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October 10, 2013

Host: José Cárdenas

Immigration March

  |   Video
  • People marched through Phoenix and other cities across the country in an attempt to get Congress to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Arizona Republic reporter Daniel Gonzalez and Arizona State University Political Science professor Rudy Espino discuss the marches and political debate surrounding immigration reform.
  • Daniel Gonzalez - Reporter, Arizona Republic
  • Rudy Espino - Political Science Professor, Arizona State University
Category: Immigration   |   Keywords: immigration, march, reform,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us. On Tuesday, thousands gathered in the nation’s Capitol to ask congress to pass immigration reform. Tuesday’s event was a culmination of other events around the country that started with marches and rallies here in Phoenix and other cities last Saturday, October 5th, what immigration proponents called the National Day for Dignity and Respect. Here with me to talk about the marches is Daniel Gonzalez, who covers immigration for The Arizona Republic. Also here to talk about the politics involved in this issue is Rudy Espino, an Associate Professor at the ASU School of Politics and Global Studies. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us on "Horizonte." There's a lot else going on in our country this week and if we have some time we'll talk about the government shutdown but in many ways, the marches and the other things that you're covering are intended to remind people that there's this other big issue out there. First of all, give us your impression of the marches.

Daniel Gonzalez: Well, the march in Phoenix actually had a pretty good turnout. I think even the organizers themselves were concerned about how many people would actually show up. As you recall back in 2006, we had as many 200,000 people show up to march through the streets of downtown Phoenix. A lot of those kinds of tactics have gone to the wayside. There's been more emphasis now on voter registration and getting people to beef up the Latino vote. And then we've lost a lot of people in our state, 200,000 undocumented people have moved out and there hasn't been the same kind of energy for those kinds of marches. Four to five thousand people showed up for the marches. The organizers were very happy.

José Cárdenas: They expected around 3,000 or so.

Daniel Gonzalez: They were hoping two to three thousand people who were going to show up and to make sure they had that many people, they were saying you're going to be responsible for this five hundred people, you're going to be responsible for two hundred people, each organization just to make sure they had a good showing, and then when they ended up being 5,000 people showing up, they were pretty happy. It was a very energetic crowd, a very boisterous crowd, very peaceful crowd. They marched from the Immaculate Heart Church down to the federal courthouse. They had planned to do a mock citizenship rally there but they ran into some glitches but overall, I think it accomplished what it intended to do, which was to grab the attention of Congress and say hey, immigration reform is still out there. There's a Senate bill that passed in June. It’s been languishing in the house and they were saying hey we want to see some movement on this and I think they accomplished that.

José Cárdenas: Any sense for how it went in the other cities across the country where these marches were taking place?

Daniel Gonzalez: There were turnouts in something like over 90 cities. They weren't all marches but they were rallies, demonstrations, different kinds of events. I think they were all very successful in getting people to come out and make their presence known.

José Cárdenas: So Rudy, the intent that Daniel said was to remind Congress hey, this issue was out there. Did it work?

Rudy Espino: It's hard to say because those marches are still fresh in the news, if you will, and the thing that's dominating the news cycle, of course, is the government shutdown. And that's the pressing things that members of Congress are talking about. You do have these marches, you do have members of Congress getting arrested to draw attention to the push for comprehensive immigration reform but as Daniel was mentioning, the tactics are quite different from when we saw in 2006. As opposed to mass protests you're seeing a lot more, you know, strategy involved, you know. How are you going to do what we can with the resources that we have, given the fact that the news cycle is being dominated by the fact the government is shut down.

José Cárdenas: Is it a smart move given that the news cycle is so focused on the government shutdown? Did it make sense as the organizers thought it would be to say we're still here?

Rudy Espino: It's hard to say. In some ways you can say that this is going to give more fire to the Tea Party Caucus, that it's pressing Speaker Boehner to hole his line, force Obama to make some compromises, more compromises that he's less willing to make and the Tea Party caucus, a lot of them are not fans of the push for the comprehensive immigration reform. A lot of activists are pushing for. I don't know if it's the best strategy, actually.

José Cárdenas: Daniel, what about backlash, at least at the local level? Before this last Saturday's marches, you had people like Rusty Childress saying you're just inflaming the people who are opposed as Rudy talked about to immigration reform. This actually helps my side, and hurts yours.

Daniel Gonzalez: I think a lot of that was taking into consideration they thought, you know, are we going to risk stirring up the pot here? Back in 2006, when there was the big marches on one level they were very successful, they put a face on immigrants. You had families, you had people wearing white. It reminded people that these are people who are doing a lot of jobs in the United States that otherwise wouldn't get done or they're undesirable jobs. So it was successful in that way but there was also a backlash that was created where, all of a sudden, a lot of Americans thought oh, my gosh I never realized there were so many people in the country illegally so there was that negative effect. And then there was also some people who resented the fact that the people who they felt had broken immigration laws out in the streets demanding things from America. But I think right now we haven't seen that kind of backlash. So I think they took that into consideration, that there hasn't been the same kind of energy on the opposition side but also a big difference now is since 2006 to now, there's been years of mobilization, years of registering people to vote and I think people are feeling, you know, what? We have a clout now at the ballot box that we didn't have in 2006 and it's worth risking any kind of backlash that it might have created.

José Cárdenas: Rudy, you mentioned the arrests in Washington, D.C. Congressman Grijalva from Arizona was one of the persons who was arrested. Quite apart from whether anybody paid attention because of these other issues, does it make sense to do that?

Rudy Espino: I think it shows that you have members of Congress right now given what Congress has to deal with right now, dealing with the government shutdown, if there are members of Congress willing to go to jail right, I think that's going to give more energy to a lot of the protests, the activists that we see pushing for comprehensive immigration reform which is something that this country has been struggling with since 1986. The last time that we had comprehensive immigration reform was 1986 and here we are decades later struggling with a broken system. This is an opportunity for members of both parties to come together on something right? Because members of both parties recognize that our system is broken but what are they going to do about it? And right now, they're being distracted by these other things going on with the government shutdown.

José Cárdenas: And when you say come together on something, there are plans underway; at least those are the rumors, in the Republican side to come up with separate pieces of legislation addressing discrete areas. For example, one that would deal with the Dreamers.

Rudy Espino: This is where Democrats and Republicans differ on how we pass anything, whether it be comprehensive immigration reform or the government shutdown. Democrats are pushing for a comprehensive approach. Republicans are pushing for a piecemeal approach and this is something they cannot get passed and we really see this taking place in the house, not in the Senate. And as I said -- I teach a class on Congress, typically the Senate is really, really slow and the house is really, really quick, house is waiting on the Senate. Here we see the opposite right? The house is being ineffective; it's being slowed down by party polarization. The Senate is waiting on the house. Here you have the members of the house acting so slow on getting anything done, moving slower than I would say -- I tell my students, a land sloth moving for that last slice of pizza. Here they are, members of the Senate just frustrated with their house counterparts, waiting and waiting, we want to push for a comprehensive approach. House Republicans are just wanting to do a piecemeal approach and there's no in between right now.

José Cárdenas: Daniel, on the subject of civil disobedience, in addition to what we've already season, we've had a situation in Texas where you had about 30 people who basically crossed in from Mexico illegally. And most of them are still in custody. And then as I understand it, there's something planned for this Saturday, tell us about that.

Daniel Gonzalez: Well, this Saturday, there's going to be some folks coming in from around the country to do some planning and to do a major civil disobedience on Monday at the ICE offices on Central Avenue in Phoenix and they haven't given a specifics yet but I imagine it's going to be similar to what happened about a month ago where some folks chained themselves to the gates of ICE, and then later on attempted to block a bus loaded with immigrants headed to detention facilities to be deported. They attempted to block that bus, and I think we're going to see a larger-scale version of that and that is symptomatic of some of the larger tactics moving towards civil disobedience. You've got to remember the immigration movement is made up of many, many different groups and there are some groups out there that are feeling that they're very frustrated by the lack of movement of immigration reform in Congress. They feel this is their last really best chance of seeing immigration reform passed. They're afraid that this chance is going to slip away so they're going for more high-profile civil disobedience, civil disobedience. And we're going to see some more of that and the question is that going to be kind of the dominant part of their movement or just kind of relegated to some smaller groups taking these types of actions?

José Cárdenas: Lots more to see and lots more questions. Thank you both for joining us on "Horizonte" to talk about it. I'm sure we'll be back again to have further discussions.

Sounds of Cultura (SOC): Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares -Art By Latino Artists

  • The Heard Museum presents an exhibition called Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares -Art By Latino Artists featuring original illustrations from 12 award-winning children's book artists. Dr. Ann Marshall, Heard Museum director of curation and education, and Kathy Cano-Murillo, artist and exhibit participant, talk about the exhibition.
  • Dr. Ann Marshall - Director of Curation and Education, Heard Museum
  • Kathy Cano-Murillo - Artist and Exhibit Participant
Category: Sounds of Cultura   |   Keywords: latino, exhibit, art,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: In tonight’s Sounds of Cultura SOC, the Heard Museum will present an exhibition featuring original illustrations from 12 award-winning children’s book artists. The exhibition is called “Latino Folk Tales Cuentos Populares, Art by Latino Artists”. Here with me to talk about the exhibit is Dr. Ann Marshall, Director of Curation and Education at the Heard Museum. Also, here is Kathy Cano-Murillo, Artist and one of the exhibit participants. Thank you both for joining us on "Horizonte." Dr. Marshall, let's begin by talking about how this exhibition came to be.

Dr. Ann Marshall: Well, you know, every year we do a Spanish market in November. It’s just two days and we were really looking for an exhibit to have something that would extend the wonderful artists that are out there and so when this came to our attention, “Cuentos Populares” it's a family activity. It has wonderful stories and the art is just -- it's so engaging. You just -- you look at the art and you want to know the story.

José Cárdenas: And this is an exhibition that was put together and has toured several cities already.

Dr. Ann Marshall: New Jersey, it's been in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico.

José Cárdenas: And when are we going to see it?

Dr. Ann Marshall: Well, it's opening Saturday.

José Cárdenas: And for how long is it available?

Dr. Ann Marshall: Until January 5th. So we have it through the first of the year.

José Cárdenas: And the special magic of this exhibition as I understand it is you'll have these what 12 pieces of art that will be on display?

Dr. Ann Marshall: There are about 60 paintings.

José Cárdenas: 60 paintings from these books.

Dr. Ann Marshall: Yes.

José Cárdenas: And it's both the paintings from the books, and then you have people like Kathy on some of these sessions reading the books themselves.

Dr. Ann Marshall: They're reading the books. We have reading areas in the gallery, too. So we'll have the books there. When there's not a formal program going on, people can just sit down and read the story behind the art on the wall.

José Cárdenas: Kathy, you're a fairly well known artist here in Arizona. What's your sense of the exhibition and why are you involved?

Kathy Cano-Murillo: Oh, gosh well, there's so many different layers involved with why I'm inspired by it. First of all, my husband and I have been artists at Spanish market for many years and we love the way that it really elevates Latino culture and art and I love with this exhibit combining children's books and the illustrations on an artistic level and showing the actual original paintings from the book, I mean that's going to be amazing for the children to see and for someone like myself who, you know, has always dreamed of being an artist and a painter to think of little girls or boys, who can go see this exhibit see these paintings and maybe start their career early and say, you know, what I love this book and here's the actual painting from the book, I want to try painting, too, or I want to author a children's book, or share a story as well.

José Cárdenas: Let's talk about the book you're going to be reading. We don't have one of the pictures from this book but this is the one that you're going to be reading.

Kathy Cano-Murillo: On November 16th, I'll be reading “The First Tortilla” by Rudolfo Anaya and the artwork the artist is Amy Córdova. I'm a fan girl of her art. I love her paintings. They're so multilayered and very vibrant, colorful, empowering, positive and not just for children's books but also for women and people of all cultures and backgrounds.

José Cárdenas: You'll be reading the book, of course, but how will you expand on that experience?

Kathy Cano-Murillo: Well, for one thing I'm a blogger and I definitely will be blogging about the experience beforehand to let people know to come out to see the exhibit, giving my personal excitement about it to share that and then once I'm there, I want to meet the people who are going to be there listening to my reading and expose them to the other artists whose work will also be there. There's so many benefits from it that I'm looking forward to and just being inspired by the art and the writing, all of it combined, I think it's such a treat for families of all generations and cultures to come see and get inspired.

José Cárdenas: We've got some pictures from four of the books that we're going to put up on the screen but the first one is from “Golden Tales” and we have a picture from that one. Tell us, first of all, about the book, and then we'll put the picture on the screen.

Dr. Ann Marshall: That's an example now of an artist who is also the author. And she created stories around some of the Native-American legends. And so in this case we have a wonderful story.

José Cárdenas: We've got the picture on the screen there.

Dr. Ann Marshall: Of the first Inca. Manco Cápac and The rod of gold. And he's going to find the place where that rod of gold can be thrust into the ground. And that place turned out to be the founding of the Cusco.

José Cárdenas: And then we have next up, “Fiesta Femenina.” It's another book that will be read and discussed. We've got some wonderful pictures. There's the first one.

Dr. Ann Marshall: The artist here is Maya Gonzalez. And that particular figure Malen Sin, it tells the story of how she came to be so much a part of this mountain after so much tragedy.

José Cárdenas: The story we're talking about Malen Sin, is the Indian name for the woman how came to be known as la malinche, who has kind of a mixed history or at least perspective in Mexican history, the benedict Arnold of Mexico. She served as Cortés’ traitor. She’s portrayed differently in this book. When I say Cortés’ traitor I mean translator.

Dr. Ann Marshall: In this book, she's so saddened by the horror that Cortes inflicts upon her people that she weeps and weeps until a river forms, and she flows away and the wind takes her to a mountain where she joins with some pretty powerful gods and together, they watch over the people and every now, and then they send some destruction and some correction to help her people. So she becomes a part of that mountain.

José Cárdenas: Before we go to the next book, Kathy, how important is it for little girls in particular to hear stories like this about very important historical figures, female historical figures?

Kathy Cano-Murillo: I think it's important, one thing with these books, first of all, it's very difficult to have a children's book published. Being an author I've heard all the stories. The fact that these books are published and out there and readily available is very important and to be embraced. Also, the fact that they're not the cutesy stories to go to bed and forget about. These are stories that are rooted in tradition, folklore, all these things the little girls will grow up to share with their kids and grandkids and care on that tradition and combined with the artwork, I mean they're beautiful. This is not minimalist art where it's very simple. It's so rich and beautiful to be inspired on many different levels. So I think a lot of little girls and boys, it's important for them to hear these stories as they're growing and up incorporate them into daily life and to take with them as they grow older.

José Cárdenas: Now, the show just from its title has a particular focus on Latino culture. How important is that?

Kathy Cano-Murillo: I think it's very important because we're here to set an example, set a positive example, especially with everything going on right now in this day and age, the one way that we can conquer any negativity is to be a positive example and show that through daily life, daily things that we do through education, through reading books to our children and having them be aware and be proud of their culture and of these stories and also of mainstream American culture, as much of Latino culture combined, that's who we are. It's important to take our families to exhibits like this and really spend time to check out these books, read them, buy them, bring them home, share them, write reviews on Amazon about them, help these authors showcase the author, visit the website of the artist. All of those little steps are just great ways to grow on this exhibit and have it go even further.

José Cárdenas: And Dr. Marshall, speaking of buying books, will some of these be available for purchase?

Dr. Ann Marshall: Absolutely.

José Cárdenas: Let's talk about the next one, “A Gift of Gracias.”

Dr. Ann Marshall: Yes and the artist there is Beatriz Vidal. Originally from Argentina.

José Cárdenas: We’ve got one of the pieces that is going to be in the exhibition up on the screen now.

Dr. Ann Marshall: Yes yes, and Maria is dreaming of the market. Her family has had to struggle with getting their crops to grow and they are given some oranges and as happens in stories sometimes, these are kind of magical oranges. And the seeds when they plant them, this is a crop that can grow and support them.

José Cárdenas: And speaking of dreams, the last book that we're going to talk about tonight is called “A Perfect Season for Dreaming.”

Dr. Ann Marshall: Yes yes, and the artist there is Esau Andrade Valencia. The grandfather keeps having dreams about wonderful things that float out of this magic piñata.

José Cárdenas: This is one of the illustrations. It's the grandfather talking to his grandchild.

Dr. Ann Marshall: Yes because he can't think of who he can tell these dreams to. People might laugh at him, he's afraid his best friend is going to say you ate too much chorizo and gorditas and that's the cause of the dreams. And he decides that he can tell his granddaughter and his granddaughter says oh, I'm so glad you told me because I have wonderful dreams, too.

José Cárdenas: We've got another picture. This one illustrating what comes out of the piñata.

Dr. Ann Marshall: It's a little bit of a counting story. One of the things that you can see there was --

José Cárdenas: Hummingbirds coming out of the piñata.

Dr. Ann Marshall: After he told his granddaughter, his dreams just get better and better and at one point, 900 hummingbirds fly out of the piñata.

José Cárdenas: That's a great story.

Dr. Ann Marshall: It's beautiful.

Kathy Cano-Murillo: I love the underdog aspect like in the story I'm reading the little girl Jade, she has to go to this mountain and follow, you know, the advice of the hummingbird and she's afraid and she's this little girl but she's so strong willed and she saves everything she brings back the corn to make the first tortilla for her family. I just love that aspect of empowerment and being fearless. It's okay to have fear but she conquers it. And I think as a grown-up we can learn from that.

José Cárdenas: All great stories and wonderful art and I'm sure you're going to have great crowds. Thanks so much for joining us tonight to talk about this wonderful exhibition.

Dr. Ann Marshall & Kathy Cano-Murillo: Thanks for having us.

José Cárdenas: That’s our show for tonight. From all of us here at "Horizonte," I’m José Cárdenas. Have a good evening.