Latino Voices

Latino Voices

SHUTDOWN AVERTED WITH SHORT-TERM FUNDING BILL THROUGH FEB. 8: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE FUNDING RESTORED, BUT NOT PROTECTION FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Both houses of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government, but only until February 8th

The compromise measure includes six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program which had expired at year’s end.  But Democrats failed to win Dream Act protection from deportation for young immigrants or Dreamers, settling on a mere promise from Republican  Majority Mitch McConnell to address the issue in a separate immigration bill with no guarantee of passage.

EDITORIAL: BORDER PATROL AGENTS SABOTAGING WATER BOTTLES IN DESERT SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEATHS OF MIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A new report by humanitarian organizations  reveals that Border Patrol agents  have been systemically destroying water bottles left in desert areas for undocumented immigrants in the Arizona desert, condemning people to die of thirst.  While its unknown if this is occurring in California, this article in Britain’s The Guardian hit home for me in a visceral way, reminding me of an experience that brought me to tears.

On the 4th of July In 2008, I rode alongwith Border Angels founder Enrique Morones. We discovered sabotage of water bottles his group had left in rugged locations--all slashed open, empty. My article, Dying to Come to America, was published in our very first edition of East County Magazine. Morones vividly described what it is like for people to die of dehydration – hallucinating, throwing off clothes and shoes. We saw the signs of this torment – a woman’s high-heeled shoe cast aside, a man’s crumpled shirt.  The heat was triple digits.

I went along to learn about experiences faced by people so desperate to come to America that they rely on water left by benevolent strangers to survive. I learned that coyotes, or human traffickers, often lie to the migrants, telling them it's just a short walk to freedom; some women dressed up to meet their husbands are unaware of the dangers. I choked up, imagining their pain. My story included photos of those slashed water bottles and graves of people--some so very young--who died crossing East County's rugged border mountains in their failed quest to find freedom.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO ARREST LEADERS OF SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Leaders of sanctuary cities and states could be arrested and charged with crimes, Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security told Senators in a committee meeting Tuesday.

CALIF. COURT ISSUES NATIONWIDE INJUNCTION TO PROTECT DREAMERS

 

 

Attorney General Becerra helps secure victory for Dreamers as court blocks implementation of Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA until a final decision is reached in the litigation

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2018 (Sacramento) – A California court has issued a nationwide injunction to temporarily protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, before a Trump administration order forces them to be deported. Trump rolled back DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order issued by Barack Obama.

Congress is grappling with legislation that could permanently protect the Dreamers. But  the clock is ticking. President Trump has indicated he is open to a bill to protect the Dreamers, but only if it also includes funding for a border wall.  While Democrats and some Republicans support protection for dreamers, hard liners in the Republican Party oppose it and its unclear whether Democrats would back billions to build a border wall.

CHILDREN'S GROUPS PRESS LAWMAKERS TO PASS DREAM ACT

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo: Avid Creative

January 4, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Almost 250 California businesses and children's groups have sent a joint letter to the state's members of Congress, urging them to pass the Dream Act, which would give certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children a work permit and a path to citizenship.

ACLU TO MONITOR WILDFIRE VICTIMS' RIGHTS

 

Social service agencies are required by law to provide disaster-related assistance without asking for information or documents

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As wildfires rage in Southern California this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties is on alert to protect the rights of fire victims in this region.

GROUPS PROTEST DECISION TO REVOKE PROTECTED IMMIGRATION STATUS

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  About 3,000 Nicaraguan legal immigrants will become undocumented by January 2019 unless Congress acts to give them permanent legal status. Photo via Pixabay.

November 8, 2017 (Sacramento) - Latino groups are speaking out against the decision by the Trump administration on Monday to end legal status for some people from Central America who were given temporary protected status over the past two decades.

60 TO 80% OF MIGRANT WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE RAPED ON WAY TO U.S., STUDIES FIND, BUT TRUMP ADMINSTRATION BLOCKS ABORTIONS FOR DETAINEES

 

Federal judge rules action violates Constitutional rights of detained immigrants

By Miriam Raftery

October 19, 2017 (San Diego) – A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the Trump administration has violated the rights of a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant detained in Texas by refusing to allow her to have an abortion.  The Trump administration has appealed.  “Failure to comply with this order may result in a finding of contempt,” wrote D.C. Circuit Judge Tanya Chutkan.

A DREAMER’S NIGHTMARE

 

By Vinny Lavalsiti and Matthew Ochoa, reprinted with permission from The Summit at Grossmont College

Images: property of The Summit and Grossmont College's Graphic design program

October 10, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Martha Amezcua was nine when she came to the United States, and she didn't know a lick of English, creating a hefty language barrier between her and her classmates once she enrolled in school. Her silence, because of the language barrier, led to a lot bullying.

ICE THREATENS CRACKDOWN ON IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AFTER GOVERNOR SIGNS “SANCTUARY STATE” BILL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2017 (San Diego) — Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 54, the “sanctuary state” measure aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants in California. In his signing statement, Brown says, “These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”

WORRIED ABOUT VIOLENT CRIME? MOVE TO A BORDER CITY

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a San Diego Online News Association member

Photo:  Crime scene tape, courtesy FBI

October 1, 2017 (San Diego) - Do headlines on Fox, Breitbart and Drudge about immigrant crime scare you? Do you want to move to safety? Then consider relocating to a big city near the Mexican border.

It turns out that San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and San Antonio have crime rates well below the average for their size, and the two cities located right on the border have the lowest crime rates of the group.

SUPERVISORS BAN WEAPONS AT BORDER WALL PROTESTS AS CONSTRUCTION OF PROTOTYPES BEGINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Existing border fence in Campo

September 27, 2017 (San Diego) – Construction of eight border wall prototypes, each costing up to a half million dollars, is now underway in Otay Mesa.  After testing of alternative materials and designs built here, President Donald Trump aims to erect a wall along the entire U.S.- Mexico border at a cost of some $60 billion.  But it is unclear why San Diego was chosen for the prototypes and many local officials have raised concerns.

OVER 200 DEAD IN MEXICO CITY EARTHQUAKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Policia Federal Mexico via Twitter

September 20, 2017 (San Diego) – A powerful 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City yesterday, 32 years to the day that a 1985 quake killed 9,500 people and destroyed 100,000 homes in Mexico City.  Since then, the city has made major efforts to improve earthquake safety standards.

TIJUANA, SAN DIEGO'S SISTER CITY

 

 

HAVING FUN IN TIJUANA: A Day Tripper’s Guide, by Sam Warren (Bookwarren Publishing, San Diego, California, 2017, 14 pages.)

Book Review by Dennis Moore

September 15, 2017 (Tijuana) - Sam Warren, the founder of SDWriteway, an online magazine in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, has written the indispensable guide to navigating through Tijuana, Mexico, and enjoying it; Having Fun In Tijuana: A Day Tripper’s Guide.

CALIFORNIA SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DACA REPEAL

 

State joined by Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine in lawsuit standing up for Dreamers

East County News Service

September 11, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, joined by the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland and Maine, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA). The four States filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California arguing that the Trump Administration violated the Constitution and federal laws when it rescinded DACA.

ARTIST DRAWS NATIONAL ATTENTION WITH CHILD MURAL AT BORDER FENCE IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2017 (Tecate) – “The history of humanity is the story of people migrating,” French artist JR posted on his Twitter feed.

Drawing attention to the plight of innocent children denied entry to, or facing expulsion from the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s tough policies, JR erected a 70-foot-tall mural titled Kikito. It depicts a one-year-old boy peeking over the border fence in Tecate, visible from the U.S. side of the border in San Diego’s East County.

COLLEGE STUDENT LEARNED SHE WASN’T A CITIZEN

 

By Iveth Estrada, provided by Grossmont Community College District

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World

September 11, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Iveth Estrada didn’t know she was an undocumented immigrant until shortly before she enrolled at Cuyamaca College. She didn’t know while growing up with her family in Spring Valley. She didn’t know while competing with the varsity swim and water polo teams at Monte Vista High School.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON UNLAWFUL REPEAL OF DACA PROGRAM

 

Source: University of California

Photo: UC President Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security

September 8, 2017 (San Francisco) --The University of California today filed suit in federal court against the Trump administration for wrongly and unconstitutionally violating the rights of the University and its students by rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on “nothing more than unreasoned executive whim.”

MEXICO BATTERED BY 8.1 EARTHQUAKE, TSUNAMI AND A HURRICANE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2017 (San Diego) – An 8.1 earthquake has struck Mexico off the west coast near Chiapas and Oaxaca overnight, killing at least several dozen people though that count is expected to rise dramatically.  The quake, the strongest in a century to hit Mexico, and aftershocks are triggering tsunamis, one measuring 3 foot already and potential of waves up to 10 feet tall, CNN reports:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/08/americas/earthquake-hits-off-the-coast-of-southern-mexico/index.html

Many more fatalities and major economic loss are expected, the U.S. Geologic Survey predicts:  https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us2000ahv0#executive

Meanwhile Mexico’s east coast is awash in heavy rains and strong winds from Hurricane Katia , a category 1 hurricane off Veracruz.  A hurricane warning is in effect for Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde.

LOCAL, NATIONAL REACTIONS TO TRUMP’S REPEAL OF DACA

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- After the Trump administration announced repeal of DACA,  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the nation to rally in support of protecting the dreamers, young people brought to the U.S. as children by undocumented parents.  Those young people now face deportation under President Trump’s executive order, unless Congress takes action within six months to protect them.

TRUMP ENDS DACA, CONGRESS HAS SIX MONTHS TO SAVE DREAMERS FROM DEPORTATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Joan Creighton Little, via Facebook

Updated Sept. 10 to include comments from Rep. Duncan Hunter and candidate Josh Butner.

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has announced he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields young people brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. But he gave Congress six months to pass legislation to change that, leaving an estimated 800,000 “dreamers” in limbo, fearful of being sent back to homelands that some don’t even remember, places where dangers caused many of their families to flee and seek safety in the U.S.

TRUMP ANNOUNCES CONTRACTORS TO BUILD BORDER WALL PROTOTYPES IN SAN DIEGO, SHIFTS FUNDS FROM FEMA MEANT FOR DISASTER RELIEF

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Department of Homeland Security

September 4, 2017 (San Diego) – Homeland Security in Thursday announced four companies chosen to build prototypes of a border wall in the Otay Mesa area in San Diego. President Donald Trump has threatened a government shut down if Congress won’t fund subsequent construction of a wall along most of the international U.S.-Mexico border in an upcoming spending bill. 

SAN DIEGO LAWMAKERS BLAST “CRUELTY” OF TRUMP’S PLAN TO END DACA

 

By Chris Jennewein

Originally published by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo: An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer escorts a suspected undocumented immigrant. Courtesy ICE

September 4, 2017 (San Diego) -- A new report that President Trump plans to end protection from deportation for 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children drew sharp criticism from San Diego elected officials.

ICE DEPLOYS TEAMS TO HELP IN HURRICANE RESCUES, SAYS IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT WON’T BE DONE AT EVACATION CENTERS OR OTHER SITES HELPING VICTIMS

 

Source:  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

August 31, 2017 (San Diego) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deployed approximately 200 law enforcement personnel from Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and Special Response Teams (SRTs) around the country, including San Diego, to provide security for search and rescue teams and to assist with search and rescue operations in Southeast Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey. 

GOV. BROWN: CALIFORNIA MAY SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER “SANCTUARY CITIES” FUNDING CUT

 

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

Photo: Screenshot, Governor Jerry Brown on NBC Meet the Press

August 7, 2017 (Sacramento) - Gov. Jerry Brown said California may sue the Trump administration over its threat to cut federal funding from cities that refuse to comply with the federal immigration crackdown.

HOUSE PASSES BILLS TO BLOCK FUNDS FOR SANCTUARY CITIES AND STATES, RAISE PENALTIES FOR ENTERING U.S. AFTER MULTIPLE DEPORTATIONS OR CONVICTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Pro-immigration protest in Washington D.C.

July 1, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed House Resolutions 3003 and 3004, measures aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants.  The measures, which punish sanctuary cities and states by withholding key funds, also boost penalties for certain immigrants who reenter the U.S. illegally after being deported three or more times. 

THREE ARRESTED FOR IMPERSONATING FEDERAL AGENTS, SCAMMING IMMIGRANTS OUT OF $6 MILLION

 

 

By Jordan Damond

June 9, 2017 (San Diego) -- Three individuals, including one from East County,  were arrested July 7th for impersonating Homeland Security officers and trying to charge immigrants substantial  amounts of money in exchange for legal immigration documents that they never provided.

Two of the scam artists were ex-employees who had not worked in the Department of Homeland Security since at least 2014. They stole approximately $6,000,000 in total from over 150 victims through this scheme according to The United States Attorney’s office in San Diego.

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