Guatemalan Community Grows and Thrives in the Carolinas

National May 29, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Only two years ago there was no Guatemalan government representation in the Carolinas; today, the Raleigh consulate serves a thriving community of 120,000, Qué Pasa Noticias reports. Guatemalans live mostly in North Carolina (80,000), and their country’s native languages are well represented (mainly Mam, Chuj, Ixil and Kanjobal). They are known for their entrepreneurship and family businesses, from restaurants to construction companies, many of them started thanks to their U.S.-born children’s social security number. “Most car repair shops in Charlotte are run by Guatemalans,” said Mónica del Cid, co-owner of Red Light Auto Services.

Georgia Coalition of Latino Leaders Turns 13

National May 24, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Headquartered in the back of a small supermarket in Dalton, GA, the Coalición de Líderes Latinos de Georgia (CLILA) has served the area’s Hispanic community for 13 years, Mundo Hispánico reports. CLILA offers English and citizenship classes and DACA application help, among other legal and community services. The coalition was founded in 2006 by Mexican immigrant América Gruner, who sought to mobilize the area’s large Hispanic population (mostly working in the carpet industry) against anti-immigrant measures but found that many were not eligible to vote because they didn’t apply for citizenship, or didn’t speak the language.

Puerto Rico WIC Recipients Drop 43 Percent Due to Mass Migration

National May 23, 2019 at 2:19 pm

The number of Puerto Rican women receiving benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) dropped by 43 percent in the past five years, El Vocero reports. The numbers reflect a childbirth drop partially caused by the Zika virus scare, during which many women avoided pregnancy, but the main cause is the mass emigration of young families away from the island. The decrease in the federal program of recipients has also hit businesses that provide WIC-funded foods: 18 percent of them have closed, and the rest have been forced to diversify their operations.

Debt and Depopulation Leave San Juan in ‘Extreme Decay’

National May 21, 2019 at 1:38 pm

An investigation by El Nuevo Día shows the “extreme decay” of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, as the municipal government reduced its contractual commitments almost by half compared to 2013. As residents complain of crumbling roads, criminality and lack of cleaning services, the city has had a population loss of more than 90,000 residents in the past 10 years. The loss in municipal income has resulted in a $183 million debt in spite of a $73 million budget cut. The problem is exacerbated by non-payments the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico and the city’s difficulties in borrowing money.

A Georgia Surprise

National May 15, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Pro-immigrant organizations in Georgia expressed relief and surprise as Republican Gov. Brian Kemp emerged as an unlikely ally this week, Mundo Hispánico reports. Kemp abolished a board investigating immigration law violations which has been accused of illegally harassing immigrant communities. Kemp also vetoed the SB15 bill, requiring Georgia schools to investigate students for “suspicious activities” and create “school safety coaches,” which activists feared would target minority youths. “This is definitely a victory for us,” said Adelina Nicholls, of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR). “You have your ups and downs but this triumph motivates us to keep going.”

Citing Increase in Deportations Lawmakers Demand Venezuela TPS

National May 14, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Democratic Florida representatives denounced a 36 percent increase in deportations of Venezuelans last year and asked Trump to fulfill his promise to give TPS status to exiles without criminal convictions, Diario Las Américas reports. U.S. House Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala, among other lawmakers, said that Venezuelan asylum applications have boomed in the same period, and deplored that a recently-approved ban on sanctuary cities in Florida will directly impact undocumented Venezuelans. “The situation in Venezuela is exactly what TPS was designed for,” said Mucarsel-Powell, who blamed Sen. Mitch McConnell for blocking a Senate vote.

Hugs Not Walls Event Cancelled Due To ‘Federal Obstacles’

National May 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Due to unspecified “federal obstacles,” the planned May 11 “Hugs Not Walls” event in which Mexican-American families separated by immigration policies meet briefly at the border, has been cancelled, El Diario de El Paso reports. The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) called for a march on May 25 to protest the cancellation. “Hugs Not Walls” has reunited more than 1,300 separated families since 2016. “The border agencies and institutions created all kinds of obstacles and invented all the necessary pretexts to stop such an important and historic border family reunion,” said BNHR director Fernando García.

Former Undocumented Immigrant Runs in LA Republican Stronghold

National May 9, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Immigrant rights activist Carlos Amador, who for a decade was undocumented, seeks to win a June 4 special election for the Los Angeles City Council’s most conservative district, La Opinión reports. Amador is the only Latino among 15 contenders for the traditionally Republican District 12, in San Fernando Valley. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the U.S. at the age of 14 in 1999, and didn’t have legal residency until 2011. “If I win, I will be the first Latino to do so. The last time a Latino ran for this seat was 20 years ago, and he lost,” he said.

Detroit, Food and Belonging

National May 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Feet in Two Worlds offers a series of reports in its new package “The Detroit Issue: Food, Border and Belonging.” One audio report looks at the growth of Bismillah Kabob over the last five years, from a small eatery to a 140-seat venue in suburban Detroit, serving the growing Bangladeshi community. Another report focuses on challenges to food insecurity, and residents who’re working hard to make sure that Detroit’s black residents have access to fresh, reasonably priced food. “The coming weed-based economy” is explored in an interview with Caribbean chef Gigi Diaz, owner of Cannabis Concepts.

Los Angeles Recognizes Day Laborers Declaring ‘Día del Jornalero’

National May 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

The Los Angeles City Council recognized their day laborers’ hard work by declaring May 3 the first “Día del Jornalero,” La Opinión reports. According to community organizations, the recognition is the result of decades fighting for the rights of workers and immigrants who have contributed to society in spite of being abused, exploited and criminalized. Maegan Ortiz, director of the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA), explained that the Día del Jornalero will not only be a city proclamation: “The day laborers are talking about soccer tournaments, concerts and other types of events as part of the celebration.”

Anti-Sanctuary Florida Bill Fights Miami Stance

National April 25, 2019 at 1:45 pm

The Florida legislature advanced a bill banning sanctuary cities and requiring police agencies statewide to cooperate with ICE, setting up a confrontation with the predominantly Hispanic Miami Dade authorities, Diario Las Américas reports. While Republican governor Ron DeSantis has expressed support for the initiative, Miami-Dade County Sheriff Juan Pérez and Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina said that they would rather step down than turn their officers into immigration agents. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez also opposes police collaboration with ICE, and Democratic Party officials have warned that the bill would increase deportations of asylum-seeking Venezuelans.

Census: Puerto Rico Population Keeps Dwindling

National April 23, 2019 at 5:20 pm

According to U.S. census numbers, between July 2017 and July 2018 Puerto Rico lost 129,848 residents, mostly due to migration (especially from urban areas), El Vocero reports. In the same period, 6,449 more deaths than childbirths were recorded. Demographers said they are not surprised by these numbers because they coincide with the months in which the country lacked power services, and that in the future the data will probably reflect a comeback. It also appears that many Puerto Ricans are moving away from the largest cities (San Juan, Ponce) to smaller, more affordable towns, whose population has been less affected.

Miami Cuban Exiles Applaud Strengthening Of Cuban Embargo

National April 18, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Cuban exiles in Miami are “very satisfied” with the new U.S. measures to punish foreign companies operating in properties confiscated by the Castro regime in Cuba, Diario Las Américas reports. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced in Miami the full reactivation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which had been suspended for 20 years. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto, who accused the Castro regime of confiscating his own family’s properties on the island, said he “totally” supports the measure, adding that “it should bring really good things for the people of Cuba.”

After 16 Years, No End in Sight for Vieques Cleanup

National April 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm

According to an El Nuevo Día investigation, the cleanup of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques after decades of being used as a bombing range and site for U.S. military-training exercises is expected to go on until at least 2032. Since 2003, the Navy has spent $270 million on cleanup efforts, but so far it has only removed about one-third of the 300,000 bombs dropped on the site. Hurricane María only complicated things as some funds were diverted to reconstruction efforts, and the ocean currents pushed army debris back to the island’s shores.

Deportations of Mexicans in LA Drop

National April 12, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The number of deportations of Mexicans in Los Angeles has dropped some 20 percent in the first trimester of the year compared to 2018, something the Mexican consul attributes to the effects of the sanctuary law, La Opinión reports. Consul Carlos García de Alba noted that last year an average of 7.8 Mexicans were deported daily from LA, while today the number is about six per day. “This might be an effect of the sanctuary law that has limited police collaboration with ICE, and the fact that people are better informed and being more cautious.”