National

Puerto Ricans Will Decide Again on Political Status in 2020

National February 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm

The governor of Puerto Rico announced that another referendum on the island’s political status in relation to the U.S. will take place in 2020, El Vocero reports. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said that the referendum will happen “before, during or after” November. “We have a commitment to work in a binding, decisive process to put an end to the island’s colonial status,” he said. The latest Puerto Rican referendum took place in 2017 and the statehood option won overwhelmingly, but was boycotted by the pro-status quo party and had a historically low 23 percent turnout.

Border Shelter Receiving Immigrants in Record Numbers

National February 26, 2019 at 3:11 pm

The nonprofit Casa Anunciación, which gives shelter to immigrants released by ICE in El Paso, Texas, has shattered its record attendance for the season in its 43rd year of existence, El Diario de El Paso reports. According to founder and director Rubén García, from Feb. 17 to 23, the organization sheltered 3,637 people. “We expect the numbers to go up as the weather improves,” said García. Casa Anunciación operates 15 shelters hosting people in need of a place to sleep, bathe and eat as they prepare to join their relatives in the U.S. and continue their political asylum process.

First LGBTQ Mariachi Band in LA Turns 5

National February 21, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Ángeles, the first mariachi band formed by LGBTQ musicians in Los Angeles, is celebrating its 5th anniversary, La Opinión reports. Founded by director Carlos Samaniego, the band soon became a big success, as this type of traditional Mexican music is usually associated with macho attitudes. Among its 11 members are two women, including Natalia Melendez, considered the first transgender person in the mariachi world. All the band members are Mexican or Mexican­ Americans, but three are not part of the LGBTQ community. “They are our allies in our mission,” said band member Allan Vazquez López.

Protesters Occupy Border Patrol Museum

National February 20, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Around 40 pro-immigrant protesters took their anti-Trump message to El Paso’s Border Patrol Museum, El Diario de El Paso reports. The action was part of a “Weekend for Immigration Justice” that called for the release of migrant minors detained by the federal administration, and for family reunification. “This museum doesn’t tell the real history of the Border Patrol, and the crimes committed against immigrants,” said activist Hope Alvarado with a loudspeaker, to the surprise of visitors and employees. The 15-minute protest was peaceful and, although protesters were questioned by the police, there were no arrests.

NC Pro-Immigrant Protesters Ask Hotel to Kick ICE Agents Out

National February 19, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Following a week of “historic” raids in North Carolina, demonstrators unsuccessfully asked a Burlington hotel to kick out their guests who were ICE agents, Qué Pasa reports. Activists and relatives of a man who had been detained that same day in Asheboro staged the Feb. 7 protest at the reception of a Holiday Inn Express. “ICE wants us immigrants to be afraid. They want to provoke chaos and then blame the local police for ‘not doing enough’ on family separation,” said Laura Garduño García, member of community group Siembra NC. “We are united against this injustice.”

A Redesign for Chicago’s Polish Triangle

National February 14, 2019 at 11:04 am

The Polish Triangle in Chicago marks the heart of what used to be a thriving Polish neighborhood with stores, schools, churches and organizations, but in recent years as immigrants moved to the suburbs, the neighborhood has been losing its ethnic feel. Dziennik Zwiazkowy reports that the Polish Triangle Coalition has reached out to Bugaj Architects to help preserve the location’s Polish character, and now the organization hopes that the modernization of the local CTA train station will cast new light on the Triangle and bring in more funds for its revitalization.

California Car Washers Get $4.2M in Landmark Wage-Theft Case

National February 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm

More than 800 California car washers, mostly immigrants, got $4.2 million in compensation in a massive wage-theft case against Southern California car wash mogul Vahid David Delrahim, La Opinión reports. The landmark case was possible thanks to a 15-year-old U.S. Department of Labor initiative for Spanish-speaking workers called Employment, Education and Outreach (EMPLEO). Angélica Salas, of the Immigrant Rights organization CHIRLA, said EMPLEO is an invaluable tool for “vulnerable workers who are often afraid of reporting labor complaints to the authorities or are threatened with being reported to ICE.”

Puerto Ricans Felt Abandoned by Florida Compatriots

National February 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm

According to a study by the University of Miami, Puerto Ricans fleeing Hurricane María in Florida felt discriminated against by fellow Puerto Ricans, El Nuevo Día reports. The report, the “Mental Health Impact of Hurricane María on Displaced Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico and Florida,” found that many refugees felt their compatriots who had been long-established in Florida “turned their backs” on them, ignoring calls for help or not offering housing. “It is something that happens when people arrive in a new country, go through an adaptation process… but then resent those arriving later,” said Dr. Seth Schwartz.

Health Crisis Looming in Puerto Rico Due to Doctor Exodus

National February 11, 2019 at 1:34 pm

The exodus of doctors away from Puerto Rico due to the economic crisis and other factors, including obstacles from the insurance industry, has created a “health crisis,” El Vocero reports. The number of dentists on the island has gone from 2,300 to 856 in two years. Similarly, six years ago there were 300 cardiologists in Puerto Rico and now only 125, and the number of community pharmacies has gone from 1,200 to 750. “I would say this is already a humanitarian problem in our country,” said Dr. Elena Jiménez Díaz.

Two Mexican-Americans Running for Chicago Mayor

National February 8, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Four candidates for Chicago mayor, including two Mexican-Americans, faced off at a Multicultural and Interfaith forum hosted by the Indo-American Democratic Organization, La Raza reports. Gery Chico and Susana Mendoza joined Lori Lightfoot and Paul Vallas, part of a field of 14 candidates for the Feb. 26 election, to debate on such issues as education, immigration, street security and affordable housing. Chico is a real estate lawyer who worked as Mayor Rick Daley’s chief of staff, and Mendoza is the comptroller of Illinois. They were both born and raised in Chicago, the children of Mexican immigrants.

Tlaib on Why Trump Should Be Impeached

National February 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) spoke with The Arab American News about the reasons she believes Donald Trump should be impeached. “My articles of impeachment are going to be solely based on the fact that in the Constitution there’s a clause that states any sitting president of the United States has to completely divest from their foreign or domestic investments,” she said. “The Trump organization is still being run by this president. It creates conflict. They know this is a part-time gig and they’re not going to be there forever.”

El Paso Residents Plan ‘Mega March’ To Protest Trump

National February 7, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Furious El Paso residents are preparing a “mega march” to protest President Trump’s planned speech on Monday in the Texan city, El Diario de El Paso reports. Large paseño sectors are accusing the president of lying about the border town during the State of the Union address, in which he falsely claimed that El Paso was one of the country’s most dangerous cities before a border fence was built in 2008. “Trump lied about immigrants; he lied about the wall, and he lied about my hometown,” said Fernando García, of Border Network for Human Rights.

ICE Targets Arms Factory in Massive NC Raid

National February 6, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Some 70 undocumented immigrants were arrested at a pre-dawn raid in a gun manufacturing company in Sanford, North Carolina, in one of the state’s biggest ICE operations, Qué Pasa Raleigh/Durham reports. The company, Bear Creek Arsenal, which employs more than 250 people, many of them Hispanic immigrants, said this was the result of an ongoing identity theft and fraud investigation. “They took away our friends, people who wake up early, leave their kids at the bus stop and come to work… Now, who will pick up those kids from school today?” said a worker, weeping.

Dreamers Push Congress to Restore DACA’s Advance Parole

National February 4, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Dreamers are pushing Congress to restore DACA’s Advance Parole, a permit to leave and return to the country that the Trump administration canceled in September 2017, La Opinión reports. From Jan. 14 to 18, at least 20 Dreamers from different states gathered 30 signatures from members of Congress in Washington, arguing that they need the travel permit to pursue their studies and be able to visit relatives. “This is the first national effort to reestablish Advance Parole, which doesn’t hurt anyone. Its elimination is pure racism. It has a profound humanitarian impact,” said Armando Vásquez-Ramos, president of the California-Mexico Studies Center.

Cubans in Miami Sending Aid to Havana Tornado Victims

National February 1, 2019 at 11:59 am

A group of Cubans in Miami is collecting humanitarian aid for victims of the tornado that ravaged parts of Havana last Sunday, Diario Las Américas reports. Donations of money and non-perishable products are being gathered at Porto Alegre Brazilian Grill restaurant and Monte de Oca travel agency, both in Hialeah. Donations will be distributed to the victims directly, without any Cuban government intermediation, through “private individuals” who will travel to the island with plane tickets that are also being donated by entrepreneurs and residents of South Florida, said organizer Concepción Cabrera.