A Great LA Filmfest on Endangered Species List?

Prakriti Maduro in "Habana Eva."

Ed Rampell: Film lovers and the creative community should stand and deliver to LALIFF so that it can continue to showcase unusual, offbeat Latino movies. Don’t force Olmos to make Zoot Suit II to finance it out of his own pocket. Viva LALIFF!

Meg Whitman: A New Era in California or Just Opportunistic Politics

Meg Whitman

Wais Hassan: Whitman’s Spanish-language makeover in the general election is a major shift from the tone that she struck in the GOP primary, when the challenge from conservative Steve Poizner pushed her to the right on the issue.

The New Know-Nothings

cactus

Berry Craig: Of course, the Republicans – and even the Tea Baggers – would have us belief that their beef is with “illegal” immigrants. But they’re not fooling anybody. Most of these neo-Know Nothings are white people who have a problem with Latinos north of the border, period.

Ozzie Guillen Speaks Truth on Baseball’s Racial Double Standard

ozzie guillen

Randy Shaw: It’s clear that MLB fears that formally recognizing its proliferation of Spanish-speaking players by providing interpreters could cause a backlash from a predominately white male fan base that likely supports Arizona’s anti-Latino law.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Mark Naison

Mark Naison: When my working-class white friends and fellow coaches attacked affirmative action—which they did vociferously and often—it was about preferential treatment that they saw blacks and Latinos getting on the job, especially in the civil service.

Marco Rubio Flipped Wrong on Arizona

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.

Why Sotomayor Shouldn’t Have to Apologize for Being Proud of Her Ancestry

sonia

The First Lady and Sotomayor’s families and communities maintained their dignity, ambition and strength during difficult times. That these women retained their ethnic pride, as did most people in the communities, should not come as a surprise.

Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

unemployment

Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

Kicking Down Doors, Stomping on Rights: New Report Reveals Disturbing Details of ICE Raids

Photo by Richard Vallejo

The researchers also found that the ICE home raids had a negative impact on the local police departments and their ability to do community policing.

Savage Blames Immigrant ‘Gang-Bangers’ For ‘Destroying California’

laborers

Yesterday, Media Matters highlighted statements made by “shock-jock” radio host Michael Savage on his Friday show in which he lashed out at immigrant “gang-bangers” for “destroying California.” Savage, whose inflammatory rhetoric recently got him banned from entering the U.K., vowed that only God himself will shut him up: SAVAGE: The illegals [immigrants] have destroyed the [...]

Immigration Report Highlights Bush Administration’s ‘Flagrant Disregard For Rule of Law’

Marta Granillo cries for her husband, relatives and friends who were being arrested during an ICE raid. (AHMAD TERRY/ ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS)

Two years after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) swept up and detained thousands of workers from six meatpacking plants across the country during one of the nation’s largest immigration raids, a new report released by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) today details how ICE officials terrorized UFCW members under the [...]

Another U.S. Citizen ‘Accidentally’ Deported

Despite her birth in Louisiana, Diane Williams was recently deported to Honduras by the U.S. government.

Earlier this month, U.S. citizen, Irving Palomo, was detained and put in a van headed for Mexico due to an ICE mix-up. A few months ago Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen who suffers from mild retardation, was deported to Mexico. Mexican officials then deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala. After spending [...]

New Jobless Stats: Still “Less Terrible”? Not for Some

dismal-science

The Lex Column in the Financial Times got it right: “… ‘less down’ is now the new ‘up’ as media watchers search for stabilization in the overall market.” The writer was referring to the world of advertising where some analysts were putting a hopeful spin on revenue that fell 18% over the first three months [...]

Affirmative Action the Chicago Way

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Apparently there were no qualified Mexican Americans out of the 600 applicants for the job of Chancellor of the University of California, Davis (UCD). So the Regents, in their wisdom, chose Linda Katehi, a white woman from Illinois. She is eminently qualified to hold the job, we were told when we asked why the Regents [...]

Department of Homeland Security Suspends “Widow Penalty”

Janet Napolitano (UPI Photo/ Phil McCarten)

This week, the Obama administration took another step toward restoring fairness and humaneness to the immigration system.  On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she would grant a two-year reprieve to immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens but did not complete the permanent residency process because their American spouses [...]

Beck Decries ‘Empathy’ For ‘Anchor Baby Thing’

glen_beck

While railing about the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to temporarily halt the deportation of widows and widowers of U.S. citizens, Fox News’ Glenn Beck yesterday slammed “anchor babies,” the U.S.- born children of immigrants, and called for the overturn of the 14th Amendment which grants natural-born citizenship: BECK: You know the anchor baby thing [...]

Civil Rats Are Human Rats!

gettysburgh

I watched the movie Gettysburg again the other day. It is one of my favorites because the producer was a Mexican American and it is about the real reasons why democracy exists. In the movie, there is a scene where a New Hampshire officer is talking to two rebel soldiers. He asks them why they [...]

Prisoners’ Rights: An Oxymoron?

prison

More than 100 people of all races and all ages traveled to Watts from several California counties on Saturday May 30, sharing a single desire: Bring our loved ones homes. They weren’t talking about family members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. These are the families torn apart when someone is sent to prison with an [...]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination: Obama Gives the Nation Another Teaching Moment

sotomayor-gop

President Barack Obama has done a symbolically extraordinary thing by nominating for the first time in U.S. history a person of Latino descent to the Supreme Court. The president has stayed true to the theme of his long campaign when he adopted “Si Se Puede” from the legendary Latina leader, Dolores Huerta. Right-wing talk show [...]

A New Study Reinforces Growing Influence of Second Generation Latinos

Photo by the Danbury Public Library

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that Latino children now make up 22% of all children under the age of 18 in the U.S.—a huge increase from 9% in 1980. A majority of these kids (52%) are “second generation,” meaning that they are the U.S.-born children of at least one foreign-born parent. [...]

Sonia Sotomayor – A “Safe” or Visionary Pick

sotomayor_warren

President Barack Obama has made his imprint on the history of the federal judiciary with the nomination of the first Latina to the United States Supreme Court. Federal Appeals Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was at the top of the President’s “short list” from the time Associate Justice David Souter announced his retirement. There had been [...]

Local Police Report Makes the Case for Federal Enforcement of Immigration Laws

arrest

This week the Police Foundation issued a long awaited report, The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties. The Police Foundation found that because Congress has failed to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have spent more time and resources curbing immigration themselves at the high [...]

Obama’s Controversial Two-Step Moves in Direction of Immigration Reform

Photo by Callie Shell from Time magazine.

After boosting border enforcement, the Obama Administration recently announced that it will also increase funding for a troublesome program started by George W. Bush. The controversial program gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unregulated access to the immigration information of every person in local prisons across the United States. Although Obama may be sending mixed [...]

Obama Budget Not a Replacement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama reflects during a budget meeting in the Roosevelt Room.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

The Obama Administration appears increasingly poised to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform, as promised. Last Thursday, the White House announced budgetary initiatives that signal a change in priorities and pave the way for immigration reform. At the same time, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, testified before the Senate yesterday about her plans to [...]

Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Recruit and Arm Citizens, Neo-Nazis Have His Back

Photo by barjack.

Rather than cleaning up his police department and addressing allegations of racial profiling and discrimination, Arpaio has decided to recruit and arm more Maricopa citizens in the absence of state funds. Back in April, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona voted to postpone the acceptance of $1.6 million from the state to help [...]

Inside Joe Arpaio: Arizona Deputy Calls Him a Disgrace to the Department

sheriff_arpaio

“It ain’t right,” the man with the soft, desert cowboy drawl says slowly into the phone. “These folks are human beings and he treats ‘em like swine. Well, actually, Joe treats everyone who ain’t white and rich like swine.” ”Here in Maricopa County, he thinks it’s a crime to be poor or have brown skin [...]

Anti-Immigrant Hysterics’ Swine Flu Blame-Game Generates Blowback

mexican-swine-flu

Jay Severin, a radical right-wing talk show radio host from Boston, has been indefinitely kicked off the air after making some brazen comments, including calling Mexicans “primitives” and “women with mustaches and VD” who “leech” off the U.S.. More specifically, Boston’s WTKK-FM decided to suspend Jay Severin after the following comments sparked deep concern among [...]

Reflections on May Day

homies-unidos

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! sat down with Alex Sanchez of Homies Unidos and Janis Rosheuvel of Families for Freedom to discuss the nation’s immigration policy, its overall treatment of undocumented immigrants and the impact of the May Day protests in Los Angeles. Alex Sanchez believes the May Day movement has not [...]

Low-Income Latinos and Immigrants Reported “Under Siege” in the South

President Barack Obama, Treasurery Secretary Tim Geitner

This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a new report entitled “Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South.” SLPC report adds to the mounting evidence pointing to the harmful impact that the absence of a functioning immigration system is having on Latinos and immigrant communities. SPLC investigators interviewed and surveyed 500 [...]

Open Veins of Latin America: Obama Should Read It!

Latin-American author Edward Galeano. Image Source: Robert Birnbaum

During the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave President Obama a copy of Open Veins in Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. Few in the American press corps or in the White House staff would have understood the importance of this [...]

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