Friday, November 30, 2007

Language barrier leads to unlicensed advice when interpreters act as lay lawyers

Constitutional question raised

In its November 22 issue, the Nashville Scene reported here that certain court interpreters are giving more than just translations to non-English-speaking defendants in Davidson County Sessions Court. According to the Scene, in some cases they are practicing law without a license and in the process giving harmful legal advice. Local attorney Sean Lewis filed a case raising Constitutional concerns, in which it was alleged that the interpreter told a defendant to plead guilty.

Attorney Jerry Gonzalez wrote this letter to the editor in the next issue citing other examples of the behavior, the Supreme Court rule against it, and what response he has been given when bringing it to judges' attention.

Deputy public defender Laura Dykes is quoted by the Scene as saying, "We do have some translators who like to tell people what the law is":
According to the filing, Quinteros arrived in court the next day and was appointed a public defender and interpreter. Unfortunately, when it came time for Quinteros to register his plea, his lawyer “sat on a bench in the courtroom while [Quinteros] was advised by the interpreter to plead guilty.”

Also, Quinteros was not informed that he “had the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ ” and that he “would not have pleaded guilty had he known he had such an option.”

In another strange twist, the filing says the courtroom was closed to the English-speaking public. Immigration attorneys say closing a courtroom to English speakers is highly irregular.

Quinteros’ new, privately hired attorney, Sean Lewis, filed the petition last month claiming his client had been denied his constitutional rights during the hearing. Lewis refused comment on the matter, which is in the process of being scheduled for a hearing before a judge.


[Deputy public defender] Dykes was generally complimentary of the work that courthouse translators do. “They really are just trying to help the lawyers move cases,” she says. She also points out that translators sometimes overstep their bounds. “We do have some translators who like to tell people what the law is,” Dykes says. “They think that they’re helping.”
Excerpts from Attorney Gonzalez's letter:
The lack of professionalism is still far too prevalent in my experience, which includes watching interpreters render legal advice in the hallway, speak with parties aside from their interpreter duties, and act more like courtroom deputies than interpreters (see also the ethical rule prohibiting even the appearance of bias). I wrote a General Sessions judge once about a person presenting himself as a “certified” interpreter when, in fact, he had failed even the English language exam repeatedly and was not certified by the Administrative Office of the Courts. I never received a response, and although that interpreter no longer interprets in General Sessions courts as far as I am aware, he apparently was promoted and now works at the Criminal Court level as a staff member.

Related stories:
10.10.06: City Paper praises court interpreter role
12.23.03: Courts may worsen interpreter shortage with new pay ceiling
09.13.07: Ceja Enterprises enjoined from offering legal services
03.01.07: Legal bureaucracies and lawyer impersonators trap ordinary expatriates
06.13.05: Lawyer impersonators prey on Hispanic consumers
03.29.05: Notario abuse law unenforced
07.15.04: Nashville Scene profiles Jerry Gonzalez

Photo by Brooke Novak. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Looking for the Hispanic chamber? There are TWO.

Two active Hispanic chambers of commerce attract their respective followings in Middle Tennessee

The most basic thing to know about "the Hispanic chamber" is that there is often more than one.

There are two active Hispanic chambers of commerce in Middle Tennessee: the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Two other chambers are now defunct. The Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber was disbanded in 2007 by its founder Eva Melo, who continues to organize events in town (like this holiday party, also December 4 but not at the same time as the Nashville chamber luncheon). The incorporation of the Middle Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce lasted only a year - from June 15, 2006 to its administrative dissolution by the State of Tennessee on August 27, 2007.

how many Hispanic chambers are there in Nashville?

Nashville Hispanic Chamber holiday luncheon December 4

The Nashville Business Journal published this story announcing the holiday luncheon of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce*, to be held December 4 at Scarritt-Bennett:
The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Susie Gray Dining Hall at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1008 19th Ave. S. in Nashville.

The menu will include turkey and the all the trimmings and attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

Cost to attend is $18.95 per person plus tax. For more information contact the Hispanic Chamber at 615-216-5737.
*Hispanic Chamber 101: There are two active Hispanic chambers of commerce in Middle Tennessee: the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Two other chambers are now defunct. The Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber was disbanded earlier this year by its founder Eva Melo, who continues to organize events in town (like this holiday party, also December 4 but not at the same time as the Nashville chamber luncheon). The incorporation of the Middle Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce lasted only a year - from June 15, 2006 to its administrative dissolution by the State of Tennessee on August 27, 2007.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holidays around the World December 1

Supports Susan Gray School, for children with typical and also impaired development, economically and culturally diverse student body

International food, live international music and entertainment, special children’s activities and a silent auction

Argentina one of featured countries

Vanderbilt University's Susan Gray School will host its Holidays Around the World celebration on December 1, according to this press release:
The public is invited to join over 200 children and their families at the Susan Gray School’s annual Holidays Around the World celebration Dec. 1.

The event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Junior League Conference Center, 2202 Crestmoor Road. Tickets are $75 for families and $30 for singles.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the school’s diversity while learning about different cultures and their holidays. We encourage the Nashville community to come and share in the fun,” Ruth Wolery, Susan Gray School director, said.

The event will feature international food, live international music and entertainment, special children’s activities and a silent auction. Countries featured this year are Italy, Cambodia, Australia, China, the United States, Ghana, Haiti, Argentina and Japan. Vanderbilt head basketball coach Kevin Stallings is 2007 honorary event chair and star basketball player Shan Foster is the honorary student.

The Susan Gray School, located at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Edgehill Avenue, offers an early education program for children from birth to 5 years. The school serves typically developing children and children with various disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, failure to thrive, pre-maturity, Down syndrome and speech language delays. The school also serves an economically and culturally diverse population from around the world. It is affiliated with Vanderbilt's Peabody College of education and human development.

For more information about the event or to purchase tickets in advance, contact the Susan Gray School at 322-8200 or e-mail

Learn more about the Susan Gray School at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call for nominees: Second Annual Hispanic Nashville Noteworthy Awards

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Nominations due December 13

Nominations are being accepted for the second annual "Hispanic Nashville Noteworthy" Awards, for exceptional people, groups, items, places, events, contributions, or achievements* by or related to Hispanic Nashvillians. The Noteworthy Awards are a project of the Hispanic Nashville Notebook.

*These are examples only. Anyone and anything can be nominated - a restaurant, business, book, accountant, taco stand, newspaper, decision, party, church, mural, dentist, school, neighborhood, politician, song - anything, as long as it is noteworthy and among or related to the Hispanic members of the Nashville community.

Send to the editor a description of the person, group, item, place, event, contribution, or achievement you believe is especially "noteworthy," along with an explanation for your nomination (with some specifics), your connection to the nominee, a short bio or background of the nominee, any additional information that supports your nomination such as newspaper articles or pictures, and your contact information.

Nominations are due by Thursday, December 13.

Last year's recipients are listed here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Old Rudy

David Brooks in the New York Times takes Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani to task for changing who he is in order to play to his audience. In 1996, then Mayor Giuliani gave a speech before the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, in which he said:

“I’m pleased to be with you this evening to talk about the anti-immigrant movement in America,” he said, “and why I believe this movement endangers the single most important reason for American greatness, namely, the renewal, reformation and reawakening that’s provided by the continuous flow of immigrants.”

Giuliani continued: “I believe the anti-immigrant movement in America is one of our most serious public problems.” It can “be seen in legislation passed by Congress and the president.” (Republicans had just passed a welfare reform law that restricted benefits to legal immigrants.) “It can be seen in the negative attitudes being expressed by many of the politicians.”

It should come as no surprise that a kid like Rudy, who grew up in the ethnic enclaves of New York, would have such an affinity for immigrants in America. He even had a passionate, yet entirely rational and reasonable defense of his making NYC a "sanctuary city":

“There are times,” he declared, “when undocumented aliens must have a substantial degree of protection.” They must feel safe sending their children to school. They should feel safe reporting crime to the police. “Similarly, illegal and undocumented immigrants should be able to seek medical help without the threat of being reported. When these people are sick, they are just as sick and just as contagious as citizens.”

In my estimation, this whole "illegal immigration crisis" didn't really begin to come into fruition until after the 2004 elections, when Republicans on talk radio realized they could blame the Country's problems on Democrats, and they didn't want to blame them on President Bush, so they found a new called "illegal immigrants."

Now, because of the movement Rudy decried, which started on talk radio, and spread to the supposedly "liberal" CNN and beyond, very few candidates will ever give a passionate defense for a rational and compassionate immigration policy.

While this may sound elitist, I'll go ahead and say it anyways, it is time for our leaders to lead again, not follow. Our country was founded under the principles of the Republic, which taught that representatives were supposed to be the brightest and most qualified people, and they should lead based on the interests of all people, not simply be lead by the "mob". If the public sentiment is against a certain policy or proposal, which through all objective measures shows it would be better for the public at large (such as requiring undocumented immigrants to take driving exams) than it should be up to the leaders, the politicians, to stand for the policy and try and explain to the people why it is necessary.

Fear and suspicion are generally much easier sentiments for a politician to exploit, but that doesn't mean that people like Rudy Giuliani, or any other Presidential candidate, should do it. It is time the people reward honesty in their political leaders, rather than rewarding exploitation of fear, and poll driven policies.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Resist negativity toward immigrants, say Thanksgiving column and October sermon

Live selflessly among people who are disparaged by others

"We don't want to see them sometimes."

"We have to speak out"

Update 11/24/07: Speaking of the illegal immigrant as the Samaritan, this true story of Jesus Manuel Cordova (on today's AP wire) is a modern version of the Good Samaritan parable which answered the question, "Who is my neighbor?"

A Tennessean columnist and two Belmont Church pastors recently urged their audiences to resist negativity toward immigrants and others.

At Belmont Church in Nashville, on October 28, 2007, Pastor Emeritus Don Finto asked World Outreach Pastor Mick Antanaitis, "What's it mean, Mick, to advance the Kingdom?" These are excerpts of his response:

"We're going to give it all up. ... Therefore, we don't live our lives for ourselves any more, we live our lives for Jesus. ... We give it up in Jerusalem, which means our home town... and then we give it up in Samaria - which means among people who are ... disparaged by others...
Hello - Samaria? Those are different kind of folks. They're not our kind of people, Lord. Who are the people that are not our kind of people who are around us that we better pay attention to?
Well, I'll tell you who they are. They are who we call, "undocumented workers" or "illegal aliens" ... they are refugees, they are immigrants ... they are international students ... the people on the outside looking in who we walk by every day because we don't see them and we don't want to see them sometimes.
Columnist Dwight Lewis dedicated his Thanksgiving column to the struggle against hate and hate crimes, including "some aimed toward immigrants":
[E]ven one hate crime committed is one too many. That's why, on this Thanksgiving day, all of us should spend a moment as we gather around the tables with friends and family to discuss ways we can make America a more tolerant nation.

[W]e have to stay on top of this stuff. We have to speak out against hate of any kind. And we can do it in our homes, our schools, our churches and other religious institutions, and even at work.
Related stories in 2007:
  • 11.15.07
    Maury official: "It’s just like Ivory soap - 99.99 percent of them are here illegally"
  • 11.12.07
    Wildfire deception blames devastation on Latino group, appears to have started in Nashville
  • 11.06.07
    The words and worlds of the Minuteman
  • 10.09.07
    Tennessee universities roll out welcome mat in struggle to attract Hispanic students
  • 09.20.07
    Hispanic Achievers receives $50,000 gift from Nissan
  • 07.28.07
    Nissan contributes to civil rights efforts of National Council of La Raza
  • 07.26.07
    Tennessean op-ed page asks, too much hate in immigration bureaucracy debate?
  • 07.16.07
    Maury County official: "We won't have a White House, we'll have a Brown House"
  • 07.08.07
    Candidate Brownback asks Latinos for forgiveness from Nashville platform
  • 05.22.07
    Prayers, hands, songs lifted to God for compassion in immigrant prayer vigil
  • 05.20.07
    Hospitality, unity touted at Luis Palau Nashville CityFest
  • 05.09.07
    Gentry believes welcoming, friendly culture is key to Nashville's future
  • 04.27.07
    Sumner County Catholics support Spanish-speakers
  • 04.10.07
    WKRN anchor Maddela laments racism on Web
  • 04.05.07
    Tennessee part of national "Night of 1,000 Conversations" for immigrants
  • 02.12.07
  • 01.19.07
    "Illegal" noun in Tennessean headline
  • 01.12.07
    Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber joins city-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration
  • 01.07.07
    Governor Bredesen leads the way for ongoing immigrant policy discussion without rhetoric against Spanish-speakers and foreign-born

Photo by Bart. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Siloam helps Nashville refugees from over 100 countries

"Culturally sensitive, thoughtful continuous care on the front end can save a lot of money for the city of Nashville in the longterm."

WKRN reports here on Nashville's Siloam Family Health Center, which provides healthcare to refugees who have come to Nashville from over 100 countries:
Of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, Nashville, Tennessee ranks number one in the number of new immigrants.
The staff at the south Nashville clinic work hard to make sure Nashville’s newest residents feel welcome, but don't become a healthcare burden.
It is not an easy task, especially when you consider people from over 100 different countries come through their doors.
Dr. Wills said, "By keeping people as much as we can out of emergency rooms, out of operating rooms when that can be avoided. So, culturally sensitive, thoughtful continuous care on the front end can save a lot of money for the city of Nashville in the longterm."
Siloam is seen as a model for other cities in dealing with the healthcare of immigrant and refugee populations.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Networking Night December 4 at the Trace

Eva Melo and Telefutura Channel 42 are hosting a networking night at the Trace on December 4 at 5:30pm. Melo used to head the now-defunct Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The text of the invitation is as follows:
Join us for a
Holiday Networking Night

You're Invited!

Please join Eva Melo and Telefutura Channel 42 for a festive night of networking at the TRACE in Nashville on Tuesday DEC 4th from 5:30-7PM. Hors d'oeuvres provided. Cash bar. There is no charge for this event. Please bring your business cards and come socialize with us.


RSVP before Friday, November 30th and you will receive complimentary valet parking and a drink voucher. You can RSVP by replying to this e-mail or at

Sponsored by Telefutura Ch. 42, Nashville's first Spanish language TV station.

The Trace
2000 Belcourt Ave
Tues. Dec. 4

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maury official: "It’s just like Ivory soap - 99.99 percent of them are here illegally"

Commissioner adds to "White House"/"Brown House" record of negative comments about Hispanics in general from local officials

"The argument has shifted from undocumented Latino immigrants to the general population of Latinos"

Maury County County Commissioner Bob Farmer is now on record with two negative comments about Hispanics in general, according to the Columbia Daily Herald:
At the February meeting when the [county immigration agent] resolution was introduced, Farmer told The Daily Herald he wasn’t concerned an enforcement officer would result in undue harassment of Hispanics.

“It’s just like Ivory soap — 99.99 percent of them are here illegally,” Farmer said.
Farmer's other comment denoting negativity toward Hispanics in general was the "White House-Brown House" quip caught earlier this year by The Tennessean, in the same context. These two comments are part of a growing list of negative remarks about Hispanics expressed by public servants across the state.

The assertion that almost all of Hispanics as "here illegally" recalls the sentiment published here earlier this week by Latina Lista, namely, that "unfounded stories making their way across the media illustrate how the argument has shifted from undocumented Latino immigrants to the general population of Latinos."

As reported earlier on the Hispanic Nashville Notebook, 46% of all Hispanics in Tennessee were born in the U.S. (story here). To get the total number of Hispanics who are here legally, you would have to add to that 46% the number of Hispanics who are not U.S. citizens but who have legal visas.

Maury County Commissioner Bob Farmer

Soap photo by Anita Bezanson. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Local view of border, tonight through Friday on News 2

From the official WKRN News 2 blog:
Illegal immigration is a controversial topic that’s debated on national and local levels. News 2 flew to El Paso, Texas and spent time on the U.S. / Mexico border to take you to the source of the controversy.

Before we left, we met Bob Brown at his home in Burns, TN. Brown is a member of the Texas Minutemen. The Texas Minutemen are comprised of volunteers from all over the country. Twice a year they gather on the border and patrol for illegal immigrants. If they see an illegal border crossing, they call the U.S. Border Patrol. Meet Bob Brown in Part 1 of the series.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

WKRN brings U.S-Mexico border to Nashville with three-part report

Airs Wednesday through Friday

WKRN's Volunteer Voters blog has a promo of the station's upcoming three-part, on-location series about the U.S.-Mexico border. The face of the series is Christine Maddela, who already has an award-winning Minuteman report under her belt (see interview here).

More details from Maddela:
The story is a three part series beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 14 on News 2 at 10pm. Here’s the schedule:

Part 1: Wednesday, Nov. 14, News 2 at 10pm
Interview with a TN man who’s a member of the Minutemen. Hear why he packs his bags twice a year and goes to the border with other Minutemen members to watch the border, patrolling for illegal immigrants

Part 2: Thursday, Nov. 15, News 2 at 10pm
Introduction to the US/Mexico border- News 2 tours with the Border Patrol and gives Middle Tennessee a look at our country’s southern border.

Part 3: Friday, Nov. 16, News 2 at 10pm
Hear from one woman who entered the country illegally. She tells us why she’s fighting for a better life for her family.

The purpose of this story is to introduce the U.S./ Mexico border to our viewers in Middle Tennessee. The issue of illegal immigration is a controversial one, and our story shows several sides of the issue in order to educate and start dialogue about the issue.
Volunteer Voters also pointed to this story by WKRN's "That Is Messed Up" reporter Andy Cordan, on loitering-related police raids against international day laborers in a Nashville fast food parking lot.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wildfire deception blames devastation on Latino group, appears to have started in Nashville

There is a Nashville connection to a lie/hoax/prank circulated on the Internet, namely that a Latino organization claimed responsibility for this year's California wildfires. Various commenters fear the damage that started on the fake web site, which was registered with an address off Briley Parkway.

From Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star:
The hoax spread quickly — a little like a wildfire, you might say. Somebody forwarded me an e-mail with an imbedded link to the fake news story. Blaring at the top of the e-mail was this message:


It didn’t take much effort to figure out that the Web page was phony. The misspelled words were the first clue. CNN was alerted. The network traced the page to Nashville, Tenn., and forced the hosting Internet service provider to yank the page.
The Huffington Post:
A domain name search for "cnnheadlienews" shows the site is registered to a company with a Nashville, Tennessee address called Bleachboy Heavy Manufacturing Concern. The website associated with Bleachboy,, is a bare homepage that cycles through four different logos. There's no other information on the site except for a warning about sweatshop products, a note that says "thank you for the traffic," and the ever-banal phrase, "Spring is in the air."
Citizen Orange:
it just taps into this climate of fear that keeps getting ratcheted up in the U.S.
Jessie Daniels:
These kinds of sites are even more disturbing when you look at them in light of some of the cognitive research on how people remember (or misremember) facts. Researchers found that false claims, if repeated, are remembered as true.
Latina Lista:
the unfounded stories making their way across the media illustrate how the argument has shifted from undocumented Latino immigrants to the general population of Latinos.
MECHA official site:
We condemn the slanderous act committed by those who created the website, and our condolences are with those who have been affected by the wildfires.
Photo by Andreas Levers. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Historic Nashville peso?

1776 Spanish coin found in old Nashville City Cemetery

"Very good possibility it could be the real thing"

Piece of eight was legal tender in the U.S. until the 1850s

The Tennessean reports here that a 1776 Spanish coin may have been found in the old Nashville City Cemetery:
Famously known as the "piece of eight" and later the "peso," a 1776 Spanish coin called the "8 reales" was found as workers were doing restoration recently on the old Nashville City Cemetery.

The coin was found in the northeastern quadrant of the cemetery by Pat Cummins, staff archaeologist for the Murfreesboro-based Cumberland Research Group, which specializes in mortuary archaeology.
The article goes on to quote a Madison coin shop owner on the "very good possibility it could be the real thing" even in light of the "huge business" of coin counterfeiting. According to the Tennessean, no appraisal has been conducted of this particular coin, and it is unknown where the coin's owner (or the coin itself) was at the time it was minted in 1776, if it is genuine. Nashville was founded in 1779 and incorporated in 1806.

History of Spanish coins in British colonies, U.S.

According to Wikipedia, the "piece of eight" coin was frequently used in Britain's pre-Revolution American colonies, their manufacture having been outsourced here from Spain:
Prior to the American Revolution there was, due to British mercantilist policies, a chronic shortage of British currency in its colonies. Trade was often conducted using Spanish dollars. Spanish coinage was legal tender in the United States until an Act of Congress discontinued the practice in 1857. The pricing of equities on U.S. stock exchanges in 1/8 dollar denominations persisted until the New York Stock Exchange converted to pricing in sixteenths of a dollar on June 24, 1997, to be followed shortly after by decimal pricing.

Long tied to the lore of piracy, "pieces of eight" were manufactured in the Americas and transported in bulk back to Spain (to pay for wars and various other things), making them a very tempting target for seagoing pirates.

What you see on the coin

The images on the typical pieces of eight/8 reales coin are of the profile of Charles III (obverse) and the Spanish coat of arms (reverse).

The letters around Charles III read "CAROLUS III DEI GRATIA 1776" or "Charles III by the Grace of God, 1776" in English.

The letters around the Spanish coat of arms read "HISPAN[IARUM] ET IND[IARUM] REX M[EXICANUS] 8 R[EALES] F M" which in English means "King of the Spains and the Indies, Mexico [City Mint], 8 reales."

The Spanish coat of arms includes the Pillars of Hercules and the motto "Plus Ultra," which means "further beyond" in Latin. The message was that the Pillars of Hercules at the Straits of Gibraltar did not so much constitute an entrance to the Mediterranean but Spain's gate to the rest of the world. Source: Wikipedia (Spanish Dollar, Pillars of Hercules)

Image source: Wikipedia (public domain)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Balseros film at Vanderbilt November 8

The Vanderbilt Center of Latin American & Iberian Studies (CLAIS) will show the movie Balseros ("Rafters"), "a 2002 Spanish documentary about Cubans leaving during the Período Especial after the financial support of the former USSR stopped. In 1994, some 50,000 Cubans left the island, unimpeded by the Cuban government, using anything they could find or build to get to the nearest land in Florida. The seven Cuban protagonists in this feature length film represent, with their personal experiences, the thousands of people from all corners of the planet who leave their homes in search of a supposedly better future."

The film will be shown at 7pm Thursday, November 8, in Buttrick 102. More information here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The words and worlds of the Minuteman

Speech at Belmont University combines pro-immigrant vocabulary with mass exodus theory

Chris Simcox, President of the "Minuteman Civil Defense Corps," spoke at Belmont University in Nashville yesterday. He used a very pro-immigrant vocabulary. He spent time bemoaning the human suffering at the southern U.S. border. On multiple occasions, he emphasized that the northern and southern U.S. borders are at issue. At least at first, Simcox singled out drug-smuggling cartels as the real border enemy.

The focus then shifted to immigrants already inside the U.S. borders. Simcox argued that "your citizenship is being diluted" and identified cheap labor as the other dangerous U.S. addiction (drugs being the first). As for the 12 million or more visaless internationals in the U.S., Simcox said that neither deportation nor legalization would be appropriate governmental action toward them. The only proper response, according to Simcox, is to spark a mass exodus by "attrition" and "self-deportation." This issue - internal alien status resolution - is the only subject to warrant a blinking graphic on the group's web site, in the form of an anti-amnesty page, but it was not the primary subject of Simcox's prepared remarks. Nor was there any discussion of how attrition and self-deportation would keep from becoming the "misery strategy" described by the New York Times, or if failure of the exodus theory (and his group's "you've left us no choice" mood) would instead spark a darker trajectory.

Toward the end of the Q&A, one woman asked whether Simcox would take responsibility for the apparent tension in the room. His answer: all change is the product of tension.

Various comments from the podium appear below, with all but the first attributable to Simcox. Direct quotes appear in quotation marks.
  • "southern & northern border with Mexico" [sic] - from the introduction by the College Republicans representative

  • "comfort the afflicted"

  • "new standard for what it means to be American"

  • MCDC is not the same group as the Minuteman Project, a different group led by Jim Gilchrist, which has "pretty harsh rhetoric" and is "an embarrassment"

  • other "splinter groups" broke off from MCDC because of its "high standards"

  • "nation's largest neighborhood watch group"

  • "our volunteers are humanitarians"

  • "we are pro-immigration"

  • "not about being anti-immigrant"

  • "not about hate"

  • one of nation's greatest failures is letting people die in the desert and be sold into servitude

  • human beings seen as nothing more than "economic chattel"

  • multiple digs at executive and legislative branches of federal government - "incompetent," "you've left us no choice," "we are the government"

  • "we need to welcome immigrants"

  • "we need to make it easier for people to come to this country"

  • majority of immigants "come only for economic opportunities"

  • we must offer a welcome, a safe passage, and equal protection to the immigrant

  • "no human being is illegal"

  • has met families of victims of car accidents

  • does citizenship mean anything any more?

  • 1986 law "was a con"

Photo by Mauricio Balvanera. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Friday, November 2, 2007

NAHCC Hosts Housing Fair at St.Edwards Church

"Yes You Can" Buy a House
Allow us to show you the road to homeownership
Am I able to purchase a home?
What is necessary to obtain a loan?
What paperwork would be required from me?
Where can I obtain my money?
What about my credit? Where should I buy?
Who is capable of assisting me?

If you are unable to answer these questions,
please come and visit professionals ready to answer these questions for you!!!

When: Sunday Nov. 4th, 2007 11AM - 6:00PM

Where: Saint Edwards Catholic Church 188 Thompson Ln.

Nashville, TN 37211 (between Nolensville Rd y I-24.)

We will have games, free food and drinks for your children and much more!!

This event is possible thanks to:
Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC)
P.O. Box 40541, Nashville, TN 37204
Tel: 615-216-5737 Inf: 615-828-1295

To learn about other NAHCC programs and events please contact:
Alejandra Peña at 615-313-7653 o vía e-mail:

Hispanic kids: 14% of Metro student body

In this article about school zoning, the Tennessean reported that Hispanic students in Metro represent 14% of the total population:
Districtwide, African-American students make up 48 percent of the student enrollment, white students 34 percent and Hispanic students 14 percent of the district's 74,600 students.
Photo by Agur. Licensed under Creative Commons.
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