April 30, 2009
Tonight at Providence’s Trinity Church, the same church where Rep. Gutierrez launched its Comprehensive Immigration Reform tour earlier this year, a state lawmaker is introducing its own version of the Federal Dream Act at the state level.
RI’s state bill is HR 5353(Not called Dream Act at the local level) which will generate state revenue, provide an educated workforce for the local economy, and bring more in-state tuition to RI colleges and universities. Approximately 160 undocumented students graduate every year from RI high schools all across the state, according to Brown’s Immigrant Rights Coalition. The majority of them are unable to attend college because they cannot afford today’s hefty charge for out-of-state tuition and do not qualify for any type of financial aid. Rep. Diaz recognizes the struggle and wasted potential these bright youth represent to the present and future local economy, thus she is reintroducing for the fifth consecutive time legislation to aid this segment of the American student population.
If you are interested to know more details about HR 5353, please visit Rep. Diaz’s website, http://www.gracediaz.com/ .
Let the Dream begin at your local level; get involved TODAY!
April 30, 2009
April 29, 2009
April 28, 2009
Reported By: John Schwartz
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could change the way big banks are regulated.
Mr. Spitzer was attempting to enforce New York’s anti-discrimination laws, but he ran up against federal precedent that tended to leave regulation of national banks to the Treasury Department, and, specifically, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. A consortium of banks sued Mr. Spitzer, and so did the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The banks and federal regulators argued that letting state officials regulate the banks would force the financial institutions to deal with a national patchwork of conflicting regulations. A federal district judge in 2005 and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2007 ruled against New York and for federal regulation.
The fight involves fundamental issues of federalism and consumer protection, and the court’s decision could open new powers of regulation to the states.
Much has changed since Mr. Spitzer began his inquiry. For one thing, he is no longer attorney general; Andrew M. Cuomo has succeeded him. And, at the same time, the nation has been shaken by financial scandal and failure in ways that have led many to question the sagacity and effectiveness of the regulatory structure. A brief filed by the 49 other state attorneys general argues, “The recent (and continuing) fallout from the subprime lending debacle demonstrates the need for more oversight and consumer protection enforcement in the area of mortgage lending.“
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the brief states, “has no experience in enforcing state public protection laws, has a minimal track record in consumer protection, and has no accountability to the citizens of any State,” and its attempt to have exclusive regulatory authority over national banks was part of “a pre-emption agenda” in recent years to take “a wrecking ball” to pro-consumer regulatory efforts.
James E. Tierney, director of the national state attorney general program at Columbia University law school, said the federal regulators’ job is to promote “bank fiscal soundness and not protection of consumers,” and that battling fraud in mortgage lending is something that the state attorneys general have long excelled at. “They got it first,” Mr. Tierney said, “and they got it right.”
A brief filed by all previous Comptrollers of the Currency since 1973, however, takes a different view. The comptroller’s office, according to the brief, works quietly with banks to address consumer issues in a “prophylactic” way, and “uses the wide range of its supervisory powers in an effort to alert national banks of potential non-compliance that poses risks to consumers and to ensure that they are addressed as early as possible.”
The threat of action by the federal regulators, the comptrollers stated, is “a significant incentive for national banks to address any compliance issues before they become serious problems.” And when such gentle measures fail, the comptrollers wrote, the agency “does not hesitate to take aggressive enforcement action against national banks.” The role of the states, they argued, is to pass along information about “possible problems,” leaving enforcement to the federal regulators.
The justices will also hear a case on Tuesday, Forest Grove School District v. T.A., that deals with the question of whether parents can receive reimbursement for private school tuition if their children have never received special education services.
April 27, 2009
April 26, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 24, 2009
President Obama is for our generation of Americans what President Kennedy represented to his generation back in the 60s. Although, when I joined the Peace Corps I wasn't inspired so much by the words of our former head of state, I was more inspired by my own intrinsic curiosity and roots to understand better the world we live in. So I decided that the best part of the world I could serve in , would be in our own hemisphere: Latin America.
After Peace Corps, I went onto grad school in Pittsburgh, there I continued my commitment to public service but at the domestic level as a member of a local Americorps program; while cruising through my first year, I served at a Pittsburgh inner city school as a teacher assistant aiding in Spanish and Technology subjects. The students, teachers, and staff were wonderful. The experience made my stay in Pittsburgh much more pleasant and rewarding during those two rigourous academic years.
Luckily, I also happen to know a Latina friend in DC who happened to be involved, hands on, crafting this legislation on the House side. She's an amazing public servant and I give her props for her amazing work in this line of work.
April 23, 2009
April 22, 2009
Pic by Annie Wells/ LA times
I’m citing the following report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the status of Latino families in the South of the U.S. Check it out for yourself when you have a chance.
Download the whole report here: http://www.splcenter.org/legal/undersiege/UnderSiege.pdf
Here's the Executive Summary:
"In Tennessee, a young mother is arrested and jailed when she asks to be paid for her work in a cheese factory.
In Alabama, a migrant bean picker sees his life savings confiscated by police during a traffic stop.
In Georgia, a rapist goes unpunished because his 13-year-old victim is undocumented.
These are just a few examples of the injustices that confront Latino immigrants as they struggle to gain a foothold in the South.
The region is now home to the fastest growing population of Latinos in the country, many of them lured by the manufacturing and construction jobs created during the economic boom of the 1990s. But many in Dixie aren't treating their new neighbors with any semblance of Southern hospitality.
In fact, Latinos in the South — many of whom came here to escape crushing poverty in their home countries — are encountering widespread hostility, discrimination and exploitation.
They are routinely cheated out of their earnings and denied basic health and safety protections. They are regularly subjected to racial profiling and harassment by law enforcement. They are victimized by criminals who know they are reluctant to report attacks. And they are frequently forced to prove themselves innocent of immigration violations, regardless of their legal status.
This treatment — which many Latinos liken to the oppressive climate of racial subordination that blacks endured during the Jim Crow era — is encouraged by politicians and media figures who scapegoat immigrants and spread false propaganda. And as a result of relentless vilification in the media, Latinos are targeted for harassment by racist extremist groups, some of which are directly descended from the old guardians of white supremacy.
Instead of acting to prohibit and eliminate systematic exploitation and discrimination against Latinos, state and local governments in much of the South have exacerbated the situation. A number of Southern communities, for example, have enacted ordinances designed to limit services to undocumented immigrants and make their lives as difficult as possible, with the ultimate goal of driving them away. In addition, many law enforcement agencies in the South, armed with so-called 287(g) agreements with the federal government, are enforcing immigration law in a way that has led to accusations of systematic racial profiling and has made Latino crime victims and witnesses more reluctant to cooperate with police. Such policies have the effect of creating a subclass of people who exist in a shadow economy, beyond the protection of the law.
The South's immigration explosion began in the 1990s. By 2006, six Southern states (Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) had added 1.6 million Latinos.
Latino workers provided cheap labor to fuel the South's economy — building skyscrapers in Charlotte, harvesting onions in Georgia, slaughtering poultry in Alabama and rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina.
Many of these new arrivals left their homes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and other Latin American countries to escape poverty, which some experts believe has been worsened by U.S. trade policies. Many crossed the border illegally, risking their lives and freedom for opportunity in the United States, while others were originally "imported" by employers under the guestworker system. Many others are legal residents or U.S. citizens, caught in the crossfire of America's war on "illegals."
For this report, Southern Poverty Law Center researchers surveyed 500 low-income Latinos — including legal residents, undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens — at five locations in the South to take the pulse of a community that is being increasingly driven into the shadows by a sweeping anti-immigration movement.
We found a population under siege and living in fear — fear of the police, fear of the government and fear of criminals who prey on immigrants because of their vulnerability.
Many of the difficulties faced by undocumented immigrants are, no doubt, the result of their lack of legal status, which makes them easy prey for unscrupulous employers and puts them at constant risk from law enforcement. But even legal residents and U.S. citizens of Latino descent say that racial profiling, bigotry and myriad other forms of discrimination and injustice are staples of their daily lives.
"The assumption is that every Latino possibly is undocumented," says one immigrant advocate in North Carolina. "So [discrimination] has spread over into the legal population."
Systemic discrimination against Latinos in the region — by both private and public entities — constitutes a civil rights crisis that must be addressed. We offer recommendations for reform at the conclusion of this report."
April 21, 2009
April 20, 2009
April 19, 2009
April 18, 2009
In some ways, I think that President Obama's presidency is a modern reflection compared to the time when President Roosvelt took the first oath of office in the early 30s. Although we are not at the brink of war, we are currently undergoing the most difficult economic time since the Great depression in the U.S. Only a leader like president Obama guided by wisdom, courage, and God can lead us to the right path into a better future.
April 17, 2009
Here's a long awaited new beginning to a different type of engagement, based on mutual respect and equal treatment, between the U.S. and Latin America. Amen to Obama for taking the leadership steps to bring about such important change in relations with the rest of the countries of the hemisphere. God Bless the Americas, the new world.
April 15, 2009
Who are the Tea-baggers?
If you are truly dying to know, please first read the facts on the new administration's tax policy:
Then, visit the republican national committee website to understand who the tea-baggers are:
Oh by the way, the Tea-baggers are so in touch with reality that they also believe that POTUS was not born in U.S. territory. What else can I say...
April 14, 2009
President Barack Obama For Nominating Frank J. Sánchez To Undersecretary Of Commerce For International Trade
Here's a Press release I want to share with you from friends at LULAC:
LULAC Applauds President Barack Obama For Nominating Frank J. Sánchez To Undersecretary Of Commerce For International Trade
Sánchez served as a Policy Advisor on Latin America to the Obama and chairman of the National Leadership Council in Obama's presidential campaign.
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, is elated over the nomination of Frank J. Sánchez to be Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in Obama Administration.
“Frank Sánchez brings valuable experience and background to the position,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “This appointment would give him a key role in U.S. trade policy. The undersecretary for international trade oversees four divisions and more than 1,000 employees in trade offices in 85 countries. Frank is no stranger to LULAC and has been involved with the organization for over 10 years.”
In 1999, he became a Special Assistant to the President of the United States working in the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas. He worked with the National Security Council, the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative on Western Hemisphere economic integration and the promotion of democracy.
President Clinton later appointed Mr. Sánchez as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation where he developed aviation policy and oversaw international negotiations. Prior to his work in the federal government and before joining a Cambridge, Massachusetts based consulting company, he practiced corporate and administrative law with the firm of Steel, Hector and Davis in Miami, Florida.
Before practicing law, he served in the administration of former Florida Governor and former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, as the first director of the state’s Caribbean Basin Initiative Program.
At CNS, Mr. Sánchez works with corporations and governments worldwide on complex transactions, labor-management negotiations, litigation settlement, negotiation strategy, alliance management, facilitation and training.
Among his public-sector engagements, Mr. Sánchez headed a team in Medellín, Colombia as part of a “Teaching Tolerance” program; an initiative to break the cycle of violence plaguing the country. More than 300 teachers and community leaders were trained in conflict resolution techniques. He also advised the president of Ecuador in negotiations to settle the 56-year-old border dispute with Peru.
He is a contributing author to Negociación 2000, a collection of essays on negotiation published by McGraw-Hill. He has also taught negotiation at the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School.
A Florida native, Mr. Sánchez attended the University of Florida, received his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The League of United Latin American Citizens advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.
April 11, 2009
April 10, 2009
April 09, 2009
It seems like the issue of immigration reform would be stirred again in the national policy arena. Let's hope this time around the debate is not poisoned or controlled by a few extreme angry voices on one side of the aisle. Last time, all they did (a small minority of them, you know who you are…) raised high emotions among the population with sound bytes of fear and hostility which brought a level of nonsense and hostility in the American population toward poor illegal immigrants. In my opinion, it was not fair that a few voices, strategically positioned, pointed the finger at poor illegal immigrants as the escape goat for all the ills in America. This was simply dumb and deceitful just like the Iraq war. It was sold very well to the American people. And the worst is you bought it!
I have to bow to them because they did a great strategic job to kill any hope of immigration reform back then. As far as I know, these undocumented workers did not have the financial investment certifications that are needed to work on Wall Street—that’s where the real blame is and who caused the debacle of the strongest economy on earth. Please don’t let them fool you again this time to believe that poor illegal immigrants are the ill to America’s economic crisis. That is a pure BS sold to people in a simple way.
There are many pros and cons to the issue you should learn about to be able to come up with an educated position. I suggest every person out there who cares about it should research it thoroughly for yourself and make up your own mind. Simply being persuaded by the media and sensational newscasters is an insult to your intelligence. I warn you immigration is not a simple issue to digest once you research it thoroughly; it is not a simple issue where you just allow a number of foreigners (No matter where they come from) to enter or not enter this country. Immigration is much more complex and is interrelated principally to our national economy, national security, and our history, among others. It goes beyond simple perceptions and generalizations. You can’t cover everyone with the same blanket as a matter of sound national policy. So don’t let angry mongers from neither side persuade you on how to resolve on the issue of immigration reform.
I’m sure you are asking, well you are a Latino/Hispanic, so I know where you stand… Well, believe me, along with millions of others too, we do not like to be defined by society solely on the immigration issue— as if it was the only issue on our minds! It is not the number one issue on our minds as far as I'm concerned. There are plenty of other issues such as healthcare, education, the economy, foreign affairs, gas prices, sex life, and so on and so forth, which we mainly care about in our lives. Our issues are American issues at large; impacting all of US. However, I must say I do know that immigration stirs within my community a sense of the American value we have come to learn as the new kid on the block—fair treatment— because for many of us (La tía todavía sigue indocumentada y necesita ayuda) and we as Latinos/Hispanics, value Family immensely. This is just who we are and what makes us unique as a culture and we have brought it to share it with the rest of America; along with the salsa, merengue, bachata, tacos, empanadas, hot looking people, so on and so forth you already know. We want to make sure that the tía gets a fair shake in the system given that we have assimilated and understand it better as the newest kid on the block. Consequently, for many of us, do care a lot about the issue in the sense that we will stand up to make sure that the tía/ tío is heard.
I invite you to listen to prominent people in our society, by most part these are Americans very well respected in the public eye, who have been recorded publicly talking about how to resolve the immigration issue. I will post videos of them from now on, different perspectives so you realize how complex it is, Remember, my intention for doing this is not to persuade you to agree or disagree with my stance on the issue, actually immigration is not the number one issue on my radar. Whatever your stance is I respect it just as you should respect mine. Rather this is just another educational tool to understand better what promises to be another hot debated issue coming up in the halls of power. Please see below the first video by former President Bill Clinton addressing the issue during a private gathering.
Thanks for reading.
April 08, 2009
Jean Bonner teaches fourth-graders last month at Middleburg Elementary in suburban Washington.
Yet the new arrivals resulted in only a modest increase in the individual schools' racial and ethnic diversity, the study said.
"The school districts look like they are more diverse, but within your school districts, if the whites are in one school, the blacks in a different school and the Hispanics in yet a different school, it doesn't necessarily mean the suburban whites have more black and Hispanic classmates -- because they don't go to the same school," said Richard Fry, senior research associate at the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, who wrote the report.
Using federal government data, Fry found that minority students made up 99 percent of the increase in suburban school enrollment between the 1993-94 and 2006-07 school years.
During that time, the student body at the nation's suburban schools went from 72 percent white to 59 percent white; from 12 percent black to 15 percent black; from 11 percent Hispanic to 20 percent Hispanic; and from 5 percent Asian to 6 percent Asian.
The diversity, however, is not reflected at the individual school level. For example, in 2006-07, the typical white suburban student attended a school whose student body was 75 percent white, down from 83 percent white in 1993-94, Fry wrote.
"So at a time when the white share of student enrollment in suburban school districts was falling by 13 percentage points, the exposure of the typical white suburban student to minority students in his or her own school was growing by a little more than half that much -- or 8 percentage points," the report said.
But Latino suburban students tended to become more segregated over the same time period -- in 2006-07, the typical such student was in a school that was 49 percent Latino, versus 42 percent Latino in 1993-94. Suburban schools accounted for most of the change in demographics, according to the study, accounting for two-thirds of the 5.1 million increase in the number of students nationwide over that time period.
City schools tended to be more segregated than their suburban counterparts, the study said, with the typical urban black student attending a school with 60 percent black enrollees; and the typical Latino student attending a school with 63 percent Latino enrollment.
Minority students in rural areas and in towns tended to be more exposed to whites than were their suburban counterparts.
The typical black student in a town or rural area attended a school where whites composed 47 percent of the student body and blacks 44 percent. The typical Latino student in a town or rural area attended a school where whites made up 43 percent of the student body, and Latinos made up 47 percent.
Asians in suburban schools saw only a slight uptick in isolation -- from 23 percent Asian to 24 percent Asian over the time period.
However, "white students aren't going to school with as many black and Hispanic students as the aggregate school district enrollment numbers indicate," Fry said in a telephone interview.
School diversity has long been considered an important marker of racial equality in education.
"When students of different racial/ethnic backgrounds do not attend the same schools, the potential exists that they also may not attend the same type of schools, i.e., schools of similar quality and level of resources," Fry wrote. "Racial differences in school quality ... cannot exist if schools are racially balanced."
The study identified the nation's most-segregated suburban school district as Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview 89 School District in suburban Chicago, Illinois, based on its "dissimilarity index" of 0.79.
That index means that 79 percent of the district's minority students would have to be moved to different schools in order for the schools' student bodies to mirror the ethnic makeup of the surrounding population, he said.
The 0.74 figure for suburban Atlanta, Georgia's, DeKalb County means "you would have to move about three-quarters of DeKalb County's black students to a different school" in order to get racial balance, he said.
Calls to school superintendents in both districts were not immediately returned.
"The suburbs seem to have grown a lot more diverse," Fry concluded. "The place you'd expect to see it is among kids. But when you actually look at where kids go to school, it's not clear that white kids are going to school with a whole bunch more different classmates than they used to -- a little bit more, but not as much as the aggregate measures would suggest."
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April 07, 2009
Success! 36 US Senators including Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) Sign Dodd/Corker Letter to Senators Leahy (VT) and Gregg (NH)
Thank you for making a difference. In some cases even one letter or phone call led to a signature.
Thirty-six senators including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (IL), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry (MA), Chair of the Veteran Affairs committee, Senator Daniel Akaka (HI), Chair of Armed Services committee, Senator Carl Levin (MI), Ranking Member of the select committee on Intelligence, Senator Kit Bond (MO), and Chair of the Health, Education, and Labor committee, Senator Edward Kennedy (MA), signed the Dodd (CT)/Corker (TN) letter urging Senators Patrick Leahy (VT) and Judd Gregg (NH) to provide robust funding to Peace Corps in FY 2010.
This is a big step forward and a credit to the time you devoted to making phone calls and writing letters. Special thanks to Ben Weingrod and Stacie Oliver in Senators Dodd and Corker’s offices. The letter is now closed, but you should continue pressuring your Senators to support $450 m. to Peace Corps in FY 2010. The subcommittee could meet as early as May 2009 to begin deciding Peace Corps’ budget!
Please Help Pass the Peace Corps Expansion Act 2009 (HR 1066) – 96 Congressmen/women so far. Can we get to 218?
You are making a difference. Please keep pushing co-sponsorship of HR 1066!
Congressman Sam Farr (CA-17, Colombia 64-66) introduced the Peace Corps Expansion Act 2009 on February 13, 2009 with 40 co-sponsors, and today it has nearly 100! We must pass this short and sweet bill which calls for $450, $600, and $750 m. to Peace Corps in FY 2010, 2011, and 2012. Just yesterday, the 96th endorsement on this Bill came from Illinois-10 Congressman Mark Steven Kirk, a Republican member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Peace Corps.
How can you help? Click here now to see if your representative has signed on! Then, go to our website and follow the easy steps we’ve laid out OR, call 877 851-6437 and ask to be connected to your rep and urge him or her to co-sponsor HR 1066. Questions? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
There are 40 members of Congress who signed the Dear Colleague letter urging $450 million in FY 2010 but who have not yet co-sponsored the Peace Corps Expansion Act 2009. If you are a constituent or have contact with any of our supporters on this list , please ask them to take the next step and co-sponsor this important legislation. If we could get these 40, we would be up to 136 co-sponsors! This would be hard for the appropriations subcommittee members to ignore! Go to list.
April 06, 2009
April 04, 2009
April 03, 2009
What an answer! Not just from a President, but it is an undeniable truth. His words, "There is nothing more noble than public service" it is at the heart of being a Human. The mere satisfaction in bringing joy to peoples' lives is what is intrinsic rewarding and something that no one can ever match or take away from you.
I tried; I did, and I believe.
Thank you Mr. President!
April 02, 2009
Copyright Law Center: News Headlines: Copyright Law News: Google, music labels launch China download service
Posted using ShareThis
April 01, 2009
Anyway, I hear they are in need of hiring GOOD lawyers! And for all my peeps who are in that industry, they're looking for talented, qualified, "minorities" to represent the govt.
Vaya con Dios!
Thanks for Visiting
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