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Old 09-10-2008, 05:27 PM
 
7,025 posts, read 10,906,928 times
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Latino immigration reformers: ignoring conventional wisdom, Americans of Hispanic descent are at the forefront in the battle against illegal immigration

New American, The, March 20, 2006 by Michael E. Telzrow

Lupe Moreno and Angie Morfin Vargas grew up the daughters of a bracero. Their father was one of the five million temporary contract guest workers who crossed the U.S./Mexican border between 1942 and 1964 to work in America's agricultural fields. Like many other braceros, Jesus "Jesse" Morfin periodically returned to Mexico, but ultimately settled in the United States. With his American-born wife and their four children, Morfin lived a dual life--publicly a hard-working immigrant, privately a smuggler of illegal aliens.

Lupe Moreno helped her father run a safe house for illegal immigrants, in addition to attending school, running a household, and toiling in the fields. Today she lives in the same Santa Ana, California, house she grew up in, but in an unlikely twist of fate, she and her sister Angie now devote much of their time to campaigning against illegal immigration. As president of the 200-member Latino Americans for Immigration Reform, Lupe Moreno has emerged as one of California's most vocal Hispanic activists speaking out against the illegal immigration invasion.
Forged by Adversity
The second eldest of four children, Lupe Moreno spent her early years in the northern California town of Cottonwood. It was there during the mid-1960s that her father first started running his immigrant smuggling operation. Jesse Morfin, a paper mill employee, paid smugglers between $350 and $400 for each illegal delivered. At first, only family members were smuggled, but Morfin learned to avoid the smuggler's fee by expanding the pipeline to include non-family members. Upon delivery, he would then distribute the illegal workers to the ranches in Tehema or Shasta Counties. Smuggling was a profitable business, but the life of a coyote was filled with risk. The stress associated with the illegal operation eventually destroyed the Morfin family. Lupe's mother left her dad and kids when Lupe was only 10 years old, and relocated to Los Angeles, no longer willing to tolerate the constant flow of strangers and fearful of prosecution.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Morfin moved to Santa Ana, California, in a last-ditch effort to restore the broken marriage. His refusal to abandon the smuggling trade, however, doomed the reconciliation attempt to failure. Mrs. Morfin refused to reunite with her husband, and conditions worsened in the Morfin household after it became apparent that the marriage was irrevocably broken. Intimidated by a growing number of aggressive visitors, Mr. Morfin took long absences from the scene, visiting only occasionally to give Lupe money to pay the bills and purchase food.
Lupe Moreno, an 11-year-old girl in a parentless household, now assumed the responsibility of caring for her siblings. Without a mother or father to protect them, the four school-aged Morfin children were physically and emotionally abused by illegal immigrants passing through the house. It was a brutal existence that would scar Lupe and her sister Angie for life.
Jesse Morfin was eventually arrested by the INS in 1973. After serving three months in prison, he relocated to King City, California, where he found work in the fields. At age 16, Lupe dropped out of school and married Marcial Moreno, a Mexican national and illegal immigrant who had been living in the Morfin household. After giving birth to her fifth child at age 22, she finally earned her high school diploma. Afterwards, she secured a position in the county immunization department. It was there, while serving large numbers of illegal immigrants, that Moreno began to realize the true economic and social cost of the illegal alien invasion. The story might have ended there, but in 1990, an event occurred that profoundly altered the lives of Lupe Moreno and her sister, Angie Morfin Vargas, and compelled them to take action.
An Activist Awakening
Ruben Morfin, Angie Morfin Vargas' son, was just 13 years old in 1990 when he was shot in the head by Ezequiel Mariscal while walking home from a party. The killer, Mariscal, a gang member and Mexican national, fled to Mexico, where he was eventually apprehended by Mexican authorities with assistance from San Diego's Foreign Prosecution Unit. Mexico's fugitive-friendly laws prevented Mariscal's extradition, but he is now serving a 20-year sentence without parole in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
For Angie Morfin Vargas, her son's death was a brutal call to action. The former Chicana activist felt particularly wounded because Mariscal, an illegal alien, was the sort of person she might have befriended in previous times. "It was a slap in the face," Morfin Vargas told THE NEW AMERICAN. "For the first time in my life, I wasn't sure who I was." Once a proponent of unfettered immigration, Morfin Vargas now began to take a critical look at America's immigration policy. Sensing a link between illegal immigration and increased gang activity, she formed Mothers Taking Action Against Gang Violence and began to lobby for an end to the nation's de facto open border policy.

*******************


Wow, what a powerful message from former smugglers turned American Activists.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: San Diego North County
4,800 posts, read 8,453,464 times
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Lupe is an amazing woman. I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to know her and to stand with her on many occasions. That woman has a backbone of steel and she will NOT back down from what she knows to be right.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:58 PM
 
7,025 posts, read 10,906,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kele View Post
Lupe is an amazing woman. I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to know her and to stand with her on many occasions. That woman has a backbone of steel and she will NOT back down from what she knows to be right.
Agreed. She has sponsored several marches here in Illinois. I only got to attend one during a lunch break. I decided to Google her sisters' story. Prior to today, I had no idea of her history.

It's quite amazing . . . .
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Missouri
3,638 posts, read 4,754,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kele View Post
Lupe is an amazing woman. I'm very proud to have had the opportunity to know her and to stand with her on many occasions. That woman has a backbone of steel and she will NOT back down from what she knows to be right.
You bet she is. She has been is still being threatened by the illegal lovers in CA. I am always afraid for her. I used to protest with her before I had left for Tehran. I have already seen her since I have been back and I was glad to know that she was ok.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: San Diego
47,191 posts, read 42,264,981 times
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She sure summed it correctly. Bravo!
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Maryland
15,171 posts, read 17,753,670 times
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Fascinating story. I hadn’t heard of her prior to this article. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,144 posts, read 40,549,043 times
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Lupe apparently is another American who 'woke up'; shall we say.

Be safe, Ms Moreno.
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: California
3,172 posts, read 6,529,459 times
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Lupe Moreno is president of something???

Although I feel she's being hypocritical for encouraging the stereotype that "illegal aliens are here to murder Americans, and hate and loathe Americans", I don't wish no harm to her.
But I wish she could protest all she wants for closing the borders, without having to resort to helping demonize the people.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:17 AM
 
Location: S.Florida
3,325 posts, read 5,155,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaBear View Post
Lupe apparently is another American who 'woke up'; shall we say.

Be safe, Ms Moreno.
-------------

Be safe is right as someone like that is exactly who Mexico's politicians, cartel and some here want to eliminate.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:43 AM
 
1,304 posts, read 3,211,422 times
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Ruben Morfin, Angie Morfin Vargas' son, was just 13 years old in 1990 when he was shot in the head by Ezequiel Mariscal while walking home from a party. The killer, Mariscal, a gang member and Mexican national, fled to Mexico, where he was eventually apprehended by Mexican authorities with assistance from San Diego's Foreign Prosecution Unit. Mexico's fugitive-friendly laws prevented Mariscal's extradition, but he is now serving a 20-year sentence without parole in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
For Angie Morfin Vargas, her son's death was a brutal call to action. The former Chicana activist felt particularly wounded because Mariscal, an illegal alien, was the sort of person she might have befriended in previous times. "It was a slap in the face," Morfin Vargas told THE NEW AMERICAN. "For the first time in my life, I wasn't sure who I was." Once a proponent of unfettered immigration, Morfin Vargas now began to take a critical look at America's immigration policy. Sensing a link between illegal immigration and increased gang activity, she formed Mothers Taking Action Against Gang Violence and began to lobby for an end to the nation's de facto open border policy.

Gee.. who woulda thought...
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