"Well, the answer is: It breaks my heart, but she should be deported, because she forged documents and she lied about her immigration status."
- Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor, regarding her former maid Nicandra Diaz Santillan in an interview last night with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren
Whitman's remark was in response to a direct question from Van Susteren while discussing her former housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz Santillan. "Should she be deported?" Van Susteren asked.
The scandal that erupted last month over Whitman's employing Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, for nine years then firing her last year after deciding to run for governor has threatened to derail her campaign against Democratic candidate and state Attorney General Jerry Brown, causing her to lose ground in particular among Latino voters.
The AtlanticWire has a roundup of stories on Oklahoma's State Question 755, an until-recently obscure ballot initiative in the Sooner State that, if approved by voters, would prohibit the state's courts from using international law or Islamic Sharia law when making rulings.
I wrote about this curious bit of proposed legislation the other day. As unusual and geographically removed as it seems, State Question 755 is relevant beyond Oklahoma in the same way that Arizona's SB 1070 - and Oklahoma's similar HB 1804, which preceded it in 2007 - have been politically relevant beyond both states.
The inspiration for the measure, according to its backers, comes from a New Jersey case. From CNN:
The question might seem a befuddling one for a ballot in the heartland, but it stems from a New Jersey legal case in which a Muslim woman went to a family court asking for a restraining order against her spouse claiming he had raped her repeatedly. The judge ruled against her, saying that her husband was abiding by his Muslim beliefs regarding spousal duties. The decision was later overruled by an appellate court, but the case sparked a firestorm.
Ariz. immigration law three months later: no arrests - USA Today After a federal court judge prevented key portions from going into effect, SB 1070 has failed to live up to opponents' fears and supporters' hopes.
Whitman Governor Bid Imperiled by Latino Voter Erosion - Bloomberg The controversy that erupted over her undocumented former maid has gotten in the way of Meg Whitman's appeal to Latino voters.
Ethnic Voters Rally Around Boxer, Field Poll Shows - New American Media - EthnoBlog Field Poll results put Sen. Barbara Boxer ahead of Republican challenger Carly Fiorina among most ethnic minority voters, including Republican-leaning Vietnamese-American voters.
Foreign-born workers top U.S. born in job hunt - CNNMoney A Pew Hispanic Center study shows that immigrants have gained hundreds of thousands of jobs since the recession is said to have ended, while native-born workers lost more than a million jobs.
Photo by Dana Robinson/Flickr (Creative Commons)
Par-tay! Ethnic drag on Halloween, October 2007
Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it must be time to, er, don an afro wig, a sombrero and fake mustache, or a Kim Jong Il costume? Nah, not so much.
I save the side-eye for those special outfits which turn cultures in to costumes; while some people think it’s “fun” to be “Ghetto Fab“, “Seductive Squaw” or “Asian Doll“, I have to restrain myself from reminding these insensitive boors that some of us can’t take off our skin.
My point is, ethnicity isn’t something to be ordered online for $52.95 and then worn to a succession of bars, where other revelers spill drinks on your micro-kimono or faux-feathers. Some of us are born with a certain phenotype and this affects how we are viewed and treated, every moment of every day. We don’t have the luxury of selecting our culture from a catalog and then discarding it, conveniently, after a holiday.
The results of a new national survey from the Pew Hispanic Center show the political backlash against illegal immigration creating divisions on a number of issues among Latinos (including between those who are immigrants and those who are native-born) and prompting worries about discrimination.
To begin with, the survey found Latinos in general to be divided over what to do about the nation's estimated population of 11.1 million undocumented immigrants. From the report:
A small majority (53%) says they should pay a fine but not be deported. A small minority (13%) says they should be deported, and a larger minority (28%) says they should not be punished.
More people surveyed saw discrimination as an issue than they did during a previous survey:
Today, more than six-in-ten (61%) Latinos say that discrimination against Hispanics is a “major problem,” up from 54% who said that in 2007. Asked to state the most important factor leading to discrimination, a plurality of 36% now cites immigration status, up from a minority of 23% who said the same in 2007. Back then, a plurality of respondents—46%—identified language skills as the biggest cause of discrimination.