News Clips March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

Teenager Testifies About Attacking Latinos for Sport

Nicholas Hausch, 18, testifying on Monday in State Supreme Court here, described what that meant. “It’s when you go out and you look for a Hispanic to beat up,” Mr. Hausch told the packed courtroom.

Mr. Hausch said that he and two friends drove to Patchogue that Friday night and used Mr. Hausch’s pistol-style BB gun to shoot at a Hispanic man on his porch. The next night — Saturday, Nov. 8 — Mr. Hausch was again in Patchogue with friends when they spotted a Hispanic man rolling his bicycle.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/nyregion/30patchogue.html

Gov’t pushing to get Hispanics counted in census

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) – The census campaign has been on for weeks, even months now.

Communities all over the country are trying to get everyone to fill out the form and send it back.

Each form is like money in the bank.

Trouble is, some people are scared of revealing any information.

A lot of people don’t like the idea of sharing what they consider personal information, and that’s apparently very true among Hispanics in this county.

When local Hispanics opened their mail boxes and found the census form in 2000, local Hispanic leaders said they panicked.

http://www.wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=12222786

Still Black or White: Why the Census Misreads Hispanics

Hispanic advocates often tell the story of a Census Bureau worker who visits a Puerto Rican household in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood. Seeing the family’s caramel complexion, the Census taker asks which race he should put down for them — white or black. To which the family answers: “Puerto Rican.”

The story could substitute a Mexican-American family — or Colombian- or Nicaraguan-American ones for that matter — but the gist would be the same. Many, if not most, Hispanics in the U.S. think of their ethnicity (also known as Latino) not just in cultural terms but in a racial context as well. It’s why more than 40% of Hispanics, when asked on the Census form in 2000 to register white or black as their race, wrote in “Other” — and they represented 95% of all the 15.3 million people in the U.S. who did so.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1975883,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0jfBmJwft

Some Hispanics stumped by U.S. Census form’s box on race

Some Hispanics are finding question No. 9 on the U.S. Census forms a bit troubling, The Arizona Republic reports.

It asks residents to mark their race. The choices: white, black, American Indian, Alaska native, various Asian descents, Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders or “some other race.”

“Obviously, I’m not white,” Jessica Valenzuela, 37, a schoolteacher from Avondale, Ariz., tells the newspaper.  “I would consider myself Hispanic or Mexican-American, but definitely not white. The form doesn’t really leave you with
another option, though.”

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/03/some-hispanics-stumped-by-us-census-forms-box-on-race/1

Will the Biometric ID card solve the problem of Illegal Immigration

Senators of South Carolina and New York presented a blue print of  immigration-bill to President Barack Obama which included the proposal to issue biometric Identity Card which will contain physical information such as finger prints to all the working Americans. It is being said that this is going to solve the problem of illegal immigration by helping the employers to know who is eligible to work “If you say [illegal immigrants] can’t get a job when they come here, you’ll stop it,” Schumer told the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.sevensidedcube.net/general/2010/will-the-biometric-id-card-solve-the-problem-of-illegal-immigration/

Hayworth Slams McCain on Immigration at Tea Party Rally

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The man who hopes to wrest the Republican nomination away from four-term Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted the 2008 presidential candidate for his positions on immigration and border security at a Tea Party rally here on Sunday.

Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who has emerged as a formidable primary challenger to McCain, seized on amnesty for illegal immigrants and border control, which have become defining issues in the state’s GOP Senate primary race.

“It is unconscionable that nearly a decade after 9/11 the backdoor of the United States remains open,” Hayworth told hundreds of Tea Party members gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Flagstaff. “Our senior senator is looking at this entirely the wrong way.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/29/tea-partiers-arizona-focus-immigration-security/

Ten Facts About Diabetes and Kidney Disease in Hispanic Americans

Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the single leading cause of kidney failure in adults. Hispanic Americans have a high rate of diabetes, which increases their chances of developing serious complications such as chronic kidney disease, heart disease and strokes. However, when individuals with diabetes follow their treatment plan carefully and keep their blood sugar and blood pressure under control, they can greatly reduce their risk of developing these complications.

1. About 11 percent or 5 million of the 47 million Hispanic Americans have diabetes. About one-third of the cases of diabetes in Hispanic Americans are undiagnosed.

2. On the average, Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age. The prevalence of diabetes in Cuban Americans is lower than in Mexican American and Puerto Rican adults, but still higher than that of non-Hispanic whites.

http://www.parentyourparents.com/blog/2010/diabetes/ten-facts-about-diabetes-and-kidney-disease-in-hispanic-americans/

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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 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

Immigrant rights group slam Obama, Democrats for slow action with legalization bill

Leaders of nearly a dozen grass-roots immigrant rights groups excoriated President Obama and congressional Democrats on Monday, accusing them of moving too slowly to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants and citing a record number of deportations in 2009.

“Our community is angry. Our members feel betrayed,” said Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens. “We never believed in our wildest dreams that President Obama would have a record like this.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/08/AR2010030804898.html


Latino Leaders Impatient With Obama After Promises on Immigration

In July 2008, Sen. Barack Obama took time out of his packed presidential campaign schedule to address a crucial block of voters whom he would need in his fight against Sen. John McCain in the November elections.

During his speech to the League of Latin American Citizens, a leading Latino organization, Obama lamented the lack of presidential leadership on immigration reform in 2006, and promised to do better.

“We need a president who isn’t going to walk away from something as important as comprehensive immigration reform when it becomes politically unpopular. That’s the commitment I’m making to you,” he told the group. “I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as president.”

But after Obama’s victorious presidential campaign, in which he won with 67 percent of the Latino vote, immigration advocates say they are still waiting for the results that Obama promised them 18 months ago. And their patience is wearing thin.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/09/latino-leaders-say-obama-has-yet-to-live-up-to-promises-on-immig/


Census Workers Needed In Berks County

READING, Pa. — With only days to go before the Census is set to get underway the government is still scrambling to find workers. So if you need a job this could be your chance.The current pay rate is about $14 an hour, and you get to pick your own schedule. If you can meet a few basic requirements, the job could be yours.For the past few weeks, Gabrielina Polanco has taken to the phones, desperate to find people willing to become numerators – they go door to door helping residents complete the census form. One of the major requirements is that you must live in Berks County.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/22759750/detail.html

‘Dream Act’ y reforma migratoria temas en la mira

TAMPA BAY.- “Este es el momento”. “Hay que actuar”, son algunos de los lemas bajo los cuales planean con fervor las organizaciones que apoyan el proyecto de ‘Dream Act’ y la reforma integral migratoria, enfatizando que llegó el tiempo clave. Sin precedentes. Es perentorio impulsar ambas decisiones de manera que se materialicen unidas y simultáneamente”.

Democracia USA, una organización nacional hispana, y Reform Immigration For America, están invitando a toda la comunidad hispana y anglosajona, que simpatiza con ambas propuestas legislativas, para que asistan al foro informativo sobre las iniciativas de ley de reforma del sistema migratorio.


http://7dias.us/news.php?nid=61277


Census count of Latinos is vital to Tennessee

Tennessee has a bigger financial stake than most of the nation in getting every resident counted, but a growing Latino population could make that tougher in this year’s Census.

The state’s Latino community leaders say they hope Spanish-language radio ads and other outreach efforts will impress upon their audience how much Tennessee depends on Census-related federal funding.A report out today shows the state ranked seventh among states in 2008 in per capita federal funding that is tied to Census figures — $1,976 per person. Tennessee also ranked sixth in the portion of its overall federal funding that is guided by the Census.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100309/NEWS01/3090362/2066/NEWS03


Five things to know about the U.S. Census

1. The Questions
The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest in census history, consisting of 10 main questions.

* How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?

* Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010, that you did not include in Question 1? (Possibilities include children, such as newborn babies or foster children, relatives, non-relatives, such as roommates or live-in babysitters, people staying temporarily).

http://www.sj-r.com/news/x2102347413/Five-things-to-know-about-the-U-S-Census


CENTRAL JERSEY: Census stresses importance of being counted

If you are not counted in the 2010 Census next month, you won’t count — and that could lead to less federal money flowing into New Jersey as well as the loss of political representation at the federal or state level.

That’s the message delivered to about two dozen people who turned recently to listen speakers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the state Labor Department and the Latino Merchants Association of Mercer County.

”Our quest is to get people to fully participate and to count everyone one time where they live,” said Jennifer Jones of the U.S. Census Bureau.

She was one of the speakers at the session, which was sponsored by the Lawrence chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Everyone will be counted where they spend the majority of their time, Ms. Jones said. College students who live on campus will be counted in that community, for example. Prisoners are counted in the community where the prison is located, and the homeless are counted in the transitional housing facility where they live.
Ms. Jones emphasized that whether someone is here legally or illegally, that person will be counted. The information that is gathered is confidential and may not be turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the police or any other governmental entity, she said. The Census Bureau “is not interested” in deporting people, she added.

http://centraljersey.com/articles/2010/03/08/topstory/doc4b958221ca017688481647.txt


2010 Census: Think Twice, Check Once

The federal government is taking a road trip, dubbed the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour, to try to convince “hard-to-count audiences” to participate in this year’s dicennial Census. One of those particularly hard-to-count groups are those who identify as racially mixed. Many will choose to take advantage of the “mark one or more races” (MOOM) option made first available on the 2000 Census. Race scholars have been hotly debating the significance of this paradigm shift, asking: just what are the Civil Rights consequences of the Census option of “mark one or more races”?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-elam/2010-census-think-twice-c_b_490164.html

War story: Ireland’s Chieftains unite Latino, U.S. musicians to retell tale of Irish fighting for Mexico

LOS ANGELES – HISTORY, it’s often been observed, is written by victors, which might explain why an especially compelling chapter of the Mexican-American War remains so infrequently told, at least in the United States.

The chapter in question is about the San Patricios, a company of Irish immigrants pressed into service by the U.S. Army. Ideologically opposed to the fight, they switched sides, choosing to stand alongside the Mexican military rather than the forces of their newly adopted homeland.

When the conflict ended, the members of the battalion were executed for their desertion. Their deeds were largely forgotten, except among the people of the Churubusco region outside Mexico City who maintain a memorial to the San Patricios.

http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20100309_War_story__Ireland_s_Chieftains_unite_Latino__U_S__musicians_to_retell_tale_of_Irish_fighting_for_Mexico.html

Kidnapped, smuggled and worse

A Mexican mother wanted only a better life for her daughter, 4, but the trip north took a terrible turn.

The smuggler threatened to kill 4-year-old Nayli if he didn’t receive $11,500 from her parents — immediately.

He had sneaked the girl across the Mexican border nearly a month earlier and now was holding her for ransom somewhere near Los Angeles.

“Mommy, I don’t want to be here anymore,” Nayli said through tears when the smuggler put her on the phone.

Her mother, Yaneth, could hear terror in her daughter’s voice. “OK, mija, I am coming,” she answered in Spanish before the smuggler hung up. Yaneth was desperate. She had hired the coyote but now he was demanding more than she’d agreed to pay. She didn’t have enough money. And she was still in Mexico, after border agents caught her as she was trying to cross into the U.S.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/08/local/la-me-smuggle9-2010mar09


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 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.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/feb/07/hispanic-voters-may-feel-alienated/


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.”

http://www.thehour.com/story/481871


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.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=ae169357660bcd9b46d907e7c3f15030

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.

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=193949


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.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/02/census.poor.communities/?hpt=C2


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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/us/politics/08webobama.html


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.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-discusses-health-care-economy-national-security/story?id=9773410


News Clips Feb. 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Latino Leaders Grade Obama

FRESNO, Calif.–Latino voters helped Barack Obama make history and become the first black president by handing him more than seven out of 10 votes in the November 2008 election.

Obama — while not delivering on a campaign promise to overhaul the country’s immigration system — remains popular among Latinos, with a recent poll showing him with a 67 percent approval rate from Latinos.

The president, who marked his first year in office last week, has been praised for naming Latinos to top positions at a record rate. He has appointed 48 Latinos to posts that require Senate confirmation. Obama’s most visible appointees are U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Labor Secretary Hilda Solís and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=5de2546e012d974573dd927387fff279


GOP sends out ‘census’ forms; Democrats, Latino groups cry foul

A national Republican fundraising campaign that invokes the word “census” and claims to be an “official document” is raising the blood pressure of Democrats and Latino advocacy groups.

Critics say the mailing is designed to confuse people and garner responses from individuals who think they’re participating in the decennial Census, which begins in March for most of the nation.

The mailing, with its letter from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, questionnaire on political attitudes, and plea for donations, is emblazoned with the phrase “2010 Congressional District Census.”

The envelope is marked with the words, “Do Not Destroy, Official Document.”

Democrats say they’re disgusted but unsurprised by the mailing, a version of which was circulated before the last Census, in 2000.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=56357#ixzz0eI3gaHLI


U.S. Jews and Latinos form unlikely bond over immigration policy

Even as health care reform twists in the wind, immigration policy looms as the next big political debate, and Hispanics and Jews are moving to the forefront in a burgeoning political alliance.

The next three months are seen as critical in the fight for immigration reform, but the weakening of the Democrats, grip on Congress with the recent loss of a key Massachusetts Senate seat does not bode well for the passage of reform legislation.

The Jewish-Latino alliance on immigration issues builds on the heritage and experience of the Jewish community and on the enthusiasm and urgent needs of the Hispanic community, which has a strong interest in issues of family unification and the status of the some 12 million illegal immigrants, most of them from Latin America.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1146409.html

Gaps emerging in US census outreach to immigrants

WASHINGTON — The government is fumbling some efforts to assure immigrants that U.S. census data won’t be used against them, including gaps in outreach and foreign language guides that refer to the decennial count as an investigation.

With the launch of the head count weeks away, the Census Bureau’s outreach has been falling short in at least a dozen major cities, such as Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Jose, Calif., and Seattle, according to a report being released Monday by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Many of their states are on the cusp of gaining or losing U.S. House seats and face a redrawing of legislative boundaries that may tilt the balance of political power.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020100632.html


California’s independent streak

‘Decline to State’ voters here don’t quite fit the national mold, but they do call most of the shots.

From Sacramento
Democrats and Republicans will make all the noise, but nonpartisan independents will decide the winners of California’s competitive statewide elections in November.

That has increasingly become the case in recent years.

California may be a Democratic state, but it’s not true blue. And the best barometer of how it will vote in any general election is the fast-growing faction of independents.

They’re officially registered as “Decline to State” — as in “a pox on both your parties.”

At last count, they make up 20% of registered voters, and the number keeps rising. In 1990 it was less than half that, 9%; in 2002 it was 15%.

Democrats represent about 45% of registered voters, down from 50% in 1990 but roughly the same as in 2002. Republicans have suffered a steady slide from 39% in 1990 to 31% last year.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap1-2010feb01,0,3357043.column


Head of Mass. Latino political group to step down

BOSTON — The head of a Latino political group credited with helping elect dozens of Latinos to offices around the state has announced she is stepping down.

Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste, said she is leaving the group in September to pursue other “professional opportunities.”

The Puerto Rican-born 38-year-old helped found the group in 1999 when only a handful of Latinos in Massachusetts held any public offices. The nonprofit group has since trained and supported Latino candidates who have won offices in Lawrence, Springfield, and Boston.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view/20100131head_of_mass_latino_political_group_to_step_down/srvc=home&position=recent


Hispanic Media Outreach for Haiti Unprecedented

With Haiti outreach, Hispanic media take up mantle of advocate, long an English-only role

As horrific images of Haiti flashed across the screens, murmurs of recognition floated through the audience at Univision Network’s live celebrity telethon, many people nodding as they recalled disasters in their native countries.

To drive the connection home, host Mario Kreutzberger, aka “Don Francisco,” brought out a recent earthquake survivor from Peru, reuniting him by video with his hospitalized daughter.

“The world has helped us many times. Now it is time for us to return that help to Haiti,” Kreutzberger told the millions of Latinos in the U.S. and across the Western Hemisphere who watched the special edition of his weekly “Sabado Gigante” variety program.


http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=9714808


Mirror, mirror: AZGOP launches Hispanic website

The State’s Republican Party launched a website last month to address “the issues and concerns of one of the state’s most dynamic and diverse communities.”
Staff

The State’s Republican Party launched a website last month to address “the issues and concerns of one of the state’s most dynamic and diverse communities.” Party Chairman Randy Pullen is optimistic about the effort, “Democrats have consistently taken [Hispanics’] votes for granted, and we share their feeling that our government has gotten seriously off track. Combined with our message of traditional family values, I believe that our principles mirror those of Arizona’s Hispanic population.”

http://www.latinopm.com/Latino-Perspectives-Magazine/February-2010/Mirror-mirror-AZGOP-launches-Hispanic-website/


Library officials work to keep up as Hispanic population grows

The Montgomery County Memorial Library System hopes to stay on top of population trends and books residents want to read.

That’s why a donation of 150 Spanish-language books from Consul General of Mexico in Houston Carlos Gonzalez Magallon received praise from library officials during a reception Wednesday night.

http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2010/01/31/conroe_courier/news/census013110.txt


Running for the hills on immigration

San Diego, California (CNN) — Thirty-seven words. In this week’s State of the Union address — which was more than 7,000 words long and lasted longer than an hour — all President Obama devoted to the issue of immigration reform was 37 measly words.

Here they are: “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system — to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/29/navarrette.obama.immigration/