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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.


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

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

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.”

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.

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.,0,4163472.story


News Clips March 15, 2010

March 16, 2010

Health care foes have 200 no votes in House

Washington (CNN) — Even as a top House Democrat expressed confidence in passing legislation to overhaul health care, a new CNN analysis shows that opposition in the House of Representatives to the Senate health care plan has reached 200 members.

That figure is 16 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.

House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.
The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

Latino clergy urge undocumented to boycott census

PHOENIX (AP) — The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders is urging undocumented immigrants not to fill out the U.S. Census forms that are starting to arrive in mailboxes.

The coalition’s chairman, the Reverend Miguel Rivera, says undocumented immigrants should boycott the census unless comprehensive immigration reform offers them a path to citizenship.

False word of fed immigration bust has Trenton Latinos in hiding

TRENTON — It might have been bogus, but a rumor that federal agents raided a city shopping center in search of Latino illegal aliens forced many immigrants into hiding over the weekend.

Latino leaders said the hoax interrupted lives as false word spread that U.S. immigration agents raided Trenton’s Roebling Market shopping center in Chambersburg.

Latinos lobby on payday loans, other issues

What started as a car-repair emergency quickly escalated into a financial crisis that Mercy Salazar would rather have kept secret.

But instead of hiding her story about how she got tangled up in a cycle of payday lending, the University of Colorado Denver graduate student now tells her story to help move legislation that Latino activists say is intended to protect them.

The recession has hit the Latino community in different ways, in the cost of getting a small payday loan, budget cuts in already poor schools and less access to health care.

More than 100 activists, community leaders and youths met Sunday and Monday for the fourth annual Colorado Latina and Latino Advocacy Day, focusing on those issues and discussing policies to change the way those issues affect Latinos.

Read more:

Hispanics decry House bill

The proposal would require schools to verify and report all students’ immigration status.

A bill that would require Oklahoma public schools to verify the immigration status of all students and report it to the state Department of Education drew fire from Tulsa Hispanic leaders Monday as well as criticism from Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard.

“I don’t think it’s wise to make schools responsible for gathering that kind of information,” Ballard said. “It would be a huge undertaking and detract from our mission, which is to teach kids.”

Earlier in the day, representatives of the Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said the measure, House Bill 3384, by Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, would create an unfunded mandate for already-strapped schools and is a step toward shutting illegal immigrants out of public education.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

News Clips March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

Take the power to draw new political districts away from the Florida Legislature

As two Floridians who have been working on both sides of the partisan aisle to improve Florida government, we are thrilled that voters will have the opportunity to vote this Nov. 2 on two constitutional amendments to stop what amounts to a legalized conflict of interest in our state. One newspaper called it “Florida’s dirty little secret.” It comes up every 10 years when legislators are charged with the awesome responsibility of redrawing their own district boundaries as well as those of the congressional districts….

…..It is not surprising that the two amendments have the support of groups like the League of Women Voters, the Florida League of Cities, Florida League of Mayors, Legislative Black Caucus, Florida NAACP, Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and Democracia Ahora. Newspaper editorial boards across the state unanimously support these important changes. That is because, as this newspaper elegantly said, “The amendments make sense.”

Thousands of Floridians – Republicans, Democrats and independents – are working for passage of these “FairDistricts” Amendments 5 and 6.

Pelosi Says She’ll Get Votes Needed for Health Bill

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is confident she will be able to get the votes needed to pass sweeping health care legislation in the House, even if it threatens the political careers of some members of her party.

In an interview carried Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Ms. Pelosi said she was working on changes to a Senate-passed bill that would make it acceptable to the House.

Ms. Pelosi was asked what she would say to House Democrats who were “in real fear of losing their seats in November if they support you now.”

“Our members, every one of them, wants health care,” Ms. Pelosi said. “They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.”

GOP governor’s campaign is more texting than talking

Rick Perry’s campaign has a radical approach that eschews traditional voter turnout efforts in favor of extensive use of social media networks to win Tuesday’s GOP primary.

Haven’t seen a Perry yard sign? There aren’t any, and Perry has no local office to house them. Dreading yet another phone call from a political candidate? Don’t worry; Perry has no phone banks. And you probably won’t see supporters with T-shirts knocking at the door.

But you may get a Facebook message from a friend in your social circle. You’re more likely to find Perry campaign appeals on Twitter, even craigslist, than to see his mug on a highway billboard.

Combine that with a broad and sometimes problematic program that pays supporters to sign up followers, and Perry’s campaign for re-election is bringing an entirely new approach – a largely untested one – to the ever-evolving area of getting out the vote.

To be counted, here’s what counts with the 2010 census

Census Bureau hopes shorter form, which should take 10 minutes to complete, will increase response rate
The Census Bureau hopes the shorter form, which should take 10 minutes to complete, will increase the response rate of Americans. In 2000, 67 percent of Americans returned their census questionnaires by April 1. In Florida, the response rate was slightly lower — 63 percent. The Census Bureau contends that it saves $85 million in follow-up costs to non-responding households for every one percent increase in the response rates.,0,2544346.story

Democrats try cozying up to Latino community

Workshops focus on getting Hispanics involved in campaigning

In an effort to court Latino voters, The Massachusetts Democratic Party held several Spanish-language workshops on Saturday for community leaders interested in becoming part of the electoral process.

The workshops are part of an outreach effort aimed at Latino communities throughout the state that were largely neglected by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s U.S. Senate campaign.

“We are saying, hey we know you’re here. You live in areas we represent and we want to give you the tools and skills to organize and become part of the process,” said Gloribell Mota, Education and Training Director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
Held at the Waltham Westin Hotel, the workshops focused on grassroots organizing and campaign strategies.
Jorge Poueriet, a Dominican resident of Worchester and a participant in Saturday’s workshops, had never been involved in politics before.

Democratic primary will put to test power of Hispanic surnames

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Political prognosticators and demographers alike figure that Hispanics are the growth industry in Texas politics.

The rapidly expanding Hispanic population tends to vote for Democrats. And there’s also substantial evidence that Hispanics often vote for Hispanics.

Judith Zaffirini, the longtime Democratic state senator from Laredo, has said that if voters know something about the candidates, they vote based on qualifications and issues.

If they don’t, they often vote on ethnicity based on the candidates’ names.

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, that idea will be put to the test in a few races — though there are other factors than surnames.

Protests, grand jury challenge Sheriff Joe Arpaio

PHOENIX — With a sheriff’s helicopter beating overhead, the man known as “Sheriff Joe” stood behind a line of officers as 10,000 people marched past — but this was not the usual show of affection and support for Joe Arpaio.

“Joe must go! Joe must go,” whole families chanted, as they rounded the corner in front of the county jail complex run by the five-term Maricopa County sheriff famed for his confrontational tactics, his harsh jail policies and a gift for publicity. The parade of mostly brown-skinned people wanted to show they hated his trademark immigration patrols.

For years, Arpaio has been the rare politician whose popularity remained rock solid no matter the criticism. He was the self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff,” unbeatable at the polls.

Today, however, some indicators have changed for the 77-year-old lawman — and it’s not just the marching in the streets.

His soaring approval ratings dropped to 39 percent in one recent poll. Critics are emboldened by a federal grand jury that’s examining abuse-of-power allegations against him and a second federal investigation that he says focuses on his immigration enforcement.

Pro-immigration forces gird for battle

WASHINGTON — A coalition of pro-immigration groups is preparing for a renewed congressional battle over reform legislation — and this time they have money to spend.

A reform bill was blocked in 2007 by Senate Republicans opposed to legalizing the status of the nation’s roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants. But those who want immigrants to be able to earn legal status or citizenship say they are better funded and more organized this time.

A reform bill has been filed in the House, and one is expected to be introduced in the Senate soon.

Deepak Bhargava with the Center for Community Change said conservative activists were able to use talk radio to “create a groundswell of anger and hate in the country that brought the bill down.”

“Our effort this time has been targeted to make sure that we out-match them at every level and in every facet of the game,” he said.

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.

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.,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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

News Clips Feb. 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Climate could be right for GOP’s Sandoval to capture Hispanic vote

Republican Brian Sandoval could capture the attention of the Hispanic community, thanks in part to Democrats’ inability to hold that voting bloc on issues such as health care, but on immigration …

When Republican Party leaders engaged last summer in a vitriolic attack on then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, calling her a “racist” and a member of the “Latino KKK” and questioning her credentials despite her elite schooling, it seemed to be a final nail, driven home with gusto, into the coffin of GOP outreach to Hispanic voters.

It was a swift and dramatic alienation from the fastest growing bloc of voters in the entire electorate.

President George W. Bush won at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004 with the help of his conservative social policies, his support of immigration reform, and his abiding popularity in the heavily Hispanic Texas and his occasional use of the Spanish language.

ACLU attorney debunks immigration ‘lies, myths and urban legends’

Misconceptions about immigration — both legal and illegal — continue to cause problems in a system that produces more questions than answers, according to attorney Philip Berns.

Berns spoke in the fourth-floor cafeteria of the Government Center on Sunday morning, and he tried to impress upon the 15 people gathered the “Catch-22” nature of immigration at the event, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Fairfield County.

“We have to commit to learning immigration law,” Berns said. “The two most complex areas of U.S. law are tax law and immigration law. When someone makes a mistake in an immigration case, it can have lifelong effects. Being deported means exile to a country that’s changed since (those affected) were there.”

Prospects for Immigration Reform Legislation

Given the jockeying that goes on to get mentioned in a State of the Union speech, it is not surprising that insiders pushing the immigration reform agenda celebrated success. Their issue made it into the speech, reaffirming that the president’s commitment remains alive and well.

Outsiders, however, were disappointed and displeased because the call “to continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system” fell far short of the rallying cry they wanted to hear. The blogosphere kicked into high gear, mostly pronouncing immigration legislation dead for 2010.

That a single sentence at a precarious political moment could be seen so differently is a fitting metaphor for assessing the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in 2010. This latest round has again delivered a glass-half-full, half-empty outlook.

On the half-full side, there is the new importance of bipartisanship as the platform for progress in the wake of the Republican Senate election victory in Massachusetts. Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) continue work on a bill that they hope to introduce as a bipartisan measure for their colleagues to take up.

Up for the count: Effort encourages Berks County Latinos to take part in census

Latinos in poor communities are among those who stand to benefit the most from the 2010 Census, and yet they are the group that is least likely to participate.

So local census volunteers and community activists are attempting to educate Latinos about the census, what it means to them and why they should participate.

The message, simply put, is that funding for social services and other government programs that benefit Latinos will be hurt if fewer Latinos are counted.

Many of those programs receive funding based on population.

Census chief works to calm deportation fears

Laredo, Texas (CNN) — The hardened dirt road turns off Highway 359 and runs under a simple iron archway. It’s an easily forgettable entryway into one of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, the San Carlos “colonia” on the outskirts of this Texas border town.

When you cross, it’s like entering a different world.

Anabeli Rendon, a 14-year-old high school freshman, stands outside a dilipated orange cinder-block shed where she lived with her mother and young sister just a couple years ago. They had to run an extension cord from a nearby house to get electricity.

Obama Plans Bipartisan Summit on Health Care

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Sunday that he would convene a half-day bipartisan health care session at the White House to be televised live this month, a high-profile gambit that will allow Americans to watch as Democrats and Republicans try to break their political impasse.
Mr. Obama made the announcement in an interview on CBS during the Super Bowl pre-game show, capitalizing on a vast television audience. He set out a plan that would put Republicans on the spot to offer their own ideas on health care and show whether both sides are willing to work together.

President Obama Grilled on Superbowl Sunday

Obama Addresses Health Care, Economy and National Security in Wide-Ranging Interview
The Indianapolis Colts and New Orlean Saints weren’t the only ones under pressure on Superbowl Sunday.
President Obama, wearing a casual blue button-down shirt and tan khakis, was grilled in a live, pre-game interview by CBS’s Katie Couric on issues ranging from health care reform, national-deficit reduction, and national security.

The president defended his push for health care reform, saying health insurance premiums would “keep on beating down families, small businesses, large businesses — it’s going to be a huge drain on the economy. We’re going to have to do something about it. I think we can.”

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 Feb. 3, 2010

February 3, 2010

Wilmer Valderrama Seeks to Bring Census Awareness to Hispanic Community

Beginning in March, Americans will receive a form in the mail to fill out and return to the U.S. Census Bureau. Every decade, many wonder why it’s so necessary to participate in the census. From alloting seats in the House of Representatives to dispersal of billions in federal spending, there are numerous reasons. But the word isn’t getting out to everyone.

Immigration-bill marchers win a nod from Rep. Brady

About 40 immigrant advocates marched to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s South Philadelphia office yesterday, urging the congressman to co-sponsor a House bill on comprehensive immigration reform.

Chanting “Qué queremos? Justicia!” and “A qué venimos? A trabajar!” (What do we want? Justice! What are we here for? To work!”), the predominantly Hispanic immigrants, mixed with Cambodians, held signs that declared, “This is the only home I and my children know” and “Reform Immigration for America.”

Police Chief to Immigrants: May the Force Be With You

Activists at political rallies are accustomed to the sight of police officers, uniformed and plainclothes, observing their actions. But rarely are cops featured as invited guests and welcomed participants. So it came as somewhat of a surprise last night when new Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck, decked out in uniform, stood before an immigrants’ rights rally at La Placita church downtown to declare to a crowd of about 1,000 that “a person’s immigration status alone is not the business of the Los Angeles Police Department!”

Democratic legislator slams Obama for failure to deliver on immigration reform, warns of Latino backlash at the polls

Many Latinos are furious at President Obama for failing to deliver on promises to push immigration reform legislation and may stay away from the polls during this year’s midterm elections if they don’t see concrete progress, including legalization of undocumented immigrants, a key Democratic legislator said Monday.

“People are angry and disillusioned,” U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) said in an interview with The Times.

Activists Push Comprehensive Immigration Reform

ATLANTA – A coalition of activists, led by the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment (ABLE), rallied Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at the Georgia state capitol to bring attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Advocates are pushing a Congressional bill sponsored by US Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-FL) called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security And Prosperity Act of 2009 (HR 4321).

Rep. Bob Brady Gets Behind New Immigrants’ Rights Bill

by KYW’s Lynne Adkins

About 50 people demonstrated on Tuesday in South Philadelphia, calling on a local US congressman to support an immigration bill designed to keep families together.

Chanting “Sí, se puede” (“yes we can”) outside the office of Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) on South Broad Street, the group found out that it could get what it wanted: Brady’s support of an immigration bill to protect the rights of immigrants and families.–Bob-Brady-Gets-Behind-New-Immigrants–Rights-/6268456

Will illegal immigration rebound with the economy?

More than a year after the economy tanked, not only do millions of Americans still find themselves out of work, but so do many undocumented immigrants.

At least the ones who are still here looking. Many immigrants returned to their home countries, such as Mexico. New migration to the U.S. dropped with the economic downturn as many would-be illegal border crossers didn’t want to risk uncertain job prospects and making it past tougher border security measures.

Read more:

Health care reform like putting man on moon

Can history repeat itself? When it comes to health care reform, let’s hope so. The parallels are striking. A young, charismatic president. A “special address to Congress.” A time of national uncertainty.

Barack Obama on health care? No. John Kennedy on the space race. On May 25, 1961, JFK intoned:

“Let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action — a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs.” Sound familiar?,0,2104018.story

Washington Tackles Health Care Reform

Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget includes health care plan

By William Branigin, Lori Montgomery

Feb 1, 2010
12:57 PM
The President’s grand domestic plans, which also include expansion of the federal student loan program and far-reaching climate change legislation, are part of the blueprint but stalled in Congress, with no clear path forward,false,false,n,n,n:null;

Spanish-Speaking Mothers Less Likely to Turn on TV

Kids of English-speaking Hispanic moms spend more time in front of the tube, study finds

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) — Young children of Hispanic mothers whose main language is Spanish watch less TV than children of Hispanic moms who speak mostly English, a U.S. study has found.

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center researchers surveyed 1,332 Hispanic and white mothers with children aged 4 months to 3 years, and found that children of English-speaking Hispanic mothers watched nearly 2.5 hours of TV per day, compared to about 90 minutes for children of Spanish-speaking mothers.

Hispanic Women Bring Home the Bacon as Families Tighten Their Belts

Yesterday, Catherine Singley, our economic policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), joined Ana Roca Castro (Latinos in Social Media), Marisa Trevino (Latina Lista), and Veronica Arreola (Viva la Feminista!) for a radio interview on Latinos and the workforce titled “How Are Latino Families Changing as Latinas Bring Home the Bacon?” The panel covered issues ranging from unemployment to child care to family dynamics.