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Immigrants Of The Day: Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo of Mexico, and Dan Aykroyd of Canada, and Mickey Hargitay of Hungary

by Kevin R. Johnson

Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo (Mexico)

Marches Eddie "Piolín" (Tweety Bird) Sotelo is a Los Angeles radio personality, born in Ocotlán, Jalisco, Mexico in 1972. His show, "Piolín por la Mañana," which is in Spanish day, on mornings on KSCA in Southern California. The L.A.Times ranks Sotelo in the 100 most powerful people in Southern California. His show is the most popular show on Los Angeles among non-English speaking listeners.

Sotelo has described own experience of living and working in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Sotelo regularized his immigration status and now lives legally in Los Angeles.  "I was working three different jobs every day, and I know the feeling when you got fired just because you don't have a green card ... they (employers) make you feel like you're not worthy," he told Reuters.

The Observer reports on Sotelo's role in the spring 2006 immigration marches in Los Angeles:

"Eddie 'El Piolin' Sotelo does not look like a revolutionary threat to America. He is short, stocky, with neat dark hair and a broad smile. His nickname means simply 'Tweety Bird' in Spanish. Until 18 months ago, Sotelo was virtually unknown. Though more than a million listeners tuned into his radio show, the majority of America was blissfully unaware of his championing of the rights of illegal immigrants - simply because he did it in Spanish. Then, one day, he publicised protests against a draft law to classify undocumented migrants as felons. Sotelo urged his Hispanic listeners to take to the streets. They answered his call in their millions. In Los Angeles, 400,000 marchers streamed through downtown. A similar number jammed Chicago. In dozens of cities, millions of people were suddenly protesting against a law few other Americans even knew about. And 'El Piolin' was at the front of the marchers. 'More than two million marched. And I am proud that we were peaceful,' he tells The Observer"

November 19, 2007 | Permalink

Dan Aykroyd (Canada)

Blues Daniel Edward Aykroyd (born July 1, 1952) is an award-winning comedian, actor, screenwriter, and musician. He was an original cast member of "Saturday Night Live," an originator of the Blues Brothers (with John Belushi), and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.

Aykroyd was born on Dominion Day 1952 at the in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He intended to become a priest until the age of seventeen. He attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute, St Pius X, and St Patrick's, where he was briefly expelled from the latter: he dressed up a pig to look like the pope and brought it to school for show and tell.

Aykroyd went on to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University. He worked as a comedian in various Canadian clubs. Aykroyd went on to gain experience in The Second City comedy troupe and in the National Lampoon stage shows. While working with Second City, Aykroyd moonlighted as the announcer for Citytv in Toronto.

Aykroyd gained fame on the American late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and cast member for its first four seasons (1975-79). In 1977, he received an Emmy Award for writing on Saturday Night Live.

Aykroyd was good friends with John Belushi, who recruited him for Saturday Night Live. According to Aykroyd, it was his first meeting with Belushi that helped spark their popular Blues Brothers act. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd starred in a films. One of his best-received performances was as a blueblood-turned-wretch in the 1983 comic drama Trading Places. Aykroyd's acting career reached its peak when he received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Driving Miss Daisy; the movie starred previous Immigrant of the Day Jessica Tandy

Aykroyd is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Mickey Hargitay (Hungary)

Hargitay Miklós Hargitay, popularly known as Mickey Hargitay (1926–2006) was an actor and Mr. Universe 1955. Born in Budapest, Hungary, he was once married to movie star Jayne Mansfield and is the father of actress Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order SVU).

An underground fighter during World War II, Hargitay fled Hungary after the war and moved to the United States. He was inspired to begin bodybuilding after seeing a magazine cover of Steve Reeves, famed for playing Hercules. In 1955, Hargitay was named Mr. Universe. After winning Mr. Universe, he joined Mae West's muscleman revue at New York's The Latin Quarter, where he met Jayne Mansfield, his wife from 1958 to 1964.

Hargitay is the first recipient of the Joe Weider Lifetime Achievement Award. In May 2006, he received the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame Award.

Hargitay's daughter, Mariska, won a Golden Globe (2005) and Emmy (2006) for her portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson on the television show Law and Order SVU.

Arnold Schwarzenegger , a previous Immigrant of the Day, co-played the role of Mickey Hargitay in the 1982 television TV-movie The Jayne Mansfield Story.

November 28, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.