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      08-22-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
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A Voice

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Voice for Latinos

Santa Ana man is the No. 1 morning radio host in Southern California, with an audience of millions.

By CINDY CARCAMO
The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA - Before he became Southern California's No.1 morning disc jockey, Eduardo Sotelo hoped for the impossible. The 7-year-old grew up in a family that barely earned enough to eat. Still, he yearned for a bicycle he could ride to school.

Selling lemon ice cream in front of his home in Ocotlán, Mexico, wasn't going to cut it. So he scored a job at a bicycle shop, making about five pesos every two weeks. Three pesos went to his mother. The rest funded one bicycle part each payday. The flashy pedals. The rims. The handlebars. A year later he had built his dream – a burgundy bicycle that he took to school only once before it mysteriously vanished.

It's this determination that pushes him through life. It led him at age 16 to fold himself into the trunk of a car with two others and sneak into the United States. [An admitted, criminal illegal alien] "I almost lost my life," Sotelo explains. "It makes you appreciate what you have."

Twenty years later, the Saddleback High School graduate has the most morning listeners in Southern California, according to Arbitron's spring ratings. His nationally syndicated show is "El Piolín por la Mañana" ("Tweety Bird in the Morning") on La Nueva 101.9. His drive is contagious.

Sotelo helped spur a public wave of activism [contributing to the illegal alien problem in Sothern California] in the spring that Americans haven't seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. He and other radio personalities urged half a million people [mostly illegal aliens] to take to the streets across the country, protesting a bill in Congress that would have made it a felony to be in this country illegally. [Protesting in a country where they live illegally]

His voice is often the first many hear while making breakfast, dressing the children for school or on their way to work. [dressing the illegal children to go get their free education paid for by American tax payers or to go work for cash to avoiding paying taxes because they are in the country illegally] He's heard daily by many of the nation's 40 million Spanish-speaking residents. [20 million of who are here illegally]

Sotelo, 35, dubbed Tweety Bird by friends in Santa Ana because of his small stature and full lips, starts at 4 a.m. in his studio in Glendale with "Despiértese! Despiértese!" (Wake Up! Wake Up!"). It's soon followed with: "Why did we come to this country [illegally]?" To succeed!" His seven-hour show is laced with Looney Tunes-type sounds infused with the oompah of traditional Mexican music. One moment he spits out jokes that are sometimes crass but often light-hearted and corny. Seconds later he helps a family telephone a son stationed in Iraq. Sotelo says he wants his listeners to start the day smiling or laughing. "Sometimes you wake up and you're sad because of family problems," Sotelo explains.

He and an extensive crew of personalities – many former listeners – crank-call local businesses. A visiting sexologist offers advice on love and sexual problems. While Sotelo is an entertainer and much of his show is pranks and help-line calls, he says his most important role is to provide information to his listeners – many Latino immigrants – helping them negotiate [their illegal] life in the United States.

Often, he counsels callers. He offers help with [illegal] immigration problems. He reunites families with international telephone calls. He visits ailing [illegal immigrant] children [getting free health care] in [U.S.] hospitals. Recently, a woman named Irma went to the studio to tell listeners that her sister and eight others were killed in a crash near Yuma, Ariz [while attempting to sneak into the United States illegally]. Sotelo phoned the Mexican consul, who told listeners on air that Mexican officials would ensure that Irma's family member who survived the crash would be returned home. [Where else?]

Sotelo wins over listeners by calling them "my heart" or "brother." To many he's a hero, an ally, someone who understands their struggles [Attempting to fly “under the radar” in a country where they do not belong]. He was once an illegal immigrant [criminal], after all.

His first stop was in Santa Ana, where he was met by family members, living with them in a garage on Adams Street in the Delhi neighborhood. Sotelo worked [illegally] various jobs before becoming a radio star. He washed cars and collected plastic bottles. After [attending] school [illegally] at Saddleback High, [paid for by the United States tax paying citizens] he rushed to catch a bus to a photo lab. There, he pretended he was on the radio, mimicking the news of the day, gradually developing his radio personality.

He scored his first radio job delivering the news for a Corona station in the early '90s. When he wasn't on air he washed dishes, acted as a movie extra, worked as a janitor. "It's important to know different types of jobs," he says. [What?] He'd later take radio jobs in Santa Ana, Oxnard and San Jose before landing a gig in Sacramento. There, immigration agents rapped on his door, delivering a deportation order. [Finally!] A San Francisco judge ordered him deported.

Handcuffed and ready to go, Sotelo prayed for his luck to change. That same day he was granted a work visa. [Imagine that!] Sotelo said he promised God he would help others. Now he helps [illegal] immigrants avoid the mistakes he made when he first arrived. [Like getting caught] Unscrupulous attorneys scammed him out of money a couple of times with promises of getting him residency. [The likelihood of this happening to him would have been almost nil if he had gone about seeking residency legally]

He learned that jaywalking isn't allowed here as it is in Mexico. [What?] He bought false identification to work but says he didn't understand the price if caught. [Yes, we have laws here in the United States] "It's a felony," Sotelo says, his eyes opening wide. "That's equivalent to killing somebody. I don't think I hurt anybody by working here." [No, it’s not the same as killing somebody. Haven’t you learned the difference yet?]

He urges listeners to learn the rules of their adopted country [the country where they have come to live illegally and un-welcomed] and abide by them.[Although most abide by few] "It's a great way to show your love for this country," he says. [It would be the least you could do] While he and a dozen other radio personalities called for people to show the economic strength of [illegal] immigrants on May 1 by taking to the streets, they urged [illegal immigrant] protesters to leave a good impression. [Don’t make too many demands for more free stuff]

Sotelo asked people to wear white T-shirts, wave U.S. flags and carry plastic bags to pick up trash along the way. [Instead, they wore brown tee shirts, carried Mexican flags and left trash everywhere] And many of the nearly 1 million in two big marches did just that. [In reality, very few] He wants to continue the momentum. On Saturday, Sotelo started his path to U.S. citizenship. [Only LAST SATURDAY folks] He's hoping the thousands of [illegal]immigrants who listen to him will follow him once more in a massive naturalization campaign launched in Los Angeles.

His first step is to detail how [to sneak into the United States Illegally] it's done. He'll earn his citizenship, [after living here illegally for 20 years] just as he built his burgundy bicycle in Ocotlán. One piece at a time. His goal? To be able to vote and urge other [illegal] immigrants to do the same.

CONTACT US: 714-796-7829 or ccarcamo@ocregister.com
 
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      08-22-2006, 08:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like a model immigrant story. No big deal that he applied for citenzship just last week. A lot of people who are contributing members to society, pay taxes, and are law abiding are not citizens.
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      08-23-2006, 04:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tl_boy
Sounds like a model immigrant story. No big deal that he applied for citenzship just last week. A lot of people who are contributing members to society, pay taxes, and are law abiding are not citizens.
I agree - he sounds like one of the good guys. He certainly seems to have embraced the american dream and seems to loves 'his' country.

He's clearly been in the USA legally since the early 1990's (when he was about 20 I would guess).

Since then he seems to have worked hard and paid his taxes - so I would imagine he has more than repayed anything he 'took out' during the 4 years (16-20) that he was in the country illegally.

The authorities chose to let him stay in 1990 - so in effect he was officially 'pardoned' for his crime of entering the country illegally.

Surely that's the end of it and he is on his way to being a citizen now ... good luck to him I say.
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      08-23-2006, 07:56 AM   #4
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I have a problem with people coming to this country illegally.

Congress needs to fix our immigration laws so that people who want to come to the United States to work, and who have employers who are willing to hire them have a legal way to do so.
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      08-23-2006, 10:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by needforspeed
I agree - he sounds like one of the good guys. He certainly seems to have embraced the american dream and seems to loves 'his' country.

He's clearly been in the USA legally since the early 1990's (when he was about 20 I would guess).

Since then he seems to have worked hard and paid his taxes - so I would imagine he has more than repayed anything he 'took out' during the 4 years (16-20) that he was in the country illegally.

The authorities chose to let him stay in 1990 - so in effect he was officially 'pardoned' for his crime of entering the country illegally.

Surely that's the end of it and he is on his way to being a citizen now ... good luck to him I say.

Yeah he's one of the "good guys" alright.

He admitted he came into our country illegally and used our schools, and no doubt other services for free.

He spurs ativism of illegal aliens to protest in a country where they do not belong and live illegally.

He encourages others to bring their families here illegally and uninvited.

He aids and abets other "Latino immigrants" on how do negotiate their illegal life here in the United States.

He counsels callers and offers help with [illegal] immigration problems. Encouraging them to continue breaking laws in their newly adopted country.

He visits ailing [illegal immigrant] children [getting free health care] in [U.S.] hospitals. Which is really nice. But what he should be doing is explaing to them that they are in this country illegally and therefore making the American tax payers pay for their care. He should explain to them further it is their parents' responsibility to pay for their healthcare.

He learned that jaywalking is the same as murder in his adopted country. [moron]

He schools mexicans how, in detail, to enter the United States illegally.

He is still not an American citizen and he's lived here over 20 years.

Yep, he's one of the good guys!
 
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      08-24-2006, 11:51 AM   #6
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I agree, but in this case, this guy has made the best of his situation. There's got to be some respect for that.

I don't think people who have never visited a developing country will ever be able to fully emphatize with individuals who come from nothing and become successful. It is tremendously difficult to break the cycle of poverty in a family, and usually only 1 or 2 dynamic individuals in a family can achieve this [otherwise the cycle will repeat itself]. This speaks volumes of that individuals ability. I have been to places of poverty that most on here wouldn't believe existed, and its commendable if someone is able to come from that to becoming successful in a country as competitive as ours.

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Originally Posted by MrSilver
I have a problem with people coming to this country illegally.

Congress needs to fix our immigration laws so that people who want to come to the United States to work, and who have employers who are willing to hire them have a legal way to do so.
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      08-24-2006, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tl_boy
I agree, but in this case, this guy has made the best of his situation. There's got to be some respect for that.

I don't think people who have never visited a developing country will ever be able to fully emphatize with individuals who come from nothing and become successful. It is tremendously difficult to break the cycle of poverty in a family, and usually only 1 or 2 dynamic individuals in a family can achieve this [otherwise the cycle will repeat itself]. This speaks volumes of that individuals ability. I have been to places of poverty that most on here wouldn't believe existed, and its commendable if someone is able to come from that to becoming successful in a country as competitive as ours.
I'm sorry, but it easy for me to resent someone who not only brags about sneaking into our country illegally, stealing resources meant for others, and then openly supports others to do the same.

If this guy is so resourceful, why doesn't he go back to his own conetree, which I'm sure he and use that resourcefulness to make changes there. God knows they need more people like him.

I contend he has not had to work as hard as it may seem to get where he is. The Illegal Immigrant community supports their own like no others. Wouldn't you agree if you had the support of a private community it would be easier to get a job in radio? Especially when the whole purpose is to further support Illegal Immigrants like your constituents?

This young man stole from United States tax paying citizens in order to get where he is.

And you want to pat him on the back for that?
 
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      08-25-2006, 02:05 AM   #8
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I disagree the way the man came here. But I don't think that it was anything less than very difficult to get to where he is. Your writing says he washed cars, was a janitor, collected plastic bottles, etc. Someone who is obviously an intelligent person could have turned to the easy route of crime instead of busting his back day and night doing crappy jobs. He has obviously made the right decisions in his life. He didn't need to graduate from High School, something that obviously takes a lot of effort and dedication. Your writing also states that he urges his people to respect the rules of their adopted country...

Other than the fact that he came here illegally (which a lot of people may do to due to extreme reasons such as to escape persecution, hunger, etc.), and that he supposedly helps others to come here illegally, I can't resent the man. I'm much more concerned with the undocumented illegals that may be violent towards U.S. citizens or those that truly sleaze off our welfare system and don't pay taxes (which I'm sure now he does).


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Originally Posted by CMD
I'm sorry, but it easy for me to resent someone who not only brags about sneaking into our country illegally, stealing resources meant for others, and then openly supports others to do the same.

If this guy is so resourceful, why doesn't he go back to his own conetree, which I'm sure he and use that resourcefulness to make changes there. God knows they need more people like him.

I contend he has not had to work as hard as it may seem to get where he is. The Illegal Immigrant community supports their own like no others. Wouldn't you agree if you had the support of a private community it would be easier to get a job in radio? Especially when the whole purpose is to further support Illegal Immigrants like your constituents?

This young man stole from United States tax paying citizens in order to get where he is.

And you want to pat him on the back for that?
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