News Clips Jan. 8, 2010

Latinos and American politics
Power in numbers

THE choice of John Pérez to take over as the new speaker of California’s state assembly later this month has been hailed as something of a breakthrough—but only because Mr Pérez is openly gay. That he is also Latino is not considered newsworthy. Kevin de León, who competed with Mr Pérez for the post, is also Latino, as are several of Mr Pérez’s predecessors, including his cousin, Antonio Villaraigosa, who is now the mayor of Los Angeles. The weight of Latinos in the politics of states like California and Texas (where the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus claims 44 of the 150 members of the state House of Representatives) is already understood to be not only large but normal.

Half of States See Dip in Under-18 Population

Maine, Michigan, North Dakota and Vermont had net losses of about one in 10 of their young people from 2000 to 2009, as the populations of Northeastern and Midwestern states continued to age faster than those in the Sun Belt, according to new Census Bureau data.

Since 2000, half the states registered a decline in the number of people younger than 18.

Call for illegal immigrants to boycott Census divides Latinos

The Rev. Miguel Rivera would argue that the Census slogan “everybody counts” isn’t entirely accurate.

“Undocumented immigrants have no benefits at all from federal funding,” the Ridgefield Park resident says.

While Sen. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, supports immigration reform, he opposes the boycott.

“Any group that boycotts the census is subjecting their community and their children and grandchildren to having a diminished voice in the halls of power and diminished resources,” he said in a statement.

Study: Immigration Reform Would Boost US Economy

(Jan. 8) — If the United States were to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, it could boost its gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion in just 10 years, a new study claims.

Conducted by the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, the study argues that if comprehensive immigration reform were passed it would result in higher wages, which would lead to a rise in consumption that, in turn, would create more jobs and generate more tax revenue.

County officials confirm grand jury investigation of high-profile Arizona sheriff, his office

PHOENIX (AP) — Two top county officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff and his office.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.,0,5193825.story

Immigration agents stop vans taking workers to Gillette Stadium

Sixty people stopped by immigration authorities in Foxboro early Wednesday morning had driven from Rhode Island to clear snow at Gillette Stadium, according to several of the workers who were detained and released.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents pulled over four passenger vans carrying the workers on Route 1 north in Foxboro, according to ICE spokeswoman Paula Grenier.

2010 Could Be Democrats’ Last Chance for ‘Change’

Though moderate Democrats are expected to be extra cautious in supporting their party’s agenda this year because of the political peril they face at home, the likelihood that 2010 will be the party’s last best shot at passing the reforms President Obama campaigned on could make this year a veritable derby of “change” legislation.

That could be the rallying cry in the months ahead for Democrats looking to push through sweeping policy changes ahead of an election widely expected to cut into their majority in Congress.

Even if Republicans fail to make significant gains in the House, they need to net just one seat in the Senate to break the Democrats’ 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority. And the announcements this week by Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Chris Dodd of Connecticut that they will not seek re-election have given the GOP two more Democratic  seats to target in November.

Fighting for Security

It’s taken Maria, a Mexican immigrant, a decade to build a life in the United States. Now a single arrest after a fight with her boyfriend could force her to abandon him and their children.

“All these years I’ve just been taking care of my kids, working and going home,” Maria said, sobbing in between sips of coffee at a North Austin café.

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