Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do you wanna dance?

        The following is a research project that I wrote for an English class this past spring. I felt the need to share this morning with more people than just the English teacher and teacher's assistant. It is factual and cited information. My view on the deception of why the public is not aware of need for family unity, despite America having the apparent perception that the United States is family oriented, and how we continue to struggle with getting our stories in the media for that public support, as fellow American brothers and sisters.

Immigration: Social Media’s Taboo Topic
        Children are often self-centered, opening doors for fairytales; just as with age, brings experiences of mistrust, broken dreams, and painful realities that break the hope of happy endings.  The demand for family unity within immigration reform is fought by the child-within those who are the oppressed—counting on the magic of wishes.  A concept of freedom in America is handing those who reside within, freedom to search and love their soul mate.  It is one of many differences from the other countries of the world, as such is freedom to seek opportunity.  Every religion in America, although diverse, harbors the American lifestyle value of the importance of family; just as the most heinous crimes committed in America are against family and its values in every sense.  Why then is America turning its head away from the need for family unity through immigration reform?  In today’s social media from television, and radio broadcasts, to written articles, are feeding the American public, in regards to the topic of immigration reform, a narrow margin of words used repeatedly such as illegal, criminals, and deportation. If the truth were known, what would America do?  This is the research of data, to formulate a conclusion for the public, to make an informed decision.
        The value of family unity and the separation or break down has been discussed within America’s walls frequently.  The right, the human right, to love, to raise, and to protect our families within the protection of the American government has been flat out denied, and has been remarkably supported by the media.  The media has proven to side with those who claim to be true Americans, while at the same time denouncing our plight as to say that we are traitors to the American dream.  Our families’ value should hold more value than the monetary gains of the enormous hand of power that holds the media from informing the public of their personal agendas.  In America, the popular social media brings influence and information to the American people and without the support of the people through the portrayal of the American value of family unity through immigration reform, the high stakes that have been placed in order for the families involved to live together, is a battle, seemingly against the monetary and sometimes racist gains of powerful entities, and the use of their power to subdue the media, ensuring the direction of their own falsely claimed American agendas.
     “How is it fair that a truly committed, honest, hardworking husband and father could be taken away from our family?  Why is it that my government that was made to protect my rights and support me, could do something to rip apart my family and bring us all to the depths of despair?” (Guzman, 2010)  Emily Guzman watched in horror as two SUV’s pulled up and drove off with her husband in front of herself and son in front of their home on a Monday morning.  The importance of family unity has been discussed within the United States. Family is the base of the American dream.  As the United States Department of Welfare advocates within the guide lines of the importance of the father to the health of a child’s well being, “even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers.  These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.” (Rosenberg, Wilcox, 2006, Chapter 2.3) “The only contact Pedro, I, and Logan have together, on a regular basis, currently and for the last 9 months, are phone calls.” (Guzman, 2010)  Unfortunately, at 9 months when Emily made this statement, was less than half way of the total amount of time her family endured this separation.  A recent report established by the University of Arizona on the parents that are placed into the immigration enforcement arena noted,
 “…parents [that] are caught up in immigration enforcement are separated from their young children and disappear into the detention system… the children may be placed in state custody and find themselves in foster care, abruptly unable to communicate with their parents or even know where their parents are.  If parents choose to accept their deportation, they risk being forever separated from their children, since their children will unlikely be unable to accompany them so long as they remain in state custody.  If parents choose instead to fight their deportation, they often remain detained for months or even years, greatly complicating efforts to reunify as a family…”(Rabin, 2011)
     Throughout the history of the United States firework displays, families have gazed upon them together, under the protection of the government, until now. As of 2005, there were 6.6 million families in which either the head of the family or the spouse was unauthorized. There were 3.1 million American children with an unauthorized parent. These unauthorized families contain 14.6 million people. (Passel, 2006)  By spending pleasant, positive time together families build up a reserve of good feelings.  When trouble comes, it has to be shared, with the family, and resolved.” (McGee, 2009) “…I am a mental health therapist.  I treat people with depression and anxiety every day…the common thread is that in their childhood, they felt unsafe, unloved, or abandoned by one or both parents.” (Guzman, 2010)  “When the family is not together, “holding” the missing person in the light and consciousness of the ‘family-being’ can be very significant and powerful.  When a young child goes off to school … or playgroup, when a parent travels, when older children go off to university, they can be ‘held’…” (McNamara, 2004)     
        Sometimes, it can be a compelling story of love and commitment against all odds.  When few Americans break past the silent wall of a people that carry the cultural trait of shielding themselves on a personal level to guard against the wrongs of the world, there is a new discovery, a treasure uncovered.  What has been discovered by some Americans is that beyond the image of the man on a donkey with a sombrero taking a siesta, there is the beauty of a person, equal on all levels, hidden in this unknown mass of people that live among us in America.  Have we lost the interest in our neighbors only of that to which we love to destroy?   
      In a survey that has been conducted among families separated by lack of family unity within the immigration reform for the purpose of this research, fifty- five people responded, all of which are being affected by the current range of problems associated with the lack of concern in the trampled personal rights to be endured and solutions pursued.   The Declaration of Independence states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, 1776, para: 1) Families have the right to be protected by our government, but yet many of them are being sent to live “in exile” to their spouse’s country of origin, with the common knowledge of that country as unsafe to American travelers, especially with small American children. 
      The first part of the survey that was given was answered by 48 people.  This was to determine the detail of the situation as it pertains to their families’ unity.  Women, as the American enduring displacement due to the legal documentation status of her husband, counted for 45.83% over the American male standing at 4.17% in regards to displacement due to their spouses’ legal documentation status.  The remaining 50% were currently living together as a couple without any type of displacement issues as of yet, however, living in fear within the United States, that according to one women, “we live in fear everyday that it will be the day that my husband does not come home due to immigration.” 
      The second set of survey questions equate the government issued punishment placed on their spouse for residing within our country, without proper authorization.  This question was answered by 40 of the 55 people asked that live this life of need for immigration reform.  The people that have not received a judgment represent 27.5%, for they have not been through the detention enforcement court system yet.  For those who have received their ban issued by the court, there are 42.5% of families that have received a 10 year ban from the United States. Five percent of families that include American citizens have received a 20 year ban from the return to the United States.  A lifetime ban has been handed to 25% of these families of American husbands, wives, children who may never return to the United States.
         The final set of survey questions, answered by 51 of the 55 people asked who live the life in need of immigration reform, is to show the displacement of the families that have been affected by the ban placed on their spouse.  It shows that most families attempt to keep the family intact, even when it requires a location in another country, with a different culture, language, and economic status. We find that 43.14% of the families questioned have moved to their spouse’s country to live. Another option created is that of a move to a third country as a family with 5.88% of the families questioned with a guarantee of their right to flourish and grow together throughout their lives.  Many families have moved several times at 13.73%, leaving the impression that there is a possible hint of instability in the planning of their family unity, such as a hardship due to the complete disruption of their lives, which is not to be considered a valued reason by the United States court to place a hardship waiver on a ban. (J. Vaughan, July 2003) There are some families that cannot afford to be together, and so they live separate lives, while they wait out the number of years placed by the ban.  This percentage makes up 37.25% of the over all families surveyed.  Families that are not permitted to be together under the protection of our government—this is happening in our country of America.
                    The value of family unity as it is being portrayed (or lack thereof) within the popular social media, Giselle Stern Hernandez replies, “I feel that there are a lot of powerful stereotypes as to what a deported person’s spouse or partner look/thinks/acts/speaks.  There is a powerful gap in terms of race, class, and gender that renders the majority of us partners as invisible.” (G. Hernandez, Personal Communication, May 2011) Giselle speaks out in her Deportee’s Wife, One Woman Show. Within her monologue, she tells the story of falling in love with her Mexican-born husband, and “recounts how in 2001, [her husband] married to her but without a valid visa, was during a single shattering day discovered, deported back to Mexico, and barred from re-entering the U.S. for 20 years.” (McGill, 2009, Extreme Example) During a show in Austin, Texas, at the Riverland Community College, “…she found herself standing before a crowd of 120 people, including four neo-Nazis.  Sitting [about] ten feet ahead of her in the theater’s front-row-center seats were two men and two younger companions wearing black stadium jackets and T-shirts emblazoned with symbols of the National Socialist Movement, a group that advocates the deportation. “Peacefully or by force,” of all people in the U.S except citizens of ‘pure White blood.’” (McGill, 2009, para: 5)
     Studies have shown that there is overwhelming evidence of the media being influenced by the corporate power.  One study done by George Farah and Justin Elga formed the conclusion through simply reading every transcript of the Sunday morning talk shows of NBC (Meet the Press), CBS (Face the Nation), PBS (McLaughlin Group), and ABC (This Week) for 19 months.  “Sunday morning political talk shows promise to clarify the weekly issues and provoke the engaged citizen – healthy ingredients for a functioning democracy.  Yet, as our numbers demonstrate, the shows’ narrow parameters of discussion not only fail to fulfill their potential, [All top 20 guests from June 1995 to May 1996, were white men, with less than 11% women, and 14 of 20 were Republican or conservative] but skew the public and elite opinion-making conversation away from the impact of corporate behavior.” (G. Farah, J. Elga, 2001)
During a radio talk show that Benjamin Reed (Elchupacabras) invited Senator Crapo of Idaho to discuss the “different procedures through the federal government in [the navigation through] the very bureaucratic process of [immigration paperwork].” Benjamin Reed expresses that he is himself living in Mexico, dealing with immigration papers, for his own wife. Benjamin and the Senator discuss the present day situation with comprehensive immigration and Benjamin points out to the Senator that even though the Senator may say that he would agree with a fair means of family unity, he cannot seem to find words to Benjamin’s acknowledgment of the 10 to 20 year bans placed on spouses of US citizens, other than that they need to do it legally. “There should not be favor given to those who have committed the crime of presence in the United States without proper authorization,” seems to be the Senator’s stand, but yet, as Benjamin points out, “exactly what will be done with all the people that are already a part of this situation has not been addressed and there certainly needs to be some type of fair opportunity given to them” (Live interview Benjamin Reed with U.S. Senator Crapo, 2010). Benjamin has moved on and has accepted his new life in Mexico, but says, “I continue the fight; I have not given up, since we are NOT ruling out reapplication at a later date.” (B. Reed, Personal Communication, May 2011)
     The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group that unites state lawmakers…it claims 2,000 or a full third of the nation’s state legislators, as members… with an impressive roster of the nation’s largest corporations.” (Hodai, 2010, para: 1) The council is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit.” (Hodai, 2010, Para: 3)   The group reported revenues of nearly $7 million in 2008, with the legislator and lawmaking members contributing $93,000 and the interest groups contributing roughly $5.6 million.(Hodai, 2010, para:3) “While ALEC refuses to make public full lists of either its corporate or government members, the group’s magazine Inside ALEC, has mentioned members in the field of media and information technology that include the News Corporation, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, AT &T, Verizon, National Cable and Telecommunications Association (of Disney Media Networks is a member).  As such, ALEC represents the interests of most major media conglomerates and telecommunication providers in the country.” (Hodai, 2010, para: 4) This shows the connection to the control of the media through the obvious needs and wants of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s members’ agendas, helping to promote propaganda and lack of honest coverage of the need for immigration reform and family unity.
      We need immigration reform.  There are quite obviously families that are desperate for their fellow country-men to listen or notice that there is an unspoken injustice occurring within our country.  Darrel Weiss of George Mason Law says, “… [the fact that] immigration law and policy remain important and pertinent issues in our time, is hardly a principle that needs repeating.  And yet, much of the law governing the administration of our immigration system exists in a state of disrepair: a mere glance at the newspaper would be enough to remind even the most unaware of citizens of this fact.” (Weiss, 2010) Why is the media not covering the obvious? What is the hidden agenda behind the doors of the American big business that are keeping the media from exposing to the American public that the very value that our country has stood to uphold, our families, is being misrepresented by the media because of big business ties and big profit?   The study of the Disappearing Parent specifically expresses the need for reform even within the system of the coordinating offices of the Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System.  They express that there needs to be set into new policy, which has been noted in each office as ‘needed,’ but have yet to do anything, for there are several opportunities for managing the lives of parent/child separation due to detention, such as training the workers, coordination with case plans when a child is put into state custody, legal orientation to explain the parents’ rights to their child, and legal aide provided to parents of US citizens. The last and most important of the suggestions, which is aimed directly to the  United States Congress, would be ending mandatory detention and to increase relief from deporting parents with children in state custody [due to detention].(Rabin, 2011) The problem with these obvious and logical solutions is that there is something standing in the way of this humane reform. The media could express the truth, forcing efforts to initiate fair and opportunity towards family unity and the American people as a whole could be aware. Perhaps it would change the outcome of the vote, the seats in office, the lives of millions of families and this may disrupt the corrupt nature of the agenda that the corporate business plays in the hand of the immigration reform. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, reported earnings of 40.3 million dollars on revenue of 428 million dollars in the first quarter of 2011…CCA’s revenue for 2009 was 1.7 billion dollars. (Cardinale, 2011, para: 13). “One of the national lobbying groups that were instrumental in bringing together business interests and lawmakers was the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  It was an ALEC task force, which included a representative from a private prison, along with lawmakers from Arizona and other states, who helped draft Arizona’s immigration bill [SB1070] which became a template for Georgia’s law as well.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 9-10)  The bill and its meaning and support are moving from state to state presently.  “CCA is one of the largest for-profit prison corporations in the U.S.  They will benefit by the legislation.  They have a corporate stake in it around the country.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 6-7)  “CCA’s top management is Tennessee contributed the largest block of out of state campaign contributions received by Arizona’s Republican Governor, Jan Brewer.  Brewer employs two former CCA lobbyists as aides, who assisted with signing Arizona’s SB1070 into law.” (Cardinale, 2011, para: 15)
    Abraham Lincoln stated, “We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.” (J. Dearmore)  How different would the average American approach the subject of immigration if they knew how the family value is being torn down without compassion within our country’s walls?  How would the effect of the knowledge of the money making circle of CCA, ALEC, and related shareholders hold to the average American’s heart when they would find out where all of the media’s propaganda directly came from, of course other than with the added help of the white supremacy’s aide. Would it raise question to the appropriate direction of our country, with the big corporate business standing above the people for which the Constitution was drafted? According to the American dream it is to be the American people as a whole, however there is a real imbalance of truth being portrayed in the media coverage. The media is being geared to cover the back of the big business and the big business is covering the back of the private prison industry. The private prison industry is then making a huge amount of money and making contributions to lobbyists.  The lobbyists have the added support by the white supremacy, are working to change the laws so that the undocumented person has no place to go but detention centers.  The detention centers yield big profit for the private prison business, which is backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.  But in the end, the people who are getting hurt, are the families of the people who love America and the average American who places his or her faith in the American system that the right for protection will be granted.  The devastating separations and dividing of the families that depend on America for protection are at a loss because they have been put into a shock of unforgiving treatment, labeled criminal, for something that has always been a way of life in America. The American public should be aware of the total of the facts in order to make an informed decision. In America, the popular support of the people through the portrayal of the American value of family unity through immigration reform, the high stakes that have been placed in order for the families involved to live together, is a battle, seemingly against the monetary and sometimes racist gains of powerful entities, and the use of their power to subdue the media, ensuring the direction of their own falsely claimed American agendas.

Special thanks to Melanie:)

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         South. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from   
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         Talked about on Sunday Morning? Issue of Corporate Power are not on the Agenda
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X Misses the Spot: Fernandez v. Keisler and the (Mis)Appropriation of the Brand X by the Board of Immigration Appeals.  (2010)Darrell Wiess. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.georgemasonlawreview.org/doc/17-3_Weiss.pdf

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