Sunday, August 16, 2009

Walking While Being Latino: Legal Immigrants Suffer Possible Deportation For Being Latino! Seek Justice for Julio and Denis!

Latinos cannot catch a break in America these days. Arpaio-like Racial Profiling abounds. We have to mind our P's and Q's, carry our passport, birth certificate, driver's license, et al, or suffer the possibility of arrest/Detention Centers, even though we are Citizens/here Legally. I thought we were living in Post-Racial America! Did someone forget to let the Police and the Judicial System know that Latinos were in the Post-Racial America equation?

Let me tell you the story of two cousins, Julio Maldonado and Denis Calderon. Julio and Denis came to the U.S. as toddlers. They were long-time Lawful, Permanent Residents. They were in the process of becoming American Citizens. Julio, a hard working construction worker from New York City, visited his cousin Denis and his wife/children in Philly. Julio and Denis were sitting on Denis' stoop as Denis' wife played with his children in their front yard. After a couple of hours of good conversation, Julio and Denis walked over to the neighborhood pub to visit other family members. As they walked around the corner and down the street, a young gang of juveniles, leaning against a wall, started calling them names. "Spic" "Go Back to Mexico" "You Don't Belong in our Neighborhood!"

Julio and Denis were understandably nervous and turned around to go back to Denis' house. They first backed away. Then it happened. Beyond the slurs, the juveniles started throwing bottles at them. Then they came running after them, chasing them, bringing out knives. Julio and Denis were almost back home when Denis fell to the ground. Julio was scared for his cousin's life. His car was in front of him and he grabbed the safety club from his steering wheel. He picked the club and swung it, to get the criminals away from his cousin. He hit the assailant. The assailant fell and passed out. Later, the assailant fell into a coma. The coma lasted 2 weeks. Ultimately the assailant died. (Years later, it was found he died due to natural causes).

Denis was able to get away from his attackers. He ran to his porch steps. His wife, who had just put their children to bed, asked what was wrong. Denis said, "Call 911. We are being attacked!" Denis' wife called 911. She pleaded for the police to come to save her family from this attack. Denis grabbed a baseball bat to try and save his cousin from the gang of juveniles.

The police came. Though it was clear Denis and his wife called the police and made the report, the police officer did not arrest the perpetrators of the crime. Even though neighbors corroborated what Denis and Julio said, the police initially never took their statements. Though knives and beer bottles were on the street, the police did not take them into evidence. Instead, the Anglo police officers arrested Latinos Denis and Julio.
This incident happened in 1996. Unbelievably, Denis and Julio were initially found guilty. However, years, later, the charges were reversed. Eventually, Denis and Julio were cleared of the charges. There are at least 2 prosecutors who have made their names off of this case and went on to higher office due to the notch on their prosecutorial belts.

I can imagine the ANTIs, reading this are saying, "Those pure innocent Anglo kids. Of course young people get drunk. How dare the Latinos walk in front of them while they are drinking. How dare those Latinos defend themselves against an attack. How dare they call the cops and expect not to be arrested."

Perhaps the weirdest news of this entire event: In 2005, Julio and Denis were charged and convicted with failing to sign their own Deportation Papers back to Peru, a country they had never visited since they were 3 years old. They have been in Federal Prison since 2005 for this technicality. There are NO OTHER CHARGES against them. Julio's release date was moved up a year due to his good behavior. DHS has expressed its intent to deport him once he is released on September 12, 2009. Now, after all of this harassment, Julio is scheduled to be deported on Sept. 12, just a few weeks away. That is, of course, unless some kindly DHS agent takes mercy on him, his children/his family. All he is guilty of is: Walking While Being Latino.
If you feel compelled, please join me and my friend Dave Bennion from in seeking justice for Julio and Denis. Visit their family website. Seek Justice for Julio and Denis!


yave said...

Hi Dee, thanks for posting about this. To clarify a couple of points as I understand them.
Julio's account is that he swung the club but it made contact with Christian Saladino's shoulder. This was corroborated by forensic pathologist Dr. Hofman, who testified that there was no medical evidence on Saladino's body of trauma to the head or torso which could have caused him to fall into a coma. This testimony caused the jury in the murder trial to acquit. It caused the original convicting judge, Judge Smith, to vacate his verdict on the aggravated assault charges and order the case be reheard. Unfortunately, that decision was appealed by the DA, who reversed Judge Smith on technical grounds (the new evidence hadn't been presented within the statute of limitations).

There is more here:

As I see it, this was:
(1) a hate crime against Julio and Denis where none of the attackers were prosecuted,
(2) a wrongful conviction which was later vacated by the convicting judge but stuck on technical grounds, and
(3) a deportation of a longtime permanent resident who has lived in the U.S. since the age of three, and his LPR cousin who has a U.S. citizen wife and kids.

Does that seem like justice to you? It didn't to me, and that's why I blogged about it.

Thanks, Dee! And great job on the panel last week, I don't think anyone else has done the analysis you did on the pro-migrant blogosphere.

Dave Bennion

yave said...

Oh, the other thing I wanted to point out was Dr. Hofman's testimony about Saladino's pre-existing blood clotting condition which also helped convince the jury in the murder trial that the men were not guilty and Judge Smith that his verdict was in error.

ultima said...

There seems to be something missing from this account--what is the basis for the deportation?

Dee said...

Per Dave:
The cousins served their time, were found innocent on murder charges, they were on track to getting their assault convictions overturned (and did temporarily) but didn't complete the process because they missed the filing deadline,and essentially the criminal system is done with them now and arguably failed to overturn a wrongful conviction. But they're still getting deported because of IIRIRA even though Julio has lived here since age 3 and his entire family is here. Even though Denis has USC wife and children. The law is that harsh and it happens all the time, but it doesn't always happen to hate crime victims who were wrongfully convicted. It is a triple whammy in this case: wrongful conviction, hate crime, and now deportation of lifelong LPRs. I have never seen anything like this case, though at first glance it may look questionable.

Dee said...

Just to note: The aggressive prosecutors jumped at the missed file date and notified ICE to begin deportation proceedings.

All over a technicality. This is not justice. This is vengeance and head line seeking.

Vicente Duque said...

This is an example of Racist Culture, Racist Justice, Racist Judgement in Everything. Racial Profiling for Everything.

Aesthetics and Introjected Racism in Culture - Tameka J. Raymond : "She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl..."

Aesthetics or Esthetics : the study or appreciation of Beauty !

Introjected means "incorporated unconsciously into our own psyche", "integrated in our unconscious or soul"

Esthetics concepts are culture dependent, they are forcefully instilled in the individual by Culture, like Movies, Newspapers, Magazines, Comics, TV, Radio, etc ... and also by Schools, Churches, Religions, Neighborhoods, etc ....

This article of Tameka Raymond delves on these subjects :

Huffington Post
"She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl..."
By Tameka J. Raymond
August 11, 2009

"She's Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl..."

Some excerpts :

I am a dark-skinned African American woman with features that reflect my ancestry. Debates regarding Light vs. Dark and other biases have plagued our race for years and continues to impact millions of Black women. The deeply rooted intra-racial contempt that lies beneath this inane "compliment" is the reason I've chosen to spark dialogue surrounding the topic of self-hatred in our culture. It saturates every aspect of our lives, dominating the perspectives of our generation as a whole. We culturally are so influential, at times inadvertently, that we affect all with the words we utter and the images we portray. It lends to the theory of systemic racism. I'm authoring this piece because I'm miffed by this reality and would like to share my views on these subjects.

It is a fact that many African-Americans are often mixed with an array of other ethnicities (as am I), which allows for the spectrum of our features to be as distinctive and special as we are diverse. Why is it felt that the more diluted our traditionally African features become the more aesthetically acceptable we are considered? It was said in the 1960s and the sentiment seems to be forgotten, "Black is Beautiful." Wow, nearly 50 years later and is that now only meant for a specific shade? Nonetheless, I believe the beauty of our people and splendor of every individual is reflected in our varying features and hues.

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

Understanding Racism : Freud, Klein, Horkheimer, Adorno - Projection and the Uncanny according to Professor Simon Clarke, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

I have always said that Racism is linked to Inferiority Complexes, to Inadequacies, to self inflicted shortcomings.

Racism surges from our real inferiority and fear projected on others. So that we project on others our own defects, shortcomings, lazyness, dirt, filth.

This phrase of Horkheimer and Adorno tells a lot : "what appears repellently alien is in fact all too familiar" ( because it is carried internally in a perturbed personality )

I excerpt a few paragraphs of a long and learned article by Professor Simon Clarke, University of the West of England, in Bristol, UK.

A discussion on the Origins of Racism :

By Professor Simon Clarke :

From Aesthetics to Object Relations: Situating Klein in the Freudian `Uncanny'

Some excerpts :

My first introduction to Das Unheimlich was through the work of Max Horkhcimer and Theodor Adorno in Dialectic of Enlightenment (Horkheimer and Adorno, 1994, p. 182).

I argue that as an aesthetic, a quality of feeling, the uncanny is deeply entrenched in phantasy. Phantasy provides a vehicle for the construction of our own identity and that of others.

Horkheimer and Adorno use the concept of the ‘uncanny’ and projection to explain the visceral and embodied nature of anti-Semitism

The urge to control and dominate others through paranoid phantasy. We project on the world experiences and qualities that are part of ourselves, as if they were part of someone or something else.

"Impulses which the subject will not admit as his own even though they are most assuredly so, are attributed to the object - the prospective victim... " (Horkheimer and Adorno:1994:187)

"Unheimlich is the name for everything that ought to have remained... secret and hidden but has come to light (Schelling) (Freud: SE:XVII:224).

"The subject of the `uncanny' is a province of this kind. It is undoubtedly related to what is frightening - to what arouses dread and horror" (Freud:SE:XVII:219).

Freud uses the example of the Sandman from Eight Tales of Hoffman. The sandman is roughly equivalent to the `bogeyman', the fear of which keeps children in their beds at night. In a linguistic sense the writer creates something uncanny which plays on our unconscious fears and phantasies. In the same way religion has created gods and demons. These we feel we have surmounted, particularly with the spread of secularisation and the demise of religious practice. But, we still have uncanny feelings of supernatural powers that are frightening. Freud thus gives us two forms of uncanny. First, feelings that are triggered by infantile complexes, and second, the uncanny which proceeds from actual experience, from animistic beliefs that have been surmounted.

The racial or ethnic other is created by both our fear and ignorance of difference. What appears repellently alien is the manifestation, a reflection of phantasy in some other. In this way, that which is familiar turns to frightening and produces feelings of hate.

As this phantasy is recognised in some other, the racist hates the hating self and tries to make reparation.

It is in this way that I argue that ignorance, anxiety and fear lead to racism, hatred and suffering. The racial `other' is constructed in phantasy through ignorance, projected into others through fear, recognised in others as familiar, and experienced by us as uncanny.

Vicente Duque

Cookie said...

Dee, David - On behalf of the family and friends of Denis and Julio - THANK YOU for posting their story on your blogs and for your priceless dedication and efforts towards the issues and injustice so many immigrants face.

Readers/Bloggers - Please read the details of the incident in - For the past 13 years these cousins and their families believed that truth and justice would ultimately prevail in a court of law. However, whether it was misjudgments, technicalities, IIRIRA or just the times... justice continues to be delayed, now their only chance of any justice is with your help. Yes, this is about 2 Latinos who have received a "triple whammy" (as Dee put it), but it's also about realizing that unjust deportations can happen to good ordinary people at the hands of hate and misguided justice. Should you have any questions or issues revolving this case, please feel free to contact me and last... THANK YOU for your time, efforts, prayer and support; every bit helps a lot.

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