somos america

Somos America

Arizona-based pro-illegal immigration advocacy group. Is not the same group as the We Are America Alliance.

President: Roberto Reveles

Last modified Feb 20, 2011
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Somos America, Alfredo Gutierrez turn backs on Arizona, lead boycott movement - 05/01/10

The incorrectly-named group Somos America and former Arizona state senator Alfredo Gutierrez are trying to form an umbrella group to push for a boycott of that state due to the new immigration law (link):

If it hurts Latinos who live in the state, that's a price they're willing to pay, said former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez who is chairing the campaign.

At a news conference Friday, Gutierrez said there is a need to expand the negative reaction far beyond the tourism industry, which already is being affected. Various organizations and governments already have announced they are canceling travel to and meetings in Arizona.

He said investors - particularly large ones like California's Public Employee Retirement System - need to be convinced to suspend investments in Arizona companies.

...Gutierrez said his organization already is researching firms, "both in terms of their economic presence in Arizona and, quite frankly, their history."

Note that his only concern is for Latinos, and not for the other residents of the state. Note also that the last paragraph sounds more than a bit like the tactics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, what some refer to as "shakedown tactics". As if that wasn't enough, he compares the new law to Jim Crow laws and apartheid and their protest to the Montgomery bus boycott. Illegal immigration-supporting racial demagogues have no shame.

Texting about immigration sweeps might violate law (Arizona; Respeto; ACLU) - 01/04/10

According to this, Lydia Guzman of the group Respect Respeto is texting to a phone tree news about immigration sweeps that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is conducting in Maricopa County, Arizona. The texts are then broadcast to others in the tree:

Guzman said she sends the messages to a wide range of groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, Copwatch and various immigrant-rights groups such as Somos America and Puente. She concedes that some who receive the text messages likely use the information to avoid being caught and deported.

Per Arpaio: "This little group of people is (in favor of) open borders, and they don't like what I am doing. That is the bottom line... But it isn't interfering with our operations because every time we do it, we still arrest a good number of people, including illegal aliens."

Whether what she's doing is legal is open to debate; one ASU scholar says it might be illegal, and one from Vanderbilt says it's protected free speech. What would be interesting to find out is to what extent the ACLU is involved; who do they forward their texts to?

Note also that Respect-Respeto paid for current San Francisco police chief and then Mesa police chief George Gascon's trip to Washington DC to testify for comprehensive immigration reform.

ACLU sues Sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged racial profiling (Dan Pochoda) - 08/19/09

The American Civil Liberties Union - an organization that is/was collaborating with the Mexican government in a scheme that would help that government profit from illegal activity inside the U.S. - is suing Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged racial profiling and related issues (aclu.org/immigrants/workplace/40777prs20090819.html). According to the ACLU, a father and son - the first a long-term legal resident, the second a U.S. citizen - were detained by Arpaio's deputies while they were conducting an immigration raid at a business:

The lawsuit charges that the MCSO deputies racially profiled the father and son as they drove their pickup truck on a busy public road and illegally arrested and detained them, violating the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

The ACLU admits that this occured 100 yards from the business, and according to the Associated Press the father works at the location of the raid (link). There's probably a good chance that it will come out that the deputies had a reason to stop the pair. It's interesting that this is one of the few cases involving Arpaio that illegal immigration supporters like the ACLU have tried to hang their hats on.

ACLU lawyers involved include "Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona and lead counsel on the case", Cecillia Wang, and Annie Lai.

9/18/09 UPDATE: Others involved in the suit are Steptoe and Johnson, MALDEF, and Somos America.

Mesa Police chief George Gascon to pay for DC trip out of own funds, refunds "immigration reform" group - 04/12/09

Earlier this month, Mesa, Arizona police chief George Gascon testified before Congress about his opposition to the 287g program. His testimony was sought by Rep. John Conyers and arranged through the agency of county supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Hiis trip to DC was paid for by what he called at the time a "group of nonprofit organizations that are seeking immigration reform". This caused a firestorm of protest, and now Gascon has decided to return the money, pay for the trip out of his own pocket, and count the time he spent in DC against his vacation time (link).

Now, here's something curious:

[In his statement, Gascon] said initially he was told a group of nonprofits "concerned with immigration reform and civil rights" were paying for his trip.

"Subsequently, I was informed that the cost was covered by Respect Respeto, a local non-profit," Gascon states. The Phoenix-based Respect Respeto describes itself as a human rights group.

If they didn't give him the money directly, who did? Was it sent to him in a plain envelope with no return address or something? Or - just wildly speculating here - was Wilcox the baglady?

As for Respect, they're headed by Lydia Guzman who's also VP of Somos America. Per the 2005 page votingrightsact.org/hearings/4705hearing/panelists.html:

Lydia Guzman serves as Outreach Director for the Clean Elections Institute, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. Guzman has more than 15 years experience with voter registration, education and Get Out The Vote campaigns. She was Arizona State Director for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and prior to that was the Director of Voter Outreach for the Arizona Secretary of State. Ms. Guzman was a Clean Elections candidate for Senate in 2004.

Per a .doc file at azclean.org, she's been a member of MALDEF, League of United Latin American Citizens, and NALEO. In 2000, she was a state president of the Mexican American Political Association (englishfirst.org/be/arizona/az203anti.htm). She was named SVREP's Arizona director in 2004: svrep.org/press_room/press_releases/04/az/lydia_012704.html

National Latino Congreso: "No Human Being is Illegal", Nativo Lopez, Gil Cedillo, Kucinich, Cuban Five, Fairness Doctrine, and more! - 10/07/07

The 2nd annual "National Latino Congreso" - a meeting of hundreds of "Latino organizational leaders, elected officials, and activists at all levels" is currently underway in Los Angeles (latinocongreso.org). Yesterday, Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times offered a whitewashed report here. Let's take a look at the groups involved and some of the loony resolutions that were passed. Expect the MSM coverage to be in line with Gorman's report: it will completely cover for far-left racial demagogues and avoid mentioning the loony resolutions.

Their "conveners' include:

* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (indirect link to the Mexican government)
* National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network
* Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
* William C. Velasquez Institute

Their "co-conveners" include the California Nurses Association, Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, and the Mexican American Political Association. Both the latter are associated with Nativo Lopez. They have 226 "endorsers", so discussing all of those would take a lot of time. But, one is the Communist Party USA, and most of the rest are far-left racial power groups.

The sheer number and sheer idiocy of the resolutions that were approved makes them likewise too difficult to cover in detail, however, they include:

* "No Human Being is Illegal" by Raul Anorve of "Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California" (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=41). If it were made U.S. law we would have literally open borders since we couldn't conduct immigration raids anymore and illegal aliens would have "full civil rights". It contains several grammatical mistakes and ends with:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the that organizations represented by delegates of the 2007 National Latino Congreso urge the United States pass socially just legalization, including full labor and civil rights protections and family reunification; to place a moratorium on immigration raids, detentions and deportations, as well as their eventual abolition; and... [the NLC urges] the United States demilitarize the border, immigration control, and end immigration-police collaboration; to support initiatives and policies that ensure healthy and stable communities, including living wage jobs for all immigrants, working people and people of color... [the NLC urges] the United States redistribute funding and resources away from prison-building, policing and criminalization to social, health and education services, family reunification, ending the backlog in visas and applications for permanent residency and citizenship, and full civil and labor rights protections for all persons, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.

Bear in mind: they approved that and all the other resolutions to be discussed.

* "Resolution to Urge the Bush Administration to Halt Immigration Raids" by Pablo Martinez of New Mexico LULAC (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=22). It's moderate by comparison to the last, but that's not saying much.

* "Resolution to Urge Congress to Repeal 287 (g) and Restructure Federal Funding to Target Drug Enforcement Operations and Place a Civilian Oversight Committee" by ibid (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=21).

* "Fair, Humane and Rational Immigration Reform" by Nativo Lopez of Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=45). As you might guess, it's a very bad idea, and includes him calling for enactment of the "Unity Blueprint for Immigration Reform".

* "Resolution on the Five Cuban Political Prisoners" by Alicia Jrapko of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=12). When I said far-left, I meant it.

* "Support for Puerto Rico Self Determination" by Pablo Martinez of LULAC (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=96).

* "Unconstitutional Towing and Driver's License Resolution" by Gil Cedillo (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=26). It uses that possibly inaccurate recitation of events as a vehicle to support driver's licenses for illegal aliens; I wonder why they didn't just come right out and support that explicitly.

* "Decreasing the National Hispanic Dropout Rate Supporting the DREAM Act" by Luis Avila of the Somos America Coalition (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=129).

* "Restore the Fairness Doctrine Act", ibid, (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=126).

* "RESOLUTION TO DEMAND THAT THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HEAR THE CASE OF THE U.S. CITIZEN CHILDREN OF UNDOCUMENTED PARENTS" from Mr. Emma Lozano [sic] supposedly of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=125). She may be a part of that group, or that might be a mistake; the URL is to somosunpueblo (with an extra 's'):

[The NLC demands] that the U.S Supreme Court hear the Class Action Suit of the 5 million U.S. Citizen Children to prevent the enforcement of the removal of their parents fro the United States without first giving the children a fair opportunity to obtain a remedy for their hardship and redress for the implicit violation of their civil rights.

* 'Formal Position and Statement Denouncing Vigilantism of the "Minutemen Project"' by Yuri Jimenez of Kucinich For President 2008 (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=62):

WHEREAS the Minutemen Project encourages and incites hatred, violence, racism and discrimination in border States... THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the organizations represented by delegates of the 2007 National Latino Congreso formally denounce the Minutemen Project, and further declare their position that the Project promotes violence, hatred, racism and discrimination which are not representative traits of the honorable and just American society that has a rich legacy of immigration and inclusiveness.

The other Kucinich resolution approved condemned Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's illegal immigration hotline (latinocongreso.org/resolutions07approved.php?id=56).

Latino leader came to forefront from shadows - 09/05/07

Arizona Republic/Daniel Gonzalez/[[September 4, 2006]]/ link

Roberto Reveles seemed to pop out of nowhere when he emerged as leader of the massive immigration reform demonstrations that rocked Phoenix in the spring.

Maricopa County sued over anti-smuggling law; Mexico links - 11/22/06

A potential class action lawsuit has been filed by various groups against Maricopa County, Arizona (home of Phoenix) concerning a state law designed to stop human smuggling. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have been using that law to arrest and charge illegal aliens with smuggling themselves into the country. Since starting that earlier this year, they've managed 180 convictions (two by jury) out of 360 arrests.

Rep. Pearce calls for mass deportations - 10/07/06

Associated Press/[[September 29, 2006]]/ link

A state lawmaker has drawn a firestorm of criticism from the Hispanic community this week by calling for the renewal of a 1950s-era federal deportation program known as "Operation Wetback."

Arizona Democratic Party, Russell Pearce, and "Operation Wetback" - 09/29/06

The sleazy Arizona Democratic Party is up to its old tricks again, this time trying to smear Rep. Russell Pearce (R-AZ) over his reference to Eisenhower's "Operation Wetback" on a radio program. From their press release titled Pearce Resurrects "Operation Wetback" and subtitled Russell Pearce Longs for Pre-Civil Rights Era Immigration Program:

In an interview on KJZZ Wednesday, Republican legislator Russell Pearce called for the reinstatement of Eisenhower's 1953 immigration plan, "Operation Wetback." The program, which was abolished a year later, sought to round up and deport all undocumented workers.

That paragraph probably contains a lie. Establishing a new program that's similar to an old program is not the same as "reinstating" the old program: things can be similar without being the same in every respect. And, only a fool would believe that Pearce would want to name the new program "Operation Wetback." So, it's almost certain that Pearce does not want to "reinstate" OW, and it's almost certain that - once again - the AZ Dems are trying to mislead.

Here's the only quote of his that they provide:

"We know what we need to do. In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower, put together a task force called 'Operation Wetback.' He removed, in less than a year, 1.3 million illegal aliens. They must be deported."

Further, we're informed that "Hispanic leaders in Phoenix are outraged", which is only followed by one example from "former legislator and activist Alfredo Gutierrez". He's a member of the "Somos America" group that organized at least one Phoenix illegal immigration march.

Needless to say, the press has taken the Dem smear and run with it.

Sarah N. Lynch of the East Valley Tribune offers "Pearce calls on 'Operation Wetback' for illegals", informing us that he's "angered the Hispanic community this week when he called for the reinstatement of a pre-civil rights era program that called for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants", language that's highly similar to that used by the AZDems.

The Arizona Daily Star offers a rewrite of an AP report in the falsely-titled story "Phoenix legislator supports deportations through 'Operation Wetback'".

The apparently original AP report is in "Rep. Pearce calls for mass deportations":

A state lawmaker has drawn a firestorm of criticism from the Hispanic community this week by calling for the renewal of a 1950s-era federal deportation program known as "Operation Wetback." Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, a fiery proponent of new border security laws and a crackdown on illegal immigration, talked about the possibility of mass deportations in a radio interview.

The word "renewal" may be somewhat more accurate than the word "reinstatement" used in the AZDem press release. The only evidence of a "firestorm" the AP presents is the press release and quotes from Roberto Reveles, the president of Somos America.

SEIU Local 2028 document - 09/28/06

The page from Service Employees International Union local 2028 (San Diego) at seiu2028.org/action/issues/mco.cfm has a link entitled "San Diego We Are America/Somos America Alliance", which leads to the (now 404) page cccaction.org/cccaction/waa_index.html, which is similar to the page hosting the We Are America Alliance. And, it includes this:

Los Angeles Protest for Immigrant Rights - 09/28/06

[[Eastern Group Publications]]/[[Selene Rivera]]/[[September 14, 2006]]/link

Reports on the September 2 Los Angeles march:

..."The truth is that the immigrant community is been attacked and now more than ever we have to be together," said Maria Salinas of Hermandad Mexicana, one of the many coalitions that were part of the Labor Day weekend marches. Other organizations included Somos America (note: that may have been a reference to the We Are America Alliance instead), [[Proyecto Latino USA]] and the March 25 Coalition.

Note there was also a September 4 Los Angeles March which occured in Wilmington. Who exactly organized which march is not clear.

..."Immigrants made this country and many of us have had the opportunity to work and get citizenship or are born citizens. We have to give others the chance we were given," said 'white activist and American citizen Pamela Douglas during the Saturday march.

The march downtown Los Angeles also showed support for Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant who faces deportation, despite having a 7-year-old U.S.-born son. She has sought refuge in a Chicago church, in order to avoid being separated from her son.