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Latinos, Immigrant Communities Prepared to Voice Objections at Ballot Box.
(Langley Park, MD)—The Supreme Court today showed its conservative side by saying yes to racial profiling as it upheld Arizona’s vehemently anti-immigrant “show me your papers” law. Federal immigration reform is the only solution to this tragic and divisive court decision and the path forward is to make our voices heard everywhere, especially at the ballot box.
“Today’s decision of the Supreme Court sets back the advance of civil rights and will result in increased harassment and persecution,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA de Maryland. “We have already seen the damage to our community on the ground in Maryland through the discredited Secure Communities program which has resulted in widespread fear of the police in immigrant communities and this Saturday afternoon, in solidarity and defense of immigrant families from Arizona to Maryland, we will rally and march from Montgomery to Prince George’s County condemning racial profiling in Arizona and racial profiling in Maryland.”
CASA de Maryland, along with other advocates for comprehensive immigration reform in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), will unite in an unprecedented effort to register Latinos to vote to make sure that candidates who champion racial profiling laws are defeated in 2012.
During the upcoming election season, CASA has planned an aggressive voter registration program that would enroll more than 20,000 new Latino voters across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and mobilize tens of thousands more to the polls.
“Although the Supreme Court’s decision upheld the ‘show me your papers’ provision, we will not stop fighting to protect our basic civil rights,” said Maria Bolaños, a CASA member and victim of the Prince George’s County Secure Communities program. “We will build more power to demand respect and equal treatment under the law.”
FIRM is a network of community-based immigrant advocacy organizations in 30 states. CASA’s rally this Saturday is thought to bring hundreds out and will start at 1:00pm at the corner of Piney Branch and Greenwood Avenues in Silver Spring.
Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law:
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”
I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem.
At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes. Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education – which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.
I will work with anyone in Congress who’s willing to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our economic needs and security needs, and upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And in the meantime, we will continue to use every federal resource to protect the safety and civil rights of all Americans, and treat all our people with dignity and respect. We can solve these challenges not in spite of our most cherished values – but because of them. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like or what our names are. What makes us American is our shared belief in the enduring promise of this country – and our shared responsibility to leave it more generous and more hopeful than we found it.
The Supreme Court today agreed with lower courts that three provisions of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigration law are prohibited as violating the federal government’s exercise of immigration powers. One provision, Section 2(B) was not blocked by the Court. The Court ruled it is too early to know if the remaining section, Section 2(B), can be implemented in a way that will not violate the Constitution. Section 2(B), known as the “papers, please” provision, requires law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of those they stop, arrest or detain if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is not lawfully present. The Court was clear that today’s opinion leaves open other challenges to S.B. 1070 after the law goes into effect.
“Just as the nation is inching closer to a consensus on the need for solutions on immigration, the Supreme Court is dividing the nation,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “While the Supreme Court largely agreed that S.B. 1070 goes against our Constitution, it still left one dangerous provision, Section 2 (B) which is the pointy end of the sword of the Arizona immigration law. The implementation of the racial profiling inherent in Section 2(B) will cause irreparable harm in Arizona.”
The Court’s decision is in dissonance with the American public, which is increasingly moving away from hardline immigration positions. A recent national Gallup poll found that 66 percent of Americans think immigration is a “good thing” for the U.S. today, up from 59 percent last year.
And, two week ago, evangelicals Christians, who represent one third of the American electorate and are one “bedrock element of the conservative movement”, joined the growing chorus calling for meaningful action to fix the immigration system.
“Today’s ruling takes us backwards,” stated Dr. Warren Stewart, senior pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix and Board Chair of the National Immigration Forum. “Arizona’s discriminatory law is an attack on the American core values of fairness and equal treatment under the law.”
“In an increasingly diverse country, it does not make sense to encourage the profiling of people because of their race or the way they look or speak,” Stewart added. “It is immoral to turn back the clock to a day when we were judged by the color of our skin, and not the content of our character.”
“The Arizona law is not only morally wrong but it is also economically imprudent,” stated Ali Noorani. “The Supreme Court might have given part of Arizona’s misguided law a green light, but states will be making a wrong turn if they decide to follow Arizona. Arizona’s law will only lead down a road to economic perdition.”
Arizona’s tough state immigration law has taken an economic toll on the local economy. S.B. 1070 has damaged the Grand Canyon State’s reputation as being a state of intolerance, impacting the tourism industry and driving away taxpaying workers and consumers. Yet despite of the hefty price tag, S.B. 1070 does nothing to address the fundamental problems of our immigration laws.
“In the aftermath of this ruling, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security should suspend Secure Communities in any state that implements S.B. 1070- like legislation,” Noorani said. “That is the only way the federal immigration enforcement system cannot be exploited to the benefit of these laws.”
“Now, more than ever, we must create a workable and functioning immigration system that serves the needs of all Americans,” added Noorani. “Only Congress and not misguided state laws like Arizona’s can create the necessary national, uniform solution.”
Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vince Warren issued the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona‘s controversial SB1070 immigration law:
The Center for Constitutional Rights is relieved that the Supreme Court reached the right decision in affirming the Ninth Circuit’s invalidation of Sections 3, 5 and 6 of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070, which imposed state criminal penalties for immigration-related violations in blatant violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
But we are extremely disappointed that the Court has endorsed Arizona’s damaging policy of requiring police to stop and interrogate anyone they suspect to be present unlawfully. In upholding Section 2(B) of SB 1070, the Supreme Court has legitimized reactionary state law ordinances that encourage widespread racial profiling, multiply wrongful arrests, and spread fear in communities of color. Today’s decision allows individual states to create a patchwork system of immigration enforcement and in effect undoes decades of precedent holding that regulation of immigration is an exclusively federal function. The Supreme Court has sent the disheartening message that it is willing to turn back the clock to a “states’ rights” era in which the federal courts have no role in protecting the civil rights of people of color.
Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional organization with national impact focused on immigrant and civil rights:
“Today’s ruling marks a dark day for justice in the history of the United States of America. In one sweep, the Supreme Court has sided with Arizona and allowed racial profiling as an acceptable law enforcement tool.
The history of our country is riddled with injustices made possible through an extreme minority’s justification of discriminatory, divisive, and callous decrees. The codification of segregation, exclusion from voting, Trail of Tears, encampment of ethnic minorities, and exile of whole class of workers, to give but a few examples, was made federal statute because the courts allowed it without remorse. On the same week that the US Congress finally apologized for approving the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which enshrined ethnicity and nationality discrimination into law, the highest court in the land has shamefully swerved to the edge of a similar abyss.
But our nation’s history is also one where people of good will stood up and pressed for change, making us a better people for it. Now, it is up to the immigrant community and its allies to change history.
Let there be no mistake about it. Just as the seeds of unfairness and bigotry beget blind passions; our right to protect our basic civil liberties should beget active civic engagement and massive community mobilization. No one legislative body should assume that today’s ruling will stand for long. The court challenges will continue as we are certain racial profiling is unconstitutional. We are on the right side of history and winning respect, dignity, and equal treatment under the law is a matter of “when” not “if”.
States like California can lead and go against the anti-immigrant tide by erecting firewalls to racial profiling, including legislative mandates, such as the TRUST Act (AB1081), that keep “Secure Communities” from snatching workers and families. The Obama Administration can also engage with those communities most likely to be impacted by today’s decision. The White House should: a) Send civil rights monitors to states that legalize discrimination and aggressively enforce civil rights laws across the country; b) Make good on the promise of prosecutorial discretion by providing real, fair, and consistent relief to families and workers threatened with separation; and, d) Stop “Secure Communities” the DHS program that encourages racial profiling and outsources federal enforcement priorities to local police; and, d) Work with Congress to permanently protect DREAMers, young people and students who are American in all but paperwork.”
They will protest for his opposition to President Obama’s new directive.
Scottsdale, AZ – This Monday June 25th, Arizona DREAMers in Phoenix will hold a press conference with Latino leaders on Mitt Romney’s visit to Arizona.
The DREAMers will also be at his Scottsdale fundraiser where they will demand that he directly respond to whether he supports President Obama’s new immigration policy.
Most recently, Mitt Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said President Obama’s decision not to deport undocumented students would be reviewed and could be repealed by Romney if he becomes president. “All of these are subject to review and repeal,” Gillespie said in an interview on CNN.
After over a week of refusing to say whether or not he’d repeal the Obama administration’s immigration action, the Latino community is taking his silence as a clear opposition to President’s new policy.
This places Romney on the wrong side of an issue important to Latinos. According to recent poll, Latinos overwhelmingly support the president’s action to stop the deportation of undocumented youth.
Who/What: Press conference with local Latino elected officials and Rally in Scottsdale
When: 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 25, 2012 and 11:45AM Scottsdale Rally
Press Conference: State Capitol, 1700 W Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Rally: Scottsdale Plaza Resort – 7200 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 85253
DREAMer Protection Decision Driving Up Latino Voter Enthusiasm.
Washington, DC – New polling from Latino Decisions and America’s Voice shows President Obama holds a commanding lead over Mitt Romney with Latino voters in key swing states. In Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia combined, Latino voters favor Obama over Mitt Romney by a 63% to 27% margin.
As shown by an earlier poll released this week, there is growing enthusiasm amongst Latino voters due to the President’s decision to provide relief to undocumented youth. According to this updated poll, support for the new change in policy and enthusiasm amongst Latino voters overall have only increased as the week has gone on— 58% of Latinos are now more enthusiastic about Obama representing a slight shift from the 54% of Latinos who reported being more enthusiastic about Obama at the beginning of this week.
These polls are also highlighted by a new website (link – http://latinovotematters.org) for political analysis from Latino Decisions and our sister organization, America’s Voice Education Fund.
An interactive voter map (link – http://www.latinovotemap.org/map/) documents these shifts in Latino voting patterns, allowing users to predict how this key demographic will vote and influence the outcome of the election in November.
See below for Latino Decisions’ analysis of the poll (link – http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/06/22/new-poll-obama-leads-romney-among-latinos-in-key-2012-battleground-states/):
New polling released June 22, 2012 by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice finds President Obama maintaining a wide lead over Republican Mitt Romney among Latino registered voters in five key battleground states.
The poll interviewed 400 Latinos each in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia – all states expected to be very competitive in 2012 where Latino voters could decide the outcome. In Florida, the poll found Obama leading Romney by a margin of 53% to 37%, a slight increase from a 50% to 40% lead Obama held over Romney in a January 2012 Latino Decisions/Univision News poll in Florida.
In the five states combined Obama lead Romney 63% to 27%, however in southwestern battlegrounds of Arizona, Colorado and Nevada Obama performed even better. In Arizona Obama received 74% to 18% for Romney, in Colorado he was favored by 70% to 22% and in Nevada 69% to 20%. In Virginia, Obama lead 59% to 28% over Romney among Latino registered voters.
Growing enthusiasm for DHS shift on DREAMers
Part of this advantage for President Obama appears to be related to his recent announcement to provide relief to undocumented immigrant youth.
On June 17, two days after his announcement our Latino Decisions/America’s Voice poll first reported that 49% of Latino voters were now more enthusiastic about Obama, while 14% were less enthusiastic (+35). Over the course of the week, as the DREAMer relief received further attention in the Latino community we found increased support for the announcement.
Among all 2,000 survey respondents, now ranging through June 21st, 54% of Latinos are more enthusiastic about Obama compared to 11% who are less enthusiastic (+43). Looking just at the new polling data gathered June 17-21, 58% are now more enthusiastic compared to 9% who are less enthusiastic (+49). Across the key states the enthusiasm for the DHS policy shift follows trends in Obama support. For example, in Arizona and Nevada Latinos showed the most enthusiastic response.
Enthusiasm at the Polls?
The survey (link – http://d.pr/qE0E) also asked Latinos how enthusiastic they were about voting in the 2012 election, following similar questions that were asked in our November 2011 benchmark survey (link – http://d.pr/1nls) with Univision. In November 2011 (link – http://d.pr/qSD9), 47% of Latinos were “very enthusiastic” about voting in the Presidential election. Today, 60% of Latino voters report they are very enthusiastic about voting in the November 2012 election and an additional 23% are somewhat enthusiastic.
When asked to compare their interest and enthusiasm levels in the 2008 and 2012 election, more people now tell us they more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than 2008, a shift from our previous polling. In November 2011 (link – http://d.pr/qSD9) 33% were more excited about the 2012 election and 48% were more motivated during the 2008 election. In January 2012 (link – http://d.pr/824H) 38% of Latinos were more enthusiastic about 2012 while 46% said they were more enthusiastic back in 2008.
Now, in June 2012, 48% are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 while 29% said they were more enthusiastic in 2008.
About the Poll
Full results by state can be found in Recent Polls (link – http://d.pr/zT0d). Latino Decisions interviewed 2,000 Latino registered voters between June 12-21, 2012 using live telephone callers, sampled across five states, with 400 each in AZ, CO, FL, NV, VA. A mix of landline and cell phone-only households were called, and up to 5 attempts were made per number.
Latino respondents had the opportunity to complete the survey in either English or Spanish, using fully bilingual callers, and overall 38% of Latinos chose to complete the survey in Spanish. Data are weighted to the state proportion of the Latino population across the five states for a combined battleground sample as well as weighted accurately within each state.
Overall, the entire sample has a margin of error of +/- 2.2% and each state sample has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Additional survey results (link – http://d.pr/GSuB), including Congressional vote and policy attitudes will be reported later this month.
Link to New Latino Decisions/America’s Voice Polling Demonstrating that Latino Voters in Battleground States Enthusiastic about Obama DREAM Announcement: http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/06/22/new-poll-obama-leads-romney-among-latinos-in-key-2012-battleground-states/
Link to Latino Vote Matters Website: http://latinovotematters.org/
Link to Interactive Voter Map: http://www.latinovotemap.org/map/
NDN President Simon Rosenberg released a memo, With President Obama Our Immigration System Is Better, Our Border Safer/Romney Offers Thin Gruel, Embrace of SB1070/Brewer/Self Deportation/Attrition Approach. An excerpt is below. The full memo can be found here.
In his 2008 campaign President Obama promised to fix our broken immigration system through a strategy we’ve come to know as comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). CIR’s approach was to improve the system in three ways: 1) deter undocumented immigrants through better enforcement in the workplace and on the border; 2) design a better system for the future flow of immigrants so fewer undocumented’s would enter the country; 3) create a path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working among us.
Despite significant efforts by the Administration to pass CIR in 2010, the Republicans refused to go along. While CIR may not have passed, due to firm leadership from the Obama Administration over the past few years, more of the elements of CIR have been enacted then many realize, leaving our border safer and immigration system better than it was prior to 2009.
Let’s review what has been done:
Border Safety, Stopping the Flow of Undocumented Immigrant’s – The Administration has adopted the most aggressive set of border safely initiatives in US history. More money has been allocated, and personnel dispatched to the border and there has been much greater cooperation with Mexico in tackling these common challenges than any time in our nations history. The result today is that despite violence on the Mexican side of the border the communities on the US side have some of the lowest crime rates in the US; there has been virtually no spillover violence; progress has been made in stopping the southbound flow of guns and bulk cash; the net flow of undocumented immigrants from Mexico to the US has dropped from 500,000 a year just a few years ago to zero today. While the border has become much safer, importantly these efforts have not stifled legal commerce with Mexico. Trade with Mexico, despite our economic recent downturn, has grown significantly in recent years. Mexico is now the US’s third largest trading partner, second largest export market and second largest source of foreign tourists of any country in the world. New ports of entry have been opened for the first time in a decade, and other ports have been modernized.
Better Workplace Enforcement – After extensive consultation with businesses the Obama Administration transitioned from large-scale workplace arrests of undocumented workers to a far more effective electronic I-9 audit system. Under the Obama Administration, cases against employers are up sharply: Immigration and Customs Enforcement quadrupled the number of employer audits after Obama took office, increasing the number of inspections and arrests against those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Businesses were fined $6.9 million in fiscal 2010, up from $675,000 in 2008. Additionally, the administration has been an aggressive proponent of a national employer verification system, an idea not supported by the current Republican House majority.
Making Deportation of Criminals A Priority – The Administration has made the deportation of criminal undocumented immigrants the primary deportation priority. In retrospect, it is hard to believe that this wasn’t the priority of previous Administrations. Due to the negotiation of unprecedented federal, state and local cooperation on immigration enforcement, this policy has worked. Net number of deportations of undocumented immigrations are up in the Obama Administration, as are the removal of criminals as a percentage of deportations.
Temporary Legal Status for DREAMers – The President’s decision to grant deportation relief to DREAM act eligible immigrants was a bold and dramatic act of Presidential leadership, one that should be welcomed by all those who want a better immigration system in America. The move was targeted, legal and the right thing to do. It will affect about 800,000 of the best and brightest immigrants caught up in a broken system for decisions not of their making.
Despite Republican opposition, the Obama Administration has made the border safer and the immigration better, while also ensuring a significant increase in trade with Mexico through our common border. Those who argue that the President’s decision last week to grant two year visas to DREAM eligible youth was election year politics don’t understand that this was just the latest step in a long series of steps to fix our broken immigration – efforts which have seen real and tangible improvement in America’s immigration system.
To read the text of Gov. Fortuño’s testimony, click here.
Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño testified this week before a key U.S. House panel to address the building national security threat posed by transnational drug trafficking organizations infiltrating the country and endangering the safety of over 4 million U.S. citizens living along the U.S. Caribbean Border.
Governor Fortuño, who has repeatedly called on the federal government to strengthen the U.S. response to the threat, testified before a hearing of the U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management titled, “U.S.-Caribbean Border: Open Road for Drug Traffickers and Terrorists.”
“Today, Puerto Rico is serving as the last line of defense in the Caribbean to prevent drugs and violence from reaching the U.S. mainland. This has driven Puerto Rico’s murder rate to six times the national average and more than twice as high as any state,” Gov. Fortuño said.
“The Government of Puerto Rico is doing everything within our limited jurisdiction and resources, but this situation has greatly tested our resolve,” the Governor said. “We cannot fight this war alone, nor should we be required to do so. This is a shared responsibility. The consequences affect us all.”
Fortuño said the U.S. Caribbean Border is increasingly being used as a transshipment zone for cocaine and other drugs destined for mainland U.S. markets, with an estimated 70 to 80 percent of the Colombian cocaine reaching Puerto Rico shipped on to U.S. cities across the eastern seaboard, from Florida to New York.
Once the drugs are on U.S. soil in Puerto Rico, they are easily delivered to the states, through commercial airlines and container ships, without having to clear Customs or other heightened scrutiny. Traffickers vying for lucrative drug territory have detonated a wave of violence.
“This is truly a national security threat. The federal government must take responsibility for guaranteeing the safety and security of America’s Caribbean Border, the safety and security of the more than 4 million U.S. citizens who live there, and the safety and security of stateside communities impacted by the flow of drugs and violence.”
According to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s 2011 drug market analysis, most of the cocaine smuggled into the country by South American traffickers is sent to the Dominican Republic then on to Puerto Rico, where it is transshipped to major cities in Florida like Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, as well as Albany, Newark and Rochester in the northeast.
Puerto Rico is in turn a destination for illicit drug money and illegal firearms coming from the U.S. mainland to fortify drug trafficking networks. Large drug trafficking organizations are putting illegal proceeds into bank accounts in Puerto Rico, then funneling the money to accounts in Asia, Europe, and even the Middle East.
Recent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) data confirms illegal firearms used to commit crimes in Puerto Rico can be traced back to more than 20 states - with Florida, Texas, Georgia and Ohio being the biggest sources last year.
‘When American lives are in danger, we have a moral obligation to protect them wherever they may be. Unless Washington acts, these criminal organizations will only strengthen their foothold in the region,” Fortuño said.
“Yet Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were barely mentioned in the annual National Drug Control Strategy. Vacancies at key federal law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico go unfilled. We must act with greater urgency.”
According to information provided by the agencies, DEA has a vacancy rate of 12%, ICE has a vacancy rate of 15%, and ATF has a staggering vacancy rate of 39%, Fortuño said. An insufficient number of CBP agents are available to patrol the eastern coast of the Island, which has been a growing target for traffickers.
“I have repeatedly called on the President and senior federal law enforcement officials to establish a U.S. Caribbean Border Initiative to be led by the White House and the Office of National Drug Control Policy,” the Governor said. “All I am seeking from the federal government is the same level of commitment that has been provided to combat the drug trade along the Southwest and Northern borders.”
Noting the threat the traffickers pose to U.S. mainland communities, Fortuño said a contingent of U.S. governors have joined him in calling on the President to create a Caribbean Border strategy, including the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Right now, Puerto Rico is serving as the last line of defense. We need help fighting this battle along the Caribbean border, to protect the U.S. citizens there being buffeted by violence and to prevent the fight from spreading further onto the streets of the U.S. mainland,” Gov. Fortuño said. “We cannot win without the active involvement of the federal government to secure all of our nation’s borders. Our constituents deserve and expect no less.”
The prominent Venezuelan band La Sardina de Naiguatá kicks off a tour of four U.S. cities on June 29 as part of the release of their album “¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music” on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
The tour is also part of the concert series Venezuelan Sounds 2012, organized by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. and sponsored by Chevron Corporation. The first show is planned for June 29 in Washington, DC, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, where La Sardina de Naiguatá will perform infectious tunes such as “Bandido” and “Volveré.”
The band then heads to Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theater on July 1, and returns to Washington to celebrate Venezuelan Independence Day on July 5. On that day, the band will bring their Afro-Caribbean flavor to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and the celebration will then continue on to the Bolivarian Hall, the cultural space of the diplomatic mission in the U.S. capital.
The tour also includes a stop at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco on July 8, as well as performances at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music on July 11 and 13.
Other songs on the new album include “Popurrí Alí Primera” (Alí Primera Medley), a tribute to the Venezuelan folk singer Alí Primera, and “Tambores de Naiguatá” (Drums of Naiguatá), inspired by the drum traditions of Venezuela’s Caribbean coast.
Origins of La Sardina of Naiguatá
La Sardina of Naiguatá is an emblematic Venezuelan band with roots in Carnival and other traditional festivals as well as Caribbean and Afro-Venezuelan drumming.
One of the most popular celebrations in Venezuelan is the “Entierro de la Sardina” (Burial of the Sardine), a tradition in the town of Naiguatá, in the coastal state of Vargas, which stands out for its creativity and uniqueness. From this town and celebration emerged the remarkable group La Sardina de Naiguatá (The Sardine of Naiguatá).
In the 1970s, trumpet player Ricardo Díaz augmented the local legacy of Afro-Caribbean drumming with brass, electric bass, keyboard, and a women’s chorus to create La Sardina de Naiguatá, the musical group that drives the town’s annual cycle of public celebrations, including Carnival, Corpus Christi, and St. John the Baptist.
Their new album, “¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music,” includes 14 tracks and is the 37th release on the “Tradiciones/Traditions” series of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Listen to previews of the album here. http://www.folkways.si.edu/radio/parranda_preview/index.html
For more information about the shows, click on the link below:
6/29 Smithsonian Folklife Festival National Mall, DC
Alma Guajardo Crossley, Director for Diversity Initiatives at General Motors, was among an elite group of Hispanic women that were recognized for their demonstrated leadership and work to forge a new professional path for Latinas nationwide. Latino Justice PRLDEF, long known by its former name the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, recognized five exceptional Latina women during the 2012 Annual Latina Trailblazer Breakfast.
“This recognition reflects the support I’ve received from General Motors as I follow my passion of making a difference and acting as a catalyst to help generate opportunities for the Hispanic community, and for Latinas in particular,” said Guajardo Crossley. “My accomplishments are part of General Motors commitment to Latinos and their families.”
Guajardo Crossley was pleased to share this recognition with the other 2012 Latina Trailblazer Award honorees: Sara Elena Rios, President, Ruth Mott Foundation; Margarita Rosa,Executive Director, Grand Street Settlement House; Sonia Manzano, Emmy-Award Winning Actor, Sesame Street; Magda Jimenez Train, Partner, Boies, Schiller& Flexner.