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SaturdayMay 21, 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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Flower Ortega Anticipates World Youth Day 2011 (VIDEO)

Flower Ortega Anticipates World Youth Day 2011 (VIDEO)

Photo: World Youth Day 2008

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A new generations of Catholics will seek out their place in the church in Madrid this August at World Youth Day 2011.

The Spanish capital will undergo a rejuvenating transformation in August as the world’s Catholic youth bring to life the theme of World Youth Day 2011, “planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.”

World Youth Day not only brings Catholic youth together in one place but speaks a message of church unity to millions across the globe. Started in 1985 by Pope John Paul II, the event has taken place in 10 different countries and continues to gain recognition for its impact on youth.

Attending World Youth Day 2011 was all University of Dayton student Flower Ortega wanted for her 18th birthday. She was devastated when the opportunity almost slipped away after a minor setback in funding, but she is able to attend with the financial help of her parish priest, Father Andrew Curry.

“I really truly believe that I am meant to go,” Ortega said. “It’s funny when you know that something is coming that is going to change your life forever.”Curry and Ortega will take part in an organized World Youth Day pilgrimage with the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. Along with 100 people from the diocese, they plan to extend their pilgrimage an additional week to visit Lourdes, France and other European cities.

Curry attended World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 and in Toronto, Canada in 2002.  As a 13-year-old at the Denver World Youth Day, he realized that his faith can be practiced anywhere in the world.

“I think that it was amazing in Denver as a young teenager to see so many other people who were open to learning more about their faith in Jesus Christ and to see the church on a universal level instead of just at Holy Family Parish, my small basement-of-a-school church on the west side of South Bend, Indiana,” Curry said.

As a 22-year-old at Toronto’s World Youth Day, Curry was contemplating the priesthood. “The experience and a further look into the life and thought of Pope John Paul II gave me zeal and help to pursue the priesthood a year later,” Curry said. “WYD is not a tour but a pilgrimage, an experience of the church on a grand level, where you get a peek at seeing the whole church on its journey.”

Ortega is also discerning religious life and believes that World Youth Day 2011 will help her make a decision.

“I’m not going into it expecting to get all of the answers out of life,” the freshman, who is majoring in psychology and religious studies, said. “It is just building more upon that foundation and being firmly rooted in the faith.”

The week-long Madrid World Youth Day program is scheduled to open August 16 with Mass and will include cultural exhibits, concerts, and plays. Bishops from around the world will lead language specific catechesis sessions for the youth. Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to arrive in the city August 17 and ride through the streets of Madrid in the Popemobile.

“I know I may not get to see him but even at a distance, that is enough for me,” Ortega said. “It is so powerful—that many people united in one city to transform the place, to transform themselves. They are all there for Christ.”

Participants will sleep outside on the last night at the Madrid airfield, Cuatro Vientos. They will wake Sunday, August 21 among thousands of people to a concluding Mass at which the Holy Father will address the youth and send them to spread what they have witnessed.

“No matter what I have envisioned, no matter how amazing I think it will be, it will never come close to how amazing it will actually be,” Ortega said.


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Miley Cyrus in Bogota Colombia (VIDEO)

Miley Cyrus in Bogota Colombia (VIDEO)

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On Thursday Miley Cyrus made a brief stop in Colombia for a concert. Miley found the time to visit a school and “make the day” of many of her young fans.


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Brazilian Women Oldest Known Person (VIDEO)

Brazilian Women Oldest  Known Person (VIDEO)

Photo: Maria Gomes Valentim

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An almost 115-year-old Brazilian woman, Maria Gomes Valentim, could go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘Oldest Living Person.’

According to Guinness World Records (GWR), born on July 9, 1896, resident of Carangola, Brazil, Valentim is 48 days older than Besse Cooper from Monroe, Georgia, US.

One hundred years and 313 days old Valentim has been living all her life in her hometown. She has one child, a son, who is in his early 90s, and furthermore has 4 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

“To receive a claim from a woman born during the reign of Queen Victoria - before the Ford Motor Company was formed…—is remarkable in itself, but for that woman to be Brazilian makes it extra special. Never has a successful claim for longevity emerged from Brazil,” said GWR Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday.

The global record breaking Brazilian claimed a healthy diet has promoted her longevity.

Though she is cared for by her granddaughter, she is still able to eat completely on her own.

Visit msnbc.com for Read more by HS News Staff →

Store Stops Selling ‘illegal immigrant hunting permit’ Bumper Stickers

Store Stops Selling ‘illegal immigrant hunting permit’ Bumper Stickers

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A protest was planned in Sturtevant WI to bring attention to the sale of bumper stickers reading “illegal immigrant hunting permit’. Before the protest began however, the owner of the store removed the stickers.

“I’m not in a business of offending my customers,” said Bob Basil, owner of CITGO Auto Truck Plaza, 611 S. Sylvania Ave.

Voces de la Frontera had planned to organize the rally, Neumann-Ortiz said, after a customer informed them of the stickers.
“These messages promote hate crime, incite violence and are racially charged,” she said.

The gas station owner was unaware of the stickers as they came in a variety pack of 100 different types. As soon as he became aware of the stickers he stopped selling them.

Neumann-Ortiz said Basil’s actions should be an example for other business owners.
“These stickers can be found online and there’s no doubt they’re sold in other gas stations,” she said. “When you’re selling materials like this, do the right thing and pull it.”

Read more at The Journal Times.com →

Pink Upset Over Painted Horse in Gomez Video

Pink Upset Over Painted Horse in Gomez Video

Photo: Selena Gomez Video

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On Thursday afternoon Pink noticed a pink and purple horse on a So Cal Beach. The pop star tweeted she was appalled at the whole idea.

“If there are any animal activists around Malibu—at Leo Cabrillo State Beach, there are horses being painted for a stupid music video. Shame,” Pink wrote Thursday.

The pop star continued, “Artists should be more aware and responsible for their actions.”

A written statement from Selena Gomez’s camp said the pink horses that co-starred in the video were made up with a “vegetable-based powder paint and a Humane Society observer was on the set.”

“It was important to the production company, record label and Ms. Gomez that no animals were harmed and all proper precautions were taken,” Gomez’s reps said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation in Final Days of Session

More States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation in Final Days of Session

Photo: Mark van Laere

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As many state legislative session wrap up for the year, more lawmakers are jumping ship on controversial enforcement measures targeting undocumented immigrants. Whether they are under pressure from business groups, conflicted over the bills’ substance, or realize that these measures will cost their state millions in legal challenges, implementation expenses and tourism revenue, lawmakers are not finding the same appetite for “get tough” enforcement legislation as they did last year.

This month, Florida’s Legislature failed to pass SB 2040—a hotly contested immigration measure that would have, in part, “required police to make a reasonable effort to determine the immigration status of people they arrest and jail”—before it adjourned for the year. The watered-down Senate bill was stripped of an E-verify amendment, something Florida Gov. Rick Scott really pushed for, and ended up being voted down by the conservative House. It’s also worth noting that the bill was strongly opposed by business and agricultural leaders like the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Disney and Florida Agriculture Commissioner.

This week, Oklahoma’s House shot down HB 1446—a bill which would have, among other things, allowed the seizure of vehicles used in human trafficking, made it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek employment, required employers to verify the immigration status of potential employees and made it a felony to engage in human trafficking. Republicans complained that the bill didn’t target employers who hire undocumented workers and Democrats said the immigration should be taken up by the federal government. Oklahoma’s legislative session adjourns next week.

Tennessee’s House Budget Committee delayed their “get tough” immigration bill (HB 1380) this week— which would have allowed state and local law enforcement officers to check the legal status of person, stopped for a violation, if there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally—until 2012 due to the $3 million price tag. Opponents of the bill pointed to businesses’ “misgivings about the law enforcement bill” and the “negative image for the state.”

And in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder recently told the Chamber of Commerce that an Arizona-style enforcement bill would “encourage a divisive atmosphere” and that the state doesn’t need it. Michigan state Rep. Dave Agema introduced Arizona-style HB 4305 in February. The bill is still awaiting action in the House Committee on Judiciary.

States that have passed restrictive immigration measures, however, are facing (or are likely to face) costly uphill court battles. Atlanta immigration attorney Charles Kuck, for example, described Georgia’s law (HB 87) as unconstitutional and said he’s working with several national groups on a lawsuit challenging HB 87, which was signed into law last week.

Similarly, immigration advocates in Indiana—where Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed SB 590, a watered-down immigration enforcement bill—is calling the law a “risk to public safety and economic security alike” and are threatening to use “all available resources to counter these divisive and costly activities.”

To date, Arizona has spent upwards of $1.9 million in legal fees defending its law (not to mention an estimated $141 million lost in cancelled conferences). The ACLU also filed suit against Utah’s immigration law (HB 497) this month—a law which in addition to Arizona-style provisions, allows for state-based guest worker programs. In fact, 14 hours after Utah’s law went into effect last week, a U.S. District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order, blocking implementation of the law.

Clearly, states attempting to take immigration law into their own hands will continue to face costly uphill battles. The question is not whether but when voters will notice that their leaders are putting politics before the state’s best economic interest.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Immigration Court Backlog Likely to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Immigration Court Backlog Likely to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

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Our nation’s immigration courts are backlogged. Historically backlogged. At the end of last year, more than 260,000 cases remained pending before immigration judges. Across the country, the average wait was nearly sixteen months. In California, thousands of cases have been pending for more than two years. While justice is not always swift, our immigration courts are getting increasingly further from the finish line.

Numbers aside, the delays remain problematic from both a legal and practical standpoint. For individuals with no viable claims of relief, the backlogs delay the point by which they must inevitably leave the country. Meanwhile, immigrants wrongfully placed in removal proceedings—and asylum seekers whose fates hinge on the outcome of a hearing—remain stuck in legal limbo and can needlessly languish in detention. At the same time, Immigration Judges may feel (perhaps subconscious) pressure to resolve cases quickly rather than thoroughly.

Unfortunately, as numerous witnesses testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the backlogs are likely to get worse before (or if) they get better. Juan Osuna, the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, noted that immigration judges’ burgeoning caseloads are “directly tied to annual increases in cases filed in the immigration courts by DHS.” In other words, the more immigrants are swept into removal proceedings through cooperation with state and local law enforcement, including programs like Secure Communities, the longer the backlog will be.

At the same time, the witnesses agreed that hiring more immigration judges alone could not fix the problem. Karen Grisez, appearing on behalf of the American Bar Association, recommended more extensive use of pre-trial settlement conferences, which allow attorneys to mutually resolve claims before hearings begin, and the initial referral to trained DHS officers of asylum claims raised for the first time in removal hearings. Noting the frequency of meritless claims unwittingly filed by unrepresented immigrants, Grisez also suggested expanding access to the Justice Department’s Legal Orientation Program, which currently is available only to immigrants in detention facilities.

Another witness, Julie Myers Wood, who headed ICE during the second half of the Bush Administration, stressed that government attorneys should more frequently exercise prosecutorial discretion when deciding which cases to bring. A former federal prosecutor, Myers Wood said the hardest cases to litigate involved defendants representing themselves, and thus recommended the appointment of counsel for vulnerable immigrants—such as unaccompanied minors, certain asylum seekers, and those with mental disabilities.

But not every means of reducing the backlog is a good one. For example, Myers Wood, along with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), suggested expanding a process—known as “expedited removal”—in which certain immigrants can be deported with no hearing at all. Though expanding expedited removal could potentially lessen the caseload on immigration courts, efficiency alone is never a valid justification for sacrificing immigrants’ legal rights.

The final point of agreement at the hearing was that the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform would be the best way to ease the burden on immigration courts. By reducing the number of immigrants eligible for deportation, Congress would, by necessity, reduce the number of immigrants placed in removal proceedings. Yet given the lack of Congressional movement on immigration reform or Administrative relief, the backlog of removal hearings, like the undocumented population itself, appears here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Narco Blog: Gilberto Barragan “The Namesake”  US 10 Most Wanted, $ 5M Reward- Captured

Narco Blog: Gilberto Barragan “The Namesake”  US 10 Most Wanted, $ 5M Reward- Captured

Photo: Gilberto Barragan “The Namesake”

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Mexican federal police captured a leading member of the Gulf drug cartel Friday at what appeared to have been his birthday party, authorities said.

Gilberto Barragan Balderas “is considered one of the main leaders of the Gulf Cartel” and is the subject of a $5 million reward by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said Ramon Pequeno, head of anti-drug operations for the federal police.

Barragan Balderas was allegedly in charge of the cartel’s operations in Miguel Aleman, across the border from Roma, Texas. Police captured him at a party at a ranch near another border city, Reynosa, which is across from McAllen, Texas.

The Gulf and Zetas cartels are now bitter rivals, and federal police said one of Barragan Balderas’ “duties was to defend territory in Tamaulipas against attacks by the rival Zetas.”
The Zetas have also been expanding into other territories in Mexico and engaging in a series of turf battles with gangs other than the Gulf.

Also Friday, President Felipe Calderon met with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers led by Rep. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican who is chairman of the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs.

Calderon’s office said in a statement that the president stressed “the importance of combating ever more firmly and efficiently weapons trafficking and money laundering,” two elements that Mexico says fuel the bloody drug war that has cost over 35,000 lives since late 2006.

He also “stressed the importance of fully recognizing the contributions that Mexican migrants make to the U.S. economy and society.”

Read in Spanish Here
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Undocumented Immigrants Go Under the Knife to Erase Their Fingerprints

Undocumented Immigrants Go Under the Knife to Erase Their Fingerprints

Photo: Fingerprint Images

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Knives, acid, fire and even surgery are some of the methods undocumented immigrants are using to erase their fingerprints and avoid incarceration. These desperate procedures, according to federal agencies and humanitarian activists, are increasing in the face of the advanced technology used to identify undocumented immigrants.

On Feb. 10, Dominican doctor Jose Elias Zaiter-Pou, 62, pleaded guilty to helping conceal the identity of undocumented immigrants by altering their fingerprints through surgical procedures. Zaiter-Pou charged $4,500 for the operation, in which he removed the ends of the fingertips, flipped them and sewed them back on, creating a new and unrecognizable print. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by three years probation.

According to court records, the surgeon performed the surgery on dozens of clients. But experts say the practice is not unique to criminals attempting to flee from the authorities; it is growing among the migrant population. For example, Yissel Sosa Nuñez, a Dominican mother who was impatient to join her son in New York, underwent an operation to remove tissue from her fingertips.

“There is a lot of desperation among migrants, especially among parents who want to reunite with their children and they are aware that they are already on record. That’s why they are pushed more every time to take more desperate measures,” explained the Sean Carrel, a Jesuit priest and the director of Kino Border Initiative, based in Nogales, Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gingrich Calls For Young Americans to Pass Test Before They Can Vote-“Just Like Immigrants”

Gingrich Calls For Young Americans to Pass Test Before They Can Vote-“Just Like Immigrants”

Photo: Newt Gingrich

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Last week, former GOP House Speaker and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich suggested that American citizens should have to pass a test in American history before they could earn the right to vote. Despite rampant criticism from both sides of the aisle, Gingrich reiterated his support for poll tests yesterday at a town hall meeting in Marshalltown, IA.

Speaking in front of a crowd made up largely of senior citizens, Gingrich reiterated his argument that since immigrants need to pass a test to become American citizens, “young Americans” should be forced to do the same “before they start voting.” A majority of the crowd seemed to approve, giving Gingrich resounding applause:

GINGRICH: [Immigrants] need to pass a test of American history. And candidly, it wouldn’t be bad to have a test like that for young Americans before they start voting.

Gingrich didn’t elaborate on the definition of “young Americans” or at what age a citizen becomes acceptable to vote without passing a test. But his comments reflect a general lack of knowledge in numerous areas — including the education system, the citizenship process, and Americans’ struggles with civics.

An 18-year-old who is eligible to vote for the first time, for instance, is likely still in a high school where he or she took at least one American history class, as required by education curricula across the country. Most students take multiple American history classes throughout their educational careers.


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Brazilian Auto Workers on Strike at GM’s Sao Paulo Plant

Brazilian Auto Workers on Strike at GM’s Sao Paulo Plant

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Workers at GM’s plant in Sao Jose dos Campos in Sao Paulo state approved a strike after rejecting GM’s latest profit sharing proposal. The 24 hour strike will cost GM production of 950 vehicles.


“GM is living its best moment, with consecutive records of production,” said Vivaldo Moreira Araujo, president of the Sindicato dos Metalurgicos de Sao Jose dos Campos. “Today’s strike was only the first step.”

GM is the third-largest auto maker in Brazil. Its main competitors in the local market are Fiat, Volkswagen and Ford Motor in first, second and fourth place, respectively.

Read more at Merco Press →

Rosie Perez Files Suit for ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Injuries

Rosie Perez Files Suit for ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Injuries

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Actress Rosie Perez was injured on the set of ‘Law $ Order: SVU ‘ in 2009, and she has filed legal action against NBC this week. Perez was filming a guest role for the series when following the script; a scene extra shook her forcibly.

Perez herniated a disc which took two surgeries to correct.

The thing to do was taking someone who knows what he’s doing to make it look violent without being violent,” said Perez’s lawyer Brian O’Dwyer, who filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. “This person was not a stuntman, he was just an extra.”

“She’s still suffering severe pain, numbness of the arms, and she’ll never be the same despite the surgery,” said O’Dwyer, who added that the injuries Perez sustained on the ‘Law & Order’ set resulted in her loss of work for nearly a year.

Read more at Popeater →

Labor Sec Hilda Solis on Exhibit B in Case for Immigration Reform

Labor Sec Hilda Solis on Exhibit B in Case for Immigration Reform

Photo: Hilda Solis

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For the latest proving ground in the debate over whether to fix our country’s broken immigration system, America should turn its attention to Brownsville today. In a border city that once housed a military outpost during the Mexican-American War, the potential of immigrants to contribute to the American economy will be on proud display.

Standing just yards from the Texas-Mexico border, I will deliver the commencement address at University of Texas Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, where more than 1,200 graduates will earn their diplomas and degrees, many in disciplines crucial to our national economic recovery.

For a nation still talking about President Obama’s immigration speech two weeks ago in El Paso, the visit will be exhibit B in the border case for why we should harness the economic potential of our greatest national resource: ourselves.

In the graduating class are future doctors, nurses, scientists, entrepreneurs and teachers. More than 75 percent are first-generation immigrants whose parents came to this country to give their children opportunities that they never had. These students have already shown that they intend to “pay it forward” and give back to the community. The nursing students hold immunization clinics; the fine arts pupils go to day care centers to nurture kids’ imaginations; the counseling students run a free community clinic to help their neighbors in need.

As Labor Secretary, it’s my job to help equip our 21st century workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. America needs the most educated workforce in the world to compete in today’s global economy. Over the next five years, nearly 90 percent of new jobs will require more than a high school degree. Unfortunately, we are under-prepared as a nation to fill these positions.

The United States is educating foreign-born workers at a faster rate than any other country. But our broken immigration system often sends our best and brightest back to their native countries to create billion-dollar industries to compete against us.

Think about the lost economic potential this represents. Our country faces a critical shortage of qualified engineers, scientists and mathematicians, which is threatening our ability to keep up with global competitors like China.

Currently, immigrants represent 1 in 4 U.S. scientists. Foreign-born students receive 60 percent of all engineering doctorates awarded at our universities and are three times more likely to file patents that fuel our innovation economy.  We should staple green cards to the diplomas of students who receive graduate degrees in areas where we have critical shortages, so they will stay and contribute to our economy over time.

Today in Brownsville, we will celebrate what is possible when we embrace our diversity. When graduates throw their caps skyward, they will help remind us what we stand to gain from a smarter 21st century immigration system: a faster economic recovery, a stronger workforce, new jobs and a brighter future for the next generation of Americans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Joe Arpaio Re-created in Bacon (VIDEO)

Joe Arpaio Re-created in Bacon (VIDEO)

Photo: Sheriff Joe: The bacon inspiration

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Chow Bella did a great job creating their own meat candy concoction of a Phoenix figurehead: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Using cooked, pre-cooked, and uncooked varieties of bacon, a stable of sharp instruments, and a photo of “Joe,” the bacon enthusiasts of Chow Bella got to the greasy work of assemblage, using layering techniques to first create the shape of the face, then tackling the porky parts like Joe’s nose and chin.


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SLOW DOWN This Weekend With a Latin American Wonder

SLOW DOWN this weekend with a Latin American natural wonder.  Guess What and Where this is?

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SaturdayMay 21, 2011