Things That Matter

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks SB4 In Texas, But The Fight Is Not Over

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If you ask Democratic lawmakers, the American Civil Liberties Union and Latino immigration advocates, they’d all tell you that Texas’ Senate Bill 4 is unconstitutional. SB4 would ban the “Sanctuary Cities” policy in the state, which would allow local and county authorities to racially profile Latinos. Signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in May, SB4 was supposed to take effect tomorrow, but not anymore.

Yesterday, in San Antonio, Federal Judge Orlando L. Garcia temporarily blocked against SB4.

Within 24 hours of Abbott signing SB4 into law, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to bar implementation of SB4. Their lawsuit stated that the law was “patently unconstitutional on numerous grounds and the balance of harms strongly militates in favor of preserving the status quo.”

Judge Garcia ruled that the temporary ban against SB4 is granted until this case is resolved.

Judge Garcia said yesterday that SB4 can’t ban people and/or ideas just because they disagree with certain viewpoints.

“The government may disagree with certain viewpoints, but they cannot ban them just because they are inconsistent with the view that the government seeks to promote,” Judge Garcia wrote, according to The New York Times. He added, “SB 4 clearly targets and seeks to punish speakers based on their viewpoint on local immigration enforcement policy.”

The state of Texas already said it would appeal the judge’s ruling. The case is now going to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans. The New York Times states that this court is one of the most conservative in the U.S.

When the ruling hit social media, many of those advocating against SB4 celebrated the victory.

Some are calling this a minor victory because there’s still so much work that needs to be done in order for SB4 to be completely shut down.

LULAC National President Roger Rocha tells mitú people must remain vigilant .

“People must know their rights,” Rocha tells mitú. “You can be a U.S. citizen and still get pulled over.”

Rocha also said they knew an appeal would be one of the steps in the process, and something they expected. “This fight isn’t over, and we’re very confident in our lawyers.”

Rocha says that the outcome of SB4 is very important because the final ruling will have a major, nationwide effect on the discussion of immigration and racial profiling.

“I can see this going to the all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Rocha says. “Texas is ground zero, so if [SB4] passes, other states will follow and it will further divide this country.

Some on Twitter claim the judge ruled against SB4 because he’s Latino.

The New York Times also points out that Judge Garcia used to be a Democratic state lawmaker in the 1980s, and was appointed to the federal courts by President Bill Clinton in 1994.

To those critics, Rocha tells mitú the claim “doesn’t hold much water.”

“They are wrong,” Rocha says. “[Judges] need to follow the rule of law. What if it would have been a Republican judge? Judges are there to interpret the law and follow the law themselves.”

Rocha also says relief efforts in Houston paint a picture of how the community should always be with each other.

“It’s unfortunate that it takes Hurricane Harvey people coming together regardless of their nationality,” Rocha tells mitú. “It has to take a national tragedy for people to help each other. We should always be that way.”

READ: John Leguizamo Calls On Latino Celebs To Boycott Texas Because Of New Anti-Immigrant Law

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After Defending Trump’s Racist Tweet, Kellyanne Conway Asks Reporter ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’

Things That Matter

After Defending Trump’s Racist Tweet, Kellyanne Conway Asks Reporter ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’

Does the Trump administration ever take a break from being downright harmful and problematic? Apparently not. On Tuesday, Kelly Conway asked a reporter about his ethnicity outside of the White House after the reporter asked a question about Trump’s racist tweets last weekend aimed toward AOC and three other congresswomen of color. 

Now, critics and users online are calling out the counselor to the president for a question that many do not truly know what to make of.

In an attempt to defend Trump’s racist remarks, she ended up saying something problematic herself and dug herself into an even bigger hole. 

“Following up on the previous question, if the President was not telling these four congresswomen to return to their supposed countries of origin, to which countries was he referring?,” asked White House reporter Andrew Feinberg.

To which WH counselor Kellyanne Conway asked, “What’s your ethnicity?” 

Feinberg responds, “Um, why is that relevant?” Then Conway goes on to tell the reporter and the cameras, “My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.” The reporter tells Conway that his ethnicity is not relevant to the question he asked. 

Following his racist tweets from the weekend, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that his tweets were “NOT racist” and that he does “not have a racist bone” in his body. To which AOC responded in another tweet, “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.” 

According to People, Trump also told reporters that the backlash he received from his racist tweets “doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me. All I’m saying is if they want to leave, they can leave now.”

Instead of answering the reporter’s original question yesterday, Conway felt evidently provoked and reacted defensively by going on a tirade.

–Wich at this point, isn’t unusual or surprising from the Trump administration. 

“He’s put out all of tweets and he made himself available…,” Conway told the reporter. “He’s tired. A lot of us are sick and tired of this country –– of America coming last… to people who swore an oath of office. Sick and tired of our military being denigrated. Sick and tired of the Customs and Border Protection people I was with, who are overwhelmingly Hispanic by the way being … criticized.” 

The rest of (sane) America, however, is also sick and tired of Trump, Conway, and the rest of the Trump administration’s foolish behavior, racism, and bigotry. 

Feinberg spoke to CNN‘s Don Lemon to discuss the incident. “I was thinking that this is bizarre, I’ve been a journalist in Washington for about 10 years and I’ve never had any government official speak to me that way or ask such an inappropriate question.”  

Unfortunately, the White House reporter isn’t the only person who has felt this way during the Trump administration –– following his racist tweets aimed at four congresswomen of color, saying, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came… you can’t leave fast enough.” 

Lemon replied to Feinberg’s comment and said, “It seemed that she proved exactly what the critics of the president were saying by asking you that question, am I wrong?” To which the reporter responds that this isn’t the first time Conway has asked him an “inappropriate” or “irrelevant” question in response to one of his questions. 

CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza also put it perfectly: “That Conway actually uttered the words “what’s your ethnicity” to a reporter — and refused to drop her line of inquiry –– amid an ongoing racial firestorm sparked by Trump’s own willingness to tell non-white members of Congress to go back where you came from is stunning, even coming, as it did, from an administration that has repeatedly shown there simply is no bottom.” 

Since asking the reporter, “What’s your ethnicity?” Conway addressed it in a tweet saying, “This was meant with no disrespect. We are all from somewhere else ‘originally.’ I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity… Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA, and grateful to God to be an American.” 

People also took to social media to rightfully criticize Conway and the irrelevant and inappropriate question she asked the White House reporter.  

Folks on social media also shared their own personal instances when someone has asked coded questions about someone’s nationality and/or ethnicity. However, all while expressing that although these are often questions asked by anyone but a government official –– especially one working for the White House. 

13 Celebrities Who Migrated And Built Their Careers Far From Home

Entertainment

13 Celebrities Who Migrated And Built Their Careers Far From Home

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There’s no denying the fact that the entertainment industry has vastly become an amalgamation of artists from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. After all, it was largely built, in great part, by migrants who either fled war-torn countries or arrived in the U.S. with nothing to build a better future. Since the early days of Hollywood, when European migrants fled the two world wars and then the Cold War, showbiz has been accommodating to creative minds searching for a conduit to tell their stories through song, words or film. In these days in which many question the value of cultural diversity, it is important to remember how much migrants have contributed to the social, cultural and political foundations of the United States and other Western countries.

Here are 17 individuals who wouldn’t take no for an answer, and we thank them for it!

1. Gloria Estefan

Credit: Instagram. @gloriaestefan

Country origin: Cuba
Now lives in: the United States

One of the most influential personalities among the Cuban community in Miami was born in 1957, right in the middle of the Cold War, in Havana. Her father was a soldier and motor escort for Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, so the the family moved to Miami when the Revolution struck. Estefan’s dad later fought in Vietnam. Gloria Estefan is a famous opposer to the revolutionary regime in Cuba. Her dad suffered from the effects of Agent Orange after Vietnam, so Gloria’s mom was her source of support. She has said: “My mom was a source of strength. She showed me by example that women, regardless of how difficult life may get, can do it all”.

2. Kumail Nanjiani

Credit: Instagram. @kumailn

Country origin: Pakistan
Now lives in: the United States

The star of The Big Sick was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in a religious Muslim family. He moved to the United States when he was just 18-years-old and he completed a major in computer science and philosophy, a combination that later led him to his iconic role in the HBO hit comedy “Silicon Valley.” Being a Muslim in America in this day and age is not easy, and Kumail has found a way to sublimate these struggles through his art.

3. Salma Hayek

Credit: Instagram. @salmahayek

Country origin: Mexico
Now lives in: France, previously in the United States

Salma Hayek has generated hundreds of jobs in the United States through her movies and her production house, as well as millions of dollars in revenue. She arrived to the United States and initially overstayed her visa before getting a green card. She is open about this, and she has become a citizen of the United States. She lives in France for most of the year with her husband, billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault.

4. Jim Carrey

Credit: Instagram. @jimcarrey_

Country origin: Canada
Now lives in: the United States

If we think of politically engaged actors in Hollywood, we have to think about Jim Carrey. He was born in Ontario, Canada, but has lived in the United States for decades. He is often outspoken when it comes to politics and he became a citizen in 2004 to be able to vote in the presidential elections. He is as funny as he is intelligent: his political stances are humanitarian in nature and fierce in practice. His philosophy is encapsulated by this awesome phrase: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. Just wow.

5. Natalie Portman

Credit: Instagram. @natalieportman

Country origin: Israel
Now lives in: the United States

The Oscar-winning actress holds both an Israeli and an American passport. Besides being an actress, Portman is a consummate scientist and has authored academic papers. She graduated from Harvard, by the way. Todo un cerebrito la Natalia! She also serves some harsh truths: “Smart women love smart men more than smart men love smart women”.

6. Sofia Vergara

Credit: Instagram. @sofiavergara

Country origin: Colombia
Now lives in: the United States

The highest-paid actress in television was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, and moved to Miami to find fame and fortune. She also found a home in the United States. She is outspoken about Latino rights and bragged happily when she passed her citizenship test with a perfect score. Te queremos, Sofia, te queremos.

7. Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan

Credit: Instagram. @kevins_personalities

Country origin: India
Now lives in: the United States

Once touted as the next Steven Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan was born in Puducherry, India, in 1970. His parents migrated to the United States when he was barely six years old and he was raised in Hindu, which made his cultural adaptation harder. He is an honorable member of the American-Indian community and he always shows his ethnicity proudly on his sleeve.

8. Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer

Credit: Instagram. @cesarsway

Country origin: Mexico lindo y querido
Now lives in: the United States

One of the greatest stars of reality television arrived illegally and with a mere $100 USD in his pocket. He chased his American Dream and he found it thanks to his amazing ability to get into the minds of dogs and into the hearts of celebrities and lay people alike. A true standout among Latino entertainers.

9. Singer Regina Spektor

Credit: Instagram. @reginaspektor

Country origin: Russia (then the Soviet Union)
Now lives in: the United States

She was born in Moscow in 1980, in the then Soviet Union. Her parents fled the communist regime when she was nine, seeking a refugee status in the United States with the help of HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). Spektor is a classically trained musician that has experimented with all sorts of genres. Know that amazing opening song in “Orange is the New Black”? Well, that’s her!

10. Music legend Carlos Santana

Credit: Instagram. @carlossantana

Country origin: Mexico
Now lives in: the United States

One of the godfathers of Chicano rock was actually born in Jalisco, Mexico. The family moved to the border town of Tijuana when Carlos was a kid, and then the young musician tested his luck in San Francisco. The rest, as they say, is musical history. Santana is a true hijo de la frontera.

11. Novelist Isabel Allende

Credit: Instagram. @allendeisabel

Country origin: Chile
Now lives in: the United States

The legendary author of The House of Spirits was born in Chile, and denounced the many atrocities of the Pinochet military regime. She did so in her books, and also in her outspoken political persona. She is a Chilean-American dual citizen and in 2014 then-president Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She often lectures on literature in US colleges. She settled in California in 1989 and was awarded her citizenship in 1992.

12. Hollywood legend Anthony Quinn

Credit: Instagram. @cinema.classic

Country origin: Mexico
Lived in: the United States

Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca was born in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. This legendary actor, the epitome of the rugged Hollywood type, was born during the Mexican Revolution to a Mexican mother and an Irish immigrant father. The family later relocated to Los Angeles.

13. Actor Andy Garcia

Credit: Instagram. @lovelikefilm

Country origin: Cuba
Now lives in: the United States

One of the most vociferous opponents to the Castro regime and a prominent member of the Cuban-American community. He was born in Havana, but his family relocated to the United States after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

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