National

Undocumented Salvadoran Gains Status Thanks to 1997 Law

National October 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm

José Ignacio Zepeda, who survived a kidnapping and a bombing during the El Salvador civil war (1980-1992), gained legal status in the U.S. last month thanks to the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), passed in 1997, after being undocumented for 18 years without knowing that he wasRead More

‘Hugs Not Walls’ in El Paso

National October 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm

The next “Hugs Not Walls” event in El Paso, at which families separated by the U.S.-Mexico border meet in a neutral spot along the Rio Grande, is being moved to another location due to border wall construction work, El Diario de El Paso reports. The sixth edition will move from Barrio Chihuahuita to the Anapra-Sunland Park border stop, where the Border Patrol will allow families to meet for three minutes. “This might be the last event, or maybe not, but we will keep fighting to keep ‘Hugs Not Walls’ going,” said Fernando García, director of Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR).

Double Punishment: Families Drive Hours to ICE Jails

National October 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm

The case of Adriana Santiago Mendel, 35, a mother of three placed by ICE in a private detention center 400 miles from her home in Sacramento, highlights a particular burden for many immigrant families, reports La Opinión. Her husband Agustín Sánchez must drive for six hours with his children to briefly see her in court hearings. “Coming from Sacramento to South California is expensive,” said Sánchez. “On my first trip I spent $1,500 to $1,700 because I rented two vans to bring 30 people to testify in court in favor of Adriana.”

Puerto Rico Mayors Prepare For the Next Disaster without Government Help

National October 10, 2018 at 11:04 am

After the disastrous experience with Hurricane María, Puerto Rican mayors are saying they’ll have to prepare for future weather emergencies individually, reports El Nuevo Día. With hurricane season in full swing, the local agency in charge of managing emergencies (NMEAD) has cancelled meetings, and instead of the eight employees it is supposed to have, it has four. “I’m thinking that this town is on its own. If the central government help arrives, then great, and the same for FEMA,” said Félix “el Cano” Delgado, mayor of Cataño. But “it would be irresponsible” to count on that, he said.

California Pro-Immigrant Group Seeks to Engage Low-Propensity Voters

National October 10, 2018 at 10:58 am

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the CHIRLA Action Fund, writes La Opinión, are launching a campaign to get out the vote among 216,000 “low-propensity voters” such as immigrants, with recommendations for several propositions on the California ballot on Nov. 6. Diana Colín, civic engagement director at CHIRLA, said that political parties spend money on TV rather than trying to reach immigrant or Latino voters. “Those TV ads only confuse our community which needs somebody to call them on the phone, to knock on their door and explain the process. You need to gain their trust.”

LA Nonprofit Naturalizes 1,000 New US Citizens

National October 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm

The Los Angeles-based nonprofit Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM) announced that it has achieved its goal of naturalizing 1,000 new U.S. citizens in time to vote in the next election, La Opinión reports. The campaign started in February and, with the help of churches, media personalities, schools and elected officials, has targeted mostly older immigrants who have been legal residents for more than 30 years. “The Trump administration’s pressure on immigrants is what prompted them to take the step of becoming citizens,” said COFEM’s Francisco Moreno.

Boosting the Puerto Rican Diaspora Vote in Florida

National October 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

The nonprofit Boricua Vota wants to register voters among the Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida and other U.S. states, to boost the electoral power of Puerto Ricans and make representatives in Congress more attuned to the needs of the island. Boricua Vota president Jimmy Torres Vélez estimates that 1.2 million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, and as many as 700,000 could register to vote. He believes they should emulate the Cuban community, which has three U.S. representatives and three senators. “It’s our time to organize our vote, that we give this election a Boricua flavor and start talking about our real problems.”

Osaka Cuts Ties with SF Over Comfort Women Memorial

National October 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm

A year ago, San Francisco unveiled its Comfort Women Memorial, the first such statue in an American city to memorialize the sex slaves forced to serve Japanese soldiers during WWII. On Oct. 2, the mayor of the Japanese city of Osaka wrote to the mayor of San Francisco to end the sisterhood between the two cities in retaliation. People who have been fighting for justice for the comfort women in San Francisco called the Osaka mayor a coward, reports Sing Tao Daily.

Trump’s Wall Further Divides Sister Cities across Border

National October 4, 2018 at 3:37 pm

The construction of a big wall replacing an aging fence in El Paso’s Barrio Chihuahuita, opposite Juarez across the border with Mexico, is further separating two sister cities accustomed to coexisting for a long time. Some residents watched incredulously as 18-feet bollards, part of President Trump’s campaign promise, started to dominate the landscape, El Diario de El Paso reports. “Now the city’s image is going to change radically,” said Alfonso Cifuentes. Other residents of the Texas border town expressed hope that the new wall will stop the flow of undocumented immigrants who often use private homes’ backyards to hide from the border patrol.

The Native Vote in Six Races

National October 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

Indian Country Today explores how the Native vote could tip the scales in Senate rates in North Dakota, Arizona, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin. In Minnesota, competing for lieutenant governor are two Native Americans who are bringing in new voters. In North Dakota, where 6 percent of voters are Native voters, some were disappointed in Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for “her failures to lead” during the Dakota Access Pipeline debate. And in Arizona, Native voters could make a difference in the race to succeed Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

Chinese Journalists on Being Pioneers

National October 2, 2018 at 12:31 pm

On the 50th anniversary of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a major rights organization in San Francisco, a group of the earliest Asian reporters to break into mainstream media recalled an era when the media was predominantly white. Christopher Chow, the first Chinese reporter of KPIX Channel 5, said that the first time he went on the air in 1970 the entire TV station worried that viewers would switch channels immediately. The World Journal reports on the anniversary event.

In Michigan, 20 Years of Arabic Instruction

National October 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Schools in Dearborn, MI have been teaching Arabic language and culture since the late 1990s, and more than 70 students have graduated who are literate in both English and Arabic, reports Arab American News. Language and cultures “are very important and inseparable,” said public school teacher Nabila Hammami. But parents still send their children to weekend language schools to emphasize grammar.

As Child Poverty Rates Soar, Puerto Rico Asks for Federal Help

National October 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm

El Nuevo Día reports urgent requests for relief funds following the release of a study highlighting conditions for children post-Hurricane María. At a recent meeting of experts organized by the Institute of Youth Development, economist María Enchautegui of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) said the government of Puerto Rico’s recovery plan did not even mention children.

Blockchain & Pan-African Independence

National October 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Attendees at the Black Blockchain Summit explored how to use the new technology for financial independence. “None of the forums at the blockchain centers in New York and San Francisco are diverse,” Cleve Mesidor, founder of LOGOS, a social platform for blockchain activists, told the The Washington Informer. “This event brought Africans on the continent to connect with Black Americans.”