Media Spotlight - January 2013




February 14 2013

Los Angeles Times – Immigration reform could get overshadowed in Congress
The window to pass immigration laws next year is narrowing as the effort competes with a renewed debate over gun laws and the lingering fight over taxes and the budget, according to congressional staffers and outside advocates. Key congressional committees are preparing for a package of gun control laws to be negotiated and possibly introduced in Congress during the first few months of next year. The shift would push the debate in Congress over immigration reform into the spring. Read more here…

NBC Latino - Census might make "Hispanic" a race
America might be a "melting pot," but identification - as an individual and as a group - matters, according to political scientist Angelo Falcon. He is urging Latino civil rights groups, academics, and Hispanics to weigh in on whether the Census changes the way Latinos identify themselves in the 2020 Census. "We're still debating what it means to be Latino - we're all over the place as a community, and people have many different positions on this stuff," says Falcon. Read more here…

NBC Latino - Latino unemployment lowest in 4 years
The Department of Labor released employment statistics today. Latino unemployment is at 9.6 percent, the lowest number since December 2008, according to Adriana Kugler, Chief Economist for the Department of Labor. Latino unemployment is still higher than overall U.S. unemployment, which is now at 7.8 percent. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said today that overall, the nation's lower unemployment numbers are a good sign. Read more here…

Voxxi - Hispanic unemployment rate signals jobs for 2013 are still slim
The Hispanic unemployment rate last month saw a relative decrease as it stands at 9.6 percent, but analysts say it doesn’t foreshadow a drastic increase in job opportunities for 2013. Officials at the Department of Labor, including Secretary Hilda Solis, indicated compared to last year it does signal a positive growth. Read more here…

McClatchy – New poultry rule could harm workers, advocates say
Workplace safety experts say a USDA proposal to increase line speeds at poultry plants could endanger the low-wage workers who are tasked with sorting and trimming inedible carcasses, a job that used to belong to federal inspectors. Line workers work elbow to elbow in many cases and struggle to keep up with current line speeds, said Catherine Singley, a senior policy analyst for NCLR, a civil rights and advocacy organization based in Washington. The USDA’s proposal would allow plants to increase line speeds to 175 birds per minute. Read more here…

Washington Post - New committee will review Kennedy Center Honors selection process
The Kennedy Center has formed a committee of artists and community leaders to review the heretofore opaque process by which winners of the annual Kennedy Center Honors are selected. “While the center has a strong track record of diversity throughout its other performance, education and arts education programs, it is important to undertake this review process to ensure the Honors reflect the diversity of those who have contributed to American culture,” Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, said in a statement released Monday. Read more here…

AP – Longoria to host Latino inaugural salute to Obama
Following an election when Latinos showed their growing political influence, a coalition of groups is coordinating a gathering of top Latino entertainers at the Kennedy Center in a series of events ahead of President Barack Obama's inauguration. Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno are among a group of prominent performers who will gather Sunday, Jan. 20 for "Latino Inaugural 2013: In Performance at the Kennedy Center." Details of the tribute performance were announced Tuesday. Read more here…

Voxxi – Kennedy Center Honors: A first step for Latino inclusion
The Kennedy Center agreed to review the Honors selection process to reflect its acknowledgement of diversity, while it was a welcome move, Latino artistic members including Felix Sanchez believe this is the first of many steps. Sanchez, who is the president of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, was one of the prime leaders concerned with the lack of inclusion of the honors show that was celebrated annually for 35 years in Washington, DC. Filmmaker George Stevens Jr. has produced the show since its creation. Read more here…

Las Vegas Sun - Immigration’s new rival on the political agenda: gun control
President Barack Obama promised immigration reform leaders that their cause would top his second-term agenda, making January their month. But immigration advocates are beginning to worry that their fight could slip behind a cause that wasn’t even an issue during the election: gun control. The White House was supposed to begin its push in earnest this month for immigration reform. Read more here…

Fox News Latino - New Mortgage Rules Could Help Latinos, CFPB Says
With the country still reeling from the aftermath of the housing crisis and the economy in a slow recovery, the federal government’s consumer watchdog group introduced a new set of rules Thursday in an attempt to rebuild a shaky housing market and to protect homeowners from defaulting on loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new rules could help Latinos homeowners who have been some of those hardest hit by the housing crisis of the past few years and the goal of the Bureau's new rule is to protect consumers from risky practices that helped cause the crisis., said Moira Vahey, a spokesperson for the CFPB. Read more here…

McClatchy - Immigration activists launch effort on legislation
Promising a massive pro-immigration effort unlike any ever seen, a coalition of national Latino civil rights and labor organizations unveiled a national campaign Wednesday to push President Barack Obama and Congress to pass immigration legislation next year. Latinos helped deliver Obama’s re-election with near-historic turnout at the polls. Janet Murguia, the president of NCLR, said Latinos had demonstrated their political power and now expected lawmakers to address the community’s issues. Read more here…

New York Times - Obama team crafting overhaul of immigration system
President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week. Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, the officials said, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces - separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farmworkers, or highly skilled foreigners - that might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept. Read more here…

NBC Latino – Dems and Reps inching toward immigration reform
Right after the November elections, legislators and observers from both sides of the political aisle acknowledged the record Latino vote for President Obama was a strong mandate for immigration reform. The big question in the last few months has been whether it really will be different this time and whether we will see some bipartisan legislation before the summer. The Obama administration and those close to it say immigration reform is a top priority - and they are pushing for sooner rather than later. Read more here…

McClatchy – LA Mayor Villaraigosa pushes immigration changes
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, fresh off an aggressive effort to get President Barack Obama re-elected, strode into Washington this week to champion an immigration overhaul. The issue is vitally important to California, with the nation’s largest number of illegal immigrants and whose agriculture industry relies heavily on the state’s immigrant population. Read more here…

Voxxi - It would be ‘unacceptable’ to have Obama cabinet without Latinos
President Barack Obama speaks during his final news conference of his first term in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Hispanic leaders contend that because Latino voters played a key role in President Barack Obama’s re-elected victory, Latinos deserve to have more political power within the Obama administration and be appointed to the Obama cabinet. More than 70 percent of the Latino vote went to Obama last November, and Latinos made up a record 10 percent of the electorate, according to national exit polls. Read more here…

New York Times - Medicaid Expansion Is Delicate Maneuver for Arizona's Republican Governor
Gov. Jan Brewer called it "one of the most difficult decisions" of her 30 years in public service. If she chose to expand Medicaid, the federal and state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people, she risked antagonizing her conservative base, steadfast opponents of President Obama's health care law. If she did not, she risked missing a solid chance of shifting the way she is viewed by a Latino population of increasing political influence, beyond her stern positions on immigration. Read more here…

NBC Latino - In forceful speech, Obama invokes immigration amidst strong Latino presence
It was an Inaugural ceremony that markedly showed the growing Latino presence in American cultural and political life. The nation's first Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor swore in Vice President Joe Biden. Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco wrote and delivered an Inaugural Poem whose graceful words spoke of his immigrant parents' hard work to give him a better life. Read more here…

Voxxi - Latinos recommended for the Obama cabinet
As President Barack Obama seeks to fill the seats of his second-term cabinet, Latino leaders are providing the president with a list of Latinos they recommend for the Obama cabinet. A coalition of 30 Latino groups recently joined under the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) to send Obama a letter, calling on the president to appoint three Latinos to his cabinet. Read more here…

NBC Latino - Recent shootings prompt Latinos to act on gun control
A fifteen-year-old New Mexico Latino teen who later told police he had homicidal and suicidal thoughts grabbed his parents' assault rifle from their closet and killed his mother, a brother and two sisters under the age of 9, before waiting several hours and then killing his father. Like in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, the New Mexico teen, Nehemiah Griego, had no history of violence. And like Newtown, Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza, Nehemiah Griego simply took his parents' AR-15 assault rifle to kill his own family members. Read more here…

AP - Immigration fallout from saying no to 'Obamacare'
Governors who reject health insurance for the poor under the federal health care overhaul could wind up in a politically awkward position on immigration: A quirk in the law means some U.S. citizens would be forced to go without coverage, while legal immigrants residing in the same state could still get it. Read more here…

Huffington Post – College Dropout Crisis Revealed In 'American Dream 2.0' Report
An influential group of college presidents, civil rights leaders and advocates sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is highlighting what it calls a growing higher education dropout crisis and seeks to fix it in part by linking financial aid with successful graduation. Read more here…

NBC Latino - Rubio to co-sponsor a high-skilled workers immigration bill
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio is co-sponsoring the first bipartisan immigration-related bill of this legislative term. According to The Hill, which obtained a draft of the bill, the Immigration Innovation Act would raise the number of visas for high-skilled immigrants such as engineers. It would also propose an "escalator" to allow visa numbers to adjust based on labor market needs. Read more here…

ABC News - More Latinos Are Graduating - Here's Why
The number of Hispanic students graduating from high school is rapidly rising. More than 70 percent of Latino students graduated on time during the 2009-2010 school year, according to data released this week by the Education Department. That's a jump of 10 points in just five years. "[It's] promising that high school graduation rates are up for all ethnic groups in 2010 -- especially for Hispanics, whose graduation rate has jumped almost 10 points since 2006," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. Read more here…

AP – Senators reach agreement on immigration reform
A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. The deal, to be announced at a news conference Monday, also covers border security, non-citizen or "guest" workers and employer verification of immigration status. Read more here…

NBC Latino - Senators: Immigration reform to come by summer
A major breakthrough - that's how a bipartisan group of Senators called their immigration reform proposal, a plan which could lead the way to legislation by the summer. "I am the most optimistic I've been in quite some time - I recognize there are difficult challenges, but the spirit and commitment is far beyond what I've seen in a long time - and the American people support this," said Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, one of the proposal's architects. Read more here…

McClatchy - Senators outline paths for illegals
A bipartisan group of eight prominent senators on Monday laid out an ambitious overhaul of the nation's patchwork immigration system that would balance tougher border enforcement with establishing a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants and new opportunities for seasonal farm workers to gain legal status. Read more here…

Huffington Post - Immigration Reform For Mixed-Status Families Is Political And Deeply Personal
For some couples, the morning kiss goodbye is an act as routine and emotionally involved as pulling on a winter coat or downing a cup of coffee. But when Alysa Medina says goodbye to her husband there is always something extra, often unspoken there. Read more here…

Washington Post – How immigration reform failed, over and over
In judging whether immigration reform will succeed, it’s helpful to know why so many past attempts by Congress and the White House to change the system have failed. Here’s a timeline of the major attempts to deal with illegal immigration and why they didn’t make the cut. Read more here…

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