May 30, 2013
CLEVELAND – Thursday, May 30 grassroots community leaders from across the United States gathered in Cleveland to not only discuss the challenges facing urban youth, but to come up with a comprehensive solution to fix those challenges.
The morning session of the Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment Summit began with speakers with a common theme – it is up to the people in the room to improve the conditions of the inner city.
“We are the cavalry,” said Dr. Michael Williams, director of African-American studies at CSU. “So saddle up.”
Williams continued and insinuated the African-American is headed toward distinction and urged those in attendance to research their past and who they are.
“We have to ensure we have something to hand over to our next generation,” Williams said. “Sometimes we’re so busy studying other people’s history; we don’t look at our own history.”
Khalid Samad, national organizer of the summit believes a key component of transforming youth from a lie of crime is for young people to develop a sense of spirituality, and spiritually will lead to urban transformation.
“The spirit is the key to movement,” Samad said.
Samad said the believe in something not seen is important to a person’s growth as a human being, he said it is faith that guides people to do good and improve social, economic, and political conditions.
Samad said the summit one aspect of a movement; all people of color are members of. Media such as rap music, advertisements and material culturalism has been toxic to urban communities and their youth.
According to Samad, the 216 area code has the highest representation of prison inmates in Ohio.
“Our house is on fire,” Samad said. “I don’t care who puts it out.”
May 24, 2013
From the Ohio Commission on HIspanic/Latino Affairs
Yesterday, the House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee heard proponent testimony on House Bill 114, which would deny Ohio driver’s licenses to recipients of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced last June. The Committee heard nine witnesses testify in favor of denying these licenses, and considered written testimony submitted by a 10th. All of that testimony is available here. As the Committee will not meet next week, opponent testimony will probably be held on Tuesday, June 4th, or at another time that week.
Announced on June 15, 2012, the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program offers qualifying young undocumented people a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation, as well as work authorization and an attendant social security number. Applicants must prove: that they were present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and for five continuous years prior to that, that they entered without inspection prior to their 16th birthday, that they are presently under 31 years of age and that they are currently pursuing – or have completed – a high school education or service in the armed forces. Applicants must also pay a $465 fee and submit to the collection of biometrics and subsequent background checks. Those deemed threats to national security or those that have committed felonies or significant misdemeanors are not eligible for deferred action. As of May 17, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had approved 1,779 Ohioans, and 497,960 people nationwide, for the program.
Under state law, DACA recipients qualify for licenses and on March 29th the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced that they would begin granting these licenses after further identity verification with an immigration database maintained by U.S.C.I.S. Since March 29th, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has granted more than 700 licenses to DAACA recipients.
House Bill 114 is sponsored primarily by Representative Matt Lynch of Bainbridge Township. The bill alters Ohio Revised Code §4507.06 to explicitly delineate those non-citizen immigration statuses that are eligible to receive an Ohio driver’s license. The list excludes deferred action recipients. The legislation was drafted in response to the March 29th announcement that the Ohio would begin granting licenses to recipients of DACA. Several weeks ago, Representative Lynch delivered sponsor testimony to the Committee on House Bill 114.
Dennis Lynch of Long Island, New York drove to Ohio and delivered testimony on the bill at Representative Lynch’s request. Mr. Lynch is the CEO of a film production company called TV360Media, and has written and directed two documentary films that he says expose the evils of illegal immigration. Mr. Lynch spoke extensively about his fulfilling personal life, his broad exposure in the national media and his success in the film industry and as an entrepreneur before that. He spoke about leaving his life as an entrepreneur behind after witnessing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He said he got his first break when, after stints as a mediocre high school student and a three-time college dropout, he landed a job at a warehouse over other applicants that “didn’t speak English”, because he had a driver’s license. Mr. Lynch said that competition from undocumented immigrants in finding employment is unfair, as undocumented workers will work for less. He said that issuing licenses to undocumented workers levels the playing field, exposing native workers to unfair competition. He asked the committee to approve this bill, and to protect the chance at the American dream for native Ohioans.
The Committee questioned Mr. Lynch extensively. Representative Rick Perales asked him on whose behalf he submitted testimony, and Mr. Lynch answered “the American people”. He said that if he were President, he would first get his own house in order before extending help to others. Representative Johnson said that he enjoyed Mr. Lynch’s testimony and that he often tells opioid addicts with whom he works that they must get themselves healthy first, and only then would they be able to help others.
Representative Patmon asked the witness if he thought there should be a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Mr. Lynch said we should not, and that we have a working immigration system in place. Representative Patmon then asked if he would treat all undocumented immigrants the same, or whether he would treat the small subgroup of young people that DACA contemplates differently. Mr. Lynch said that he would treat them differently but would not grant them licenses simply because the President circumvented Congress on the issue. He also said that licenses were a de facto I.D., and are highly sought tools for terrorists. At this point, Chairman Damschroder asked Representative Patmon to wrap up his inquiry, and Representative Patmon replied that many of these 11 million undocumented immigrants are here to work hard and pursue the American dream, and that a simple “no” is not an acceptable answer to give to so many people. Mr. Lynch responded that he doesn’t begrudge immigrants for pursuing a better life, but we must keep “Americans first”.
Representative Becker then asked Mr. Lynch how we could blame the young people that are DACA recipients – typically children brought across the border by their parents – for their illegal conduct in crossing the border. Mr. Lynch reiterated that Congress rejected the DREAM Act, and said that “now is not the time” to worry about them, as there are too many American citizens out of work. He said right now there is a young Ohioan who might live up to the lofty American dream that he himself lived, and that the Committee should not rob him of his opportunity. Representative Becker then asked how, in his view, these young people would get licenses. The witness said it would take an act of Congress. He also said that undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA can be up to 31 years old and that at that age, they are no longer “kids”.
Chairman Damschroder spoke about his background growing up around undocumented immigrants that were industrial and agricultural workers near Fremont Ohio. He said that they would drive whether they have licenses or not, and asked the witness if that was a better scenario. Mr. Lynch responded that he was in favor of expanding available agricultural and low-wage visas to meet the labor demand, but that he opposed “rewarding” illegal immigration with jobs. Mr. Lynch went on to say that he knew of day-laborers that are rapists and drug lords, and are involved with gang activity. The bottom line, he said, is that he would need to verify an undocumented person’s identity to feel secure, and he lamented that the DACA program is simply “rubber stamping” applications. To analogize his point, Mr. Lynch asked the committee if they would welcome 100 people they didn’t know that were standing outside their homes, if they knew that two of them “might want to kill their children.”
Ranking Member Mallory asked the witness and the sponsor whether this bill would make another bill that would grant licenses to migrant seasonal farm workers – which was proposed in the previous General Assembly – moot. Representative Lynch said that it would not, as that bill referred only to H1-A visa holders for seasonal agricultural work. He said his bill was narrowly tailored.
Finally, Representative Patmon noted that neither the Boston Marathon bombers, Timothy McVeigh nor the 9/11 hijackers entered the U.S. through Mexico, and said he was worried about the implied correlation between Hispanics and terrorists. Mr. Lynch notes that he didn’t use the word “Hispanic” anywhere in his testimony, and did not say that Hispanics were terrorists. The witness told Representative Patmon that he was risking his life to uncover the truth, and that he had seen and heard things that would “keep [Representative Patmon] up at night”. Mr. Lynch went on to say that Hezbollah is working closely with Mexican drug cartels and that it “doesn’t take much for Mohammed to turn into Miguel”. He went on to iterate the threat of Chinese nationals that cross into the U.S. from Mexico, and noted that he had seen border signs written in English, Spanish and Chinese. Representative Patmon finished by stating, with a point of personal privilege, that both he and Somalis would be “in trouble” if Mr. Lynch were in charge.
The second witness was Steve Salvi, founder of OJJPAC – Ohio Jobs and Justice People Against Corruption. Mr. Salvi said that licenses in the hands of undocumented immigrants were a threat to national security and public safety. He noted that the 9/11 Commission recommended a tightening of state licensing laws, and said undocumented immigrants have easy access to fraudulent “document mills”. Mr. Salvi said that it’s impossible to vet DACA applicants because applicants don’t undergo background checks, and are “rubber stamped”. The witness also said that Ohio was facilitating criminals, as undocumented immigrants “defraud, injure and kill thousands of Americans”. He said also undocumented immigrants dominate narcotics distribution networks. He named several Ohioans who he said were killed by drunk-driving undocumented immigrants. He noted a couple of pending court decisions that have ruled against DACA, and said Ohio shouldn’t allow a federal policy to bind them the state into a “suicide pact”.
Chairman Damschroder asked the witness whether the 9/11 hijackers were recipients of DACA, and Mr. Salvi acknowledged that they were not, and noted that DACA did not exist then. Ranking Member Mallory noted continued references to President Obama, and asked Mr. Salvi if DACA was the President’s “fault”? Mr. Salvi said the executive branch initiated DACA, which lead to licenses which lead to today’s hearing. He said he imagined that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also supported DACA.
Next to testify were Ohioan John Muzik and Julie Aldrich, from Ohio Citizens for Sensible Immigration. Mr. Muzik said that he believed Ohio had sovereignty over issuing licenses and that any policy that “invites illegals” is wrong. Ms. Aldrich said that DACA recipients had a temporary status and could be deported at any time. She noted that DACA does not require that applicants entered the country with their parents, and said that more than 8,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the border between October of 2011 to May of 2012. She quoted DACA’s 99.2% approval rate and noted that, in most cases, juvenile convictions and expunged convictions will not count against a DACA applicant. The witness stated that since adopting a policy granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, the State of New Mexico had risen to “#2 in uninsured drivers.” She said Ohioans who were the victims of accidents caused by driving undocumented immigrants were less likely to recover their losses because undocumented immigrants could be deported at any time. Ms. Aldridge reiterated that driver’s licenses were tools sought by terrorists, citing the photo I.D.s possessed by the 9/11 hijackers. Finally, she said she was aware that undocumented immigrants in Ohio were transferring titles to citizens or creating fictitious businesses in Ohio in order to fraudulently register commercial vehicles. The Committee had no questions for Mr. Muzik or Ms. Aldridge.
The next witness was Robert Najmulski, Northeast U.S. Field Representative from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, commonly known as FAIR. Mr. Najmulski reiterated some points from earlier witnesses, and called House Bill 114 inclusive rather than exclusive. He said the bill was really about stating those people that are eligible for Ohio driver’s licenses, not excluding a specific group. He noted that once someone has one state’s license, it’s “very easy” to get a license in another state, and that holders of these licenses can perpetrate fraud. He said he noted many fraudulent I.D.s and social security numbers that were given by undocumented immigrants he encountered in his 28 years in Ohio law enforcement. He also worried that licenses give their possessors the power to vote.
Ranking Member Mallory asked the witness what typically happens to an undocumented person caught driving without a license. Mr. Najmulski never really answered, but he said that was arrestable offense in 2009. He said his primary concern was in identifying a person stopped by a law enforcement officer, to protect the trooper. He said there were only 44 ICE agents total in the state. Representative Mallory said he felt that “illegal is illegal”, but that the bill touches on so many things, it’s as though it’s comprehensive immigration reform distilled into a debate about driver’s licenses. Mr. Najmulski said that House Bill 114 had nothing to do with the national debate on immigration reform.
Ohioan Gary Blakeman next called on the Committee to remember their responsibility to uphold the rule of law. He lamented that concepts of legality have lost their importance in the face of political opportunism. Next to testify was Arzella Melnyk, of the Grassroots Rally Team of Ohio. Ms. Melnyk said that she was aware of meetings with a state commission and advocacy groups regarding the issuance of licenses to DACA recipients and, as far as she knew no one that opposed granting licenses to DACA recipients was invited to those meetings. She said she is presently pursuing public records requests. She said she has read about the use of time-stamped receipts, Facebook data and Netflix accounts in proving presence on DACA applications. Finally, Ms. Melnyk said she opposed granting identification to undocumented immigrants, that doing so would act as a magnet for further illegal immigration to Ohio, and she lamented that none of the bills proposed in the 129th General Assembly that would have protected Ohioans from the ill effects of illegal immigration passed. Ranking Member Mallory said that he recalled fierce opposition to those bills to which she referred in the 129th General Assembly, and advised her to be ready to see those opponents at the bill’s next hearing.
Skip Claypool, a former Geauga County Commissioner, was next to testify. Mr. Claypool noted that he had witnesses the evils of socialism and communism firsthand in his travels, and then when abroad there were always stiff penalties if he didn’t carry proper documentation. He also expressed a worry that an Ohio driver’s license was a “ticket to vote” in Ohio. Ranking Member Mallory reminded Mr. Claypool that opponent testimony was coming, and told him not to be upset by the comments he would hear. Mr. Claypool said he wouldn’t be upset, and that he relishes a strong debate. He said the other side “makes excuses” for lawbreakers, and for people that enter the country to “take advantage of everything”. Mr. Claypool told Representative Mallory that an undocumented immigrant driving without a license would likely be arrested, transferred to ICE custody, cited and released. Mr. Claypool said he once witnessed a hit-and-run, where the offending driver was “Hispanic-looking”. He said he drove up to 100 mph to keep up with the fugitive while calling 911. He said he finally abandoned pursuit but that his guess was that the driver he pursued didn’t have a driver’s license or car insurance.
The final witness was Valerie Lucio, a Hispanic Outreach worker for a ministry in Toledo. Ms. Lucio expressed her shock that the BMV could issue these licenses, and said she works extensively with ten families of undocumented immigrants. She said members of those families all had at least one, but sometimes three or four, jobs. She said they were nevertheless “living off the welfare system” by relying on hospital care that they did not pay for, food stamps and other public benefits. She said some of them have tens of thousands of dollars in their bank accounts and multiple homes and cars. Ms. Lucio said that wasn’t fair while she was struggling to pay her rent. She said they don’t need yet another “free” benefit from Ohio. She said undocumented immigrants should go through the proper channels to pursue citizenship.
Vice Chair Ruhl asked Ms. Lucio why she thought her clients did not pursue citizenship. The witness responded that she thought it was because, as they’re undocumented, no path to citizenship exists – only a path to deportation. Ms. Lucio said she had mismanaged her money, but that with her job she doesn’t have “half of what they get for free”. Representative Mallory asked the witness is she had seen churches embracing undocumented immigrants. She said she had, of course, and that she thought administering to the needs of citizens should be fully the duty of churches, not the government. She said she supported this bill despite working with undocumented families because of her Christianity, because of the principles on which the U.S. was founded, and because she felt they ought to go through the prooer channels. Finally, Chairman Damschroder asked if the employers that pay cash under-the-table and under-market to undocumented workers they’ve hired should be held accountable. Ms. Lucio said they should be, but she lamented the breakdown of individual accountability in American society. She said undocumented people are already driving without licenses, and said that they were already “living the American dream”.
I apologize for the exhaustive length of this report. I endeavor to be as accurate and thorough as possible. You will find the sponsor testimony that was submitted to the Committee yesterday here, and Representative Lynch’s sponsor testimony here. Included with that link is testimony from Michael Cutler, a retired INS agent and frequently-appearing immigration pundit on television news. If you would like more information, or if you would like help in contacting a legislator or drafting or submitting testimony, please contact me.
May 22, 2013
NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Donald Trump says if the U.S. creates a path to citizenship for immigrants who don’t have permission to be here, “every one of those people will be voting Democrat.”
The billionaire real estate magnate and sometime presidential hopeful made the statement to reporters Tuesday night before an address to Oakland County Republicans in Novi.
Trump says his habit of blunt talking is one reason he gets so much attention.
He says people like to watch him and says he doesn’t know “if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
Trump is an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama who flirted with a presidential run in 2012, and he recently told The Associated Press his decision against running was a “mistake” because he “would have won.”
May 21, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Far-reaching immigration legislation neared a final committee vote on Tuesday as the White House and Democratic supporters pressed the panel’s chairman to delay a showdown over the rights of gay spouses until a debate in the full Senate.
“There have been 300 amendments. Why shouldn’t we have one more?” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He spoke in response to concerns that a vote on the issue inside the Senate Judiciary Committee could unravel months of work on the bill, which gives a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally.
The measure also creates a new program for low-skilled foreign labor, and would permit highly skilled workers into the country at far higher levels than is currently the case. At the same time, it requires the government take new steps to guard against future illegal immigration.
Leahy, who has presided over days of committee work on the legislation, said an end was in sight, perhaps as early as Tuesday night.
The bill’s ranks of supporters inside the committee grew during the day as the result of a compromise setting the terms of the expansion of H-1B high tech visas. Under the deal, the number of highly skilled workers admitted to the country would rise from 65,000 annually to 110,000, with the possibility of a further rise to 180,000 depending in part on unemployment levels.
Firms where foreign labor accounts for at least 15 percent of the skilled work force would be subjected to tighter conditions than companies less dependent on H-IB visa holders.
The compromise was negotiated by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and designed to balance the interests of industry, which relies increasingly on skilled foreign labor, and organized labor, which represents American workers.
Hatch, whose state is home to a growing high-tech industry, told reporters on Monday he would support the overall legislation in committee if his concerns were addressed.
Jeff Hauser, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, said the organization remains opposed to the provisions dealing with H-IB visas, but that it will continue to support passage of the overall legislation with a path to citizenship.
Even so, the deal allowed Schumer to add to the bill’s majority in committee without driving organized labor into the camp of its opponents.
At the White House, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met privately in the Oval Office with a small group of the bill’s supporters, part of the administration’s campaign to build support.
Justino Mora, 23, who participated, later said he had told the group he came to the United States at age 11, brought by his mother from Mexico to escape poverty and an abusive father. Now a student at UCLA, he has achieved legal status as a result of administration policy that permits individuals brought to the United States as children to legalize.
His mother remains in the county illegally, he said, adding that he told Obama and Biden of the fear and uncertainty of not knowing if she will be deported or detained from one day to the next. “They both were very moved by that aspect. They’re both parents,” Mora said in an interview.
The controversy over the rights of gay spouses, with the ability to fracture a bipartisan coalition behind the legislation, has hovered in the background of the debate from the beginning.
As drafted by the Gang of Eight, four Republicans and four Democrats who negotiated the basic provisions of the legislation, gay spouses do not have the same right to a green card as heterosexual spouses.
Leahy has introduced a proposal to reverse that, a provision that gay rights organizations seek and that ordinarily the White House and all the committee’s Democrats would back. In this case, though, its approval would almost certainly lead Republicans to abandon the bill, and it would face a quick demise on the Senate floor.
“It would kill the bill,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a member of the Gang of Eight but does not have a seat on the Judiciary Committee. “You’d lose the evangelicals, you’d lose the Catholic Church, and the issue is wending its way through the courts. … And so for the amendment to be included is destructive to this carefully crafted compromise.”
May 16, 2013
Ohio is in the middle of a huge effort to create preventative measures aimed to decrease the amount of alcohol use by young adults.
Ohio counties gathered in Newark to develop and learn how to implement strategies within their county to reduce what they feel are huge issues within their county such as binge drinking, and community acceptance of those under 21 years old consuming alcohol.
Latino youth drink at an earlier age compared to both whites and African-Americans, and are more likely to be drunk at an earlier age and are more likely to binge drink, according to the University Of Nebraska Medical Center, department for Reducing Health Disparities.
Latino youth are also more likely than both African American and White to have consumed alcohol before driving or have been in a vehicle with a driver under the influence of alcohol.
In addition, the number of deaths related to alcohol consumption while driving or riding in a car with a driver who has consumed alcohol, and/or alcohol related homicide is higher among Latinos, compared to the same African American and White age demographic
According to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMPY), Latinos 12 to 20 years of age see alcohol advertisements on television 20 percent more than the general public.
Furthermore, Death rates related to alcohol related conditions like cirrhosis and chronic liver disease are exceptionally high among Latinos, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Ohio categorizes prevention programs as “environmental strategies”, which according to the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (ODADAS), the federal government only awarded six percent of their alcohol programs to this technique.
The goal is to increase that amount.
Diana Marrero-Pinto, the Young Adult Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (YAADA) president said the primary goals of YAADA are to collect data and develop anti-drug programs for people ages 18-25.
“We must have change around alcohol and drug use,” Marrero said. “
YAADA collected data on alcohol use of youth between the ages of 18-25 who live in Lorain County and found the use of alcohol (especially for those under the age of 21) is often permissible.
Lorain County juvenile courts are full of from alcohol and drug related charges, one court representative said, who added the county is at the beginning of an epidemic.
School representatives are saying there are students who cannot pass drug tests for employment, and others called the epidemic, “detrimental to our youth.”
May 14, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) — Univision Communications said Tuesday that it is pairing with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez on the English-language El Rey television network that is geared to young viewers and scheduled to debut this December.
Rodriguez is a filmmaker whose projects include “From Dusk Till Dawn.” The first scripted series for El Rey will be an expansion of that movie, with the extra time allowing him to expand the story and explore richer Aztec mythology, he said.
The company that runs Univision, the most-popular Spanish-language network in the country, said Tuesday it has invested in El Rey. Terms were not disclosed. It is set to begin in December with a national distribution agreement with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company.
The network is expected to have a mix of reality, scripted, music and sports programming, along with movies.
“El Rey Network will serve as a launching pad to satisfy the tastes of young adults looking for exciting, cinematic, action-packed content,” Rodriguez said.
Univision has expanded over the past two years, creating several new networks. One partnership with ABC is called Fusion, an English-language news network geared toward a Latino audience.
The Univision network said it will premiere two new telenovelas during the next season. “La Tempestad” will star William Levy and Ximena Navarrete, a former Miss Universe. “Mentir para Vivir” will star David Zepeda and Mayrin Vilanueva.
Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc., told advertisers Tuesday that the company is at the intersection of two big growth opportunities: theLatino market and digital.
May 13, 2013
Saturday, April 27 Wilkins was at the MGM Grand, watching Floyd Mayweather defeat Robert Guerrero In a decisive victory. Wilkins said he was very exited to be at his first major boxing event, and though he is not too crazy about Mayweather’s boxing style, he enjoyed watching the fight.
“I’m kind of skeptical of [Mayweather’s] style, I’m more of a traditional fighter,” Wilkins said. ”Guerrero couldn’t do anything with [Mayweather], he was too slow”
An undercard fight had Gabriel Rosado facing J’Leon Love in a match which most of the MGM crowd thought Rosado won, however the judges decided differently.
“I blind man could have seen that one,” said Wilkins. “Boxing is politics, the eye don’t lie, Rosado won.”
Wilkins said Love was a TNT promotions fighter and so it would have been tough for Rosado to win a decision.
“If I ever fight a TNT fighter I got to beat him fast,” said Wilkins. “I will have to knock him out; I’m not going to get a no decision.”
Wilkins said when his thinks of home, his children come to mind, his family, and those who send him text messages and contact him on Facebook.
“First and foremost I think of my kids, I got to be tough for them,” Wilkins said. “Everything I do is for them.”
That “everything”, includes hours of running, and working out in the Mayweather gym. It includes a disciplined diet of oatmeal, bananas and grapefruit, brown rice, and a protein shakes.
“I’m actually underweight, so I can eat whatever, but I choose to eat solid and focus,” he said.
Wilkins said his goal is to become a champion and to have a life in which his children can look up to.
“Even if I don’t make it to the world title one day, I want them to think their dad was a true inspiration.”
A true inspiration, some would say Wilkins is a true inspiration because, despite his setbacks, he has not given up on his dream and he fights for it; literally.
“My family is my backbone, there are the ones who keep me motivated daily,” Wilkins said as he spoke of his dream to be a champion. “I can feel it coming, I have to continue to work hard and keep the faithful people around me, keep me level headed and positive.”
Wilkins said winning a championship will be the final chapter of his boxing life
While in Los Vegas Wilkins has gotten to know other boxers, and though he works hard each day, it is not all training and hard work.
Life is beautiful, enjoy it,” Wilkins said. “It’s just a blessing to be so close to my dream.”
Wilkins has said some promoters are skeptical of having him fight because of his age, other notice his hard work and skills.
“They come up to me and say “man you got some skills dude keeps up the good work””, Wilkins said.
Doors open at 5:30p.m. and the match begins at 7p.m.
The match will take place at the Rostraver Ice Garden, 101 Gallitin Rd, Belle Vernon, PA 15012. For ticket dial 440-670-1701.
May 9, 2013
Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping Berry, DeJesus, and Knight went in front of a judge for arraignment; bond was set at $8 million, $2 million for each case against him.
Castro is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape
Castro’s brothers who were arrested along with him are not charged in the disappearances. Both were in court on outstanding misdemeanor and were released from custody earlier today.
From Court Records
A note reportedly found inside Ariel Castro’s home an admission which said.
“I am a sexual predator. I need help.”
Court records say Knight had five miscarriages; Castro beat her and starved her to avoid a child.
Berry did give birth to one child in a small inflatable pool inside the house. Castro told Knight to assist in the delivery of baby and if the child died, he would kill her.
Records also say when Castro had people over the house, he would take the victims to an attic and tie them up as well as tape their mouths shut. In other occasions, Castro would pretend to leave to see if the victims would act out or try to escape, and if they did he would reappear and beat them.
On their anniversaries of their disappearance Castro would give them a special dinner and cake.
Over the ten years, the women were taken outside on two occasions, both times in disguise and they were taken to the garage.
Michelle Knight is still in the hospital, she is reportedly having difficulty adjusting.
“Mentally she’s not taking things very well,” said one family member. Currently, no person is allowed to see her.
“I helped her and I was first.”
Those are the words of Angel Cordero, he said Ramsey was not the first one to help Berry escape from the home, he said it was him.
“Ramsey arrived after she was outside with the girl,” Cordero said. “But the truth who arrived there, who crossed the street, which came and broke the door, it was me.”
Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said he is looking into aggravated murder charges related to the five miscarriages (which could result in the death penalty if convicted) and will be charged for each count of rape or sexual assault, which could number in the thousands.
Castro is reportedly alone in a cell and on suicide watch.
May 8, 2013
Three of the four victims are home and Ariel Castro, who has been accused of holding the four victims hostage for years has been charge.
Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus returned home today; however after leaving the hospital Monday night, Michelle Knight has returned to the hospital for reasons unknown, according to reports.
News reports have sources saying Ariel Castro has signed a statement related to accusations of him keeping the three victims hostage.
During a press conference held Wednesday, authorities said Ariel, Pedro, and Oil Castro are in city custody, separate cells.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Victor Perez said Ariel Castro will be charged with four counts of kidnaping, and three counts of rape. He will be arraigned Thursday morning. The case will be carried out through Cuyahoga County
Perez let it be known what Castro is accused of doing is “not a reflection of the Puerto Rican community, here, or in Puerto Rico”
The two brothers will not be charged with crimes related to the four victims, there is no evidence they knew of the situation, however the brothers have misdeemed warrants and will be arraigned tomorrow on those counts.
Wednesday the FBI went into home two houses down to secure evidence.
At the time, police are not positive if the victims were drugged or not. Also police have DNA of Ariel Castro which will help in a paternity test t find out if he is the father of Amanda Berry’s child.
Police do not anticipate finding more victims related to the case. Police have stated the victims statements are a major part of the case and the victims went through a lengthy interview
Also, a fund titled “Cleveland Courage Fund” has been set up through the Cleveland Foundation; people are able to donate money through KeyBank
May 6, 2013
This is the first of what we hope to be weekly articles, following Wilkins Santiago on his jounrey to obtaining a boxing championship.
Wilkins Santiago was ringside this past Saturday as he watched the Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero fight. It is quite possibly the first time since leaving for Los Vegas he had a true break.
The Lorain native has an intense training regiment, aside from the typical gym training, Santiago runs in high altitude to build endurance. He says it helps build breathing capacity, he says it will help in his fight May 25.
Wilkins (8-0) left Lorain to pursue his dream and to become a champion and bring that championship belt to his home city.
“The training is much more intense out here,” Wilkins said. “It’s harder to breathe out here, you have to stay focused.”
There is no doubt that determination and focus is what brought him to the Mayweather camp; it’s how he was able to sit and watch a champ go 44-0. In the camp, Wilkins spars with other boxers, in Vegas he eats breaths and sleeps boxing, a place where he can devote his entire time to becoming a champion.
“It’s all hard work and consistent training,” Wilkins said. “It’s nonstop every day, sometimes it’s tough but you got to keep pushing.”
Wilkins will be fighting May 25 in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania.
For tickets you can contact Wilkins himself at 440-670-1701