Things That Matter

Things That Make No Sense: Why Was Marihuana Legalized Before Immigrants

The Long Struggle for Citizenship

Fernando Duran, 26, was born in Mexico City and it took him 16 years to become a US citizen. What’s the hold up? There are hundreds of thousands of young Latinos like Fernando who are waiting for become citizens to be able to contribute their vote to this country and who are eager to access college more easily. However, states are legalizing marihuana before legalizing ambitious immigrants like Fernando. What’s up with that?! Marihuana isn’t helping American immigrants follow their dreams.

mitú challenges you to tell us what being a Latino in the US means to you in your own story, with a social media post, a meme, or any way you feel most comfortable using #WeAreAmerica. Together, we will create a beautiful portrait of what it means to be Latino in the US.

Don’t forget to join #WeAreAMERICA by clicking the share button below!

A Woman Captured Her Abuelo Finally Getting His U.S. Passport After Waiting Decades For His Citizenship And It’s So Sweet

Culture

A Woman Captured Her Abuelo Finally Getting His U.S. Passport After Waiting Decades For His Citizenship And It’s So Sweet

The news cycle continues to feed us harrowing stories of communities of color under attack due to the unavoidable influence of Donald Trump’s racist beliefs. We continue to see devastating stories of gun violence against the Latinx community, images of children being ripped away from their families and more images of our communities suffering as a result of dangerous laws and policies put in place by the Trump administration. 

So it’s almost surprising (yet refreshing and hopeful) to see the opposite imagery and portrayal of our communities when they circulate on social media. 

Earlier this month, Brianna Valle shared a video that quickly went viral on social media of her 76-year-old grandfather, Arnulfo, who had just learned that he’d officially become a U.S. citizen.

In the video, the grandfather can be seen overcome with emotion as he reads the news that after nearly two decades, he’s finally become a citizen of the U.S. “It took my tata 19 years to finally get his citizenship. Unfortunately, some families have to wait even longer, even if it’s just to become a resident. Be grateful guys,” writes Valle in a tweet.  

Many people though think that obtaining your citizenship in the U.S. or being on the path to citizenship is as easy as “getting in line.”

There is no line, and if there is, it’s never-ending—especially with the Trump administration’s policies on immigration. 

According to an article in the New York Times, one California man applied for U.S. citizenship in the fall of 2017 (after paying a $725 fee) and it wasn’t until February of 2019 that his application was fully processed. It took more than a year after he applied to be scheduled for a citizenship interview. 

The same article also states that the time “aspiring” Americans must wait to be naturalized citizens has skyrocketed to almost twice as long. Of course, the delays are a result of the Trump administration’s scrutiny of these applications and the diversion of staff from reviewing them. Further, it’s a result of the administration “introducing proposals likely to make it more difficult, and cumbersome, for green-card holders to qualify and complete the process.”

Once the grandfather (Arnulfo) had received his citizen passport card, his wife/Valle’s grandmother laid it out on the table for him to find. In the heartwarming video, you can feel Arnulfo’s relief, happiness, and joy when he takes a look at the citizen passport card.

Valle also spoke to Mashable about the heartfelt video, and she told the publication that her grandfather had gone to the ceremony to become a citizen in July and then he had applied for the passport. “He’s not very familiar with the process and when he had to turn in his citizen certificate and his green card in order to get the passport, he became distressed after a few weeks when he still didn’t receive the passport,” Valle said. 

Valle shared with Mashable that her grandfather also felt stressed when he would see immigration-related news because he no longer had that physical proof of residency from the U.S., so when he finally saw the passport on the table earlier this month—many of his worries went away. 

This just comes to show the real ways that the Trump administration’s stance on immigration hurts our communities. The news alone is enough to trigger or traumatize folks who may fear deportation.

Despite the uneasiness, he felt in the weeks leading up to receiving his U.S. passport, we hope Valle’s grandfather knows that he has many people rooting for him.

People who don’t even know him but were touched by his reaction and his story. “I hope people realize their advantages, while others keep striving to get theirs,” the Twitter user said. 

People on social media shared with Valle their own story about being a naturalized citizen and wished her grandfather the best.

“We take this for granted sometimes, but I know he *never* will. Felicidad!,” another user Twitter said in a post.

Even Latina journalist Maria Hinojosa replied to the video and shared her joy for Arnulfo.

“Crying crying joy,” she said in a tweet. “This is who we are.” 

Valle also explained to Mashable that in the video, her grandfather can be heard saying, “God this is all I’ve asked you, and you gave it to me.” 

“He studied so hard for so long but because of his disability and age it was harder him to learn and understand the questions,” Valle said. But despite those challenges, we’re glad to see that he prevailed and was able to see his efforts pay off. 

Congratulations Arnulfo! 

Minority Communities Can Breathe A Little Easier As It’s Announced The 2020 Census Won’t Have The Citizenship Question Afterall

Things That Matter

Minority Communities Can Breathe A Little Easier As It’s Announced The 2020 Census Won’t Have The Citizenship Question Afterall

luizfernandovl / Twitter

After weeks of uncertainty, it looks like we finally know the next steps for the 2020 Census.

It seemed all but clear today, Trump was going to try to use his executive authority to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. But at a news conference Thursday evening, Trump admitted defeat on the census and instead will be directing federal agencies to do his bidding for him.

Many imigrant rights activists and minority community leaders are claiming victory since having the citizenship question on the census could have intimidated some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations from participating.

At a Rose Garden press conference, Trump announced that he is giving up on his attempt to include the controversial citizenship question.

Credit: @thehill / Twitter

President Trump announced Thursday he is backing down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to obtain an estimate of U.S. citizenship through other means.

“I am hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country,” Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement Thursday afternoon. “They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately. We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen population.”

Instead, Trump ordered government agencies to share information to figure out how many undocumented people are living in the US.

Credit: @nprpolitics / Twitter

And this has people wondering what will his government attempt to do with this information?

Also, many noted that the plan Trump is following now is the exact same plan the Census Bureau suggested last year but the administration ignored it only to return to it nearly a year later.

Trump’s press conference also showed that his White House is 100% running on chaos.

Credit: @ABC / Twitter

The final announcement also comes just hours after it was reported Trump was going to use an executive order to try and add the question to the 2020 Census – completely defying the Supreme Court.

Obviously, the administation is running on chaos as few people seem to know what the President is going to do from hour to hour.

Trump’s announcement comes just weeks after the Supreme Court denied the administration’s attempt to include the question.

Credit: @ACLU / Twitter

The Supreme Court late last month blocked a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census.

The bitter controversy centers around whether the administration can ask all recipients a citizenship question on the 2020 census for the first time since 1950 — a move that could impact the balance of power in states and the House of Representatives, which are based on total population.

Adding the question, critics say, could result in minorities being undercounted by scaring off even legal residents or naturalized citizens from completing the questionnaire, which is also used to determine funding for an array of important government programs.

Many treated the news as a victory for immigrant’s rights and minority communities.

Credit: @dale_e_ho / Twitter

Immigration and civil rights groups opposing the administration’s efforts have argued that including a citizenship question on the census could reduce response rates in immigrant communities, resulting in federal funding cuts to areas with high minority populations and congressional districts being drawn in a fashion that would politically advantage Republicans.

A Census Bureau report released just last month estimated that adding the question was likely to reduce responses in households with at least one non-citizen by at least 8 percent.

Even though he was expected to back away from the citizenship question, lawmarkers were still worried.

Credit: @RepBarbaraLee / Twitter

Given that Trump had even floated the idea of defying a court order from the US Supreme Court shows that he tends to think like a dictator.

This has given many people many things to worry about.

One reporter noted the ominous sound of thunder rumbling overhead as Trump outlined his administration’s next steps.

I mean, why doesn’t this surprise me? His alternative plan to the citizenship question on the census is still to identify the number of undocumented people living in the country. What will he do with that information?

READ: Latinos Face Severe Underrepresentation With 2020 Census, Here’s Why That Matters

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