Monday, March 12, 2012

MoCo Residents Fight Back Against Politicians' War on Immigrants // Students Fight Deportation of Their Friend #JSA

UPDATE: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, all nine members of the Montgomery County Council, and Casa de Maryland have published responses to the case of Jorge Steven Acuna.

Jorge Steven Acuna = #JSA

BACKGROUND: In the course of the last few years, Maryland Juice has been evangelizing the power of the Internet and peer-to-peer information sharing to advance social causes and political candidates. Over the weekend, numerous readers have flagged the latest experiment in social change, driven by otherwise ordinary individuals. Rather than tackling a global issue -- like the now famous Kony 2012 effort -- young people in Montgomery County are trying to make a difference in their own community. Their efforts center around a young man named Jorge Steven Acuna.

A reader who has been helping this cause provides information about Jorge: "There is a young Germantown kid – Jorge Steven Acuña – who was picked up with his parents by ICE to be deported after their multi-year application for asylum was denied.  It is a very typical story.  What is different here is that the community has exploded around it. Jorge is a resident of the 8th Congressional District and a Montgomery College student (future surgeon as his YouTube bio says). All of his supporters started out as apolitical young people who grew up in Montgomery County but have become totally politicized by the case."

LAME MARYLAND DEMOCRATS: Members of the Maryland Congressional delegation, along with state and county leaders, are completely LAME on immigrant justice. For the last two years, I have watched Democrats in other states fight back against rampant and careless deportations, reject the ridiculous "Secure Communities" program, and file private bills for DREAM Act students. But none of that happens in Maryland (aka "The Free State"). Once again, this Democratic complacency has led to youths taking matters into their own hands.

A NEW CAMPAIGN IS BORN: Friends of Jorge Steven Acuna have launched a multi-faceted campaign to raise awareness of his cause and have launched a viral YouTube video, Facebook effort, Twitter hashtag (#JSA), and petition. Their request is simple: They want Rep. Chris Van Hollen to intervene, and they are doing everything they can to make sure he gets their message. See their kick-off video and numerous examples of guerilla marketing below:

CONCLUSION: Indeed, Maryland Juice has wondered why there has been deafening silence from Maryland Democrats (who are high-ranking officials in the Party) about Barack Obama's record-setting deportations of (mostly Latino) immigrants, and their seeming lack of interest in doing anything about Secure Communities. I was just in Dublin, Ireland last week and learned a great deal about the flood of immigrants to the United States during the great famine in Ireland. I am planning to write about my trip soon, but in the meantime, I have to point out that the parallels between the Irish immigrants of the last century and the immigrants of today are obvious. The biggest difference is that today's immigrants have a different skin color and speak a different language. The fact that this difference allows for such a massively lame response today is sickening.

Our political system stinks, and we're getting sick of this. 
Young people, I think it is time for a political rumble. 
We need to dislodge the oldsters if things don't start changing.

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