Home » 2012 » March (Page 6)

Corte Suprema revisa ley de reforma de salud

Hoy es el segundo día de audiencias de la Corte Suprema en su revisión histórica de la Ley de Asistencia Accesible, la ley de reforma de salud del Presidente Barack Obama.

El lunes, los magistrados aceptaron una pregunta sobre derecho procesal tributario acerca del momento de las demandas y sugirieron que podrían decidir sobre el fondo del asunto.

Hoy los magistrados oirán argumentos acerca de si el Congreso tenía las facultades para exigirle a la mayoría de las personas en Estados Unidos que contraten un seguro médico.


Unas 10 mil personas exigen arresto de guardia en Florida

Unas 10.000 personas marcharon el lunes en Sanford, Florida, para exigir el arresto de George Zimmerman, el guardia vecinal voluntario que el mes pasado mató de un disparo a Trayvon Martin, un adolescente afroestadounidense de diecisiete años de edad que estaba desarmado.

La marcha tuvo lugar en un día en que surgió nueva información sobre el caso. El periódico Orlando Sentinel informa que Zimmerman le dijo a la policía que le había disparado a Martin luego de que el adolescente le diera un golpe de puño en la nariz y comenzara a golpearlo.

El altercado ocurrió luego de que el operador del 911 le dijera a Zimmerman que no siguiera al adolescente que consideraba sospechoso. En otro acontecimiento, el Sentinel reveló que Martin estaba visitando a la prometida de su padre en Sanford luego de haber sido suspendido de la secundaria en Miami porque hallaron rastros de marihuana en su mochila.

Benjamin Crump, el abogado de la familia de Trayvon Martin, declaró: “Cualquiera fuere el motivo por el que Trayvon Martin fue suspendido no tiene absolutamente nada que ver con lo que sucedió la noche del 26 de febrero.

Lo dijimos anteriormente, cuando hicieron preguntas al respecto, Trayvon no fue suspendido por ningún incidente de violencia ni tampoco por haber cometido ningún acto delictivo. Y si él y sus amigos probaron marihuana eso no tiene nada que ver con el hecho de que George Zimmerman matara a su hijo la noche del 26 de febrero”.

Los padres de Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin y Sybrina Fulton, hablaron el lunes en una reunión en Saford, Florida.

El padre de Trayvon, Tracy Martin, declaró: “Quisiera decir simplemente que Trayvon se ha ido. No regresará. Incluso tras su muerte le están faltando el respeto a mi hijo y creo que es triste

Sybrina Fulton, madre de Trayvon Martin, afirmó: “El único comentario que tengo en este momento es que mataron a mi hijo y ahora están tratando de destruir su reputación”.


MALDEF and NDLON Demand California Cities Repeal Unconstitutional Day Laborer Laws

Cites Federal Appeals Court Ruling Holding Similar Law Violates Free Speech Rights

LOS ANGELES – MALDEF announced that it has sent – on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) –  the first wave of demand letters to a dozen municipalities across California threatening legal action if they fail to repeal laws limiting the right to solicit employment, business or contributions in public areas.  While applicable to everyone, these laws have generally targeted day laborers seeking work.

Several similar laws have been challenged and struck down by courts over the last decade.  More than 50 cities have enacted legislation that fall under the prohibition outlined in the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Comité de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach (“Redondo Beach”).  Redondo Beach is binding precedent throughout the western United States.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz stated, “The binding en banc Ninth Circuit Redondo Beach decision was issued six months ago.  Cities with similarly unconstitutional ordinances must act now to ensure that the First Amendment free speech rights of day laborers and others are acknowledged and protected.  Even laws that are not enforced regularly can deter constitutionally protected expression.  We look forward to working with cities to ensure that repeal of these illegal laws moves forward apace.”

Saenz requested that the cities inform him of their intent to repeal the unconstitutional ordinances in order to avoid the high costs of litigation on the issue.  Cities contacted include Alhambra, Buena Park, Calabasas, Fontana, Fountain Valley, Lemon Grove, Monrovia, Moorpark, Ontario, Sunnyvale, Tustin and Turlock.

Last month, the United States Supreme Court let stand the September 2011 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that such laws are a facially unconstitutional restriction on free speech and are not narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest.  Redondo Beach was originally filed by MALDEF on behalf of NDLON.

“We have always known it is immoral to criminalize the act of seeking work, and it is now clear anti-day laborer ordinances are illegal too,” said Pablo Alvarado, National Coordinator for NDLON.  “Day laborers are members of our communities, their work should be valued and appreciated, and above all, their Constitutional rights must be respected.”

MALDEF continues to fight similar restrictions on free speech in multiple states across the U.S.

Alabama to Mississippi: It Happened to Us

Effects of Alabama’s Anti-immigrant Law- HB 56 on Communities of Faith, Businesses, and US Citizens should serve as Cautionary Tale to Other States


MONTGOMERY – On a last week, religious and business leaders joined local leaders and affected individuals to discuss the variety of ways in which Alabamians have been affected by HB 56, Alabama’s discriminatory anti-immigrant law. Although several major sections of the law have been blocked by the 11th Circuit Court, other provisions like the famous “show me your papers” provision remain in effect. The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice as well as members from every sector of society are calling on state legislators to repeal the law.

Olivia Turner, executive director, ACLU of Alabama, and steering committee member, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice said, “Alabama’s HB 56 is the most draconian and discriminatory law in the country and it continues to affect Alabamians every-day lives as well as the states’ economy. The law must be repealed. Other states considering an anti-immigrant “show me your papers” law should learn from our mistakes.”

Auburn contractor Wayne Kimberly who has been directly affected by HB56, commented “Our legislators are so out of touch with Alabama’s true work force. Heaven forbid the day comes when they have to mow their own yard, only then might they catch a clue about what a mistake HB56 is. Alabamians are not going to fill the vacuum left in our work place for labor intensive jobs. That was proven by Governor Bentley’s Work Alabama program. This bill just underlines the stigma of Alabama being the number one state in the Union for intolerance and racial profiling – they are not just proving that here in the United States but to the entire world.”

Despite extensive coverage of the political, economic and social consequences of Alabama’s HB 56, several states continue considering legislation that will lead them down this dangerous path. Last Wednesday, members of the Mississippi House of Representatives passed their own anti-immigrant “papers please” law – House Bill 488.

Pastor Ron Higey, Birmingham International Church, added “From a Christian faith perspective I cannot comfortably explain why we would treat others this way – harshly and punitively. As Christians – as people of faith, we are called to a higher standard of how we live with and treat others. For these reasons I call on upon Christians and people of faith to stand against this law and call their legislators and voice their objections and concerns.”

Economists and business leaders have noted that Alabama’s HB 56 is costing the state billions of dollars a year. The human toll however, is unquantifiable. Laws like HB 56 affect not only the immigrant community but the society as whole.  Carmen Vélez, a U.S. Citizen who was initially denied automobile registration explained, “I never thought people wouldn’t know that Puerto Rico was a part of the United States but there it was in front of me, the ignorance and the humiliation of being asked for extra proof of citizenship because I’m Latina. The Alabama legislature created and passed HB 56 without thinking how it would affect Alabamians. I’m a U.S. citizen, I’m an Alabamian, yet HB 56 has ensured people doubt my every move. “

For Mississippi and all other states that might consider passing an anti-immigrant “show me your papers” laws, this should be a lesson. The consequences will be dramatic. What has happened in Alabama should serve as a cautionary tale for all other states considering this type of legislation.

Justin Cox, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project attorney concluded, “It’s quite clear that HB56 is not just affecting its intended target of undocumented immigrants but also US children and anyone who might look a little different. These laws give people the idea that they’re now free to discriminate against Latinos or even perhaps that they are required to discriminate against Latinos in certain circumstances. Mississippi is the only state in the country that is considering passing a bill like HB 56.  All other states in the country have decided it’s not what they want.  The intended consequences of HB 56 have been terrible, and the unintended consequences have been very hard to predict.  That’s the message we’re trying to get across here to the Legislature in Mississippi.”

For a recording of the call, click here

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice is a network of individuals and organizations which seek to provide a united voice dedicated to ensuring the social, legal and civic rights of all immigrants in Alabama. ACIJ’s members work to promote justice for all of Alabama’s immigrants. Please visit www.acij.net


Latino Museum Surpasses 100,000 Followers in Twitter

Led by the web-based technology and social media innovators at Plus Three, the Friends of the American Latino Museum continue to lead among museum-related social media sites

Washington, DC – The Friends of the American Latino Museum (Friends), a 501(c)3 created to support the American Latino Museum initiative, surpassed 100,000 followers on Twitter and has accumulated 70,000 fans on Facebook and 67,000 supporters through its website, bringing its total reach to over 237,000 supporters. A renewed energy and hope for the museum is increasing rapidly since the introduction of the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act earlier this year in the House and Senate. The Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act would designate and hold the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building as the official site for the museum.

“The history of Latinos is woven into American history going back to a time before the first pilgrim ever set foot on this land,” said Emilio Estefan, Commissioner, National Museum of the American Latino Commission and President of Estefan Enterprises. “This is the story we want to tell. These are the gaps in American history that we are trying to fill, so that all Americans have a better understanding of our shared history and legacy. It is wonderful to know, through our social media efforts, that there are thousands that support our telling this story.”

The museum would be devoted to the preservation, presentation, and interpretation of American Latino art, cultural expressions, and experiences. It would take its place among the treasury of museums within the Smithsonian Institution and would establish a new model in its integration of programs, training, research and personnel within the family of Smithsonian museums. The goal of Friends is to create a museum truly national in operational scope as well as prominent in Washington to educate the public and support the Latino community.

“It is amazing and heartening how much support this museum is getting from across the country. It shows how important it is for us to share all of the important and, many times, untold stories of the history of Latinos in building this great nation,” said Maria Cardona, Friends Board Member and CNN Political Contributor. “The public is excited about the progress of the American Latino Museum initiative, and now that support can be seen in our 100,000 followers on Twitter and over 70,000 on Facebook. All supporters of the museum should join with us in asking Congress to pass the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act now.”

“Latinos are using social media to stay connected to family, friends, and their cultural identity. Through Facebook and Twitter, Friends has immediate access to one of the largest Latino communities online in the country. Friends is redefining what a successful media strategy looks like for a diverse audience,” said Juan Proaño, President and Co-Founder, Plus Three.

The Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act was introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and has been co-sponsored by 17 other Senators including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) also introduced the bill in the House. In addition to growing public support through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, celebrities such as Eva Longoria and Emilio Estefan have lead efforts to pass the bill.

Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (www.americanlatinomuseum.org)

Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc., a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.




NCLR Launches National Mobilize to Vote Campaign

Seeks to register and turn out thousands of Latinos for 2012 elections


NCLR (National Council of La Raza) launched its Mobilize to Vote (M2V) campaign, one of the country’s largest Hispanic-focused civic engagement efforts working to register and mobilize 180,000 Latinos to vote on Election Day this coming November.

“Latino voters have left their mark in previous elections and will be a critical factor in 2012,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.  “There is a lot at stake for Hispanics in terms of the issues our community cares most about:  the economy, immigration, education, and health care.  Through our work to expand this electorate, we hope to see both parties meaningfully reach out to Latino voters and work to advance real solutions to the nation’s most pressing challenges.”

“As the largest minority group and fastest-growing population, Latinos will help determine the outcome of local, state, and national races.  Given increasingly tight election margins, this influence will be felt not only in places with significant Latino populations, but also in states not traditionally associated with this community.  In 2008, for example, the number of Latinos who voted was larger than the margins of victory in North Carolina and Indiana,” noted Clarissa Martínez De Castro, NCLR Director of Civic Engagement.

NCLR’s Mobilize to Vote campaign includes plans for field canvassing operations in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; a service provider program working with NCLR Affiliates to register eligible Latinos in additional states, including California, Texas, and North Carolina; and a digital program offering online registration and voter education tools to Latinos nationwide.  Registration efforts will primarily focus on door-to-door canvassing and community-based events.  Mobilize to Vote will engage the Hispanic community at all stages of the electoral process, from registration, to voter education and protection, to mobilization to the polls.  The campaign is part of a comprehensive effort that goes beyond the 2012 election, and promotes a continuum of civic engagement, helping eligible immigrants become citizens, citizens become voters, and the community overall engage in policy debates.

“While our population numbers have grown tremendously, it is critical that we continue to turn that population growth into real political influence,” added Murguía.  “Latinos are an asset to shaping a national agenda that benefits all Americans.  The only way to do that is to have our community informed and engaged in critical issues and debates, and registered and voting on Election Day.”

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.


NAHREP Report: Hispanic Homebuyer Mega Market Is Emerging

Hispanic Real Estate Leaders Say Youth, Population Growth, Household Formation,


High Desire, Labor Force Trend, To Make Latinos An Exponential Force In Housing


The era of the Hispanic homebuyer is upon us, according to the 2011 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report released last week by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). The 36-page document offers an analysis of data on the Hispanic homebuyer market and points to youth, birth rates, household formation, rising purchasing power, labor trends, educational achievements and desire as key indicators that will make Latinos a major purchase force in the first-time homebuyer market. A digital copy of the report is available for download at: http://nahrep.org/state-of-hispanic-homeownership.php

“Despite recent losses suffered by Hispanics during the housing crisis, young Latino families that were unaffected by foreclosure or lost home values, are ready to enter the market,” said Carmen Mercado, president of the 20,000-member group. “When they do, they will have an exponential impact on housing sales.”

According to the report, demographic forces are aligning with Latinos poised to take center stage as a mega force in housing. Latinos filled 1.4 million or 60 percent of the 2.3 million jobs added to the economy in 2011, are expected to account for 40 percent of the estimated 12 million new households over the next 10 years, and their collective purchasing power is expected to jump 50 percent by 2016 – just four short years from now.

Hispanic homeownership grew by 288,000 units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for more than half the total growth in owner-occupant homeownership in the United States. Hispanic real estate leaders maintain that while this is just a short-term indicator it is an example of what’s to come as Latino echo boomers move from renting to homeownership. They also predict as Latinos start to buy en masse that total owner-occupant housing units purchased – not homeownership rate – will be the most outstanding metric of the group.

“In recent years, the headlines have focused on foreclosure and wealth losses in the Hispanic community. But the untold story is the growth, labor force participation, higher educational achievements and attitudes toward homeownership that are crystallizing into a trend with Latinos taking center stage as a mega force in housing,” added Mercado.

The report, which was written by former Housing Fellow, Researcher, Author & Watchdog Alejandro Becerra, asserts that due to a combination of forces Hispanics are poised to become a mega consumer force in housing:

·       Population Driver: The Hispanic population expanded 3.5 times between 1980 and 2010. Since 1980, more than two in five (44 percent) persons added to the U.S. population have been Hispanic. From 2000 to 2009, Whites experienced 1.1 births for every 1.0 death, while Hispanics experienced 8.9 births for every death, implying a sizeable widening of the growth rates between the two major population groups. Hispanics were responsible for most of the overall population growth in the country over the past decade.

·       Consumerism: The Hispanic market made up over 50 percent of real growth in the U.S. consumer economy from 2005 to 2008. During that time span, the $52 billion in new Hispanic spending outpaced the $40 billion in new spending by non-Hispanics, with Hispanic consumer spending increasing by 6.4 percent while non-Hispanic spending increased by only 2.9 percent.

·       Labor Force: Latinos filled 1.4 million or 60 percent of the 2.3 million jobs added to the economy in 2011. Hispanics are expected to account for 74 percent of the growth in the nation’s labor force from 2010 to 2020.

·       Mobility: Hispanics are mobile and willing to relocate where employment is available. Hispanics alone drove the population growth of Philadelphia, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Omaha, and Atlanta, and comprised the greatest component of population increases in San Antonio, Fort Worth, and El Paso, and Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina.

·       Education: From 2009 to 2010, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolled in college grew by 349,000 (a remarkable increase of 24 percent), compared with a decrease of 320,000 among young non-Hispanic Whites. In 2010, 73 percent of young Hispanics completed high school, up from 60 percent in 2000, and 32 percent of young Hispanics were enrolled in college, up from 22 percent in 2000.

National housing surveys continue to demonstrate that Hispanics strongly aspire to become homeowners in spite of uncertainty over jobs and the general economy. In particular, surveys also show that almost two in three Hispanic renters maintain high aspirations for owning a home.

Hispanic real estate leaders assert that changes in the nation’s housing finance system must be made to accommodate the mega force of first-time homebuyers entering the market between now and 2020. This includes creating access to affordable, safe mortgage products and low-priced bank owned properties that meet financing standards, among other measures.

“New household growth will be substantially greater for Hispanics than for any other demographic group in the country,” said David Stevens, president of the Mortgage Banker’s Association. “The need to recognize the most critical variables in housing type, price range, affordability, and mortgage product terms will be critical for all housing stakeholders — from lenders and realtors to policy makers — in order to ensure that the homeownership needs of Hispanics and other Americans are met.”

The 2011 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report includes policy recommendations from Hispanic real estate leaders that are needed to accommodate new buyers. This includes: Improved access to affordable mortgage financing, no new taxes or increased fees on mortgages, increased supplier diversity, improved access to REO listings for owner-occupant buyers, sensible immigration reforms and continued financial education for mortgagees.


Smithsonian: Huichol Art on Wheels

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian celebrates one of Mexico’s indigenous communities with the unveiling of “Vochol: Huichol Art on Wheels” in the Museum’s Potomac Atrium, opening to the public on March 21st. This singular piece combines Huichol culture with a pop-cult icon, the Volkswagen Beetle.


Two families of Huichol artisans devoted more than 9,000 hours transforming the “canvas”—a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle—into a stunning juxtaposition of modern machinery decorated with bright, psychedelic patterns and colors. More than 2 million glass seed beads and nearly 35 pounds of fabric, paint, yarn and resin adorn the vehicle’s chassis and interior, including the seats, steering wheel and dashboard. It is the first Huichol object of art on wheels. Its name derives from “Vocho,” a slang term for the VW Beetle in Mexico, and “Huichol,” the common name for Mexico’s indigenous Wixaritari (“the people”), a community of approximately 26,000 who live in the mountainous region of the western Sierra Madre.

The Vochol’s beadwork and embroidery illustrates powerful symbols, milestones and stories from the deeply spiritual culture, including images of deer—the most revered animal—and a two-headed eagle marking the four cardinal directions, as well as the fire, drum, squash and corn used in a traditional maize-offering ceremony. For the Huichol, creating art—in the form of beadwork, textiles, stone sculptures, ceremonial objects and pipes—is not merely decorative. It is an expression of faith, evoking centuries-old shamanism and peyote rituals that are still practiced to this day.

The Vochol will be on view through May 6, before continuing its international tour at esteemed institutions, including the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris. The tour will conclude with the international sale and/or auction of the Vochol, with all proceeds donated to the Association of Friends of the Museum of Popular Art to further its mission of safeguarding and promoting the work of Mexican artisans.

For additional information about the project, visit http://vocholaamap.blogspot.com.

The presentation of Vochol at the NMAI is a collaboration between the Museo de Arte Popular, the Association of Friends of the Museo de Arte Popular, the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Cultural Institute, as well as the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.

Lanzan PAC+ para votantes de minorías y progresistas

Una junta nacional de más de 70 líderes comunitarios y políticos en 16 estados de Estados Unidos lanzó recientemente el comité de acción política PAC+, una nueva red nacional enfocada en dar voz a las minorías latina y afroamericana y a los anglosajones progresistas, que representan ahora la mayoría de la población en Estados Unidos.

Hay diez millones de hogares estadounidenses formados por minorías y blancos progresistas, con un ingreso familiar de más de 100 mil dólares, y PAC+ tiene como objetivo llegar al 1 por de ese mercado, que son 100 mil personas.

Muchos de nosotros, que nos beneficiamos de las luchas que abrieron las puertas de la educación superior y de las empresas estadounidenses podemos ahora contribuir”, expresó María Echaveste, miembro del comité ejecutivo del Comité Nacional Demócrata y ex subdirectora de gabinete del presidente Clinton.

PAC+ busca combinar los recursos de sus miembros y utilizarlos en contiendas estratégicas en los estados donde los cambios demográficos puede cambiar el balance del poder político como Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Nuevo México, Ohio y California.

Liderados por el equipo que en 2007 creó “Vote Hope”, el primer súper PAC demócrata del país, PAC + entrelaza la evolución demográfica, las herramientas tecnológicas y la teoría de las redes creando una fuerza para el cambio.

Actualmente, un puñado de multimillonarios está secuestrando nuestra democracia y promoviendo políticas públicas que son perjudiciales para la mayoría del pueblo estadounidense. PAC+ está probando un nuevo modelo de súper PAC, que se centra en muchos donantes, no en mega-donantes”, dijo Steve Phillips, presidente de la junta de directores de PAC+.

PAC + es impulsado por PowerPAC.org, una organización que promueve la justicia social que coordinó primeros gastos independientes en el país a favor de Obama en 2007 e invirtió 10 millones de dólares en un programa electoral en 18 estados, dirigido a votantes afroamericanos y latinos en estados clave.

“Los demócratas gastan decenas de millones de dólares en una estrategia basada en una visión anticuada e inexacta del electorado estadounidense”, señaló la doctora Julie Martínez Ortega, presidenta de PAC+. “Los datos del censo dejan claro que las minorías y los blancos progresistas son ahora la mayoría de la población de los Estados Unidos y nuestras estrategias tienen que cambiar de acuerdo a esto”, añadió.

“En lugar de enfrascarse en una batalla con los donantes multimillonarios en la derecha, los donantes de la izquierda deben invertir su dinero en las instituciones y organizaciones que pueden desencadenar el poder de la revolución demográfica del país y el PAC+ es justamente esta organización”, dijo Susan Sandler, una filántropa e inversionista, cuya familia ayudó a iniciar el Center for American Progress y Democracy Alliance, una red nacional de donantes progresistas.

PAC+ agrupará el dinero de sus miembros en todo el país y dirigirá esos recursos hacia contiendas estratégicas en sus seis estados prioritarios para el  2012. PAC+ es un comité federal de acción política y un súper PAC incubado por PowerPAC, una organización política y de promoción sin fines de lucro.

PowerPAC se organizó para defender la democracia y la justicia social en los estados y las comunidades de todo el país y llevó a cabo la campaña de gastos independientes de Obama en el año 2008 y un exitoso esfuerzo independiente para ayudar a Kamala Harris a ganar la elección como procuradora general de California en el 2010.

This Week in Immigration

DREAM Advocates Begin a 3,000-mile March from California to Washington

Jose Gonzalez was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1987, but he has called California home for almost all of his 25 years.  A community college graduate, as well as a youth minister in his church, Jose wants to attend a four-year university, but his family cannot afford tuition, and he cannot work to pay his own way.  Like many others in his situation, Jose grew up as an American—speaking English, attending school, thinking about college and careers—only to learn one day that his presence here is not legal.

Court Upholds Ban on Restrictive Immigration Law in Farmers Branch, Texas

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling this week enjoining a law enacted in Farmers Branch, Texas, that bars undocumented immigrants from renting housing in the city and revokes the licenses of landlords who knowingly rent to them. The restrictive law, which passed in 2008, was struck down two years ago by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, who found the law to be unconstitutional.

Anti-Immigrant Agenda Goes Mainstream as Nativist-Extremist Movement Declines, Report Finds

The “nativist extremist” movement in the United States is in the midst of a fundamental transformation. On the one hand, the number of these virulently anti-immigrant groups plummeted between 2010 and 2011. On the other hand, many of the people and ideas from these groups have found new homes in the conspiracy-obsessed “Patriot” movement, the Tea Party movement, and some factions of the Republican Party. In other words, the hateful agenda of the waning nativist-extremist movement is being mainstreamed. This is the portrait that emerges from an analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks all manner of hate groups in the United States.

DHS Report Finds Inadequate Information Sharing, Mission Overlap Among Agencies

Nine years after its creation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still hampered by mission overlap and inadequate information sharing among the various agencies within the department. So concludes a recent report by the DHS Office of Inspector General, entitled Information Sharing on Foreign Nationals: Border Security. Highlights from the report include a recommendation to scrap the controversial NSEERS database, and a call for real department-wide coordination among DHS agencies.

Supreme Court Brief on SB 1070: Arizona Seeking Confrontation, Not Cooperation

When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wagged her finger in President Obama’s face at a Phoenix airport earlier this year, she may have been seeking to score political points with the White House’s ideological opponents. What the governor may not have realized, however, is that she was giving the Obama administration the photographic equivalent of its closing argument in the legal challenge to SB 1070—namely, that Arizona is more interested in confronting the federal government than cooperating with it.

States Continue to Propose Tuition Equity for Undocumented Immigrants

While some state lawmakers continue to push extreme “get tough” immigration enforcement measures through their state houses, others are contemplating the benefits of having more highly educated students in their state. In Indiana, for example, one Republican lawmaker recently amended an education bill to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students already enrolled in state schools, asking “if they’re going to be living here anyway, why not let them be productive members of Indiana society?” Lawmakers in other states, including Colorado and New York, are also pushing for better access to higher education for qualifying undocumented students.

This Week in Council Publications:

Latinos in North Carolina: A Growing Part of the State’s Economic and Social Landscape (IPC Perspectives)

Senadores demócratas se reúnen con empresarios hispanos

Los Senadores Hablaron sobre el Proyecto de Ley De Transporte Del Senado Que Está Esperando  ser Aprobado por La Cámara; sobre la Extensión del Recorte a los Impuestos sobre la Nomina; la Ley Para Ayudar a las Pequeñas Empresas; y sobre la Ley Del Cuidado a la Salud a Bajo Costo

La semana pasada, miembros de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos (USHCC por sus siglas en ingles) se reunieron con el Senadores demócratas por invitación del Equipo Demócrata de Iniciativas Hispanas del Senado (HTF por sus siglas en inglés).

Durante la junta se habló sobre propuestas para promover la creación de empleos en la comunidad hispana. Esta recepción formo parte de la 22da Cumbre Legislativa Anual de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana y les dio la oportunidad a los miembros de la comunidad empresarial hispana de todo el país a que escucharan las iniciativas económicas impulsadas por los demócratas del Senado, diseñadas para ayudar a que las empresas hispanas prosperen y crezcan.

La reunión fue organizada por los senadores Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), presidente del Equipo Demócrata de Iniciativas Hispanas del Senado, Mark Begich (D-Alaska), presidente del Comité de Iniciativas y Relaciones Comunitarias, Michael Bennet (D-Col.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), y el Líder de la Mayoría en el Senado Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Entre los participantes estuvieron Mary Ann Gomez del Instituto de Líderes Hispanos del Congreso, Javier Palomarez de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos, y Elizabeth Soto de las Girl Scouts.

“Hoy mis colegas y yo tuvimos la oportunidad de reunirnos con los líderes de negocios hispanos para discutir cómo podemos trabajar juntos para asegurar la prosperidad de las empresas pequeñas de Estados Unidos”, dijo el Senador Menéndez.

“La disponibilidad de capital suficiente para ayudar a que estas empresas se expandirse, crezcan y creen empleos una prioridad primordial, especialmente para los más de 2 millones de negocios hispanoamericanos que están jugando un papel clave en lograr que nuestra economía vuelva a encaminarse. Como Presidente del Equipo Demócrata de Iniciativas Hispanas, me comprometo a seguir trabajando con mis colegas en el Senado para cultivar el espíritu emprendedor que impulsa a los negocios latinos a tener éxito.”

“Como uno de los sectores de más progresión en nuestra economía, los latinos juegan un papel vital en asegurar el acceso al capital, la creación de empleos, y la promoción de oportunidades económicas en nuestras comunidades. Los empresarios latinos de pequeñas empresas representan la columna vertebral de nuestra economía, creando empleos para millones de estadounidenses,” dijo el senador Begich. “Espero con anticipación colaborar con la comunidad latina en estos temas críticos a medida que continúe apoyando el desarrollo de negocios latinos.”

“Espero trabajar con los líderes Demócratas en el Senado en las prioridades expuestas en la agenda Legislativa de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los EE.UU, la cual es un plan integral para el futuro de los negocios de EE.UU.,” dijo Javier Palomarez. “Estos senadores entienden que los negocios hispanos son empresas estadounidenses.”

“Hoy mis colegas del Equipo Demócrata de Iniciativas Hispanas y yo nos reunimos con la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de los EE.UU. para discutir las políticas que ayudarán a que los negocios hispanos crezcan y logren tener éxito,” dijo el Senador Reid. “La semana pasada el Senado aprobó el proyecto de ley de Transporte, que es vital para la industria de la construcción. Con el 30 por ciento de las empresas latinas describiéndose como empresas de construcción, este proyecto de ley sería importantísimo para los trabajadores y empleadores latinos. Espero que los republicanos de la Cámara aprueben este proyecto de ley lo más pronto posible. Tres millones de trabajadores, muchos de ellos hispanos, dependen de ellos”.

El Equipo Demócrata de Iniciativas Hispanas del Senado se encarga de facilitar el diálogo entre el Senado Demócrata y el público Americano. Bajo la coordinación de su director, el comité busca informar, involucrar, y movilizar a grupos activistas y constituyentes para avanzar políticas y prioridades del Grupo Democrático en el Senado. El comité se decida a asegurar que diversas comunidades tengan una voz y sean oídos por los Demócratas en temas clave para nuestra nación. El comité es uno de dos dentro de los comités de liderazgo demócrata. El Senador Begich (Alaska) sirve como Director y el Senador Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii) sirve como Subdirector del comité.