population of allies in the LGBQT community has failed to create a strong bind with the Undocuqueer community. The Campaign hopes to create awareness for the undocumented plight. Let’s start by igniting the first flame in a city that is a ticking time bomb of activity for this movement.

Beyond being just a thriving example of what this country’s immigration policies should reflect, San Francisco’s history is ripe with activism. After

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Vickie Mena, CAD Logistics Chair, in unity with justice and DREAMers, San Bernardino action

Why We Must Stand United for the DREAM by Rob Church

Recently Florida Representative David Riviera proposed a bill known as the ARMS (Adjusted Residency for Military Service) Act. Similar to the DREAM Act, the proposed bill offers a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who serve in the military.  However unlike the DREAM Act, the proposed bill does not provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who enroll in higher education.  Because of this new proposed bill, immigration reform advocates have had some dispute between the two bills.

I understand the reason for the disputes. I understand that those who have patiently waited to serve in the military and risk their lives to defend the country that they so humbly love would approve of this proposed bill just to prove how much they love this country with their own lives. I also understand that those who have so tirelessly studied in school in the hopes that they will one day be able to succeed with their dreams of higher education to contribute to the prosperity of this country would rather stay with their support of the DREAM Act. Between these opposing sides of the two bills I must say that regardless what our differences may be we must stand united for the DREAM Act and not allow ourselves to be divided by the proposed ARMS Act.


San Bernardino united for the DREAM

“Between these opposing sides of the two bills I must say that regardless of what our differences may be we must stand united for the DREAM Act...”

Continued on page 6

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THE WALKERS! continued from page 5 This is because for too long too many of us have patiently struggled, waited, and even starved ourselves so that the dreams and aspirations of all the undocumented youth in our country may come true, regardless of whether they wish to serve in the military or enroll in higher education. Furthermore we must not allow those of us who nobly advocate for immigration reform to be divided by this proposed ARMS Act, because as long as we remain united just as we are committed then we shall surely see the day when all just immigration reform policies are passed, not just the DREAM Act. Additionally, we must stand united for the DREAM Act and not allow ourselves to be divided by the ARMS Act because the DREAM Act is perhaps the most sensible form of immigration reform for protecting the future of this county. This is because the protection of the future of America does not just rely on protecting ourselves from some foreign danger, but also in protecting the academic success of the youth of this country. Though we are leading in terms of military advancements


compared to the rest of the world we are also lacking in terms of educational progress compared to the rest of the world. Such a significant issue in our country cannot simply be solved with a bill that allows more recruits into the military such as the ARMS Act, but only by a bill that also allows the youth of this country to fulfill their dreams of academic success in order to contribute to the prosperity of this country, such as the DREAM Act. Only then will we be truly protecting the future of America, and therefore no matter what comes our way, we must all continue to stand united for the DREAM Act and all other just forms of immigration reform.


Jonatan Ma"in!

Jonatan Martinez grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia where he attended Peach County High. Martinez was born in Mexico and brought to the US at a very young age. He g raduated from Macon State College and is now one of the Walkers for the Campaign.

Raymi Gutierr!

Raymi Gutierrez is a Salt Lake City, Utah native, born and raised. She has four brothers and sisters and comes from a mixed status family. Raymi graduated from Taylorsville High School and then from Salt Lake Community College. She is now pursuing her B.A. at the University of Utah. Raymi is a Walker of the Campaign.

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Lucas Da Silva Lucas Da Silva is a Floridian through and through. Having been raised in Orlando he graduated from Dr. Phillips High School and is now attending Valencia Community College. Lucas was born in Brazil and has joined the Campaign as a Walker to bring about the passage of the DREAM Act and immigration reform.

Nicolas Gonzal!

Nicolas Gonzalez was born in Guanajuato, MĂŠxico and today stands as a testament of Chicago, Illinois. He attended Benito Juarez Academy High School. He identifies as an undocuqueer working to bring positive social change for the LGBTQ and immigrant communities as a Walker of the Campaign.

Nicolas at the Korean Resource Center in LA

Jonatan working away in Berkeley

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A Message from Finance Join us in contributing to the safety of the Walkers and continuance of this odyssey across the nation for the #DREAM Act by donating today. With the help of our fiscal partner, Harvest of Hope based out of Gainesville, Florida, all of your donations are tax-deductible. Please visit our website:

FR O M :


THE DRE AM 1 2 3 4 M ai n St re et A ny to w n, St at e Z IP

February 2012

From CAD To Our Sponsors THANK YOU

Issue No. Four

Gold Sponsors: Korean Resource Center Harvest of Hope Foundation Bronze Sponsor: DREAM Activist


F or many immigrants who land on our Table of Contents In January, 2012, Rep. David Rivera introduced the ARMS Act to the U.S. Congress D: D...


F or many immigrants who land on our Table of Contents In January, 2012, Rep. David Rivera introduced the ARMS Act to the U.S. Congress D: D...