Latino Voices

Latino Voices

TRAVEL WARNING ISSUED DUE TO PROTESTS, CIVIL UNREST IN MEXICO INCLUDING ACAPULCO AND HIGHWAY TO MEXICO CITY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning due to the continued threat of protests and violent incidents in Mexico.  U.S. citizens are advised to avoid road travel within all areas of Guerrero including along the main toll road 95D to and from Mexico City and Acapulco. 

U.S. citizens are also warned not to participate in protests in Mexico, since the Mexican constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners.  Americans are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, which could result in detention, deportation, or worse.

The region has been rocked by protests over the disappearance of 43 student protesters in Iguala. Burned bodies found in a mass grave may be those of the missing students. There are allegations that they were abducted by police on orders of a mayor and turned over to a gang that murdered them. Mexico’s  President Enrique Peña Nieto has called for constitutional reforms to allow the federal government to takeover local police departments, CNN reports. The Mayor of Iguala and dozens more have been arrested by federal police.

QUECHAN PEDESTRIAN CROSSING OPENS AT ANDRADE PORT OF ENTRY

 

November 24, 2014 (Mexicali)--Caltrans announced that construction is completed on the Quechan Crossing Pedestrian Project at the Andrade Port of Entry (POE) along State Route 186 (SR-186).  Pedestrians now have full access to new sidewalks and reconstructed walkways brought to Americans with Disability Act standards.

IMMIGRANTS’ ADVOCATES VOICE JOY, THANKS FOR PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION AS CONSERVATIVES DENOUNCE THE CHANGES

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

November 23, 2014 (San Diego) – Families who no longer need to live in fear of separation or deportation have much to be thankful for following President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms announced last week. Locally, immigration activists are sharing their reactions, including Border Angels founder Enrique Morones, who was with President Obama during his historic executive action speech at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas.

“It was wonderful to join old friends that have fought and continue to be with us in the struggle for humane immigration policies, and as we discussed, we still have a long ways to go,” Morones wrote in a letter thanking supporters.  “As I told President Obama, `Gracias, this executive action is why many of us voted for you,” Morones added. “We have much more work to do, more to be included, Si Se Puede!’”

MARIACHIS AND MORE AT JACUMBA HOT SPRING'S FELIZ NAVIDAD CELEBRATION DEC.6

 

East County News Service

November 21, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Jacumba Hot Springs closes out its centennial year on Saturday, December 6th with a Feliz Navidad celebration. The event takes place at the Highland Center, 44681 Old Highway 80 from 2-5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES IMMIGRATION REFORMS

 

 

 

   

By Leon Thompson and Miriam Raftery

 

President Barack Obama last night announced immigration reforms, just as       Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before him took unilateral actions to  expand  protections for immigrants after Congress failed to act. 

President Obama 's plan will offer temporary relief from deportation to the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for more than five years, work and pay taxes. He will also extend a program that already allows undocumented migrants brought here as children to stay in the country.  The reforms are temporary, however, and could be undone by a future President and Congress.

Besides offering protections for a limited number of immigrants already in the U.S., the President also announced plans to strengthen enforcement at the border and prioritize enforcement resources to focus on deporting criminals who have convicted felonies, not families or working parents of U.S. citizens.

PRESIDENT SET TO ANNOUNCE IMMIGRATION REFORMS

 

By Leon Thompson

November 18, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--President Obama is expected to announce Executive Action to ease Immigration restrictions. The President could unveil as soon as Friday his planned, unilateral overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Details of the proposed measures remain under wraps, but senior administration officials have said Obama is prepared to “go big,” multiple news agencies report.

COLORFUL DISPLAYS HONOR RITA HAYWORTH, DAUGHTER OF IMMIGRANTS, IN DIA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION AT NEW AMERICANS MUSEUM

 

By Ariele Johannson

November 15, 2014 (San Diego)--The galleries at New Americans Museum on Saturday, November 1, 2014 were filled with visitors who came to celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, and to learn about this Mexican holiday. The New Americans Museum created an altar installation for dancer and film star Rita Hayworth. The altar was constructed by the museum staff and a group of 18 immigrant students under the guidance of Professor Jose Flores from the University Atonoma de Baja, California where he teaches the origins, analysis, symbolism, and history of Dia de los Muertos. See attached.

SETTLEMENT TO HALT FORCED DEPORTATIONS

 

East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A hearing is set for February 9, 2015 to approve a final settlement in the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) lawsuit to halt forced deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The ACLU won a class action lawsuit filed in 2013 after demonstrating that officials threatened, lied and intimidated undocumented immigrants, forcing them to sign “voluntary” deportation papers even if they had strong claims to remain in the U.S.

NEW AMERICANS MUSEUM HOSTS DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EXHIBIT NOV. 1 TO HONOR RITA HAYWORTH

 

                                             

By Ariele Johannson

October 30, 2014 (San Diego)--Brightly colored flowers of scarlet, white, orange, violet, yellow, and blue adorn the carpet where student immigrants from as far away as Europe are seated. The friendly group here in the Exhibition Gallery at New Americas Museum is preparing the flowers for a unique exhibit to celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

The New Americans Museum is creating an altar for the late  dancer and film star Rita Hayworth to be exhibited November 1st from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., along with other open museums and galleries celebrating Dia de los Muertos at Liberty Station that day.

Dia de los Muertos at Liberty Station runs from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m., when galleries and studios are open to the public, some with demonstrations, workshops, altars, and “Meet the Artists” events. There will be performances and live music, food trucks, sugar skulls, face painting throughout the day. Admission to the galleries and studios is free.

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

ODD COUPLE ON STAGE AT THE LYCEUM: TEATRO MASCARA MAGICA'S RENDITION BLENDS HILARITY AND LATINO SPICE

 

A review by Reina Lisa Menasche

September 21, 2014 (San Diego)--What do you get when you cross Neil Simon’s classic 1960s New York comedy “The Odd Couple” with modern day, southern California references and Latino color, characters, innuendo, and ad libs? A surprising and delightful rendition, zestily presented by the Teatro Mascara Magica at San Diego’s Lyceum Theatre. Dave Rivas, co-producer and co-director of the production, is a Spring Valley resident.

The theme of the play remains true to the original and is universal: divorced bachelors, slob versus neat freak, in a friendship strained not only by conflicts over living conditions but also the poignancy of loss and change. But the seasoning on this well-known dish of a show is exotic, original, up to date, and hilarious.

BORDER PATROL TO TEST BODY CAMERAS ON AGENTS AND REVAMP USE OF FORCE POLICIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2014 (San Diego) – In response to complaints over alleged misuse of force against detainees and suspected border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol has announced it will begin testing body cameras on its agents starting October 1st. Initially the testing will be done at the agency’s training center in New Mexico.  If found to be successful, the cameras could be implemented more broadly to equip agents along the U.S.-Mexico border.

FREE LATINO SHORTS SCREENING IN EAST COUNTY SEPT. 17

 

 

September 17, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)—On September 17th Cuyamaca College will screen a free curated compilation of the best short Latino films that played at this year's festival as part of the celebrations for Latino Heritage Month.

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION SEPT. 20 IN LEMON GROVE

 

September 9, 2014 (Lemon Grove)--The Lemon Grove Historical Society and the Lemon Grove Oral History Project will celebrate local Hispanic heritage on Sept. 20 from 1 - 4 p.m. in the Rosemary Putnam Community Room of the Lemon Grove Library, 3001 School Lane.

TWO SUSPECTED SMUGGLERS CHARGED WITH LEAVING WOMAN TO DIE IN OTAY MOUNTAINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 6,2014 (Otay)--U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy’s office has announced that charges have been filed against two suspected smugglers accused of abandoning a pregnant woman to die in the Otay Mountains over the 2013 Christmas holiday.

BORDER CHILDREN: LA MESA CHURCH FORUM HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

 

Hear audio excerpts from Morones' presentation from our East County Magazine radio show originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM:  http://www.kiwi6.com/uploads/new

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--Parishioners and guests at the United Church of Christ in La Mesa lined up to purchase T-shirts proclaiming “Love has no borders,” after hearing an impassioned presentation on the plight of border children August 17th.

Wearing a “Save the Children” tie, pediatrician Dr. Richard Short introduced guest speaker Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels (www.borderangels.com) .  The church congregation has committed to support Border Angels’ efforts to aid immigrant children and families fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.  Over 60,000 have flocked to America seeking asylum here, including families and children placed in detention centers here in San Diego County.

“Everybody looks to the president or the mayor. But what can we do?” Morones asked.  He emphasized that the Central American refugees are fleeing to numerous nations, not only the United States.

CA BILLS WOULD BRING LEGAL HELP TO IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2014 (Sacramento)—Over 50,000 unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America have streamed across U.S. borders, seeking help to escape desperate situations. Now some California lawmakers want to assure that kids facing a humanitarian crisis will receive full legal hearings to determine if they may be eligible for asylum, refugee status, or deportation. A new bill would provide $3 million to nonprofit groups to expand legal services for the children.

After visiting a detention center recently, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) told reporters, “I think we all came away with a feeling that these kids really needed our support, that it was about their safety, their due process, the ability to look beyond bigger political considerations and deal with a humanitarian crisis.”

LOCAL CHURCH HOSTS BORDER CHILDREN FORUM: AUGUST 17 IN LA MESA

 

Church launches drive to save lives, help children fleeing violence

"Jesus himself was a refugee, who with his family fled to a foreign as an infant." --Rev. Kaji Dousa

Hear our interview with Doug Brunson from UCCLM: http://www.kiwi6.com/file/gvviv3lgb6

View or sign a petition to help the children: http://tableucc.com/witness/sign-the-petition-central-american-refugee-crisis/

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 7, 2014 (La Mesa)—United Church of Christ in La Mesa has stepped forward to help children from Central America who have sought refuge in the United States, fleeing violence, drug trafficking and threats of death.   The public is invited to a Border Children panel discussion on Sunday, August 17 at 3 p.m.  at the church, located at 5940 Kelton Avenue, La Mesa.

 “We need to welcome the strangers. We need to help those in need,” Doug Brunson with UCCLM told East County Magazine in a recent radio interview, quoting Jesus.  “This is a crisis…something that needs to be addressed now,” he said of the 50,000 children.

LA MESA CHURCH LAUNCHES PETITION TO HELP REFUGEE CHILDREN; MEETS WITH CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS

 

“We  expressed our concern over the current debate that is focusing on sending the children back while we believe it should be focusing on the care and safety of the children.”—Doug Brunson, UCCLM Committee on Border Justice

View or sign petition: http://tableucc.com/witness/sign-the-petition-central-american-refugee-crisis/

Over 50,000 young children have crossed the border to seek refugee status in the U.S. this year.  Some are fleeing gang violence and drug trafficking, others are escaping grinding poverty or trying to reunite with family already in the United States.  Many have paid large sums to smugglers and made dangerous journeys atop trains to get here from Central America, only to be placed in overcrowded, often unhealthy holding facilities while awaiting determination of their status by understaffed courts.  Some have also endured the verbal abuse of militant protestors seeking to banish them back to the horrors from which they fled.

Inspired by The Rev. Kaji Douŝa’s sermon on Sunday, July 13, members of the United Church of Christ of La Mesa gathered to discuss the child immigration crisis and how the congregation, as a justice-oriented church, should respond.

TWO GOVERNORS, TWO POLAR OPPOSITE APPROACHES TO CHILD REFUGEES

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2014 (San Diego)--How should America deal with the tens of thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America, arriving at our borders?  Many are traveling alone, trying to reach family members in the U.S.  Most are teens, but some are as young as three years old.

BORDER ANGELS LAUNCHES TEDDY BEAR DRIVE FOR IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

 

Photos by Maria Teresa Fernandez and Miriam Raftery

July 10, 2014 (San Diego) – Border Angels, a nonprofit San Diego organization, has received over 10 tons of donated clothing, toys, diapers and food for the Central American refugee families coming to our region.  Now the group has launched a teddy bear drive to “share the love with our refugee children,”  said Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels.  Donated items can be dropped off at the Border Angels office at 2258 Island Avenue in San Diego.  The group also seeks an East County drop-off location.

This is not the group’s first effort to help people in need locally.  Border Angels successfully raised donations to help wildfire survivors in our region, as well as to help victims of the Easter Sunday earthquake just over our border several years ago. 

The wave of Central American immigrants fleeing violence and risk of death in their homelands have been the subject of controversy.  Anti-immigration protesters blocked several busloads of the refugees in Murrietta, chanting racial slurs. Five of the protesters were arrested after some tackled law enforcement officers.  Now, as people across the nation and around the world have seen video of the controntation, many have stepped forward to help the immigrant children and their families.

BORDER ANGELS CALL FOR ACTION, HELP FOR IMMIGRANT FAMILIES AFTER PROTESTERS BLOCK BUSES

 

Hear our podcast  on the Central American immigrants:

Updates on Murrietta, Congressman Juan Vargas' visit with immigrants in El Centro, and our interviews from this rally, including Enrique Morones of Border Angels. Rev. Beth Johnson from the Palomar Unitarian Universalist congregation and Everard Meade, Trans-Border Institute at USD, providing historical background on the Central American situation.

Listen here: http://kiwi6.com/file/hp9656gewn

 

By Nadin Abbott

“What we need is humanitarian solutions. Sending the children back to sure death is not humanitarian.” – Enrique Morones, Border Angels

“This is a failure to enforce federal law at the federal level.” Murrieta Mayor Alan Long

July 2, 2014 (San Diego)—Yesterday, dozens of anti-immigrant protesters blocked buses carrying 140 immigrants from Central America, mostly women and children. Shouting racial slurs and carrying signs demanding the migrants be sent home, the protesters forced the buses bound for Murrieta to turn around and go to San Ysidro instead.  The buses carried migrants from Texas, where holding cells are over flowing due to a massive influx of families and children.

Today, Border Angels held a rally in support of the immigrants and began a donation drive for toys, clothing, diapers to welcome the immigrants, most of whom were fleeing violence and threats of death in their homeland.

But what’s fueling the surge in immigration from Central America?  To understand what’s happening today, we have to look back several decades into the history of the region and the role of U.S. foreign policy in Central America.

CENTRAL AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS BOUND FOR SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2014 (San Diego) – The Border Patrol has announced that starting this week, it will bring undocumented Central American immigrants from Texas to California.  The first groups will include families, not unaccompanied minors, to ease overcrowding of facilities due to an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.

The families will be brought to San Diego and El Centro to ease what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. 

ABC News this week interviewed a 17 year old girl who was among those immigrants apprehended attempting to cross into the U.S.   In a tearful voice, she told them that she fled her home in Central America after her brother was murdered and a gang threatened her with harm if she would not join.  On her journey here, she was gang-raped by several men before reaching the U.S. She was  detained after reaching the U.S. but eventually released into custody of a relative in Florida, where she awaits an asylum hearing to determine if she can stay in the U.S. or not.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TAKING MEASURES TO DEAL WITH INFLUX OF IMMIGRANT MINORS

 

 

By Trevor Hill

June 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This year, the number of minors illegally crossing the border north through Mexico into the United States has increased to approximately 48,000 (92% higher than last year) and is projected to reach over 60,000 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The vast majority of these children is not coming from Mexico, but in fact is fleeing Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

To deal with the influx, immigrant minors and adults alike are being shipped to warehouses and other facilities in order to hold them until they can be deported or granted a green card. About 700 minors are currently being held in a warehouse Nogales, Arizona, where living conditions have become deplorable due to overcrowding and lack of supplies. Fortunately, this is only a temporary housing for the children who will spend only enough time in Nogales to receive vaccinations and be checked medically before being sent to facilities in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

This overcrowding is due to a lack of legal representatives willing and/or able to represent these children in Immigration Court. Because courts are not required to fund lawyers for the children, they must find a legal representative through advocacy groups or pro bono law programs.

LAWSUIT ALLEGES MISTREATMENT OF DETAINEES AT BORDER PATROL FACILITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2014 (San Diego) – Alba Quiñones  fled domestic abuse in El Salvador, hoping to seek asylum in the United States.  But after enduring abusive conditions in a U.S. Border Patrol detention facility, she has now filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government—the latest in a string of such lawsuits, Mother Jones magazine reports.

BORDER PATROL FINALLY RELEASES CRITICAL REVIEW OF FORCEFUL TACTICS, RESPONDS WITH POLICY CHANGES

 

By Trevor Hill

June 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Last week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) finally released a report written by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in February of 2013, which criticized the Border Patrol’s Use of Force policies. The release comes after months of public pressure applied by faith leaders, border communities, and law enforcement since the leakage of some of the report’s findings last November. This event marks a significant victory for those who oppose excessive use of force and support increased transparency in government agencies.

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.

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