Friday, April 30, 2010

Do I Look Illegal photoshoot at Centennial Park

An event invitation from Leslie Rodriguez:
"Do I Look 'Illegal'" photoshoot
Friday, April 30, 2010
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Centennial Park

Hey folks - this is an impromptu photo shoot to get as many pictures as possible of people holding a sign saying "do I look illegal?" to send to AZ's governor Jan Brewer. I wanted to do this ASAP because the official event starts on May 1 - the idea is to send as many pictures as possible to Ms. Brewer and put them up on facebook as well just to raise awareness about the legislation. Send this to whoever might be interested. I'll be at Centennial by the parthenon at 5:00 PM tomorrow with my camera ready to take pictures - head over there after work or class and I'll get these pictures and get them back to you as soon as I can. It shouldn't take long - just a quick picture holding the sign! Thanks for your support! I'll be out there for awhile - hope to see you guys out there.

Hispanic Community Festival rained out?

After leaving the May 2 Hispanic Community Festival out of my recent events calendar and then posting specifically about it yesterday, I get this e-mail:
Thanks for including this! Unfortunately an email was just sent out that the event has been postponed because of severe weather. There is a 70% or higher chance of thunderstorms. The organizers are trying to reschedule for July.
I'm beginning to wonder whether is going to be posting about this event every day for the next three months...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hispanic Community Festival this Sunday

In yesterday's roundup of upcoming events, I left out the Hispanic Community Festival this Sunday! It has now been added back in.

If I had just checked I would have seen my April 22 post about the festival - all event postings can be found there.

Good thing a reader caught my mistake and let me know via the feedback forum on (I don't know how you found it, Savvy Reader, because the feedback link wasn't so prominent in the site redesign, but as of today it's front and center - actually, front and left-hand-side - for everyone to see).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nine events over the next two weeks: mark your calendar

April 28: Jacobo Ramos
Pastor Jacobo Ramos, with wife Raquel
Puerto Rican pastor Jacobo Ramos will be preaching and singing at Iglesia El Shaddai on Concord Road at 7pm tonight, Wednesday, April 28.

April 28: Live midweek Salsa

This Wednesday, April 28th, and the last Wednesday of each month

Join us at the French Quarter Cafe for an evening of Alegría, Sabor y Sentimiento!

Having a great time with Funtopia at MadDonna's? Enjoying En Fuego at Lime?
You don't have to wait for the weekend to have a good Salsa time anymore...

Enjoy a midweek Salsa Break with Dinner, Dancing and Drinks!! The talented DJ Sabor (David Sandoval) will spin Salsa Dura and Kazique will be playing live Salsa for your dancing pleasure.

DJ begins at 7:30pm with a beginner lesson at 8pm.
The band will begin at 9:30pm
Cover charge is $5.00

For more info:

April 29: 2nd Annual Hispanic Forum "Abriendo Puertas II"

Photo of 1st Annual Hispanic Forum by Kristi Jones, copyright Lipscomb University, all rights reserved.
Not for reproduction or free use by the public.
You are invited to the
at Lipscomb University's
Ezell Center
Thursday, April 29th
7:30 to 11:30 AM

Continental breakfast from 7:30-8:00 am

Please join us for Abriendo Puertas II,
"Opening Doors,"as we focus exclusively on education access and opportunities for our Latino youth in the 2nd year of Lipscomb's Conversations of Significance Series.

RSVP by clicking on the link below

This event is Free.

May 1: Fiesta Belmont

Come to Celebrate 5 DE MAYO on Saturday May 1st


2 to 7 PM
At the Courtyard of Belmont University
17th Ave South & Wedgewood Blvd.

Piñatas and activities for children

For information please contact David Herrera (615-460-6908)


Kazique’s - Rafael Vásquez & the San Rafael Group - Afinke and the dance of Destellos Culturales de Nashville.

May 2: Hispanic Community Festival

May 3-7: Glenview Elementary International Week

Volunteers needed

We are very excited about Glenview Elementary’s partnership with Festival of the Nations to celebrate its annual International Week from Monday, May 3rd to Friday, May 7th. The school is located at 1020 Patricia Drive, Nashville.

Here’s the schedule of activities and volunteering opportunities:

Monday, May 3rd Books and Literacy Activities (volunteers needed to read books in Spanish to students)

Tuesday, May 4th Clothing, artifacts, games, dance (Teacher Presentations) (volunteers needed to share clothing and artifacts, dance and games from Latin American culture)

Wednesday, May 5th Grade Level Hallway Displays (flags, trefoils) (volunteers needed to help build and/or showcase artifacts, and flags are needed for the hallway)

Thursday, May 6th Building Walk-through, Scavenger Hunt (volunteers needed to showcase displays while children walk through and view displays and look for certain objects as they go on their scavenger hunt)

Friday, May 7th International Day. Because of space limitations, this activity is only open to Glenview families. No volunteers needed this day, unless they want to set up a booth for the Festival Day. First come, first served, based on space.

All who are interested in the above volunteering opportunities must contact Ms. Jan Hipwell. She can be reached at 615-360-2906.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo Business Networking Lunch
The TNHCC and Reliant Bank
Invite you to
The Cinco de Mayo
Business Networking Lunch

May 5th
from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
At Chappy's Restaurant
1721 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Come Join Us for a Whole Lot of Networking Fun, Trivia Game and Door Prizes!

Click here to R.S.V.P. Before May 2nd.

Members: Free / Non-Members: $15.00

May 6: Connecting New Nashvillians breakfast
Mayor to introduce directory for Nashville immigrants at breakfast
‘Connecting New Nashvillians’ event May 6

Mayor Karl Dean and businessman Cal Turner Jr. will speak at a May 6 breakfast to introduce an online directory of classes and services for the city’s growing foreign-born population.

The “Connecting New Nashvillians” breakfast, sponsored by The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions at Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health, is 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the University Club, 2420 Garland Ave.

The cost to attend is $10, and registration is required. Vanderbilt students may attend for free. To register, go to

The directory consolidates information on organizations and initiatives that offer English as a second language, job skills and computer literacy classes for members of the immigrant and refugee communities. It will go live May 6 at

Vanderbilt’s Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions develops the leadership and ethical capacities of those serving in the professions. Cal Turner Jr. endowed the program in 1994 in the name of his father, Cal Turner, co-founder of Dollar General Corporation.

May 12: A Cup of Coffee for Conexion Americas
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A Cup of Coffee for Conexion Americas
A Fundraising Breakfast
Wednesday, May 12 • 7:15 am - 8:30 am
The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Dr. Randy Lowry, President, Lipscomb University
Honorary Chair

Dr. Robert Fisher, President, Belmont University
Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr., President, American Baptist College
Distinguished Guests

Stephanie Valdez-Streaty • Charles W. Bone • Sonnye Dixon

May 12: Gustavo Dudamel at Schermerhorn

Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel
Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel
May 15, 2010, 8:00 p.m.- Laura Turner Concert Hall
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano

Bernstein - Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety"
Mahler - Symphony No. 1 in D major "Titan"

One of the world’s leading orchestras pays a visit to Schermerhorn Symphony Center, led by gifted, energetic young Venezuelan Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. The musicians will bring their singular chemistry to bear on two major works: Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety,” featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Mahler’s riveting Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gregg Ramos' family: fearful and upset under Arizona law

Gregg Ramos

I sent Arizona-born Nashville attorney Gregg Ramos a link to a CNN article about a U.S. soldier and his family lamenting the new Arizona law.  Here is an excerpt illustrating the soldier's disappointment in the state's decision:
Pfc. Jose Medina, an Army medic, came to the Arizona capitol while on leave, to express his sadness over the law, signed by Arizona's governor on Friday.
"I felt I had a huge debt to this country that's given me so much," Medina said. "When I heard the law that passed, I couldn't believe it. Because the America I know, freedom, liberties we enjoy, are for everyone and then this law passes and I'm like 'wow.' It's a shame; it's a state that doesn't even want you here? If I take this uniform off I'm just another person who came here illegally."
Gregg wrote me a terse initial reply to my e-mail about this story.  He followed up with more detail to more fully convey how the Arizona law is affecting his family, and to draw a parallel between Pfc. Jose Medina and Gregg's own father:
The members of my family, all of whom were born in Arizona, now are fearful and upset. My father, a proud U.S. Army veteran who served in France and Germany during WWII, clearly wasn't fighting for this.
Two ways to show your opposition to the new Arizona law are to support politicians who support immigrants (Immigrants List can tell you who some of them are), and to sign the "Not in Our America" petition.

Cartoon by David Fitzsimmons

Monday, April 26, 2010

After listening to his employees, boss finds empathy for immigrants

Photo by Stephen D and Digital Desktop Wallpaper.
Licensed via Creative Commons.
"I hadn't ever stopped to consider their perspective or their position in life."

I recently re-read a guest editorial that appeared in the Tennessean in 2007, entitled "Talk to hard-working immigrants before you make up your mind." The author, William D. Batson, describes a sit-down he had with employees that changed his mind about immigrants.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Best truck taco is at El Paisa, says Citizen Taco

Photos of El Paisa by Citizen Taco
Over at the Serious Eats blog, one of's best websites of 2008, Austin-based Citizen Taco has reviewed nine of Nashville's taco trucks and concluded that El Paisa has the winning taco, "on par with anything in Texas or California."  El Paisa is on Gallatin Road at Elmore Avenue; for a map, scroll to the bottom of the review.

Over on Nolensville Road, C.T. thought the best tacos are served at Taqueria El Recodo. High marks also went to Taqueria Belen and Taqueria Express.

Read the full review here.

(Also see Nashvillest for their take.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spanish Language Album of the Year to be announced at Dove Awards in Nashville

The 41st Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards will be taped at the Opry in Nashville this Wednesday and subsequently aired this Sunday at 7pm on GMC.

The "Spanish Language Album of the Year" category has been around since 1998 and was won by a Hispanic artist for the first time in 2000 when Jaci Velasquez earned the nod for "Llegar a Ti."

The 2010 nominees in the Dove Awards' Spanish Language Album of the Year category are the following:

Monday, April 19, 2010

The law is going to be enforced in Nashville - Mayor Ben West, 50 years ago today

James Lawson is arrested for his role in student sit-ins
Photo by Vic Cooley, Nashville Banner
source: Nashville Public Library, Civil Rights Collection

Sit-in opponents framed themselves as defenders of the law

153 students arrested

One word was the tipping point: "Yes"

Fifty years ago today, on April 19, 1960, the civil rights paradigm started to shift for certain Nashville business owners: it became less about what it was within their right to do, and it became more about what it was right for them to do.

After 153 students had been arrested in Nashville sit-ins, city councilman and attorney Z. Alexander Looby had become their primary defender. On April 19, 1960, his home was bombed. Hours afterward, over three thousand protesters confronted Nashville Mayor Ben West on the steps of City Hall.  (A march tracing the footsteps of that 1960 march to City Hall is being held today.)

Up until April 19, 1960, the Nashville establishment had been focusing on the illegality of the sit-ins. United Press International reported that Mayor West had said in February of 1960 that he would permit no flouting of the law. In March, the Rev. James Lawson (in the photo above) had been dismissed from the Vanderbilt Divinity School for failure to "confine his activities within legal bounds." (It was a prominent theme of segregation and its enablers: sit-ins were wrong because they were illegal. In another April three years later, almost to the day, Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in jail in Birmingham, writing these words: "I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice.")

That's the background for the defiant statement by Mayor West on April 19, 1960, in the face of 3,500 protesters, that "As God is my helper, the law is going to be enforced in Nashville":
In Nashville, Tenn., some 3,500 students from Fisk University and other Negro schools marched on city hall in a stone-silent column half a mile long. Their grievance: the bombing that morning of the home of Lawyer Z. Alexander Looby, 62, one of the two Negro members of Nashville's city council, an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and chief counsel for the 153 students who have been arrested in Nashville's rash of sit-in demonstrations. Said Councilman Looby after the bombing: "This won't stop me." Said redheaded Mayor Ben West to the well-behaved crowd: "As God is my helper, the law is going to be enforced in Nashville."
But at the same time, Diane Nash pushed Nashville over a tipping point when she asked Mayor West whether the status quo should be changed:
Diane Nash confronted West.

She asked, "Mayor, do you recommend that the lunch counters be desegregated?"

West hesitated briefly. "Yes," he answered.
The lunch counters in Nashville desegregated soon thereafter.

Business owners abandoned the position that they were right to do whatever they could behind cover of the law. They ended up doing something better.

That started 50 years ago today in Nashville.

Mayor Ben West agrees that lunch counters should be desegregated, April 19, 1960
Photo by Vic Cooley, Nashville Banner
source: Nashville Public Library, Civil Rights Collection

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Four Latino-relevant films at Nashville Film Festival April 15-22

This year's Nashville Film Festival, which starts tonight and runs through next Thursday, has highlighted four films that have a connection to either Latin America or Hispanics in the U.S.:
For Once in My Life (Florida, U.S.)
As entertaining and inspiring as YOUNG@HEART, FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE is the true story about the Spirit of the Goodwill Band, a group of musicians with a wide range of mental and physical disabilities brought together by their shared dream to make music.
Fri, Apr 16, 07:30 PM
Sat, Apr 17, 02:15 PM

Plan B (Argentina)
Bruno is dumped by his girlfriend; behind a calm, indifferent expression, his mind plans a cold, sweet vengeance. She gets another boyfriend, Pablo, and Bruno becomes Pablo’s friend, with the idea of eroding the couple. But, along the way, the possibility of a plan B arises.
Tue, Apr 20, 09:45 PM
Wed, Apr 21, 12:30 PM

Stages (New York, U.S.)
Over twenty weeks, a group of older women and inner-city youth unite in New York's oldest community center to create an original play out of the stories of their lives, and in the process create intergenerational bonds and bust a few stereotypes.
Fri, Apr 16, 03:00 PM
Sun, Apr 18, 07:15 PM

Undertow (Peru)
Winner of the Audience Award for Best in World Cinema at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, UNDERTOW is an unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside. A married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover with his town’s religious traditions.
(More Info)
Tue, Apr 20, 05:30 PM
Wed, Apr 21, 02:45 PM
The festival has set up this web page to highlight all four films.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Velasquez, Allen, Saenz, Quiteño elected leaders of Middle Tennessee Hispanic Democrats

(L-R) Myrna Velasquez, Cristina Allen, Vanessa Saenz, Freddy Quiteño
In January, the Middle Tennessee Hispanic Democrats elected their 2010 officers:
  • President: Myrna Velasquez 
  • Vice President: Cristina Allen
  • Treasurer: Vanessa Saenz
  • Secretary: Freddy Quiteño
Myrna Velasquez is from Van Nuys, California. She will earn her Masters in Public Administration with Certificates in Non-Profit Management and Health Administration and Planning from Tennessee State University in 2010. Velasquez is a 2006 graduate of California State University, Northridge.

Cristina Allen is from Mesilla Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico and a 1988 graduate of New Mexico State University. Until recently, Allen was Marketing Director at Ajax Turner in Nashville, where she marketed and branded beer (e.g. Bud Light) to the Nashville community including the Titans, Predators and Nashville's music industry. Allen is the host of the TV show "Que Pasa Nashville" on Newschannel 5+ ( – Monday @ 2:00 pm; Thursday @ 1:30 pm & 10 pm and Saturday @ 8:00 pm).

Vanessa Saenz is a solo law practitioner who was licensed to practice law in Tennessee in 1997. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from Macalester College, St Paul, Minnesota, in 1984 and her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Freddy Quiteño is a 2008 graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville. According to a news release, Quiteño’s family moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 1998:
We arrived on July 4th at about 5 p.m. That was just in time to go see the fireworks. It seemed like a wonderful welcome to the city. My father moved us here because of the negativity in Los Angeles at the time. He feared that the negativity would affect my schoolwork, my life and my future. Being accepted into Lipscomb University is by far one of the greatest blessings I have received from God. Now, I am able to see my career goals fall into place and my parents can finally feel comfort when it comes to my future.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Abriendo Puertas II on April 29 at Lipscomb: forum on Latino access to education

National expert keynotes gathering on state and federal policies affecting access to college education and local best practices

Dr. Stella Flores, nationally known expert on the impact of state and federal policies on college access and completion for low-income and underrepresented populations, will keynote Lipscomb University’s second annual Hispanic Forum, Thursday, April 29, from 8-11:30 a.m. in the Ezell Center.

Abriendo Puertas (Opening DoorsII will focus exclusively on education access and opportunities for Latino youth.

Following Nashville’s 2009 English-only referendum, Lipscomb inaugurated this “conversation of significance” to bring together leaders from business, government, education, health care, advocacy and nonprofit organizations to find common ground on the challenges facing Nashville’s growing Hispanic community. More than 100 Middle Tennessee Hispanic and community leaders engaged in deliberate dialogue about Nashville’s future as a multicultural city.

The 2010 Hispanic Forum builds on last year’s forum and on the work of La Sangre Llama, YMCA Latino Achievers and State Farm Insurance, who all partnered with Lipscomb in February to launch a new mentoring program for Latino youth in Nashville.

Flores, assistant professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University, has written on the role of alternative admissions plans and financial aid programs in college admissions; demographic changes in higher education; the role of the Hispanic-serving institutions in U.S. higher education policy; and Latino students and community colleges. Her publications include Legacies of Brown: Multiracial Equity in American Education and Latino Educational Opportunity.

Before coming to Vanderbilt, she worked as a program evaluator for the U.S. Government Accountability Office and as a program specialist for the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Abriendo Puertas will also feature a panel discussion and table talk about the realities and the best practices for improving educational opportunities and access for Latino youth.

The forum is an invitation-only event. If you are interested in participating, contact the Lipscomb University College of Education at 615.966.5061.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lisa Torres country song "Alive" is finalist in MerleFest songwriting contest

Nashville country singer/songwriter Lisa Torres is getting more attention for the country music song "Alive," which she co-wrote with Arlis Albritton. She has previously won SingerUniverse "Best Vocalist Of The Month" for her performance of the song, and the most recent news is that the song has been named as a finalist in the 18th annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, hosted by the MerleFest music festival. The winning song will be announced following a performance of the song by Torres on April 30. (H/T: Peter Cooper, TuneInMusicCity)

Torres gives some of the background on this recent accolade:
There are three people who placed in the country division and the winner will be chosen at the Merlefest Music Festival on April 30th. Can't wait to sing my song for them. I also need to give some credit to my cowriter on the song, "Alive," Arlis Albritton.
On her web site, Torres says that she grew up in Castaic, California, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles. Torres' dad grew up in California, as well, and his family is from New Mexico, with roots going back to Mexico.

Torres' music career started with her attraction to the music of Garth Brooks, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood, according to her web site. After performing herself for a few years with a home base in her native California, Torres moved to Nashville in 2005.

Torres' web site is and her MySpace page is

Listen to "Alive" on here:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Salsa Congress" at MTSU this weekend

The MTSU Salsa Dance Club in Murfreesboro (on Facebook) will host a three-day "Salsa Congress" tomorrow through Sunday, April 9-11:
Events will include salsa workshops, salsa dancing, international banquet, music showcases, salsa dancing showcases, salsa competitions, and more. This event will be great in educating cultural diversity through dance as well as bridging the gap between the campus community and the local communities. We are also trying to get involved with the youth community to get the younger generation active by getting them excited about salsa dancing. Therefore, we will have youth salsa dance workshop, 18 years old and younger, within our congress. They will have the opportunity to learn 4 different Latin styles of dance as well as participate in a dance social so that they can put to use what they have just learned.

The MTSU Salsa Dance Club was founded in November 2008 by current President Dara Smith. We started with 10 members representing 5 countries and currently we are 25 members representing 15 countries.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Cashville Latino Anthem: Seis Uno Cinco

What do you get when you mix
  • Rico Marquina, an MTSU senior majoring in economics who graduated from Overton HS in 2006, and who is originally from Burbank, CA
  • Tyler Ramos, the founder of Nashville's Urban Music Challenge
  • Jose Ancir Palacio, a rapper born in Queens of Colombian parents, for whom music was a "way of getting off the streetz"
  • Kevin Saul Pichardo de Peña, a self-taught piano-playing military child from North Bergen, NJ, "the first person in his entire family to be born in the United States," born of a Dominican father who was once a communist leader but who later joined the U.S. Army
  • the Miami-born son of a Cuban father and Nicaraguan mother who spent the 90's riding the first wave of Nicaraguan Reggaeton on the streets of Matagalpa in that country, before moving back to Miami and later Nashville
  • a Kansas City-born adopted son of a military family
  • this duo from Nashville/New York/Puerto Rico (with a little bit of KY thrown in)
  • IV (whose bio I couldn't find, but maybe someone will leave me a link in the comments)
  • Music City landmarks like the Nashville skyline, LP Field, 3rd & Broadway, the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, the Tennessee State Capitol, the Batman Building, Printers Alley, the Arcade, the Korean Veterans Bridge, the newly landscaped Deaderick Street, Municipal Auditorium, a Richards & Richards sign, the Pinnacle Tower, Demo's, and CMT
  • and Music City landmarks like Super Mercado Latino, Taqueria Express, El Tapatio, Tejano West, Las Americas Market Internacional and Restaurante, Tacos & Mariscos El Amigo, La Moda al Dia, Fiesta E-Mart, Taqueria La Hacienda, Estetica Latina & Boutique, Servicio Automotriz Max, and California Fashion
You get The Cashville Latino Anthem: Seis Uno Cinco, a rap/hip-hop video medley of nearly a dozen local talents.

Rolando Rodriguez blogged about the video at Here is an excerpt:
The offspring of these families aren't anything like you might expect. They've been influenced by hip-hop and they aren't anything close to a product of their family's home country - physically - but they are proud of their heritage. In fact, that's how lots of Latino youth live today, straddling a bi-cultural upbringing where they love their hip-hop as much as where they or their family come from. Take note, America. This isn't your daddy's Latino community.

Rocks Off gives props to Rico Marquina, Latino Saint, Gemini Twinz, Stone, IV, Likwid, Enigma and Capo for holding it down for Latino hip-hop in Music City, USA.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Criminal threat prioritization is where all agree in 287(g), but Nashville implementation remains outlier

Chris Echegaray of the Tennessean recaps the recently released March 2010 Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report on The Performance of 287(g) Agreements, which confirms yet again that Nashville is an outlier among the dozens of cities that implement the federal program that puts immigration status checks in the hands of local law enforcement.

In Nashville, the Davidson County Sheriff's office uses 287(g) to process people for immigration review pretty much indiscriminately. The DHS report states that the goal of the 287(g) program, however, is to prioritize resources so that immigration review is laser-focused on people who pose the greatest threat.

Immigrant advocates have always called for criminal threat prioritization as a component of 287(g), and Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall himself touted that kind of prioritization from day one. But Nashville - with 80% of its 287(g) targets having committed only misdemeanors, and of those, 40% having been arrested on traffic offenses - is still one of less than a handful of 287(g) jurisdictions that does not prioritize, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office:
of 29 program participants reviewed by GAO, 4 used 287(g) authority to process individuals for minor crimes, such as speeding, contrary to the objective of the program
This new March 2010 report from DHS reinforces the need for prioritization in 287(g), and the relevant text from the report is as follows:
According to ICE’s [Immigration and Customs Enforcement's] July 2009 MOA template, the purpose of collaborations between ICE and LEAs is to identify and process for removal criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety or a danger to the community. ... However, with performance measures that do not focus on aliens who pose a threat to public safety or are a danger to the community, there is reduced assurance that the goal of the 287(g) program is being met. ... ICE has developed a risk-based approach to ensure that program resources are allocated to identify and determine the immigration status of aliens arrested for crimes that pose the greatest risk to the public. To this end, ICE has identified categories of aliens that are a priority for arrest and detention, with the highest being Level 1 aliens. This category consists of those who have been convicted of or arrested for major drug offenses or violent offenses such as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and kidnapping. Level 2 aliens are those who have been convicted of or arrested for minor drug offenses or property offenses such as burglary, larceny, fraud, and money laundering. Level 3 includes aliens who have been convicted of or arrested for other offenses. 287(g) resources are to be prioritized according to these levels.
Nashvillians need to take action to ensure that our 287(g) program is up to DHS standards and ICE goals and even the boundaries originally acknowledged by our own Sheriff.

Contact Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall at 862-8170, and contact your Metro Council Member to ask for the implementation of criminal threat prioritization in 287(g).

Edited to add: In other contexts, criminal threat prioritization is usually demanded when it is not implemented, such as in this context in Hendersonville where citizens demanded criminal threat prioritization, and they continue to demand it in the comments (H/T: Mack). A good test of whether we are administering justice to foreigners is if we are dealing with them the same way we demand to be dealt with.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Funtopia to host salsa classes at FIT, bash at Mad Donna's

From Funtopia - an invitation to salsa classes starting Monday, April 5:
Salsa classes are offered on a monthly basis for $35 (which include 4 lessons, no refunds). For those people that cannot commit to our monthly schedule, we offer individual classes at $15 each.

Lessons will be offered on the following Mondays: 4/5, 4/12, 4/19 and 4/26.

Do you know someone that would be interested in coming? Bring him/her to our first class of the month and you will get a FREE admission to our next sizzling Salsa event*!

Our experienced instructors, Martin and Raven, will teach both Basic and Intermediate levels simultaneously at the FIT (see address below) starting at 8pm. Instructors will alternate levels every week.

125 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203

For questions, send an e-mail to or call 901 484-0541.
For more infomation or to join our mailing list please e-mail at

*LIVE events not included
...and also a Salsa Bash at Mad Donna's on April 17:

Join us on Saturday April 17th 2010 at our sizzling venue...

Whether you went to stay lingering at the bar watching the sleek dancers or join them for a steamy dance, come and join our friendly gang for a fun time. Cover charge is $7. Door opens at 9:30pm with a basic salsa class taught by one of our instructors.

Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, House and other fun rythms will be played all night by DJ Blanco and DJ Pablo on Saturday April 17th at our East Nashville venue.

Mad Donna's
1313 Woodland St.
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 226-1617

For more information or to join our mailing list please e-mail at or call (615) 509-0340

prominent ad space on sale at - banner is $750 for the year

The large "banner" ad space above the main content of every page of is currently being discounted 50% from its 2009 price, down to a sale price of $750 for the year. From now until April 30, 2010, the prominent site-wide space is available for that significant discount to the first taker.

E-mail me here for the details.

The readership of includes the people who are most involved in the Hispanic life of the city. At one mixer, a local businessman enthusiastically told a newcomer to town that he reads every day, and he touted the archives as a way to get caught up with what's going on in the city. (By the way, each of the hundreds of pages of the archives has the ad banner on it.)

The popular following of has prompted many prominent Nashvillians to send in their unsolicited praise, all collected in the site's About page.

State Farm advertised in this space during calendar year 2009. Reliant Bank held the space in 2008 and said the campaign was "good PR." Both ads were half as wide as the space now available.

A bargain is there for the taking in 2010.
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