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  1. #1
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    Nueva Orleans

    http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/2758411.html?showAll=y

    Long article. Follow link to read the whole thing. I grabbed some parts that I thougt were most interesting.
    __________________________________________________ ______

    Thousands of Hispanic laborers from Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and cities throughout the United States now call the Crescent City home, giving rise to a new New Orleans — prompting some to rechristen it “Nueva Orleans.”

    Spanish peoples are no strangers to this early-American melting pot. The city was under Spanish control for 40 years beginning in 1763 and much of the French Quarter reflects 18th-century Spanish architecture.

    But pundits and politicians are predicting the spontaneous massive migration driven by post-disaster reconstruction might restyle the city into a modern-day San Antonio or Los Angeles.


    At issue is whether this transformation is fleeting — lasting only as long as inflated construction prices — or will become as much as a fixture in the city’s economy, culture and politics as Mardi Gras.


    “Latinos like music and good food, which we have. There are crooked politicians here, just like the ones we have in our own countries. If they can find good work, they will make New Orleans their home — at least for the next 15 to 20 years — and the city will definitely change. But I think it’s just another ingredient to the gumbo.”

    When word started spreading last fall that there was good money to be made in the drenched and battered region, Hispanics poured across Lake Pontchartrain like a new flood.

    Federal authorities opened the gates for them, temporarily easing sanctions on employers who hired people unable to provide proper documentation. President Bush also issued an executive order lifting the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, a law mandating that construction workers on federal contracts be paid at least the average wage in the region.

    Before Katrina, Hispanics accounted for 3 percent of New Orleans’ population, with just 1,900 Mexicans showing up in the 2004 Census. No one knows for certain how many new ones have arrived, but estimates put the number between 10,000 and 50,000.

    Marty Perez, a 42-year-old Houston contractor, moved his company, Powerwash & Paint Pros — along with his wife and child — to New Orleans three months ago. He says Hispanics seek out such work “because it’s what they’ve done all their lives. They’re used to hard labor, and they’ll do it.”

    Julio Touro, Joce Duron and Juan Orozco crossed the Rio Grande River at night without any documentation for just that — a 12-hour day that begins before sunrise.

    Just how many of the Espinosas, Touros and Durons will make New Orleans their home “is the million-dollar question,” said Elizabeth Fussell, an assistant professor of sociology at Tulane University who is studying the new migrants.

    “It’s what everybody wants to know,” she said.

    Population shifts often follow natural disasters. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew displaced 250,000 residents in southeastern Florida, and reconstruction drew waves of Hispanics. The Latino population in just one of those towns — Homestead — increased by 50 percent.

    Ultimately, Fussell has concluded, their decision in New Orleans will depend on the same factors everyone else is considering: what neighborhoods are rebuilt, whether the city is safe and the availability of schools for their children.

    But Fussell discovered one distinguishing characteristic that also may ease the transition. In a city where a short supply of inhabitable housing discourages the return of evacuated residents, the new Hispanic workers appear willing to endure even the worst living conditions.


    At Monte de los Olivos — a Lutheran church in Kenner that long has welcomed Hispanics — day-laborers are sleeping on cots packed into tiny alcoves off the sanctuary, their belongings hidden away in boxes stacked at their feet.

    They share one bathroom, cleaning themselves in the sinks, and cook a shared supper in the church’s kitchen. Once a week, they attend English classes together.

    Still, it’s a step up from Juan Rubio’s digs at City Park.

    The 35-year-old California native and other Hispanic workers have slept in tents and cooked their meals on an outdoor grill for months. Their only bathroom facilities are a portable toilet and a shower rigged with a garden hose and tarps they boast has two temperatures: Cold and colder.

    “They’re packed into hotel rooms, sleeping in water-infested houses and living in tent cities,” said Chris Newman of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Frankly, it’s like a Steinbeck novel.”

    Around 5 p.m. every day, the pilgrimage begins.

    Workers throughout the city head not for church or home, but to Casa Angelo Inc. on Magazine Street, home of a Western Union booth.

    The international money-wiring company’s familiar yellow signs have popped up all over the city, frequently accompanied by advertisements for long-distance phone cards.

    A line forms in the back of Casa Angelo just past the Ho-Hos and shampoo, near the television blaring a Spanish soap opera.

    Emmanuel Ioannidis, the 22-year-old son of Greek immigrants who own Casa Angelo, said the store wires money to Latin American countries up to 400 times a day for a total of $30,000 to $50,000.

    Western Union spokeswoman Sherry Johnson declined to provide numbers for all of New Orleans, saying the company considers that “competitive information.”

    Late last week, Casa Angelo hosted a remote broadcast of La Fabulosa — one of the city’s two Spanish-language radio stations — to appeal to its emerging customer base.

    “We’ve always dealt with Hispanics, but this has been overwhelming for us,” Ioannidis said. “Change is definitely coming. You walk down the street now and you hear Spanish music and you hear people speaking in Spanish.”

    The growing Hispanic market is what three months ago prompted 36-year-old Albert Rios to hitch El Chaparral to his maroon Ford F-150 and leave his hometown of Eagle Pass, Texas. The mobile taco stand with just three employees is making thousands of dollars a day parked near an empty gas station on Claiborne Avenue.

    “It’s crazy,” Rios said. “But my brother who works in construction said his employees were having a very difficult time finding Mexican food. So here we are.”

    Community advocacy agencies are making an effort to help Hispanics gain a permanent foothold.

    The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce provided seed money for the Hispanic Business Resources & Technology Center to teach technology to Hispanics as well as provide business startup and expansion courses.

    Director Karla Sikaffy said the center already has helped more than 100 Hispanics since opening a month ago in Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner.

    “The entire culture is going to change,” Sikaffy said. “A huge portion of the African-American population is gone, and now we’re seeing a shift in demographics and a shift in culture. We’re going to have to address that.”

    New Orleans may have been one of the nation’s first melting pots, but the sudden wave of Hispanics into the city, as natives grapple with the notion that their city may never be the same, is generating some tension.

    At a town hall meeting in October, Mayor Ray Nagin made headlines by wondering aloud how he could make sure “New Orleans is not overrun with Mexican workers.” The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce criticized the remark as prejudiced, but those attending the gathering reportedly applauded.

    Months later, he proclaimed New Orleans a “Chocolate City” and insisted it would once again be a “majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be.”

    Day to day, white and black workers compete with Hispanics for jobs by marketing themselves as “the local guys.”

    While walking to work a few days ago, Fussell — the Tulane University researcher — saw a white man in a truck cussing out the driver in front of him and threatening to “call INS” to deport him.

    “Certainly the tension exists, particularly in competition for the rebuilding jobs,” Fussell said. “It hasn’t escalated to physical violence, but we’ll see.”

    Rigoli, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church pastor, worries that might happen if Hispanics begin moving into historically black housing projects.

    “I think there’s always going to be tension as a new group of people comes into an area. There’s suspicion, and that happens no matter where you go,” Rigoli said. “This city is known for its diversity, and it’s always been very tolerant, no matter who you are. It’s one of the things I really like about New Orleans and I hope it doesn’t change.”

    At the same time, federal authorities — under increased national political pressure to clamp down on illegal immigration — have stepped up enforcement.

    In three raids this month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 168 undocumented workers. A handful face criminal charges ranging from illegally re-entering the country to drug possession.

    Jose Aparicio narrowly escaped an ICE raid at Lowe’s Home Improvement store a few weeks ago. The 23-year-old El Salvadoran and a friend were eating in the back of their truck when agents stopped and started asking others for “papers.”

    Aparicio and his companion — both in the country without proper documentation — slipped away undetected.

    “That’s the first time we’ve seen them,” he said through a translator. “My friend saved the day.”

    The two have been back to the same Lowe’s every day since, hawking themselves to contractors who are shopping for supplies. Even with federal authorities on the hunt for his kind, Aparicio has no plans to leave New Orleans anytime soon.

    The reason he gives is matter-of-fact: “Because we’re always working.”

  2. #2
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    American workers were turned away so illegals could work.

    Remember the government, FEMA, etc., trying to keep the people from NO from returning home? Somehow they didn't mind if illegals poured in by the thousands.

    I just wonder if those ships Mexico sent weren't loaded with illegals rather than disaster supplies.

  3. #3
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    Want to read some comments about the story on a "politically correct" message board? Follow the link.

    You can't post unless you pay to join. I just use the site to find links and shake my head in wonderment at the many posters who must live isolated lives, away from the many problems us commoners face, regarding the invaders.

    Note the lambasting those posting negatives about the invaders face:

    http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/51488

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mamie's Avatar
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    “The entire culture is going to change,” Sikaffy said. “A huge portion of the African-American population is gone, and now we’re seeing a shift in demographics and a shift in culture. We’re going to have to address that.”
    I said the bussed out black Americans and bussed in the Mexicans ... Bush took ADVANTAGE of a natural disaster to promote his agenda, he KNEW not requiring proof of citizenship or legal residence would cause another flood in New Orleans
    "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" George Santayana "Deo Vindice"

  5. #5
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    If anyone has the ear of any Black groups the article above may be useful in convincing them their folks are also under assault and it would be in their best interest to fight the invasion.

    Please, just remind them the elite class that despises us common folk, though it is mostly white, also has various ethnicities.

    We are not in a racial fight. We are fighting outside invaders, a foreign culture and an internal elite class.

    Inform the Black folks that Bush and his cronies are apparently using the invaders to displace our black population!!!!!!

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