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TuesdayMay 10, 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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Announcement Coming that DREAM Act Bill to be Reintroduced in Senate

Announcement Coming that DREAM Act Bill to be Reintroduced in Senate

Photo: Dream Act Coming Again to Senate

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Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and others will hold a press conference later today to announce the introduction of the DREAM Act – a bill that would allow a select group of immigrant students with great potential to contribute more fully to America.

The press conference will be held at the U.S. Capital at 10:15 am (EST)/9:15 am. (CST).  You can see a live webcast of the press conference here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Haciendo Historia: Marco Antonio Solis & Ana Gabriel on their First Joint Tour

Haciendo Historia: Marco Antonio Solis & Ana Gabriel on their First Joint Tour

Photo: Haciendo Historia: Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio Solis

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International superstars Marco Antonio Solis and Ana Gabriel announced today that they will headline their first ever tour together this summer.  The multi-city HACIENDO HISTORIA is a matchup of two of Mexico’s most respected and successful performers/songwriters playing some of the most exciting and important music in the world. The Live Nation produced tour kicks off on June 10th in Sacramento and continues in full force through August and September. 

Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio have a lot in common.  They are singers, songwriters and producers with immensely successful recording and touring careers of their own.  Their tour is more than a concert; it’s a showcase of two of Mexico’s top talents and this summer’s most exciting event!

MARCO ANTONIO SOLIS
With more than 300 songs, 20 recordings and 30 years of ever increasing success to his credit, 2011 is a watershed year of new and innovative projects for Marco Antonio. This last year he received a Star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame, where he joins seventy Hispanics who have been honored in the same place.  His newest album “EN TOTAL PLENITUD,” released last October, has been a huge success.  The album features 10 tracks written by Solis.  The first single from the album, “A donde vamos a parar,” was chosen as the main musical theme to “Teresa,” one of Televisa’s newest and most successful telenovelas. 

ANA GABRIEL
Born in Tijuana, Baja, Mexico, Ana Gabriel has one of the most successful and versatile careers in Latin music.  A true creative force with one of the most recognizable voices in music, she has experimented with multiple genres from the romantic ballads of the mid 80’s to rock infused music in the 90’s to powerful and traditional Rancheras and mariachi.  Ana’s range and artistic curiosity has covered the spectrum of popular music and she has been rewarded with numerous Platinum and Diamond awards for sales, and the respect of the entire industry.  Ana has been the recipient of the Ritmo Latino Music Award for Female Pop Artist of the Year 2000, the Billboard Latin Music Estrella Award for her contribution to the Latin Music industry and the prestigious lifetime achievement award Premio Lo Nuestro a La Excelencia in the year 2005. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alabama Bill Would Keep Undocumented Immigrant Students Out of Their Proms

Alabama Bill Would Keep Undocumented Immigrant Students Out of Their Proms

Photo: If passed, a new bill would not not allow undocumented students attend prom.

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The Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which gives law enforcement more authority to check people’s immigration status, requires voters to show proof of citizenship to vote, and prohibits “participation in any extracurricular activity outside of the basic course of study” for those in kindergarten to seniors in high school, could be used to claim that undocumented students may not attend prom.

The U.S. Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, Antonio Ginatta, said, “It’s pretty clearly trying to intimidate parents of undocumented children to [send their kids] to school. Consider practically, how can you figure out who qualifies for 4-H and who doesn’t? Who qualifies for chess club and who doesn’t? The only way to figure that out is to ask for immigration certification. And the Alabama Senate could have just said that, but I don’t think the Supreme Court would have allowed it.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Scott Beason calls it a “jobs bill” and has been quoted as saying, “Liberals are always going to want to create their utopia—if they just have a little bit more tax money, if they just let a few more illegal immigrants in—they would just create this wonderful melting pot and it would all be beautiful and we’d run through the field of flowers. Well that’s not going to happen.”

The bill is currently awaiting a vote in the House, and if passed, it will move to the desk of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for final approval.

Read more at Mediaite →

Julio Iglesias Has a Crush on…. Lady Gaga?

Julio Iglesias Has a Crush on…. Lady Gaga?

Photo: When asked about his current favorite musical artists, Julio Iglesias said " I Love Lady Gaga's antics.

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Come visit our Amigo ó Enemigo section as we analyze and dissect what is said by and about Hispanics. 

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Improve Civics Exam Scores, Still Scoring Lower Than Non-Hispanics

Hispanics Improve Civics Exam Scores, Still Scoring Lower Than Non-Hispanics

Photo: Hispanics doing better overall on civics exams, but are still scoring lower than whites

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress has released a report in which it states that students of all ages have poor knowledge of how the democratic process works, including one-third of high school seniors. Hispanics however, have showed some improvement.

The NAEP exam on civics covers the topics of the U.S. political system, the role citizens play in American democracy, and foreign relations. While 4th graders and Hispanic students showed some improvement, among high school seniors, only 24 percent received scores of “proficient” or better. A mere 4 percent scored at an advanced level, and 36 percent did not have even a basic knowledge of the subjects.

The number of Hispanics scoring at proficient or better is up to from 50 percent in 2006 to 56 percent in 2010. Despite the improvement however, Hispanics still score lower than white students, as evident by the scores among fourth grade students overall.

In grade four, 37 percent of white students performed at or above a proficient level, while just 12 percent of black students, and 10 percent of Hispanic students scored at similar levels. As for those scoring below basic knowledge, only 13 percent of white students scored that low, and 38 percent of black students, and 42 percent of Hispanics had similar scores.

At the report’s release, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said, “Knowledge of our system of government is not handed down through the gene pool. What these scores tell us is that we’re not doing well enough in educating young people about our government and how it works.”

Read more at Education News →

Mexican Gunfight Leaves 13 Dead at Falcon Lake

Mexican Gunfight Leaves 13 Dead at Falcon Lake

Photo: Shoot out at Falcon Lake

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The Mexican military engaged in a gun battle with a Zeta camp site on the U.S.-Mexico border at Falcon Lake.  Falcon Lake, located 45 miles from McAllen, Texas, came to American infamy last year with the shooting of a jet skiing American couple, the Hartley’s, that left the husband dead.

The Mexican marines were on routine patrol on the lake in the state of Tamaulipas when it came upon what appeared to be a campsite for The Zeta’s drug cartel.  They immediately opened fire resulting in 12 suspects being killed and one Mexican soldier dying.

It appears that the drug traffickers were using the camp to store marijuana before transporting over into the U.S. The shooting and illicit drug activity all occurred on the Mexican side of the lake.

Read more at CNN Expansion →

Chicago Hotel Chain Fined for Allowing Hispanic Employees to be Harassed

Chicago Hotel Chain Fined for Allowing Hispanic Employees to be Harassed

Photo: Hilton Lisle Fined by EEOC for Hispanic Discrimination

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that a federal judge has entered a $195,000 consent decree to resolve a national origin harassment lawsuit brought by the agency against the Hilton Lisle/Naperville Hotel in Lisle, Ill.

In its lawsuit, EEOC charged that the Hilton Lisle/Naperville violated federal law by subjecting Hispanic employees in the hotel kitchen to offensive comments. Specifically, the EEOC charged that the hotel’s executive chef regularly referred to Hispanic employees as “s—cs” and “wetbacks.”

The three-year consent decree resolving the suit, approved by District Judge Edmund Chang yesterday, May 5, 2011, provides that $195,000 in monetary relief, which includes attorney’s fees, be distributed among two employees who filed charges of discrimination with EEOC and another additional employee.

The decree also requires the Hilton Lisle/Naperville to report any further complaints of retaliation or national origin harassment to the EEOC. The decree requires remedial training for all employees at the hotel, and mandates that the executive chef, who was alleged to have engaged in the harassment of Hispanic kitchen employees, receive personal anti-discrimination training.

A Hilton official was not made available for comment on the ruling.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Watch Pres. Obama Immigration Blueprint Speech LIVE- Join the Conversation (LIVE STREAM)

Watch Pres. Obama Immigration Blueprint Speech LIVE- Join the Conversation (LIVE STREAM)

Photo: President Obama Speaks on the Importance of Fixing the Broken Immigration System

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Today at 3:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 p.m. CDT, 1:30 p.m. MDT), President Obama will lay out his vision for an immigration system for America’s 21st century economy. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

- Watch the live speech below
- Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #immigration
- Tell us your thoughts about immigration reform via “Advice the Advisor”




Read more by HS News Staff →

A Hispanic New York Video Editor Sues ABC Affiliate, On-Air Reporters for Xenophobic Comments

A Hispanic New York Video Editor Sues ABC Affiliate, On-Air Reporters for Xenophobic Comments

Photo: Gerardo Lago sues New York ABC affiliate for xenophobic abuse

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A video editor for an ABC affiliate in New York is suing for what he says was “abusive, offensive and demeaning” language directed at him because he is Hispanic.

Gerardo Lago is suing Lauren Glassberg, Kemberly Richardson, and Stacey Sager, all WABC-TV Eyewitness News personalities for abusive and offensive language against home.

His suit, filed Thursday in the New York Supreme Court, also states that American Boardcasting Co. Inc, and its owner, Disney World Services are being sued as well. He is seeking a settlement of at least $18 million in damages.

Though Lago speaks with an accent, his lawyer stated he speaks “perfect English.”

Some dated examples given in the lawsuit are below.

July 15, 2009: Sager yelled at Lago about the editing of a story about a pipe bomb that exploded in front of a Starbucks in NYC and falsely blamed him for errors in the segment.

June 21, 2010: Richardson yelled profanities at Lago while he was her cameraman.

He also alleges that while he was working on Glassberg’s “Neighborhood Eats” segment, the reporter would tell people excuse Lago because he did not speak English.

When he tried to speak with the station about the abuse, he said it just made things worse.

Reuters wrote:

Executives at the station and the newscast failed to make any effort to stop the abuse, the lawsuit said. Officials branded him a troublemaker and placed him on medical leave, without evaluation, on October 28, the lawsuit said. Putting him on medical leave was “improper, because there is nothing wrong with him,” Arnold said.

When he asked to return to work, his bosses ordered him to undergo an independent medical examination with a psychologist, Arnold said. Her client refused and they suspended him without pay on February 3.

Read more at Reuters →

Salma Hayek Releases “Nuance” Beauty Line

Salma Hayek Releases “Nuance” Beauty Line

Photo: Salma Hayek and Her New 'Nuisance' Beauty Line.

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Salma Hayek has released “Nuance” a beauty line.  The Mexican star’s impressive beauty collection includes shampoo, body wash and brow liner and is due to hit your local CVS shelves sometime in August.

“My grandmother was so important to me. She was my inspiration. She lived in Mexico at a time when being a woman was so hard. She didn’t go to college, but she was an avid reader. She was so smart, and life did not do her genius justice. I was her hope. And through this line I can do justice to her,” said the star in a teary eyed speech during the launch of her new beauty line.

The project is a six year labor of love for the actress, who met with the team of chemists in charge of mixing the formulas and showed them her grandmother’s recipes. “I’m sure the chemists thought, ‘where did she find this stuff? And why is this crazy Mexican actress coming into our lab?’ But I have the illusion of being a chemist! They listened and supported me all the way.”

Hayek brought them ingredients that the star herself purchased in Mexican markets and even a vial of the homemade shampoo she kept, her grandmother’s recipe.

“Every woman has the right to preserve her beauty.” Hayek opined. “I wish I could be in each woman’s house to make sure she uses each product correctly, but I guess I have to succumb to my own limitations.”

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin Americas Trade with China Growing at Twice the Rate of U.S.

Latin Americas Trade with China Growing at Twice the Rate of U.S.

Photo: China-Latin American Trade

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China continues to grow in significance in terms of trade to the Latin American region.  In 2010 the trade level between both sectors increased a stunning 51.2 percent to a record $178.6 billion.

Specifically Chinese exports to Latin America were valued at $88.3 billion and imports increased to $90.3 billion. 

China’s trade in the region is growing at twice the level of the U.S. trade level and much higher than Latin America’s trade with the European Union.  The U.S. however continues to be the largest trading partner of the region but those levels are either flat or growing at a slower pace than the Chinese trade numbers. 

Read more at Latin Business Chronicle →

Co-anchor and National Correspondent Natalie Morales Moves Up on TODAY, After Vieira’s Departure

Co-anchor and National Correspondent Natalie Morales Moves Up on TODAY, After Vieira’s Departure

Photo: Natalie Morales

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As Meredith Vieira prepares to step down from her post on NBC’s “Today” show, Ann Curry is moving up to fill the co-host position alongside Matt Lauer, leaving her anchor spot to be filled by Natalie Morales.

Morales has been in the news business for quite some time, including 4 years on MSNBC before she moved to NBC for Today in 2006.

After Vieira made her announcement, Lauer announced that Curry would become his new co-host and Natalie will take Curry’s third-hour spot.

Curry then went on to say, “We get to also keep it in the family, as it were, and announce that Natalie will be taking my job.”

The daughter of a U.S. Air Force officer, Morales was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Her mother, Penelope Morales, is a Brazilian and her father, Lieutenant Colonel Mario Morales Jr., is Puerto Rican.

The mother of 2 boys, will take up her new position on Today after Vieira’s final show, scheduled for June 8, 2011.

Watch Morales, Curry, Lauer, and Al Roker, join Vieira as she makes the big announcement below.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

AC/DC Releases New Live in Argentina DVD

AC/DC Releases New Live in Argentina DVD

Photo: The Legendary AC/DC

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“AC/DC Live at River” is the name of the new DVD containing live material from the Aussie band’s shows at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires.

Nineteen songs from the giant repertoire of three 2009 tour dates in Argentina, have been edited to a 110 minute DVD, directed by David Mallet.

AC/DC was formed in 1973, by the Scottish brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, and is considered by many as the greatest rock and roll band of all time.  Their 1980 album “Back in Black” has sold 42 million copies to date, making it the second most sold album of all time, behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Study Examines the Relationship Between Hispanics’ Blood-Lead Levels and Kidney Issues

Study Examines the Relationship Between Hispanics’ Blood-Lead Levels and Kidney Issues

Photo: Blood-lead levels could increase risk of kidney disease

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Attempting to explain why Hispanics suffer from serious kidney disease at two times the rate of non-Hispanic whites, a recent study took a look at the blood-lead levels of 245 residing in U.S. border towns.

While the study did not look into where the patients were exposed, it is believed that Mexican candy, folk remedies, older homes, and industrial pollution are all sources of increased lead in the blood of Hispanics.

Dr. German Hernandez, the study’s author, said, “The higher your blood-levels, the lower your kidney function.”

Though the patients studied had blood-lead levels below 10 micrograms per decimeter, which is the CDC level of concern, the study noted dramatic changes in those with small increases in lead concentrations, specifically non-diabetic patients. Hernandez said that even taking into account smoking, socio-economic status, gender, education, health insurance – which may have determined how often a person went to the doctor, age, and alcohol use, Hispanics still remained at the top of the list for those at risk for serious kidney disease.

“We found a striking result. For every 2.7 microgram per deciliter increase in blood lead, there was a 38 percent drop in kidney function. Maybe we should be worried about lower (lead) levels,” said Hernandez.

A toxicologist with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Environmental Injury, Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit, said Mexican candy, older homes with lead paint, folk remedies, and industrial pollution are a serious problem.

“Wrappers sometimes are printed with ink that has lead that gets into the hands of the kids,” the toxicologist, Thandi Ziqubu-Page said. “And they do chew on the wrappers, especially the toddlers.”

Certain folk remedies given to children with digestive problems also contain lead.

Ziqubu-Page notes a small decrease in cases related to lead paint, and states a bigger concern is toys coming from China, particularly teething rings, which manufacturers make more pliable using lead.

While lead settles into blood, it can go back into the blood at different points in a child’s life. Growth spurts can “mobilize” the lead back into the bone, and women can pass the increased lead to their fetus. The onset of osteoporosis can also send the lead back into the blood.

Hernandez admits there is “a lot of work to do still” on the relationship between blood-lead levels and kidney disease, but says he will be looking for funding to track patients over time.

Read more at El Paso Times →

Majority of Americans Favor Cutting Funding to Immigration Sanctuary Cities

New legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would stop all federal funding for cities that give sanctuary to illegal immigrants, and most voters like the idea. But very few believe Congress is likely to pass such a measure.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a cutoff of federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities. Just 28% are opposed and 13% are not sure.

However, only 29% of voters think Congress is even somewhat likely to agree to cut off funds to cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twice as many, 55% say Congress is unlikely to take such an action. Those figures include 9% who say Congress is Very Likely to act and 11% who say action is Not At All Likely. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

Regardless of Congressional action, 58% of voters think the U.S. Justice Department should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twenty-six percent (26%) are opposed to having the Justice Department prosecute sanctuary cities and 16% are not sure. Those figures have changed little since last summer.

Just 17% support the creation of sanctuary cities in which some illegal immigrants are not turned over to federal immigration authorities unless they are convicted of committing a felony crime. Sixty-five percent (65%) oppose the establishment of sanctuary cities.

Read more at Rasmussen Report →

Extreme Trafficking:  High-Tech Drug Tunnel Found Under Arizona and Mexico

Extreme Trafficking:  High-Tech Drug Tunnel Found Under Arizona and Mexico

Photo: U.S.-Mexico smuggling tunnel

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A 15-foot underground high-tech tunnel has been discovered under the cities of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona.  It is the eighth such tunnel that has been discovered in the area over the last seven months.

The tunnel was discovered earlier this month but U.S. Border Patrol has just made the discovery public.  The tunnel is considered quite sophisticated in terms of its structure.

The tunnel had electricity, water pumps and air ventilation systems in it.  The tunnel was discovered inside an abandoned building in Mexico running 250 feet between both countries. 

Read more at Reuters →

Coca-Cola Turns Traffic Jam in Colombia Into Drive-In Cinema (VIDEO)

Coca-Cola Turns Traffic Jam in Colombia Into Drive-In Cinema (VIDEO)

Photo: Coca-Cola's Drive-In in Bogotá

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Coca-Cola turns traffic jam in Colombia into a drive-in cinema. The soda-pop giant launched this ingenious initiative on the eve of their 125th anniversary.

In average, Bogotá commuters spend 4 daily hours stuck in traffic. The infernal rush hour traffic jams are the result of unfinished constructions on main avenues, as well as on the rapid transit system—Transmilenio, which has seen work on its expansion come to a halt, due to irregularities in the handling of funds, and corrupt contractors.

Coca-Cola, wishing to celebrate their 125th anniversary by turning upside down the city’s commuters frown, decided to turn the daily traffic jam, into the largest ever drive-in cinema.

A screen installed on the sidewalk broadcasts an endless cycle of “Filminutes,” while ads, encourage users to tune in to a local FM station for audio. Pedestrian ‘ushers’ dish out small bottles of Coke, pop-corn and other concession stand goodies while you sit in your car in rush hour traffic.

Watch the video below, and send it to your local alderman, wouldn’t it be just great if your city would follow suit?

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Texans Were Undercounted in Census New Lawsuit Alleges

In an effort to gain additional elected representation in Texas a Latino civil rights group has filed a lawsuit alleging that Hispanic Texans were undercounted in the 2010 census.

The law suit, filed by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) against the state’s governor Rick Perry and other state officials, alleges that the undercount missed almost as many as one-tenth of the Hispanics living in the state.

The plaintiffs are not asking the courts or the Census to recount but rather that the revised upward count of Hispanics be considered when district maps for election are drawn.

“We are not asking for a new census—we are asking the state to be sensitive to that undercount, and draw districts accordingly,” said lawyer Jose Garza representing MALC

In spite of the alleged undercount Hispanics accounted for 65 percent of all the population growth in the state.  The state’s population grew by 4.3 million residents.

Read more at Reuters →

Bolivia Has Highest Maternal & Infant Mortality Rate in Latin America and Both Are Preventable

Bolivia Has Highest Maternal & Infant Mortality Rate in Latin America and Both Are Preventable

Photo: Infant Mortality Rate in Bolivia High

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Every year 37% of maternal deaths are recorded in health centers in Bolivia. According to data by the organization Visión Mundial, more than 17 000 kids and 600 mothers die annually in the country.

A study conducted by the United Nations National Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme of the Population Fund (UNFPA), three main causes emerge that fuel the phenomenon. The first is ignorance. In fact, although women have the right to access the services of hospitals, many, particularly those living in rural areas, prefer to remain in their homes and use medical care only during pregnancy or in case of complications during childbirth. A second factor identified by the UNFPA is about not knowing how to reach health centers or not knowing the place, although the local service guaranteed for Mother and Child provides local transportation in emergencies. The third factor contributing to making the situation worse is the precariousness of their services.

Despite government efforts, through various health programs, the country has the second largest maternal and infant mortality rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, after Haiti. According to official sources, the population is assisted by at least 3,480 hospitals dependent on municipal authorities, NGOs, the Church and the National Health Fund (CNS).

Read more at Agenzia Fides →

The State of Arizona Decides to Take their SB 1070 Appeal Directly to the US Supreme Court

The State of Arizona Decides to Take their SB 1070 Appeal Directly to the US Supreme Court

Photo: Stop SB 1070

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Gov Jan Brewer has decided to take the state of Arizona’s case to the US Supreme Court.  Brewer is seeking the courts opinion on whether US District Judge Susan Bolton acted correctly when she issued her injunction in Phoenix last summer. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction on April 11.

Judge Bolton blocked four provisions of SB 1070 from going into effect.

“I’ve always known this legal fight would be a long one,” Governor Brewer said, “but now that this is the path we’ve chosen, I am confident Arizona will prevail.”

“Our issue is bigger than simply border security,” Brewer said. “It’s about the principle that a state must be able to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens, especially in the absence of sufficient federal assistance.”


Arizona must file an appeal by July 11. It is expected that the court will decide sometime next fall if they will take up the case.

Read more at Christian Science Monitor →

Rights of Immigrants Who Have Mental Disabilities and Are Being Deported

Rights of Immigrants Who Have Mental Disabilities and Are Being Deported

Photo: Rights of Immigrants Being Deported

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The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) cautiously applauds last week’s decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) concerning the rights of immigrants with mental disabilities in removal proceedings.  Echoing concerns expressed in amicus briefs filed by the Legal Action Center in other Board cases, the decision acknowledged the need for a framework to ensure that immigrants with mental competency issues are not deported without fair hearings.

“While the Board’s decision is a welcome first step, more comprehensive guidance will be necessary to protect the due process rights of immigrants who lack mental competency,” said Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center.  “A rulemaking process, with outreach to a broad spectrum of stakeholders and an opportunity for discussion and formal comments, would be the ideal mechanism for establishing procedures in this context.”

In cases where there are “indicia of incompetency,” the Board adopted a test for Immigration Judges to assess an immigrant’s capacity to participate in a removal hearing.  The decisive factors are whether the immigrant understands the nature and object of the proceedings, can consult with an attorney or representative (if there is one), and has a reasonable opportunity to examine adverse evidence, present favorable evidence and cross-examine government witnesses.  If there is good cause to believe that an immigrant lacks sufficient competency to proceed, the Immigration Judge must evaluate and implement appropriate procedural safeguards to ensure a fair hearing.  Of critical importance, the Board confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has an obligation to provide Immigration Judges with any relevant materials in its possession regarding an immigrant’s mental competency.

While helpful, the Board’s decision leaves many important questions unanswered.  Notably, the decision does not acknowledge that legal representation is indispensable to help immigrants who lack mental competency navigate the complex maze of immigration law.  Nor does it address Immigration Judges’ lack of expertise in conducting competency assessments.  Finally, the decision provides only a cursory discussion of how to proceed in cases involving immigrants whose mental disabilities are so severe that no procedural safeguards would ensure a fair hearing.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayMay 10, 2011