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FridayApril 29, 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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WATCH Principe Felipe, La Reina Sofía and Princess Leticia at the Royal Wedding

WATCH Principe Felipe, La Reina Sofía and Princess Leticia at the Royal Wedding

Photo: El Principe Guillermo, y la Princesa Catalina

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El Principe Felipe, La Reina Sofia Y La Princesa Letizia, came to Príncipe Guillermo’s wedding in representation of the Spanish Royalty.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Prison Guard Accused of Torture Deported by U.S. Immigration

Brazilian Prison Guard Accused of Torture Deported by U.S. Immigration

Photo: Helio Nogueira-Santon Interpol Photo

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A man wanted for torturing prisoners in Brazil in 2005 was deported on Tuesday and turned over to Brazilian authorities Wednesday morning by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Helio Nogueira-Santos, 44, a citizen of Brazil, was transported via commercial airline and turned over to authorities April 27 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In October 2003, Nogueira-Santos, worked as a jailer at Francisco Floriano De Paula Penitentiary, located in the city of Govemador Valadares, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. He allegedly tortured insurgent prisoners, causing grave bodily injuries to some prisoners, and causing the death of a prisoner.

“ICE works closely with our international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and deport aliens who are wanted in their home countries for allegedly committing heinous crimes,” said Philip Miller, field office director of ICE ERO in New Orleans. “We will not allow criminal aliens to use the United States as a safe haven from their crimes.” Miller oversees a five-state area comprised of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Nogueira-Santos illegally entered the United States on June 27, 2004, at or near Hidalgo, Texas, without being admitted or paroled by an immigration officer. ICE fugitive operations officers arrested Nogueira-Santos after an investigation revealed his location in the United States.
The removal was coordinated with the following ICE programs: the ICE Office of International Affairs, ICE Attaché Brazil, ICE Flight Operations, and the ICE Office of Chief Counsel in New Orleans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Law to Protect Children Immigrating Through Mexico Alone, “Not Doing Enough” say Advocates

Law to Protect Children Immigrating Through Mexico Alone, “Not Doing Enough” say Advocates

Photo: Children crossing the border alone at risk, lawto protect them not working

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The Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 was designed to help the vulnerable Mexican children sent across the U.S.-Mexico border alone, but advocates on both sides of the border say the law is not being implemented well.


The two-year-old law calls for Mexican children who cross the border by themselves to be returned to their country only after officers make sure they are not human trafficking victims, cannot claim asylum, or once the child volunteers to return home rather than be detained in a shelter.

Before the law, many were worried that the children were being returned to Mexico without being properly questioned about the circumstances of their travel, which many refer to as a “revolving door.”

Central American children and those from other countries are usually sent to shelters since their countries do not border the U.S.

David Nachman, an attorney with DLA Piper told the Associated Press, “These children are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. They have traveled long distances for purposes of trafficking, many of them will be trafficked en route …” Adding, that “the revolving door that had so long existed at the border for these vulnerable children is still spinning today.”

In the last two years, about 30,000 to 32,000 Mexican children were caught crossing the border.

The report from which these numbers were taken is from a report from Appleseed and Mexican Appleseed, groups that are made up of more than 16 groups in the U.S. and Mexico.

Advocates point out that the form used when questioning the children does not clearly explain that the children will be detained at a shelter for children, and not at a jail or immigration detention facility.

The report criticizes Mexican officials who they claim are too quick to begin the return process for the children, and who they also say don’t take the time to question the children about possible abuse and/or their reason for traveling alone.

“Pause and think about what it takes for a 15-, a 16-, a 17-year-old kid to decide to leave home and travel over 1,000 miles through unknown territory and to cross a hostile border,” Nachman said. “You know that kid isn’t doing it lightly and in some cases at least is running away from very difficult circumstances within the home and within the community.”

Appleseed wrote the following:

Among Appleseed’s primary recommendations is for DHS to give the responsibility for screening unaccompanied minors to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which already handles asylum applications for all unaccompanied children and has experience in handling child welfare matters.

Steven Schulman, Akin Gump’s Pro Bono Partner who helped lead the pro bono team working on the project, spoke about what the completion of “Children at the Border” means to him. “I’m very pleased that we can share our findings in this report,” he said. “But the hard work is ahead of
us. We must succeed in advocating for the reforms so that these vulnerable children get the protections from abuse and being targeted by drug dealers, coyotes and operators of prostitution rings that Congress intended when it passed the TVPRA.”


Their list of full recommendations can be seen here.

Read more at Associated Press and Appleseed →

13th Annual Celebration of ‘El Dia de los Niños’ Set for Tomorrow

13th Annual Celebration of ‘El Dia de los Niños’ Set for Tomorrow

Photo: Dia del Niño

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This year marks the 13th annual celebration of El Día de los Niños (Celebrating Young Americans) in the U.S.-, a day where children throughout the country are honored. 

The National Latino Children’s Institute has led the efforts to establish the day in the United States and has garnered support of Latino leaders and organizations, state and local officials and corporations. Since 1998 NLCI has worked closely with the U.S. Senate to pass an annual resolution recognizing April 30 as El Día de los Niños-Celebrating Young Americans. 

This day was established to ensure that communities honor children, their rights, wellbeing and importance in this country. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, a day is traditionally set aside to commemorate young people; in the U.S. it is a gift from Latino children to all the young people in the country to celebrate childhood. 

Special events are planned across the country to celebrate El Día de los Niños: in Ohio, 53,000 children will participate in celebrations at the Columbus City schools. Cities in California, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Idaho, Utah and New Jersey, have planned parades, fairs and other cultural events. Each celebration is unique to its community, but all will acknowledge the future of the city─their children. 

The new Census data has underscored the changes in the country’s demographics. Hispanics are now 16 percent of the population, up 46.3 percent in the last decade. This accounted for 56 percent of the population growth during that period. Today, one fourth of all children born are Hispanic. By 2050, one in three will be Hispanic. 

El Día de los Niños was first celebrated in the United States in 1998 with a parade and events in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, more than 100 cities have participated, and the U.S. Senate has passed a unanimous resolution each year designating April 30 asEl Día de los Niños-Celebrating Young Americans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico: Number of Minors Involved in Crime Increasing

Puerto Rico: Number of Minors Involved in Crime Increasing

Photo: Condado in San Juan Puerto Rico where a 14y.o. stabbed a man to death

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In Puerto Rico, authorities are worried about the rising number of young people becoming involved in criminal activity.

The day after Julian Romero Rodriguez, 21, was stabbed to death on a beach in San Juan’s upscale Condado neighborhood, police discovered that the suspect, Jose Figueroa Sancha was just 14. Police say, even at 14, Sancha already has a substantial criminal past.

After the slaying, police increased security in Condado, but the increased youth-committed crime has authorities worried.

Secretary of the Puerto Rican Department of Families, Yanitsia Irizarry Mendez, said for young people like Sancha, who get into trouble as pre-teens, rehabilitation is very difficult. She said Puerto Rico needs prevention programs for its youth that show explain the dangers of living a criminal lifestyle.

The Latin American Herald Tribune wrote, “Authorities say 124 of the 357 homicides registered so far this year in Puerto Rico are related to a battle between gangs for control of drug corners.”

Launched in December 2009, a police operation has led to the elimination of 300 drug corners and the arrest of nearly 1,200 people, but the crime continues, and it seems as though the young are following the example of the ever-increasing number of criminal adults on the island.

Read more at LAHT →

United States and Peru Hold Environmental Meetings

The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the third meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sub-Committee), the second meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC), and the first meeting of the Environmental Cooperation Commission (ECC) on April 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C.

The Sub-Committee discussed progress implementing the Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Annex) of the Environment Chapter of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA).

Peru and the United States discussed Peru’s efforts to pass a new forestry and wildlife law, including its consultation process with local communities. The United States reiterated the critical importance of Peru passing the new forestry law, and Peru reaffirmed its commitment to do so.

The EAC reviewed the progress Peru and the United States have made ensuring effective implementation of, and compliance with, the obligations under the Environment Chapter of the PTPA. Pursuant to the PTPA, the United States and Peru exchanged letters agreeing to request the Organization of American States (OAS) to house an independent secretariat to receive and consider submissions that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws, together with a letter to the OAS making that request. This submissions process is called for under the PTPA, and is an important mechanism to bring environmental problems to light and to ensure effective enforcement of each Party’s respective environmental laws.

The Governments also held a public session, providing interested stakeholders with the opportunity to raise issues and ask questions about implementation efforts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

United States and Peru Hold Environmental Meetings

United States and Peru Hold Environmental Meetings

Photo: Peru Rain Forest's

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The Governments of the United States and Peru convened the third meeting of the Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sub-Committee), the second meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC), and the first meeting of the Environmental Cooperation Commission (ECC) on April 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C.

The Sub-Committee discussed progress implementing the Annex on Forest Sector Governance (Annex) of the Environment Chapter of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA).

Peru and the United States discussed Peru’s efforts to pass a new forestry and wildlife law, including its consultation process with local communities. The United States reiterated the critical importance of Peru passing the new forestry law, and Peru reaffirmed its commitment to do so.

The EAC reviewed the progress Peru and the United States have made ensuring effective implementation of, and compliance with, the obligations under the Environment Chapter of the PTPA. Pursuant to the PTPA, the United States and Peru exchanged letters agreeing to request the Organization of American States (OAS) to house an independent secretariat to receive and consider submissions that a Party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws, together with a letter to the OAS making that request.

This submissions process is called for under the PTPA, and is an important mechanism to bring environmental problems to light and to ensure effective enforcement of each Party’s respective environmental laws.

The Governments also held a public session, providing interested stakeholders with the opportunity to raise issues and ask questions about implementation efforts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Superman Forfeits his U.S. Citizenship! But.. Wasn’t he an Illegal ALIEN, Anyway?

Superman Forfeits his U.S. Citizenship! But.. Wasn’t he an Illegal ALIEN, Anyway?

Photo: Superman #900

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A very disgruntled man of steel revealed his intentions of turning in his Green Card on the Comics #900 release.

Superman is allegedly tired of having his “actions construed as instruments of U.S Policy.” Apparently the superhero decided to show some support to a different nation than America, and showed up at a rally in Iran, against dictator Mahmud Ahmadineyad, thus creating an international incident.

Frustrated, he has threatened to speak with the United Nations, and withdraw his status as an American Citizen, as “truth, justice and the American Way it’s not enough anymore”

Criticism and controversy soon poured in. Fox News ran a piece titled: “Who Has Hijacked Superman and Turned Him Into a U.N. Loving, Anti-American?”

C’mon Fox News! First of all, It Is Just A Cartoon. A Comic. Second, the man of steel is still thinking about it, so he’s not a U.N Loving Anti-American quite yet, you jumped the gun once more.  Third, what is so wrong about being a U.N. Lover? There’s some nationalistic pride in that too, no?

And number four, Superman is an Illegal Alien who crossed the border in a spaceship, lives under an alias, spies through walls with x-ray vision (unconstitutional), invades air-space with zero regard for air control (illegal) and in more than one occasion has used public property (buses, light posts, train tracks, etc.) to beat the living daylights out of people (criminals, granted but AMERICAN criminals, protected under the US constitution, and innocent until found guilty in a court of law), effectively a vigilante!

…And you want this man Alien to be an American?

Can he produce a birth certificate? How did he get into Journalism School, how did he land a job at the Daily Planet without a SSN?

Let’s not fool ourselves, Fox News. If Superman is to stay, the Dream Act must be passed. It is as simple as that.

Facetiousness aside, the man of steel’s decision obeys an initiative by DC comics to make the superhero more global, more appealing to international markets, as “The American Way” is a little too U.S of a motto, which perhaps won’t be as catchy in other countries.

And as Dan, from North Carolina puts it in his blog “Digital Collage” 

“The problem with Superman as a character is that he has God-like powers and can defeat anything and anyone, so the writers have to throw bigger issues at the character. How Does Superman solve world hunger? How does Superman feel about being an immigrant? How does [he] handle the 90’s comic book heroes and their mentality of justice?” 


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Read more by HS News Staff →

AZ Protest Disrupts School Board’s Ethnic Studies Vote to Remove Class From Core Curriculum

AZ Protest Disrupts School Board’s Ethnic Studies Vote to Remove Class From Core Curriculum

Photo: Studetn protest disrupts Tucson school board meeting

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The fight to keep Tucson Unified School District’s Ethnic Studies/Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program moved to the University of Arizona’s College of Education, Tuesday, for an event titled “The Real Truth.”

About 50 people, primarily UA students, attended the presentation which was intended to highlight data that supports the successes of students in the program. After Dr. Augustine Romero gave an energetic presentation in its defense, a student demonstration broke out. Hundreds of students wound up storming into the board room and chaining themselves together.

TUSD Superintendent, Dr. John Pedicone, blamed Romero for leading the students in protest, though Romero disputed those claims.

Due to the protest, the board canceled its meeting in which they were preparing to vote on making Ethnic Studies an elective class rather than a part of the core curriculum.

Dr. Romero credits Mexican-American studies in claiming that students who have taken the classes, generally score higher in math and reading on the state tests known as AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards). He pointed to research that he said reveals that some of those scoring higher, 97 percent go on to graduate high school, as apposed to only 92 percent for the general population.

“People don’t care about the truth,” he said. “People don’t care what the data says honestly. All they want to do is pick and choose their perspectives.”

Read more at KGUN 9 (ABC) Tucson →

Enrique Iglesias And Shakira Sweep At the Billboard Latin Music Awards (VIDEO)

Enrique Iglesias And Shakira Sweep At the Billboard Latin Music Awards (VIDEO)

Photo: Enrique Iglesias And Shakira Big Billboard Winners

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Enrique Iglesias took home nine awards, while the Colombian singer, Shakira, took six.

The 2011 edition of the Billboard Latin Music Awards, was seen in more than 35 countries, live from Miami on Telemundo.

Iglesias took home the Latin Artist of the Year award (a category launched only last year) the Latin Album of the Year and Latin Pop Album of the Year, for his hit album “Euphoria,” including “Cuando Me Enamoro” (featuring Juan Luis Guerra), which won Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event and Latin Pop Airplay Song of the Year. The Spanish artist also earned the Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year Male and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Male, for his sales record of “Euphoria”.

Shakira won the Latin Pop Airplay Artist of the Year, Solo and Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year Female for her airplay endeavors, and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female, for sales of her album “Sale el Sol,” which also earned the Colombian the Latin Digital Album of the year while the World Cup Anthem “Waka Waka,” earned the distinction of Latin Digital Download of the Year. Shakira also won the Social 50 Latin Artist of the Year, award, which is based on performance on Billboard’s Social 50 chart.

Other noteworthy wins this year included pop group Camila, who took three awards for their 2010 release “Déjate Amar,” Prince Royce, the young singer who gained attention with his bilingual cover of “Stand By Me,” took home three Billboards for his self-titled debut.

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study: Young Latinos Without Diplomas or GEDs Will Have Even Fewer Job Opportunities by 2018

Study: Young Latinos Without Diplomas or GEDs Will Have Even Fewer Job Opportunities by 2018

Photo: By 2018 Latinos with unfinished education may have employment issues

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Tuesday, the National Council of La Raza has released a report showing that the school dropout rate of Latino teenagers is now 28 percent, and those who do not finish school face greater social and job-market obstacles in their future.

The report states that a mere 58 percent of Latinos finish high school, and of those 40 percent under the age of 25 are unemployed or only have temporary jobs

And it is expected that future prospects are even worse, as half of the 15.6 million new jobs predicted to be created in the U.S. by 2016 – mainly those in the fields of health care, social services, computers, and environmental sciences – are going to require at least some college or university education. If the trend continues, by 2018, it is expected that only 28 percent of available jobs will be hiring those who have not finished high school.

While these predictions, Latino workers would likely remain in the low-paying agriculture, fishing, cleaning, and construction jobs.

La Raza, wishing to avoid this future, remains adamant that programs meant to keep young Latinos ages 16-24 in school are not working, and need to be reformed.

Simon Lopez, director of La Raza’s Workforce and Leadership Development told EFE, “Keeping in mind that Hispanics are going to represent a very important segment in the future labor force, it’s crucial to reengage these young people in their training, educate them, to be able to place these kids, who now are at risk of social exclusion, on the road to quality employment and economic stability.”

The study also showed that, during their lifetime, young people who complete high school or get their GED earn an average of $630,000 more than those that do not.

Read more at Fox News Latino →

Virgin Of Guadalupe Appears in California—And She’s riding a Surfboard!

Virgin Of Guadalupe Appears in California—And She’s riding a Surfboard!

Photo: Surfing Virgin Of Encinitas

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ImageEncinitas, CA residents in bogus construction worker uniforms installed a 10x10 foot stained glass mosaic of La Señora, riding a surf board a few days before Easter.

Since the Easter appearance of this artwork that celebrates surfing culture, the Virgin Mary and ocean conservation, all at the same time, calls have been pouring into the office of Encinitas Councilman Jerome Stocks, some begging the official to not take down the luscious stained glass piece, some calling for the immediate destruction of a blasphemous image that defaces public property.

Stocks, who used to be a cartoonist said he likes the piece himself, but a religious artwork on public property invites lawsuits, and from a strictly political standpoint, the piece must go.

“Chances are if we don’t take this down — if someone puts a loving, glowing mosaic of Hitler or Osama Bin Laden across the street — then how could we take that one down?” he said.Image

There’s a problem with taking it down. “It looks pretty darn permanent to me,” said Encinitas Councilwoman Teresa Barth. The mosaic seems to be fixed to plaster boards, which in turn have been glued to the concrete wall with an epoxy kind of fixative.

Image“That’s consistent with guerilla art and its confrontation with the establishment,” Stocks said.

“It’s so beautiful and so well done that I wish they would take it to the (city) arts commission and give it a chance before they take it down,” said Beverly Goodman, who deals similar Lady Guadalupe art out of her store, Coast Highway Traders in downtown Encinitas.

Father Brian Corcoran of Saint John Parish said the artwork was “inspiring” and hopes city officials leave it where it is. He also insisted in removing it with care and installing it in his at his St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church about a mile up Encinitas Boulevard, if it is ruled that it must be taken down.

“It is a great representation of God being close to us,” he said.

Encinitas is itself a quirky town when it comes to public art, and art in general. “It’s so Encinitas,” said Linda Conover, who owns Leucadia Pizzeria across the street. “It just makes me feel good when I drive by it every day.”

ImageAnother resident Grace Parsons said she’d like the city to keep it in place and protect it with Plexiglas.

Jack Quick, a Encinitas arts supply store owner, said he saw the group of hard-hatted men installing the piece. He estimated the piece cost at least $1,000 in materials and at least a 100 hours of labor to put it together.

Howard Whitlock, the city’s Assistant Superintendent of Public Works, said the public works department would do its best to not to damage the mosaic if it is decided it must come down.

We are just left wondering…. What Would Jesus Do?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Apple: No to Immigrant-Smuggling Game “Smuggle Truck” for iPhone, Yes to “Snuggle Truck”

Apple: No to Immigrant-Smuggling Game “Smuggle Truck” for iPhone, Yes to “Snuggle Truck”

Photo: Apple allows "Snuggle Truck" but not "Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration" App for iPhone

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Apple Inc. has rejected an iPhone game in which users would be smuggling immigrants through a desert while trying to stop them from being thrown from the truck.

The game “Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration” was turned down by the Apple App Store, said the developers Owlchemy Labs. However, a revamped game now called “Snuggle Truck” – which allows players to “bring cute animals from the wilderness to the comfort of a zoo” – was approved and is now available as an iPhone App here.

The original “Smuggle Truck” drew attention from immigration advocates after information about it was released. This game has users driving a truck full of immigrants across what appears to be the U.S.-Mexico border, and over cliffs, mountains, and dead animals. As the truck flies and jumps, immigrants fall out. The point of the game is to get over the border with as many immigrants still in the truck as possible.

While the Owlchemy was under fire for allegedly trivializing immigrants’ struggle to come to the U.S., developer Alex Shwartz said the game was actually intended to bring attention to the unjust immigration system.

“There were definitely some misconceptions,” said Schwartz. “We went with the satire and we were kind of half way through development when news picked it up ... and inferred what we were going for.”

But while the game will not be available for iPhones, it is still available for Macs and PCs for $5. And supporting Shwartz’s claims, is the “legal immigration mode,” which “gives players the opportunity to sit in a waiting room and stare at a clock that counts down over the next 20 years” to showcase just how long the legal immigration process takes.

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Read more at AP →

Massive Sweep of Latin Gang in LA Nets 80 Arrests after 3-Year Probe

Massive Sweep of Latin Gang in LA Nets 80 Arrests after 3-Year Probe

Photo: Rancho San Pedro Gang Bust

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More than 1,300 federal and local law enforcement officers fanned out Thursday morning across the Los Angeles harbor area to arrest 80 alleged members and associates of the Rancho San Pedro gang, capping a nearly three-year investigation that linked the group to firearms and narcotics trafficking.

The enforcement action targeted some 230 Rancho San Pedro members and associates who are charged in federal and state court documents with a host of crimes, including violent acts as well as firearms and narcotics violations. Of the defendants located and taken into custody Thursday, 66 were arrested on state weapons and narcotics charges and 14 were arrested based upon federal indictments.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has issued 12 indictments naming 26 defendants on charges ranging from the distribution of methamphetamine and illegal weapon sales to immigration offenses. One of the indictment names three defendants who were allegedly involved in a series of narcotics transactions, including one sale involving more than one pound of methamphetamine. The lead defendant in that case is also accused of brokering the sale of 22 firearms, including assault rifles. About half of the defendants named in the federal indictments face potential life sentences.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting approximately 145 defendants on state charges, including illegal weapons possession and selling drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin.

The Rancho San Pedro gang originated back in the 1970s. Its membership includes 600 documented members, as well as more than 400 associates.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Railroads to be Honored

Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Railroads to be Honored

Photo: Mexican Braceros Working on U.S. Railroads

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Amtrak, in a partnership with the National Museum of American History, will feature an exhibit at Chicago Union Station that honors the contributions of thousands of Mexicans to the nation’s railroads on National Train Day, May 7, 2011. 

The exhibit, open to the public from 11am to 4pm, will highlight the impact the Braceros had in the lives of Mexicans while they participated in the construction and maintenance of the railroads and include a display of tools that were used during that period, audio-visual images and excerpts of interviews with former Braceros. 

During the event, University of Illinois Historian Mike Amezcua, Ph.D., will discuss the importance of the Braceros guest worker in the history of the railroads as well as the Mexican migration and settlement in the region.  Former Braceros Baldomero Capiz and Pablo Velasquez will join the celebration and share their personal railroad experiences with the audience.

An estimated 14,000 track workers were needed to maintain working rail lines across the U.S.  Facing labor shortages caused by World War II, the United States initiated a series of agreements with Mexico to recruit Mexican men to work on U.S. farms and railroads. These agreements became known as the Braceros program, since it is a term used in Mexico for a manual laborer.

In 1943, the first groups of men ventured across the U.S. to work for railroads such as Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, Burlington and many others.  Mexican track workers could be found between New York and Maryland, St. Louis and Chicago and from San Diego to San Francisco.  More than 130,000 Mexican men were contracted to more than 30 railroads.

National Train Day commemorates the 142nd anniversary of the transcontinental railroad.  In addition to the Braceros exhibit, there will be many fun activities throughout the station for the whole family to enjoy. Train cars will be open and other trains will be on display for the public to tour and explore. All activities are free and open to the public on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Union Station, 225 South Canal Street, Chicago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

REPORT:  ‘Urgent Need’ for Cancer Research Among U.S. Minorities

REPORT:  ‘Urgent Need’ for Cancer Research Among U.S. Minorities

Photo: Minorities Cancer Research

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The United States urgently needs to expand research and improve understanding of cancer among minority populations, according to a special report issued Thursday by the President’s Cancer Panel.

While minorities currently account for roughly one-third of the U.S. population, they are expected to become the collective majority by the year 2050, according to the report.

The panel noted that “minority and other underserved populations are disproportionately affected by certain cancers, are often diagnosed at later stages of disease, and frequently have lower rates of survival.”

What’s more, the incidence of cancer among minority populations is projected to nearly double over the next 20 years.

“Most of what we know about cancer is based on studies of non-Hispanic white people, but by the middle of the century that group will be only 38 percent of the population,” said panel member Margaret L. Kripke, a professor emerita of immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “We need more data on cancer among minority populations so that we can begin to implement specific preventive measures.”

The report recommends more research into sociological factors that may explain disparities in cancer mortality among minorities.

“There have been a lot of studies in recent years trying to understand genetic differences associated with cancer susceptibility, but there are also cultural factors that can affect cancer mortality,” said Kripke. “In some cultures, people are so afraid of a cancer diagnosis that they don’t seek treatment until it’s very late.”

Current cancer screening guidelines should be evaluated, the panel noted, “to determine their accuracy in assessing disease burden in diverse populations.”

“One-size-fits-all screening guidelines don’t work,” Kripke said. “For example, the breast cancer screening guidelines have been loosened up so that women can start having mammograms later and may be screened less often, but we know that there is an early age of onset of breast cancer among Latino populations, and so if you change the guidelines based on the majority of people, these women will be left out.”

Another recommendation is that “cultural competency” become an integral part of medical school as well as continuing education for all health-care providers and administrative staff.

Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, praised the report, and said it “hit all the right points.”

“The biggest thing we need to do is to get people access to care, the next thing is to make sure they get good quality care, and then we need to make sure that the care is delivered in a friendly environment where the patient feels welcome,” said Brawley.

“The first two are actually much easier to do than the third,” he noted. “A lot of poor people, but especially poor blacks and poor Hispanics, are suspicious of the medical system, and think the hospital doesn’t really want to care for them—[that] they just want to bill them and utilize them to teach their medical students.”

Kripke acknowledged that many of the recommendations involve spending more money at a time when the health-care system is already financially strained.

“For instance, we know that the best way to deliver cancer information to a patient whose primary language is not English is through a medical translator, but how many hospitals can afford to do that?” she said.

The panel concluded that disparities in cancer care and research will ultimately be eliminated only by addressing the social factors involved in poor health outcomes, such as poverty, substandard housing, lower educational status and inadequate access to quality health care.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Utah Gov. Herbert Defends New Immigration Law Protecting Undocumented Immigrants

Utah Gov. Herbert Defends New Immigration Law Protecting Undocumented Immigrants

Photo: Work Visa, Guest Worker

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Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued a statement last week defending Utah’s new immigration law in a rebuttal to U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s comment that the federal government should sue Utah to stop its immigrant guest-worker program.

In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Smith, R-Texas, said Utah’s new immigration law, adopted in the 2011 legislative session as H.B. 116, is “usurping Congress” and “the employment of illegal immigrants is a direct threat to American workers.” Herbert signed the law on March 15 but it is not scheduled to take effect for two years.

“A lawsuit is completely premature,” Herbert, a Republican, said in a news release. “The people of the U.S. would be better served if the federal government used the time between now and 2013 to actually address immigration, rather than sue Utah for trying to manage the practical realities we face as states due to the absence of federal action.”

H.B. 116, or the “Utah solution” on immigration, as it has been nicknamed, would allow an “undocumented individual” to obtain a guest worker permit to work in the state.The new law also states that those with guest worker permits can apply for permits for their spouses and children under the age of 21.

“The Utah solution is not a solution to immigration, it is just addressing some of the real world situations that the state finds itself in,” said Ally Isom, deputy chief of staff for Herbert. “This congressman [Lamar Smith] that doesn’t represent our state was critical of our solution, and there would be no need for a Utah solution if the U.S. government would issue a response.”

This law hits home for BYU students on campus as well. Cassandra Ball, a sophomore studying anthropology, saw a need to help those in the country.

“I have seen a lot of illegal immigrants being exploited and taken advantage of because of their illegal immigrant status, so I feel that if there is something that can be done to lessen that effect, that is important,” Ball said.

The federal government has been under close watch with the introduction of President Obama’s immigration reform, but what many are calling as a failure to act on the federal government’s part has left many states, like Arizona and Utah, to take immigration into their own hands.

Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the University of California at Davis School of Law, specializes in immigration law and he said states are going to implement their own laws until the federal government acts.

“Many states are passing these types of laws and are trying to deal with what they view as a problem of the national law, and this is Utah’s way of dealing with a national problem,” Johnson said. “Not much is going to happen, these state and local laws are going to continue to be passed so long as Congress fails to do something about the immigration problem.”

In his statement, Herbert urged Congress to act.

“Instead of throwing rocks at Utah, Congress should get off the sidelines, into the game and actually do something,” he said.

Read more at BYU University →

Argentina Investing to Improve Global Exports by Small-to-Mid Size Businesses

Argentina Investing to Improve Global Exports by Small-to-Mid Size Businesses

Photo: Small Businesses in Argentina

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Argentina will seek to increase the value of annual exports by its small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by $90 million over the next two years, as part of a program to strengthen the management of foreign trade policy that will be supported by a $3 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The program will strengthen the areas of operational management, trade promotion and investment attraction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to promote greater participation of SMEs in international trade activities.

The program’s goal is to encourage a more dynamic growth of exports, diversify products and markets, and increase the proportion of exports with higher value added. This will in turn translate into improved levels of employment, especially for Argentina’s regional economies, and will stimulate the further development of SMEs.

The project will help the Ministry of International Cooperation and Coordination to optimize management tools and systems, financial administration, communications and physical infrastructure with the goal of improving efficiency in service delivery. In addition the project will enhance the tools of trade promotion and investment attraction of the Secretariat.

As a result of the program, SME exports are expected to increase from US$2.3 billion in 2009 to US$2.4 billion in 2013. The program is also expected to increase the number of SME companies in trade promotion events and the degree of satisfaction of SME beneficiaries with the services provided by the Ministry, among other management goals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sen. Menendez in Support of Rep. Lofgren’s Call to Investigate Secure Communities Program

Sen. Menendez in Support of Rep. Lofgren’s Call to Investigate Secure Communities Program

Photo: Call to Stop Secure Communities Program

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Amid reports that the Department of Homeland Security misled local governments to coerce them into participating in the Secure Communities program and ignored concerns with the program’s impact on crime fighting efforts and encouragement of racial profiling to target illegal immigrants, US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released the following statement today in support of Representative Lofgren’s (D-San Jose) call for an investigation into this matter.

“I support Representative Zoe Lofgren’s request for an investigation into statements by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) about whether state and local jurisdictions can opt-out of the Secure Communities program. There is a fog of confusion surrounding this program and the recent release of internal DHS emails has shed light on the fact that DHS has tried to coerce states and localities into participating instead of addressing their concerns about the program’s impact on community policing and crime fighting.  In addition to an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department’s Inspector General into the question of state and local opt-outs, DHS should limit the program to individuals convicted of serious criminal offenses.”

“While I strongly agree that serious criminals should be removed from the United States, this program has gone awry and strayed from its mission.  It needs fundamental reform and state and local police officers, who are on the front line of crime fighting and protecting our community, should be able to decide whether the program helps or hurts their number one priority of fighting crime.”

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Immigration’s Victim Assistance Program Puts Victim’s Needs First

The phone rings at 1:32 a.m. At that hour, the news can’t be good. The agent on the line received a referral from a local law enforcement partner who encountered an abused and exploited individual, potentially someone who has been trafficked for sex or labor. Luckily, a victim assistance specialist from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Victim Assistance Program is there to offer assistance.

“We are the non-gun, non-badge carrying personnel who are dedicated to victims’ rights and services,” said Marie Martinez, section chief for the Victim Assistance Program.

The program’s 18 victim assistance specialists are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have experience in social work, child welfare, human rights, and counseling; and their primary goals are to ensure that crime victims’ rights are protected, that they receive immigration relief when necessary, and that they have access to services. ICE victim assistance coordinators assist victims encountered in any ICE investigation, from human trafficking and child exploitation to human rights abuse and white collar crime. But, Martinez notes, “The lion’s share of our time is spent assisting victims of human trafficking and child exploitation.”

Crime victims - especially those of human trafficking who may be in the United States illegally - often don’t realize they have rights. These individuals are scared and alone - marginalized from society. More often than not, they have experienced traumatic situations that may have long-lasting psychological effects.

Prior to the creation of the Victim Assistance Program and the hiring of full-time subject matter experts in victim assistance, special agents were responsible for all aspects of human trafficking cases, including victim care and coordination. Accessing timely and comprehensive services for victims often proved difficult due to the time-intensive demands of the investigation and the challenges in navigating social services systems and obtaining immigration relief.

“A stable victim is a much better witness,” said special agent Ed Kelly. “[The program] creates an atmosphere where it’s not such a jar when law enforcement comes back into the victim’s life to rehash the whole incident.”

By doing so, the program creates better outcomes not only for the affected individuals, but for the criminal justice system as a whole.

If there’s one thing that a victim of a crime should understand, it is that, “first and foremost, we are concerned about their safety and needs. We view them as partners in the criminal justice process, and they are much better equipped to participate actively and fully when they’ve been treated with respect and care,” said Martinez.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayApril 29, 2011