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ThursdayJuly 12, 2012

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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8 Million Permanent Residents Eligible to be Citizens, 44% are Latino

8 Million Permanent Residents Eligible to be Citizens, 44% are Latino

Photo: Green Card Holders Eligible to Vote

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Hispanic activists say that more than 8 million permanent residents have not become U.S. citizens, and so they continue to be unprotected from aggressive policies against immigrants and are losing political influence.

“Every person who qualifies to be a permanent resident and does not apply for citizenship should be aware of the damage he’s individually causing to the entire immigrant community by not exercising all his rights as a citizen,” Juan Jose Gutierrez, an attorney and immigrant rights advocate in Los Angeles, told Efe.

“If all those who can get their citizenship would vote, with that power we could put pressure on the politicians to attend to the most pressing demands of our community such as fair and comprehensive immigration reform,” he said.

Lizette Escobedo, National Director for Civic Engagement with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, told Efe that, according to Department of Homeland Security figures, 8.2 million of the 12 million foreign residents are already eligible to apply for citizenship.

“Of the 8.2 million people eligible for citizenship, 44 percent were born in Latin American countries, and in California in particular there are 3.3 million permanent residents of whom 2.3 million can already apply for citizenship,” she said.

“Our Latino community has been here for several centuries. Their children were born here, they pay taxes, they work and so they are contributing to the greatness of this country,” said Escobedo, who added that the only thing that’s lacking is that they are not citizens.

Francisco Rivera, the president of the Mesa Redonda Nacional Centroamericana (National Central American Roundtable), said that “there are many people who don’t make the effort, because they don’t have the $680 that the citizenship procedure costs and when there are several people in the family the costs are not within the reach of their salaries.”

“But it’s necessary for low-income families to know that they can fill out a request to be made exempt from paying with Citizenship and Immigration Services and if they can prove that they are in the low-income category they will not pay the $680,” he said.

Rivera said that to become better informed for free about the procedure families should attend the citizenship fairs that are organized each year by NALEO.

Antonio Gonzalez, the president of the William Velazquez Institute, told Efe that “with the economic crisis everything went downhill, the rate of naturalization was cut by more than half because people don’t have the money to pay for the process, which the government has made more expensive.”

“Both the government of George W. Bush and the one of Barack Obama have not allocated funds to get strong campaigns going through organizations so that people apply for citizenship,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AI Criticizes Lack of Enforcement When 6 out of 10 Mexican Women are Victims of Sexual Assaults

AI Criticizes Lack of Enforcement When 6 out of 10 Mexican Women are Victims of Sexual Assaults

Photo: Violence against Women in Mexico

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Amnesty International on Thursday denounced the impunity that prevails amid the growing violence and discrimination against women in Mexico.

In a report presented to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, AI said that Mexican authorities do not protect the victims of sexual violence or guarantee that those responsible for the abuse will be brought to justice.

“In the past years, Mexico has approved a number of laws and institutions designed to protect women from discrimination and violence. Much of the problem, however, lies in the lack of effective implementation of these laws and the weakness of the institutions,” AI researcher Rupert Knox said.

So, AI is asking both the outgoing administration of President Felipe Calderon and the government that will take office in December for a greater commitment in protecting the rights of women and putting an end to the abuses and murders that, between 1985 and 2009, numbered 34,000 and have been rising in recent years.

Although the number of men murdered in Mexico is much greater, AI said that the violence against women is generally more cruel and is often linked to sexual attacks.

Mexican prosecutors in 2009 received almost 15,000 complaints of rape, although AI calculates that in reality there were about 74,000 sexual assaults, as only a relatively small percentage of such crimes are reported.

Of the cases brought to court, just 2,795 ended up with a conviction, AI said.

The impunity that prevails for many of these crimes has motivated many women to launch campaigns to protect their rights, although often this very act makes them the target of violence.

Female human rights activists are the victims of more and more attacks due to their work against gender violence and for throwing light on human rights violations in Mexico, AI said.

The organization also discussed the situation of illegal immigrants from Central America who cross through Mexico to try and get to the United States, saying that they, too, are the regular victims of these crimes and that they suffer from a substantial lack of protection from the authorities.

As AI said in its report, the National Commission on Human Rights determined in 2011 that some 11,000 foreign migrants had been kidnapped during one six-month period while other academic studies found that six of every 10 women become the victims of sexual attacks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Leaving ‘American Idol’? - Jennifer Lopez Tells ‘The Today Show’ “Maybe it’s Time For Me to Go”

Leaving ‘American Idol’? - Jennifer Lopez Tells ‘The Today Show’ “Maybe it’s Time For Me to Go”

Photo: Leaving 'American Idol'? - Jennifer Lopez Tells 'The Today Show' "Maybe it's Time For me to Go"

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Jennifer Lopez is considering whether she wants to continue as a judge on “American Idol,” the singer said Thursday in an interview on NBC’s “The Today Show.”

“Maybe it’s time for me to go. It’s been on my mind a lot, as you can imagine, and now it’s like, do we continue on this journey? I’ve loved it so much,” she said.

“You know, I signed on to ‘American Idol’ to do one year, and I wound up doing the two years,” Lopez said when asked about a possible third season with the program.

The artist, who is promoting her participation in the animated film “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which hits U.S. theaters on Friday, said “it’s a tough decision either way.”

“But I have to say that there are so many other things that I do, and that I put on hold for that. At the end of the day, whichever way, it’s a heartbreaking decision if I’m gonna have to go,” J.Lo said.

Lopez, who recently appeared on the silver screen in the comedy “What to Expect When you’re Expecting,” is currently making a musical tour with Enrique Iglesias to promote her album “Dance Again, The Hit.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wells Fargo to Pay $175 Million for Discriminating Against Latinos and African-American Borrowers

Wells Fargo to Pay $175 Million for Discriminating Against Latinos and African-American Borrowers

Photo: Wells Fargo Settle Latino Discrimination Suit

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The Department of Justice today filed the second largest fair lending settlement in the department’s history to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo Bank, engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009. 

The government’s complaint alleges Wells Fargo discriminated by steering approximately 4,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers, as well as additional retail borrowers, into subprime mortgages when non-Hispanic white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans.  All the borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against were qualified for Wells Fargo mortgage loans according to Well Fargo’s own underwriting criteria.

The US also alleges that Wells Fargo discriminated by charging approximately 30,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers higher fees and rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers

The settlement provides $125 million in compensation for wholesale borrowers who were steered into subprime mortgages or who paid higher fees and rates than white borrowers because of their race or national origin.  Wells Fargo will also provide $50 million in direct down payment assistance to borrowers in communities around the country where the department identified large numbers of discrimination victims and which were hard hit by the housing crisis. 

The settlement is subject to court approval.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Diego Maradona Fired as Dubai’s Al Wasl Soccer Club Manager - Now Wants to Talk it Over

Argentine Diego Maradona Fired as Dubai’s Al Wasl Soccer Club Manager - Now Wants to Talk it Over

Photo: Argentine Diego Maradona Fired as Dubai's Al Wasl Soccer Club Manager - Now Wants to Talk it Over

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Dubai’s Al Wasl soccer club fired Argentine manager Diego Armando Maradona as part of an effort to “change the image,” a spokesman for the team told the Buenos Aires sports daily Ole.

Maradona, who as a player led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, had 10 months left on his two-year, $34 million contract with the U.A.E. club.

“After a meeting at 8:00 in the evening, the new Board of Directors ... released the current coaching staff,” club spokesman Alejandro Garcia - also an Argentine - told Ole, adding that the decision caused him “surprise and anguish.”

Just last month, club President Mohammed Ben Fahad confirmed that Maradona would remain as manager and said pre-season matches would begin July 25.

“They lost the (GCC Champions League) cup final, changed all the directors, the new president came out to say that Diego would continue being the coach - and now this,” Garcia said.

Sources close to Maradona said he learned of his firing “from the Internet,” while the now-former-manager said in a statement issued late Wednesday that he wished to remain with Al Wasl.

The 51-year-old Maradona accepted the position in Dubai after being dismissed as the manager of Argentina’s national team in the wake of the squad’s disappointing performance in the 2010 World Cup.

Read more by HS News Staff →

City in Peru Named ‘Time+Leisure’ Magazine’s Top City in Latin America

City in Peru Named ‘Time+Leisure’ Magazine’s Top City in Latin America

Photo: City in Peru Named 'Time+Leisure' Magazine's Top City in Latin America

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Each year, Travel+Leisure magazine rate the best cities in Latin America and this year a Peruvian city moved up the list to take the top spot.

Coming in at number two on last year’s list, the city of Cusco climbed to the top of the magazine’s best cities in Mexico and Central and South America.

Buenos Aires, Argentina was knocked down to second this year, dropping from last year’s number 1 slot.

Another Peruvian city to make the list was Lima, which dropped down to 10th place from 8th last year.

The best cities is part of the magazine’s larger 2012 World’s Best Awards Readers’ Survey Results.

Cusco won the region’s best city, while Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands took the “best island” prize.

Each year, Travel+Leisure release the results of the survey, which include everything from best cities and islands, to best spa, hotel, cruise line, and even car-rental agency (Hertz), all broken down by region.

Other Latin American winners include Capella Pedregal in Los Cabos for best hotel spa in Mexico and Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens in La Fortuna for best hotel spa in Central and South America.

Those surveyed found Mexico’s best resort to be Live Aqua in Cancun and the country’s best city hotel to be the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico, D.F. in Mexico City.

In Central America and South America:

Top Resort - Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Top City Hotel - Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Click here to see the full results.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mayor Emanuel: Undocumented Immigrant Crime Victims Have Nothing to Fear from Chicago Police

Mayor Emanuel: Undocumented Immigrant Crime Victims Have Nothing to Fear from Chicago Police

Photo: Mayor Emanuel: Undocumented Immigrant Crime Victims Have Nothing to Fear from Chicago Police

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Ensure Trust and Good Relationships Between Chicago’s Immigrant Communities, Regardless Of Immigration Status

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today his intention to introduce a Welcoming City Ordinance that builds on efforts to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the country by incorporating basic protections for undocumented Chicagoans who have not been convicted of a serious crime and are not wanted on a criminal warrant.

“This Welcoming City ordinance will make Chicago a national leader in welcoming those who play by the rules, contribute to our economy and help make Chicago the incredible city that was envisioned by its first immigrant settlers,” said Mayor Emanuel.  “This will prevent law abiding Chicagoans from being unfairly detained and deported, and will ensure that Chicago is a welcoming, multicultural global city where people have access to services they need to contribute to our city.”

The ordinance builds on an existing ordinance and longtime City policy that prohibits agencies from inquiring about the immigration status of people seeking City services, and provides that the Chicago Police Department will not question crime victims, witnesses and other law-abiding residents about their legal status. It will now be expanded to ensure that undocumented Chicagoans will only be detained if they are wanted on a criminal warrant by local or federal authorities, if they have been convicted of a serious crime and remain in the United States illegally, or if they are otherwise a clear threat to public safety or national security.

The ordinance provides for CPD training in conjunction with immigrant advocacy groups to build trust within immigrant communities; and the development of public marketing materials that outline the services that law abiding immigrants can safely access in the city of Chicago.  CPD will continue to cooperate with federal authorities in investigating and apprehending violent criminals who may be undocumented immigrants.

“We know from the experience around the country that enlisting police and local governments in enforcing federal civil law undermines public safety, wastes precious and scarce law enforcement resources, and weakens the bonds of trust between police and the communities they serve and protect, “ said U. S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04). “ In Chicago, we do things a little differently because we put public safety above political stunts and we put creating a united, cohesive society over trying to draw dividing lines.  I am so proud that the Chicago tradition of forward looking immigrant policies continues and is made all the more solid by Mayor Emanuel.”

“This ordinance will ensure that the city of Chicago continues to be a place where immigrants can thrive and contribute.  We are grateful for the mayor’s leadership and we hope other cities will look to Chicago’s ordinance as a model,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center.

“There is a difference between people who come here to contribute to the well-being of their families and in the process contribute to the well-being of their city, with those who engage in criminal activity, and in the process, destroy our quality of life,” stated Juan Rangel, CEO of The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO).  “This new ordinance makes that distinction even clearer.  All residents of Chicago, regardless of their immigration status, should feel secure in reporting any and all crimes without fear of repercussions against them.”

“Chicago’s depends on the vibrancy and economic stability that the immigrant community brings to the city,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Making sure that our city’s law enforcement resources are focused on serious crimes that harm immigrants and natives alike, and that immigrants and their families are not subjected to racial profiling, will strengthen the relationship between Chicago Police and immigrant communities and make our entire city safer.”

Since the creation of the Office of New Americans (ONA), the City has strengthened support for immigrant communities, entrepreneurs and businesses. The ONA recently announced the creation of the Chicago New Americans initiative which brings together the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to offer assistance to 10,000 eligible, law abiding, permanent residents in Chicago become naturalized, U.S. citizens.  The ONA has also created an Advisory Council formed by 50 individuals who represent Chicago’s business, academia, civic, philanthropic, and community leaders. They will identify immigrant challenges, strategies and potential solutions and will, together with the ONA, present the plan to the Mayor later this summer. The ONA also hosted a New Americans Small Business Series, an innovative series of quarterly events that will foster small business growth in immigrant communities throughout Chicago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem Expecting Second Child?

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem Expecting Second Child?

Photo: Penelope Cruz Maybe Pregnant Again?

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Spanish Oscar winner Penelope Cruz is very busy what with promoting her latest Woody Allen project ‘To Rome with Love’ to wrapping up ‘Venuto al Mondo’ and now is reportedly pregnant again.

Spanish television media is reporting the actress is three months along.  Though the Cruz-Bardem camp have not officially confirmed the pregnancy, sources close to the couple and working with Cruz on her latest project are confirming.  Spanish media are busying hunting down more confirmations even cornering director Pedor Almodovar and asking him. 

Cruz and her husband, Spanish actor and also an Oscar winner Javier Bardem, have been married since July, 2010 and have a 17-month old son, Leonardo

Mitt Romney’s Son Stars in Campaign’s Latest Spanish-Language Ad “Los Invito” (VIDEO)

Mitt Romney’s Son Stars in Campaign’s Latest Spanish-Language Ad “Los Invito” (VIDEO)

Photo: Mitt Romney's Son Stars in Campaign's Latest Spanish-Language Ad "Los Invito"

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On Wednesday, Mitt Romney’s campaign released its eighth Spanish-language ad, letting Craig Romney do the talking once again.

The ad coincides with the launching of ‘Juntos Con Romney’, the campaign’s new Spanish-language website.

The ad, titled “Los Invito”, features Craig Romney, the Republican presidential candidate’s youngest son, inviting Latino voters to get to know his father.

Translated, Craig says, “I want to tell you who my father is, Mitt Romney. He is a man of great convictions. He’s been married for over 40 years to my mom. Together they have five sons and 18 grandchildren. He loves our country greatly. What he has achieved has been through hard work — and it is with that same dedication that he will fight to get our country on the right track and create jobs.”

The youngest Romney son’s grasp of the Spanish language was not a surprise for many, as the campaign first used Craig in a Florida campaign ad in January, in which he stated, “The United States represents liberty, opportunity, where anything is possible. I am Craig Romney. My father, Mitt Romney, believes in those American values because he has lived them, and will fight to restore the greatness of our nation.”

Craig lived in Chile during his time with a Mormon mission and there is little doubt Republicans are glad to have a fluent Spanish speaking to speak for Romney, as the presidential hopeful’s Spanish leaves much to be desired (see the last few seconds of any of the Spanish ads.)

So what do you think? Does Romney, with help from son Craig, have a chance with Latino voters?


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Returns Numerous Stolen & Looted Treasures from Peru, Including 2,000 Yr Old Antiquities

U.S. Returns Numerous Stolen & Looted Treasures from Peru, Including 2,000 Yr Old Antiquities

Photo: Stolen Peruvian Treasures Returned

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Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 14 stolen and looted cultural paintings and artifacts to the government of Peru at a repatriation ceremony at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C.

The items were recovered in five separate investigations by special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York; West Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Austin and Houston, Texas.

Returned to the Peruvian people were nine religious paintings, a monstrance and four archaeological items that date back more than 2,000 years.

“The plundering of cultural property is one of the oldest forms of organized cross-border crime and has become a world-wide phenomenon that transcends frontiers,” said ICE Director John Morton.

The collection of items returned includes:

*  Nine 18th century religious paintings from the Cusco region of Peru;
*  A pre-Columbian Chimu-Inca double-chambered blackware vessel that whistles when it contains liquid;
*  An ancient Andean textile that may have been used as a woman’s belt;
*  A Spanish colonial silver gilt and enamel monstrance from the 1700s. This type of receptacle was and is still used in Roman Catholic and *      Anglican churches to display the consecrated Eucharist;
*  A ceramic jar from the Moche culture that portrays farmers and fishermen who lived on the river valleys and the arid coastal plain of northern Peru during 100 to 800 A.D.; and
*  Peruvian bronze ceremonial blade, or tumi, used by the Inca and pre-Inca cultures in the Peruvian coastal region as a sacrificial ceremonial knife.

Of the objects returned, two of the Cusco oil paintings — Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Virgin and Child — were sold at an auction house in Austin. Seven other Peruvian antique paintings were being sold from a Houston gallery. The pre-Columbian Chimu-Inca whistling pot and Andean textile were being sold on eBay.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Ballplayer: Pelotero’ Ruffles MLB Feathers, Looks at Corrupt Dominican Baseball Recruiting

‘Ballplayer: Pelotero’ Ruffles MLB Feathers, Looks at Corrupt Dominican Baseball Recruiting

Photo: 'Ballplayer: Pelotero' Ruffles MLB Feathers, Looks at Corrupt Dominican Baseball Recruiting

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Just ahead of the theater and On Demand release of Ballplayer: Pelotero, producer of the film and Boston Red Sox manager is meeting criticism from Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB’s executive vice president of economics and league affairs, Rob Manfred.

Ballplayer: Pelotero shines a light on the corruption often involved in Dominican amateur baseball players trying to make it to the pros by following the lives of two young players in the Dominican Republic.

Ballplayer: Pelotero follows the two players in the days leading up to the most important day of their lives. Viewers see the competition as well as corruption they face in chasing the dream many Dominican athletes share.

“For 16-year-old Dominican baseball players, or Peloteros, the only real chance to escape crushing poverty comes every July 2nd, the day they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts. Ballplayer: Pelotero provides an intimate portrait of two prospects as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround Major League Baseball’s recruitment of the island’s top talent.”

During a question and answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Selig was asked about the complaints he took to the Red Sox about the film, he told The Associated Press, ‘I expressed our concerns to Red Sox ownership and that was it. What they did from there is up to them.’ Adding, ‘There were a lot of things that were inaccurate.’

Manfred pointed out the film depicts a period of time before changes were made to the way the MLB handles things on the island.

Despite the critics however, the film, which is narrated by John Leguizamo, will open on Friday, July 13.

The film was directed by Guagua Productions’ Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, and Jon Paley, who released a statement saying, ““It is frustrating to hear Commissioner Selig state that our film is inaccurate. We stand by what we documented in ‘Ballplayer: Pelotero’ and would welcome the opportunity to showcase the documentary to Mr. Selig so he can specifically address what he feels is inaccurate.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Organ Trafficking in Latin America Growing Problem with Little Solutions

Organ Trafficking in Latin America Growing Problem with Little Solutions

Photo: Organ Trafficking in Latin America Growing Problem

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At a meeting last month, a group of judicial officials from Central America and the Dominican Republic agreed to a minimum sentence for any individual involved in the increasingly common crime of organ trafficking. 

The committee established a sentence of no less than five years for anyone involved in this type of criminal activity.  The discussion however did not set limits for individual countries and Honduras recently set their minimum sentence for this crime at 15 years. 

The meeting is a step in the right direction towards ending a problem that continues to plague the area.  Organs Watch, an NGO which tracks illegal sales has estimated that up to 20,000 kidneys alone are sold worldwide at close to $150,000.  Many individuals involved in these transactions are gang members, who traditionally serve as facilitators for the sale. Many sellers are those living in the many impoverished areas in Latin America.  One 25 year old man from Jalisco, México, found himself selling one of his kidneys for about $18,000 to help pay off some debts.  He stated, “It’s no good to me to keep both kidneys and remain with my debts.”

The problem will be tough to resolve as long as the gap remains between the amount of organ donors and those waiting for an organ.  This meeting however, will hopefully be the first step towards a future resolution.

Read more at Insight Crime →

V.P of Ecuador Lenin Moreno’s Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize Garners Enormous Support

V.P of Ecuador Lenin Moreno’s Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize Garners Enormous Support

Photo: Ecuador's Lenin Moreno Nominated Nobel Peace Prize

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The Nobel Committee for Peace, which has nominated Ecuador’s Vice President, Lenin Moreno, to receive this high honor, has received close to two million signatures in support of his nomination.  President of the committee, Héctor Cueva, said that the campaign has traveled almost the entire country and began this past February. 

According to Cueva, at the end of this month, the committee will send the signatures to the selection committee in Oslo, Norway. 

The nomination of Moreno has also received world wide support.  Moreno, wheelchair bound himself, is one of a the few world leaders that is disabled and the only high-level disable government official in Latin America.  Moreno became disabled in 1998 when he was robbed and shot in the back in the streets of Quito.

He continues to aid those with disabilities through multiple projects including the Manuela Espejo Project which has helped thousands of handicapped people throughout South and Central America.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Georgia Immigration Court Overwhelmed with Asylum Applications

Georgia Immigration Court Overwhelmed with Asylum Applications

Photo: Asylum from Mexico in Georgia

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Since passing a law last year which cracks down on illegal immigration in Georgia, many illegal immigrants have turned to a request for asylum as their last ditch effort to avoid deportation.  Many disagree as to whether this request for asylum should be taken seriously or not by judges.  Some believe that it is more understandable if an immigrant requests asylum upon entering the country illegally.  Yet others argue that a return to their homeland would result in physical harm or even death and asylum is needed. 

According to Amna Shirazi, an immigration attorney based in Norcross, “We are allowed to ask for it, so I don’t care if the judge gets frustrated. If I can find a better way for my client to get their green card, I do. I only ask for asylum if there is absolutely nothing else I can ask for.” Shirazi is the attorney representing 19 year old, Ivan Penaloza.  He was arrested after getting into an argument with a police officer and is awaiting a decision by the judge in his case in a detention center. 

Shirazi believes that although her client does not fit into one of the typical categories for asylum applicants, he does represent a new category that also demonstrates the need for asylum.  According to Shirazi, her client is too ‘Americanized’ to return to Mexico.  “We [attorneys] are trying to create this new class of protected people,” she said. “The more Americanized they are, the more tied they are to the United States. We have to litigate this class into existence, because it doesn’t exist.

During last year’s fiscal year 224 applications for asylum were completed by Mexican nationals in Atlanta.  This number demonstrates a large increase from the previous year’s 59 applications.  The six judges deciding many of these cases, however, have a denial rate of 80% making asylum cases very difficult for illegal immigrants in Georgia.  Nationally, in 2011, 104 Mexicans were granted asylum, however none of these were in Georgia. 

Ena Penaloza, the mother of Ivan, hopes that her son’s case will be taken seriously by these judges.  She has heard of many stories about her drug plagued area of Mexico and fears for her son’s life if he is forced to return. 

Read more at Atlanta Journal →

Colorado Rights Group Launches Campaign to Prevent Deporation of Woman Who Reported Abuse

Colorado Rights Group Launches Campaign to Prevent Deporation of Woman Who Reported Abuse

Photo: Colorado Rights Group Launches Campaign to Prevent Deporation of Woman Who Reported Abuse

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The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition on Wednesday launched a campaign to prevent the deportation of a female Hispanic immigrant who was detained by authorities when she reported being the victim of domestic violence.

CIRC’s Brendan Greene said that Ana (her surname is being withheld), a resident of Glenwood Springs, called the police to report that her boyfriend had beaten her with chains.

However, police arrested the women, who was subsequently held for three months without charges until a judge ordered her released.

Despite the judicial decision, in compliance with prevailing laws, Ana was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where she was told that procedures for her deportation had been begun.

“Ana’s case is another example of how the Secure Communities program and other ‘show me your papers’ laws, like Colorado’s SB 90, harm public safety,” said Greene in remarks to Efe.

“Ana called the forces of order seeking protection, but then she spent three months in jail and now she could be deported. And I just learned that she did not report another case of physical abuse precisely because she did not trust the local police,” he added.

“Detaining a victim and letting an abuser go free because people are afraid to denounce crimes doesn’t make anybody feel safer,” Greene said.

He said CIRC will work with the affiliate in Colorado of the American Civil Liberties Union to argue that SB 90, which has been on the books since 2006, excludes victims of domestic violence from the local police’s obligation to report presumed undocumented migrants to ICE.

In fact, Greene said, that law protects the victims of domestic violence.

But, he noted that after the recent implementation in all Colorado counties of ICE’s Secure Communities program, the sheriff and police departments are adjusting their actions to fit the new federal regulations and are not governed any longer by state laws.

ACLU lawyer Denise Maes agreed with Greene that “the message of Secure Communities is that any interaction with law enforcement carries the risk of causing a deportation,” after her organization and CIRC documented up to last May in Colorado three other cases similar to Ana’s.

The strategy, Greene said, will consist of documenting other cases and then undertaking legal measures so that the victims of domestic violence may not be deported.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayJuly 12, 2012