News Clips March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

Immigration advocates to gather in Orlando to prepare for D.C. march

“This march is not only for the immigrants, but is also for civil and human rights in our country,” said Yanidsi Velez, a junior organizer in Orlando with Democracia Ahora.

As of Friday afternoon, advocacy groups had booked 14 buses to transport about 800 protesters. Another 30 buses from the Florida Immigrant Coalition are expected to join the caravan, leaving after the Saturday rally and expected to arrive for an interfaith service and the national march Sunday at the National Mall.

Orlando’s immigration advocates are gearing up for a local rally and trip to Washington this weekend, where they expect to join hundreds of thousands calling on the Obama administration and Congress to enact reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-03-18/news/os-immigration-march-for-america-20100318_1_immigration-advocates-illegal-immigrants-florida-immigrant-coalition


Immigration reform: Stuck on back burner?

Rigoberto Lopez will be one of an expected tens of thousands of people who will descend on Washington on Sunday to press Congress to pass a bill on comprehensive immigration reform.

Lopez, 41, of the Eastwick section of Philadelphia, said he came into this country illegally from Mexico when he was a child after his father was murdered and his mother crossed the border to support him and his siblings.

He is now a U.S. citizen, following a 1986 amnesty that granted legal status to 2.6 million illegal immigrants in the country.

Groups going to D.C. from this area include the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, Juntos and Democracia Ahora.

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/88526342.html


Congressional Hispanic Caucus Calls for Passage of Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) today called for passage of President Obama’s health care reform proposal, saying that it would greatly improve the quality of life for millions of Latinos. The measure is expected to expand coverage to 8.8 million Latinos, or 60% of the currently uninsured Hispanic community.

“With one in three Latinos lacking a steady source of health care, the current system has been devastating to our families and communities,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), the Chair of the CHC.  “The legislation before Congress offers a historic opportunity to address these problems and make quality, affordable medical care accessible for millions of Latinos.”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/congressional-hispanic-caucus-calls-for-passage-of-health-care-reform-88504127.html


Highlights of health care bill

Some of the key changes that House Democrats made to the Senate health care bill:

CONGRESS: Health care bill heads for showdown
FULL TEXT: Read the proposed bill
TIMELINE: Path to health care legislation
Issue   Context         Senate bill     House change
Accessibility   Both bills aim to increase Americans’ access to health care coverage by expanding Medicaid, providing subsidies to middle-income families and imposing a host of new taxes and fees to pay for it.      Would cost $871 billion in the first 10 years and would provide coverage to 31 million Americans who wouldn’t otherwise have it.        Would cost $940 billion in the first 10 years and would cover 32 million Americans.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-03-18-health-bill-table_N.htm


Factbox: Details of final healthcare bill

(Reuters) – Congressional Democrats have unveiled the final changes to a sweeping healthcare overhaul they hope will clear the House of Representatives on Sunday.

Democrats are using a two-step process that involves the House approving the Senate-passed version of the bill and passing the proposed final changes. The Senate must act on the changes before President Barack Obama can sign them into law. Here are key provisions of the legislation including the proposed changes.

INSURANCE MARKET REFORM

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62H5AK20100319


Arizona sheriff launches immigration sweep

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona has launched a two-day, countywide crime and immigration sweep that authorities say will focus on drop houses, drug violators and human smuggling vehicles.

Four hundred deputies and volunteer posse members are taking part in the patrols. The sweep, which began Thursday, is Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 14th since early 2008.
During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city – in some cases heavily Latino areas – to seek out traffic violators and arrest other alleged lawbreakers

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/18/AR2010031805083.html

Would Legalizing Illegal Immigrants Help the GOP?

Republicans, who have been under fire in the Latino community for junking immigration reform in the Bush administration
and promoting some policies that appear anti-immigrant, think they can win back Hispanics, in part because President Obama has largely ignored the issue. One way they see to do it is to legalize illegals.

“Conservative leaders see opportunity for the party,” says a Republican immigration reform advocate. “Due to Obama’s lack of action on his promise of immigration reform, we believe Latino voters are open to being wooed by Republicans,” the conservative activist
said.

The wooing began today at an immigration reform forum sponsored by the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles on Capitol Hill. Proponents say they want the plan to suggest that border security isn’t enough to form an immigration bill. They also want to figure out how to deal with current illegals, perhaps through legalization or a guest worker program. But, says one involved, they don’t support “amnesty, per se.”

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2010/03/18/would-legalizing-illegal-immigrants-help-the-gop.html

Weekly Diaspora: No sleep ’till march on Washington

This Sunday, tens of thousands of people plan to march on the National Mall in Washington, DC in an effort to persuade Congress and the Obama administration to tackle immigration reform in 2010. More than 700 buses are bringing an estimated 100,000 supporters to the nation’s capital for the March for America. Participants are hoping to show strength in numbers on the ground, and flex muscle on Capitol Hill as well.

Advocacy groups are organizing countless phone banks and Congressional office visits to encourage lawmakers to support a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in the United States.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/media-consortium-blog/2010/03/weekly-diaspora-no-sleep-%E2%80%98till-march-washington


Census Says “Hispanic” Not A Race

Bronx, NY – With millions of US Census forms hitting mailboxes this month, Latin Americans are noticing a confusing quirk in the 10-part questionnaire.

The Census does not consider Hispanic to be a racial category.

Responders have the option to label themselves as White, Black, American Indian, or under one of several Asian / Pacific Islander classifications. The race question offers no check box for Latino or Hispanic.

“For me to see this I feel kind of offended,” said Richard Robles, a Puerto Rican security guard who works in the South Bronx.

The Census form does have a question about Hispanic origins where responders can classify themselves as Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, or one of several other Latino ancestries. Those categories, though, are not considered “races.”

The Census form does consider “Chinese,” “Filipino,” and “Korean” to be racial categories.

Professor Juan Flores, a Latino Studies expert at New York University says designers of the 2010 questionnaire have confused race with nationality, leaving some Hispanic responders frustrated.

http://www.wpix.com/news/local/wpix-census-hispanics,0,4163472.story


News Clips March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010

Pearce immigration bill shelved at last minute

Mesa Republican Sen. Russell Pearce and his efforts to toughen immigration enforcement took a beating in the Legislature on Wednesday.

A comprehensive immigration-reform bill that Pearce has been working on for years was expected by some to hit the governor’s desk today. Instead, it was pulled from the House Committee of the Whole agenda at the last minute on Wednesday at the request of some concerned Republicans.

Senate Bill 1070 already has been approved by the Senate. It would, among other things, require law enforcement to try to determine the immigration status of an individual whenever there is reasonable suspicion about that status, allow an illegal immigrant found in Arizona to be charged with trespassing and make it illegal to pick up or be picked up as a day laborer.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/03/18/20100318politics-sensors0318.html

Health bill picking up key votes

Reporting from Washington
President Obama and Democratic leaders gathered momentum for their sweeping healthcare overhaul Wednesday, picking up support from Democratic factions where defections were most feared: liberals, abortion opponents and backbenchers.

Working into the night to put the finishing touches on the legislation, Democratic leaders said they continued to expect the balloting to be a cliffhanger.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-healthcare18-2010mar18,0,7590833.story


Obama’s moral failure on immigration

I’m a community organizer. Last week, I did something I never thought would be possible. I met with the president of the United States in the West Wing of the White House.

President Barack Obama met for 75 minutes with 14 leaders from across the country to discuss immigration reform — and the destruction of some 1,100 immigrant families a day through deportations carried out by his administration.

The meeting was tense, blunt and passionate. And there was a racial irony to our discussion. Our labor, faith and immigrant rights leaders included seven Latinos, three Asians and four whites. We were meeting with our country’s first African-American president, the son of an immigrant father. His senior advisers at the meeting included three African-Americans (one the child of immigrants), a Latina, a Chinese-American woman and a white woman.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/ct-oped-0318-immigration-20100318,0,1740729.story

The Latino Completion Gap, Examined

March 18, 2010

With Latino Americans expected to make up more than 20 percent of the college-age population by 2020, most policy makers recognize that it will be nearly impossible to meet President Obama’s college completion goals without significant improvement in the graduation rates of Hispanic students, which have long lagged those of other racial and ethnic groups, as numerous studies have documented.

A new analysis digs more deeply into the data surrounding Latino graduation rates, and while it confirms the overall reality that Latino students trail their white peers at all types of institutions, no matter how selective, it also reveals wide variation in the relative success of institutions with similar student bodies. That matters, the authors say, because it shows that the educational practices of institutions matter.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/18/hispanic

Groups mobilize to pressure lawmakers to act on immigration reform

Plans include a march in Washington, a texting drive, ‘tacos for justice’ coupons and score cards for lawmakers’ votes on immigration issues. ‘The time for promises is over,’ an organizer says.
Frustrated at the White House and Congress, immigrant advocates are rolling out a series of pressure tactics to push forward legalization for illegal immigrants and other reforms.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to march Sunday in Washington, D.C., urging officials to act on legislative reforms or face the consequences — including a possible Latino voter backlash in November.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-latino18-2010mar18,0,203431.story


Putting feet down at key D.C. march

The last hope for immigration reform.

That’s what Sunday’s March for America in Washington will be: a last-ditch massive effort to push hard for the President and Congress to abandon their reluctance and do their duty.

“The march can show Washington how much support there is for reform around the country,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens), who will be one of the speakers. “And this can make a great difference.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2010/03/18/2010-03-18_putting_feet_down_at_key_dc_march.html#ixzz0iX20Y3Ne

Courting Hispanics

Resurgent Republic has a new poll suggesting Republicans court Hispanic voters on core Republican messages of the economy and national security, and showing that many Hispanics back GOP views on issues like the handling of terrorists.

The observation that Hispanics are, on issues, more conservative than they vote isn’t a novel one, though it’s often made on social issues. But Republicans are still trying to repair their party’s dramatic collapse between George W. Bush’s intense courtship of Hispanic voters and the collapse of immigration legislation in 2006, which left their brand deeply tarnished.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0310/Courting_Hispanics.html

Hispanic Media’s Social Revolution

Q&A With Telemundo EVP of Digital Media and Emerging Business Peter Blacker
By Laura Martinez — Multichannel News, 3/17/2010 2:29:38 PM
Peter Blacker, executive vice president of digital media and emerging businesses at Telemundo, has a message for his advertisers: the Spanish-language network — and sister cable net Mun2 — is their chance to finally leverage the power of social media and join the throngs of Hispanics who are active on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. As Blacker and other top executives at the NBC-owned network geared up for this year’s client-development meetings, the social media enthusiast gave Hispanic TV Update contributor Laura Martinez a sneak preview of how his network plans to get to the forefront of the “digital water cooler.”

http://www.multichannel.com/article/450393-Hispanic_Media_s_Social_Revolution.php


News Clips March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

Immigration Reformers Will March in Washington, D.C.

Hispanic Organization Democracia USA hosted a forum at USF on Tuesday to discuss Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act, two bills before the U.S. House of Representatives that call for improvements on a variety of issues involving undocumented immigrants in America.
Democracia USA, partnered with Reform Immigration for America (RIFA) and Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), detailed the legislation and promoted an upcoming march in Washington, D.C on Sunday, March 21 to show support for reform. The national organizations are busing supporters to D.C. from states across the country. Florida alone is sending 43 buses.

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/03/17/immigration-reformers-will-march-in-washington-d-c/


Healthcare reform ‘fixes’: What does the House want to change?

House Democrats are considering a package of ‘fixes’ to the Senate healthcare reform bill. Among the demands: lowering the cost of the bill and removing sweetheart deals for some states.
Washington

With Republicans on the sidelines, the endgame for healthcare reform is playing out within divided House Democratic ranks, where a decisive vote is expected as early as this week.

Since Senate Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority with the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts, Democratic leaders have decided to try to pass the Senate’s version in the House – in part to avoid the Senate’s procedural hurdles as much as possible. The problem is, many in the House don’t like the Senate bill and won’t pass it.

The proposed solution has been a package of “fixes” to the Senate bill. It’s not a perfect answer, because the Senate will also need to pass the fixes – and will need to resort to the controversial process of reconciliation to avoid a filibuster. But Democrats see it as the least worst option.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0317/Healthcare-reform-fixes-What-does-the-House-want-to-change


Budget Cut for Fence on U.S.-Mexico Border

Citing a plague of “cost overruns and missed deadlines,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that she would cut millions of dollars intended for a high-tech “virtual fence” along the Mexican border that has produced little more than headaches for the federal government.

Ms. Napolitano said her department would divert about $50 million in federal stimulus money intended for the project to other technological needs on the border, including laptops, radios, thermal-imaging devices and cameras requested by border guards.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/us/17fence.html


Secure Border Initiative to undergo overhaul

Washington (CNN) — Another brick is falling from the Bush administration’s highly touted “virtual wall” that was intended to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday she will take $50 million in federal stimulus money away from the Secure Border Initiative, also known as SBInet, and spend it on proven, off-the-shelf technology to protect U.S. borders.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/03/16/us.border.security.initiative/


Immigration reform: Stuck in the shadows

On Sunday, tens of thousands of Americans who supported Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 will gather on the Mall to protest the president’s lack of action on a cause to which he had committed himself throughout the campaign: immigration reform.

As a candidate, Obama spoke eloquently of the need to bring the estimated 11 million immigrants here without documentation “out of the shadows.” As president, he stepped up the number of deportations to an all-time high: 298,401 in fiscal 2009, a 13 percent increase over the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency. But reforming our ridiculous immigration laws so that the millions of immigrants here illegally could have a path to legalization was deferred, like so many administration commitments, until health-care reform was enacted.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/16/AR2010031604611.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Obama on Immigration: Then and Now

Three years ago, when I met with Senator Barack Obama in his Chicago office and we contemplated his possible run for the presidency, I was enthusiastic.

On that day, it was hard for me to imagine a time I would have to say no to Barack Obama when he asked me for support. But last week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sat down with the president, and he asked us to vote for the health care reform bill — a bill that denies immigrants the opportunity to purchase health care with their own money. It was one more in a string of disappointments for the Hispanic community, and today, I no longer find myself able to confidently say “yes” when President Obama asks me for his support.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-luis-gutierrez/obama-on-immigration-then_b_502074.html


Hispanic Youth Marketing Takes Center Stage on Newly Expanded Agenda of Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference,

May 10-12 in Dallas

DALLAS, March 16 /PRNewswire/ — Hispanic youth marketing best practices are the focus of four new sessions added to the professional development agenda of the Hispanic PR & Social Marketing Conference, May 10-12 in Dallas, TX. The conference, a co-presentation of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and the Hispanic PR Blog, now features an amazing 20 sessions of training.

“Our conference now represents the ultimate annual marketers’ boot camp for a wide range of topics related to Hispanic PR and social marketing,” said Manny Ruiz, conference organizer and publisher of the Hispanic PR Blog. “Our new case study-driven sessions on marketing to Latino youth strengthen our convention’s unique value proposition.”

The new sessions include case study focused presentations by the U.S. Army, Microsoft Zune and Major League Soccer. These sessions join a fourth one featuring Latino urban youth marketing expert Fred Sotelo. The full conference agenda with days and times will be unveiled on Wednesday, March 17 at http://www.HispanicPRConference.com.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hispanic-youth-marketing-takes-center-stage-on-newly-expanded-agenda-of-hispanic-pr–social-marketing-conference-may-10-12-in-dallas-87839052.html

Immigration detainees moved to N.J. protest boost in phone charges

KEARNY — Immigration detainees who were moved here when New York City shut its detention center last month face an 800 percent increase in telephone charges to contact relatives or lawyers, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said more than 180 detainees were moved to the Hudson County Correctional Center here. Phone calls from the center cost more than 89 cents per minute and system was described as difficult to use, according to detainees who contacted the American Bar Association for help. Detainees threatened to conduct a hunger strike.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/immigration_detainees_moved_to.html


Ariz. House to act on immigration enforcement bill

PHOENIX (AP) – The Arizona House is scheduled Wednesday to debate and vote on a sweeping bill to strengthen immigration enforcement laws.

The bill has already been passed by the Senate so House approval would complete legislative action and send it to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Provisions include banning local governments from adopting policies that prevent police from asking people about their immigration status and making it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally or to transport or conceal an illegal immigrant.

http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=12154131


News Clips March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

Aldermen Blast Obama for Lack of Immigration Reform

Some Chicago aldermen are criticizing President Barack Obama and national Democratic leaders over immigration reform.

They say Democrats have so far failed to live up to campaign promises. Twenty-sixth ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado says enough is enough.

MALDONADO: And what we have seen by both President Barack Obama and Senator Durbin is a betrayal, a betrayal to the Latino community.

The aldermen and other Latino community leaders are calling for a moratorium on raids, deportations and the separation of families until immigration reform is passed. They will march in Washington later this month.

http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=40583

Immigration provision has Hispanic Caucus threatening ‘no’ health vote

A group of Hispanic lawmakers on Thursday will tell President Barack Obama that they may not vote for healthcare reform unless changes are made to the bill’s immigration provisions.
The scheduled meeting comes as Democratic leaders and the White House are struggling to craft a final bill that will attract 216 votes in the lower chamber.
Unlike abortion, immigration has flown beneath the radar, and almost seemed to vanish altogether as House Democrats have wrestled with how to accept a Senate healthcare bill far different from the one they passed in November.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/86125-hispanic-caucus-threat-to-vote-no-on-healthcare

Immigrants prep for march on D.C.

Talk is cheap. That’s what immigrants and their supporters – fed up with empty promises about reform – are ready to tell to President Obama on March 21.

Carrying signs reading “Friends make good on their promises,” thousands will rally in the nation’s capital to demand immigration reform.

“One year and three months into the Obama administration, who would’ve ever imagined that tens of thousands of immigrants would march on Washington to protest its destructive immigration policies?” asked Chung-Wha Hong, the New York Immigration Coalition executive director.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/03/11/2010-03-11_immigrants_prep_for_march_on_dc.html#ixzz0hsJM1jRi

A Little Momentum on Immigration Reform

It’s always amusing to watch political leaders trying to catch up with the people. The White House is now sprinting to catch up with those demanding practical solutions to our broken immigration system. After more than 14 months and no progress, the grassroots finally lost their patience.

One would like to think that this belated effort from the administration is being stoked by a renewed understanding of the moral dimensions of the crisis and comprehension of the desperate need our economy has for the infusion that immigration reform would bring.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-bhargava/a-little-momentum-on-immi_b_493447.html


Karl Rove says George Bush missed chance for immigration reform

Karl Rove now says he is sorry that immigration reform was not President Bush’s top priority at the beginning of his second term rather than social security reform.

Speaking to The New York Times Rove said
” As I said in the book, (Courage and Consequences) I wish we had led the second term with immigration reform.

If we had led with immigration reform at the beginning of the second term we could have had bipartisan cooperation with a Republican majority in the House and the Senate and done something important for the country that was tilted more toward what the Republicans wanted but couldn’t have passed without Democratic votes instead of Social Security which Democrats wouldn’t participate in until they had a taste of victory.

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/people_and_politics/karl-rove-says-george-bush-missed-chance-for-immigration-reform-87261957.html

Immigration measures draw demonstrators

Bills involve trespassing, law-enforcement assistance

Dozens of demonstrators rallied Monday at the state Capitol against bills that would make it trespassing to be in the country illegally and require local law enforcement to assist in enforcing federal immigration laws.

Members of several organizations carried signs and chanted outside the Executive Tower where Gov. Jan Brewer’s office is located.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2010/03/11/20100311politics-immigration0311.html


Wal-Mart Raid Rumors Concern Houston Hispanics

“This is an issue of human rights. It’s an issue of community panic. I think we all know how panic in the community can lead to very dangerous things,” said Hector Chavana Jr., who’s with the La Raza Justice Movement in Houston.

This dangerous rumor, apparently sent through text messages, began about immigration and customs enforcement activity taking place at Houston-area Wal-Marts. Chavana Jr. is trying to seek witness accounts of immigration raids in the area.

“As far as we can tell, a lot of it is just rumors. The last thing that I’m trying to verify is whether or not there was some I-9 verification going on, which is known as desk raids.” Lauda, a long time server at Rosita’s Mexican restaurant, says Hispanics are concerned about those desk raids.

http://www.39online.com/news/local/kiah-walmart-raid-story,0,2402060.story

Could Immigration Split the Tea Party?

With the Tea Party movement gaining political clout, the question arises: what issue can divide them? Guest-hosting the Rachel Maddow Show, Chris Hayes reports that immigration may be the key to splitting the Tea Party, and potentially, the Republican base. Earlier on Charlie Rose, Dick Armey, former Republican House Majority Leader and current head of Freedom Works, critiqued former Congressman and anti-immigrant activist Tom Tancredo for advocating a voter literacy test.

“I was, for example, not really happy to see Tom Tancredo on the stage calling himself a tea party guy because of his harsh and uncharitable and mean-spirited attitude on the immigration issue,” said Armey.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100322/hayes_video3


Multimedia campaign urges Latino youth to participate in the U.S. Census

Community leaders and celebrities announced a new multimedia campaign in Los Angeles on Wednesday aimed at getting young Latinos to participate in the U.S. Census.

During the news conference at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, speakers invited students to download an interactive mobile application, to participate in a texting campaign (text “LA” to 738674) and to spread the word to family and friends about the importance of the census.

“Your voice literally does matter,” actress Rosario Dawson told students in the campus library. “You have the right to live with dignity in your communities. This is the opportunity to fight for that.”

Dawson and actor Wilmer Valderrama joined leaders of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Voto Latino and the California Community Foundation to show public service announcements and hand out census-themed I-tunes cards to students.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/03/multimedia-campaign-urges-latino-youth-to-participate-in-the-us-census.html


News Clips March 5, 2009

March 5, 2010

Obama risks alienating Latinos with lack of immigration reform

I have known Barack Obama since 1986, when we were both community organizers. I am still organizing on the streets of Chicago, and what I see in the Latino community makes me fear that the president is oblivious to the pain wrought by our broken immigration system. It could have a profound effect on the 2010 and 2012 elections.

It didn’t have to be this way. For a brief moment last year it appeared that Obama might realign the modern political map, cementing the Latino vote into the Democratic coalition by speaking plainly to the American people on the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/04/AR2010030404037.html


Immigration Reform: Change Takes Courage and Faith

The window is closing on comprehensive immigration reform. At least that’s what the politicians in Washington are saying. They’re afraid of more demagoguery. They’re afraid of upcoming elections. They’re afraid of the politics of fear. But I am more and more troubled by how little they seem concerned about the worsening plight of many of America’s most vulnerable families — about how families are being broken up by the U.S. government, forcibly separating children from their parents. And for the media, immigration reform is just another looming political conflict to report, more of the gamesmanship of Washington to cover.

As always, the real stories of real people get lost in the win/lose politics of the nation’s capital. Yes, the nation is going through some tremendous challenges right now. And we all know that Congress is hesitant to tackle tough issues before mid-term elections. But while politicians can write off one more piece of legislation on a packed agenda, they won’t be able to write off, or ignore, a movement rooted in our faith communities. If our political leaders won’t make room for the “strangers” among us, we will — because Jesus commands us to do so.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/immigration-reform-change_b_485889.html


Activists rally forces for immigration reform

Immigration reform advocates see time running out

Cynics might call it an exercise in futility, at least this year.

But count Michael Flores among the true believers: those convinced that with a lot of hard work, comprehensive immigration reform legislation could finally move forward in 2010, despite previous failures and the fact that Washington’s attention is focused squarely on other issues.

“This is the time,” said Flores, Southern Nevada director of Reform Immigration For America . “We’re organized and we’re not going to take no for an answer.”


http://www.lvrj.com/news/activists-rally-forces-for-immigration-reform-86527812.html


Immigration reform not one-sided

Irish Americans say debate over reform as important to them

Irish immigrants would like lawmakers and the public to know that the debate over immigration reform is not about one single group.

Speaking in Denver yesterday, Irish American Ciaran Staunton, president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, said people often forget that of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in America, at least 50,000 of them are from Ireland.

The debate over comprehensive immigration reform is often centered around the Hispanic community Ń because of America’s close proximity to Mexico Ń but Staunton points out that for thousands of Irish people, the debate is just as important.

“The Irish community has as big an interest in immigration reform as any other community,” Staunton told the Denver Daily News before speaking at The Celtic Tavern in Denver. “There is no legal way for an Irish American in Denver to bring his cousin to America to work and to participate in the American dream.”


http://www.thedenverdailynews.com/article.php?aID=7535

Latinos Support Drive to Rid Military of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The Obama administration, with growing support from top military brass and members of Congress, including half of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is moving to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law — a 1993 compromise by President Clinton that lifted the longstanding outright ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military.

Since 1994 there have been 13,500 discharges under that law.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have echoed the call to action by saying the military is ready for change.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=ba56f82b08c86ebb4e048b8345cefab2

Latino comedy troupe out to bust stereotype

Macedonio Arteaga always knows how to tell if he’ll be disappointed in the way Latinos are represented in a TV show or movie.

He looks for the lowrider.

Chances are if the show has a lowrider, an expensive car beyond the reach of most everyone, including Latinos, then the show probably has a Latino character who is a gardener.

“It’s this horrible, horrible stereotype,” Arteaga said in a phone interview. “It’s really unbelievable if you really think about it.”

http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20100305/ENTERTAIN/100309848/1015&parentprofile=1015

Hispanic surname an election liability?

Victor Carrillo, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, blames his loss to an unknown challenger in Tuesday’s GOP primary on voter bias against his last name. “Given the choice between ‘Porter’ and ‘Carrillo,’ unfortunately, the Hispanic surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover, although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias,” he says.

The victor, David Porter, says he worked hard for this victory and writes off Carrillo’s comments as “sour grapes.”

That was my initial reaction until I also looked at the extremely narrow victory in the Democratic primary of Hector Uribe in the Texas land commissioner’s race. Here was a guy who had strong backing from the Democratic Party. He had spent 12 years as a state senator and House member. He was well-versed in the workings of the Legislature. The most impressive experience the other Democratic candidate, Bill Burton, offered was a short tenure as a justice of the peace in Henderson County.

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/03/hispanic-surnam.html


News Clips March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010

New Latino Speaker could change things

California experiences a rare moment once in a while when it appears momentum will tilt toward the middle, pushing real and meaningful legislative efforts that put voters and constituency first. Then the bottom falls out and it’s right back to business as usual.

Such could be the case in the swearing in of Assemblyman John A. Perez as the 68th Speaker of the Assembly.

All eyes were on the first openly gay, Latino, Southern California Democrat, as he told the legislature, governor, other statewide elected officials and the many special invited guests about his vision as Assembly Speaker. It included: putting people back to work; creating a bi-partisan environment by appointing two Republicans to lead Assembly committees; fixing the economy; no more texting during floor votes; and, changing the constitutional budget requirement from two-thirds vote to a simple majority.

http://www.examiner.com/x-25133-Sacramento-Latino-Policy-Examiner~y2010m3d2-New-Latino-Speaker-could-change-things


The Latino Community Wants Accountability in 2010

The promise of change that energized voting and participation in 2008 is bringing hundreds of Latino community leaders to Washington today as NCLR launches new ads on immigration.

March 3, 2010  |

Today, nearly 350 Latino leaders from 30 states are gathering in Washington as part of the 2010 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) National Latino Advocacy Days. They will visit their congressional representatives to call for action on national priorities of critical importance to the Latino community. In addition to health care, at the top of that list are jobs and immigration reform, two issues that directly affect the stability of Latino communities and will undoubtedly influence turnout and enthusiasm in the 2010 elections.

http://www.alternet.org/news/145873/the_latino_community_wants_accountability_in_2010


National Campaign seeks to return attention in U.S. Congress back to Immigration Reform

Roughly 100,000 people are planned to rally in Washington, D.C. in March

By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

LORAIN: Latino and other leaders are uniting around the nation to turn the attention in U.S. Congress back to immigration reform after they say President Barack Obama has failed to address the issue in his first year in office as he had promised.


http://www.laprensatoledo.com/Stories/2010/030510/nat.htm

No chance of immigration reform this year

Every poll shows there are few things California’s burgeoning Latino community wants more from government this year than immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for persons now in this country illegally, also known as amnesty.

But despite happy talk from President Obama and some other leading Democrats, chances of this happening are very slim.

For Democrats who now possess large but shaky majorities in both the U.S. Senate and House are not nearly as united on this cause as they are on health care — and their brand of unity on that cause has produced nothing close to what Obama promised as a candidate in 2008. There is no publicly run health insurance option on the table. The proposed requirement that all citizens must have health insurance has all but disappeared, and more.


http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_14503034


Chavez-Thompson leads in Democratic race for lieutenant governor

AUSTIN ­ Former labor leader Linda Chavez-Thompson, buoyed by support from labor and Hispanic groups, was well ahead of her two opponents Tuesday in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

Chavez-Thompson of San Antonio was close to the 50 percent-plus-one-vote total she would need to avoid a runoff, but former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle was still hopeful of a strong second place finish to force a runoff.


http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/DN-ltgov_03tex.State.Edition1.46c456.html


AZ may criminalize presence of illegal immigrants

By JACQUES BILLEAUD (AP) – 16 hours ago

PHOENIX — Over the past several years, immigration hard-liners at the Arizona Legislature persuaded their colleagues to criminalize the presence of illegal border-crossers in the state and ban soft immigration policies in police agencies — only to be thwarted by vetoes from a Democratic governor.

This year, their prospects have improved. A proposal to draw local police deeper into the fight against illegal immigration has momentum, and even opponents expect the new Republican governor to sign off on the changes.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h6Q8DRNIKQOI8tJvm8V-EZ0Ak-OAD9E6NJ082

California’s GOP Divided on Immigration

The two Republicans facing off in California’s gubernatorial primary have begun to express distinct views on an issue that has long been used by GOP candidates to mobilize their base: illegal immigration.

Steve Poizner, the current state insurance commissioner, and Meg Whitman, businesswoman and former president of eBay, both multimillionaires from their success in the corporate world, will be competing for the Republican nomination.

That part of the contest will be resolved in the June primary. The gubernatorial election is in November.

Poizner, who is trailing in the polls after months of an intensive media campaign by Whitman, has been using the subject of the border and “illegals” in recent speeches to appeal to Republican activists across the state.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=3e3f4cf7466906da6e930d76d8648a68


Schwarzenegger calls for immigration reform, but Feds ill equipped

Appearing on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren (Feb. 23), Governor Schwarzenegger briefly emphasized the need for immigration reform in light of California’s economic woes.  “We’ve got to go and make a decision so that people can come to this country legitimately, rather than having quotas there, because we need the farm workers,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “We need the construction workers. We need to have people do certain jobs that maybe that we cannot fill otherwise,” he said.

http://caivn.org/article/2010/03/02/schwarzenegger-calls-immigration-reform-feds-ill-equipped


News Clips Feb. 11, 2010

February 11, 2010

Same day registration for early voting moving forward

Legislation that would allow a person to register to vote then immediately cast a ballot at early voting sites is scheduled in final committees in both the House and Senate this week. Proponents say it would increase access to elections at the same time it improves the accuracy, transparency, and efficiency of how voter registration files are maintained. Detractors voice concern that without an official government issued photo ID, the possibility of voter fraud will increase.

http://newmexicoindependent.com/46915/same-day-registration-for-early-voting-moving-forward

Illegal immigrant numbers plunge

California’s number drops by 250,000, the nation’s nearly 1 million. The sharpest drop in three decades renews the debate over what to do about those still here.
A new report that the nation’s illegal immigrant population has declined by nearly 1 million has sharpened the debate over whether to legalize those remaining or allow their numbers to shrink through attrition.

The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States dropped to 10.8 million in 2009 from 11.6 million in 2008, marking the second consecutive year of decline and the sharpest decrease in at least three decades, according to a report this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-immig11-2010feb11,0,4502287.story


Arizona Sheriff, U.S. in Standoff Over Immigration Enforcement

An Arizona sheriff said he planned to defy Washington’s attempts to roll back his staunch enforcement of federal immigration law, a move that could put him on a collision course with the U.S. government.

Late last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the largest arm of the Department of Homeland Security, stripped Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the authority to use 100 of his deputies to enforce federal immigration in his jurisdiction, which includes Phoenix. The customs agency took the action because Mr. Arpaio’s aggressive immigration crackdowns had drawn criticism from human-rights groups and had run afoul of the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating whether he has used racial profiling and abused his authority.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703455804575057650062572536.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5


A Progressive Game Changer: Immigration Reform In 2010

Success in politics requires moving people to act. Unless people are motivated, mobilized, and given something to fight for, they stay home, they don’t vote, they don’t participate. In that scenario, the status quo goes merrily along unchanged and unchallenged or those few who are motivated and mobilized win – even if they carry misspelled signs and have an incoherent and backwards policy prescription for the country.

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/02/11/a-progressive-game-changer-immigration-reform-in-2010/


Governor Perry speaks out against illegal immigration

Gov. Rick Perry today visited San Antonio on Wednesday and called on the federal government to reimburse the state of Texas for costs associated with detaining criminals in Texas jails who are undocumented immigrants.

Gov. Perry announced he will send a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking the federal government to begin reimbursing the state for such costs. The state will begin submitting monthly invoices to the federal government for these costs in hopes that it will start meeting its obligations to uphold immigration policy.

http://www.kens5.com/news/Governor-Perry-speaks-out-against-illegal-immigration-84067997.html


Texas governor Rick Perry says Predator drones should patrol U.S. border

IRVING, Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry tried to shore up his border security credentials Monday as he campaigned for re-election by calling for a Predator drone at the Texas-Mexico border and highlighting a transnational gang initiative.

Perry, a Republican seeking his third full term as governor, said he has asked the Defense Department to deploy an unarmed drone to the Texas border to assist in border security and provide “real-time” data. “Why not fly them from Brownsville to El Paso?” Perry said in remarks at the Irving Police Association Hall.


http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Texas+governor+Rick+Perry+says+Predator+drones+should+patrol+border/2542449/story.html


Getting the Facts Straight About Immigration

Despite Pessimism, Support for Immigration Reform Has Always Been High, We Just Don’t Realize It

Scott Brown’s election to the Senate, stalled healthcare reform legislation, and Obama’s 30 words about immigration reform in this state of the union address have once again raised the volume of naysayers that claim immigration reform is dead or has permanently stalled. A significant number of comments in response to my article last week, also express the same pessimism accompanied by hateful and derogatory remarks about undocumented immigrants. As a social scientist, I am dismayed by such categorical claims that completely ignore the facts and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy that paralyzes politicians and denies undocumented immigrants a better way of life .

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-perez-phd/getting-the-facts-straigh_b_457319.html