Last year I criticized the English-language media, and local public media in particular, for missing the build-up to the mass immigrant marches. We saw a flood of coverage in the days before this year’s May Day protests, including articles looking at the effects of deportations on families in, for starters, the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and the Chicago Sun Times. Later this week Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ’s Catrin Einhorn is reporting on the Cumbre de Migrantes in Morelia, Michoacan. On Tuesday morning she profiled one of the driving forces of the conference, 58 year-old Southside hairdresser and CONFEMEX founder Marcia Soto.
SOTO IN TRANSLATION: I think it’s a unique event, because until now, we immigrants haven’t had an event where we were the principal actors. There are always events with academics, politicians, foundations, talking about migrants, and the migrants are usually not there. This time, the migrants organized the event, we’ve invited a lot of different people, but the principal actors and the organizers are the migrants.
At the summit, Soto herself will discuss the social cost of immigration on families who leave and on those who stay behind, and she’ll talk about transnational advocacy.
Transnational is the key word: immigrant groups are increasingly active in both their countries of origin and where they live now.
(I have found little blogging, in any language, about the conference, which begins Thursday.)