What Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio means for Latinos: “We mean little to President Trump.”

President Trump’s pardoning of Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, represents a slap in the face to the Latinos of the United States, clear and simple. Everything indicates that our president did this with total impunity and without a trace of shame or regret. We, Latinos, mean little to him so he shoved us aside when he cancelled the criminal contempt case against Arpaio, as widely reported. That he did it early in his administration, an exceptional occurrence as many commentators have noted, simply underscores my observation: we mean little or nothing to him. (His ending of the DACA program on September 5, 2017–Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals–illustrates this quite clearly: he didn’t take a lead on it, he passed the fate of these young culturally assimilated Americans on to Congress. No one can call that leadership.

Why is Arpaio an issue?

Everyone in Arizona knows that as sheriff of Arizona’s most important county, Joe Arpaio brazenly went out of his way to tear every shred of dignity from the Latin Americans, mostly Mexican, he accused of entering the country illegally, men, women and children. It seems he enjoyed doing it, according to reports. It is apparent that like his protector in the White House, he considers all migrants, who cross the border without permission, as sub-humans and criminals. According to The New Yorker, up to 2009 only, his department cost the State of Arizona more than forty three million dollars for settling lawsuits that alleged mistreatment of the lowly migrants, and even their wrongful deaths. He mocked them by putting them in gaudy colored uniforms, fed them two meals a day that cost less than fifty cents each, and even marched them publicly in chain gangs, women too. His deliberate scare-‘em Gestapo tactics generated more than twenty two hundred court cases, exceeding the worst raids of undocumented workers in the 1950s, some of which I witnessed.

All this is against the moral standards we Americans have always considered fitting and proper, but Mr. Trump turned a blind eye, insisted Arpaio was a “good man”, and pardoned him.

Clearly, the Trump administration is anti-Mexican, anti-Latino, and anti-immigrant. And, the 30% of Americans who continue to support him are too, apparently.

Should we worry about this?

Should we, Latinos of the United States, who don’t have to worry about getting picked up and deported care about this? Of course, we should, if for no other reason than the fact that the hapless deportees look like our ancestors, they look like us. They speak as our descendants spoke, they eat what they ate, they worship as they did. They are as we were. In addition, you and I know that most of them crossed the border to find work, keep their heads down, and send a few pennies back home.

To call them “criminals” is repulsive and immoral. They may have broken a law to get into the U.S. but that does not give any American official license to diminish their humanity. Arpaio swaggers about it according to reports. His tactics, his demeanor, and his penchant for publicity remind us of the black-booted Nazis persecuting Jews in the 1940s (he would have made a good Sturmmann or Storm Trooper).

What can we do?

We can speak up. We can make known our contempt to our friends personally, and through Facebook, Twitter and other social media. We can ask our pastors to help raise awareness in our communities.

We can ask our community organizations to help spread the word about Trump’s anti-immigration stance. There are groups like CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles), and the NCLR (National Council for La Raza).

Get their address and send them a note with $5 or $10. You surely must know a DACA youngster (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as “The Dreamers”), the ones who were brought to the U.S. from Mexico without documentation; they are being persecuted by Mr. Trump and his ilk (all this sounds so Nazi like). Talk to the young Dreamer; ask how you can support their cause. To have them deported is immeasurably immoral, a stain on America!

Most importantly, YOU CAN REGISTER TO VOTE. NEXT TIME MAKE SURE YOU GO OUT AND VOTE! OUR ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE IS POLITICAL! We can vote. Let us stand up against Mr. Trump and the Joe Arpaio’s who support him.

¡Si se puede!






 KENMORE, WA.  We Became Mexican American narrates the story of a family emigrating from Mexico to the United States in the 1920s. Author and family member, Carlos B. Gil, tells how his folks settled against all odds to pursue the American Dream in southern California. This award-winning book offers you the following:

      It reviews what the Latino immigration experience represented for the author’s family,

            It explores the cultural shock of arriving in the U.S. for the first time,

                        including the difficulties of raising children in a new culture,

            It unveils the cultural conflicts inside the family as the children began growing up in America,

            It describes living in a Mexican barrio near Los Angeles, California, and it

            It discusses the personal process of slowly becoming Mexican American. 

We Became Mexican American was awarded “BEST BIOGRAPHY” in two book competitions in the United States in 2013. And, in 2015 it won an “HONORABLE MENTION in Biography/Autobiography” at the 2015 Book Festival in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The 2013 honors came from The 15th Annual International Latino Book Award ceremony held at the Cervantes Institute in New York City, May 30, 2013: 1) Best Biography in English and 2) Best Latino Focused Work. On March 8th his book also won Best Biography at the 2012-2013 cycle of the Los Angeles Book Festival for independent authors and publishers. As a result, his book “sits” at “The Table of Honor,” digitally speaking, which you can visit at: http://tableofhonor.com/?product_cat=biographyautobiography ).

For more information see http://www.facebook.com/WeBecameMexicanAmerican.

To obtain your own copy, go to:

barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, or special ordering through your neighborhood bookstore.

For review copies or ordering multiple copies go to:


or send an email to orders@diversitycentral.com

The author is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington.

We Became Mexican American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream

was published in 2012 and revised in 2015.

Trade Paperback; $18.99; 422 pages; ISBN 978-0-9899519-1-3

Trade Hardback; $26.99; 422 pages; ISBN 978-0-9899519-06

E-book, $3.99: ISBN 978-0-9899519-2-0

READER’S REACTIONS TO “We Became Mexican American”

Gil writes with a cinematic eye for detail, delivering intricate word pictures of the people, places and activities….Vivid, highly informative and entertaining, Gil’s book shines and should be a staple on the bookshelves of history teachers and their students.  (Blue Ink Review, October 2012)

As a lifelong educator in a variety of capacities I find this author’s provocative, endearing life story a special must read for all members of the American School System, regardless of their niche or expertise in the field of education.”  (Leo Valenzuela, October 2012)

Gil plays the role of storyteller and mass organizer in this textbook-thick account of how his family crossed both land and social boundaries to improve their living conditions and be together….[I]t’s an interesting, well-written account of an adaptable, immigrant family. [It p]rovides a unique perspective into the complex cultural struggles immigrant families face and the circumstances that bring them here.  Kirkus Book Reviews (November 2012)

It’s almost poetic. This has to be used in the classrooms for generations to come. You bring everything together in ten different ways: economics, social mobility, immigration, politics, etc. You bring it all together; you offer the big picture. (Phillip Boucher, November 2012)

[It is a] rich, textured portrait….  [This work] shows how the hard work and determination of these Mexican immigrants led to greater economic success and higher social status with each generation. Black-and-white photographs inserted throughout the text vividly express this change of fortune.  (Clarion Reviews December 2012)

Your book is not only inspirational, it is thought provoking and educational. I love history and your book personalizes historical events. As an immigrant myself, I can connect with your family. (Ignacio Marquez, April 2013)

I loved your book! All my daughters want to read it, and my mom. There were lots of things I could relate to. (Molly Montoya, April 2013)

Your honesty was brutal but told in a loving way. I, we are so proud of your book and talk about it all the time. (Rebecca Cruz, May 2013)

Quite an accomplishment. Something I wish I had done for my own family. I learned a lot…about the Mexican American experience, including its regional variations. The book also brought me…to reassess my own [Swedish] family’s experience which in some ways parallels your family’s. Chuck Bergquist, May 2013)

Reading about my great great grandpa Basilio Alvarez in his book brought me to tears. What a journey this book is taking me on…¡Gracias! (Vera Delgado, November 2014)

Again I was blown away by your discussion on why your family would not have been attuned to racism due to the idea of there not being a contradiction to the reality they began life with. Such a tender defense of these people, and I can apply that to my family too. (Abe Pena, February 2014)

It was fantastic! I was so drawn in and fascinated with the stories of his family and all they went through. I’m so glad to have gotten that glimpse into his family’s journey and a better understanding of the lives of some immigrants.  (Mary McLaughlin Sta.Maria, March 2014)

RECOGNITION GIVEN TO “We Became Mexican American”

2013 BEST BIOGRAPHY, at the 2012-2013 cycle of the Los Angeles Book Festival March 8th for independent authors and publishers.

2013 THE TABLE OF HONOR at http://tableofhonor.com/?product_cat=biographyautobiography for “the best of international book festivals.”

2013 BEST BIOGRAPHY IN ENGLISH at the 15th Annual International Latino Book Award ceremony held at the Cervantes Institute in New York City, May 30th.

2013 BEST LATINO FOCUSED NONFICTION BOOK at the 15th Annual International Latino Book Award ceremony held at the Cervantes Institute in New York City, May 30th.

2015 HONORABLE MENTION IN BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY at the 2015 Book Festival in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

2016 BEST BOOK IN THE CATEGORY OF BIOGRAPHY from Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, Winter.

2017 Featured on the front cover of Book Dealers World (vol. 2 no. 38 Spring) National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.


We Became Mexican American was published in 2012 by XLibris and a revised edition in 2014 by The GilDeane Group.


November 15, 2012   Radio Interview on KUOW (Seattle) with Steve Scher re Mexican Immigration (after Mark Bowden’s talk about The Hunt For Bin Laden ) http://www.kuow.org/post/mark-bowden-hunt-bin-laden?sc=emaf

Nov 28, 2012   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the San Fernando Public Library, San Fernando, California.

January 12, 2013   Talk about We Became Mexican American at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Washington.

April 18, 2013   Talk about We Became Mexican American for Professor Jorge Garcia’s Chicano Studies class at the California State University Northridge (CSUN),  Northridge, California.

April 27, 2013   Carlos Gil takes part in a press conference of Latino Authors for the Latino Book & Family Festival, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), San Bernardino, California.

April 30, 2013   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M62OiJXa6QY

May 1, 2013.   Second talk about We Became Mexican American at the San Fernando Library, San Fernando, California.

September 27, 2013   Talk about We Became Mexican American for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Tumwater, WA.

November 15, 2013   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the University of California, Berkeley, Chicano Latino Student Development, Staff Diversity Initiatives.

October 23, 2014   Public lecture titled “A Strong But Difficult Relationship: An Historic Overview of U.S.-Mexican Relations,” Juneau World Affairs Forum. Juneau, Alaska.

April 30, 2015   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the Chicano Studies Research Center of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California.

October 4, 2015   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the University Methodist Temple, Seattle, Washington.

May 20, 2016   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the Minimum Security Unit Monroe Correctional Complex, Monroe, Washington.

September 21, 2016   Radio interview on the Warriors for Peace Donna Seebo Internet Radio Show.

January 9, 2017   Talk about Latin American Studies and Its History at the Minimum Security Unit, Monroe, Washington.

April 13, 2017   Talk about We Became Mexican American at the City of Palmdale Library, Palmdale, California.