Archive for the Category »Immigration «

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Dupnik v. Arpaio: Reason v. Reaction…

As a psychologist (PsyD) with plenty of working class, journalistic, investigative, and political experience (including 22+ yrs in numerous jails and prisons around the planet), I often fail to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut.  Today is no exception.

My Muse: Psych Kat...

Shrinks learn early in our education and professional training that how a person is treated, especially in young, formative years, is usually predictive of adult behaviors.  This axiom accounts significantly for the therapeutic foundations behind transference and projection:  How a person responds to and treats others helps inform us of their early history and basic character.

Generally speaking, people who are raised in a nurturant home (the specific form–nuclear family, single parent, straight, gay, etc.–is irrelevant) with rational and reasonable boundaries and responsibilities, tend to become mature nurturant adults. more…

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Immigration Nation vs. Nativist Hate…

Back in the late 1940s (Yeah, I‘m that old…), I lived on Bathgate Avenue in the South Bronx, NYC, with my father’s Slovakian immigrant family.  (A ne, jsem byl příliš mladý zapamatovat mnohem Slovaki…)

The area was still a teeming ghetto, a lingual polyglot of ethnic groups and cultures.  From the rooftop of our tenement, I could look across a vast cityscape of pigeon coops and relatively safe play for kids.

As one descended the stairs or fire escape (or even on occasion the dumbwaiter), it was easy to figure out the ethnicity of any particular family from their foreign language screams or the smells of their cooking. more…

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Arizona: The New/Old Mississippi…

Back in ’72, after a trip to Big Sur, California, I stopped off in Yuma, Arizona, on the way back to Detroit with an Israeli acquantance.  She commented that it reminded her of some of the Territories.

Better times…’72

“These Indians and Mexicans are like the Palestinians, pretty poor and beat-down with Western Israelis as lords of the land, which they never let them forget.”  An interesting and prescient observation.

   In the post-civil war yrs of the 1860s and ‘70s, the Army of the Union soon abandoned the South, which enacted criminalizing Black Codes against the newly freed slaves, disenfranchising them from the political process, and created  Jim Crow segregation and dehumanization laws that lasted for another 100 yrs. more…

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Sometimes …it Floats…

 In the South Bronx, my building on Bathgate Avenue was a veritable UN of European immigrants: Slovaks, Poles, Germans, Italians, Jews, you name it.  All the latter 19th century leftovers…

   I could tell where the families came from as I ascended the multi-story stairwell by the smells of the food and the screams of the kids…and the parents chasing us.

The outside world for me in the late ‘40s was mostly Puerto Ricans filling the spaces of earlier groups moving to the suburbs.  For a long time, I thought my name in Spanish was “Pinche Flaquito.”  For us kids, most of our play was secured “Up On The Roof“… more…

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Lou Dobbs & Father Coughlin…

My usual prison routine included catching the early morning news on TV before work call.  I’d catch it again in the early evening.

Lou Dobbs

Generally, I tended to agree with JFK’s Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), Newton Minow, who described TV back in 1963 as “a vast wasteland.”

In prison—at least in the dozen I was in over the past 20+ yrs—in order to listen to the TVs, a prisoner has to purchase a radio with earbuds at the commissary.   Each TV has its own broadcast frequency.  The TVs are usually located in the common areas of the housing units and a part of the leisure library area.

The radios currently cost $42.90.  The salaries of inmates who work for the prison stands at  12¢/hr.  That comes to about $17/mo.  UNICOR workers average 92¢/hr., if you can get one of the available jobs…count on a two-yr waiting list. more…

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Immigration & Marijuana History…

Fleeing Drug Violence, Mexicans Pour Into U.S. By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. 

###End of NYT article###

In addition to the above article…sorry for the cliché, but George really is one of the nicest guys you’d want to know.  A throw-back to the hippie generation with long blond locks and matching trim beard.  Soft spoken, educated without a lot of formal schooling, and friendly to a fault…too trusting in fact.  His “crime”?  Cultivating and selling marijuana.  But it didn’t start with George…

Drug Victims...

Drug Victims…

One of the first marijuana prohibition laws in the United States was enacted in 1903 in Brownsville, Texas.  It pertained at the time exclusively to Mexicans.  The troubles south of the border were apparently causing many Mexicans to escape the growing hostilities by crossing to the U.S.   more…

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Prison Politics in Arizona…

The first time I crossed into Arizona in 1972 I was shocked.  I guess I expected the Old West.  Cowboys and ghost towns.  Cactus and sagebrush growing along the Gadsden Purchase territory.  Even Apache and Navaho, and a mix of Anglo-Mex families and culture.


What I didn’t expect was to relive part of my experiences in Alabama and Mississippi in the summer of ’63.

This weblog is devoted to the prison experience connection.   It would be disingenuous to fail to address Arizona and its relationship to jails and prisons, along with the criminalization of its Hispanic citizens and culture (documented and otherwise), one of the prime causes for mass imprisonment today.

The current alien population in the federal Bureau of Prisons is at 27% (mostly Hispanic).  Look for that number to rise.    more…

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El Paso Redux…

Fully 27% of the federal prison population are aliens—mostly Hispanic.  Some proponents of the recent Arizona round-up law make the claim that illegal aliens are engaged in rampant crime—especially sexual predation. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quoted as reporting that the undocumented population of Arizona has indeed grown since the year 2000 some 70%, and the national rate at 37%.  However, contrary to the anti-immigrant pundits, the crime rate for both property and violent crimes has significantly gone down to its lowest rate since 1968!  Especially in those Southwestern states! more…

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