National

University of Puerto Rico Seeks to Attract NY Students

National November 20, 2018 at 2:24 pm

As part of an “internationalization” plan to increase funding, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) is seeking to attract students from the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, reports El Nuevo Día. The public university, which is facing a five-year $204 million cut by the supervision board governing the island, has already done two orientation campaigns: One at a Bronx high school targeting low-income, Spanish-speaking students, and another one in Santo Domingo private schools, offering lower tuition fees and proximity to upper-class Dominicans who plan to study abroad. Online applications have been available since Nov. 14, and so far 29 U.S. students have applied (six from New York).

After Return of Refugees, Puerto Rican Migration Resumes

National November 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

While thousands of Puerto Ricans returned to the island after taking refuge in the U.S. following hurricanes Irma and María, new data shows that more are leaving, continuing a longtime depopulation trend, El Nuevo Día reports. Between April and July, 6,910 more people left than came in through the island’s three main airports. The first trimester of 2018, by contrast, offered a net entry of 83,317 people, or 40 percent of the 211,695 who left during the previous hurricane season. According to census estimates, 431,942 people have left Puerto Rico since 2010, and by 2050 the island’s population (at 3.7 million in 2017) could barely top 2 million.

Jamaican Diaspora Summit Convenes in Georgia

National November 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Members of the Jamaican diaspora are meeting today, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 at the Morrow Center in Morrow, Georgia for the Jamaica USA Diaspora Summit, reports Caribbean Today. Dr. Rupert Francis, Wayne Golding and Akelia Maitland are hosting the summit. “Often times our focus is on what is happening in our homeland of Jamaica while it remains clear that as Jamaican diasporans we are not organized enough where we live to exercise any significant power of influence over our future here,” organizers said.

Undocumented Black Migrants, Building a Network

National November 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm

“Undocumented black migrants are building an informal network to help each other navigate their uncertain immigration status in the U.S.,” reports Law at the Margins in a story that’s part of a series called “We the Immigrants” produced by its Community Based News Room. “We are so few that we haven’t built the mass movements that nonblack immigrants have,” says Nekessa Opoti, a Kenyan immigrant who works with UndocuBlack, an organization assisting undocumented black people in the U.S. “Systems don’t work for us, so we rely on each other.”

Colorlines Honors 20 Pursuing Racial Justice

National November 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Marking its 20th anniversary, Colorlines is honoring 20 “transformative leaders who – in the spirit of our mission – use a narrative shift strategy to reimagine what it means to advance racial justice in areas as varied as environmental justice, gender rights, labor, education and religion.” Individuals from investigative reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones to environmental activist Elizabeth Yeampierre to labor organizer Saru Jayaraman to poet-rapper Mona Haydar are profiled by Ayana Byrd, with illustrations by Sinomonde Ngwane. The honorees, writes Kenrya Rankin, “remind us that no matter how dark the tunnel gets, we can always create our own light.”

El Paso Restaurants Will Offer Migrants Food For Free

National November 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Four El Paso, Texas, restaurants (Lunchbox, Delicious Mexican, L&J Café, Carlos & Mickey’s) joined forces to feed thousands of Central American refugees without charging them, El Diario de El Paso reports. The restaurants are collaborating with Annunciation House, a shelter that provides hospitality to reunited families that were detained by ICE. Every week, shelters and local churches receive around 2,000 people, including elderly, children and pregnant women. “These people are really in need… We have the task of responding” to this human emergency, said Martín Ríos, general manager of Lunchbox restaurant.

Pompeo Urged to Restore ‘Visa Fairness’ for Chinese Students

National November 13, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Seventeen members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging him to restore “visa fairness” for Chinese graduate students studying aviation, high-tech manufacturing and robotics at U.S. colleges after the Department of State decided to shorten the duration of these students’ visas from five years to one year. The letter, initiated by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington State and Rep. Judy Chu of California, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, noted that the visa restriction will hurt U.S. interests in the global competition for talent, World Journal reports.

Remembering Estrada, Champion of Hispanic Voting Rights

National November 12, 2018 at 2:02 pm

The California Hispanic community is mourning the recent death of UCLA urban planning teacher and demographer Leobardo Estrada, La Opinión reports. Estrada helped turn the Latino demographic explosion into real political power, working in 1991 with MALDEF to win the lawsuit Garza vs. Los Angeles County, which charged that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors drew districts dividing Latino neighborhoods and diluting their voting power. He later worked on district mapping, paving the way for Latino elected leaders in California and elsewhere. “Leo Estrada’s contribution to civil rights and the minorities’ right to vote is immeasurable,” said Denise Hulett of MALDEF.

All Arab-American Candidates Lose Dearborn School Board Races

National November 9, 2018 at 5:02 pm

In Dearborn, Michigan, none of the five Arab-American candidates for the school board garnered enough votes to win either of the two open seats. The Arab American News assesses the results, writing that the candidates divided the votes and furthermore: “It wasn’t only the immature campaigns of some candidates that contributed to this setback in a city with more than 50 percent Arab American residents, but the political rookies who are playing with the future of the community and the best interests of the city.” Currently, two Arab Americans, Fadwa Hammoud and Hussein Berry, are on the seven-member school board.

Long Island’s Monica Martinez is First Salvadoran-American in State Senate

National November 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

The Long Island Hispanic press hailed Monica Martinez (D–Brentwood), elected the new state senator from the 3rd District, narrowly beating Republican Dean Murray. According to La Tribuna Hispana she is the first Salvadoran-American in the NYS Senate and also the first woman to represent the district. Martinez, 41, was born in El Salvador and raised in Brentwood. The Hispanic community celebrated her victory. “We finally have somebody in the senate who respects the arts and the value of our culture in our community,” Margarita Espada, Puerto Rican artist and owner of Teatro Yerbabruja, told RiverheadLOCAL en Español.

Lawyer Born in Mainland China Elected Judge

National November 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Lawyer Wendy Li was elected civil court judge for Manhattan’s Municipal Court District 2 on Nov. 6, becoming the first elected judge from mainland China. Li said that right after she announced her campaign, she heard murmurs from people in the legal field that she shouldn’t have run because she speaks English with an accent. But she won against another candidate backed by the Democratic Party in the primary. Unopposed in the general election, Li garnered 99.4 percent of the vote, World Journal reports.

Voters of Color and Turnout

National November 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm

In a pre-election analysis The Philadelphia Tribune says voters of color will be “particularly decisive,” depending on turnout. The “non-White” electorate — combined African American, Latinx, Asian and Native American — has grown 5 percentage points since 2008, the paper notes, and key gubernatorial and U.S. Senate election battles, including close races, are in states with the largest Black and Brown population shares. National Action Network’s Rev. Al Sharpton told The Tribune: “This is a life and death election for Black folks. We can’t have a situation where way more of us turned out to see ‘Black Panther’ than turned out to vote.”

Faith in Jewish and Muslim Unity After Tragedy in Pittsburgh

National November 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Soon after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Muslim activists started online campaigns that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, in acts of interfaith solidarity that “ought to be a turning point,” columnist and scholar Hussein Ibish told The Forward. “It’s been evident to thoughtful people for a long time that a Jewish-Muslim partnership — not a dialogue — a partnership is necessary.” He added that if the two communities agree to disagree on the Israel-Palestine conflict, they can find common ground in shared immigrant experiences and religious roots.

Meet Arizona’s Latinx Jewish Candidate

National November 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Alma Hernandez, a first-generation Mexican-American Jewish candidate for Arizona’s state legislature, has been active in local politics since the age of 14. Her race, says Lilith Magazine, “presents a fascinating microcosm of the fraught responses a progressive, Jewish, female, pro-Israel candidate elicits.” Arguing that her community has been underrepresented and ignored, Hernandez “identifies not only with these Mexican roots, but also with her Jewish forebears.” And she says: “I’ve always told people no one can ever tell me I can’t be pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian and progressive. I feel as someone who really, truly cares about people, I can be all three.”

On the Campaign Trail in Georgia

National November 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Sisters Jennifer Macedo-Young, 26, and Jane Macedo-Young, 24, who have a Chinese-Cambodian father and a Mexican mother, have been working in the digital department of the Georgia gubernatorial campaign of African-American Stacey Abrams. Diary entries of their work filming the intensive door-to-door canvassing done by campaign workers can be read in Remezcla. Writes Jane: “We learned that Laquacia is a marine veteran, Angela is a former law enforcement officer, and Elijah is a young man who is currently in the Army Reserve. All our canvassers have really diverse backgrounds, which I think makes a difference when it comes to connecting with voters.”