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FridayJune 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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Spanish Cultural Icon Jorge Semprun Dies at Age 87

Spanish Cultural Icon Jorge Semprun Dies at Age 87

Photo: Spanish Cultural Icon Jorge Semprun Dies

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A cultural icon of Spanish has died, Jorge Semprun, at age 87 in his home in Paris.  He was a multi-facted, multi-talented man: anti-facist resistance fighter, writer, screenplayer writer and activist.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed “Z” and several of his screenplays were nominated for Academy Awards.  The Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez noted of Semprun “an intellectual committed to the dignity of man.” 

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) paid tribute to the late Jorge Semprún, a renowned Spanish author, screenwriter, political activist and long-time friend of the agency who died on Tuesday.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Jorge Semprún, a truly great man of peace and a champion in the struggle against oppression,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Mr. Semprún, 87, also served as minister of culture in his native Spain in the 1970s, as well as an interpreter for UNESCO during his youth, the Paris-based agency stated in a news release.

It added that his works were influenced greatly by his experiences during the Second World War as a member of the French Resistance and as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald.

He was most famous for the French films, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Mr. Semprún “vividly demonstrated the power of culture to defend human dignity, which became his life’s work,” noted Ms. Bokova, adding that he contributed greatly to bringing forward UNESCO’s ideals, actively fighting against all forms of discrimination.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Presidential Candidate Herman Cain’s Ideas For Securing the Border: Moats and the Great Wall (VIDEO)

Presidential Candidate Herman Cain’s Ideas For Securing the Border: Moats and the Great Wall (VIDEO)

Photo: Herman Cain, presidential candidate

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While speaking to an audience in Iowa, presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke of some interesting methods for preventing illegal immigration.

The Republican candidate told his supporters:

I just got back from China. Ever heard of the Great Wall of China? It looks pretty sturdy. And that sucker is real high. I think we can build one if we want to! We have put a man on the moon, we can build a fence! Now, my fence might be part Great Wall and part electrical technology. . . . Put me in charge of the fence and it will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top. And on this side of the fence, I’d have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!

Cain was clearly pandering to an audience that cheered any time an immigration crackdown was mentioned, but many are still wondering if he is serious about his run for president.


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Read more at Think Progress →

Hispanic Women Show Same Success Rate with IVF as White Women

Hispanic Women Show Same Success Rate with IVF as White Women

Photo: IVF Treatment

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A new study reports that Hispanic women are just as likely to get pregnant using in vitro fertilization (IVF) as non-Hispanic whites.

“We were encouraged that their outcomes were similar,” said study researcher Dr. Robert Brzyski, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Brzyski compiled data from several hundred women who were treated with IVF at his clinic over a 10-year period.

The rates of pregnancy (26 out of 100) of those who underwent the procedure were the same between Hispanic women and non- Hispanic white women.
Of those achieving pregnancy, 77% of Hispanic women went on to deliver babies while 91% of the white women delivered. The balance had miscarriages.

Statistical analysis has lead researchers to conclude that the greater portion of miscarriages by Hispanic women in the study was by chance.

Read more at Reuters →

POLL:  75% of Americans Support Showing Photo ID at Election Polls

POLL:  75% of Americans Support Showing Photo ID at Election Polls

Photo: Majority Americans Support Voter ID

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Support remains high for requiring voters to show photo identification before being allowed to cast their ballots. An increasing number of states across the country are putting that requirement into law.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. Voters believe voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote. Just 18% disagree and oppose such a requirement. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans support a photo ID requirement at the polls, as do 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party and 63% of Democrats. But then support for such a law is high across virtually all demographic groups.

Supporters of photo ID laws say they will prevent fraud at the polls; opponents insist the laws will discourage many including minorities and older Americans from voting.

By a 48% to 29% margin, voters think that letting ineligible people vote is a bigger problem than preventing legitimate voters from casting a ballot.

A plurality (46%) of Democrats thinks it’s more common for eligible voters to be denied their right to vote. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans and a plurality (44%) of voters not affiliated with either party, on the other hand, believe that illegal voting is more prevalent.

Only one percent (1%) say they have ever been illegally denied the right to vote.

Read more at Rasmussen Reports →

Reports Suggest Money Spent by U.S. on Latin American Drug War Not Justified

Reports Suggest Money Spent by U.S. on Latin American Drug War Not Justified

Photo: Reports Suggest Money Spent by U.S. on Latin American Drug War Not Justified

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Recently released reports from government agencies say that President Obama’s administration has shown no evidence that the money spent on Latin America’s war on drugs has slowed the flow of drugs to the U.S.

In one of the reports, Claire McCaskill, chair of the Senate Homeland Security committee said, “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a problem without even knowing what we are getting in return.”

Another report came from the Government Accountability Office, and the LA Times wrote that both reports are critical of the $3 billion spent on defense contractors over the last five years.

The Department of Defense has called its system for tracking the money “error prone,” while the State Department does not even attempt to measure the effect of its programs meant to thwart the drug business.

The Obama administration objects to the reports however, and says there have been a significant number of cash, drug, and weapons seizures along the Mexico border since the president took office, and White House officials say that the president’s national security team spends a large part of its time of counter-narcotics efforts, but it just doesn’t make headlines.

Still, Bruce Bagley, U.S. counter-narcotics efforts researcher and chair of international studies at the University of Miami at Coral Gables said, ” I think we have wasted our money hugely. The effort has had corrosive effects on every country it has touched.”

Read more at LA Times →

i’m Debbie, i love cats and i just want a soulmate!  Hysterical eHarmony Video

i’m Debbie, i love cats and i just want a soulmate!  Hysterical  eHarmony Video

Photo: Cat Lady

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OK, it may not be Latino related in any way…BUT it has us rolling on the floor here!  Who cares if its real?

Im Debbie, i love cats and i just want a soulmate!


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Read more by HS News Staff →

Pitbull and Marc Anthony - Rain Over Me - Coming June 21 (Hear it Now)

Pitbull and  Marc Anthony - Rain Over Me - Coming June 21 (Hear it Now)

Photo: Rain Over Me- Pitbull

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Pitbull and Marc Anthony have teamed up for a new single, Rain Over Me, from Mr. Worldwide’s new alum, Planet Pit, coming out on June 21.

These two sound good together! With Pitbull also helping out on J. Lo’s single On The Floor, it seems like Pit is keeping it all in the family!

Some say Pitbull’s music use the same formula though- preset synth leads, and club beats from 1998. There is one catchy tune- “Culo” that is fresh and unique on the new album.

What do you think?


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Read more by HS News Staff →

Three-Month-Old Killed When Teen Shooter Opens Fire on Family

Three-Month-Old Killed When Teen Shooter Opens Fire on Family

Photo: 3-month-old baby Izak killed by teenage shooter, seen here with mother, Ivonna, and father, Oscar

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A three-month-old child is dead after a teenaged gunman opened fire on a family’s car after mistaking them for gang members that had beaten him earlier.

Ivonna Garcia Lopez, 22, is devastated after the loss of her baby boy Isak.

The Garcia Lopez family was driving home from a baby shower, when the 17-year-old suspect started shooting at the car. Ivonna was shot in the leg while trying to shield the baby and her other son, 4-year-old Isaiah, from the gun fire. The father was also wounded. The baby did not fair as well as his brother, and took a bullet to the head.

“I took him out of the car seat, and he had a bullet in his head,” said baby Izak’s grieving mother.

Capt. Jeff Liu, with the East Palo Alto Police Department, said the shooter is in custody and has confessed to the homicide. A second boy, 16, was with him at the time of the shooting and was also taken into custody, but he was not immediately charged with the death.

At a Monday news conference, the mother said, “He was my everything. I was really happy to have him in my life. We were happy and then this person came into our lives to destroy - they destroyed our family.”

Police say three handguns linked to the two teenagers were recovered, one of them believed to be the murder weapon.

Read more at New York Daily News →

Enjoy Sneak Peak at New TV Project for Rita Moreno – Happily Divorced

TV Land is premiering Happily Divorced, a scripted comedic re-envisioning of Fran Drescher’s real life, in which she learned that her husband was gay after 18 years of marriage.

The legendary Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning Hispanic actress Rita Moreno stars as Fran’s eccentric mother Dori, providing witty commentary as Fran navigates the new parameters of her relationship and re-enters the dating pool.

Check out the show trailer below: 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Rushed to the Hospital After Jay Leno Appearance

Selena Gomez Rushed to the Hospital After Jay Leno Appearance

Photo: Acress/singer Selena Gomez was rushed to the hospital

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Teen star, Selena Gomez, 18, was rushed to the hospital last night TMZ is reporting.

The actress/singer appeared to be well during her interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, but insiders say Gomez was not feeling well during and after the show, complaining of nausea and sever headache.

The extent and cause of her illness are still unknown, but her rep. said, “She is currently undergoing routine tests” at a Los Angeles area hospital.

Selena was recently back from her vacation with boyfriend, Justin Beiber, and was on The Tonight Show promoting her upcoming movie Monte Carlo

Read more at TMZ.com →

Goodwill Ambassador & Track Star Carl Lewis to Visit Dominican Republic Focusing on Ending Hunger

Goodwill Ambassador & Track Star Carl Lewis to Visit Dominican Republic Focusing on Ending Hunger

Photo: Goodwill Ambassador Carl Lewis in Dominican Republic

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Nine-time Olympic gold medallist and United Nations advocate Carl Lewis will embark tomorrow on a visit to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to meet with national leaders and visit forestry and agricultural projects.

The United States track star, who was designated a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in October 2009, will highlight the International Year of Forests during his stop in the Dominican Republic.

In February the UN kicked off a year-long celebration to raise awareness of the valuable role of forests, on which at least 1.6 billion people depend for their daily livelihoods and subsistence needs.

Mr. Lewis will also spotlight a global campaign by FAO to end hunger known as “The 1billionhungry project,” through which people can voice their outrage about world hunger by adding their names to an online petition. The campaign uses a yellow whistle as an icon encouraging people to blow the whistle against this global scourge.

During his visit to Haiti, which begins on June 13, Mr. Lewis will see first-hand an FAO project aimed at stabilizing the soil and forests in the mountains near the epicentre of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

The impoverished Caribbean nation is one of the most deforested in the world, according to FAO, with only 2 per cent of forest cover left. Deforestation in Haiti makes the country extremely vulnerable to flash floods and landslides.

Mr. Lewis’ trip comes at the start of hurricane season, which officially began on 1 June. Severe flooding has been reported in both countries, which share the same island.

UN peacekeepers and humanitarian staff have been helping with relief efforts in Haiti, where floods sparked by torrential rains earlier this week have killed at least 10 people in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Boxer Juan “El Puma” González Vázquez Killed in Hometown

Puerto Rican Boxer Juan “El Puma” González Vázquez Killed in Hometown

Photo: Juan “El Puma” González Vázquez

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Puerto Rican Boxer Juan “El Puma” González Vázquez was shot on Tuesday night in his hometown of Tao Baja. The 21 year old was riding his motorcycle with his friend Javier Joel Pérez Santana, 25, through the neighborhood. It is believed he was an innocent victim when he was critically shot and Santana was wounded in the leg.

González (11-0, 10 KOs) debuted as a professional in 2009 at the lightweight division and was promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions and H2 Entertainment. He was a very promising young fighter.

“‘El Puma’ was very important for us,” said president of H2 Entertainment Hector Soto to PrimeraHora newspaper. “It is a very unfortunate situation. We have to pray so that God can give strength to his family.”
Image

Read more at Undisputed Fight Mag →

5 Members of Mexico’s National Team Suspended After Doping Tests Come Back Positive

5 Members of Mexico’s National Team Suspended After Doping Tests Come Back Positive

Photo: Antonio Naelson "Sinha" one of the suspended members of the Mexican National team

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Five players from Mexico’s national soccer team have been suspended after they failed drug tests taken on May 21, just before the start of the CONCACAF’s Gold Cup.

At a news conference on Thursday, Secretary General of the Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut), Decio de Maria announced that Christian Bermudez, Edgar Duenas, Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, and Antonio Naelson “Sinha” have been suspended after their drug test came back positive for clenbuterol, a banned anabolic substance.

Clenbuterol can be found in meat, and De Maria blames the test results on meat from a restaurant the players ate at just before the testing. Hector Gonzalez, Femexfut’s director of national teams agrees with De Maria, and said the tainted meat was to blame.

“Unfortunately, by accident, these players ate beef contaminated with the substance clenbuterol,” Gonzalez said at a press conference after the team’s 5-0 win over Cuba.

Samples from the restaurant in question, which the team frequented, are being tested, and based on the outcome of the tests, the players may be subject to additional punishment, including a two-year ban from the sport.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Education Not Deportation: A Guide for Undocumented Youth in Removal Proceedings

DREAMActivist.org has created a really useful guide titled, “Education Not Deportation: A guide for undocumented youth in removal proceedings.” This guide is meant to serve both youth facing deportation and their attorneys.

Read Guide Here in HSN Library

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ouch:  Child Born in 2010 Will Cost $226,920 to Raise

Ouch:  Child Born in 2010 Will Cost $226,920 to Raise

Photo: Cost of Raising Child $226,920

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The Department of Agriculture today released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, finding that a middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 ($286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years. This represents a 2 percent increase from 2009. Expenses for transportation, child care, education, and health care saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2009. There were very small changes in housing, food, clothing, and miscellaneous expenses on a child since 2009.

The report, issued annually since 1960, is a valuable resource to courts and state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments. It is based on data from the Federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2010, per child annual child-rearing expenses for a middle-income, two-parent family range from $11,880 to $13,830, depending on the age of the child.

The report by USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion notes that family income affects child rearing costs. A family earning less than $57,600 per year can expect to spend a total of $163,440 (in 2010 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, parents with an income between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920; and a family earning more than $99,730 can expect to spend $377,040.

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging $69,660 or 31 percent of the total cost over 17 years. Child care and education (for those incurring these expenses) and food were the next two largest expenses, accounting for 17 and 16 percent of their total expenditure. These estimates do not include costs associated with pregnancy or the cost of a college education or education beyond high school.

The report notes geographic variations in the cost of raising a child, with expenses the highest for families living in the urban Northeast, followed by the urban West and urban Midwest. Families living in the urban South and rural areas have the lowest child-rearing expenses.

This is the 50th year USDA has issued its annual report on the cost of raising a child. In 1960, the first year the report was issued, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($185,856 in 2010 dollars) to raise a child through age seventeen. Housing was the largest expense on a child both then and now. Health care expenses on a child doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs. In addition, some current-day costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.

The report also highlights that expenses per child decrease as a family has more children. Families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children. As families have more children, the children can share bedrooms, clothing and toys can be handed down to younger children, food can be purchased in larger and more economical quantities, and private schools or child care centers may offer sibling discounts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Book on Latina Teen Suicide Attempts to Uncover Reality Behind Grim Statistics

New Book on Latina Teen Suicide Attempts to Uncover Reality Behind Grim Statistics

Photo: Latinas Attempting Suicide

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Luis Zayas’ commitment to U.S. Latinas and their struggle with suicide started in the 1970s when he encountered the pain and suffering that the teenage girls and their parents were experiencing during his work in emergency rooms and mental health-care clinics.

“Latinas have the highest rate of suicide attempt among teens in comparison to white girls or African-American girls,” says Zayas, PhD, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor of Social Work at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Zayas brings compelling personal stories and nearly 40 years of research to his new book, Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families and Daughters Collide, published by Oxford University Press.

Zayas, also a professor of psychiatry at the WUSTL School of Medicine, examines the reasons behind the high rate of Latina suicide attempts and looks at the cultural pressures faced by U.S. Latina teens and their families.

“This book offers clinical information but it also offers a way of identifying, thinking about and understanding why the girls feel so distressed as to make the attempt,” Zayas says.

“As one girl said to us, one of the reasons she had cut herself in a suicide attempt was because she wanted to ‘let out endless words’ because she had so much in her that had been stored up, that by cutting herself all those words would come out.”

This book is a valuable resource for teenagers, their families and educators.

“I think Hispanic families especially will find this book very valuable,” he says.

“What I’ve tried to do is explain their daughters’ side of the picture, but I’ve also tried to explain to the daughters, their parents’ side of the picture so that they can understand why their parents hold on to certain values and beliefs and expectations of them in the home.

“It’s also important for immigrant parents with now-American daughters to understand the differences in the way their daughters’ teenage years occur versus the way their parents’ teenage years were back in the home country.”

Zayas says that one of the key findings in his research is that the greater the level of emotional attunement and understanding between the daughter and her parents, the less likelihood of a suicide attempt.

“It tells us that parents and youth need to talk more to one another and then that’s one way that we can reduce the chance of a suicide attempt,” he says.

Zayas’ book is available at most bookstores and online retailers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Official Commends Mexican Human Rights Reform Efforts

UN Official Commends Mexican Human Rights Reform Efforts

Photo: Mexican Constitution to Protect Migrants

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A top United Nations official has lauded Mexico’s enactment of constitutional changes on human rights as a positive reform that will pave the way for greater protection of internationally recognized rights in that country.

“This tangible and positive reform ought to take Mexico towards better and stronger recognition and implementation of the human rights contained in the constitution and international treaties,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a press statement released today.

The changes to the Mexican charter, which give constitutional status to all human rights that are guaranteed in international treaties to which Mexico is party, are aimed at guaranteeing individuals the most favourable interpretation of human rights law, including internationally recognized human rights, in all settings, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).  Eleven articles of the constitution have been amended.

“This is a milestone that is the result of years of hard work and discussion by stakeholders from many different sectors of society: members of the Mexican Congress, Senate, academics and civil society,” Ms. Pillay said.

The OHCHR office in Mexico has been working closely with various parties on the reform through the years and commends its passage, she said.

“It should reinforce the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and it should help the country address some of the important human rights challenges it is currently facing.”

Ms. Pillay cited as important the restrictions that the reform places on the declaration of a state of emergency and the protection of human rights in such circumstances, OHCHR said. She also welcomed the strengthened role of the human rights ombudsman and the provisions on rights protection in educational settings and detention centres.

Read more by HS News Staff →

USDA Meets with Hispanic Farmers in CA to Discuss Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims

USDA Meets with Hispanic Farmers in CA to Discuss Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims

Photo: USDA Addressing Hispanic Farmer Discrimination

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As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations of past discrimination at USDA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Fred Pfaeffle held a series of outreach meetings this week with farmers and ranchers to talk about the process that has been put in place to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.

“The Obama Administration is committed to resolving all claims of past discrimination at USDA, so we can close this sad chapter in the department’s history,” said Pfaeffle. “We want to make sure that any Hispanic or women farmer or rancher who alleges discrimination is aware of this option to come forward, to have his or her claims heard and to participate in a process to receive compensation.”

The program USDA announced earlier this year with the Department of Justice provides up to $50,000 for each Hispanic or woman farmer who can show that USDA denied them a loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. This claims process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation and provides at least $1.33 billion in compensation, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. Hispanic or women farmers who provide additional proof and meet other requirements can receive a $50,000 reward. Successful claimants are also eligible for funds to pay the taxes on their awards and for forgiveness of certain existing USDA loans. There are no filing fees or other costs to claimants to participate in the program. Participation is voluntary, and individuals who decide not to participate may choose to file a complaint in court. However, USDA cannot provide legal advice to potential claimants, and persons seeking legal advice may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider.

Under the leadership of Secretary Vilsack, USDA is addressing civil rights complaints that go back decades and through these outreach meetings, we are taking steps towards achieving that goal. USDA is committed to resolving allegations of past discrimination and ushering in “a new era of civil rights” for the Department. In February 2010, the Secretary announced the Pigford II settlement with African American farmers, and in October 2010, he announced the Keepseagle settlement with Native American farmers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Report Shows Employment of Blacks Trailing That of Hispanics and Whites

Report Shows Employment of Blacks Trailing That of Hispanics and Whites

Photo: Unemployment Rate Amongst Latinos

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The Labor Department released “The Black Labor Force in the Recovery” on Monday, the latest report in a series examining the situations of women and minorities in the American economy since the recession that began in 2007. In 2010, the unemployment rate for blacks was 16 percent – significantly higher than those of both whites and Hispanics.

This group made up 12 percent of the U.S. labor force, with 18 million people, representing 62 percent of the black population, either employed or looking for work. Through a series of radio interviews, Secretary Solis discussed DOL’s commitment to improving the employment picture for black Americans. “We will continue to make sure that all communities have access to programs that would equip them with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century job market,” she said.

African-Americans or blacks made up 12 percent of the United States labor force in 2010.1 Overall, 18 million blacks were employed or looking for work, representing 62.2 percent of all black people.

In 2010, about half of blacks aged 16 and older had a job and 17.5 percent of those employed worked part-time.2 Blacks are the only racial or ethnic group where women represent a larger share of the employed than do men — more than half (54.3 percent) of employed blacks in 2010 were women, compared to 46.3 percent among employed whites. Employed black women still earn less than employed black men.

The average unemployment rate for blacks in 2010 was 16.0 percent, compared to 8.7 percent for whites, and 12.5 percent for Hispanics. Historically, blacks have persistently higher unemployment rates than the other major racial and ethnic groups and the recent recession and recovery period has largely reflected this pattern.

Nearly half (48.4 percent) of all unemployed blacks were unemployed 27 weeks or longer in 2010, compared to 41.9 percent of unemployed whites and 39.3 percent of unemployed Hispanics. Moreover, blacks remained unemployed longer than whites or Hispanics in 2010, with a median duration of unemployment approaching 26 weeks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LA City Council Votes 11-1 to Ignore Homeland Securities Program- Secure Communities

LA City Council Votes 11-1 to Ignore Homeland Securities Program- Secure Communities

Photo: LA Rejects ICE Program

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The Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly in support of legislation that would allow them to opt out of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Secure Communities Program.

The program has come under criticism for leading to the deportation of those who were either arrested but not subsequently convicted of a crime or convicted of misdemeanors or infractions, such as a traffic violation.

The program was touted initially as a means to help identify and deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

The resolution passed 11-1.

Read more at LA Times →

Federal Agencies Announce National Initiative to Combat Immigration Services Scams

Federal Agencies Announce National Initiative to Combat Immigration Services Scams

Photo: Crackdown on Notarios by ICE

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The U.S. government unveiled today a multi-agency, nationwide initiative to combat immigration services scams . The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are leading this historic effort.

This initiative targets immigration scams involving the unauthorized practice of immigration law (UPIL), which occurs when legal advice and/or representation regarding immigration matters is provided by an individual who is not an attorney or accredited representative.

This initiative is set upon three pillars—enforcement, education and continued collaboration—designed to stop UPIL scams and prosecute those who are responsible; educate immigrants about these scams and how to avoid them; and inform immigrants about the legal immigration process and where to find legitimate legal advice and representation.

The Department of Justice, through U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Civil Division’s Office of Consumer Protection Litigation, is investigating and prosecuting dozens of cases against so-called “notarios.” In the last year, the department has worked with investigators at the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and USCIS, and with state and local partners, to secure convictions—with sentences up to eight years in prison and forfeiture and restitution of more than $1.8 million. This is in addition to the many actions at the state and local levels that have been filed against individuals and businesses engaged in immigration services scams.

ICE has also long been pursuing immigration services fraud cases in part through its 18 Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force offices across the country. In a recent case in West Palm Beach, Fla., ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested an individual on May 26, 2011, who had posed as an attorney and processed more than 3,000 fraudulent immigration applications.

Read more at Department of Justice →



FridayJune 10, 2011