Blogging mostly about mundane stuff like, immigration, Workers' Compensation and other immigrant related activities.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

McCain's Sunday Morning Rude Awakening

The end of McCain's campaign is near and his hopes for the U.S. Presidency have all but ended.

On November 4th, McCain stands to lose the election to Barack Obama.  The GOP has imploded. Once the general election is over and the GOP regroups, McCain will find a new role and important role in saving the GOP from itself.

Look for McCain to become a voice of reason within the GOP and see him work steadfastly to finally champion through Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Immigration reform that will end the failed Bush era, a period that saw our country lose on all fronts, on the economy, national security, foreign affairs, one of the saddest and tragic chapters, a total loss of leadership in American history.

McCain will quietly raise the GOP from it's ashes and in the process redeem himself in the eyes of Latinos when he champions immigration reforms.

In the end, McCain will look back on all of this and determine with much sadness that his own party and their embrace of divisive tactics along with an unwillingness to see a new and fast changing America, cost him and them the Presidency of the United States of America.

On Sunday, October 19th, 2008, that end became more evident, as McCain's longtime friend and supporter former Sect. of State, Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama.  Powell was considered by many as the best choice as McCain's choice for VP, in response to Obama's pick of Joe Biden.

With two and a half weeks to go, McCain received the following rude awakening.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Braceros, most well over 80, wait to collect back wages...and wait and wait..

The New York Times reports that a Settlement Will Allow Thousands of Mexican Laborers in the U.S. to Collect Back Pay.

The settlement allows for the return of the 10% of wages that were withheld from Braceros while they worked as farmhands throughout the United States under the Bracero Program. The money was withheld as an incentive for immigrant workers to return to Mexico, but once they returned few if any received the money.  The settlement affects qualified Braceros who currently reside in the United States.  A separate settlement was reached between the Braceros living in Mexico and the Mexican government which paid those claimants similar amounts in settlements.

According to Wells Fargo documents the funds withheld from braceros paychecks were deposited into Banco Nacional de Credito Agricola, which in 1976 became Banrural.  However, in 1999 a spokesperson for Banrural, Hermes Castro Ojeda later claimed that no records existed that such deposits were received.  Castro Ojeda stated, "I don't know what happened with the funds.  They could have been cashed out or could have had another destiny." 

In November of 1999, Banrural bagan accepting claims but the documentation demands were onerous and many braceros lack the documentation which dates back to the early and late 1940's.

Banrural was liquidated in 2003 at a cost of $4.40 billion dollars or 48 billion Mexican pesos to Mexican taxpayers.  It's failure and subsequent liquidation continues to create trouble in the lives of thousands of Mexican citizens who rely on retirement pensions adminsistered by the bank (article is in Spanish).

To this date Mexican government officials deny any wrongdoing, but have not indicated what actually happened to the money. 

Still many baceros are hopeful that they will have their money returned, but more die each year just waiting for their governments action.

Under the settlement, scheduled for a hearing on final approval in a few months, Mexico would give each bracero, or a surviving heir, $3,500
When it comes to managing labor rights and the welfare of migrant workers in the United States, Mexico could be considered a Pimp.   The United States in turn would be considered, the John.  Historically,
it's been a rather convenient relationship for both sides, Mexico's government has been more than happy to feed the United States' insatiable lust for cheap immigrant labor.  Mexico in turn is more than willing to put out millions of Mexican migrant workers onto the streets of America to perform the most dirtiest and dangerous jobs available.

Today Mexico has become dependent on the remittances that millions of migrant workers send home.  Remittances to Mexico now contributes more than $20 billion dollars to the Mexican economy.  The amount is second to oil exports, tourism is the third largest source of revenue to Mexico.

Mexican officials have also quietly lobbied Mexican Hometown Associations (HTA) to increase their participation in the governments Tres-Por-Uno program.  The HTA's are groups of individuals who maintain active ties to the local towns from which they emigrated to the United States.  The HTA members are routinely encouraged by local and state elected officials to contribute money to build roads and other improvements to their towns via the Tres-Por-Uno progam.  The program has become an efficient way for Mexican officials to tap into additional building roads, churches and public plazas, but has done little in the way of promoting job creation.

The fact that neither the remittances or funds from the Tres-Por-Uno create jobs, ensures that Mexican migrant workers will continue to seek employment in the United States and for the forseable future there will always be a willing employer to provide a welcoming embrace to that migrant worker, even if it's only accompanied by a low wage and poor working conditions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some Don't Care and Won't Vote! Some Care and Can't Vote!

If you don't care about the economy, education, the War in Iraq, or any of the multitude of issues affecting Americans, then don't Vote!

Many Americans, including myself will be voting on Nov 4th.  I for one, am f*#%ing totally excited that my guy is ahead, way ahead, just take a look at the polls.  Yet, despite the fact that my candidate is ahead, I'm still nervous about the next three weeks.  Mostly, I worry about how Whites in the Mid-West and Southern parts of our Nation will vote.  Can many of those Whites, get themselves to for a Black man as the next President of The United States of America?  The question is valid and it remains to be answered on Nov 4th. 

The historic moment is almost here and I'm grateful to be alive and able to participate.

Whenever, I'm in public I talk about the elections and ask how people plan to vote.  It's surprising how many people I run into who don't plan to vote.  Some are apathetic and believe their vote won't count.  Some are not not registered and I'll try to point them in the right direction and ask that they register and vote.

Granted some people just can't vote, they can't vote because they are legal residents and not yet Citizens.  Undocumented immigrants, the 12 Million or so no living in the U.S. can't vote, their fate hangs in the balance.  Their fate is yet to be decided by Congress and us who can vote which will ultimately sway public opinion about their fate.  So, those undocumented immigrants silently and hope that someone will speak (vote) in their favor and allow them to remain in this country. 

If you are a Citizens and are registered to Vote, then it's both a right and your duty to participate in these historic elections.

See you at the Voting Booths!  I'm voting for Obama.