Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Cardinal Roger Mahony speaks at a rally in support of the Dream Act in downtown Los Angeles, December 2010
Last month, as Cardinal Roger Mahony prepared to pass along the leadership of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to Archbishop Jose Gomez this coming Sunday, L.A.'s current Catholic leader - and perhaps its top clergyman-blogger - posted a lengthy piece titled "Retirement Plans: Standing with the Eleven Million."
In it, Mahony wrote about continuing his activism on immigration reform. From the post:
Over these many years, I have been constantly called and challenged by the words of Jesus: “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35), echoing God’s mandate to his people in the Old Testament.
Over the years immigrant peoples have become very dear to me, and Jesus continues to call me to walk with them on their journey. I intend to spend the coming months and years walking in solidarity with the 11,000,000 immigrants who have come to the United States to improve their own lives and the life of our country and to advocate on behalf of the silent millions. In a special way I look forward to collaborating closely with our United States Bishops’ Conference and the Committee on Migration and Refugees which is now chaired by the next Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Reverend José H. Gomez.
For so many immigrants in the United States today, life is not easy. With the terrible downturn in the economy the past two years, millions of people have lost jobs in every field of employment. Many have had to give up their homes and to make deep sacrifices to keep their families going. So many voices blame immigrant peoples for our economic woes. This is unjust and flies in the face of the facts.
Some 11,000,000 of our immigrant brothers and sisters are misunderstood and maligned. Without legal documents, their livelihoods and their very lives are at risk. They live in the shadows of our society. They are easy targets of blame for everything that has gone wrong, and is going wrong, with our country. But a little historical perspective sheds light on our current situation and gives hope for the future, helping us to see immigrants not as “those people,” but as brothers and sisters living in our communities with the same longings and aspirations as all Americans.
Luis Ramirez’s Attackers Get Nine Years in Prison for Deadly Beating - ColorLines Two Pennsylvania men have been sentenced for their involvement in the 2008 beating death of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant.
Ky. prof Mark Wattier retiring after slavery remark to students - The Washington Post A Murray State University professor is retiring after making controversial remarks referring to slavery while making a point about tardiness to two black students last semester.
Our Biggest Oscar Snubs - Latina From the story: "With the exception of Biutiful's two nominations—one for Best Leading Actor (Javier Bardem) and another for Best Foreign Language Film—Latinos were ignored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in 2011."
Violent immigration fraud ring members indicted: officials - Reuters From the story: "More than 20 members of a network that allegedly forged documents for illegal immigrants and engaged in kidnapping, beating and murder to protect its turf have been indicted for racketeering."
Photo by Memo Pisa El Lodo/Flickr (Creative Commons)
The familiar tile-studded building at the corner of Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Gage Avenue that since the late 1970s has housed Self Help Graphics & Art will no longer be home to the revered art center, an Eastside fixture whose recent years have been rough ones.
On Thursday the center announced its impending move to 1300 E. 1st Street, the site of a former fish packing plant near the L.A. River in Boyle Heights, which it will share with a business that works on large-scale art installations. The move comes three years after the building, which had been owned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was sold to a private investment firm that since put it up for sale.
From a news release:
The high cost of rent at 3802 Cesar Chavez in addition to a reduction in the use of space created the need for Self Help to search for a new location. The search also included the serious exploration of purchasing the 3802 Cesar Chavez Avenue building. The move to the new location at 1300 1st Street comes with a substantial decrease in monthly rent.
Photo by sadaqah/Flickr (Creative Commons)
The Islamic Center of Irvine, a mosque allegedly targeted by the FBI informant
A federal lawsuit filed earlier this week alleges that a former FBI informant, an ex-fitness instructor and ex-convict named Craig Monteilh, violated Muslims' freedom of religion when he spied on Orange County mosques for the FBI between 2006 and 2007.
Monteilh posed as a new convert to Islam, the lawsuit alleges, recording conversations and meetings with a device hidden in his key ring and a camera embedded in a shirt button.
What did some of these conversations entail? According to the complaint, the informant pressed people on the topic of "violent jihad," scaring some at the Islamic Center of Irvine to the point of calling the cops:
Agents Allen and Armstrong had instructed Monteilh to ask general questions about jihad from the beginning of the operation. In early 2007, they instructed him to start asking more pointedly about jihad and armed conflict, then to more openly suggest his own willingness to engage in violence.
Pursuant to these instructions, in one-on-one conversations, Monteilh began asking people about violent jihad, expressing frustration over the oppression of Muslims around the world, pressing them for their views, and implying that he might be willing or able to take action.
In about May 2007, on instructions from his handlers, Monteilh told a number of individuals that he believed it was his duty as a Muslim to take violent actions, and that he had access to weapons.
Many members of the Muslim community at ICOI then reported these statements to community leaders, including Hussam Ayloush. Ayloush both called the FBI to report the statements and instructed the individuals who had heard the statements to report them to the Irvine Police Department, which they did.
Photo by midwinter/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Readers' comments are usually vary in length and flavor, but yesterday I received two from Arizona natives that begin similarly and are almost mirror images, though they present two very different Grand Canyon State points of view.
Arizona, of course, has returned as ground zero in the immigration debate (not that it ever relinquished this title) after a state senate committee gave the green light to a series of bills Tuesday night that make last year's partly-implemented SB 1070 seem mild. Among other things, the bills seek to deny U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants, bar undocumented immigrants from public services including basic ones like registering a car and getting a marriage license, and make hospitals check patients' immigration status. And now a fed-up group of Pima County residents wants to secede.