Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

I.C.E. removes quota, continues agency expansion

In Politics on August 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm

The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the end of quotas for undocumented immigrants who ignored deportation orders in attempt to make more changes to the program. John Morton, who took over as head of the federal agency in May, plans to target unlawful immigrants.

In 2003, the agency organized teams to arrest and deport immigrants with criminal records and outstanding deportation orders. During these sweeps—commonly coined “ICE raids”—armed agents showed up at homes, workplaces and apartment buildings to arrest tens of thousands of immigrants.

According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, 73 percent of the nearly 97,000 people arrested between 2003 and early 2008 did not have criminal records. In 2006, as the report shows, the agency removed its requirement of two-thirds of those arrested be criminals.

During that same year, says that report, the teams were expected to increase annual arrests from 125 to 1,000. The expansion of the agency has been evident in the 104 fugitive operation teams (the program started with eight). The immigration agency also received $226 million for the program this year, an increase from $9 million in 2003.

Morton essentially approved targets, but found quotas to be futile. He moreover said that he would continue enforcing the law against immigrants who have fought their cases and lost.


Demonstration at Cal, debate over war criminal status

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on August 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm
Associated Press; woman demonstrating against Yoo in lecture hall of Berkeley's law school

Associated Press; woman demonstrating against Yoo in lecture hall of Berkeley's law school

Four anti-war demonstrators were arrested today at the University of California, Berkeley after calling to fire John Yoo, a law professor who co-wrote legal memos that some claimed to have justified the torture of suspected terrorists. 
On the first day of class at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, people protested against Yoo, saying he should be dismissed and prosecuted as a war criminal during his attorney tenure with Bush administration. From 2001 to 2003, Yoo created legal theories for waterboarding and other interrogation strategies.

Demonstrators staged a mock-arrest of Yoo: some were dressed in black hoods and orange prison suits resembling the photos of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prisoners. In 2006, reports of detainee abuse shut the prison. However, Yoo ignored the demonstrators and waited for university police to remove them before he began the day’s lesson.

Yoo has defended the controversial techniques, claiming that they were are necessary to protect the nation from terrorism. Nevertheless, he has been critiqued for these memos; the Berkeley City Council passed a measure calling for federal government to prosecute Yoo for war crimes.

12 arrested, connected to Garden Grove brothel

In Politics on August 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

Last friday, police arrested 23-year-old Westminster man who is connected to a brothel in garden Grove. Eleven Vietnamese women are suspected of prostitution were arrested at the business location; according to Westminster police Lt. Derek Marsh, they are being treated as victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The  brothel is located in a chiropractor’s office that offers massage services on the side. Police are still investigating whether the chiropractor is connected to the suspected brothel operation. Police are surprised that the brothel is relatively public, being next door to a dentist and supermarket.

Last year, the Westminster Police Department and Salvation Army was granted $1.2 million in federal funds to combat human trafficking in Orange County, particularly in the Asian American communities around Little Saigon. The task force is working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate these cases. 

Formerly, victims of prostitution were arrested, charged with demeanor, and released into the community. However, the role of the task force has recently been to rehabilitate the victims.

Shepard Fairey’s political artwork of Burmese leader

In A&E, Politics on August 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

Picture 9An artistic feat, indeed.

Renown artist Shepard Fairey (famous for his Obama election “HOPE” posters and “Obey Giant”) released a poster of Burmese prime minister-elect and democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Nobel peace prize winner Suu Kyi remains under house arrest by the military junta; however, she is receiving wide international support of her freedom, human rights, and democracy in Burma.

Copies are available for distribution via download: http://obeygiant.com/ (not intended for sales merchandise or for-profit materials)

North Korea frees U.S. journalists Lee and Ling

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on August 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Former president Bill Clinton brought home two freed U.S. journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, from North Korea after a rare talk with leader Kim Jong Il. The North Korean dictator pardoned the women for entering the country illegally; they had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor during the time of their arrest.

Lee and Ling returned to the U.S. with Clinton within 24 hours of his arrival to Seoul for a humanitarian trip. Clinton arrived in an effort to free the journalists, whose captivity has troubled and been protested by many Americans during the past five months. According to reports, Lee and Ling appeared healthy upon boarding the plane to their flight home and were reunited with their families in Burbank, Calif.


Corazon Aquino passes away at 76

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on August 1, 2009 at 1:23 am

Photo by Favila

Photo by Aaron Favila of Associated Press

Reputed as the “housewife” opponent of Marcos’ dictatorship and democratic leader of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino has died at 76 due to heart failure. She is best known for her mobilization of thousands of people to overthrow of the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986. A controversial figure, Aquino restored democracy–namely, promoting free elections, independent judiciary, free press. Yet, her administration faced coup attempts, natural disasters, and did not solve the poverty, feudalism, and corruption fraught in the Philippines. Serving as the 11th president of the nation, Aquino was the first female president of the Philippines and the first woman to be a president in Asia.

Judy Chu, 1st Chinese American woman elected to Congress

In Politics on July 19, 2009 at 11:48 am


On Tuesday, Judy Chu became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. Winning nearly 62% of the vote,  Chu succeeds current U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in the 32nd Congressional District. She managed to tap into Asian voters which compose 13 percent of voters in the congressional district, as well as Latino voters who make up nearly 50 percent.

Chu’s political career began on the Garvey School Board and the Monterey Park City Council, gaining the support of diverse individuals from different parties and backgrounds. In 1986  Chu and husband attorney Mike Eng created the Coalition for Harmony in Monterey Park to promote cultural diversity in the midst of English-only backlash. They created “harmony days” to celebrate the city’s multiple cultures and petitioned to reverse discriminating resolutions.

In 1988, Chu was elected to the council; in 2001, she won an Assembly seat after two unsuccessful attempts. In 2006, Chu ran and won for a position on the Board of Equalization. Chu was sworn in on Wednesday to represent the 32nd congressional district, which includes El Monte, Azusa,  and Covina.

(Photo from californiatargetbook.com)

100% Support for Kim Jong-il

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on April 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm
Kim casts his own ballot. Source: aljazeera.net

Kim casts his own ballot. Source: aljazeera.net

Surprise surprise! North Korea’s leader, the notorious Kim Jong-il was just re-elected in a nationwide election.

In an unsurprising result Kim was re-elected by voters in Constituency 333 with 100 per cent support, the official KCNA news agency said on Monday.

The report said voters renewed their “unshakable determination to devotedly safeguard” the North Korean leader. Read more.

Of course, what would you expect with no opposition candidates for positions within the N. Korean parliament?

Posted by Maria Iu

Kal Penn goes from White Castle to White House!

In A&E, Politics on April 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm
UCLA Alum, Kal Penn leaves Hollywood for D.C. Credit: bestweekever.tv

UCLA Alum, Kal Penn leaves Hollywood for D.C. Credit: bestweekever.tv

Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar) leaves his recurring role on the popular Fox show, “House” to work as a liason between the Obama adminisration and the Asian constituency.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye said Tuesday that the actor who had a recurring role on Fox’s TV show “House” and has starred in several movies would join the staff as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison. His role will be to connect Obama with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as arts groups. Read more

Kumar goes from White Castle to the White House! What a job upgrade.  The Republicans have Bobby Jindal and the Democrats now have Kal Penn…Do I see a showdown in the near future vis-à-vis 2016 elections? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Posted by Maria

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle joins Obama administration

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on March 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Nancy-Ann Min DeParle.  Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/02/nancy-ann-deparle-white-h_n_171131.html

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, who was recently appointed to head the White House Office of Health Reform. Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/02/nancy-ann-deparle-white-h_n_171131.html

Thanks, my fellow Pac Ties bloggers, for commenting on my “Remember the (API) Ladies” post and bringing to my attention that a third woman has been appointed a prominent role in Obama’s administration.

On March 2, President Obama appointed Nancy-Ann Min DeParle to lead the White House Office of Health Reform.  She is only 36 (relatively young for such a high-ranking position) but already has a lot of relevant experience.

Read more about her in this article in The Huffington Post.

— posted by Debbie Chong