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WednesdayApril 6, 2011

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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More Than 200 Migrants Drown off Italian Coast Fleeing Global Unrest

The head of the United Nations refugee agency expressed deep shock today at the apparent drowning of more than 200 migrants attempting to make their way to Italy from conflict and unrest in North Africa.

Media reports indicate that 213 people, including many Somalis, Eritreans and Ivorians, died this morning after the boat in which they were travelling experienced difficulties in rough seas near the Italian island of Lampedusa. The boat had left Libya three days ago.

Italy’s coastguard has rescued 47 people, including a pregnant woman, but the other passengers are all feared to have drowned.

António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), issued a statement lamenting the disaster and noting that many of the passengers had been refugees twice over.

“They fled war and persecution in their own countries and now, in their attempt to seek safety in Italy, they tragically lost their lives,” he said.

Mr. Guterres urged all countries patrolling the waters of the Mediterranean Sea to do everything possible to help boats in distress.

Since pro-freedom protests erupted across North Africa and the Middle East earlier this year, large numbers of people – notably including people fleeing unrest in Tunisia and Libya – have taken to boats to try to reach Europe. Lampedusa has experienced a particularly high influx of arrivals.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, who just wrapped up a visit to Tunisia to see the agency’s work there, expressed her sorrow at the news of the drownings.

“It is all the more devastating knowing that children were on board,” Ms. Jolie said, calling for urgent solutions to help civilians caught in the crossfire of fighting in Libya.

Until the recent fighting Libya has served as transit and destination country for refugees, with UNHCR recognizing at least 8,000 refugees inside the country and another 3,000 people seeking asylum.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Kate Del Castillo and Rico Rodriguez to be Honored by St. Jude’s Hospital

Kate del Castillo, from the Telemundo show “La Reina del Sur” and Rico Rodriguez, from the Emmy award-winning show “Modern Family,” will be honored at the 2nd Annual St. Jude ‘Estrellas por la Vida’ (Stars for Life) gala on April 15, 2011,

The event, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital gives back to kids who are battling cancer and other catastrophic diseases at St. Jude, the nation’s top ranked children’s cancer hospital.

The star-studded evening will also feature many of today’s top Latin and main-stream celebrities who will walk the red carpet in support of St. Jude, such as Christian de la Fuente, Eduardo Yanez,Beto Cuevas, Cristian Chavez, and Jessica Maldonado among others.  Guests will enjoy live performances by renowned jazz trumpet master and classical musician Arturo Sandoval and rock-pop superstar in the making Gustavo Galindo. Riani Rodriguez,Rico’s older sister and actress, will serve as one of the award presenters for the Estrellas por la Vida gala. 

The evening will honor Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, from the Telemundo mini-series “La Reina del Sur,” for her international humanitarian efforts.  Estrellas por la Vida will also recognize Rico Rodriguez for his work as a young philanthropist and supporter of pediatric healthcare and the local community

St. Jude has made great discoveries in how to treat deadly childhood diseases like cancer, saving the lives of kids around the world. 

Through its International Outreach Program (IOP), St. Jude has clinics in 15 countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile and Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Google Voice Search Now Available in Latin American Spanish Thanks to Crowdsourcing

Google Voice Search Now Available in Latin American Spanish Thanks to Crowdsourcing

Photo: Google Voice Search now available in Latin American Spanish

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Google has announced that its Voice Search product is now available in Indonesian, Malaysian, and Latin American Spanish, and it credits local users taking part in crowdsourcing for the new language availability.

Voice Search allows for someone to “Google it” by speaking into the phone rather than using the traditional method of typing-in the keywords. While plugging in the search words is fine when using a desktop, it is a more difficult and frustrating user experience to do the same on a smartphone. This is why Google launched the Voice Search product in 2008. Now, using crowdsourcing, Google has been able to launch Voice in over 20 languages.

Crowdsourcing allows Google to outsource tasks, in this case collecting voice data, to undefined groups of people through an open call of sorts. Using this method, the internet giant was able to utilize information from these users to make the product work for their specific region.

In a recent Google Mobile Blog entry, it is said, “This accomplishment could not have been possible without the help of local users in the region - really, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

International Program Manager for Google Voice Search, Linnie Ha, stated, “The traditional method of acquiring voice samples is to license the data from companies who specialize in the distribution of speech and text databases. However, from day one we knew that to build the most accurate Voice Search acoustic models possible, the best data would come from the people who would use Voice Search once it launched - our users.”

For use of the product in Latin America, Google focused on Mexican and Argentinean Spanish, which are the most different from the other accents in Central and South America.

The blog explains that, the samples collected primarily in Mexico and Argentina “were very important bookends for building a version of Voice Search that would work across the whole of Latin America.”

Read more at Softpedia →

Chile Seeks to Become A Leader in Scientific Research in Antarctica

Chile Seeks to Become A Leader in Scientific Research in Antarctica

Photo: Scientific Research in Antarctica

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With its strategic position as one of the few pathways into Antarctica, Chilean scientists are developing well over 30 different new research projects in the cold, southern depths of the planet.

Once a completely inaccessible continent, Antarctica is today one of the most prolific scientific research locations, as far as investigations of new organisms that will influence the science and technology of the future.

According to José Retamales, the director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, Chile developed a record number of projects during this past season, 41% more than 2009.

There are currently 52 projects in effect in Antarctica, a record number for the institute in its 47 years, both as far as open projects as well as investments: more than 6 million dollars finance these investigations.

“One of the most groundbreaking moments, was when we discovered a microorganism called “deinoccus sp;” this microorganism is capable of resisting very high levels of gamma and UV radiation. These are organisms that developed outside of our planet, and represent the ancient lineage that can be found in Antarctica,” says Marcelo Leppe, director of the science department at the institute.

One of the projects being developed at Deception Island, an ancient sea born volcano where temperatures of up to 212 degrees are mixed with glaciers, pyroclastic material and a special mineral composition. Scientists have studied the DNA of these microorganisms, in order to establish their identity and to know their properties. Some of them, according to Leppe are oil degraders, very rare to find in the low temperatures of Antarctica. 

Two other unique micro-organisms in the region, the “Colobanthus quintesis” and “Deschampsia antartica,” are the only two vascular plants that grow in Antarctica today; analysis of these plants resistance to UV light and anti-freeze compounds inside their cells, will help provide insights into anticancer treatments.



Read more by HS News Staff →

MBDA Awards $7.8 Million in Grants to Help Grow Minority Businesses

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today announced $7.8 million in funding for 27 MBDA Business Centers (MBC)located across the country to boost job creation and foster the economic growth of minority firms in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

MBDA Business Centers assist minority entrepreneurs with access to markets, contracts and capital and offer strategic business consulting services to facilitate 21stcentury growth in today’s global economy.  MBCs interface directly with minority business owners and managers at the local level and provide enhanced assistance through MBDA’s national strategic partners, both within the Federal government and the private sector.

The newly restructured MBC program extends the cooperative agreements from three to five years and expands the reach of the MBC nationwide network to meet President Obama’s challenge to out-innovate, out-build, and out-educate the rest of the world. Two new centers will serve minority businesses in Cleveland, Ohio, and Denver, Co., and join MBDA’s Business Center network.

While each of the 27 centers are strategically located in areas with significant minority business activity, the redesigned program’s broad geographic focus aims to help all minority enterprises, regardless of where they are located.

MBCs will play a particularly important role in helping minority-owned businesses increase their exports. In an increasingly global economy, where opportunities are just as likely to be found overseas as they are around the corner, minority businesses are critical to achieving the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.
“Minority-owned businesses excel at exporting, and with unique language and cultural connections to other countries, they are exporting powerhouses with great potential for growth,” Hinson said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Activists Want Outside Investigation of Disappearances Linked to Top Police Official in Juarez

Activists Want Outside Investigation of Disappearances Linked to Top Police Official in Juarez

Photo: Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola

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Mere weeks into his job, Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola is being accused of human rights violations, much like those he faced as a Tijuana law enforcement official.

Monday, human rights activists demanded that Ciudad Juarez’s secretary of public security be investigated regarding the “enforced disappearance” of four civilian men on March 26th in the border city.

Long-time activist, Gustavo de la Rosa, said fellow activists were told by witnesses that they saw police round up the men in front of a market. Some said the police were in camouflage uniforms like those worn by the unit that serves as personal bodyguards for Leyzaola.

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Hector Murguia has since offered his staff to investigate, while the city denies having the men in custody. A human rights group out of New York has said that a local official-led investigation has been “lackluster” and is calling for federal investigators to take over.

Activists are not accusing Leyzaola of having a direct role in the disappearances, but his past is working against him. Before taking his current position, he had been accused of taking part in and condoning the torture of both detainees and police officers suspected of being on traffickers’ payroll. The activists are questioning whether Leyzaola can or will properly investigate these recent cases, and his leadership skills are also under fire, as many are wondering what kind of reform he can bring to Juarez’s troubled police force.

Read more at Los Angeles Daily News →

STUDY: Is Coming to America Unhealthy for Mexican Immigrants?

Young adult Mexican migrants in the United States are much more likely to suffer depression and anxiety disorders than family members of migrants who remain in Mexico, a new study finds.

Researchers compared the mental health of 259 male and 295 female migrants in the United States with 904 male and 1,615 female non-migrants in Mexico.

“After arrival in the United States, migrants had a significantly higher risk for first onset of any depressive or anxiety disorder than did non-migrant family members of migrants in Mexico,” Joshua Breslau, of the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, and colleagues, wrote in a journal news release.

However, this increased risk was limited to those aged 18 to 35, with the greatest risk among those aged 18 to 25.

“The finding that migrants are at a higher risk for onset of depressive and anxiety disorders after migration compared with family members of migrants who remained in Mexico provides the first direct evidence that experiences as a migrant might lead to the onset of clinically significant mental health problems in this population,” the researchers wrote.

The types of depressive disorders experienced by the young Mexican migrants included major depression and dysthymia (a less severe type of depression with long-term symptoms). The anxiety disorders they suffered included social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

The study was published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

In 2007, there were about 12 million Mexican-born people in the United States, accounting for about 30 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population and 25 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population, according to the researchers.


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WATCH Selena Gomez’s Performance of “Who Says” in Dancing With The Stars (VIDEO)

WATCH Selena Gomez’s Performance of “Who Says” in Dancing With The Stars (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gómez on Dancing With The Stars

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The young singer graced the set of Dancing With the Stars during their results show, and performed her latest single “Who Says.”

Mark Ballas and Chelsea Hightower danced through Selena’s performance.

Did you enjoy it? Leave your comments below!

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Border Patrol Spends $1 Million on Videogame in the Name of Border Security

U.S. Border Patrol Spends $1 Million on Videogame in the Name of Border Security

Photo: U.S. Border Patrol videogame -- Borders High Level Model (HLM)

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The U.S. Border Patrol has reportedly spent “in the ballpark of $10 million” on data management and development of a videogame that simulates the job of a border patrol agents.  It is estimated that the border simulator ‘game’ compromised $1 million of the total project cost. 

New Mexico- and California-based Sandia National Laboratories primarily develops new weaponry and technology for the U.S. government, and the border patrol game “Borders High Level Model (HLM)” is just their latest project. The touchscreen-based simulation game has the user covering 64 square miles of border terrain – in reality the border is nearly 2,000 miles long – and border patrol agents and other customs officials have the chance to play through different scenarios and “see how people, technology, and other elements all interact.”

The majority of the $10 million in funding was spent over a number of years to build fundamental data management systems. In justifying the expense Jason Reinhart, project manager, at the Sandia lab noted “We learned that the border patrol agents and CBP decision-makers need a tool that offers a common view of the problems they face.” 

Watch Sandia’s video below.

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Read more at Kotaku →

Like It To Smell It: De La Renta’s New Perfume Launched Via Facebook

Like It To Smell It: De La Renta’s New Perfume Launched Via Facebook

Photo: "Espirit d'Oscar" Launched via Facebook

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Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta has embraced the world of social media by releasing his first fragrance in a decade, through Facebook.

Samples of “Espirit D’Oscar” (at an almost $80 market value) have been made available to the first 5,000 people who “like”  Oscar’s official fan page. Hurry if you want one, the designer has over 130,000 facebook friends!

The flower-shaped bottle won’t be hitting stores for another two weeks. It is being marketed as an affordable “floral-oriental frafrance” line that embodies “the spirit of femininity,”

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S.-Colombia Trade Pact Moving Forward with New Labor Rules for Colombia

President Obama is committed to pursuing an ambitious trade agenda with Colombia that will help grow the economy and support good jobs for U.S. workers by opening new markets. 

To achieve that objective, the country seeks to provide a level playing field that creates economic opportunities for U.S. workers, companies, farmers, and ranchers, and that ensures our trading partners have acceptable working conditions and respect fundamental labor rights. 

As part of this broader trade agenda, the Obama Administration has worked closely with the government of Colombia to address serious and immediate labor concerns. 
These concerns included insufficient protection of internationally recognized labor rights under Colombian laws,
regulations, and enforcement efforts; violence against Colombian labor union leaders; and inadequate efforts to bring to justice those responsible for killing labor union leaders.

The result is an agreed “Action Plan Related to Labor Rights” that will lead to greatly enhanced labor rights in Colombia and clear the way for the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement to move forward to Congress. 

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement will expand U.S. goods exports alone by more than $1.1 billion and give key U.S. goods and services duty free access in sectors from manufacturing to agriculture.  It will increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion and support thousands of additional U.S. jobs. 


Read more by HS News Staff →

MALC Suing Texas Over Redistricting and “Undercount of Latinos” in 2010 Census

MALC Suing Texas Over Redistricting and “Undercount of Latinos” in 2010 Census

Photo: Texas colonias say the 2010 Census "undercounts" Latinos

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In Texas’ Hidalgo County, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus. The lawsuit claims that “the population being used for the State’s 2011 redistricting efforts severely undercounts Latinos.”

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday goes on to say, “The 2010 Census process and procedures resulted in substantial omissions in Latino population, particularly in the border region of Texas, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb and El Paso Counties, as well as urban areas in Dallas and Houston.”

MALC attorney Jose Garza told the Rio Grande Guardian, “Of particular interest to the residents of the Rio Grande Valley and the Hispanic community across the state, there has been no discussion, no effort to accommodate for the serious deficiencies in the 2010 Census.”

Garza reiterated the concerns of the many in the area when he said the Census Bureau did not conduct an accurate count in 2010, and may have an “undercount of as much as 8 percent in Hidalgo County. If you add eight percent to the population then you are entitled to 4.9 districts, you have got five within the county, without having to borrow population from any of the adjoining counties. So, the undercount has a dramatic impact on the South Texas Hispanic population.”

Hundreds of thousands of colonia residents along the border say they did not receive a census form in the mail, though the Census Bureau said it sent out workers to do a door-to-door count. The residents and their elected officials say this never happened.

In the lawsuit, MALC is asking that the court declare that the government officials violated and continue to violate their “fundamental voting rights,” and ask that they be stopped from using the incorrect data for any districting purposes. They also asked that the court order Perry, Dewhurst and Straus to conduct a special election that will “afford minority voters an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice, “ and come up with a plan that “that accounts for the undercount of Latinos; and complies with the Texas Constitution and Texas statutes.”

Read more at Rio Grande Guardian →

Belgian Artist ROA Brings his Wild Creatures to Mexico

Belgian Artist ROA Brings his Wild Creatures to Mexico

Photo: Belgian artist ROA

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The graffiti artist, famous for his incredible and huge depictions of less than cuddly animals in less than trendy spaces, has bought his work to Mexico.

Giant black and white ant eaters, enormous rats, decaying rabbits, skunks, ferrets, sloths, raccoons and birds constitute the repertoire of one of the world’s most renowned street artists.

Public art, sometimes called street art, or graffiti, is not for everyone as many circles consider using public spaces as canvases, an act of vandalism.

This perception not only doesn’t stop artists like Banksy and ROA from expressing themselves through their work, but is a fuel of sorts to continue defacing walls all over the world.

ROA’s signature animals can be found in big cities throughout Europe, as well as in New York, and Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that the artist decided to bring his creatures to México.

“It’s nice to paint in a restful and left behind place. It’s like an oasis between ‘the civilization,” ROA said of his choice to working in forgotten or abandoned locations. “These places have an unique character, the decay and the lost industrial activity (like the factories) offering lots of interesting situations.”

“Little rodents and birds are the only survivors in these black holes and [have] taken over the places like humans did some centuries before. It’s great to paint with nobody passing by or watching you, just do what you love to do, paint!”

Take a look at his work in México, and post your comments below!

(for more ROA visit his Flickr page)


STUDY: Latin America to See Largest Increase in the Number of/Demand for TVs

STUDY: Latin America to See Largest Increase in the Number of/Demand for TVs

Photo: Latin America to see increase in TV set demand

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A research firm is predicting that Latin America will be the fastest-growing market for new televisions between now and 2015.

IMS Research predicts that along with the increase in TV purchases, the demand for specific types will increase as well, including LCDs, OLEDs, and IDTVs.

It is estimated that Latin America TVs sales will increase by around 26 percent, with the researchers attributing it to “the accelerated growth of the average number of TVs per household,” and “governmental support towards a rapid transition to digital broadcasting, along with the widespread adoption of the ISDB-T standard. Finally, as expected worldwide, there will be increasing demand for flat panel televisions.”

In 2009, there was a 43 percent increase in global shipments of LCD TVs, then in 2010, there was a 29 percent increase, and it is expected that by the end of 2011 the percentage will have gone down even more due to saturation of the LCD TV market. Taking their place, as far as what’s in demand, is predicted to be OLED units, as their worldwide presence is increasing due to manufacturers preparing to launch new models in the next few years.

“If the technology grows cheaper due to mass production and sizes above 32 inches become available, OLED TV market share will increase to reach around 4% of the world television shipments in 2015, led by North America and Asia,” said an IMS researcher.

Read more at ipTV news →

NHMC and GLAAD Decry José Luis Sin Censura’s Disregard to Community Outcry

Today, more than 30 organizations sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski, urging him to swiftly act on the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) complaint against Liberman Broadcasting and KRCA Los Angeles for broadcasting the program, José Luis Sin Censura.

The program often contains indecent, profane, and obscene material, offensive language, nudity, and on-air verbal and physical attacks against women as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The letter filed today by organizations including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the United Church of Christ, calls on the FCC to enforce consequences for the violations described in the complaint.

Liberman Broadcasting has not responded to the complaint and has refused to clean up its programming, despite overwhelming community outcry about its violation of FCC rules and its likelihood to incite violence against women and LGBT people.  A number of episodes that have aired since GLAAD and NHMC filed the complaint last month have contained similar and sometimes even more egregious violations. Liberman Broadcasting has self-rated many of these episodes as TV-14, or suitable for fourteen-year-olds, making it impossible for even the most vigilant parents to block the program using the V-chip or similar technologies. GLAAD and NHMC released an online video today documenting additional content that has aired since the filing.

GLAAD and NHMC’s complaint was filed over one month ago and has generated an enormous outpouring of public support. Thousands participated in an online action to e-mail the FCC and support the complaint.

The original FCC complaint documented over twenty episodes that aired between June 18 and December 7, 2010. The program contained images and language of the nature that is never displayed or is bleeped out of pre-taped English-language programs of the same nature, including the words “pinche” (“f*cking” in English) and “culero” (“assf*cker”), anti-gay language, including epithets such as ““maricón,” “joto” and “puñal” (or “f*ggot”), and anti-Latino slurs, such as “mojado” (“wetback”).  The program frequently featured blatant nudity and female guests have been shown in violent fights. Hypersexualized images of women’s breasts and genitals while stripping for male guests and audience members also make up routine offerings.  Guests and audience members were often incited to engage in verbal and even physical attacks, especially against people perceived to be LGBT. Many episodes showed the audience standing and shouting anti-gay epithets and profanity at guests.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Catholic School in Spain Must Pay $52,000 To Victim of Bullying

Catholic School in Spain Must Pay $52,000 To Victim of Bullying

Photo: School in Spain Must Compensate Bullyied Student

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It is the most expensive compensation dictated by a Spanish court for a bullying case. 

A Madrid court has decided that the catholic school “Congregación Hermanas del Amor de Dios” must pay EU$40,000 (approximately $52,000) to the parents of a former student, who was accosted by his peers in a “systematic, collective and continuing” way.

The bullying acts begun in 2007 and continued systematically until 2010. Class mates taunted the then eight year old, and for three years threatened him, told him they were going to kill him, or leave him in a coma; in addition the bullies would also continuously steal his belongings and subject anyone that talked to him to a similar treatment, for which he remained isolated until his parents took him out of school.

The school has appealed the ruling, which found the institution guilty of not taking measures to prevent the bullying, as well as its passive and unassertive response to the parents complaints.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Maryland School District Found to be Underpaying Its Foreign Born Teachers

Maryland School District Found to be Underpaying Its Foreign Born Teachers

Photo: Prince George County Public Schools

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In 2005 Maryland’s Prince George County Public Schools (PGCPS) needed teachers to comply with the new standards put in place with the “No Child Left Behind” law, so it went on a hiring binge.

They recruited and hired teachers mostly from foreign countries and secured the teachers by obtaining H-1B temporary visas – and that is why they are in trouble now with the federal government.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found (PGCPS) in willful violation of the laws that govern the H-1B temporary foreign worker visa program.

Investigators found that PGCPS illegally reduced the wages of 1,044 foreign teachers hired under the H-1B program by requiring the payment of $4,224,146 in fees. The Labor Department is responsible for ensuring H-1B workers are paid in accordance with the law and that employers do not misuse visa programs in ways that adversely affect U.S. workers.

The H-1B program allows employers to hire foreign professionals to work temporarily in the U.S. So that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers are not adversely affected, workers hired under the H-1B program must be paid at least the same wage rates and benefits as those paid to U.S. workers doing the same job in the same area.

Due to the willful nature of some of the violations, PGCPS has been assessed $1,740,000 in civil money penalties and may be debarred from participating in the H-1B visa program.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Catholic Church Blames Mexican Government’s “Lack of Action” for Migrant Trafficking into U.S.

The Catholic Church in Mexico reported that the profit that organized crime derives from trafficking Mexicans into the United States, outrages and scandalizes Mexican society.

Antonio Mazzitelli, regional representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, recently reported that this illicit business generates an annual dividend close to 6.6 billion dollars, derived exclusively from trafficking Mexican immigrants. Catholic leaders in Mexico have said that trafficking in persons “creates an exorbitant profit, which continues to feed a monstrous criminal organization.”

According to the latest bulletin sent to Fides by the Archdiocese of Mexico, this indignation stems from the fact that “neither the U.S. nor the Mexican authorities have done enough to protect the dignity and human rights of migrants, and they are not even trying to put in migration reform agenda that could benefit both Countries…. Forced migration and coercion of migrants can only bring sorrow and shame to Mexican society” says the statement, meaningfully entitled : “The trafficking of migrants, criminal omission.”

Read more at Fides Services →

Bill Introduced in Senate to Limit Birthright Citizenship

Bill Introduced in Senate to Limit Birthright Citizenship

Photo: Birthright Citizenship

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U.S. Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) this week introduced legislation that amends the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to limit birthright citizenship to children born in the U.S. to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, legal resident alien or active member of the U.S. armed forces.

The bill is in addition to Vitter’s previously introduced resolution to amend the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to clarify birthright citizenship.

Vitter cites a report by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that every year, 200,000 children are born to women who were lawfully admitted to the United States on a temporary basis. Each of these children received U.S. citizenship despite the mother being a citizen of another country.

In January, Vitter and Paul introduced a resolution that would amend the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alabama’s State House Passes Arizona-like Anti-Immigration Law

Late last night the Alabama State House of Representatives in a 73-28 vote passed an anti-immigration law that will allow police officers to hold people suspected of being in the country illegally.

If there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that someone is here illegally an Alabama police officer can demand proof of citizenship and while waiting for proof someone can be detained in jail.  In addition it would be a crime to provide housing, rent to, give a car ride to or employ an illegal immigrant.

The bill sponsor Republican Representative Micky Harmon is hoping illegal immigrants will ‘deport themselves’ if this bill becomes law.  The bill now goes to the Alabama Senate.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of unauthorized immigrants in Alabama have doubled since 2005 to 120,000. 

Opponents of the measure sounded off with the same concerns as Arizona’s opponents of SB-1070: What constitutes ‘reasonable suspicion’ and fear of racial profiling.  Racial profiling is an especially sensitive topic in this state that has a long history of civil rights violations.

Read more at Alabama News →

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Honors Tenor Placido Domingo

Mexican President Felipe Calderon Honors Tenor Placido Domingo

Photo: Mexico Honors Placido Domingo

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Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala hosted a dinner in honor of tenor Plácido Domingo at at Mexico City hotel after the event: Mexico Celebrates Plácido Domingo, in concert.

The President gave Plácido Domingo an award for his long career and for the 50 years since his professional debut in Mexico. He added that his skill and professional career have made him a source of pride for all Mexicans.

The President told the tenor that Mexico is his home and his country and asked him to continue to thrill Mexico and other countries with the songs and tunes which, through his voice, have always excited Mexicans.

For his part, Plácido Domingo said that he was thrilled by the President’s words and that he hopes to continue singing for a long time, in the company of his friends and family.
Guests at the dinner included orchestra conductor, Alondra de la Parra Borja; soprano Virginia Tola, Public Education Secretary, Alonso Lujambio Irazábal; President of the National Council of Culture and the Arts, Consuelo Sáizar Guerrero, as well as relatives and guests of Plácido Domingo and Alondra de la Parra, businessmen from the National Auditorium Technical Committee, members of the cultural and intellectual sector and government officials.

Read more at Los Pinos Mexico →

WednesdayApril 6, 2011