Nelson finds her visit with immigrant detainee “poignant” Detained immigrants in Yuba City need human contact, visitation group says

photo by Chris Nelson
Visitors entrance at the Yuba County Jail

by Chris Nelson

It was serendipity that I visited the man I did at the Yuba County Jail Monday in Marysville.

I got there four minutes too late to see the man I had planned to meet; the second name I had was a man who had been transferred elsewhere and the third candidate wasn’t available for a visit until later in the day. All three of those men had Latino surnames. The man I did get to visit was from Vietnam. read more

Citizenship gives Santa Rosa dad sense of security Green-card holders seek protection through citizenship

photo by Lindajoy Fenley
Joel Verdejo Flores with children David and Gabriela.

by Lindajoy Fenley

Joel Verdejo Flores worked without authorization for nearly five years in California before obtaining a green card that made him a permanent resident in 1995.

He was 20 years old, Bill Clinton was president and moving beyond residency to citizenship didn’t seem like a pressing matter. But that changed in 2016 with the election of President Donald Trump.

As Trump’s supporters continued shouting, “Build that wall,” the Santa Rosa father of two U.S.-born children heard that immigration enforcement was becoming more rigorous. He stopped wavering. read more

Proposed citizenship question turns Census into civil rights issue Inaccurate tally could affect minority communities, election results

by Lindajoy Fenley

Ethnic minority organizations are vowing to do everything possible to encourage an accurate census count in the face of what they called a Trump Administration plan to solidify conservative Republican power with a distorted tally.

“The 2020 Census is one of the most urgent civil rights issues facing America,” said moderator Beth Lynk of the Leadership Conference Education Fund in opening an Ethnic Media Services press conference by telephone that featured speakers for five organizations. read more

Chico’s “undocumented” attorney earns U.S. citizenship Sergio Garcia says family-based migration is crucial

photo by Karen Laslo
Salvador Covarrubias (left) brought his young son Sergio Garcia to Chico, knowing that the boy would qualify for residency.

by Leslie Layton

It took Sergio C. Garcia longer to become a U.S. citizen than it took for his native country, Mexico, to win independence from Spain.

It took longer than it took for him to win the right to practice law, becoming the nation’s first, so-called undocumented attorney.

Garcia will be sworn in as a U.S. citizen in a ceremony today in Sacramento – the end of a journey that began in 1994 when he was brought to the country as a teen who knew even then that if he was going to live in the United States, he wanted to belong as a participating citizen. read more

Protesters oppose policy that hurts children People line the Skyway to call for migrant family unification

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

Almost 50 people showed up for a protest Thursday in Paradise to oppose the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of the people passing by on the Skyway honked in support of the protesters.

“I never thought I would be a person outside with a sign,” said one of the organizers, John Tackitt (pictured above behind the banner.) “But even if it’s just doing a little something, it’s something.” read more

From Africa to Inglewood to Chico State Senior from Nigeria overcomes challenges

Krystle Tonga with Samuel Akinwande

by Nicte Hernandez

Although he’s dealt with typical challenges that come with being the first person in his family to attend a university, Samuel Akinwande’s route to Chico State was far from typical.

Akinwande was born and raised in Nigeria, moving at age 11 to Inglewood, where education took a backseat to everyday worry about simply making it home alive after a day’s schooling.

“We had no help in high school when pursuing higher education,” Akinwande said. “Our counselors literally gave us our transcripts and said figure it out. That’s it.” read more