Archive for the ‘voting’ Category

ZILLAMOD -This is the god’s to honest truth. At the end of the day – it’s not a partisan matter. It’s a family matter. You use whatever you have to protect your family from harm. I am the same. This is my story as well.

This is a repost by Linda Vega.

Being an American citizen is one of the most powerful manifestations of our constitutional tradition as a nation and as a government. These constitutional rights and obligations reserved strictly for citizens have made man want to die to protect our nation, because they know that as citizens they have unalienable rights. However, the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration is now stripping American citizens of their citizenship. More importantly, these attacks on a population where American citizens are being denied their constitutional rights are mainly aimed at a group: elder Latino Texans who were too poor to go to a county hospital and opted, instead, to use a midwife because there was no hospital in the poor rural areas of Texas. As a result, the Obama Administration is now incarcerating and stripping some seniors of their citizenship because they are unable to “properly” prove their birth occurred on U.S. soil.

According to immigration attorney Jaime Diez, along the Rio Grande River in Texas, there are cases where Elderly Latinos have to relinquish their U.S. Citizenship because they cannot provide enough evidence to substantiate their birth on U.S. soil by either a hospital or a credible midwife.

Prior to 2009, a few cases of maybe 20-30 would arise where elderly Latinos had to produce evidence of their U.S. Citizenship. Usually a baptismal record or a birth certificate would suffice to prove their U.S. citizenship birth. However, under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, (“WHTI”), which came into full force and effect on June 1, 2009, changes implemented under this new law, have caused overzealous U.S. agents and officers to litigate case after case that seeks to strip U.S. Citizenship from Latinos that now number over 1000.

With only limited exceptions, WHTI makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to “depart from or enter the United States” without a valid U.S. passport. 8 U.S.C. §1185(b); 22 C.F.R. §53.1(a). While this may be a necessary application of law, for a group of people who did not have the conveniences of modern day hospitals or record keeping when they were born, it has become a nightmare and a loss of identity.

Long before there was a dispute regarding the demarcated boundary that separates the U.S. and Mexico, descendants of Mexicans lived along the border on the U.S. side for years without fear of having to leave their country of choice. When Texas became the 28th state under the Presidency of Polk in 1845, those who lived along the border were annexed into the U.S.

Additionally, when the two countries were unwilling to reach a compromise as to where the boundary would be set, the Mexican-American war broke out on April 25, 1846. The result of that war fixed the southern boundary between the two countries at the Rio Grande River. For generations, the people living along the Rio Grande River into Mexico where their relatives were left in their undisturbed Mexican residency and those in the U.S. were granted U.S. Citizenship. It was a matter of convenience and understanding that those U.S. Citizens who were instantly acquiesced into the U.S. territory had travel privileges back and forth between the two countries. In the years that followed, children were born through midwives and clinics who would record the births as credible state records. In 1925, more than 50 percent of babies born in Texas were delivered by midwives. However, by 2004, the number had dropped to 6.6%. Much of the change was brought about because as rural areas integrated more clinics into the area, many along the border were receiving more prenatal care and healthcare during births.

The earliest known hospital in the valley was in Harlingen, Valley Baptist medical Center, founded in 1925. Surrounded by rural areas and colonias, the hospital is at least a 25 mile distance to these areas. At present, it is not uncommon for women to give birth to children in clinics or hospitals as these facilities are not as scarce as previous years prior to 1950. The births were not the problem, it was an industry norm for registering births that had unintended consequences on what the government is now terming, “delayed birth certificate” fraud.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), many of these births recorded by midwives are either fraudulent or not legal as they were not recorded according to standards. Those affected by this new application of law, now find themselves having to defend their birth certificate and passports granted to them by the U.S. State Department.

Additionally, those affected are between the ages of 60 and older born in the 1940-50s. This is the age group that is most affected as they were more likely to be born by the assistance of a midwife and at home.

While Texas is approximately 25 million in total, it is populated by a large Latino community in the rural areas, and in South Texas where about 90% of the total population is Latino.

Texas and South Texas Population by Ethnicity, 2007

When broken down into the counties most affected by the passport requirement see the following:

Consequently, immigration attorneys in the Rio Grande Valley have noticed that these cases requiring elderly Latinos to prove their citizenship has spiked within the last two years. Attorney Jaime Diez argues that over 1000 cases have been reported but many more are not for the sake of keeping the peace. However, these are only the cases of those with financial resources to fight DHS, or USCIS in court; but many more surrender their citizenship fearing a long battle in a court that is estimated to cost between $15,000 to $20,000. Many of the elderly, living on a fixed income cannot imagine this long battle or the expense, and instead relinquish their U.S. Citizenship and leave for Mexico, a land not their home.

Immigration Attorneys, like Jaime Diez, in the Rio Grande Valley accept the cases on a pro bono capacity, but have been overwhelmed recently with unnecessary discovery requests by the government and oftentimes face over 5 U.S. attorneys for a simple case of birth certificate verification. In one such case, Jaime Diez in Brownsville. States that five U.S. Attorneys were flown in from Washington D.C. to appear in Federal District Court to ask women questions regarding her childhood in the valley. The U.S. Attorneys asked to be taken to the many places the woman played as a child and other places where she and her brother remembered family gatherings. This was not only inefficient use of government money and resources, it provided little if any comfort thinking that securing the border means stripping Latinos of their U.S. Citizenship rather than apprehending those who are “terrorists” in all aspects at the border crossing.

In 2008, Obama promised Latinos change. Unfortunately, one of these promised changes includes having to lose your birthright identity because you were born at a time when a system was inefficient and antiquated. According to the present Obama policies, if you were born in 1950 and beyond, you are expendable in the U.S. Your absence, along the Rio Grande Valley where you have lived most of your life, will be overlooked. According to this Administration, Latinos have an apathy and will not participate in elections, and so invalid deportations and stripping on U.S. Citizenship will go unnoticed because no one will dare to speak up to this injustice. It is a quiet secret that many will chose to ignore. But Latinos are strong in family ideals and are compassionate protectors for the less fortunate. And now that many do know about what is happening to the elderly along the border, I hope that this Administration is placed on alert to immediately cease and desist this action. It is a shameful way to protect the border, and frankly this behavior is anything but American or decent, it is Mr. President, monstrous.

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Elections are cutthroat times. A local candidate is being forced off the ballot while you are reading this blog because it is the week before the election.  In light of the fray, here is BeatTheChip’s hard-knocks election experience at the polls. 
Here is what happened to me when I went to vote.
I voted early this election at a University campus.  Some say early voting is not a good time to vote because they focus too much on the results and some votes get thrown out.   Just know – I did vote. You may e-mail me[beatthechip@gmail.com]and perform an exit poll on who I voted for IN THE END.
Nevertheless, a poll worker was actually standing in line ahead of me.   The only way I knew he was a poll worker was when turned around and saw the mounting line behind me and then asked me for my I.D.   To which I replied knowing my facts, “There is no law in this state that demands that I show you my license.”  
TRUE STATEMENT:  Most states do not have voter ID laws.  You only have to show a document (It could be a billing statement.) that shows your first and last name and an address
The poll worker then said, “Yes, you do!”  I reiterated that there is no law in the State of Texas that mandates that I show him my ID.  He then said, “Either that or a voter registration card.”   Unfortunately, this is where I was duped.  I didn’t need a voter registration card.   As indicated above… all I needed was a piece of mail substantiating my  residence.
I replied, “I don’t HAVE to show you my ID, but I will oblige you.”  This was an exercise in frustration.  I was asked 5 minutes later to show my ID, again, at the registration check-in : a red table to the right and a blue table to the left.  I immediately asked if there was any difference in the direction I went.   The clerk replied, “No.”
Great. Onto the next hoop jumping contest. “May I see your ID?”   Annoyed, I handed the woman my California license.  She immediately flipped over the back of the license and scanned the bar code on the back.  I was really shocked when I saw this.   She then whined and said, “Ohhh… it’s not coming up!”   That would have been the only benefit, in this case, to having an out of state license that wasn’t recognized in their voter rolls system.
NOTE: It is intended for you to make the connection that the DMV or DPS motor vehicle database codes and records were available in voter recognition programs.  
I then replied, “It’s alright. I know I wasn’t purged from the voter rolls.  Would you like to enter my name so that I can vote?”  Annnd ..countershock in  3..2..1.. with raised eyebrows she flipped my license back over and then punched in my name.  Amazingly enough my name and Texas voter registration information came up.    Both attendants then squirmed in their seat and licked their lips like nervous cats.  One attendant had to resticker my name to the voter registration readout form because they weren’t used to this type of computer evasion.
I just got lucky.   Had I cao-taoed to any one of these people with a Texas state ID, every action I took during my voting experience would have been recorded.
I then proceeded to the voter wheel-of-fortune where I dialed in my varied 3rd party campaign trail mix and then hit the red button.    A woman who had voted in the booth next to mine began to pace back and forth behind me saying, “Is that right?  Should I have to lose my vote because the machine didn’t recognize my candidate?”    It was both distracting and disturbing.
VoteRescue.org has great advice on what I did both wrong and right when I voted and how you can preserve your vote on electronic-election day.  
May you do better than I did.

BTC – Special Report

We have been talking with Ms. McKinney who reported recently, most specifically, “I am against Real IDs!”
It’s really too bad we couldn’t hear more on the subject from her. In honor of citizens opposed to Obama, we decided to publish this.
We propose that she is a better alternative for voters who would vote Democratic in the 2008 Presidential election on the platform of civil liberties, global warming, foreign policy and universal healthcare.
Our reasons? The Democrats’ recent voting records on the Patriot Act, FISA, and extending the imbalances of both executive powers and those of appointed officials leave those with privacy and U.S. sovereignty issues out in the cold.
The Green Party’s platform on adding limitations to commercial expansion for the sake of conserving the environment and human posterity is not popular with conservatives. However, it may steer us away from oil dependency. Including the environment in debate conversations are keys to Green Party policy, giving the honest American “a break”, and not insulting our intelligence about the state of domestic affairs or how we arrived at that place.
We now turn to understanding the McKinney campaign and the U.S. struggle to redeem itself from the road to imperialized commercial extremism while trying to balance a rebound for the U.S. Constitution, a corroded infrastructure and a deadbeat economy.
Ms. McKinney is Georgia’s first African American Congresswoman. Her ascension in the Executive chain of command has been frought with ..politics. We, the people who vote, share her contest with random demands on the American identity and our legitimate place in American politics.