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Letters to the Editor   The open letter below expresses the dismay and disappointment that many individuals ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement on ...
By Rev. Harold E. Bailey President of Probation Challenge.org - The Truth Network “Have confidence ...
Exhibition opening event featuring curator David Shneer and presenting sponsor Michael Polsky At ...
From: Diana Popa, wallethub With Tax Day looming large and sweeping tax reform passed in recent ...
Grants designed to improve, strengthen Illinois communities SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of ...
  SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the new Vice-Chair of the House Business Incentives for Local Communities ...
New Riders for Better Transit campaign fights for funding and transit service improvements   Chicago, IL - ...
CHICAGO, IL - Memorial Day is a day we honor those who serve our ...
 Offices to Close for Election Day   Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all offices ...

Archive for August 7th, 2013

Making History… Again

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

President/CEO, NAACP 

Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963. Tens of thousands of activists on the National Mall. A preacher’s son from Atlanta talking about his dream for the country.

We don’t need a history lesson. Even if we weren’t at the March itself – even for those like me, who were not yet born – Dr. King’s words are etched into our minds as deeply as they are inscribed in stone at the base of his memorial. The preacher’s son has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of national heroes.

We don’t need to watch a rerun of that fateful day. We need a sequel.

On Saturday, August 24th, the NAACP is co-hosting a sequel to the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice: the 2013 March on Washington. The march begins at 8:00 am, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Join us.

If this year has shown us anything, it’s that the work of the 1963 march is not yet finished. Texas and South Carolina are sprinting forward with voter ID after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. African American unemployment has flat lined. Our children are gunned down each and every day in senseless acts of violence. Trayvon Martin lies in the ground after one such senseless act.

At the same time, our culture of civic engagement is experiencing a renaissance. In the past month, hundreds of cities held vigils and rallies to protest the Zimmerman verdict. The nation is having a serious conversation about racial profiling for the first time since 9/11. In North Carolina, Moral Mondays has grown larger with each passing week.

We have the numbers, and we have the capacity for motivation. The question is whether we will allow ourselves to be motivated.

So join us – NAACP, National Action Network, Realizing the Dream and others – on the National Mall on August 24th. If you live within two hours of Washington, DC, hop in a car or on a bus – or even better, organize a bus. If you live farther away, you are still encouraged to come and be a part of history.

The 2013 March on Washington will be a people’s movement. It will not be fueled by cash – it will only be energized by your decision to participate. We need you there to help us gain a critical mass of voices, and prove once again that organized people can beat organized money any time.

On this fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, we should celebrate our history, but it’s more important that we never stop making history.

Meet us at the Lincoln Memorial. Join us on August 24th.  

  
Ben Jealous is president/CEO of the NAACP. 
Contact:  Ben Wrobel 917-846-0658 bwrobel@naacpnet.org @NAACPPress
  

National Action Network and Brooklyn Community pilot new program to stop gun violence in parks

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

7-day event dubbed “Hold the Ball” to debut in Potomac Park, Bed-Stuy, August 7-14; Supports youth with peace and empowerment programming

 

Brooklyn, NY (BlackNews.com) – In an effort to deter gang activity and empower against gun violence occurring in parks across Brooklyn, residents are teaming up with the National Action Network (NAN) to pilot a new anti-violence program.

Alongside ongoing basketball games, this weeklong series of events, dubbed “Hold the Ball,” offers a time-out for the community to learn and become empowered. During each session, legendary Coach Richard Jones, will lead youth, adults and seniors in a series of classes to educate, inspire and empower: Yoga with a 4-minute meditation tribute to Trayvon Martin, cross-training with top trainer from David Kirsch Wellness, nutritional advice, performances by Get Lite dancers, NYC poets and rappers, art canvas painting and guitar lessons. There will also be resources on hand for college counseling, resume writing and learning your rights regarding stop-and-frisk

All events are FREE to the public and will take place from Wednesday, Aug. 7 to Wednesday, Aug. 14 on the basketball court at Potomac Park in Bed-Stuy.

James McDougal, President of the National Action Network, Central Brooklyn Chapter, is leading the pilot, which is the brainchild of a “Think Tank” of anti-violence activists in the community, representing diverse backgrounds. Their research revealed a trend of shootings occurring in parks. “Last year in 2012, there were 25 shootings and 6 deaths associated with summer basketball,” he said.

“Hold the Ball” is the Brooklyn Think Tank’s first anti-violence initiative and is inspired by the senseless gun slayings of Trayvon Martin and Antonio Wilson. “Our community is united in confronting this issue,” said Rev. Al Sharpton “It starts with inspiring a new generation and empowering them with the tools they need.”

“Hold the Ball” is an anti-violence initiative of the National Action Network and it’s Think Tank: Black Men Who Care, Ebony Tay, Silver Truck Music, KWU, Mothers Empowered, Feared Voices LLC, Sanuces Ryu, NYPD 79th Precinct, NYC Parks Department, XMental, NYCLU, Humble School of Martial Arts, YMCA.

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.

For more information about this event or to schedule an interview with the NAN, please contact James McDougal at 347-323-3844 or Ebony Tay at 917-558-1470

Workers refuse to cross IWW Mobile Rail Picket Line

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

On the seventh day of holding an Unfair Labor Practice Strike, workers at Mobile Rail Solutions are receiving solidarity from their fellow workers in organized labor.

Having filed ULPs with the National Labor Relations Board, secured a Stipulated Election Agreement, and filed authorization cards representing well over 50% of the workplace, the workers are now holding signs declaring the strike.

Beginning at 7:30 A.M. today, August 7, 2013,  picketers will protest at Union Pacific Global 1, 1425 S. Western Ave, in Chicago.

For a week, workers across different labor Unions have been talking about the Strike and today several workers simply turned around and went home. Because Mobile Rail operates out of the Global 1 rail yard, workers are picketing the main entrance. It now looks like our friends in the yard are tired of seeing Mobile Rail Management ignore their own workers any longer. Workers faced with the picket are simply not crossing the line. Management has still not agreed to meet with the workers.

For more information, contact Sam Green at (360) 480-0074

Rev. Bailey: ‘Leaders, when you mistreat God’s people, you are mistreating God!’

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 1 COMMENT
By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge/PCC Broadcast Network

 

Quite honestly, after all is said and done, one day we all will lay down and die. And after death comes the true judgment! All that we say and do in this flesh is being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and when we stand before God, I don’t want to say ‘Would have or could have!’

When the roll is called (and it will be called) up yonder, there will be no need for the misgivings, deceit, jiggering, racism, biased behaviors, or any other matters that are displeasing in the sight of God!

I often say If we can’t put God in it, don’t do it! Going to a certain place and having reservations about it, well, if you can’t take God into that dwelling – don’t go! Take the Lord along with you everywhere you go! Even in your business you’re going to need Him in the dead-heat of that business, and you already know that as an African-American!

I often wonder what’s going through the demented minds of those deceiving persons sitting in Washington, DC, who believe they are getting away with the creation of devilish things to deceive the American people. Those hellish things that would in fact hurt not only the people in their districts, but God’s people, too! Do they not believe that the all seeing eyes of God are upon the earth and know what’s being planned in those dark backrooms against the people of God? Shame if they don’t! But some honestly believe that they can be the exception to the rule – and get by the eyes of God.

Do some politicians honestly believe that there are no consequences for their illicit behaviors? Don’t they know that our youth who they ridicule for smoking marijuana is checking them out and saying … ‘what I’m doing is not as bad as a Congressional representative.’ We all have to give an answer for our stewardship in the flesh – to God! 

There is no degree of sin with God, big or small.  With God, sin is sin! And, those who are demonstrating blatant hatred, racism and sex mongering before the public’s eyes thinking it to be a badge of honor… they too have much to answer for!  These people are destroying the very moral fabric of this country. They are destroying the foundation of truth with our youth… giving them permission to commit overt sin, coming from the capitol of these Not-So-United-States. How can God bless America when she is not in keeping with His will – for His people.

I am here to humbly serve notice: Leaders, when you mistreat God’s people you are in fact mistreating God!  It is written via the scriptures that ‘The least you do unto my little ones, you are doing it unto me.’ How then can any elected officials, or any others who have been sworn to service the people be spiritually stupid to allow Satan to mislead them into such great peril. But, yes, it is being done … right in front of our eyes.

Don’t forget Probation Challenge’s 34th Annual ‘Portrait of Achievers’ Awards, Dinner, Entertainment, and The Show of Shows, starring Marshall Thompson and The Chi-Lites, The Barrett Sisters with Tina Brown, Pastor Mitty Collier, Kevin Collins, and, Rapp’n Tate Da Great.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, will speak briefly regarding ‘Truth and Solutions’ …

The event gala will be held Friday, August 16, 2013, at the Condesa del Mar, 12220 South Cicero Avenue – Alsip, Illinois, beginning at 7:00 P.M. Doors open at 6:30 P.M.

This will be a complete evening of *Awards *Dinner *Entertainment and *The Show of Shows. Cost is $50 per person with free parking. Reservations are needed. For reservations, please call 773.978.3706.

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is the President of Probation Challenge and the PCC Internet Broadcast WWW.ProbationChallenge.org.

World-Renowned Budweiser Clydesdales to visit Illinois State Fair

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The world famous Budweiser Clydesdales will be on the fairgrounds for the entire duration of the 2013 Illinois State Fair.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales back to the Illinois State Fair,” John Skeffington, owner of Skeff Distributing, said.  “The Clydesdales are an enduring symbol of Budweiser’s commitment to quality and one said of the world’s most recognized corporate symbols.”

2013 marks the 80th anniversary of the Clydesdales as a symbol of Anheuser-Busch.  The draft horses make hundreds of appearances each year throughout the country.

“The Budweiser Clydesdales are always a fair favorite,” State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said.  “We are thrilled that they will return so fairgoers can see them up close and personal.”

The Clydesdales will march in the fair’s Twilight Parade on Thursday, Aug. 8.  They also will parade everyday of the fair starting at 4 p.m.  The Clydesdale’s permanent home while on the fairgrounds will be in the Heartland area by Gate 2.

Connections to Contracts and Capacity Building Are Focus of 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference Sept. 26 in Chicago

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Women business owners will find valuable connections, contract opportunities and access to information and resources to grow their businesses at the 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference (EWC), Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on Thursday, September 26, 2013, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago.

Supported by the 2013 Conference Co-Chairs Carolynn Brooks, vice president, chief diversity officer, OfficeMax and president, OfficeMax Charitable Foundation; and Marsha Cruzan, Chicago market president, U.S. Bank, the conference features:

·         Face time with more than 200 corporate and government representatives at the Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, who are committed to purchasing products and services from women-owned businesses.

·         Contract Connections, the WBDC Matchmaker: Pre-arranged, one-on-one meetings between certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporate and government purchasing decision-makers.

·         Women’s Forum Breakfast, moderated by best-selling author Terry Savage, will feature the State of Women’s Business Development from the WBDC. Beginning with a discussion of the origins of the Women’s Business Development Center and how far it has come, the conversation will also cover the WBDC’s vision for the future and its commitment to continue fighting the challenges that still exist for women- and minority-owned businesses.

·         Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, honoring successful female entrepreneurs and supporters of women’s economic development. The luncheon will also feature a dynamic keynote speaker providing advice and insight to women business owners.

·         Workshops for start-up and established business owners: “Launch Your Own Business: From Dream to Reality,” “10,000 Small Businesses Growth Session,” “Small Business – Big Opportunities: Finding Solutions for Small Business Challenges.”

·         Let’s get this party started!  An entertaining, wrap-up reception where women business owners and corporate and government procurement representatives can connect in a casual, business setting.

Tickets are $225 for women business owners and $250 for others on or before August 31, 2013; thereafter, tickets become $300 for everyone, in advance and at the door. This fee includes access to all conference events. Individual tickets for the Women’s Forum Breakfast, Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon and Women’s Business & Buyers Mart are $125 each for everyone. For more information or to register, visit www.WBDC.org/EWC.

Do You Have a Plan B?

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

There is a misconception among startup businesses and nonprofits that you don’t need a Business Plan. But a Business Plan is very important and you should put forth an effort to just do it.

I’ve met several people that made up their business plans as they went along. Some were successful and many weren’t. The Business Plan is not just a document you take to a bank to get a loan; it is a roadmap to reaching your goal and achieving successful outcomes. It helps you to think out the process before executing.

I remember my first Business Plan. It included a marketing plan and a financial statement. The financial statement alone can be a challenge. Not only do you have to figure out how much money you need, you have to determine what you need, how much of it, how important it is to have it now, and what will you do to gain returns on what has been invested and gain a profit as well.

Do you really need a 12,000 square foot space to get started or can you achieve the same results with a shared space using 500 square feet? Do you need staff on hand daily or can you hire a freelancer as you go along or contract the job out? Should you lease equipment or should you buy your own?

As for marketing, will you rely on radio stations, blogs, newspapers, magazines, promotional events, word of mouth, etc, and how much will it cost you in time and/or money? Social networks and emailing friends and their friends may not be enough. How will you apprise the public of who you are?

When you think about some of the most successful startups, they provided some type of service coupled with their product for free. You can get a free Google email that includes YouTube and other Google services, but premium services cost. You will pay for the premium stuff because you enjoyed the free stuff without a hitch. A trust in the product and vendor has been developed.

There are other software products available that don’t charge you unless you are making money off the product, so learning to use it or develop with it is free. It makes sense to me.

So if you have a business idea, I suggest you include a “freemium” that people can use or enjoy to keep you on their mind. If you don’t have a physical product to give away, offer a service or training workshop. That’s the trend right now. Free education. If you are an accountant, show people how to file simple tax forms for free. When the job gets complicated, they will be glad to come pay you for your services. When you come across as money-hungry and trying to make a killing when you start out, it will turn people away.

Like Kevin says on the TV show Shark Tank, “Don’t be greedy!” I have personally had people approach me about doing jobs after I did a free training. People like to know how to do things, but once they do, often they find they don’t want to spend the time doing it. When you give people things for free, many people want to give back. They get excited when you share with them.

There was a woman I used to often pass by in the downtown area who appeared down on her luck and stood on the corner with her very young daughter giving away a pencil with a piece of ribbon she had tied around it with a note saying ‘thank you’ for your donation. Unlike other people who asked for money on the street, she wanted to give something back. People noticed she had the pencils when they dropped money in her cup, but they did not always take a pencil when she offered it. Some would rather keep going and others would say ‘save it for someone else,’ as to not exhaust her supply of pencils. They were happy to help because she wanted to give them something in return. It also gave her daughter a feeling of pride, because from the look of things she felt like they were entrepreneurs, and guess what? They were. They probably have a store by now.

So plan your business, and if you have an existing startup that is moving slow, incorporate some fire power into your plan or create a plan B. Unless you have a simple cut and dry business like selling water or pencils, etc. you’d better have a plan with punch to reach the finish line. What are you willing to give away so that you may receive? Where are you going with your company? How will you get there, and what is the minimum it will cost?

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

Better Business Bureau Warns: New Virus Attacks Consumers’ Computers and Their Wallets

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Viruses are a common problem that almost every computer user has dealt with, but the latest is designed to frighten, introduce the virus, and extort money from consumers: The FBI MoneyPak Ransomeware Virus. With this scam, a message with the FBI’s logo shows up on your computer saying the user is doing something illegal, such as distributing child pornography or violating copyright laws. The screen tells the user to pay a hefty fine to get the computer unlocked, and then demands credit card information. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) wants consumers to be aware of this virus scam and to take action to avoid it.

The virus can show up in several different ways on consumers’ computers. For example, it can pull up the victim’s picture from their computer’s webcam. Next to the picture, there is a statement saying that the person committed a serious crime, and that the accusation will be made public if a payment wasn’t immediately submitted. In other cases, there is a blaring warning stating that “Your computer has been locked!” Either way, the message always leads the user to the MoneyPak portal to pay a fine.

“I’ve had personal experience with this virus. My child’s computer was infected with this virus, saying it was FBI locked, so I completely understand everyone’s concern with this virus,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Even though there is a legit-looking FBI logo, consumers need to know not to follow the scam’s instructions to pay money. Instead, have a computer professional take a look at it instead.”

The BBB offers the following tips to people who experience the FBI MoneyPak Ransomeware Virus:

  • Do not pay any of the instructed fines. Never follow the steps to pay money in the message’s instructions. Do not log onto any bank accounts or other important accounts.
  • Don’t unfreeze the virus by yourself. Even if you are able to unfreeze your computer without paying fines, the virus malware may still exist. Certain types of malware are able to pick up information such as credit card numbers, user names and passwords.
  • Contact a computer professional. To remove this virus, seek help from a computer professional. He or she will be able to completely remove the virus malware that steals personal information. Professionals use programs that usually cost between $60 and $85 for the computer user.

For more tips and information about FBI computer scams, visit www.bbb.org 

State of Illinois and Cook County State’s Attorney secure first Felony conviction of an Employer through Workers’ Compensation Act Reforms

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission finds Ghosien European Auto Werks failed to obtain workers’ compensation insurance

CHICAGO, IL —  The Illinois Worker’s Compensation (IWCC), in conjunction with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, has secured the first felony conviction for failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance. 

Mr. Ahmed Ghosien, d/b/a Ghosien European Auto Werks, refused to comply with Illinois law despite having been given several opportunities to become compliant.  After aggressive enforcement efforts, on July 25, 2013, Mr. Ghosien entered a guilty plea to the Class 4 felony (People v. Ahmed Ghosien, 12 CR 20949).  This is the first felony conviction against an employer for failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance since the penalty increase, from a misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony, was introduced in 2005 and remained a critical part of Gov. Quinn’s reforms to the Worker’s Compensation Act in 2011.

“Employers who refuse to obtain workers’ compensation insurance put their employees at risk, gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors, and ultimately shift the cost of their business to Illinois taxpayers,” said Michael P. Latz, Chairman, Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  “I commend the diligence of our investigators and this cooperative effort to help protect workers.”

Mr. Ghosien operates a large European auto repair shop at 4001 1/2 Southwest Highway, in Hometown, Illinois.  IWCC found that Mr. Ghosien had never obtained workers’ compensation insurance for mechanics working at the repair shop.  IWCC served Mr. Ghosien a Notice of Non-Compliance in March, 2010 and on April 16, 2010, he secured the required insurance.  IWCC also issued a fine for non-compliance against Mr. Ghosien, who signed a settlement agreement on July 13, 2010 agreeing to pay a fine amount of $25,000.  Under the terms of the settlement agreement, he was to pay his fine at the rate of $5,000 per month for five months starting August, 2010.

However, Mr. Ghosien failed to make any of the agreed upon payments.  Additionally, Mr. Ghosien’s workers’ compensation insurance was cancelled in December 2011 for non-payment of premium.  Despite the IWCC’s numerous attempts to bring Mr. Ghosein into compliance, he refused to get workers’ compensation insurance or pay his fine to the Commission.  Mr. Ghosien finally secured a new workers’ compensation policy in February, 2013, but only after he learned of the criminal indictment.  

The IWCC’s Insurance Compliance Unit, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division worked together to secure a felony indictment against Mr. Ghosien on November 7, 2012, for violation of 820 ILCS 305/4(d).  The case was continued several times.  On July 25, 2013, Mr. Ghosien entered a guilty plea to the Class 4 felony.  Mr. Ghosien is required to return to court in October 2013 for sentencing, pursuant to the plea agreement and to pay a fine of $25,000.

Immigration — What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Posted by Admin On August - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Immigration -- What's Love Got to Do With It?

  

New America Media

By Stephen Pitti

 
As the Southern California harvest season came to a close in 1946, a young Mexican immigrant named Robert García paid tribute to the young women he had seen in the nearby town of Cucamonga:

Your beautiful women like flowers
are just like the women of my people
they show their love
and deserve respect on the street and at home

His verse, published by a local Spanish-language newspaper, provided readers a rare glimpse into the emotional world of the thousands of imported laborers who had worked in local fields since the first months of World War II. Mexican “braceros” were much talked about but little understood in the United States of the 1940s. They had been celebrated for saving the crops and assuring an Allied victory prior to V-J Day, extolled for their efficiency and commitment to their jobs, and sometimes praised for showing remarkable, “natural” skills as farm laborers. But in the face of such rhetoric Robert García wrote about other matters: love, emotional attachment, and longing. In so doing he opened up a window into the dreams of migrants and immigrants that policymakers then and now have often preferred to keep shuttered.

This week marks an important moment for considering such perspectives. While young Dream activists sit in detention in Arizona for challenging policies that deny them and their family members in Mexico the ability to travel to see one another, elected officials continue to debate policy proposals for overhauling the current immigration system and increasing spending on border enforcement.

Some of these issues date to Robert García’s time. Just over sixty years ago, on August 4, 1942, the United States and Mexican governments signed the international labor agreement, known as the Bracero Program, that would bring him and more than a million others to the U.S. as agricultural workers. It was the expectation of official negotiators that contracted braceros would never be given the chance to put down roots in the United States: The program was designed only for men, and it was meant to allow sons and husbands to leave their kin for a limited number of weeks with the promise that they would return home at the conclusion of the harvest. Braceros were idealized as laborers with strong arms (“brazos” means “arms” in Spanish), and little thought was given to their ambitions. But because participants like García showed more flexibility and more heart than policymakers had anticipated, developing new desires and friendships, and sometimes new permanent homes, in places like Cucamonga, braceros soon reshaped communities in both the United States and Mexico.

In ways that policymakers never anticipated, these migrants fell in and out of love from Arkansas to Zacatecas after 1942, maintaining relationships with family and friends on both sides of the border. Few policymakers recognized these dynamics, insisting instead on understanding workers as little more than game pieces on a North American board, one defined by nation-states and labor demands, and one that government officials could control with real confidence. Blind to love, they saw the Bracero Program as a handy system of ladders and chutes, guaranteeing that contracted men would move from one identifiable square to another, at the appropriate time, and that they would then transition back down the board at the end of the game, sliding home to Mexico once their work contracts ended.

García and his peers were never passive pawns playing this type of game, nor were they guided only by economic calculations or government directives. Like so many others in American history, they often followed their hearts, and some braceros anticipated establishing new families in the United States from the start. A popular Spanish-language song recorded in Los Angeles in 1948 entitled “El Bracero y La Pachuca,” for example, celebrated the dashing, romantic young migrant worker aiming to settle down despite the Bracero Program’s restrictions on their permanent residency in the U.S. In flowery verse, he recited love poems to a young Mexican American woman, his “linda princesa encantada (beautiful enchanted princess),” to no avail.

The history of braceros and other migrants in the United States reminds us that love and romance have clashed with government policies in many civil rights struggles, and that love’s challenge to the legal order has often made our democracy more expansive and responsive. Even when denied permanent residency, valued only as temporary workers and not as citizens in the making, as in the case of imported laborers at midcentury, immigrants formed and reaffirmed loving relationships that were both intensely local – based in workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools – and insistently transnational – with children, siblings, extended family living abroad, across increasingly militarized borders.

Forged over decades, these bonds have certainly changed the United States for the better, creating millions of families of mixed immigration status today, and assuring that churches and most local institutions from coast to coast now include both immigrants and the U.S.-born. These realities have challenged our policymakers, of course. But with so much at stake, the U.S. must legally recognize the ties of love that continue to bind our residents to one another. Immigrants’ courageous efforts to remain connected with their kin, to support and stay faithful to them, should remind us of the core values that we claim to uphold as a nation.

Stephen Pitti is a professor of History and American Studies at Yale University and director of the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program. He is author of the books, “The Devil in Silicon Valley: Race, Mexicans, and Northern California” (2003) and “American Latinos and the Making of the United States.” (2012) He can be reached via Twitter: @latinohistory

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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