News Clips March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

Stakes Getting Higher for Obama, Latino Voters, and Immigration

Maybe there’s a game on. The President had three meetings on immigration reform at the White House today.  He is increasingly under pressure to act on promises he made as a candidate to enact immigration reform in his first year in office and, now in his second year, the patience of pro-reform advocates – and Latino and immigrant voters – is wearing thin.
The power of the Latino vote is a big reason the Democrats won the White House and control of both houses of Congress in 2008.  If the Democrats fail to address the immigration issue – an issue to which Latino voters are particularly sensitive and which helped drive their increased turnout in 2008 – the Democrats face even longer odds with voters in 2010.

Gut Check Time for GOP on Immigration

There is a quiet battle underway within the Republican Party that may soon break out into the open – and it will heavily impact whether the GOP can continue as a national political party in the decades ahead.

The conflict is over how the Party will position itself with respect to the question of immigration reform – and just as importantly – the fastest-growing demographic group in country: Hispanic Americans.

Lindsey Graham: Immigration reform in peril

A pair of White House meetings Thursday designed to chart a path forward for immigration reform instead spotlighted the daunting obstacles ahead — and showed why many Capitol Hill insiders believe it’s quite unlikely an immigration bill will happen this year.

After meeting with President Barack Obama, the leading Republican backing a comprehensive approach warned that a Democratic health care push could scuttle any chance of action on immigration in this Congress.

“I expressed, in no uncertain terms, my belief that immigration reform could come to a halt for the year if health care reconciliation goes forward,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement issued just after he and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with Obama.

Senators give Obama a bipartisan plan on immigration

Reporting from Washington – A pair of influential senators presented President Obama with a three-page blueprint for a bipartisan agreement to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, but the proposal’s viability is threatened by politics surrounding the healthcare debate.

Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in a 45-minute meeting Thursday in the Oval Office, also asked for Obama’s help in rounding up enough Republican votes to pass an immigration bill this year.

Although details of their blueprint were not released, Graham said the elements included tougher border security, a program to admit temporary immigrant workers and a biometric Social Security card that would prevent people here illegally from getting jobs.,0,5784564.story

Why the 2010 Census will target Valley Hispanics

PHOENIX, AZ — A Census public service announcement will be out in a couple of days calling on the Hispanic community to come forward and be counted.

The PSA emphasizes the importance of participating in the 2010 Census which will in turn bring money into the community for transit, infrastructure and political representation.

Census workers aiming to coax undocumented immigrants out of shadows

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. —  Sure, he has seen the ads on television and heard the public service announcements on Spanish radio, but Alejandro Martinez said he had no intention of filling out the U.S. Census questionnaire.

“It’s not worth the effort; it doesn’t really relate to the immigrant community,” said Martinez, of Port Richmond, in Spanish, as he stood yesterday with other day laborers on the service road, at the Forest Avenue exit off the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway. “I’m not scared. I just don’t see the importance.”

But when a friend of his, Juan Perez, explained he would respond when the letter arrives in the mail in the next week or two because doing so could bring more funds to their neighborhood — it prompted Martinez to warm to the idea, musing: “Maybe, if it comes right to my house, I’ll fill it out. Why not?”

Rights Groups to ICE: Stop Raids for Census

OAKLAND, Calif. – Immigrant rights advocates have sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano asking them to immediately suspend all immigration enforcement activities through the end of the year in order to decrease fear within immigrant communities and encourage their participation in the 2010 Census.

Questionnaires for the 2010 Census are due to arrive in the mailbox of every U.S. household between now and April 1.

“We are genuinely concerned that the climate of fear will seriously impact the census form return rate of immigrant households — and if people do not return the form, they will be reluctant to open the door to a follow-up visit from a census worker,” said Catherine Tactaquin, director of National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR). “We really need the leadership of the administration right now to make a difference in the success of the census among our diverse immigrant populations.”

Health Reform Myths

Health reform is back from the dead. Many Democrats have realized that their electoral prospects will be better if they can point to a real accomplishment. Polling on reform — which was never as negative as portrayed — shows signs of improving. And I’ve been really impressed by the passion and energy of this guy Barack Obama. Where was he last year?

But reform still has to run a gantlet of misinformation and outright lies. So let me address three big myths about the proposed reform, myths that are believed by many people who consider themselves well-informed, but who have actually fallen for deceptive spin.


News Clips Feb 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

Hispanics urged to be counted in upcoming census

Complete count of population could bring Nevada extra government funding

Hispanic residents gathered Wednesday to learn about the 2010 Census and how minorities’ participation can help improve Southern Nevada communities.

The event in front of Cardenas Market, 4421 East Bonanza Road, was part of the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour, which is scheduled to make more than 800 stops nationwide.

Will Abel Maldonado Become GOP’s First Hispanic Lt. Governor in Calif?

California State Senator Abel Maldonado is hoping to become the state’s first Hispanic Republican lieutenant governor in modern times, but Democrats aren’t sure whether to approve his nomination.

The state Senate today began its confirmation hearing on the matter.

ICE agents conduct city-wide immigration bust

HOUSTON—Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided several Houston businesses Tuesday as part of a city-wide immigration bust.
Shortly after 9 a.m., ICE agents raided People’s Express in the 7200 block of Long Drive and took a number of people into custody.

ICE and Big Business: Too Close for Comfort

Today, workers, along with immigrant and civil rights advocates, exposed evidence of a disturbing and dangerous attack on workers’ rights by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Testimony in the case David et al. v. Signal et al. has revealed that high level executives of defense contractor Signal International worked closely with ICE and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to quash organizing efforts by courageous workers from India who were allegedly caught in a human trafficking ring.

Immigration reform risky for Dems

Immigration reform may seem a distant priority for a ruling party that’s made the increasingly elusive goals of job creation and health care reform its primary focus in 2010.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and top congressional Democrats have signaled that, as Obama said in his State of the Union address, “fixing our broken immigration system” remains at the top of their legislative To Do list before the midterm elections.

But Democrats push immigration reform legislation, which would include amnesty for illegal residents, at their own peril. With employment persisting at 10 percent, addressing immigration risks reviving the grass-roots backlashes that have thus far defined the Obama presidency.

Latino museum wins arts excellence award

Maruca Salazar won the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2005 for past work in the Chicano art movement.

But winning it this year for the Museo de las Americas signals the work that lies ahead for the institution she has led for less than a year.

“It was a very pleasant surprise and welcome surprise,” said Salazar, who was named executive director of Museo de las Americas last May. “It will allow us to have a better standing and to recognize so many volunteers and sponsors who donated and contributed so much to (keep) this institution vibrant and alive.”

Read more:

News Clips Jan. 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

Analysis: Will corporate ads buy 2010 voters?

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has opened the door to a new era of big and possibly shadowy election spending, rolled back anti-corruption laws and emboldened critics of fundraising limits to press on. In the middle of it all will be voters, trying to figure out who’s telling the truth.
The court’s ruling Thursday lets corporate America start advertising candidates much as they market products and tell viewers to vote for or against them. While it almost certainly will lead to a barrage of hard-hitting TV ads in the 2010 elections, its implications reach far beyond that.

Big Donors Plan Boost in Campaign Spending

Corporations, labor unions and other political entities are gearing up to play a larger role in influencing elections in 2010 and beyond after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down elements of campaign-finance law.

The Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for entities to influence elections for Congress and the White House by stripping away rules that limited their ability to fund campaign advertisements. The court also struck down a part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law that prevented independent political groups from running advertisements within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.

Census Figures Challenge Views of Race and Ethnicity

New census figures that provide a snapshot of America’s foreign-born population are challenging conventional views of immigration, race and ethnicity.
What it means to be African-American, for example, may be redefined by the record number of blacks — now nearly 1 in 10 — born abroad, according to the report from American Community Survey data, which was released Wednesday. It found that Africa now accounts for one in three foreign-born blacks in this country, another modern record.

Travis project aims to register Latino voters by primary

Effort part of statewide push to raise profile of Latino community in local elections.

Local community leaders are teaming with one of the country’s leading Latino voter registration organizations in a campaign to register at least 600 new Hispanic voters in Travis County in time for the March 2 primaries.

Organizers consider 600 a significant number because many local races are decided by similar margins.

ACLU of Pa. Begins Gathering Data on Violations of Latino Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union has begun an immigrants’ rights project in Philadelphia’s Latino neighborhoods, aimed at protecting the civil liberties of immigrants.

The ACLU wants to document the treatment of Latinos by police, problems that Latinos have obtaining city services, or inappropriate queries about immigration status.–Gathering-Data-on-Violations-of-Latino/6172366

Play highlights black-Hispanic unity

MIAMI — Fourteen years ago, while practicing law, David Lamb wrote the book, Do Platanos Go Wit’ Collard Greens?

During his collegiate book tour, students commented that the storyline and characters would “make a great play.”
In 2003, Platanos And Collard Greens debuted to a sold-out audience in a 99-seat, off-Broadway New York City theater. It has since run at more than 150 colleges and universities in more than 10 major cities and 17 states around the country.

“We opened with the intent of running for one weekend,” Jamillah Lamb, David’s wife and the play’s producer, said. “But the people kept coming and we kept going.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz seeks tough approach on illegal immigration

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced on Thursday a resolution, backed by several other House freshmen, calling for Congress to get tough on illegal immigration.

“Any discussion of comprehensive immigration reform must begin with a renewed commitment to enforce our immigration laws,” Chaffetz said.

He made illegal immigration a key campaign issue in 2008 when he upset former Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, and attracted national attention when he suggested using tent cities to hold illegal aliens to cut costs and help increase enforcement.

“Beyond Black and White”

October 19, 2009

“Beyond Black and White” is an article feature in Latino Magazine.  Ruben Navarrett Jr.  tells us a compelling perspective on our the Black and White paradigm.  He goes on to list the current challenges that Latinos face in America dealing with immigration to an “off white” characterization that leads one to think of the history of immigration and the assimilation of Italians, Irish and Jews.  Ruben Navarrette Jr.  also goes on to indulge us in his opinion of the Latino  support for Obama and his election that provides the brigde to the gap Hipsanics feel in this country.    I encourage you to check out this article and leave a comment.

“Beyond Black and White”,

We’re barely past the hundred days mark, but we might as well accept the cold, hard facts: It’s Barack Obama’s world. Latinos just live in it.

It doesn’t follow that electing an African-American president would automatically improve the lives of Latinos in the United States. It never did. But it’s fair to say that that some of the nearly 7 million Latinos who voted for Obama assumed it would work out that way.

Read the rest of this entry »

When Law Flies Out the Door

August 3, 2009

If you think the days of the Wild West are long gone, well then think again.  Gunslingers and armed men run around busting into homes and guess what its legal.  It’s called “knock and talk.” Check out this story from Arizona.

When Law Flies Out the Door

By Edward Schumacher-Matos

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jimmy Slaughter and his wife, Sheila, were folding laundry last summer

in their Yuma, Ariz., home when the knock came at the door.

Seven uniformed federal agents with bulletproof vests and guns stood outside.

“What’s up, fellas?” Slaughter, a retired Marine, said he asked as he

opened the screen door. Five of the armed agents walked in without

asking permission, he said.

“My wife said, ‘Is this “Candid Camera”?’ and that kind of ticked off

[one of the agents] a little bit, and he says, ‘No ma’am, you need to

step back.’ ” She was ordered to stand in the middle of the living

room as the agents, from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, began

searching the house for a Hispanic woman. They had no court warrant.

That was when Slaughter surprised them by announcing that he was an

officer with an ICE sister agency, Customs and Border Protection. The

agents, having had the wrong address, left, but the scare was such

that Sheila spent several days in an intensive-care unit for

hypertension. Now Jimmy Slaughter is suing.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Working!

February 26, 2009

Latinos showed up as never before in the 2008 Election, and our involvement didn’t stop there. We’ve been putting the heat on our elected officials and reminding them that we’ll have another chance to vote in just two years. What they do between now and then on immigration reform will largely inform our choices in 2010. Most recently, we saw ICE raid a Bellingham, WA manufacturing plant and arrest 28 illegal immigrants. If we’re cracking down on business owners, then why do immigrants always seem to be the direct targets? We do need to stem immigration – but we have to do it in a thoughtful and comprehensive way – not by simply ripping families apart. Well – we’ve spoken up and now Washington is paying attention. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered a review of the Bellingham raid. President Obama, who appointed Napolitano, has signaled for a shift away from work site enforcement, and towards focusing instead on employers who hire illegal immigrants. That’s the hope and change Latinos voted for. Now let’s keep the pressure on until it happens.


February 25, 2009

More and more local law enforcement and particularly county sheriffs are illegally taking on the responsibilities of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). This malicious pratice that tears apart families and comunities is spreading throughout our state and nation, some officially through the 287(g) statute that out-sources these duties to the local agency via an unfunded mandate or more often through the cavalier vigilantism of local sheriff’s and their deputies. Democracia USA is working with a coalition including the ACLU to try to stem the tide here in Central Florida. Just this week legal action had to be taken on behalf of a Honduran mother of three being unjustly removed from her U.S. citizen husband and children (see attached press release). Thursday our coalition will be holding a press conference in downtown Tavares to present a national study by Justice Strategies that outlines how these practices, and especially the 287(g) program, not only destroys families but also causes fear of the police making women afraid to report domestic violence, rape, or other such crimes as well as drains resources from the already strapped county budgets that could be spent on our children’s education and safety. Demand your local government use your tax dollars building our future not tearing apart our families. Florida Counties considering the 287(g) program include: Lake, Sarasota, Highlands, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Marion, and others.

-Roberto Cancel