1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



WednesdayNovember 28, 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.

Read More


Overcrowding to Blame For Halloween Stampede

Overcrowding to Blame For Halloween Stampede

Photo: Halloween stampede

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The crowd at the Madrid Arena was 58 percent larger than the facility’s legal capacity during the Halloween party that ended in tragedy with the deaths of four young women who were crushed in a human stampede.

The final count of people admitted to the party in the Madrid Arena was 16,791, far exceeding the permitted number for the event of 10,600 people, court sources said Wednesday.

Lawyers for the families of victims Rocio Oña and Belen Langdon said that the count showed that the allowed number of partygoers was “immensely” exceeded, and the promoter of the event, Miguel Angel Flores, lied when he said that only 9,650 entry tickets had been sold.

The attorneys agreed that to the almost 16,800 people known to be present must be added the 2,000 or 3,000 people who allegedly snuck in without paying and those who entered with invitations from the DJs or others, bringing the total number of people at the Madrid Arena to about 20,000.

“We’re talking about a very serious act, that a number of entry tickets were intentionally sold knowing that it exceeded by almost double the permitted and specified capacity,” Oña family attorney Felipe Moreno said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Hopes Scolari Will Lead Team to Another World Cup Win

Brazil Hopes Scolari Will Lead Team to Another World Cup Win

Photo: Luiz Felipe Scolari

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Luiz Felipe Scolari, who guided Brazil to its most recent World Cup title, is returning as manager of the national soccer team, Brazilian media said Wednesday.

“I hope to announce tomorrow the name of the new Brazilian coach,” soccer federation chief Jose Maria Marin told reporters as he led a visiting FIFA official on a tour of Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao stadium, one of the venues for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The 64-year-old Scolari, who is currently out of coaching, has already met with federation executives and agreed on the terms of his contract, newspapers said.

Carlos Alberto Parreira, a member of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning squad, will be Scolari’s assistant, according to the press accounts.

“People will be happy with the choices we made,” Marin said Wednesday, without mentioning any names. “Because now is not the time to experiment and they are two great names.”

It was with Scolari at the helm that Brazil won the latest of its record five World Cups, in 2002. His most recent coaching job was with Palmeiras, which ended up in relegation despite having won the 2012 Copa de Brasil.

The opening with the national team was created by the firing last Friday of Mano Menezes after 27 months in the post.

Though the team won 21 of its 33 matches under Menezes, none of the victories was against a top-flight opponent. His tenure also included a loss to Mexico in the finals of the 2012 Olympics and a quarterfinal exit in last year’s Copa America competition.

The federation had originally planned to delay until January the appointment of a new coach, but pressure from the Brazilian public and sports media forced Marin to move more quickly.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spainish King Juan Carlos Will be in Hospital for “A Few More Days”

Spainish King Juan Carlos Will be in Hospital for “A Few More Days”

Photo: Spainish King Juan Carlos Will be in Hospital for "A Few More Days"

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Spain’s King Juan Carlos is “in optimum condition” to be discharged after a hip replacement, but his medical team has convinced him to remain in the hospital for “a few more days” to carry out the next phase of his rehabilitation.

Orthopedist Angel Villamor, who headed the surgical team, said that the monarch could have left the hospital on Wednesday, but he convinced Juan Carlos to remain for several more days to carry out his physical therapy exercises there, although he could do them “at home.”

The doctor emphasized that, far from causing a delay in the king’s recovery, remaining in the hospital was suggested to “more efficiently and more rapidly” get him better.

Villamor also said that the monarch is walking “on his own” in his hospital room with the help of crutches.

The head of state underwent surgery lasting 90 minutes last Friday evening to replace his left hip, the treatment recommended by doctors to deal with the deterioration in the hip caused by osteoarthritis.

This is the third operation in the same area the king has undergone and his sixth overall in the past two-and-a-half years. Most of them have been to treat orthopedic issues resulting from accidents or problems related to bone wear and tear.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia Withdraws From ICJ Pact Over Territorial Dispute with Nicaragua

Colombia Withdraws From ICJ Pact Over Territorial Dispute with Nicaragua

Photo: Maritime border dipute

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

President Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday that Colombia has pulled out of a pact recognizing the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over its territorial disputes, a step taken in the wake of this month’s world-court decision setting new maritime borders with Nicaragua.

“Colombia withdrew from the (1948) Pact of Bogota on (Tuesday). The corresponding notice was given to the secretary-general of the Organization of American States,” Santos said at a coffee forum.

This decision adheres to the basic principle that “territorial and maritime borders are set through (bilateral) treaties, as has been the legal tradition in Colombia,” Santos said.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled on Nov. 19 that seven Caribbean islets belong to Colombia, ending a three-decade-long dispute between the Andean nation and Nicaragua.

The world court had earlier confirmed Bogota’s claim to the larger islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, part of an archipelago that lies 775 kilometers (480 miles) from mainland Colombia and 220 kilometers (140 miles) from the coast of Nicaragua.

While giving the islets to Colombia, the decision also significantly expanded the waters under Nicaraguan control.

The waters conceded to Nicaragua include lucrative fishing grounds and are what are thought to be substantial oil deposits.

“It was a decision contrary to equity and detrimental to Colombians,” Santos said. The president has defended the rights of the inhabitants of the San Andres archipelago, which is surrounded by those waters, to continue fishing in such a resource-rich area.

The territorial dispute dates from 1980, when Nicaragua contended the 1928-1930 accords awarding sovereignty over the San Andres archipelago to Colombia were invalid because the Central American nation was under U.S. military occupation during the negotiations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘The Voice’ Season 3: Bad News for Team Xtina, Good News for Melanie Martinez

‘The Voice’ Season 3: Bad News for Team Xtina, Good News for Melanie Martinez

Photo: 'The Voice' Season 3: Bad News for Team Xtina, Good News for Melanie Martinez

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Tuesday night’s elimination dealt Team Xtina, Christina Aguilera’s team, a fatal blow.

With just 8 singers remaining, just one of them was from Team Xtina.

Though Monday night, Christina was confident her only remaining performer, Dez Duron, had the ability to win season 3, that confidence was not enough.

By the end of the night, Dez and Team CeeLo’s Cody Belew were sent home.

All that remain:

Team Blake
- Cassadee Pope
- Terry McDermott

Team Adam
- Melanie Martinez
- Amanda Brown

Team CeeLo
- Trevin Hunte
- Nicholas David


Christina’s parting words to Dez:

You will always be on Team Xtina, and I will always support you.


Unique highschooler Melanie Martinez is the only Latina left, and she has proven to be both a fan favorite and a judge favorite (except for Christina, who regularly seems unimpressed).

If the final six tells us anything, it’s that viewers love different, as evident by the very unique qualities of every one of the singers.

Who do you think will win? Who do you think should still be in the competition? Tell us your favorites!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba Denies Alan Gross is Suffering from Cancerous Lesions

Cuba Denies Alan Gross is Suffering from Cancerous Lesions

Photo: Alan Gross

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Cuban government said Wednesday that a biopsy established that U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence here for subversion, does not have any cancerous lesions.

Gross is receiving “adequate treatment” for his various health problems, including any chronic ones and those “typical for his age” that he had before being arrested in Havana, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Gross maintains a voluntary regimen of systematic physical exercise and is following a balanced diet of his choosing, which has allowed him to eliminate his earlier condition of obesity,” said the statement.

The jailed American is in weekly telephone contact with his wife and family and receives monthly visits by officials at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, the ministry said.

Gross’ Cuban medical team met Monday with U.S. diplomats, including the chief of the interests section, John Caulfield, and provided them with the latest information on the prisoner’s health, including the result of a biopsy performed on a lesion in his shoulder at the end of October.

“This test could not be performed earlier, given that Mr. Gross refused it,” said the foreign ministry.

Now 63, Gross was arrested in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009, in possession of satellite communications equipment he said he was planning to distribute among Cuba’s Jewish community.

Havana says he was illegally aiding dissidents and inciting subversion on the Communist-ruled island. Last August, Cuba’s highest court upheld the 15-year jail sentence imposed on Gross five months earlier.

Gross was in Cuba as an employee of a Maryland firm contracted by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Washington insists that Gross is innocent and demands his “immediate and unconditional” release.

Gross and his wife recently filed a lawsuit against the United States and the company that hired him for not warning him about the risks of traveling to Cuba.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shakira Shows Off Babybump on Twitter/Instagram

Shakira Shows Off Babybump on Twitter/Instagram

Photo: Shakira Shows Off Babybump on Twitter/Instagram

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Colombian superstar and momma-to-be, Shakira, showed off her ever-growing baby bump on Tuesday.

After posting the photo on Instagram, Shakira tweeted the photo, saying:

Shakira, 35, and Spanish soccer star, Gerard Piqué, 25, are expected their little boy on early in 2013.

The FC Barcelona centre-back has been dating Shakira since 2011. Interestingly, Shakira and Piqué share the same birthday. Could baby make it a triple?

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sammy Sosa Among 24 Newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Sammy Sosa Among 24 Newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Photo: Sammy Sosa Among 24 Newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds are among the newcomers to the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Outfielder Sammy Sosa, the NL MVP in 1998, and two former Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners, catchers Sandy Alomar Jr. (1990) and Mike Piazza (1993), are on the ballot for the first time. Joining them are pitchers Curt Schilling, the 2001 World Series co-MVP, and David Wells, whose perfect game in 1998 was a highlight of the Yankees’ 114-victory season; outfielders Kenny Lofton, who competed in 20 postseason series, and Shawn Green, the record holder for most total bases in a game (19), and infielder Julio Franco, the ageless former batting champion who was the oldest player (48) to hit a home run in the majors. Other newcomers are starting pitchers Aaron Sele and Woody Williams; relievers Roberto Hernandez, Jose Mesa and Mike Stanton; infielders Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton and Todd Walker; outfielders Steve Finley, Reggie Sanders and Rondell White and outfielders-first baseman Jeff Conine and Ryan Klesko.

Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in the previous year. The only first-year candidate in 2012 who received sufficient support to remain was outfielder Bernie Williams with 55 votes (9.6).

Clemens, who compiled a 354-184 record with a 3.12 earned run average and 4,672 strikeouts over a 24-season career, was the recipient of eight Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) awards, the most by any individual player. He was the American League Most Valuable Player with the Boston Red Sox in 1986 and won the Cy Young Award a record seven times – in the AL with the Red Sox in 1986, ’87 and ’91; with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 and ’98; with the New York Yankees in 2001 and in the National League with the Houston Astros in 2004.

Bonds, baseball’s single-season home run record holder with 73 in 2001 and all-time home run leader with 762 over a 22-season career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, was the MVP of the NL seven times, more than twice as often as any player in history, including a record string of four victories from 2001-04 with the Giants. Bonds also won with the Giants in 1993 and with the Pirates in 1990 and ’92. He finished second in the voting in 1991 with the Pirates and 2000 with the Giants.

Among those returning to the ballot are first basemen Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro; outfielders Dale Murphy, Tim Raines and Larry Walker; shortstop Alan Trammell and third baseman-designated hitter Edgar Martinez.

Writers with 10 or more consecutive years’ experience make up the electorate, which must return ballots by a Dec. 31 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Michael DiLecce. Results will be announced Wednesday, January 9, 2013, on the MLB Network and the web sites of the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes To Finish 2012 Tour Schedule in Colombia

Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes on Tuesday will offer the first concert in his homeland of his “Unplugged” tour, which will take him to six other cities in the Andean nation, including his native Medellin.

Juanes for the first time in Colombia will present his latest acoustic work, recorded at the New World Center in Miami under the direction of Dominican Juan Luis Guerra, Latin Grammy winner for best album and best production.

“And the party we’re going to have !! @JairoYerbatero: the last 2 concerts of the year by @juanes will be here in Medellin 15th and 16th FULL HOUSE,” the international superstar said on Twitter.

After Tuesday’s show in Bogota, the tour will continue in Villavicencio on Nov. 30 and will head to Bucaramanga on Dec. 5.

Juanes will perform in Cali on Dec. 7, in Cartagena on Dec. 11 and in Barranquilla the next day, and he will close out the Colombian leg of the tour in Medellin with performances on Dec. 15 and 16, his last two concerts of the year.

The “Unplugged” tour kicked off on Aug. 29 in Mexico and from there Juanes and his band went to Peru, Argentina, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Britain and the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

15 Meownutes of Fame: Cat Interrupts Univision Weather Report (VIDEO)

15 Meownutes of Fame: Cat Interrupts Univision Weather Report (VIDEO)

Photo: 15 Meownutes of Fame: Cat Interrupts Univision Weather Report

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A Univision meteorologist had a visitor stop by during his weather report recently.

During Univision Chief Meteorologist Eduardo Rodriquez’s weather report this week when a cat wandered in front of the green screen as Rodriguez was explaining why Florida was unusually cool.

Though Rodriguez barely flinched, those in the control room couldn’t help but chuckle as the cat took a seat in the Bahamas.

The studio reportedly has been a cat problem, as a number of the felines has made the Univision parking lot their home. It seems this little kitty was looking for her 15 minutes of fame. Mission: Accomplished

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Variety Show, ‘Programa Silvio Santos’, Pulls Horrifying Elevator Prank (VIDEO)

Brazilian Variety Show, ‘Programa Silvio Santos’, Pulls Horrifying Elevator Prank (VIDEO)

Photo: Brazilian Variety Show, 'Programa Silvio Santos', Pulls Horrifying Elevator Prank

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Most people love a good prank every now and then, but one Brazilian prank show may have taken things a bit too far.

Check out this horrifying prank, “Menina Fantasma no Elevador” (“Ghost in the Elevator”) from Brazil’s Programa Silvio Santos.


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

TRAGEDY: Boy, 6, Killed When Bus Crashes Into Long Island Home

TRAGEDY: Boy, 6, Killed When Bus Crashes Into Long Island Home

Photo: TRAGEDY: Boy, 6, Killed When Bus Crashes Into Long Island Home

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A young New York boy is dead after a bus crashed into his bedroom Tuesday night.

The bus, part of the Nassau Inter County Express, was traveling in Long Island’s Hempstead neighborhood when it swerved to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

David Granados and his 7-year-old brother had been sleeping in the family’s front bedroom when the bus came crashing in at around 9:30 p.m.

David was taken to a local hospital but sadly did not survive his injuries.

Eleven of the estimated 20 people aboard the bus were treated for non-serious injuries. David’s brother was also hurt, but his injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

The 35-year-old pedestrian the bus tried to avoid was injured as well, though the person survived. The person was not crossing at a crosswalk. Witnesses say the bus driver sounded his horn several times but was unable to stop fast enough to avoid a collision.

The 50-year-old bus driver, who was not identified, was admitted to the hospital but his condition has not been revealed.

Photos reveal the damage done to the house.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Researchers Discover Large Penguin Fossil, Measuring More than 6 Ft Tall

Argentine Researchers Discover Large Penguin Fossil, Measuring More than 6 Ft Tall

Photo: Penguin Fossil: Museo Natural La Plata

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Argentine paleontologists associated with the country’s Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata have made a key discovery in Antarctica.

The Argentine researchers have discovered giant penguin fossils thought to be some 34 million-years-old.  Lead researcher Marcelo Reguero believes this is the largest, in term of height and body mass, penguin thought to have existed.  The findings indicate the fossil remains belong to a 6.5” foot tall ancient penguin.

The researchers are hoping to continue their research and connect the research to study our modern-day penguins.

Other researchers that have studies pre-historic versions of the penguin believe they were brown and grey in coloring and not black and white as they are today. 

Earlier this year, after a 35 year effort, a giant fossil penguin was reconstructed in New Zealand which was thought to be the giant Kairuku penguin that lived some 25 million-years ago.  This penguin measured nearly 5-feet tall and weighed 130 pounds. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bishops of Central American Region Meeting in Panama

Bishops of Central American Region Meeting in Panama

Photo: 2012 Central American Bishop Secretariat Meet

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Since Monday, November 26, 60 Bishops of the Central American region have been in Panama for the 2012 General Assembly of the Bishops’ Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC).

The meeting is being held in the retreat house “Monte Alverna” of Panama City. The Bishops come from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Outgoing President of the organization, Mgr. Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, is waiting for the Bishops to elect the new President.

As host, Archbishop of Panama, Mgr. José Domingo Ulloa opened the meeting.

According to information sent to Fides Agency, today, November 28, the Bishops will attend the opening of the Jubilee Year 2012-2013 for the 500th anniversary of the first Diocese Santa Maria la Antigua.

The agenda also includes the celebration of the Year of Faith and the exchange of pastoral experiences in the region. The meeting will conclude on Friday.

One of the recurring themes in the various meetings of the Bishops of the region, and that will be addressed during this meeting, concerns the exploitation of mineral resources in the various member countries. In 2010, in the conclusive document, the Bishops had said, “we raise our voices asking our MPs to create laws that prohibit the mining of metals through the use of cyanide ... As Pastors in our missionary work, we want to intensify the awareness of all the faithful, that the environmental dimension is an integral part of Christian spirituality.”

Read more at Agencia Fides →

Outgoing President Felipe Calderon Proposes Constitutional Change to Elections in Mexico

Outgoing President Felipe Calderon Proposes Constitutional Change to Elections in Mexico

Photo: Felipe Calderon Proposes Constitutional Change

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Outgoing President Felipe Calderon has sent a bill to Congress that would establish a two-round system of voting in future Mexican presidential elections.

He is proposing a constitutional change requiring a runoff election when no presidential candidate garners more than 50 percent of the ballots in the first round.

The runoff would pit the two candidates who received the most votes in the first go-around.

The bill, sent Tuesday to the lower house of Congress, proposes that the first round of presidential voting take place on the first Sunday in July and the second round - if necessary - be held on the second Sunday in August.

Calderon, of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, won just 35.89 percent of the vote when he was elected for a six-year term in 2006, while runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador received 35.31 percent of the ballots.

Roberto Madrazo, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, the authoritarian party that had governed uninterruptedly for 71 years until 2000, finished a distant third in that year’s election.

Lopez Obrador and his leftist PRD party denounced Calderon as a “spurious president” whose ostensible victory was the result of machinations by big business and the administration of outgoing President Vicente Fox, also of National Action.

Calderon, who will hand over power to the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto on Dec. 1, last week proposed changing the country’s official name from United Mexican States to Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Coach of Argentina Soccer Club, Diego Maradona, Admits Girlfriend is Pregnant

Former Coach of Argentina Soccer Club, Diego Maradona, Admits Girlfriend is Pregnant

Photo: Former Coach of Argentina Soccer Club, Maradona, Admits Girlfriend is Pregnant

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Diego Armando Maradona “acknowledges as his” the baby being carried by girlfriend Veronica Ojeda, but he said his relationship with her is “at an impasse,” according to a communique released Tuesday through the retired soccer great’s attorney, Victor Stinfale.

Maradona plans to meet with Ojeda when he returns to Argentina, the statement said, though without specifying when that will be.

The former coach of the Argentine national team has two adult daughters by ex-wife Claudia Villafañe: Dalma, 25, and Gianina, 23.

Ojeda, Maradona’s long-time girlfriend, admitted in September that she was pregnant.

The Italian court system also established that Diego Sinagra, 24, is one of Maradona’s offspring, but the soccer icon has not acknowledged that.

“Some years ago Diego Maradona gave almost 1 million euros to Diego Maradona Jr. and to his mother (Cristiana Sinagra) agreeing that they would not speak about Maradona in the media. An agreement that evidently was not complied with and the money was received,” Stinfale said in Tuesday’s statement.

Maradona remains in the United Arab Emirates due to “working conditions,” and according to the statement released by his lawyer he has a contract to act as “Sports Ambassador” in Dubai until June 2013.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deported Mexican Regains Custody of U.S.-born Children

Deported Mexican Regains Custody of U.S.-born Children

Photo: Felipe Bautista Montes and his wife

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A county magistrate in North Carolina ordered Tuesday that a Mexican man deported two years ago receive custody of his three U.S.-born children.

In an unprecedented decision, Alleghany County Judge Michael Duncan ruled that Felipe Montes, 32, be provisionally reunited with his sons Isaias, 5, Adrian, 3, and Angel, 2.

“The court cannot find that the father is unfit,” Duncan said. “The permanent plan is reunification with the father.”

Montes was deported in December 2010 after receiving a series of traffic fines and immigration authorities found he was in the country illegally.

Montes left Adrian and Isaias with his then-pregnant wife, Marie, a woman with a history of mental problems and drug abuse.

Two months after Montes was deported, the children were taken from Marie by the North Carolina Department of Social Services, which placed the boys with foster parents.

The judge ruled that the family’s reunification should begin Dec. 7, when the children will go to live with the Mexican at the hotel in Sparta where he has been staying since he returned to the United States on a special visa.

On Feb. 19, Montes must return to court so that Duncan can make a final decision on whether the man can take his children to live with him in Mexico.

According to Montes’ attorney Donna Shumate, it is normal in custody cases for the judge to grant a probation period and bring the parent and children together to make sure the transition takes place satisfactorily.

“Though we haven’t finished and this case has been very unusual…today’s decision is a good step forward, and shows that my client is a good father who can bring up his children in another country and that deportation is not an impediment,” Shumate told Efe.

“I’m pleased the result was favorable, but I’ll have to be full of patience and wait even longer,” Montes told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

GOP Senator: If Immigrants Want A Path To Citizenship, They Can Just Marry Americans

GOP Senator: If Immigrants Want A Path To Citizenship, They Can Just Marry Americans

Photo: Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

By Amanda Peterson Beadle, ThinkProgress

Lawmakers from both parties have expressed new interest in comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, after Latino voters overwhelmingly supported President Obama in the presidential election.

But the bill introduced on Tuesday by retiring Republican Sens. Jon Kyl (AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX),  dubbed the ACHIEVE Act, is nothing more than a watered-down version of the bipartisan DREAM Act without a clear path to citizenship for those who would qualify under the measure.

Hutchison emphasized that the measure, which would require applicants to apply for three different visa programs over several years, does not offer a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. “It doesn’t allow them to cut in line in front of people who have come and abided by the rules of our laws today,” she said during a press conference. “It doesn’t keep them from applying under the rules today, but it doesn’t give them a special preference.”

Kyl sought to dismiss the necessity of providing immigrants with a path to citizenship by suggesting that they should — unlawfully — marry U.S. citizens for immigration purposes:

KYL: Realistically, young people frequently get married. In this country, the biggest marriage pool are U.S. citizens. A U.S. citizen can petition for a spouse to become a citizen in a very short time…so I don’t think it’s any big secret that a lot of people who might participate in this program are going to have a very quick path to citizenship, if that’s the path they choose.

Watch it here:

The senators admitted during a press conference that it is unlikely they will make much progress on this bill while they are still in the Senate. They said they wanted to begin the process and let other senators take up the effort after the lame duck session.

The ACHIEVE Act is reportedly based on Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) working draft of a GOP alternative to the DREAM Act, an idea he floated last summer. So far Rubio is not a co-sponsor of this bill.

Read more at ThinkProgress →

Missouri Senator Would Consider Puerto Rico’s Statehood

Missouri Senator Would Consider Puerto Rico’s Statehood

Photo: Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said she would consider the possibility of Puerto Rican statehood if a bill to that effect should reach Congress.

The San Juan daily El Nuevo Dia cited in its online edition Tuesday a brief statement made by the Missouri Democrat on a U.S. radio station.

McCaskill said, however, that Washington D.C. should have precedence over Puerto Rico in being granted the rights enjoyed by other states.

Puerto Rico came under Washington’s sway in 1898 and island residents were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917, yet they cannot vote in presidential elections, though Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States can.

Since 1952, the island has been a Free Associated State: an unincorporated territory of the United States with broad internal autonomy, but without the right to conduct its own foreign policy.

Puerto Rico held Nov. 6 a non-binding referendum on the island’s status in which 54 percent of the electorate voted “no” to the Free Associated State model.

The referendum included a second question with three options, in which 61.1 percent voted for U.S. statehood, 33.3 percent for Sovereign Free Associated State status, understood as a relationship between equals, and 5.5 percent for independence.

A total of 468,478 people left their ballots blank on the second question, an option recommended several months ago by the PPD party, whose leader, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, is the governor-elect of Puerto Rico after winning the Nov. 6 elections.

In Puerto Rico, local analysts said that if the blank ballots were added to votes for the Sovereign Free Associated State option - which several PPD leaders publicly supported - it would add up to more than those who voted for statehood.

Outgoing pro-statehood Gov. Luis Fortuño has sent a letter to President Barack Obama reminding him that the citizens of Puerto Rico reject a continuation of the current commonwealth status.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayNovember 28, 2012