Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts

March 14, 2018

Study Reports Mexico is More Progressive Than The US on LGBT Rights and Attitudes

 This Posting was originally posted on by 

LGBTQ people, allies, and legislators who support LGBTQ rights are fighting tirelessly to increase the legal rights of the LGBTQ communities all over the world. While the U.S. is hailed by some people as a leader when it comes to LGBTQ rights, it falls behind many other places — including its bordering countries. According to new research, Mexico is more progressive than the United States when it comes to LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage
The study, entitled “Extending Rights to Marginalized Minorities: Same-Sex Relationship Recognition in Mexico and the United States,” was published in the journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly on Jan. 17. The research was conducted and led by Dr. Caroline Beer, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont (UVM), whose research has largely focused on comparing Latin American countries (particularly Mexico) and the United States. For the study, Dr. Beer analyzed national and state-level LGBTQ legislation that occurred in Mexico and the U.S between 2000 and 2014. Furthermore, she included findings on religious identities from the U.S. and Mexico censuses, and data from The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) to determine how much LGBTQ organizations influenced legislative action. 
Despite any misconceptions (or straight-up myths) about Mexico being a conservative country, the analysis revealed Mexico is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to LGBTQ rights, and is more accepting of gay marriage overall. Though 80 percent of the Mexican population identifies as Catholic, the researchers found religious identity in the Latin American country did not impede on the progress of rights for its LGBTQ citizens. Comparatively, the study found religion in the U.S. does contribute to suppressing the rights of LGBTQ people and legal, gay marriage — especially in areas with higher percentages of people identifying as Evangelical Protestants. That being said, the study only looked at legal equality of LGBTQ people, "with a focus on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships," and not how conservative social attitudes continue to impact the well-being of LGBTQ people in Mexico. "Given that LGBT social movements are stronger in the U.S., Mexicans are more religious, and a conservative religious party has governed Mexico for the better half of two decades, we would expect to find far greater legal equality for LGBT people in the US," Dr. Beer was quoted in a press release
Moreover, the study showed that having one LGBTQ organization in a Mexican state increased the probability of legal rights beings extended to LGBTQ citizens by 70 percent, while the increase was only 10 percent in a U.S. state. Meaning, LGBTQ organizations have much more influence in Mexico to affect positive change than U.S. based organizations. Though liberal U.S. states like Vermont were found to increase LGBTQ rights on a state level like Mexican states, the U.S. states were unable to effect nationwide change or progress.
Given Mexico’s history of passing legislation to support LGBTQ rights, and the fact that the Latin American country has had more openly gay politicians and has passed more LGBTQ anti-discrimination initiatives, these findings weren't terribly surprising to Dr. Beer. “The U.S. hasn’t seen anything close to these reforms in terms of fighting homophobia and promoting gay rights at the national level. Gay rights activists would say that they are protected by the U.S. Constitution, which I would agree with, but a lot of people don’t agree with that, and it’s not explicit like it is in Mexico,” she said. 
In actuality, the U.S. Congress can take a cue from the Mexican government, and enact legislation to better protect the rights of LGBTQ citizens. This study challenges us to be less U.S. centric, and remember that LGBTQ communities and allies from all around the world are fighting for legal rights — and many are more progressive than America.
It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage.

July 2, 2017

Mexicans Among Least Likely of Immigrants to Become US citizens

PEW Research

A Mexican-born man celebrates after taking the U.S. oath of citizenship in a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A Mexican-born man celebrates after taking the U.S. oath of citizenship in a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The overall percentage of lawful immigrants to the United States choosing to apply for and gaining citizenship is at its highest level in more than two decades. Yet in terms of naturalization rate, Mexicans – the single largest group of lawful immigrants by country of origin – lag well behind green-card holders eligible to apply from other parts of the globe.
Based on Pew Research Center estimates using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, two-thirds (67%) of lawful immigrants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship had applied for and obtained citizenship by 2015. This is the highest share since at least the mid-1990s. But among Mexican lawful immigrants eligible to apply, only 42% had applied for and obtained U.S. citizenship by 2015, a rate little changed since 2005 and one of the lowest among all immigrant groups when it comes to country of origin.

Naturalization rate

The number of naturalized immigrants divided by the number of naturalized immigrants plus the number of lawful immigrants who are eligible to apply for naturalization in a given year.
As part of a larger survey of Hispanic immigrants fielded in late 2015, Pew Research Center asked Mexican green-card holders why they had not yet become naturalized U.S. citizens. The most frequent reasons centered on inadequate English skills, lack of time or initiative, and the cost of the U.S. citizenship application. These appear to be significant barriers, as nearly all lawful immigrants from Mexico said they would like to become U.S. citizens someday.
Overall, 11.9 million of the nation’s 45 million immigrants in 2015 held lawful permanent residence (LPR) status – that is, they held “green cards,” according to Pew Research Center estimates. Of this number, most (9.3 million) had met the eligibility requirements – including length of residence – to apply for U.S. citizenship in 2015.1 Mexicans made up 37% of this group and constituted the single largest group of green-card holders without U.S. citizenship by country of origin.2
In the United States, the citizenship, or naturalization, rate among all lawful immigrants steadily increased from 1995 to 2005, rising from 47% to 62%. Until about 2005, the naturalization rate among lawful immigrants from Mexico also increased steadily, but did so more rapidly (from 20% in 1995 to 38% in 2005), narrowing the gap between Mexicans and other immigrants. However, between 2005 and 2010, the naturalization rate of Mexican green-card holders leveled off, even as the rate for lawful permanent residents from other parts of the globe continued to rise. Only in the period from 2011 to 2015 did the rate of naturalization among eligible Mexican immigrants significantly increase again at a pace higher than that of other lawful U.S. immigrants – going from 38% to 42% among Mexicans, compared with a 2-percentage-point increase, from 72% to 74% among non-Mexican immigrants.
As of 2015, the naturalization rate for lawful Mexican immigrants trailed that of green-card holders from the Middle East by 42 percentage points (42% vs. 83%), and was 33 points behind green-card holders from Africa, 74% of whom had naturalized by 2015. Middle Eastern immigrants had the highest naturalization rate among all immigrant origin groups, while African immigrantssaw the highest increase in naturalization rate in the last decade.
Early signs are that 2017 could see an increase in the rate of naturalization of lawful permanent residents. According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services, there were 525,000 naturalization applications submitted during the first half of fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1.3 That number is up 21% from the 435,000 applications submitted in the same period of 2016, which already had seen a spike on naturalization applications compared with previous years. The total applications for fiscal 2016 were up by 24% compared with 2015, and represented the highest number of applications for naturalization since 2008. Meanwhile, the number of lawful permanent residents admitted since 2010, many of whom would have recently become eligible to apply for citizenship, has stabilized at around 1 million per year since 2010.
Even so, the volume of citizenship applications in 2017 and 2016 still pales in comparison to the record levels seen in 1997 (1.41 million applications) and 2007 (1.38 million).These spikes were triggered in large part by congressional legislation passed a decade earlier that provided a path to lawful permanent residence and eventual citizenship for many unauthorized immigrants.4 The spike in 2007 occurred ahead of an increase in the citizenship application fee for adults, which rose from $330 to $595 on July 30, 2007.
Some have posited that fiscal 2016’s growth in applications and the more recent spike during the first quarter of fiscal 2017 (right after the election) are attributable to anti-immigrant rhetoric associated with 2016 U.S. presidential election. There is also evidence that some organizations worked to help lawful immigrants submit naturalization applications during the campaign.5 But at least some immigrants may have applied to avoid a further $45 increase in the citizenship application fee that was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 23, 2016. That increase, which raised the total application fee to $640 per adult, was officially announced in May 2016.

Naturalization rates among Mexican and other Latino immigrants

In 2015, half (52%) of all Latino lawful immigrants (mainly originating from Mexico, as well as Central and South America) eligible to become U.S. citizens had in fact naturalized. Among this group, Mexicans had a naturalization rate of 42%, compared with 64% among lawful immigrants from other countries in Latin America.
In its 2015 survey of Latino immigrants, Pew Research Center found that among lawful Mexican immigrants and other Latino immigrants, the desire to become U.S. citizens was high. Nearly all (98%) Mexican lawful immigrants and 94% of other lawful Latino immigrants said they would naturalize if they could.
The survey also found that about two-thirds (67%) of Mexican lawful permanent residents said they had investigated the citizenship application process, compared with 80% of non-Mexican Latino lawful permanent residents. And a large majority of Mexican and other Latino lawful permanent residents (70% and 66% respectively) said they planned to stay in the U.S. and not return to their home country later in life, one reason some of them might seek U.S. citizenship.
Despite their wish to naturalize, many Latino lawful immigrants were not familiar with details of the process. Just 16% of Mexican and 21% of other Latino lawful immigrants correctly answered that two tests are part of the U.S. naturalization process.
It is not only Latino lawful permanent resident immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens:  In the 2015 survey, Latino immigrants who did not have a green card and were not eligible to naturalize (a group likely in the country without authorization) also wanted to become U.S. citizens.6 According to the survey, fully 91% in this group said they would naturalize if they could, and about one-third (32%) had done some research into the steps needed to become a U.S. citizen, though only 5% knew they need to take two tests to naturalize.

Mexican and non-Mexican Latino lawful immigrants face somewhat similar barriers to citizenship

Asked why they hadn’t yet naturalized, the Center’s 2015 survey found that 35% of Mexican and 23% of other Latino immigrants with green cards identified personal barriers, such as a lack of English proficiency. Another common reason given was a lack of interest or just having not applied yet. About a third (31%) of Mexican lawful immigrants said this, while only 16% of non-Mexican Latino immigrants said the same. An additional 13% of Mexican and 19% of non-Mexican lawful immigrants identified financial and administrative barriers, mainly the cost of naturalization.
This report is based on three data sources. Data on naturalization trends among lawful immigrants are based on Pew Research Center estimates based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The ACS is a year-round survey of 3.5 million households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 55,000 households conducted jointly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Each March, the CPS is expanded to produce additional data on the nation’s foreign-born population and other topics. Legal status of immigrants in the ACS and CPS is inferred based on methods described in the Center’s research on unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
Latino immigrant attitudes about naturalization come from a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,500 Latino adults, including 795 immigrants. The survey was conducted between Oct. 21 and Nov. 30, 2015. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level; for foreign-born Latinos, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. For a full description of the survey methodology, see the Methodology section at the end of the report.

U.S. Citizenship Eligibility

To become a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident in most cases must:
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have lived in the U.S. continuously for five years.
  • Be able to speak, write, read and understand basic English.
  • Answer questions that demonstrate knowledge of U.S. government and history.
  • Undergo a successful background check.
  • Demonstrate attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Take the oath of citizenship swearing allegiance to the U.S.
Some of those requirements are waived for certain groups:
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens can naturalize after three years of continuous residence, if the sponsoring spouse has been a U.S. citizen for all three years.
  • Foreign-born minor children become citizens when their parents naturalize.
  • Foreign-born minor children who are adopted by U.S. citizens are eligible for citizenship upon their arrival in the U.S.
  • Military personnel, their spouses and foreign-born minor children are eligible for expedited and overseas citizenship processing with the possibility of having some of the eligibility requirements diminished or waived. Additionally, in the case of death as result of combat while serving in active duty, citizenship may be granted posthumously to the military member and immediate family members.
The filing fees of processing a citizenship request for all applicants were $680 at the time of the Center’s survey in 2015. This included a $595 filing fee and an $85 biometric services fee for processing fingerprints. Starting Dec. 23, 2016, the citizenship application fee rose by $45.
The filing fee could be waived for applicants with family incomes below 150% of the poverty line, if they, their spouse or head of household receives a means-tested benefit, or if the applicant is experiencing a financial hardship that prevents them from paying the fee (such as unexpected medical bills). Starting Dec. 23, 2016 there is also a reduced filing fee of $320 available for naturalization applicants with family incomes between 150% and 200% the poverty line.

February 1, 2017

Trumps Threatens Mexico’s Peña with Military

 Trump threatens Pena with Military invasion

President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop “bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them itself, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres," — drug cartels, immigrants, or both — or the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s response.

Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump’s remark suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.

A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.

"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt seen by the AP. "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

A person with access to the official transcript of the phone call provided an excerpt to The Associated Press. The person gave it on condition of anonymity because the administration did not make the details of the call public.

A Mexican reporter's similar account of Trump's comments was published on a Mexican website Tuesday. The reports described Trump as humiliating Pena Nieto in a confrontation conversation.
Mexico’s foreign relations department denied that account, saying it "is based on absolute falsehoods."

"The assertions that you make about said conversation do not correspond to the reality of it," the statement said. "The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States."

Trump has used the phrase "bad hombres" before. In an October presidential debate, he vowed to get rid the U.S. of "drug lords" and "bad people."
"We have some bad hombres here, and we're going to get them out," he said. The phrase ricocheted on social media with Trump opponents saying he was denigrating immigrants.

Trump’s comment was in line with the new administration's bullish stance on foreign policy matters in general, and the president's willingness to break long-standing norms around the globe.

Before his inauguration, Trump spoke to the president of Taiwan, breaking long-standing U.S. policy and irritating China. His temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, aimed at reviewing screening procedures to lessen the threat of extremist attacks, has caused consternation around the world.

But nothing has created the level of bickering as the border wall, a centerpiece of his campaign. Mexico has consistently said it would not pay for the wall and opposes it. Before the phone call, Pena Nieto canceled a planned visit to the United States.

The fresh fight with Mexico last week arose over trade as the White House proposed a 20 percent tax on imports from the key U.S. ally to finance the wall after Pena Nieto abruptly scrapped his Jan. 31 trip to Washington.

The U.S. and Mexico conduct some $1.6 billion a day in cross-border trade, and cooperate on everything from migration to anti-drug enforcement to major environmental issues.
Trump tasked his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner — a real estate executive with no foreign policy experience — with managing the ongoing dispute, according to an administration official with knowledge of the call.

At a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May last week, Trump described his call with Pena Nieto as “friendly."

In a statement, the White House said the two leaders acknowledged their “clear and very public differences” and agreed to work through the immigration disagreement as part of broader discussions on the relationship between their countries.

__Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report

January 27, 2017

Homophobia Seemed to Surge in Mexico After Peña Gay Marriage Proposal

Let me just quantify the tittle: The homophobes were always there like Trump voters were here, they just kept quiet about it…..

 Homophobia has surged in Mexico since president Enrique Pena Nieto proposed to legalise same-sex marriage in May, a gay rights group said, reporting 26 hate-fueled murders this year. Alejandro Brito, head of the Citizen Commission against Homophonic Hate Crimes, said there was a “defamation campaign” against gays.


"This can trigger a wave of violence and an increase in attacks against homosexuals. We think that it's important for the authorities to take care of this before a tragedy takes place," he said yesterday. "Homophobia has worsened this year due to the opposition to the initiative that the president has sent to Congress," Brito said at a news conference.
"We don't want an Orlando in Mexico," he said, referring the murder of 49 people by a gunman at a gay nightclub in the Florida city in June. Pena Nieto has proposed a constitutional reform that would legalise same-sex marriage nationwide after the Supreme Court ruled last year that state bans were unconstitutional.
Currently only a handful of the country's 31 states and Mexico City allow such weddings. Brito said that at least 26 people from the LGBT community were killed so far this year, with some brutal homicides perpetrated after the president's announcement.
On June 25, two lesbians were verbally attacked by a man for their sexual orientation while they were outside a store in the northern city of Monclova. The couple left but the man hit their car with his vehicle and shot one of the women in the neck, killing her, Brito said.
The Mexico Equality Movement has documented two other murders of gays after Pena Nieto's announcement. One was run over and the other one was tortured. Brito's group reported 44 homophobia-fueled murders in 2015, down from 72 in 2014. An average of 71 anti-LGBT murders have taken place every year in the past decade.
But Brito said the figure is likely much higher as the statistics are only based on news reports.
"For each case reported in the press, there are at least two others that are not reported," he said. Pena Nieto’s initiative has been opposed by Mexico's Roman Catholic Church and members of conservative parties. The leftist Democratic Revolution Party and LGBT rights groups filed complaints in the interior ministry and the government’s anti-discrimination agency against bishops and a cardinal, accusing them of violating the constitution for their public stance against same-sex marriage.
What’s missing from Mexico vis a vis United States gay marriage is education. What should have happened would have been for both public and private sectors to explain why should there be gay marriage. Who are the gay people? In United States there was a campaign before and after there was gay marriage showing the population that gays were in everyone’s family. Either in the past or in the present and if not, there are still gays we interact every day from friends and co workers that don’t talk about it and we don’t know their sexual orientation.
In United States we started the fight of going from state to state but realized some states were too far behind in recognizing gays as comparable human beings and it was the same states that had problems with the right to vote, inter-race marriage and even the end of slavery.
We realized we needed the same power that made all of those things I just mentioned happen and that was the power of the Supreme Court.
I don’t know the constitution of Mexico but if it proclaims that all citizens are to be treated equally then the highest courts there is the way to go.

Companies and Education:

The private sector also played a big role in education in the US. Many of those companies are also in Mexico. McDonalds, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, etc., can also make the effort there to educate and have equal hiring and opportunities for all and let the public know.

It was great that President Peña went for gay marriage and the timing seemed right since the Supreme Court in the US had made the decision but it seemed like there was a vacuum in education and for backing from organization the public respected. Yes,  the Catholic Church coming down hard against it is not helping but they also did in the US.

You have to teach people and find out why they oppose gay marriage and gay rights.
If its religious then you have to point out many things people do daily that does not square with the scriptures. If it’s sex, well that is private.  Is it the way we dress? Not everybody dresses the same way and the people they probably think are gay is because they are perceive to be effeminate in some way.
Then show them the figures in sports globally and in companies such as Apple, Mozilla,Pay Pal and others were their CEO’s are gay and nobody would know if they were not out to the public.

When you have organized opposition like the church and then you have new groups with Putin-Russian scare tactics you need to counter them and bring the truth out and the lie exposed to the light of that truth. This thing that kids cannot be told about gays like if kids were stupid needs to go besides it needs to be pointed out that gays are not made but born. There are gay kids and they should feel that there are other solutions for them besides suicide and getting married to go in the down-low.

I hope that the gay community there learn from us and other nations how they have done it. In  all cases education is key.
You are not going to have everyone accept you but at least the misinformed and uneducated can be brought to your around and for the hard core homophobic which many times are gay themselves or afraid of being gay, for those only time is the answer.
Adam Gonzalez

September 2, 2016

Trump Got Real Tough-After Leaving Mexico



Donald Trump has provided the political world with many moving moments over the past year, but none quite like the whiplash mood swing between his daytime and nighttime performances in Mexico City and Phoenix on Wednesday.

In the daylight hours, Trump struck his most presidential pose to date with a solemn (if somewhat grumpy) reading of prepared remarks at a news conference alongside Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto. That somber event, inside the Mexican presidential residence, epitomized the more moderate image Trump has pursued on immigration issues over the past 10 days.

But as night fell in Phoenix, back in the U.S.A., Trump mounted the stage in prime time and quickly caught fire. He poured forth an hourlong harangue against all things alien, highlighting the lurid crimes of a handful of illegal immigrants as if to define the character of millions. He also promised to build "a beautiful wall" across the entire U.S.-Mexico border and create a "deportation task force" that would eventually guarantee that "the bad ones are gone."
On the subject of the wall, Trump departed from his script to assure his listeners that Mexico would indeed pay for it — adding, "They may not know it yet, but they will." In so doing, he as much as acknowledged that Peña Nieto had told him something different earlier in the day.

That was not a minor point, but rather a sore one. The issue of the wall's cost had taken over the news and Twitter feeds earlier in the evening. Trump himself had insisted at the news conference in Mexico City that the two men did not discuss the financing of the wall. Peña Nieto, who did not contradict Trump at the time (maintaining a striking deference to the American throughout their joint appearance), later tweeted that he had begun their meeting by saying Mexico would never pay for such a wall, a stance Mexican officials have taken consistently.
None of the Trump surrogates appearing across the media landscape Wednesday night seemed to dispute this, saying rather that the Wednesday meeting had "not been a negotiation" and that more formal talks would ensue on the wall and its financing. Rest assured, they seemed to say, Mexico will come around.

Throughout the Phoenix speech, Trump read from a teleprompter but supercharged the script with his own asides and add-ons, many of which riled the already raucous crowd to transports of delight. At one moment, promising to rid the land of criminal immigrants, he shouted that "in the first hour they are gone," and the throng exulted. Trump in such moments would back away and himself applaud until the roar subsided.

Listening to the speech, marveling at the about-face maneuver, one could almost hear the spirited debate within the councils of Trump's campaign. One imagined Kellyanne Conway, the pollster-cum-campaign manager, arguing for the quickie trip to Mexico and the confab with Peña Nieto. Since stepping up in mid-August, she has been seen as a moderating influence, seeking a new tone and tenor more appealing to white suburban voters (especially women and college graduates).

With Conway seeming to be ascendant, one could easily imagine the day ending with a very different speech in Phoenix. Would Trump not hail his conquest of Mexico City, citing his domination of the news conference where he practically had the Mexican president poised on his knee? Would Trump not repeat his lines of praise for "first, second and third-generation Mexican Americans" he said were "beyond reproach" and even "spectacular, hard-working people"?

The die seemed to be cast, and the timing seemed propitious. Because two weeks of adverse publicity about the Clinton Foundation and its donors and about newly discovered emails at the State Department have helped erode Hillary Clinton's already weak standing with voters. For the first time, her disapproval numbers were almost equal to Trump's. Conway seemed to have found just the right moment to raise her candidate's acceptability score in contrast with his opponent.

But if this was the opportunity for a turnaround that changed the broad public perception of Trump, it was a moment not only missed but thrust away with both hands.

For as soon as that moderating narrative got airborne, Trump's speech in Phoenix took off after it with the speed and fury of an anti-aircraft missile. The explosion as the two met in midair against the desert sky was spectacular indeed.

That intercept was launched, in all likelihood, from the campaign's other new major domo, Steve Bannon, the former publisher of, the self-styled voice of the alt-right movement.

Bannon, now called the CEO of the Trump campaign, has been a fan of the hard-line approach on immigration as well as other issues. And whether he or another wordsmith in the Trump camp wrote the script, it was the fuel for one of the candidate's most incendiary performances.
Mexican President Says He Told Trump Mexico Would Not Pay For A Wall
In the speech, Trump not only doubled down on the wall and the invoice to Mexico, but on a "deportation task force" that would either drive the undocumented out of the country of their own accord or arrest them and send them to their countries of origin. The "softening" often promised in recent days seemed to consist only in the delay of the deportation endeavor until the wall could be completed and all the criminal elements of the illegal population first removed.

Trump made a point of including in his ban the "dreamers," present in the U.S. now as adults because they were brought to the country as minor children by their parents. This has been an especially popular target group for immigration reformers, and President Obama protected them from deportation orders with one of his executive actions. 

At some point, Trump allowed, "we will bring back the good ones." But moments after making this concession to what he has called "being humane about it," Trump was filling the stage with the grieving parents of people killed by immigrants in the country illegally.

After a day spent putting his weight down on one foot, the Republican nominee was standing firm on the other. And he left little doubt where he would remain through the rest of this campaign.

September 1, 2016

Trump Whips In and Out of Mexico


Whipping in and out of Mexico Wednesday, Donald Trump managed to further inflame Mexicans' indignation with the GOP nominee, but his visit south of the border was unlikely to sway a lot of Latino voters.

Trump avoided any gaffes and was constrained as he spoke at a news conference with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto at Los Pinos, the official office and residence of the Mexican president. It followed a meeting the two had behind closed doors.

Trump didn't repeat the statements he made when he opened his presidential bid - that Mexico sends its people to the U.S. and they are rapists and people who bring crime and drugs.
Standing side by side with Mexico’s president and under its country seal and its red, white and green colors, Trump stuck to plans to build a wall in Mexico and avoided any sort of "dressing down" from Peña Nieto for how he has trashed Mexicans and Mexico. 

When he was asked about paying for the border wall, Trump managed to push the issue aside as something that would be discussed later. He said they didn't discuss who would pay for it. Trump has previously said Mexico would pick up the cost.

Peña Nieto did not push back on what the country's leaders have been saying for months, that Mexico would not pay for it at the news conference. But a couple of hours later, Peña Nieto tweeted that the private conversation between the two, he made it clear to Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall. 

The Mexican president did say Mexicans have been offended by what Trump said and said Mexicans in the United States are "honest people and hard working," "well intentioned" and people who respect the law.In his comments on a future relationship with Mexico, Trump was very basic. He said he had five goals. His top goal is stopping illegal immigration not just between the two countries, but also from Central and South America, followed by building the wall he said.

"Having a secure border is a sovereign right and mutually beneficial. We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs and weapons," he said.

His other goals included dismantling drug cartels and ending movement of illegal drugs, weapons and funds "across our border"; improving the North American Free Trade Agreeement and finally, "keeping manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere."

Trump expressed love for the Mexican people and the contributions of Mexican Americans to the U.S., but didn't apologize for what his previous statements about Mexicans and those who come to the U.S.

"I happen to have a tremendous feeling for Mexican Americans, not only in terms of friendships, in terms of the tremendous numbers I employ in the United States and they are amazing people, amazing people," Trump said.

But that statement is only likely to please those who already are in his camp. Those who do support him said they saw his meeting with Peña Nieto as a demonstration of his leadership and makes him look presidential.

"What we saw in the news conference is one of the greatest acts of flip flopping we've seen from a presidential candidate," said Israel Navarro, a political strategist with El Instituto in Mexico who has done work on both sides of the border.

"I think that people have some preconceptions based on past declarations from Peña Nieto and Donald Trump and I don't think this press conference will change substantially the way people are thinking of them," Navarro said.

Hillary Clinton holds a wide lead over Trump when it comes to Latinos, but some Latinos have met with him and tried to advise him on the tone he has used with the community as well as some of his policies.

The news conference did little to answer questions that linger about Trump's immigration plan. Some were hoping to hear that later Wednesday from his Arizona speech.

Artemio Muniz, head of the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans, said while he thought Trump was trying to show leadership and he was impressed by the nearly similar speeches of Trump and Peña Nieto,"I want to see what he is going to do about the 11 million undocumented. I want to hear it from his mouth," said Muniz.

Muniz has said he wants to support Trump, but has not yet decided to vote for him. It is Latinos like him that the campaign hopes to reach, although their numbers are not large.

"It's another dynamic to Donald Trump's style, if he keeps doing it," Muniz said. “Donald Trump is one minute saying devastating things and then he's meeting with the President of Mexico, and that extreme turnaround - it shows if he really wants to repair this thing, he could."

August 31, 2016

Mexico Looses Juan Gabriel (Juanga) its own Liberace

 ‘Juanga’ in 2015

With his glittery capes, slinky dance moves and ultra-romantic lyrics, Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel was an unlikely king in a country known for its machismo. He never spoke about his sexuality, yet was widely assumed to be gay.
It’s no surprise that the singer was an icon in Mexico’s gay subculture. But how was it that he came to be celebrated by the country’s Catholic, conservative and often homophobic mainstream?
Juan Gabriel, whose sudden death Sunday at age 66 cast Mexico into a state of mourning, navigated both worlds by saying nothing at all. 
“It’s his life,” said Ricardo Monroy Martinez, who came to pay his respects Monday at a statue of the performer in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, where fans were gathered, singing. Juan Gabriel’s sexuality wasn’t important, Monroy said, and he never felt the singer needed to articulate it. What mattered were the songs. “They reached my heart,” said the 63-year-old.
Juan Gabriel, the stage name he preferred to his given name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez, remained coy about his private life from the 1960s, when he started his career singing on the streets of Juarez. He maintained that posture into his later years despite a shift in public opinion on gay and transgender rights. 
 He never married, conceived four children via artificial insemination with a female friend and repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality, even after a male former personal secretary wrote a book alleging they had a romantic relationship.
In 2002, a few years years before Mexico City legalized gay marriage, the famously effeminate singer shut down a journalist who asked if he was gay.
“You don’t ask about what can be seen,” he said.
Like the flamboyant pianist Liberace, who some say maintained that he was straight out of fear that the truth would hurt his appeal to mainstream America, Juan Gabriel’s stance could in part be viewed as a business decision.
“It would have been a career killer to come out,” said Hector Carrillo, who grew up in Mexico and is now a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. “That was part of the calculation for people who had a very public persona.... They would never name it. They would never say it. It was a strategy of silence.”
“Don't ask, don't tell” had long been the policy in Mexico when it came to the sexuality of those in the limelight. Famed Mexican singer Chavela Vargas waited until 2002, when she was 81, to publicly come out as a lesbian. Although Gabriel never publicly claimed the gay community, that community certainly claimed him, with his romantic Spanish-language ballads belted late into the night in drag bars on both sides of the border. Many gay fans saw coded messages in the lyrics of Juan Gabriel’s songs, such as “Es Mi Vida” (“It’s My Life.”)
It’s my life, very much my life, and I don’t have to give any explanations. 
I have my reasons, which no one will care to know.
Many have credited Juan Gabriel with opening the door to greater expression of gender and sexuality, even if he never explicitly called for it. Like Prince, or David Bowie, Juan Gabriel was known for his gender-bending clothing and occasional touch of eye makeup.
“I think he made a deep cultural change not by talking about his sexuality but by living it out on stage,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor in Mexico who is an expert on the legal battle for same-sex marriage in the country. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”
Madrazo recalled seeing Juan Gabriel perform before a large crowd at at cockfight, a sport that exemplifies Mexico’s machismo culture.  
“He would dance in a way that was sexy and provocative in front of all these stereotypes of a Mexican man,” Madrazo said. “He would literally shake ... in their faces, and they would go crazy.”
Madrazo said he thinks Juan Gabriel never opened up about his sexuality because there may have not been just one label that fit him. “I think his sexuality was probably far more complex,” he said.
In an homage to Juan Gabriel published on the website of Mexico’s Millenio newspaper Monday, journalist Alvaro Cueva recalled friends making fun of Juan Gabriel for his effeminate stage presence. At some schools, his name was used as an anti-gay slur.
Cueva called Juan Gabriel subversive. “You ... became an idol in a country of macho men,” he wrote. “You made homophobic people sing and dance.”
Mexico has changed considerably from the days Juan Gabriel was beginning his career.  

In 2005, the federal government instituted an anti-homophobia campaign. Gay and lesbian characters now appear on Mexican sitcoms and soap operas. And public opinion polls show Mexican people are warming toward gay marriage, which is legal in several states and Mexico City.   
“Mexico got ahead of him,” said Carrillo. “Homosexuality kind of came out of the closet, but Juan Gabriel never did.”
While Juan Gabriel himself shied away from political causes, some in Mexico are using his death as an opportunity to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has championed that cause and is seeking congressional approval to amend the country’s constitution. But his plan has been met with fierce resistance from church leaders and even officials in his own party. 
“Mexicans are crying for Juan Gabriel,” newspaper columnist Yuriria Sierra wrote on Twitter. “But they would continue to deny the legal right to love.”

Kate Linthicum

Featured Posts

A Mob of 10 Men Attacks a Gay Man in Arizona

Police are investigating, though they aren't calling the attack as a hate crime. BY  MATHEW RODRIGUEZ Ou...