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Latinx Files: A special trip to New York City

Three women walking down a sidewalk, arms wrapped around each other
“I attribute a huge part of my success to the fact that I grew up in a three-parent household, two of whom were immigrant women.”
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
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Hi folks, Fidel here. I’m on vacation this week, so we have a guest illustrator taking care of the main story. My editor Angel Rodriguez has also kindly stepped in to take care of the rest of the newsletter. Be kind to yourselves and I’ll see you next week!

Christine Suggs is a comic artist and designer living in Dallas. Suggs’ work explores the intersection of their identities, namely “being a queer, fat, Latinx leftist who loves all things cute.” Their debut graphic novel, “AY, MIJA!” comes out in 2023.

“I attribute a huge part of my success to the fact that I grew up in a three-parent household, two of whom were immigrant women,” they said. “I was so happy to be able to provide a classic New York City experience for my mom and aunt a few years ago.” This is the story of that very special trip.

in 2019, i took a trip with my mom and aunt to new york city
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
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My aunt paty hadn't been on a plane in 30 years, when she came to the United States to help take care of my brother and me.
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
I was so proud of how hard they worked to raise me and that I could afford to do nice things for them
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
I'll never forget the day we toured the statue of liberty
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)

We were hitting all the tourist traps. I loved seeing it all through their eyes
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
Exhausted but happy, we came back to our AirBnB. we feel asleep in our tiny twin beds
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
A phone call from my dad woke us up. Paty's permanent residency card had arrived in the mail
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
the room exploded in laughter and tears. We had just toured a major symbol of immigration.
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)
We went out for cheescake to celebrate. afterwards we walked home and I held the two women who raised me close.
(Christine Suggs / For The Times)

Are you a Latinx artist? We want your help telling our stories. Send us your pitches for illustrations, comics, GIFs and more! Email our art director at martina.ibanezbaldor@latimes.com.

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We are really excited to welcome our new primo to the great lineup of newsletters by the L.A. Times staff: A new Spanish-language weekly newsletter called Kiosco Digital.

Many of our readers have expressed a desire for more Spanish-language stories in our coverage. We’ve heard you loud and clear. Please sign up and be on the lookout July 14 for the first installment of Kiosco Digital.

The free newsletter will land in inboxes on Thursday mornings and will be helmed by Alejandro Maciel, editor of the Los Angeles Times en Español. We plan on highlighting the amazing work by our Spanish-language journalists at The Times. The newsletter will be the easiest way to get all of their great stories in one place.

More heartbreak in Texas

In a year of heartbreak after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., Monday brought even more sadness when an 18-wheeler was found in the sweltering Texas heat with several dozen people inside struggling to survive.

As of this writing, 53 people, mostly from Mexico and Central America, were dead in what has been described by authorities as the deadliest human-smuggling incident in U.S. history.

This is an across-the-board failure of our immigration policy, but as we’ve detailed in this space a number of times, grim discoveries like this will continue to happen unless our political leaders take real steps to bring our immigration policy into modern times.

It is also important that we don’t let this story fade into the background as our attention is diverted to the Jan. 6 hearings in D.C. and the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Fifty-three people whose main desire was to reach this county in hopes of a better life died.

Much like the Uvalde school shooting, some of the best coverage is being done by the local journalists on the ground.

Here are some links with the latest information as of this writing, including a column by our own Jean Guerrero on how the new border militarization by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has helped fuel more dangerous border crossings:

What you should be reading this week

In a week of bad news, there is even more room for those stories that bring a smile to your face. Few people can do that better than Cristela Alonzo, the Mexican American comedian who has a new Netflix comedy special out this week called “Middle Classy.”

Yvonne Villarreal sat down with Alonzo to talk about her career and how she is ready for her comeback after feeling like she had been forgotten by Hollywood.

— In what seems like an only-in-L.A. story, L.A. Taco has a juicy read on the battle between taco trucks and brick-and-mortar taquerias. Some hostility broke out recently over the space occupied by a taco truck that happened to be right in front of a new taqueria in Chinatown. It’s a fascinating look at the etiquette between taqueros and the code they live by.

— You’ve already heard a lot of talk about the shift in Latinx voting trends toward the Republican Party. While that may be true in certain cases, there are also a lot of generalizations about our community based on antiquated views. The Roe vs. Wade decision by the Supreme Court has brought to the forefront the concept that our community holds traditional views on abortion based on the influence of the church in our home country.

— According to a new Axios-Ipsos Latino poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo, half of all U.S. Latinxs say that abortion should be legal, while about a quarter say it should be illegal in all cases. The poll numbers are fascinating for a number of reasons, especially the breakdown by generation.

— Shout out to the homie Rodrigo Nuñez, host of the podcast “El Pochcast,” who recently put out an episode on Spanish words or phrases that don’t hit quite the same in English. You can listen to it here.

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