Culture

Workplace Deportation Raids May Be In The Future For The U.S.

Credit: irmigaviajera / undocumedia

Now that the election has ended, most people are going back to their normal lives. However, this isn’t necesarily true for immigrants. After being placed in the crosshairs of a vicious election campaign, many will spend the next few months debating whether they should live in fear or leave the U.S. This begs the questions: Why were immigrants so heavily targeted during this campaign if data from the American Immigration Council shows that they are much less likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born citizens?

If immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, why did Trump make so many threats to deport millions of them?


During the election campaign, Trump claimed he would deport up to 11 million immigrants in this country. Since that time, President-elect Trump has changed his tune, saying that he would be open to deporting between 2 million and 3 million immigrants. That’s a HUUGE difference.

In the business world, this is called “anchoring.” You’ve probably done it yourself. Let’s say you asked your dad for money to take someone on a date. Pops asks how much you need. You need 20 bucks (not the most expensive date ever), but you say, “I need $50.” Your dad gets annoyed by that number, and says, “I’ll give you $20, and you’re lucky to get that.” You reluctantly say “thanks,” even though that’s all you wanted in the first place. That’s anchoring.

Trump’s rhetoric was so anti-immigrant, that he can now deport 2 million to 3 million immigrants, and it’ll feel like a compromise from the 11 million he threatened to deport earlier this year.

Refugees welcome #firstlady #michelobama #immigrants #welcome #trump #president #USA

A photo posted by Janine White (@janinewhiteblog) on


Because deporting 2 million immigrants is easier to stomach than 11 million, right? But in fact, the number is still extremely high. Trump’s fiery rhetoric on immigration has also scared immigrants so much, they may very well leave the country out of fear of being deported or arrested — or worse. No one knows what Trump is actually planning at this moment, and that’s a solid business practice. Doing this, he’s employed fear to encourage people to leave, making his job easier. If anything, Trump has turned a class on business 101 into economic policy.

Immigrants were also targeted because they’re an easy target.


Under the Obama administration, leftist ideals dominated the political discourse and our nation. Our country became a nation that encouraged immigrant inclusion, and relaxed its borders. (Despite being called the “Deporter In Chief,” deportation numbers under Obama only appear bigger based on a shift in how “deportation” is measured. Deportations have actually decreased.) This has lead many people to feel that our country was leaving behind the poor working class in the process. In 2015, several news outlets reported that there were now more minority children in this country than any other ethnicity. According to the Pew Research Center, since the 1970s, immigrants are the sole reason this country’s population has increased. Conversely, in 2013, white people died faster than they were born, creating an alarming deficit. Taking all of this into consideration, immigrants are creating a demographic shift in the U.S, and by 2050, minorities are set to become the majority in the U.S. 

The caucasian-birth deficit is one of the concerns at Steve Bannon’s “Breitbart.”

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CREDIT: PEW RESEARCH CENTER

If you’ve heard the name Steve Bannon in the last few days, chances are the headlines were either extremely angry or extremely pleased. Here’s why: Steve Bannon is Donald Trump’s chief strategist, and he runs a website called Breitbart. In an interview with Benjamin Harnwell, Bannon described the website as the third largest conservative website, with a reach that extends well beyond Fox News’. In a May 25 article published to Steve Bannon’s Breitbart, Benjamin Harnwell stated the following, “I do believe that there is an international movement […] to reduce global population. I’m certain of that.” He also stated, “every country, unless it’s being maintained through immigration, will decline and collapse.”

The population of the U.S. would “decline and collapse” without immigrants.

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CREDIT: PEW RESEARCH CENTER

So if the population of the U.S. is sustained by immigration, it makes little sense that Breitbart writer Benjamin Harnwell would be against what’s keeping the U.S. population afloat. So why would he support deportation? As the Pew Research data suggests, the world’s population will reach nearly 10 billion by the year 2050. Minorities are not on a path to extinction, but the birth-deficits among caucasians is real. While Harnwell doesn’t come out and say that, he is concerned about population decline in a world where data proves the population is not declining. So which population is he worried about? The one that’s in decline. This point of view is one of the reasons people are concerned about Breitbart’s ideals. Granted, Harnwell’s opinions are not Bannon’s.

Here’s how Trump will carry out his plan.


Trump’s team is already outling tactics that will allow workplace raids, which could be inhibited in areas that are called Sanctuary Cities. Since last Wednesday, Trump made the mandate that Sanctuary Cities must help the government locate local undocumented immigrants or else they will have their government funding cut – depriving them of billions of dollars. Trump has also stated that the only way immigrants could acquire legal status is by leaving the country, then applying. After toning down talks of building a wall, Trump’s transition team has now come out saying they will build the wall and is also “mulling” a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.  The transition team has stated they will carry out some plans with or without Congress’ approval. Is this another example of Trump’s business talk? We can’t say for sure yet, so the best thing you can do is stay informed.


READ: Here’s How Likely A Massive Deportation Is In The Upcoming Months

The Statue Of Liberty Gets Arrested By ICE In A New Las Vegas Mural That Speaks To Our Inhumane Immigration Policies

Things That Matter

The Statue Of Liberty Gets Arrested By ICE In A New Las Vegas Mural That Speaks To Our Inhumane Immigration Policies

Mural by Izaac Zevalking / Photo by Jesse Hudson

A mural showing the Statue of Liberty being handcuffed by immigration enforcement officers has been unveiled in Las Vegas, amid rancour and anger over Donald Trump’sharsh immigration policies.

The mural, titled “Chained Migration,” was unveiled late last month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mural by Izaac Zevalking / Photo by Jesse Hudson

Since then, it has caused a lot of dialogue between those who support it and those who don’t. 

The mural is a 20×50 art installation that depicts the Statue of Liberty handcuffed and bet over the hood of an ICE patrol car. It was created by Izaac Zevalking, also known as Recycled Propaganda, a political artist that aims to create art influenced by history and current events. Zevalking himself is an immigrant from the UK. Zevalking is using the Statue of Liberty, who is considered a beacon of hope for immigrants, to demonstrate how the harmful rhetoric used against them is harming the American Dream.

In an interview with KTNV Las Vegas, Zevalking explains that the goal of the mural is to create a conversation about immigration in the United States. “I want people just to think about the issue. Wherever that thought leaves you. Wherever that conversation with someone else leaves you. I think it needs to be discussed more in human terms.”

Although some came to the internet to praise Zevalking for his mural, others were quick to disagree with his artwork. 

This Twitter user used the infamous MS13 gang as her reasoning for this mural being shameful. Her comment imitates the language that Trump uses in his statements referring to those who migrate into the United States. She plays into the stereotype that all people who are immigrating to the U.S are dangerous gang members. 

Some on Twitter were quick to claim they’d happily paint it over.

In the replies, a Twitter user suggested they paint over the mural in protest. 

However, Recycled Propaganda clapped back, suggesting that if it gets painted over they keep on bringing it back.

The art piece could not have been more timely given the recent comments made by Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

After being asked in an interview with NPR if the words of Emma Lazarus are part of the American ethos, Cuccinelli replied, adding a line to the poem, “They certainly are – give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” 

The original reads as, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Recently, the Trump administration decided to make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain a Green Card if they receive government aid, such as food stamps or Medicaid. Cuccinelli is a big defender of this policy, so it is not surprising that these comments about Lazarus’ sonnet were made. 

When immigrants are being discussed in politics, it is usually done so in ways that strips them of their humanity.

When folks migrate to the United States, it is often done so out of desperation and necessity. Immigrants come with nothing but a backpack filled with the essentials. They come to work low-paying jobs and because of their status, it is difficult for them to get the assistance they need for issues like healthcare and food assistance. To ask immigrants to come to the United States and to be self-sufficient only treat them with very little dignity is unfair.

When describing this policy, Cuccinelli uses words like a burden when describing immigrants who need public assistance. After his initial remarks about the poem, Cuccinelli said on CNN that the poem was originally referring to Europeans who migrated to the United States. 

The artist, who is an immigrant from the UK points out that America is a very different place for white immigrants.

KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas / YouTube

“I personally wasn’t born in America. I was born in the UK and I don’t ever feel attacked as an immigrant and I think that’s cause my skin is white,” Zevalking says. 

There is a stark difference between the ways European immigrants and Latin American immigrants are treated in the United States and Zevalking is tapping into that notion with his mural, “Chained Migration.” He is acknowledging his privilege as a European immigrant and using it to shed light on how criminalizing it is for non-white immigrants living in the United States.

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

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