Friday, October 7, 2011

DVD-DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN/Horrible: Alabama Immigration Law Keeping Hispanic Children From Attending School

  The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility and Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings are hosting the FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES.  The next film DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN [Mexico, 2004] will be shown on Fri., Oct. 7 at Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218.  The Meeting hosts a potluck dinner from 6 to 7 PM on First Fridays after the vigil.  At 7 PM, the DVD will be shown with a discussion to follow.  There is no charge, and refreshments will be available.  Call Max at 410-366-1637.


DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN [Mexico, 2004], directed by Sergio Arau, is a fantasy in which all Mexicans in California suddenly disappear.  It takes a satirical look at the range of effects on the non-Latino Californians who remain after a "pink fog" surrounds California. Nothing crosses the pink fog border, and it is said to be responsible for the lack of telephone and internet communications outside the state. During the course of the film, many theories are brought up concerning the disappearance of the Mexicans from biological warfare/terrorism to government experiment conspiracies to alien abductions and the rapture. The film revolves around a series of characters who are affected by the event. Lila Rodriguez (Yareli Arizmendi), a LA TV reporter whose Mexican parents have disappeared and is considered California's "last remaining Mexican." The temporary governor of California (John Getz) and his wife (Melinda Allen) are without servants. 


The film's 2004 awards include best screenplay at the Cartagena Film Festival and a nomination for best film; a special jury award at the Gramado Film Festival; and an award for best editing at the Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival. U.S. critics were not impressed with the film.


Horrible: Alabama Immigration Law Keeping Hispanic Children From Attending School

By Brian Stewart, Campus Progress
Posted on October 4, 2011, Printed on October 7, 2011

 Hundreds of Hispanic students in Alabama aren’t showing up at school after a federal judge upheld the state’s harsh anti-immigration law, one of the first major consequences of the law, according to a report from USA Today.

While federal law mandates that states provide K-12 education to undocumented children, Alabama’s law requires schools to verify immigration status for those enrolling—the first state to do so. And despite the state’s assurance that such information will only be used by the Department of Education to track spending on such students, the practice is proving to be an intimidation tactic prompting hundreds of parents to keep their children home.

In the state’s capital alone, 231 Hispanic children were absent last Thursday, the day the law took effect, Montgomery Superintendent Barbara Thompson tells USA Today. Huntsville City Schools reported 207 absent Hispanic students and other districts reported parents withdrawing their children.

“Obviously, there's a fear factor about what the law is in regard to the schools,” said Keith Ward, a spokesman for Huntsville City Schools, told USA Today. “We're not doing any enforcement. We’re in the business and have the obligation to educate all students. For us, it’s just data collection.”

In addition to jeopardizing the educational opportunities of many young Americans, the law could impact all Alabama children; just a few hundred students dropping out could mean millions less in education funding for the state.

The Center for American Progress, our parent organization, called the judge’s ruling a “twisted legal opinion that would inspire the envy of a circus contortionist,” highlighting several of the

“These legal conclusions are so extreme and such an outlier from rulings on similar cases that they would be laughable if not so dangerous,” the statement reads, continuing:

Among other things, Judge Blackburn effectively concluded that Alabama could: 

  • Require the state’s police officers to ask for immigration papers from anyone they come in contact with who looks or sounds foreign (despite numerous other courts concluding that such policies are preempted by federal law)
  • Create a crime for failing to carry registration documents (in violation of Supreme Court precedent)
  • Mandate the indefinite jailing of any undocumented immigrant driving without a license (almost certainly a constitutional due process violation)

“The law uses fear to deter Alabama’s Hispanic population from education, even if officials try to claim otherwise,” the paper says. “Public and secondary education is a protected constitutional right, but immigrant parents will fear being traced. The verbal equivalent of a pinky promise not to arrest anyone won’t soothe these fears.”

The Department of Justice, along with the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed an appeal against the recent ruling on Monday.

© 2011 All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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