Latino Voices

Latino Voices

LATINO POLICYMAKERS CONVERGE AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO JUNE 26-28

 

 

Largest gathering of Latino policymakers in nation: speakers include CA Gov. Jerry Brown, CA Attorney General Kamala Harris and Mexican Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora

 

May 22, 2014 (San Diego) – Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and less than five months before the upcoming midterm elections, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) will assemble the largest gathering of Latino policymakers in the country for NALEO’s 31st annual conference June 26-28 at Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego.

This year’s conference will feature more than 1,000 Latino public officials and supporters from communities across the country.  Conference participants will join policy leaders for panel discussions on various issues on the national agenda, including immigration reform, education (with an emphasis on STEM), healthcare, voting rights, Latina political leadership, U.S.-Mexico bi-national issues, water, pensions and an in-depth overview of the influence of Latinos in the upcoming midterm elections.  The program will also include a track specifically designed for newly elected officials.

In addition, national leaders will join NALEO for a special plenary on June 26 that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by addressing the evolution and future of the civil rights movement for Latinos and all Americans. 

JAIME CAMIL'S 200 CARTAS, COMEDY OPENS FRIDAY! (APRIL 18 - 24)

 

April 17, 2014 (San Diego) – This is the one-year anniversary of the Digital Gym Cinema, the only venue in San Diego where you can watch the best in Latino film every month. Starting this Friday, 200 Cartas, the gut-busting comedy starring Jaime Camil and former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, will be back in San Diego for a very special one-week engagement of one of the highest-grossing films of San Diego Latino Film Festival's history!

BORDER PATROL ASKS PUBLIC TO BE ON ALERT FOR ULTRALIGHT AIRCRAFT

 

April 13, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Drug smugglers have been using ultralight aircraft to smuggle narcotics over the border.  The U.S. Border Patrol asks the public to report sightings of suspicious ultralight aircraft.

BORDER PATROL AGENT SHOOTS, KILLS MAN AFTER BEING STRUCK IN FACE BY A ROCK

 

Updated February 24, 2014 with identities of agent and suspect

February 18, 2014 (Otay)—A U.S. Border Patrol agent who was struck by a thrown rock shot and killed Jesus Flores-Cruz, 43 , who died at the scene.  The shooting occurred at 6:40 this morning in the White Cross area of the Otay Mountain Range. The identity of the deceased, who sustained two gunshot wounds, was confirmed by comparing fingerprints from a 1996 arrest by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

According to San Diego Sheriff Homicide Lt. Glenn Giannatonio, the agents were attempting to detain a group of suspected illegal aliens.  “The two agents were out of sight of each when one of the agents was struck in the face by a rock thrown by one of the suspects. Fearing for his safety, the agent fired,” he said, adding that the agent suffered minor injuries.

BORDER PATROL RESPONDS TO TARGET SHOOTING CONTROVERSY

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) issued a press release last week headlined “Disturbing images show border agents encouraging children to shoot at migrant effigy.”

 In response, U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Rosario “Pete” Vasquez called statements in that release “unfortunate and false propaganda.”

DEPORTATIONS UP, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONTENDS

 

Critics dispute administration figures

By Miriam Raftery

January 26, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The Obama administration is on track to deport over 2 million people, according to a new report from the University of California-Merced.  That’s about the same number deported under the Bush administration, but more than the U.S. deported during over a century from the late 1890s to the late 1990s.

On average, those deported had lived in the U.S. for 14 years, leading to concerns that the Criminal Alien Program is tearing apart families.  A quarter of all people deported since mid-2010 are parents with children in the U.S., including parents of American citizens, the report concludes.

U.S. CITIZEN DIES IN BORDER PATROL CUSTODY IN PINE VALLEY

 

January 1, 2013 (Pine Valley ) – Steven Brian Keith, 58, died in a holding cell on Christmas morning shortly after midnight  after being detained for possession of three pounds of marijuana at a Border Patrol checkpoint near Pine Valley.  A pipe with methamphetamine traces was also found in the trunk.

According to the County Medical Examiner, Keith was found unresponsive in his holdng cell. Paraemedics were summoned and CPR was initiated, but he failed to respond.

POT DROPS: SMUGGLERS BUSTED WITH ULTRA-LIGHT AIRCRAFT

 

November 28, 2013 (San Diego)-- Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) and the Border Patrol interrupted a drug smuggling attempt involving air drops of marijuana bales from  an ultra-light aircraft Monday.  Authorities seized over 260 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $157,000. Two suspects were arrested, said Mary Beth Caston with the Border Patrol.

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WANT ANSWERS ON BORDER PATROL ABUSES

 

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – This week, led by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), 20 members of Congress wrote to the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting a meeting to discuss the agency's use of force policies.

Their letter (see below) comes a week after it was reported that CBP has elected not to implement a key recommendation made by the Police Executive Research Forum.  The widely respected law enforcement policy organization had urged the agency to restrict the use of deadly force in situations involving rock throwers and people in vehicles.  CBP also continues to resist full public disclosure of its use of force policies despite a series of deaths and widespread allegations of abuse involving CBP personnel.

U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENTS ASSAULTED BY LARGE CROWD FROM MEXICO

 

View a video at 10 News

November 27, 2013 (San Diego) --Border Patrol agents working near the U.S. /Mexico International Border yesterday were assaulted with rocks and bottles after pepper spray was used in an effort to stop a large crowd trying to enter the U.S.

According to the Border Patrol, on November 24, more than 100 people illegally crossed the International Border from Mexico one-quarter-mile west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in the Tijuana River channel. 

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFERS HELP TO PROTECT FAMILIES OF MILITARY AND RESERVISTS FROM DEPORTATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 21, 2013 (Washington D.C.) The U.S.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a memo aimed at halting the automatic deportation of “spouses, children and parents of active-duty military members, reservists who may be called up as part of the 'Ready Force.'"  Family members of U.S. troops can now apply for parole, allowing them to stay in the U.S. while Congress continues delaying action on comprehensive immigration reform.

SECOND DEFENDANT SENTENCED IN MURDER OF U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENT ROBERT ROSAS

 

November 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Marcos Rodriguez-Perez was sentenced today to 56 years in prison for his participation in the July 2009 robbery and murder of United States Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas, Jr. Rodriguez-Perez, a 28-year-old Mexican national, pleaded guilty in August, admitting he was one of three gunmen who lured the agent into a trap to steal his night-vision goggles and then fatally shot him during a struggle. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnaping, robbery of personal property of the United States, and use and carrying of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

GOVERNOR SIGNS LAWS TO PROTECT IMMIGRANT WORKERS FROM ABUSE

 

October 17, 2013 —California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 263, a bill designed to stop employers from retaliating against immigrant workers who stand up for their rights. AB 263 provides the strongest anti-retaliation protections for immigrant workers in the country.  

Brown previously signed two other bills, SB 666 and AB 524, as parts of a package sponsored by the California Labor Federation to protect workers from abuse regardless of immigration status. AB 263 and SB 666  prohibit employers from using immigration-related threats when workers speak out about unfair working conditions. AB 524 clarifies that making immigration threats in order to get away with stealing workers’ wages may constitute criminal extortion.

GOVERNOR VETOES BILL THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED LEGAL RESIDENTS WHO ARE NOT CITIZENS TO SERVE ON JURIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown today vetoed Assembly Bill 1401, which would have allowed permanent lawful residents who are not citizens to serve on juries. 

“Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don’t think that’s right.”

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL GRANTING DRIVER’S LICENSES TO UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2013 (Sacramento )— Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 60, making California the tenth state in the U.S. to grant undocumented immigrants the right to obtain driver’s licenses.

Studies done by the DMV and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than validly-licensed drivers. Advocates believe that AB 60 will help make the roads safer by broadening the state’s effort to ensure that all California drivers are properly trained, tested, licensed and insured.

SPRING VALLEY LIBRARY BRANCH’S 8TH ANNUAL FIESTA SEPT. 21

September 7, 2013 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego County Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with the 8th annual Spring Valley Library Fiesta on Sept. 21 from 1 – 4 p.m, at the Spring Valley Library, 836 Kempton Street.  The Fiesta will offer free entertainment and activities for all ages.

GONZALEZ BILL PROVIDES IMMIGRANTS PROTECTION FROM FRAUD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent payment for immigration reform services until federal immigration reform is enacted and to ensure that other consumer protections are provided to immigrants pursuing a pathway to U.S. citizenship under the federal immigration reform act pending in Congress.

"DREAMERS" DENOUNCE MILITARIZATION OF THE BORDER

 

By Nadin Abbott

August 1, 2013 (San Diego) – Dreamers, children of immigrants led by Carolina Valdivia of the San Diego Dream Team, held a press conference just outside San Diego Sheriff’s Department central booking on July 29.

The Dreamers contend that Border Patrol used force to break-up a peaceful demonstration at Friendship Park on the U.S.-Mexico border.  They provided media with a video showing Border Patrol, U.S. Customs enforcement, trolley security personnel, and private contractors holding back a noisy crowd of demonstrators on July 28.

IMMIGRATION BILL PASSES U.S. SENATE WITH LARGE MAJORITY, FACES BATTLE IN HOUSE

 

By Nadin Abbott

June 27, 2013 (San Diego)—The United States Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill today with 68 Senators voting for it, and 32 Senators voting against it.

In addition to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants and other provisions, the bill contains many provisions that would impact many in East County, including businesses, agriculture, and bolstering medical personnel.

It also calls for a border security “surge” including hundreds of miles of new border fencing and 18,000 additional federal agents on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who supports the bill, said it would create “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

ACLU CLASS ACTION SUIT ALLEGES U.S. OFFICIALS DUPED IMMIGRANTS INTO GIVING UP RIGHTS IN VOLUNTARY DEPORTATIONS

 

June 23, 2013 (San Diego)--Using misinformation, deception, and coercion, Border Patrol and ICE officers have pressured hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican nationals with deep roots in the United States into forfeiting their right to a fair hearing and a chance to live here lawfully, alleges the ACLU in a lawsuit filed June 4 in federal court in Los Angeles.  

Plaintiffs include the mother of an autistic son who is an American citizen, a grandmother of U.S. citizens, a man with an American wife and children, and a man engaged to marry a U.S. citizen who has since wed his fiance in Mexico. All are barred from returning to the U.S. for at least 10 years.

JACUMBA HIKERS PLAN BORDER FENCE HIKE SATURDAY JUNE 8

June 6, 2013 (Jacumba) – Looking to get some exercise with a hike rated “easy”?  Jacumba Hikers and Walkers plan a walk along the border fence separating the U.S. and Mexico on Saturday, June 8.

Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Jacumba Lounge on Old Highway 80 in downtown Jacumba Hot Springs.   Walk will include the Jacumba Airport and Old Rock House for a total of 3.5 miles round trip. Dogs on leashes are also welcome.  Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes.

For more info, contact walk leader Sonia Kara   (soniakara1@hotmail.com).

Full schedule of additional hikes.

SHOTS FIRED DURING BORDER PATROL PURSUIT IN CAMPO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 5, 2013 (Campo) – A Border Patrol agent discharged his weapon during a pursuit in Campo early this morning.  A suspected drug smuggler was injured by flying glass when the vehicle window shattered, according to a Sheriff’s report, which indicated the agent claims to have fired in self-defense.

Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail said the suspect was treated at a hospital and released to custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

JUDGE GRANTS RIGHT TO COUNSEL FOR IMMIGRANT DETAINEES WITH MENTAL DISABILITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- For the first time, the United States government will offer legal counsel to immigrant detainees with mental disabilities facing deportation hearings. This is the first expansion of the right to counsel in 30 years – the result of an ACLU lawsuit. Before to last week's federal court ruling, these individuals were not guaranteed legal representation  even though they clearly demonstrated tremendous difficulty in representing themselves in the complicated legal proceedings against them.

José Gonzalezis a 33-year-old man who doesn't know his own age and, in many aspects of his life, has the cognitive ability of a two-year-old. Both his parents are lawful permanent residents of the United States, and José had a pending petition for residency. Until last week's historic ruling, the government expected José to represent himself in a deportation hearing – after holding him for five years in a detention facility.

IMMIGRATION REFORM RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT TRUSTEES

May 4, 2013 (El Cajon) – Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Board of Trustees voted on April 16 to adopt a resolution calling on Congress to enact the comprehensive immigration reforms being hammered out by a bipartisan “gang of eight” legislators (four Republicans and four Democrats).

The resolution was introduced by trustee Mary Kay Rosinski  and passed with five votes in favor.  The action comes on the heels of similar resolutions adopted by San Diego Unified School District and the San Diego City Council.

BILINGUAL STORYTIME AND CELEBRATION AT CREST LIBRARY APRIL 30

April 25, 2013 (Crest) – The County library in Crest will hold El Dia de los Niños/El Dia de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m.  The celebration includes bilingual story times in Spanish, French and Arabic. In addition, you can enjoy music and refreshments, plus learn how to make paper flowers.

The library is located at 105 Juanita Lane in the Crest community of El Cajon.  For more information on county library events, visit www.sdcl.org.

BORDER PATROL AGENT ACQUITTED OF ABUSE IN STRANGLING CAUGHT ON TAPE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2013 (San Diego) – A jury today has acquitted U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Fonseca of using unreasonable force.  Fonseca was shown on Border Patrol video strangling a migrant to unconsciousness while the undocumented migrant,  Adolfo Cesar Escobar, tood with his hands against a wall waiting to be fingerprinted at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station. Jurors found the video evidence inconclusive.

“This sends the wrong message to Border Patrol and fuels a culture of impunity in the agency,” said Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego in a statement released today.  The rights activist added, “It should never be acceptable to strangle someone who poses no threat, then kick him while he is down and walk away as if no harm had been done.”

SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL MAKES HISTORY WITH UNANIMOUS IMMIGRATION VOTE

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

April 9, 2013 (San Diego)—At the cusp of the U.S. Senate taking on immigration reform, the San Diego City Council today sent a bipartisan message to Washington. With a unanimous vote, the San Diego City Council passed a resolution asking for comprehensive, common sense, immigration reform. The partisan divide in Washington was not evident in San Diego, where Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues to stand united on this issue.

Council Member David Alvarez chaired the effort with Council Member Mark Kersey.  Before the vote, Alvarez said, “The language is meant to send a message to Washington DC...This is a united message.” He noted that almost everybody is affected by this issue; immigration touches all of us.

CONGRESSMAN VARGAS CALLS FOR EMERGENCY AMNESTY MEASURE TO PROTECT THREATENED WORKERS, VISITS WITH “SAN DIEGO NINE” ON HUNGER STRIKE

 

By Nadin Abbott

April 7, 2013 (San Diego) Updated April 8 with statement by Evolution Hospitality—East County residents and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-51), whose district includes the border areas in East County, turned out yesterday in support of low wage workers staging a hunger strike at the Mission Valley Hilton. Vargas spoke with ECM on immigration reform and how it applies to this situation.

The workers want the right to organize a union and collectively bargain for a labor contract. Employees contend that management is using immigration status to selectively threaten union organizers—while at the same time outsourcing housekeepers’ work to undocumented workers paid more than long-time employees.

SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT CONSIDERS RESOLUTION TONIGHT TO SUPPORT IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Proposed resolution calls for pathway to citizenship and respect for human and civil rights in enforcement

April 4, 2013 (San Diego) --Following the lead of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and the San Diego City Council, the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) may also add their voice to the immigration reform discussion taking place around the City and the nation.

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