Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wicker Park's Immigrant History

In honor of May Day and Laborers, if anyone would like to write about Wicker Park's immigrant experience, or perhaps interview seniors at the senior building, please feel free to email your article to

The Pipeline strives to not have a bias and more of less be as innocuous or non controversial as possible. There's a reason for this: I'm not trying to be a hard hitting local news organization but just a newsletter that informs and presents information to read or not read.

Thus, I will not be sharing my views on immigration reform in the newsletter, though I might interview some local restaurant owners and business owners here who are more at the forefront of the issue than I am.

If anyone is interested, and while supplies last, American Apparel- one of the few large corporations to speak out publicly against Immigration Reform- is giving away a "Legalize LA' t-shirt if you send an email to and include three thoughts on immigration along with your address and shirt size.

And with that said, mine are below. Now I'm off to meet up with P. who is going to an area salon and then writing about the experience. I'll be taking the 'before' and 'after' photos.

1) In the beginning, most everyone who came to America came as an immigrant from somewhere, except for African Americans who came here against their will and Native Americans who were already here.

2) Immigrants are the invisible backbone of our economy and they come here to work. They are the truck drivers, cooks, day laborers, sewers, slaughterhouse workers, nannies, food cart peddlers, baseball players, jockeys, and more. Without immigrants our country would not function, and all of the dogma about the American Dream and Land of Opportunity would just fade away as we give up more power to our government and wonder why there is a labor crisis.

2A) A friend has documented the immigrant experience since 2000, please check out Jon's work if you can, thanks.

3) Arizona might be a litmus test, to see how the entire country would react if reform ever were to become national. It's crucial that people in every state and city speak out against immigration reform and that corporations beyond American Apparel are vocal too.

4) When used as a noun, reform refers to the improvement of what is wrong, corrupt, or unsatisfactory. When used as a verb, or "action" word, reform refers to changing to a better state, improving by alteration, substitution, abolition, or to put an end to abuses and disorders. The U.S. Government has created and encouraged ("land of the free!") the implied, unwritten immigration policy of promise and opportunity it seeks to now correct and/or reform through raids, racial profiling and deportation trucks. If the government were to reform itself it would need to be clear of all of its corporate interests and lobbyists and pharmaceutical and oil ties. But instead it's easier to just pretend we're all about the people as we send the people who risked their lives to come here back home as nationalism and isolationism takes hold as it does in times of strife.

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