Aswini Anburajan

Aswini Anburajan is a writer for Feet in 2 Worlds, an ethnic media reporting project supported by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.

Recent Articles

Who Gets Paid in a Shutdown?

Don't pay the trashman, just the ones who make the mess. Nicholas Kristof raises the point in his op-ed that members of Congress will continue to get paid while federal workers that make tangible contributions to our daily lives won't. The upshot is that federal workers who do important work for the public — cleaning up toxic waste, enrolling sick people into lifesaving medical trials, answering medical hot lines, running national parks, processing passport applications — risk being sent home and going unpaid. But members of Congress would continue to receive $174,000 a year. As the humorist Andy Borowitz wrote in a Twitter message: “That’s like eliminating the fire dept & sending checks to the arsonists.” The fact that Congress should be collecting a paycheck for not coming to an agreement while federal workers are sent home without getting paid is ridiculous. Who needs the salaries and who needs the services? I'm guessing most of the public wouldn't side with their congressman.

Tea Party Senators Propose Changes to Citizenship Rules

Gotta love the Tea Party and their standing for life, liberty, and the exclusion of people that they don't like or who don't look like them. ABCNews.com has a piece saying that Sens. David Vitter, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Jerry Moran are sponsoring a bill to limit U.S. citizenship to only those children born in the United States who have one parent who is a legal resident, member of the military, or a U.S. citizen. The senators claim that the 14th Amendment, which grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, has led to millions of "anchor babies," the children of undocumented immigrants who are claiming U.S. residency and rights. They also claim that this will end "birth tourism." Folks having a baby on foreign soil is not like getting a nose job in a clinic in Thailand. It happens because the immigrants are already in the United States, most probably working on farms or supporting the American economy in another way. The ABC article notes: Of the 4.2 million live births in...

Community Service for Arrested Youth

An Atlanta municipal judge has assigned the seven immigrant youth who are undocumented to community service yesterday, promising to drop charges against the youth once they finish their assigned work. Good news for these kids and for the many immigrant youth that flooded twitter with requests to raise bail of $2,000 each. It's important to note that immigration proceedings occur outside of the criminal courts and there's no word on whether immigration authorities will take any action. My feeling is they won't. It's too politically sensitive to deport a bunch of kids who have been raised in the United States and want a college education back to countries they don't know. But if it's too politically sensitive to deport them and unfair? Why is it too sensitive and unfair to say they can't stay and become citizens?

Undocumented Youth Arrested at Protests for DREAM Act

It's worth noting a Georgia protest where seven undocumented youth got arrested for sitting in the middle of a busy intersection to protest a rule that bans undocumented students from attending Georgia universities. This is the latest in a series of escalating protests in response to the Dream Act, and we'll have to see what happens with these youth. Should they be threatened with deportation, it'll raise the furor of the Latino community, and without a doubt, place the White House in the middle of the immigration fray once again. Ironically, President Obama raised the issue of protests and fighting to pass the act at a Univision town hall a few weeks ago. We didn't get it passed this time, but I don't want young people to be giving up because if people in the past had given up, we probably wouldn't have women's rights, we wouldn't have civil rights. So many changes that we've made had to do with young people being willing to struggle and fight to make sure that their voices are heard...

Ryan and His Budget Get Major Airtime

An indicator of how powerful Paul Ryan and his budget proposal have become: All three evening newscasts did a separate piece on Paul Ryan last night averaging more than 2 minutes each -- significant in newscasts that are under 28 minutes long. On the other hand, President Obama came on the air for 15-second soundbites in the three newscasts, in pieces that talked about the overarching issue. Add that to The Wall Street Journal op-ed yesterday and the front page of The New York Times today, and Ryan and his budget have become Gingrich and his contract for America 2.0 The more important point here is that this budget proposal is a true threat to Medicare, largely because it doesn't affect current seniors and the population that it does effect -- younger workers -- often don't think that long term when voting or living their lives.

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