Cesar Chavez Day Reminds Us We Must Keep Fighting Despite Adversity

Cesar Chavez

Although many families will observe Easter today, the holiday is not the only reason for celebration.  Today is the birthday of one of the most admired Latino civil rights champions, Cesar Chavez.  Cesar Chavez Day reminds us of the struggles that Latinos have endured, and gives us hope for a more inclusive nation as we look toward the future.

We remember Chavez as the father of the modern-day Hispanic civil rights movement.  His leadership in organizing farmworkers, which led to the founding of the United Farmworkers Union (UFW), resulted in widespread visibility for a group of people who for too long had been subjected to unfair and exploitative labor practices.  That philosophy is still the foundation for the UFW’s mission.

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This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending March 29

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 Week Ending March 29

This week we’re rolling out a new feature on the blog, “This Week in Immigration Reform.” We know it can be tough, if not overwhelming, to stay on top of all the news coming out about the immigration reform debate.

Each week, we’ll bring you all the top stories about this ongoing conversation all in one post, which you can use to stay abreast of everything happening here in D.C. and throughout the rest of the country. If you haven’t already, you should subscribe to the “Immigration” category to get this weekly feature and other immigration-related posts delivered straight to your reader. So, without further introduction, welcome to the first installment of “This Week in Immigration Reform.”

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Reflecting on National Nutrition Month

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Every March we observe National Nutrition Month.  As this March draws to a close, we at NCLR’s Institute for Hispanic Health thought it fitting to highlight the work we have been doing to promote healthy living in Latino communities.  We have been crisscrossing the country in an effort send the message that Latinos have much to gain from engaging in healthy eating habits.

Through our promotores de salud (lay health workers), we empower Latino families to take control of their health and reduce their risk factors for obesity and chronic disease.  Our trainings have provided these promotores with the skills and resources to promote healthy living in their own communities.  Participants in one of our programs, Selección Sana, Vida Saludable, learn to do three things:  perform an environmental scan assessing the community’s support of healthy living, conduct educational outreach to Latinos, and serve as a link between the Latino community and health care services such as federal assistance programs.

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Senate Stands Against Harsh Anti-immigrant Amendments

Thank them now.

By Leticia Miranda, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Security Policy, NCLR

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This past Friday when I blogged about the Senate vote-a-rama, we did not know what would be the fate of seven anti-immigrant amendments that were filed late last week as part of the Senate budget bill.  Now we know.  Only one anti-immigrant amendment came to the floor for a vote—Amendment 614, which would have prohibited newly legalized immigrants from ever qualifying for Medicaid or exchange subsidies under the new health care law.  The amendment failed with a total of 56 Senators voting against it.  Had this amendment passed, it would have sent a signal to aspiring citizens that they would not be treated the same as other Americans, even after they earn their legal status.  By rejecting this amendment, these 56 Senators stood for fundamental fairness and against egregious policies that target immigrants and seek to marginalize our Latino community.  We commend the tri-partisan group of Senators who stood against this harsh anti-immigrant amendment.

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Congress and the President Opt to Keep Sequester Instead of Delivering Responsible Solutions

By Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, NCLR

U.S. Capitol

It’s official.  Congress and the president respectively passed and signed a continuing resolution that maintains the arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration through September.  While much of the fanfare in the press has focused on the contrast between the budget proposals offered by either chamber, less attention has been paid to lawmakers’ quiet acceptance of deep and damaging budget cuts.  The indiscriminate cuts included in sequestration were intentionally set by Congress to be so unacceptable and painful that lawmakers would surely never allow them to come to fruition.  Sadly, the budget cuts are that painful, and Congress and the president did let them happen.

This is not what Latinos had in mind when we cast our votes in record numbers last fall.  Latinos across this country took to the polls to elect lawmakers who they thought would have their backs, lawmakers who were committed to fighting for policies that would improve the economy and create jobs while also investing in programs that open up access to education and health care.  Where are those leaders now?

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