Latino Voices

Latino Voices

COMMUNITY COLLEGES SEEK RETURN OF STUDENTS POST-COVID: NEW ENROLLMENT DOWN 20% AMONG LATINO STUDENTS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

April 11, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Community colleges nationwide are bracing for another drop in enrollment this year, especially among students of color.

Data from the National College Attainment Network shows only about 55% of high school seniors have applied for federal financial aid.  And the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports in 2020 first-time enrollment was down 13% overall and almost 20% among Latino students.

Paul Fiest, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing at California Community Colleges, said the pandemic has severely disrupted potential students' lives.


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SAN DIEGO SHELTERING NEW MIGRANTS AT CONVENTION CENTER, LOCAL HOTELS AMID BORDER SURGE

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  CC via Bing

March 23, 2021 (San Diego) - City and county officials announced Monday that the San Diego Convention Center will be used for three months to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant minors amid a surge along the border.


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COUNTY RESIDENTS GRADUATE FROM FIRST SPANISH LANGUAGE SHERIFF'S ACADEMY


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CHP RELEASES NAMES OF SURVIVORS IN IMPERIAL VALLEY CRASH THAT KILLED 13 MIGRANTS AND INJURED 12

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo via U.S. Customs and Border Patrol: hole cut in border fence, where the ill-fated SUV is believed to have entered the U.S.

 

March 4, 2021 (Holtville) – The California Highway Patrol today released names of a dozen survivors of a horrific collision near Holtville on Tuesday when a semi-truck carrying a load of gravel struck a Ford Expedition SUV with 25 people inside. The crash killed 13 of them, including the driver of the SUV.


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BIDEN ALLOWS ASYLUM SEEKERS IN MEXICO TO ENTER U.S. PENDING HEARINGS, BUT MOST WILL STILL FACE WAITS BEFORE ADMISSION

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Asylum seekers encampment; CC by NC
 
February 14, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden has issued an executive order to reverse former President Donald Trump’s “wait in Mexico”  policy, an action that endangered the safety of migrants encamped in unsanitary conditions and in some cases, preyed upon by thieves, traffickers and other criminals. The policy also made it hard for asylum-seekers to find lawyers or even to learn when their asylum hearings in U.S. courts were scheduled. 

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LATINO FILM FESTIVAL HOLDS DRIVE-IN AND VIRTUAL SCREENINGS IN MARCH

East County News Service

February 11, 2021 (San Diego) -- Roll out the red carpet and bring in the big screen. The San Diego Latino Film Festival is Back With Drive-In Screenings and more. 


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PRIVATE IMMIGRATION PRISONS NOT INCLUDED IN BIDEN BAN

By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Otay Mesa Detention Center, where immigrants and refugees are housed

January 28, 2021 (Tacoma, Wash.) -- President Joe Biden signed an executive order this week ending the federal use of private prisons, but the order does not include privately run immigration facilities, like the Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma and the Otay Mesa Detention Center San Diego County.


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FDA PUTS ALL MEXICAN-MADE HAND SANITIZERS ON IMPORT ALERT DUE TO DANGEROUS INGREDIENT

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – Over half of all hand sanitizers from Mexico have been found to contain toxic ingredients, many at dangerous levels, and 84% of samples tested failed to comply with FDA regulations. So on January 26, the FDA announced a nationwide import alert on all hand sanitizers made in Mexico to prevent them from entering the US. Until the agency can review products’ safety.


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GROUPS “FLOORED” BY BIDEN IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

Photo: Creative Commons by SA

January 20, 2021 (Sacramento) -- On his first day in office, President Joe Biden is pressing for bold immigration reform, proposing a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The proposal would apply to people who have a clean criminal record and were in the United States before Jan. 1. If approved, this would be the first so-called "mass legalization" since 1986, during the Reagan administration.

Carlos Guevara, associate director for immigration policy for the group Unidos US, said there's a lot of pent-up demand for change in the immigration system.


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FEDERAL JUDGE DELIVERS 'HUGE VICTORY' FOR IMMIGRANTS, ORDERING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO FULLY RESTORE DACA

Update December 10, 2020: The Trump administraton has officially begun accepting new DACA applications again, under the court's order.

By Jessica Corbett

Originally published by Common Dreams under a Creative Commons

December 6, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - Immigrant rights defenders celebrated Friday after a federal judge delivered yet another blow to the Trump administration's drawn-out effort to kill Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects certain undocumented residents who were brought to the United States as children from deportation.


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HOPES RESTORED FOR DREAMERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dreamers rally; CC by SA-NC

November 23, 2020 (San Diego) – The fate of some 650,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, or “Dreamers,” has been in limbo during four years of the Trump administration.  But now a court ruling and a proposed key appointment by President-Elect Joe Biden give Dreamers hope of avoiding deportation.


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ART PROTEST AGAINST ICE: MOVING IMAGES OF CHILDREN AND OTHER MIGRANTS WHO DIED IN U.S. CUSTODY

Writer/Photographer Briana Gomez
 
“I think that we’ve experienced here locally deaths of children– father, daughter; we’ve had similar issues,” said Martha Sullivan, organizer.
 
November 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- An art protest against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Border Patrol took place Wednesday in downtown San Diego. The protest, held on Mexico’s Day of the Day, aimed to draw attention to deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody. Tensions have risen locally after the death of a Mexican citizen at the San Ysidro Border last week.
 
At least 21 people died in ICE custody in the fiscal year ending July 30, nearly double the deaths in fiscal 2019, CNN reported last month.

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SAN DIEGO NONPROFIT LEADS SUIT CHALLENGING TRUMP'S 'REMAIN IN MEXICO' REFUGEE POLICY

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Asylum seekers gather in Tijuana in 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

October 28, 2020 (San Diego) - Jewish Family Service of San Diego is leading a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s controversial “remain in Mexico” policy to keep asylum seekers out of the United States.


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LATINO FAITH LEADERS URGE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

October 8, 2020 (San Bernardino) -- Latino faith leaders are reaching out to members of Congress urging action on climate change, which is worsening the fires that are choking their neighborhoods with smoke.


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CAL STATE CHOOSES FIRST MEXICAN AMERICAN CHANCELLOR

By Mikhail Zinshetyn and Felicia Mello, CalMatters

CalMatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Dr. Joseph Castro, President of Fresno State University, has been named successor to Timothy White. Photo courtesy of Fresno State University

September 26, 2020 (San Diego) - The next head of the California State University system — with 480,000 students, the largest public four-year university in the U.S. — will be the first California native and the first Mexican American chancellor to oversee it. 


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SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL GOES VIRTUAL SEPT. 17-27

East County News Service

 

September 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The 27th annual San Diego Film Festival hosted by Media Arts starts Thursday, Sept. 17 and runs through Sept. 27. This year, you can watch films from the comfort of home. View a video with some of the participating filmmakers. 


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JUDGE ORDERS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO FULLY EXTEND CENSUS COUNTING TIME

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  a sign encouraging residents to participate in the 2020 census hangs from the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

September 6, 2020 (San Diego) - Los Angeles and a coalition of other local governments and civil rights organizations have secured a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its decision to cut the timeline for the 2020 U.S. Census.


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COUNTY TAKES STEPS TO ADDRESS COVID-19 DISPARITIES IN LOCAL LATINO COMMUNITIES AFTER ECM REPORTS, BUT THE PROBLEM IS NATIONWIDE AND SYSTEMIC

Hear audio of our interview with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez aired on KNSJ: click here

In exclusive interviews, ECM spoke with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and Chicano Federation leaders on the problems and potential solutions

By Briana Gomez

July 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After ECM’s special report on May 28 on the high rate of COVID-19 among local Latinos, the County of San Diego announced on July 21 that it is launching a new TV, radio, online and signage outreach campaign to the local Latino community aimed at overcoming information barriers on COVID-19. As of July 21, of more than 24,000 COVID-19 cases in our county with known race/ethnicity, about 60% are Hispanics or Latinos, yet Hispanics/Latinos make up only about 34% of the local population.

Audio: 


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LATINO CONSERVATION GROUPS URGE ACTION ON PANDEMIC, CLIMATE CHANGE

By Suzanne Potter

Reprinted from California News Service, originally published in June

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

July 17, 2020 (Sacramento) --  Latino conservation groups say battling the pandemic goes hand in hand with fighting climate change, because poor air quality exacerbated by climate change makes people more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Juanita Mora, CEO of the Chicago Allergy Center, said Latino communities are disproportionately affected by both the pandemic and poor air quality.


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'DREAMERS ARE HOME': SUPREME COURT REJECTS TRUMP EFFORT TO END DACA PROGRAM

"Today we celebrate and tomorrow we will continue to fight because Trump's attacks on the immigrant community must end."

By Julia Conley

Credit to Common Dreams, under a Creative Commons share with attribution license

Photo:  public domain image via Wikipedia

June 18, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - Immigrant rights advocates celebrated a major victory Thursday morning as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Trump administration cannot end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers, to live and work in the United States.


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CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES WIN SUIT ON BEHALF OF UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

By Mikhail Zinshteyn, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland in 2018. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

June 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - A federal judge sided with California’s community colleges today in ruling that the Trump administration illegally restricted recent federal stimulus funds to as many as 800,000 students, including undocumented students.


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NEW SANDAG REPORT FINDS BLACKS AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES HARDEST HIT BY HEALTH AND ECONOMIC CRISIS

Source: SANDAG

June 17, 2020 (San Diego) -- As the San Diego region’s labor market continues to experience an historic decline, Black and Hispanic communities are most impacted, according to a new SANDAG Data Science and Analytics report, “COVID-19 Impact on the San Diego Regional Economy: Black and Hispanic Communities Hardest Hit.”


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WHY ARE LATINOS DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED BY COVID-19 IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY?

By Briana Gomez

Photo, left: Briana Gomez and her daughter, Aya, with masks from Chicanista Boutique, a Chicana-owned San Diego business

May 28, 2020 (San Diego) -- COVID-19 has plagued millions globally, hitting San Diego at over 5,000 cases according to recent CDC data. The virus has disproportionately impacted San Diego County’s Latino population.

According to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, 60 percent of COVID-19 positive tests in San Diego County are among Hispanic or Latinos. Equally troubling, CBS 8 reports that 41.1% of deaths locally are among Latinos.


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PANDEMIC STEALS MOST FROM IMMIGRANT WORKING WOMEN

By Jackie Botts | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Nearly one in three non-citizen working women in California have lost their jobs during the pandemic, according to the study by UC Merced researchers. Photo via iStock.

May 23, 2020 (San Diego) - Early estimates indicate that the coronavirus pandemic has stolen jobs from non-citizen workers — including immigrants who have green cards, work visas or are undocumented — in California at higher rates than citizens. And women have suffered greater job loss than men. 


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HOW CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATIONS ARE TRYING TO HELP STUDENTS

By Mikhail Zinshteyn, CalMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  A student walks back to her car after picking up eggs, milk, produce and dried goods from the weekly drive-thru food pantry at Santa Monica College. Photo by Mikhail Zinshteyn for CalMatters

May 8, 2020 (San Diego) - In the third week of April, Shannon Hill approved the donation of some $35,000 in emergency aid to 40 students at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.


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FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF DOZENS OF MEDICALLY VULNERABLE PEOPLE AT OTAY MESA DETENTION CENTER

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo (Google): CoreCivic's Otay Mesa Detention Center
 
May 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Judge Dana Sabraw issued an order on April 30 directing the federal government to release more than 50 medically vulnerable individuals who are in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. According to the ICE website, at least 105 detainees at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Judge Sabraw wrote in his decision, “The Court HEREBY DECLARES that current conditions of confinement for Otay Mesa Medically Vulnerable subclass members held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center are unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment because the conditions of their confinement place subclass members at substantial risk of serious illness or death.”

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TWO MAJOR SAN DIEGO HOSPITAL CHAINS SEEK 'URGENT' FEDERAL HELP ON BORDER

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  A Scripps Health medical team. Group president/CEO says San Diego needs “PPE, pharmaceuticals and scarce medical equipment needed in this type of pandemic.” Photo courtesy of Scripps

May 1, 2020 (San Diego) - Executives with Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare, two major San Diego hospital chains, have written to the federal government seeking “urgent action” to combat COVID-19 along the U.S.-Mexico border.


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IMMIGRANT ACTIVIST TO NEWSOM: OUTREACH NEEDED TO OVERCOME FEAR OF TESTING

By Chris Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  Enrique Morones, shown at a Waterfront Park rally in 2018, reminds state officials: “By helping the undocumented community, you’re really helping yourself.” Photo by Chris Stone

April 19, 2020 (San Diego) - Among Gov. Gavin Newsom’s indicators to be used before stay-at-home orders can be eased (and the economy reopened) are testing and contact tracing.

But what if California’s 2 million undocumented immigrants are too fearful to be tested?


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RELIEF FUND FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS ANNOUNCED: MONEY INCLUDES DONATIONS FROM PHILANTHROPISTS AND STATE EMERGENCY FUNDS

By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2020 (Sacramento) – Many undocumented workers are risking their lives serving others during the coronavirus pandemic, with jobs in healthcare, as caregivers, in the food industry, and more. Others have lost jobs due to shutdowns, but are not eligible for stimulus funds.  So yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $125 million disaster relief program for undocumented immigrant worker to help their families. 


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ACLU DISMISSES LAWSUIT AFTER ICE RELEASES 4 IMMIGRANT DETAINEES VULNERABLE TO COVID-19

Otay Mesa ICE facility has at least 16 COVID-19 cases, highest of any  U.S. detention site

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

April 13, 2020 (San Diego) – After the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed lawsuits in 13 states demanding release of detained immigrants at high risk due to COVID-19, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent a letter to Congress on April 7 announcing it had identified 600 medically vulnerable detainees and to date, had released 160 of them.

Today, local ACLU representatives asked the court to dismiss a suit filed earlier this month on behalf of four medically vulnerable people detained at the ICE Otay Mesa Detention Center and Imperial Regional Detention Facility, after ICE released all four  plaintiffs.

“Our clients, Yusuf Ozdemir and Jane Doe, were released Thursday night; and Miguel Angel Benitez and Issis Yoselin Zelaya Sagastume were released Friday night,” states a press release issued today by  the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, ACLU Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU Foundation National Prison Project and ACLU Foundation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & HIV Project.


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