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Voices in Focus: Memories of ‘La Chiva’

March 14, 2012 12:06 pm Leave a comment By  | , , , , A+ / A-

In the video above, shot by Ted Hesson of Long Island Wins last weekend at our video production bootcamp at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Eliana López, the editor of the Spanish-language newspaper Noticia, offers up a telling vignette about life in Columbia and as an immigrant to America.

Here are some other stories that caught our attention in the ethnic and community press:

* Colorlines delivered some food for thought in a piece about the North Carolina activists Uriel Alberto, Estephania Mijangos-Lopez and Cynthia Martinez, who stood up at a state immigration committee hearing and announced that they were undocumented and unafraid.

Although all three were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, two of the young protesters were released and authorities have said they are not pursuing deportation proceedings against them. But 24-year-old Uriel Alberto, whose criminal record includes traffic violations and a DWI charge, was not released. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking into whether to start the deportation process against him. Colorlines posed some questions:

And now, with Alberto facing possible transfer to a detention facility later this week, he’s forced the country to ask anew an age-old question: who among the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants deserves to stay in the country? Alberto’s forced the immigrant rights movement to grapple with a far more pointed question: in a political moment when anti-immigrant hysteria shows few signs of leveling off, how exactly should the community defend the rights of an undocumented immigrant who’s made mistakes with the law?

* New York Press ran an update on the April 2010 fire in a run-down building in Chinatown, which killed an 87-year-old man, injured 33 people, and displaced 200 residents:

Almost two years after the fire that left the residents at 289 Grand Street in Chinatown displaced from their homes, a court ruling has finally granted tenants permission to return to their building by March of next year. Today, Judge Timmie Elsner ordered the landlord of the building to fully renovate the apartments by March 1, 2013.

* Colorlines also let us know about a new app which will allow immigrants to alert their loved ones, lawyers and consulates if they are arrested. Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, which orders immigrants to carry their documentation and requires law enforcement officers to try to determine the immigration status of those they stop or arrest.

“Far too often, even pre-SB 1070, immigrant rights activists heard complaints that after a traffic stop or arrest, family members would disappear into the black hole of immigration detention, where relatives and loved ones are notoriously difficult to locate,” wrote reporter Julianne Hing.

She quoted New America Media’s Valeria Fernandez:

The app will allow users to notify family, friends, attorneys and even their consulate when they get pulled over by law enforcement or when they are facing an emergency situation that puts their safety or civil rights at risk.

With the touch of a button, Landfried says, the “Emergency Alert and Personal Protection” app will send a pre-set list of people information about the person’s location using GPS technology and date and time of the incident. The app will also have an option to record audio and video, which is a common function on most mobile phones, but it will take it a step further by sending the audio and video to a “web interface” where the data can be stored and accessed by lawyers, for example.

The developers of the app are trying to raise $225,000 through a a 30-day fundraising campaign.

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