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TuesdayMay 3, 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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Honduras Set to Return to the Organization of American States

Honduras Set to Return to the Organization of American States

Photo: Organization of American States

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The announcement by the Organization of American States (OAS) that the Principal condition for the return of Honduras to the OAS has now been met. The Honduran Supreme Court, on May 2, resolved the criminal cases against former President Zelaya in accordance with Honduran law. While the United States Government did not take a position on how these cases should be decided, the hope was that their resolution will promote continued national reconciliation in Honduras.

The United States, together with all OAS Member States, suspended Honduras’ participation in the OAS in July 2009. President Lobo was democratically elected in November 2009 and took office in January 2010 helping restore democratic and constitutional order in Honduras. Since his inauguration, President Lobo has moved swiftly to pursue national reconciliation, strengthen governance, stabilize the economy, and improve human rights conditions.

The United States believes the suspension of Honduras should be immediately lifted and supports OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza’s intention to initiate consultations with member states on this issue. Full participation in the OAS would enable Honduras to benefit fully from the OAS capacity to promote human rights and good governance.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gómez to Host MuchMusic Awards 2011

Selena Gómez to Host MuchMusic Awards 2011

Photo: Selena Gómez

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The young actress and singer will be the host of Canada’s 2011 Much Music Video Awards on June 19th.

“I am thrilled and honored to host the MuchMusic Video Awards,” said Selena in a statement. “I look forward to seeing all my Canadian fans and kicking off the summer together.”

The Award Ceremony’s Executive Producer, Sheila Sullivan praised Gómez, saying she’ll “bring her signature smile to the MMVAs stage where her fans are guaranteed to welcome her to the most exciting and loudest award show on Earth”

The MMVAs are just one small part of Selena’s ridiculously busy summer; her Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place will be wrapping up production in the next few weeks, she has a brand new album to be released June 28, as well as a movie—Monte Carlo, opening July 1.

On top of all that, Selena’s first North American headlining tour launches in July.

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama Meets with Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Discuss Immigration

President Obama Meets with Congressional Hispanic Caucus to Discuss Immigration

Photo: President Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss immigration

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Today the President and Senior Administration Officials met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system for our nation’s 21st century economic and security needs so that America can win the future. The President was also scheduled discuss how to work together to foster a constructive national conversation issue as everyone works to build a bipartisan consensus in Congress.

Key points to be discussed were:

-Responsibility from the federal government to secure our borders
-Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers
-Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally
-Strengthen economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that meets our diverse needs
-Dedicating Unprecedented Resources to Secure the Border
-Making our Interior and Worksite Enforcement Efforts Smarter and More Strategic
-Improving our Legal Immigration System

Read more at White House →

“If You Don’t Succeed Try Again and Again Latin Style” (VIDEO)

Read more by HS News Staff →

TB Cases in NYC Down, but Most Common in Ecuadoran, Chinese Communties

TB Cases in NYC Down, but Most Common in Ecuadoran, Chinese Communties

Photo: Tuberculosis most common among New York City's Chinese and Ecuadoran communites

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In New York, tuberculosis cases have hit an all-time low. However, it is still a major health issue in the city’s Ecuadoran and Chinese communities.

The problem, health officials say, is that immigrants are still carrying the lung disease over from their homelands and bringing it to the U.S.

At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic in 1992, 70 percent of NYC’s cases were born in the U.S., while today, 80 percent of the cases are of those born elsewhere.

Doctors suspect that the disease remains dormant in immigrants until they come to the U.S. And although a TB test is required for those looking to permanently immigrant, not all come to the country legally, which means they likely are not tested.

Adding to the problem is the fact that TB often goes undiagnosed, as most with the disease are undocumented, poor, and fear being apprehended by authorities.

Complicating things once more, is the issue of sufferers being misdiagnosed even when they do go to a hospital. Many doctors believe the disease is obsolete, and claim bronchitis or pneumonia as the culprit. It is not until a patient coughs up blood or complains of chest pain that a doctor realizes it’s tuberculosis.

Director of tuberculosis control for the city Health Department, Chrispin Kambill said, “We’ve been really good at stopping the local transmission of tuberculosis, but our challenge is to identify new cases quickly.”

Last year, 711 people were diagnosed with TB, which is the lowest number in the city’s history. Among them, 15 percent were Chinese, 6 percent were Ecuadoran, 6 percent were Dominican, 5 percent were Mexican, and 4 percent were Bangladeshi.

Read more at New York Daily News →

IL Dream Act Vote Tomorrow! Take Action! Support the Illinois DREAM Act!

IL Dream Act Vote Tomorrow! Take Action! Support the Illinois DREAM Act!

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After months of hard work the Illinois DREAM Act is scheduled to be voted on in the Illinois Senate tomorrow! Please Join HS News and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to Spread the Word!

This bill has the power to make a real difference in the lives undocumented young people throughout Illinois and moves the immigration debate toward.

Urgent: Ask your Senator to vote Yes on the Illinois DREAM Act!

The Illinois DREAM Act provides:

Good information. DREAM youths too often get incorrect information from high school counselors and college admissions officers regarding their college options. This bill would encourage these counselors and officers receive regular training regarding educational opportunities for immigrant youths. Having accurate information would give DREAM youths the hope they need to continue their educations and help reduce the rates of high school dropouts.

Education Access. Many qualified DREAM students do not have the financial resources to pursue college—and as a result their talents are wasted. An estimated 65% of DREAM youths come from households that earn below 200% of the poverty line. The Illinois DREAM Act would establish a privately-funded Illinois DREAM Fund, administered by a volunteer state commission, to make scholarships available to undocumented students at no cost to taxpayers. The bill would also open up college savings programs and prepaid tuition programs to all Illinois residents, so that the families of DREAM students will be better able to pay for tuition. Note one penny comes from tax dollars.

Illinois DREAM Commission. In addition to administering and fundraising for the Illinois DREAM Fund, this commission would monitor implementation of other parts of this law and research the needs of DREAM youths as they make their way through college.
Tell Your Senator to Support the Illinois DREAM Act and other pro-immigrant legislation!

On Saturday at our New Americans Rally, Illinois Senate President Cullerton committed to passing this bill but we need to do our part.
Contact your Senator and ask them to support the Illinois DREAM Act and then ask your friends to do the same!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Several Latinos Nominated to 2011 Tony Awards

Several Latinos Nominated to 2011 Tony Awards

Photo: Latinos Nominated to 2011 Tony Awards

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Meet the Latinos whose outstanding work on Broadway earned them a nomination for the most prestigious award in Theatre.

The list was revealed early Tuesday and unlike last year, didn’t include but a handful of Hollywood talent.

Robert López received two nominations for his work on “The Book of Mormon,” a musical cowritten with South Park masterminds Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The show has been nominated for “Best Book of a Musical” and “Best Original Score Written for the Theater.”

Cuban Actors Bobby Cannavale and Yul Vázquez were nominated for their acting efforts in “The Motherf**ker With a Hat,” along with actress Elizabeth Rodríguez.

Take a peek at the full list of nominees, and for all the nominated Latinos, Rómpanse una Pierna!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Research:  Latino Purchasing Power Now Pegged at $1 Trillion

Research:  Latino Purchasing Power Now Pegged at $1 Trillion

Photo: Hispanic Purchasing Power

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According to figures recently released by the Associated Press based on 2010 Census Bureau data, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the past 10 years and crossed a new census population milestone by reaching 50 million—the equivalent of 1 in 6 Americans. Market research publisher Packaged Facts’ Latino Shoppers: Demographic Patterns and Spending Trends among Hispanic Americans, 8th Edition predicts that Hispanics will be responsible for more than half of the growth in the U.S. population between 2010 and 2015.

As a result of above-average population growth and improved earning power over the past three decades, Latinos have been responsible for an ever-increasing share of consumer buying power in the U.S. Packaged Facts estimates that in 2009 Latinos accounted for more than 9% of total buying power, compared to less than 4% in 1980. The buying power of Hispanics exceeded $1 trillion in 2010, and the population includes a significant number of high-income households. With an estimated buying power of $616 billion, Latinos of Mexican heritage represent the single most influential segment of the Hispanic market. By 2015, Packaged Facts forecasts the buying power of the Latino population as a whole will reach $1.3 trillion.

“The idea that there’s strength in numbers certainly applies to Latinos and what this powerful demographic is poised to achieve over the next several years, especially in regards to the influence Latino consumers will have on retail and how manufacturers market their products,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Marketers must be aware of how increasing acculturation will affect the decisions of Latino shopping behaviors. Compared to their low-acculturation counterparts, high-acculturation Latinos are much more likely to own credit cards, take out loans and have health and life insurance, according to the report.

They are also less influenced by advertising and product placements but are much more alert to in-store promotions. Additionally, they are far more likely to shop and buy online and from catalogs. Packaged Facts further reveals that more education leads to better paying jobs and increasing influence among high-acculturation Latinos, who are more likely than their low-acculturation counterparts to work as managers and professionals, are more likely to own their own homes, and are twice as likely to have a household income of $75,000 or more.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study: Latino Immigrants Not Integrating As Well As Other Minorities

Study: Latino Immigrants Not Integrating As Well As Other Minorities

Photo: Overall immigrants integrating "reasonably well," but Latinos not doing as well as other minorities

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Released Monday, a study done by the Migration Policy Institute, reveals that compared to Asian, black and non-Hispanic white immigrants, Latinos are not integrating as quickly into American society.

The report’s author Tomas Jimenez, said, “Progress among the United States’ different immigration groups is highly uneven, however, Latinos are not faring as well.”

First- and second-generation Latinos tend to be more residentially segregated than Asian immigrants, and are not as socially and economically integrated as non-Hispanic whites.

The study also found that Latino citizens are less likely to vote, or even be registered to do so.

Fears that immigrants are coming to the U.S., but not assimilating to “American life” are unfounded, said the report. It actually said that though Latinos are having a harder time integrating as compared to other immigrants, overall, immigrants are doing “reasonably well,” and are even learning English more quickly than the previous influx of immigrants.

In fact, they are making progress amidst a time of minimal government assistance, with help from a strong labor market and the availability of a quality education.

Though, authors warn, illegal immigration laws, and debates on the matter could have a negative impact on that future progress.

Read more at Reuters →

Mother’s Day Flowers Threatened by Record Rains in Colombia

Mother’s Day Flowers Threatened by Record Rains in Colombia

Photo: Weather Threatens Colombia's Flower Exports

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Some of the most intense rains in Colombia’s history have left three million people affected, and now threatens to water down everyone’s Mother’s Day and the flowers you were going to give mama.

The current weather season in Colombia has the nation on the verge of declaring a state of emergency throughout its territory. At least 420 people have died, more than 140,000 homes have been seriously damaged, or destroyed, and schools and universities have closed their door indefinitely, their campuses flooded.

The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that at least 2.6 million acres in 24 out of the nation’s 32 departments (i.e. states) have been affected. In addition, 115,000 head of cattle have died and another 1.4 million have been forced to relocate.

Many of Colombia’s key flower-farming areas, were among the hardest hit by torrential rains, which seem to have intensified in the last couple of weeks.

“On an individual basis, there are some dramatic cases with total losses and farms that are completely underwater,” said Augusto Solano Mejia, the president of Colombia’s National Association of Flower Exporters. “But it’s impossible to generalize. We still don’t know how many acres were affected. But we’re trying to resolve these issues and help producers ship their holiday orders.”

The association says that 5% to 15% of national production could be ruined, a loss that comes just as dollar prices plummet, and trade preferences expire, which translates in a 6.8% tariff on the price of flowers.

“This has really been a perfect storm for flower growers,” said Jose Azout, the president of a 20-acre farm north of Bogotá. “There are not going to be many flowers for Mother’s Day in the United States this year.”

Another flower house has been using boats around their farms to ferry their employees into the green houses, after they found themselves surrounded by water last week.

“This has been a logistical headache but we haven’t missed any of our orders,” said General Manager Luis Fernando Nieto. “For some of our workers, particularly the older ones, this if the first time they’ve ever been in a boat.”

President Juan Manuel Santos has been criticized, and accused of not pushing the government to prepare for the weather crisis before it hit full force.

“It’s as if the entire country was being affected by a hurricane that hit in the middle of last year and hasn’t left,” he said. “That’s why we weren’t able to use the months with less rain to start major projects. It would have been wasting resources by building on quick sand,” said Santos on a televised intervention.


 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Avon Triples First-Quarter Profits with Help From Latin American Sales

Avon Triples First-Quarter Profits with Help From Latin American Sales

Photo: With help from Latin American sales, Avon sees a its first-quarter profits triple

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Avon Products Inc. has announced that its first quarter profit more than tripled thanks in to its Latin American sales.

At the end of last year’s first quarter, Avon’s profits were $42.5 million, but this year they jumped to $143.6 million in just the first quarter of 2011.

Tuesday, the New York-based company said it’s net income was just 10 cents per share at this time last year, but now they are seeing 33 cents per share.

“Latin America’s first-quarter 2011 revenue was up 16% year over year, or up 11% in constant dollars, with strong growth in most of our large markets,” said an Avon press release.”

In North America however, first-quarter revenue was down 2 percent.

Overall, Avon’s first-quarter 2011 total revenue was $2.6 billion, 7% higher than that of first-quarter 2010.

“Beauty sales increased 8% year over year, with gains in all categories during the first quarter of 2011: 10% growth in fragrance, 6% in color, 7% in skincare, and 8% in personal care. Constant-dollar growth of 4% in Beauty was driven by gains of 6% in fragrance, 2% in color, 4% in skincare, and 5% in personal care.”

Read more at Avon Products Inc. →

U.S. to Provide $25.5 Million for Emergency Communication at Mexico and Canada Borders

U.S. to Provide $25.5 Million for Emergency Communication at Mexico and Canada Borders

Photo: DHS to fund improvements to communication at U.S.-Canada and Mexico borders

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Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a plan to strengthen emergency communications along both Canada and Mexico.

Grant funding of $25.5 million was allocated under the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project (BIDP), which was a one-time competitive grant program intended to help developing innovative solutions to enhance communication at the borders.

Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, said, “The projects funded through the BIDP strengthen the security of our northern and southern borders, and our nation’s overall preparedness and emergency response capabilities.”

The money will be split between seven projects in seven states, which include Arizona, California, Maine, Michigan, Montana Ohio, and Texas.

Planned projects include Arizona’s Yuma Full Voice and Data Integration Demonstration, estimated to cost about $3,994,443; Maine’s Enhanced Communications Infrastructure and Partnerships for Border Security, costing roughly $4 million; and Ohio’s Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdictional U.S. Regional & International Interoperable Communications Infrastructure and Maritime Domain Awareness.

The BIDP was established to improve and ensure secure emergency communications among emergency service providers along U.S. borders in cases of terrorism, natural disasters, and any other threatening events.

Read more at BNO News →

BUSTED! Desperate Housewives Ricardo Chavira Held For DUI

BUSTED! Desperate Housewives Ricardo Chavira Held For DUI

Photo: Ricardo Chavira DUI

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Eva Longoria’s onscreen hubby in ‘Desperate Housewives’  is being held on $25k bond after refusing to take a blood/alcohol test.

The performer, who is the son of Texas justice Juan Antonio Chavira, was stopped at a routine Los Angeles checkpoint at around 2am. An officer smelled alcohol on his breath, and asked the actor to perform a sobriety test.

Unsatisfied with the test results, the officer asked Chavira to perform a breath/blood alcohol test, which the actor refused.

Chavira is one of the longest running characters in the ABC show, he’s been on the show since episode one.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Remittances to Mexico from U.S.-based Migrants Increases 5.5% to 5 Billion

Remittances to Mexico from U.S.-based Migrants Increases 5.5% to 5 Billion

Photo: Remittances to U.S. from Mexico Up

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Mexico’s central bank has just released its quarterly report on remittances sent through its banks from migrants workers in the U.S. 

The report shows that the money U.S. based Mexican migrants sent to Mexico increased by 5.5% from same time last year to $5 billion.  The first quarter of 2010, last year’s figures, shows remittances of $4.8 billion.

In March of 2011 alone Mexican migrants sent $2 billion dollars – this is the sixth month that remittances have increased from prior months.

According to the Mexican central bank ‘nearly all the money comes from the U.S., where nearly 12 million Mexican citizens live.’  These remittances remain Mexico’s second source of foreign income only after its oil exports.

Read more at Business Week →

Hispanic Florida Woman Hides Fraudulent Credit Card in Her Vagina or “Lady Purse”

Hispanic Florida Woman Hides Fraudulent Credit Card in Her Vagina or “Lady Purse”

Photo: Woman hides credit card and driver's license in her vagina.

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Friday, Florida authorities arrested a women after it was discovered that she was in possession of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise purchased with a fraudulent credit card. When questioned, she told police that the credit card was hidden in her vagina.

Lee County Sheriff’s deputies said Ann Marie Hernandez, 46, was pulled over around 7 p.m. Friday evening. Detectives noticed a variety of high-end power tools and equipment in her car, apparently bought at Home Depot, some still with security tags.

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ImageWhen questioned about everything, Hernandez admitted to police that she had hidden the fraudulent credit card she used, and a fake license, in her vagina. A female deputy was then called to the scene.

When police later contacted the store and Citibank, it was confirmed that the merchandise, totaling more than $5,000, was purchased at the Cape Coral Home Depot using the false cards.

Hernandez was arrested and charged with one count of misrepresenting a credit card, and one count of possession of a fraudulent driver’s license.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The #1 Most Popular Video in Argentina: Reggaeton Frolicking Abuelitos (VIDEO)

The #1 Most Popular Video in Argentina: Reggaeton Frolicking Abuelitos (VIDEO)

Photo: Dancing Abuelocos. #1 Video in Argentina

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Not all of them are abuelitos; it seems that Tío Bailarín and Tío Ritmo De Pollo might have instigated this peculiar dance off!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sam’s Club of Walmart Finds Out Hispanic Hate Can be Costly

Sam’s Club of Walmart Finds  Out Hispanic Hate Can be Costly

Photo: Sam's Club - California

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Hispanic hate never pays let alone when you are one of the country’s largest employers.  The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has leveled a $440,000 against Sam’s Club of Walmart for allowing Hispanic employees to be racially targeted and harassed.

Several Mexican-American employees of the Sam’s Club of Fresno, California went to management to complain about daily verbal insults that consisted of being called “fuckin wetback” and threats to call immigration.  All the Latino employees that were complaining have legal status to be in the country.

After filing the complaints the Latino employees suffered more indignities and harassment that included being screamed at for their inability to speak proper English. 

The EEOC has mandated that Sam’s Club, in addition to paying the fine, review their work policies and discrimination complaint procedures.

Read more at Retailing Today →

Latin America’s Top Ten Billionaires of 2011

Latin America’s Top Ten Billionaires of 2011

Photo: Who Are The Wealthiest People in Latin América?

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Meet the wealthiest people in Latin América!

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Read more by HS News Staff →

American Heart Assoc. Helping Latina Moms Fight High Rate of Heart Disease

American Heart Assoc. Helping Latina Moms Fight High Rate of Heart Disease

Photo: Por Tu Corazon

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Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of Hispanic women. On average, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanic white women. Yet, most are still unaware of this threat. This Mother’s Day, the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazon encourages daughters to have a heart-to-heart conversation that could potentially save their mother’s life. 

Sadly, mothers, sisters and friends are dying at the rate of one per minute because they don’t know that heart disease kills. To help begin this conversation, Go Red Por Tu Corazon supporter Ximena Navarrete urges mothers and daughters to have this heart-to-heart in a thirty-second online Public Service Announcement featured on the Go Red Por Tu Corazon Facebook page. 

“As a woman and a Latina, the Go Red Por Tu Corazon cause is very close to my heart as it helps to educate Hispanic women worldwide about their personal risks for heart disease. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by this deadly disease, and I have made it my mission to educate my family, friends and the community to make healthier eating and lifestyle choices,” said Ximena Navarrete, Miss Universe 2010.

To encourage a Heart-to-Heart this Mother’s Day, Go Red Por Tu Corazon is offering tools and resources, along with steps to make a heart-healthy meal, so Latinas can honor their mother. While Hispanic women can’t change certain risk factors, such as ethnicity and family history, they can help reduce their risks for heart disease by choosing to eat healthy. 

“My parents felt that I wasn’t proud of my culture because I wasn’t eating exactly the way they were used to eating, when really all I wanted was for them to lead healthier lives by making small changes in the preparation of our traditional dishes,”  said Linda Pena, 23,  Go Red Por Tu Corazon Spokesperson. 

Latinas can engage in this very important conversation with those they love by using the new Heart Tools available on the Go Red Por Tu Corazon official Facebook page. After all, there is no better gift than a conversation that could help your mother live longer.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Approves New Laws Protecting Migrants in Light of Mass Graves & Killings

Mexico Approves New Laws Protecting Migrants in Light of Mass Graves & Killings

Photo: Migrants in Mexico

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The Chamber of Deputies of Mexico approved unanimously late last week, a new law that recognizes and protects the human rights of migrants, both for the countrymen and for foreigners, which had already been approved by the Senate. The initiative, approved by 432 votes in the final phase of the legislature, guarantees full respect for human rights of migrants, whatever their origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age and immigration status.

“This new law will give legal certainty for migrants and thus are protected from violence or crimes such as extortion and kidnapping”, said Norma Leticia Salazar MP, of the party of government, the National Action Party (PAN).

On behalf of Cristabella Zamora, opposition (member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI), said that thanks to this legislation, the migrants can have access to basic services like health care and education. It also supports those involved in the protection of migrants through service centers, in a country where illegal immigrants are routinely the victims of kidnapping and human rights abuses by corrupt officials and organized crime.

This new law, which since December 9, 2010 was discussed in the Mexican Congress, was approved by the Mexican Senate on February 22 and will now be forwarded to the Executive Committee for promulgation. The law provides that any illegal immigrant who has been a victim or witness of a crime, can have legal status in the country until the end of the trial and he will be allowed to work during that period. It also provides access to health services for immigrants, legal, financial, and the opportunity to regularize their immigration status.

Each year, more than 300,000 immigrants try to reach the United States through Mexico, the vast majority of them are Central Americans.

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

Michigan Governor Welcomes Immigration as a Way to Spur Economic Growth

Michigan Governor Welcomes Immigration as a Way to Spur Economic Growth

Photo: Detroit, Michigan

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he welcomes using immigration to repopulate areas of his state and spur economic growth.

Republican Rick Snyder said the state should promote immigration in an interview this week with the Detroit News.

“Encouraging immigration of people with advanced degrees in particular.” Said Snyder.

Last Sunday on “Meet the Press”; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Detroit should work to attract immigrants as a way to overcome the city’s severe population loss.

The latest census figures show that Michigan was the only state to lose population over the past 10 years in America.

Read more at Daily Journal →

California Advances Bill to Allow Communities To Opt Out of ICE Secure Communities Program

California Advances Bill to Allow Communities To Opt Out of ICE Secure Communities Program

Photo: ICE Secure Communities

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California lawmakers are considering allowing communities to opt out of using ICE’s “Secure Communities” program.  California accounts for more than a third of the deportations under the program. Secure Communities links up the FBI’s criminal database and the Department of Homeland Security’s records so that every time someone is arrested their immigration status is automatically electronically checked.

Illinois and Washington State are also both considering measures to allow their communities to choose if they wish to participate in the program.

On Tuesday, the California Assembly’s public safety committee voted to advance the bill that would only let local communities participate in the program if they choose to do so through resolution.

The measure is being met with support from immigrant advocates, and from some in law enforcement, including San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who has long pushed to withdraw from a program he fears will make immigrants afraid to report crime and erode their trust in law enforcement.

The debate over the ICE program heats up as federal authorities aim to achieve nationwide coverage in 2013. It currently is in effect in more than 1,200 jurisdictions in 42 states. The controversy heightened after The Associated Press reported in February that the program initially billed as voluntary by federal officials is now mandatory and that cities must turn over the fingerprint data to ICE.

“That’s the crux of this debate: can you force local law enforcement to conduct civil immigration enforcement? I think the answer is no,” said Angela Chan, staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, adding that she does not believe federal immigration officials legally have the right to access fingerprint data taken by local agencies.

Read more at Google News →

Legal Experts Weigh in on Executive Branch Authority as Its Relates to Immigration

Legal Experts Weigh in on Executive Branch Authority as Its Relates to Immigration

Photo: Executive Order and Immigration

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President Obama’s insistence that his “hands are tied” by Congressional inaction on immigration has raised questions about how much executive power the President has when it comes to immigration. To this end, top immigration law experts, including former counsels to the agencies that manage immigration, have drafted a legal memo outlining the scope of executive branch authority and examples of its use in the immigration context.

Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, noted upon release of the memo:

“Ultimately, responsibility for failing to reform our dysfunctional immigration system rests on Congress. However, it is rarely the case that a President‘s hands are tied by existing law—and where the President disagrees with current law, his or her policy choices regarding the implementation of that law take on even greater importance.  In the context of immigration, the President and his cabinet have a wide range of choices available that can ameliorate some of the worst excesses of current law.  The legal memo attempts to give a short review of these options and demonstrates how wide the ranges of choices really are.

No matter how definitive or rigid a law may appear, the exercise of executive branch authority is critical to the ultimate implementation of the law.  The opportunity to infuse executive branch actions with a generous spirit is always within a president’s reach.  The choice on immigration today is whether the President and his cabinet will act boldly to use their authority to improve the lives of millions, or will allow the current enforcement-only mindset to continue unabated.  Such choices will have an impact for years to come, and require thoughtful and diligent attention.”

The full memo can be viewed here at our HS News Library. 

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayMay 3, 2011