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.
INSURANCE MARKET REFORM
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.