Immigration Activists to Mexican National Team: Don’t Play Next Soccer Game in Arizona

On January 30, the Mexican national soccer team (known as “El Tri”) is scheduled to play Denmark in an international friendly at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. According to Milenio, there is a push by immigration rights supporters to have the team not play in Glendale and choose another U.S. venue outside of Arizona.

The reason? It would send a powerful message to the state known for its harsh anti-immigration laws and culture.

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This is what Salvador Reza, director of Tonatierra, told Milenio in Spanish (translation is ours):

We ask the Mexican Soccer Federation to reconsider and not bring the national team to a place where there have been raids, separation of families, deportations, and harsh policies that have led to widespread discrimination against Mexicans.

Sendy Vargas, of the Barrio Defense Committee, added, “This is everyone’s team. And they are going to leave money, through taxes, with a government that has repressed us for three years, the government of [governor] Jan Brewer.”

Another activist, Mario Chihuahua, said that “at least 10%” of the revenue that the Mexican team makes at the match will go to Arizona taxes.

According to Vargas, she has sent several emails to the Mexican Soccer Federation, reminding them of the situation in Arizona, which she said has seen more than 92,000 deportations last year. As of right now, Vargas has not received a reply.

Reza also told Milenio that Glendale is notorious for its racial profiling of Mexican drivers. He added, “There, if you are Latino, there is a greater possibility that you will get stopped. Mexicans run a risk if they come to Glendale. If you are coming from other parts of Arizona or if you are coming from any other state, like California or Nevada, you run the risk of getting stopped. It is a city where racial profiling against Mexicans is conducted rather harshly.”

The article makes mention that Phoenix Police also have jurisdiction in Glendale and that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio coordinates security around Glendale and the university.

Reza concluded by saying the following:

I understand that a lot of people are coming to see the team. But it is important that the Mexican Soccer Federation understand what is happening to us in Arizona and what they are exposing people to.

ICE Raids Wrong Home: Leaves Oklahoma Family Shaken and Angry

The following story from Oklahoma is the latest example of an immigration system that is broken. According to the following video reports, a family from Moore, Oklahoma was mistakenly raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE) agents.

Carlos Estrada Barrintos and his family have every right to be upset and visibly shaken. The part that got to us? This one from the original news story:

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With guns drawn in the home he’s lived in for over 10 years, Estrada says agents realized after about five minutes they had the wrong guy. But he says he was kept in handcuffs for another 40 minutes to be fingerprinted. He says he was even asked for his green card.

“I saw my kids and my wife,” said an emotional Estrada.

Carlos says he’s done nothing but try to do what’s right and obey the law. He’s been a legal U.S. citizen since 1988.

“I get my insurance and everything, because I know, I need to respect the laws,” says Estrada wiping tears from his face. “I tell my kids every time, you got to do this, you got to do that, we need to be good citizens.”

He was told he had been under surveillance by ICE agents for three years and was showed a picture of himself at his job in 2010.

“My understanding is, the subject they were actually looking for was arrested in 2000, 2008,” said Estrada’s nephew, Eric Martinez. “They would have a little more recent photos compared to what Carlos looks like. They look nothing alike.”

“We just don’t want that to happen again, mistakes like that,” said Estrada.

What is even more classic is the statement ICE gave the news station that broke the story:

On Jan. 8 at about 6 a.m., officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and District 21 Task Force in Oklahoma executed a search warrant issued by a District Court judge at a Moore, Okla., residence.

Shortly after entering the residence, ICE officers interviewed the alleged target and noted a discrepancy between the residence owner’s social security number and that of the target of the investigation.

Officers conducted an on-site electronic fingerprint comparison which confirmed that the residence owner was not the target of the investigation, even though they both have the same name.

Officers apologized and departed the residence. ICE immediately began investigating this incident, which is ongoing. The investigation into the original target is also ongoing.

VIDEO: Has the New Voice for Latino Civil Rights Arrived?

Is the new voice of civil rights for US Latinos here? Maybe so, if you listen to what the Rev. Sam Rodríguez, the the fortysomething evangelical president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), has to say. This year Rodríguez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, will be “the first Latino leader to give a keynote address at Dr. King’s annual commemorative service scheduled for Monday, January, 21.” According to NBC Latino, “the event also marks the beginning of a year-long celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of his unforgettable ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.” By the way, according to the article, Rodríguez turned down an invitation to speak at President Obama’s inauguration because of his commitment to the King memorial.

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If the following video is any indication of that the Rev. Rodríguez will speak about on January 21, this year should be memorable. You would think other Latino leaders would follow Rodríguez’s lead. Talk about fiery rhetoric.

But hey, we have known about the Rev. Sam for a while now, especially when he was unfairly criticized by the ignorant Tequila Party for not being qualified to talk about immigration because he was Puerto Rican. And during the early days of the GOP primaries in 2011, Rodríguez led the way in telling politicians that the anti-immigrant rhetoric just needs to stop. Recently, Rodríguez and other Latino evangelical leaders are pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, taking their message to the pulpit in the “I Was a Stranger” campaign.

Now we are not saying that everything Rodríguez says is spot on. There are still issues surrounding his views on gay marriage, for example. But it is clear that Rev. Sam is promoting brown/black unity and a belief that immigration is a civil rights issue.