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SaturdayAugust 20, 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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Commission -  Final CA Senate Map Would Severely Impede Latino Political Progress

Commission -  Final CA Senate  Map Would Severely Impede Latino Political Progress

Photo: Redistricting in California

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The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement regarding the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s approval of final maps for the state’s Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts:


“The California Citizens Redistricting Commission adopted a State Senate map that would turn the clock back on Latino political progress for the next decade.  The map reduces the number of districts where Latinos can effectively choose their elected representatives.  It also significantly weakens the voice of the Latino community in the San Fernando Valley and Orange County.


“The Commission also missed opportunities in its Assembly and Congressional maps to ensure fair representation for Latinos in the Central Valley.  We believe that our voting rights partners will be carefully examining the Commission’s final maps to determine whether they comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and whether litigation is warranted.


“During the last decade, Latinos accounted for 90% of the state’s growth, and nearly two of five Californians are Latinos.  California’s democracy cannot be responsive and accountable unless Latinos achieve fair representation in the state.  This is the first time a Citizens Redistricting Commission has drawn the lines for California’s Congressional and state districts.  The Commission did not fully embrace the unprecedented opportunity to ensure the future political progress of Latinos at all levels of government, and California’s democracy may pay the price.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Foreclosure: How Can I Avoid It?

Foreclosure: How Can I Avoid It?

Photo: foreclosure help

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The Federal Government’s Steps to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

The federal government announced several programs over the last few years to help homeowners in need of assistance avoid foreclosure. These programs strive to help responsible homeowners who are having difficulty paying their mortgage.

The HOPE NOW Alliance tries to help subprime borrowers who can afford the starter rate on a subprime loan but will not be able to make the higher payments once the interest rate goes up. Additional information on this program is available through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act creates a three-year window for homeowners to refinance their mortgage and pay no taxes on any debt forgiveness that they receive. If your mortgage company forgave part or all of your debt between 2007 and 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief by filling out Form 982 - Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (PDF document) and attaching it to your federal income tax return.

Project Lifeline (PDF document) allows qualified homeowners who are at least 90 days late on their mortgage payments to “pause” the foreclosure process for 30 days. Subprime, Alt-A, and prime loans may qualify for this program, including second liens and home equity loans.

The Making Home Affordable Program targets the affordability of homes by offering loan refinance or modification, second lien modification, and foreclosure alternatives to eligible homeowners. Answers to frequently asked questions from homeowners are available. You may also wish to speak to an approved housing counselor who can answer questions and make you aware of foreclosure rescue scams. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made it easier to order a copy of your tax return transcripts for the program.

The Hardest Hit Fund, part of the Making Home Affordable Program, provides targeted aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn. Each participating state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) has designed programs to meet the distinct challenges facing struggling homeowners. To see if you qualify for assistance under the Hardest Hit Fund, contact your state HFA.

The deadline to sign up for the national Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) was July 27, 2011. However, the Substantially Similar State Programs in Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are still accepting applications. The program, geared toward helping homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure, pays a portion of an approved applicant’s monthly mortgage including missed mortgage payments or past due charges. According to HUD, residents in these states who are interested in EHLP assistance must apply directly through the government agency administering the EHLP funds in their respective states. If you have questions on the national program, you may visit http://www.findehlp.org/ or call 1.855.FIND.EHLP (1.855.346.3345). A factsheet (PDF document) is available.

Using funds already authorized in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Treasury is increasing its funding commitment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure the strength and security of the mortgage market and to help maintain mortgage affordability.


If you have questions about these programs, including eligibility requirements, you may contact:


HOPE NOW Alliance at 1.888.995.HOPE (1.888.995.4673) or (TTY) 1.877.304.9709

FIND EHLP 1.855.FIND.EHLP (1.855.346.3345)

Fannie Mae at 1.800.7FANNIE (1.800.732.6643)

Freddie Mac at 1.800.FREDDIE (1.800.373.3343)

You may also contact your mortgage servicer or lender (the organization to whom you make your monthly mortgage payments)

Finally, for more information on how to file a complaint against the mortgage company or lender you have been working with, you may contact the HOPE NOW Alliance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or, if bankruptcy is involved, your local office of the U.S. Trustee Program. You may also wish to contact your state or local bar association. They may be able to help you find affordable legal help.

Additional Resources:

Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan
Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure
Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling
How to Make More Effective Phone Calls to Servicers
Foreclosure Scams
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Administration Revamps Deportation Policy

Obama Administration Revamps Deportation Policy

Photo: In this June 1, 2011 photo, indigenous Mexican farm workers cut weeds in a cabbage field near King City, Calif. Many of the farm workers live in nearby Greenfield, where their large presence has caused tensions among the more established residents, many of whom are second and third generation immigrants.

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The Obama administration says it will review the cases of more than 300,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation to determine if they can stay in the United States.

In a letter to a group of lawmakers, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says officials will review each case to identify “low priority” offenders, including those who have been in the U.S. for a lengthy period, to allow the agency to focus more on deporting convicted criminals and others who pose a threat to public safety.

The new policy was welcomed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who has sponsored legislation that would provide an eventual path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants who arrived in the country as children. 

But Republican lawmakers say the administration is circumventing Congress, and that the policy amounts to granting blanket forgiveness, or amnesty, for illegal immigrants. 

President Barack Obama’s administration has come under fire from immigration advocates for deporting millions of illegal immigrants since taking office in 2009, and for not pushing Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan.

Read more at Voice of America →

Former Miss Universe Amelia Vega at the Miss Republica Dominicana US™ 2011 Pageant

Former Miss Universe Amelia Vega at the Miss Republica Dominicana US™ 2011 Pageant

Photo: Amelia Vega

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Produced and managed by Bellezas Dominicana USA, XL Alliance and Soneros Entertainment, the final gala and crowning of Miss Republica Dominicana US™ 2011 will take place this August 20th at the Symphony Space Theatre in Manhattan with red carpet arrivals starting at 7:00 pm. As an official franchise of the Miss Dominican Republic Universe organization, the U.S. winner represents the Dominican community in the U.S. as part of Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2012, giving her the unique chance to compete for the title that could potentially take her to Miss Universe. The event is presented by Laila Ali Professional™, Samsung Experience, American Airlines and Ron Brugal.

This year’s events have featured the participation of major celebrities and corporations that recognize the importance of Latinos in the U.S. World champion athlete, television personality, and active philanthropist Laila Ali and her new line Laila Ali Professional™ have joined as one of this year’s presenting sponsors. “I am very excited about this year’s partnership with Miss Dominican Republic US,” says Ali. “Our collaboration demonstrates the Laila Ali Brand’s commitment to this important community, and I’m honored to be able to support the drive, motivation, and dreams of these women.” Available at department stores and major retailers nationwide, the new Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand features a range of professional hair care and skin care products, followed by all-natural, sustainable fragrances.

At the gala, former Miss Universe Amelia Vega will be performing two songs from her upcoming album “Agua Dulce” available to the public August 30th, 2011. This will be the first exclusive and live performance by Amelia Vega of her songs prior to the official release in New York. Other artists include Yunel Cruz, whose hit song “Dominicanita” has been designated as the official song and jingle for the event. The evening will be hosted by Liliana Gil, entrepreneur, XL Alliance managing partner and media contributor and business reporter for Fox News Latino, HispanicAd, Huffington Post, among others and Eliecer Marte, media contributor to CNN en Espanol and Telemundo 47, among others.

Other participating partners include: Glamorous Cosmetics, Cibao Meats, Yager Esthetics and Spa, Piatto D’Oro, Vimar Martinez , Icel New York, Danelle I Dungca, Helen Rojas Trajes de bano, Creative Capital Ad Agency, Nunez Dental Services, Shua-media Photography, Jose Guerra Photography and Victor Lopez Lama fotografo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gutierrez Calls DHS Deportation Announcement An Important Victory For Sensible Immigration Policy

Gutierrez Calls DHS Deportation Announcement An Important Victory For Sensible Immigration Policy

Photo: Luis Guiterrez

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Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) issued a statement reacting to an announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would review deportation cases based on newly-issued guidelines establishing which cases are priories for deportation and which are not.  The review of pending deportation cases and the instructions to all elements of DHS over how immigrants that meet certain criteria should be handled has come after months of sustained advocacy by Congressman Gutierrez, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, other Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, and determined public pressure by from clergy, advocates, immigrants, and DREAM Act students nationwide.  The announcement by DHS will apparently make one of Congressman Gutierrez’ key demands a reality: putting a halt to the deportation of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children and who are crime free and pursuing their education; in other words, those who would qualify for the DREAM Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in 2010 but died in the Senate when only 55 out of 100 Senators voted to move the bill forward.


The Congressman was briefed on today’s DHS announcement by the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton by telephone yesterday evening. The following is a statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez:

I have been vocal in my criticism of the President and his Administration over the dramatic increase in deportations on his watch and have traveled the country urging him to use his power under existing law to do what he can to help.  This is the Barack Obama I have been waiting for and that Latino and immigrant voters helped put in office to fight for sensible immigration policies.  Focusing scarce resources on deporting serious criminals, gang bangers, and drug dealers and setting aside non-criminals with deep roots in the U.S. until Congress fixes our laws is the right thing to do and I am proud of the President and Secretary Napolitano for standing up for a more rational approach to enforcing our current immigration laws.


Today is a victory not just for immigrants but for the American people as a whole because it makes no sense to deport DREAM Act students and others who can make great contributions to America and pose no threat.  It is not in our national interest to send away young people who were raised in the U.S. and have been educated here and want only to contribute to this country’s success.


I have asked ICE Director John Morton to come to Capitol Hill and brief Members of Congress on how this will affect their constituents as soon as Congress reconvenes.  My Chicago office and Congressional offices across the country have been inundated with cases of DREAM Act students, military families, and U.S. citizens whose families are being threatened with deportation or who have actually been deported.  Putting the new priorities into practice so that cases can be reviewed and getting the word out to caseworkers in Congressional offices, in the legal community, and to individual immigrants facing deportation is critical and time-sensitive and we will work with ICE and DHS on that immediately.


This action does not address all of my concerns, but it is the start of a process that will save many American families and individuals who deserve to live long and productive lives in this country. There are still U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents in families with undocumented immigrants who can obtain legal status under existing law, but who do not do so because of an unfair three- and ten-year penalty barring them from the U.S. if they apply.  The rapidly expanding “Secure Communities” state and local enforcement program that undermines public safety and has caught tens of thousands of non-criminals in its dragnet remains a big problem.  But today’s announcement shows that this President is willing to put muscle behind his words and to use his power to intervene when the lives of good people are being ruined by bad laws.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Goya Foods Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Marc Anthony, Ana Gabriel & Marco Antonio Solis

Goya Foods Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Marc Anthony, Ana Gabriel & Marco Antonio Solis

Photo: Mark Anthony

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Goya Foods, Inc., the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, announced today their sponsorship of a six-city concert series with performing artists Marc Anthony, Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio Solis to celebrate Goya’s 75th milestone anniversary with the community while giving back to those who have supported them since 1936. 

Throughout the nine concert series, kicking off in Houston with celebrations in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Orlando and New Jersey to follow, Goya Foods will be donating 75,000 pounds of food to local charities selected by the performing artists.  To further give back to its consumers, Goya will also be awarding tickets to consumers in partnership with local retailers within each market. 

“Giving has always been an integral part of our culture, so as we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we wanted to give back to the communities that have always supported us,” said Robert Unanue, president of Goya Foods.  “As we continue our year-long celebrations we wanted to go out and celebrate in a big way with our fans.  This series will be a great party for a great cause.”

“I am thrilled to play a part in Goya’s 75th anniversary celebrations and to be able to give back together to these communities who have supported us for so long,” said Marc Anthony, whose concerts Goya is sponsoring in New Jersey, Miami and Orlando.  “You can’t go wrong with great music, great food and great fans!”

This donation is part of the Goya Gives campaign, a series of initiatives the company has developed to celebrate its milestone anniversary in partnership with United Way.  In March of 2011, Goya donated one million pounds across multiple markets, the largest ever single-day food donation by a food company.  The historic donation served as a reminder of Goya’s service to its communities and is the next step in Goya’s longstanding commitment of supporting the fight against hunger.  Throughout its 75-year history, Goya has donated extensively to local and national organizations, and in 2010 alone, the company donated more than 1.5 million pounds of food worldwide. 

Through social media platforms, participants can share their low-cost, nutritious recipes using Goya products, as well as photos and stories of how they have shared a meal with a friend or neighbor in need at www.goyagives.org.  Participants can also share the Goya Gives message with their friends through Facebook and Twitter.  In addition, people can make monetary donations directly to United Way, funding the organization’s initiatives to prevent hunger and improve nutrition in communities across America.

For more information on Goya Gives, please visit www.goyagives.org.
Concert Series Dates:
August 20, 2011
Marco Antonio Solis & Ana Gabriel
Toyota Center
Houston, TX

August 26 & 27, 2011
Marco Antonio Solis
Gibson Amphitheatre
Los Angeles, CA

Sept. 9, 2011
Marc Anthony
IZOD Center
East Rutherford, New Jersey

Sept. 10, 2011
Marco Antonio Solis & Ana Gabriel
Allstate Arena
Chicago, IL

Sept. 16 & 17, 2011
Marc Anthony
American Airlines Arena
Miami, FL

Sept. 18, 2011
Marc Anthony
Amway Center
Orlando, FL

Oct. 16, 2011
Ana Gabriel
Gibson Amphitheatre
Los Angeles, CA

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Boxer Pounds Away the Obstacles in a Male-Dominated Sport

Woman Boxer Pounds Away the Obstacles in a Male-Dominated Sport

Photo: Jasmine Rodriguez, 20, fighting an opponent from Las Cruces. (Georgia Rodriguez/Borderzine.com)

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Her swollen eyes gaze at her bloody opponent sitting in the opposite corner of the ring as her coach shouts out demands for the last round of the bout.

Heavy hands hang on the ropes as she inhales and exhales trying to catch her breath while the mostly male crowd howls.

Just as the bell sounds, she forces her body to her feet and moves guardedly to the center of the ring. She taps gloves with her opponent and the round begins.

Jasmine Rodriguez, 20, a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso, entered the ring at the Sports and Health Expo held here in April to fight in one of the day’s only two women’s boxing matches. Rodriguez, out of Ben and Joe’s Youth Gym, defeated her opponent from Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Although she claimed her victory easily in this fight, her record is anything but perfect. She faces struggles particular to women boxers that hinder her from an easy climb to the top of the women’s boxing world.

Unlike most boxers who start as young as eight years old, she began training at the age of 20 at her uncle’s non-profit gym, Ben and Joe’s Youth Gym.

A soccer player most of her life, Rodriguez had a rude awakening when she decided to dedicate herself to one of the most brutal contact sports around. “Boxing seems really easy when you are training, but when you actually get into the ring and have someone swinging at you, you realize just how hard it is, especially as a woman,” said Rodriguez.

After training for a couple of months, Rodriguez lost her first fight to the same woman from Las Cruces. Following that loss, she was defeated again for an 0-2 record.


Rodriguez prepares before her fight. (Georgia Rodriguez/Borderzine.com)
But her losing streak just made her more determined to make her third fight her first win. However, there are not many women in the boxing world ready and willing to throw themselves into the ring, especially in Rodriguez’ 103-pound class.

Unable to get a match, Rodriguez dealt with the pressure of keeping herself in shape while she impatiently waited for another opponent. “With every 10 men in boxing matches, there is only one women’s match making it. Seems impossible to find a fight sometimes,” said Rodriguez.

Although she has to endure the pressure of being a woman in a male-dominated sport, the way she trains is no different. As the only woman among many boxers at Ben and Joe’s Youth gym, Rodriguez trains just like the men. “There isn’t a difference between the sexes at our gym,” said Rodriguez, “we are all considered equal boxers with the same potential.”

Ben and Joe’s Youth Gym’s founder and coach, Ben Rodriguez who has been a boxer most of his life, said he saw something inside her that could potentially make her a women’s boxing champion. “There is a fighter deep down inside her petite exterior that wants to become the best,” says Ben Rodriguez. “Being a woman does not affect her potential.”

While facing the obstacles that come along with being a woman in boxing, Rodriguez counts on the constant support from her family. “Every time I fight, my whole family is there, from my parents to my cousins to my baby sisters,” says Rodriguez. “They like that I am in boxing because I have always been athletic.”

In her corner from the beginning of her interest in the grueling sport, her coach remains one of her biggest supporters, “As her coach I don’t get nervous seeing her step into the ring because she is a woman, only as her uncle do I get nervous,” said Ben Rodriguez.

Along with the support of her family, Rodriguez feeds off of the drive and determination within herself. “Boxing is something I am so passionate about,” says Rodriguez, “instead of placing myself in the victim category as a woman, I accept the challenges thrown at me and I will succeed.”

Rodriguez has high hopes of women becoming equal with men in the boxing world, but she is not blind to the obvious male domination. “Unfortunately women will not be as big in the boxing world as guys will,” says Rodriguez, “in our society it is not accepted and lady like for woman to be physically aggressive in a contact sport.”

However, this does not stop how hard women boxers strive to someday outshine the men. “Women’s boxing matches are more exciting because we fight harder than the guys,” says Rodriguez, “more of our emotions step into the ring with us.”

Rodriguez, who does not have a fight scheduled in the near future, is still training and staying in shape should a match come her way.Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Authoritative National Report Condemns Secure Communities Program

Authoritative National Report Condemns Secure Communities Program

Photo: National Day labor Organizing Network

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National Leaders, Experts, and Victims of S-Comm Conclude Program Should Be Ended.

This week, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others made public an authoritative report condemning the Secure Communities deportation program and recommending its termination.

The report includes testimony from former District Attorney of New York Robert Morgenthau, heads of law enforcement, and victims of Secure Communities like Isaura in Los Angeles whose 911 call for help resulted in her deportation proceedings.

In contrast to the DHS appointed taskforce which has failed to enlist the voices of affected communities, scholars, or critics on the subject, this report constitutes a real deliberative and representative review of the program.

The report recommends that the Secure Communities be terminated, that the current OIG investigation of S-Comm be expanded to all ICE Access programs, that the Department of Justice begin its own investigation into the mysterious role of the FBI in Secure Communities, and that states not be compelled to share biometric data with ICE.

The following statement can be attributed to the National Community Advisory Commission

“This report confirms what immigrant communities have long known. The program called Secure Communities results in the opposite. Entangling local police in immigration enforcement is not just bad policy as the experts testify. Conscripting local police into immigration enforcement has provoked a massive civil rights crisis our country now faces. The only suitable approach is to end Secure Communities.”


The Commission includes: American Friends Service Committee, Project Voice New England, Asian Law Caucus, CASA de Maryland, Center for Constitutional Rights, CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Detention Watch Network, Grassroots Leadership, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Rights Working Group, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, We-Count!

The report is available at http://altopolimigra.com/s-comm-shadow-report/

Background on the Secure Communities Program is available at www.uncoverthetruth.org and in a press brief at http://ndlon.org/pdf/scommbrief.pdf

Read more by HS News Staff →

100 Years of Immigration

100 Years of Immigration

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the current immigration debate, to feel like there’s some sort of bottleneck going on, that the U.S. is facing new issues in uncharted territory. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Americans of 100 years ago were facing many of the same issues, some of them feeling overrun by waves of foreign immigrants who came to the U.S speaking a seemingly strange tongue, looking out of place, and amassing in new, ethnic communities. The only difference between now and then is where these immigrants are coming from. For example, in 1910 the U.S. issued 1,041,570 green cards. In 2010, the U.S. issued 1,042,625 green cards. That’s only 1,055 more in 2010 than in 1910. Between 1900 and 1909, the U.S. issued 8.2 million green cards and 7.6 million of those went to people from Europe with Austria-Hungarians receiving the most at a little over 2 million. Between 2000 and 2009, 10.3 million green cards were issued and only 1.3 million of those went to Europeans, less than the amount of green cards that were issued to Austria-Hungarians alone 100 years earlier. In the last ten years, the lion’s share of green cards went to those from neighboring North American countries with Mexico leading at 1.7 million green cards received, more than all of Europe combined. Asians and Africans represent a much larger percentage of green card recipients in the last ten years than they did 100 years ago. Between 1900 and 1909, only 300,000 green cards went to Asians and 6,326 went to Africans. In the last ten years, however, combined Asians received 3.4 million greencards and combined Africans received 760,000.

Immigration in 1910, Compared to Now

Total immigration to the U.S. in 1910, including legal permanent residents, nonimmigrant workers, students, etc. was 13.5 million people and 11.8 million came from Europe. In 2010, over 20 million immigrants entered the country, with Mexico topping the list at nearly 10 million alone. This may seem like a drastic increase, but when compared as a percentage of total U.S. population, the ratio of immigrants to residents is much smaller in 2010. In 1910, entering immigrants represented 14 percent of the total U.S. population and in 2010; entering immigrants only represented 6 percent of the total U.S. population.

Descendents of Immigrants

The descendents of immigrants who arrived in 1910 are the entrenched culture of the modern United States. The grandchildren and great grand-children of those folks are now the ones wondering who all these new people are. And in 100 years, the descendants of today’s immigrants might wonder the same thing. Where these people come from may change once again, the color of their skin and the language they speak upon arrival. 100 years ago, German was the dominant language of immigrants with various other European languages as well. Today, most immigrants speak Spanish. One thing is certain and that is that immigration to the U.S. will continue as long as it is a place that offers freedom and opportunity.

Read more at US Immigration Support →



SaturdayAugust 20, 2011