Today, NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía joined MSNBC host, José Díaz-Balart to talk about new polls on Latino voters. Murguía also highlighted the potential power of the Latino vote this election and why it’s imperative that our community turn out to vote on Election Day this November. Watch the segment below:
What to Watch This Week:
The House is in recess, returning the week of November 10.
The Senate is in recess, returning the week of November 10.
The White House has not released a public schedule for this week. However, the president will be in Chicago, on Monday to cast his ballot early in the midterm elections and attend a DNC fundraising event. It is possible later in the week President Obama will reschedule last week’s cancelled campaign events and continue ongoing work related to the situation with ebola.
Week Ending October 17
This week in immigration reform: NCLR continues the “Hanging in the Balance” blog series with a poll on Latino voter priorities; an anti-immigrant law in Alabama is dropped because of legal challenge; Senate Democrats call detention of women and children “unacceptable”; a recent Center for American Progress report outlines the economic benefit of executive action; register for Immigration Advocates Network annual e-conference.
NCLR continues ‘Hanging in the Balance series with a post emphasizing the importance of immigration reform to Latino voters: In our latest blog post, NCLR discusses recent polling data by the NCLR Action Fund and Latino Decisions. The poll, conducted in Florida, Colorado and North Carolina, shows that most respondents were planning on voting in the November election and named immigration among the top issues concerning them this election cycle. In North Carolina, immigration was chosen as the top issue by 33 percent of respondents. That number was 22 percent in Florida and 23 percent in Colorado, understandably because immigration is personal for Latino voters and their communities. Initiatives, like DACA, that keep families together have strong support. The poll shows that almost half of respondents in Colorado and North Carolina said they were much less likely to support a Republican candidate who voted to end the program.
The blog notes, “The directive from Latino voters is clear: reform the immigration system and do it quickly. The president should use his executive authority to help provide temporary relief to the millions of aspiring Americans living in the shadows. But that in no way excuses House Republicans and the rest of Congress from doing their job by passing a permanent solution. Lives are hanging in the balance and Latino voters won’t forget who has helped our community.” Find more in the press release.
Amidst legal pressure from activists, Alabama drops anti-immigrant provision: Almost all components of Alabama HB 56, an anti-immigrant law inspired by Arizona’s SB 1070, have been struck down by courts or dropped by the state. The latest of these measures to fall is known as the “scarlet letter” rule, which would have required the state to publish the names and other personal information of immigrants unable to prove their legal status. An article written this week states that “HB 56 proved to be little more than a headache and an embarrassment to Alabama and even as the House of Representatives is pursuing similarly harsh anti-immigrant bills on the federal level (such as the SAFE act)… the decline of HB 56 (points) to a broader turn away from anti-immigrant legislation around the country on the state and local level.” House Republicans should listen to their constituents’ calls for fair and humane immigration enforcement and comprehensive immigration reform instead of continuing to support legislation that harms immigrants and their communities.
Senate Democrats send letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary decrying detention of womend and children at the border:The Hill published an article detailing contents of a letter sent to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson. The letter speaks of the unacceptable nature of the detention of women and children seeking asylum. “Mothers and their children who have fled violence in their home countries should not be treated like criminals,” the senators wrote in the letter. “They have come seeking refuge from three of the most dangerous countries in the world, countries where women and girls face shocking rates of domestic and sexual violence and murder.” The letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Harry Reid (Nev.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Mark Udall (Colo.).
The senators also questioned the Secretary’s decision to build a new detention facility in Dilley, Texas, a sentiment espoused in an editorial by San Antonio Express News this week. The editorial emphasizes the common practice of releasing immigrants on bond while they await their court date, and notes “These families, by law, must be accorded due process to pursue claims to stay. The U.S. needs to make sure this is provided — and seek alternatives to detention in the interim.”
Making the case for administrative relief — a resource: Center for American Progress highlights economic benefit of executive action: A recent report from the Center for American Progress notes the fiscal benefits of deferred action, with many benefits realized immediately. The main findings include:
- Temporary work permits would increase the earnings of undocumented immigrants by about 8.5 percent as they are able to work legally and find jobs that match their skills.
- A deferred action program that allows undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least five years to apply for a temporary work permit would increase payroll tax revenues by $6.08 billion in the first year alone and increase revenues by $44.96 billion over five years.*
- If President Obama instead extends deferred action to a smaller number of undocumented immigrants then the payroll tax revenue gains would not be as high.
Affiliate opportunity — Immigration advocates network hosting annual e-conference: The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is excited to announce its third annual e-conference, “Cutting Edge Issues in Immigration Law,” from November 3 to November 7, 2014. Join them for a week-long series of interactive online trainings with national experts on immigration issues through the lens of current events and latest developments in the law. The cost of each two-hour training session is $25. Your support helps IAN offer free trainings and resources throughout the year. Click the link above to register. A schedule of sessions is as follows:
- Monday, November 3: Screening for Other Relief
- Tuesday, November 4: Unaccompanied Minors and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Wednesday, November 5: Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Thursday, November 6: DACA and Administrative Relief: Strategies for Potential Criminal Complications
- Friday, November 7: U Visas for Workplace Crimes
Today is Spirit Day, and that means we’ve gone purple in support of LGBT youth and to take a stand against bullying. We’ve joined millions of people, organizations, and corporations across America in sporting purple because here at NCLR we believe all people deserve equal treatment and the right to be safe in their surroundings. When it comes to LGBT equality, especially, we see it as one part of the larger fight for civil rights, which we are engaged in every day. We’re proud to partner with GLAAD today and to call ourselves allies of the LGBT community because we know that when our communities work together, we become stronger.
Our staff is especially passionate about equality and many of them today expressed their solidarity by also wearing purple. We’ve included a sampling below of but a few of the many supportive staff members who believe wholeheartedly in LGBT equality and in the mission to defeat bullying in all forms.
#spiritday #minons @nclr
Octavio Espinal, Associate Director, Office of the President, NCLR
NCLR Media Relations Specialist, Joe Rendeiro #SpiritDay
NCLR Senior Manager, Digital, Jonathan Marrero
NCLR Digital Specialist, Barbara Moreno #SpiritDay
NCLR Executive Administrative Assistant and Scheduler, Celia Gamboa #SpiritDay
NCLR Communications Intern, Anna Suttorp #SpiritDay
NCLR Communications Coordinator, Ricky Garza #SpiritDay
NCLR Manager, Economic Policy Project, Catherine Singley Harvey
NCLR Action Fund Executive Director, Matthew McClellan #SpiritDay
Loren McArthur, NCLR Deputy Director, Civic Engagement #SpiritDay
NCLR New Media Manager, David Castillo #SpiritDay
NCLR Communications Director, Julian Teixeira #SpiritDay
The NCLR Los Angeles staff supports #LGBT youth! #SpiritDay
NCLR Vice President, California Region, Delia de la Vara shows her support this #SpiritDay.
So tell us: What does Spirit Day mean to you?
A series of polls released by the NCLR Action Fund and Latino Decisions show that immigration will once again be a top priority for Latino voters on Election Day. In late September, the groups surveyed Latino voters in Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina, states where the rapidly growing Latino population is poised to help decide who wins in a number of hotly contested races. In addition to reporting that most respondents were planning to vote this election cycle, the polls showed that immigration was consistently among the top issues for Latino voters in these states. Thirty-three percent of Latino voters in North Carolina listed immigration as the most important issue in the midterms—the top issue for that state—while it garnered 22 percent in Florida and 23 percent in Colorado, placing immigration only one or two points behind economic priorities.
Part of the reason that this issue continues to be so important for Latino voters is because it’s personal. Those being deported are family members and friends; tight-knit communities are forced to endure needless suffering because politicians refuse to get their acts together. When asked whether they knew a family member, friend, or co-worker who was undocumented, more than 40 percent of respondents in Florida, 50 percent in Colorado, and 60 percent in North Carolina responded affirmatively. These are extraordinarily high numbers of people who have to live with the constant fear that somebody they know could be deported at any time. And many are fed up with lawmakers for refusing to help.
Almost half of respondents in Colorado and North Carolina said that they were much less likely to support a Republican congressional candidate who voted to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented youth. As NCLR stated when House Republicans attacked the program this past summer, attempts to eliminate relief for young undocumented immigrants are a slap in the face to the Latino community and show blatant disrespect for our growing electorate.
However, the president is not walking away unscathed with Latinos voters for his politically motivated decision not expand relief to the millions of undocumented immigrants. The poll of Florida’s voters specifically asked who Latino voters blame for the lack of progress on immigration: House Republicans, President Obama, or both. Although House Republicans still lead at 42 percent, 32 percent blame the president, while almost 20 percent of respondents say both share blame.
The directive from Latino voters is clear: reform the immigration system and do it quickly. The president should use his executive authority to help provide temporary relief to the millions of aspiring Americans living in the shadows. But that in no way excuses House Republicans and the rest of Congress from doing their job by passing a permanent solution. Lives are hanging in the balance and Latino voters won’t forget who has helped our community.
By Jose Oliveros, VOXXI
Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to an end, and here at VOXXI we wanted to salute the great Latino inventors. Some of the things you have used -and some you haven’t- were invented by a Latino and you didn’t even know it.
Here are 5 incredible inventions by a Latino:
1. The color T.V.
Invented in 1946 by Mexican engineer Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena, color television sets changed the way we all watch our favorite shows and sporting events. As always, Latinos adding flavor to the bland in the world.
2. The Submarine
Narciso Monturiol i Estarriol of Figueras, Spain, invented the first combustion engine driven submarine. The invention by the Spaniard changed the world forever. The submarine is a pivotal piece in every country’s defense. The vessel’s first voyage was in 1859 in Barcelona.
Hate spam? No, not Specially Prepared Assorted Meats, but that nasty clutter you get in your e-mail inbox. Well here is you your knight in shining armor, Dr. Luis vox Ahn. The Guatemalan native invented a system called reCaptcha that makes people type in two words in order to access restricted areas in website. In other words, it makes sure that a human is trying to access a certain part of a website and not a bot. If spam is bad now, imagine what it would be without it.
4. The X-ray microscope
The X-ray microscope was an important leap forward for the science and a Latino was right in the middle of the invention. Albert Baez is a co-inventor, along with Paul Kirkpatrick, invented a tool and imaging that, according to a Stanford University press release, “is still used, particularly in astronomy to take X-ray pictures of galaxies and in medicine.
5. Liquid-fuel rocket engine
Peruvian scientist Pedro Paulet, born in Arequipa on July 2, 1874, invented the liquid-fuel rocket engine. Basically, without Paulet’s groundbreaking invention in 1895, space travel would still be just a dream. So, you’re welcome Neil Armstrong.
What to Watch This Week:
The House is in recess, returning the week of November 10.
The Senate is in recess, returning the week of November 10.
On Tuesday, the president will attend a meeting at Andrews Air Force Base hosted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey with more than 20 foreign chiefs of defense to discuss the coalition efforts in the ongoing campaign against ISIL. Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander U.S. Central Command will also participate in this meeting. In the evening, President Obama will attend a DCCC event in the Washington area.
On Wednesday, the president will travel to Union, N.J. to attend a DSCC event. In the evening, he will travel to Bridgeport, Conn. for a campaign rally with Connecticut Democrats, featuring Gov. Dan Malloy.
On Thursday, President Obama will travel to Rhode Island to deliver remarks on the economy. Afterward, the president will travel to Long Island, N.Y. to attend a DNC event.
On Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.
Week Ending October 10
This week in immigration reform: Deportations in 2013 were at a record high and cities are changing how they respond to federal immigration enforcement; NCLR continues the “Hanging in the Balance” blog series; Huffington Post publishes an op-ed by Representatives Conyers (D-Mich.) and Lofgren (D-Calif.) on executive action; NCLR presents the Immigo app, a resource for immigrants, activists, and advocates.
–Department of homeland security releases report detailing deportation numbers from 2013 and more cities are refusing to cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement: An article in the Las Vegas Sun notes that according to a new DHS report, “438,421 immigrants were deported in 2013, up approximately 5 percent from the previous record of 418,397 in 2012. More than 2 million people have been deported since President Barack Obama took office.” These numbers are released in the midst of a growing trend of cities refusing to detain those suspected of immigration violations in local jails and detention facilities until ICE decides to collect and deport them. These policy changes result partly as “officials worry that the detention requests also undercut community policing, making neighborhoods less safe by discouraging victims in immigrant neighborhoods from reporting crime or working with police. Local communities, unlike ICE, are also left with the collateral damage of families fractured by deportation” according to an article in the Washington Post. The growing trend of cities refusing to cooperate with federal officials is further evidence that the immigration system is broken and needs reform.
–NCLR continues ‘hanging in the balance’ series with the stories of three latinas threatened with deportation: With the delay of executive action by President Obama until after the November election, aspiring Americans continue to face the threat of deportation. In our latest blog post we share the story of three Latinas who are either at risk of deportation themselves or know of someone who is at risk of deportation. The possibility of deportation is real, especially with the continuation of a record number of removals by the Obama Administration. We continue to advocate for immigration reform so that Anabel, Maria, Elizabeth, and millions of other families, can live free of the fear of deportation.
–Huffington Post publishes an opinion piece by representative conyers (d-mi) and representative lofgren (d-ca) on administrative action: Representative Conyers (D-Mich.) and Representative Lofgren (D-Calif.) write an op-ed recognizing that the inaction of House Republicans has created the need for executive action on immigration. Not only have House Republicans failed to vote on comprehensive immigration reform, but they have passed several bills harmful to immigrants, including one that would disallow DACA recipients from renewing their applications, exposing them to the threat of deportation. They write, “We had hoped that executive action by the president would have taken place sooner, given the House Republicans’ obstructionism on immigration reform and the overriding national interest in updating our immigration system. But make no mistake, when the president acts, it will be because the GOP has made it abundantly clear there is only one viable path forward on immigration.”
NCLR presents new immigo app as a resource to share information on immigration: NCLR presents its new app, Immigo, to the NCLR Corporate Board of Advisors. The app highlights the successful partnership between NCLR, Verizon, and the Immigration Advocates Network. Working together we have created an app that empowers service providers to share accurate immigration information with their clients. David Valdez of the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA is a perfect example of the user of the app. In an article, he writes, “No less than two weeks ago I had a student approach me needing some advice on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Normally, I would be anxious about providing accurate information on such a sensitive subject. However, having recently attended a digital media workshop at the National Council of La Raza conference, I’d learned of great new applications that have been developed to provide information on issues related to immigration. I was able to direct this young man to download the Immigo app and provide him with the most up-to-the-minute information for immigration reform.”
By Juliana Ospina Cano, Escalera STEM Manager, NCLR
By 2020, six years from now, more than two million science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs will go unfilled if youth are not prepared to succeed in a competitive STEM-driven economy. At the moment, Latinos represent 15% of the overall workforce, but only 7% of the STEM workforce.
Latino underrepresentation is directly linked to lack of exposure and students’ attitudes toward STEM education. Too often, we hear students say “Math is too hard;” “I was told I don’t have what it takes;” or “I like science but I don’t think I’m smart enough.” These comments are a reflection of the STEM-deficit mindset that lives in the Latino community. To address part of the STEM disparity, NCLR has formalized a STEM readiness program that seeks to expose Latino youth to STEM disciplines. Aligned to the Common Core State Standards and culturally relevant to Latino students, NCLR STEM programs lead students to develop a STEM mindset, one that encourages problem-solving, creativity, and innovation.
NCLR STEM currently houses four main programs to bolster youth’s interest in STEM disciplines. With support from the National Science Foundation and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, CHISPA (Children Investigating Science with Parents and Afterschool) engages students in early STEM education. In collaboration with ASPIRA, NCLR works with 19 Affiliates and 11 national science museums to provide culturally relevant STEM curricula in elementary schools across the country. This innovative program blends science instruction with a family engagement piece. With this two-fold approach, CHISPA exposes students to STEM after school and parents through the newly developed family engagement curriculum Padres Comprometidos con CHISPA. The programs address two of the main challenges in STEM education: early exposure to STEM and family engagement.
At the middle school level, NCLR focuses on STEM family education with its Padres Comprometidos, STEM at Home program. The program introduces Latino families to STEM education and cultivates interest by tapping into parents’ background knowledge. It’s not uncommon to meet Latino parents who are immediately turned off by math and science, as many of them had negative experiences in their own schooling. Padres Comprometidos, STEM at Home reintroduces STEM by building relevant awareness by providing concrete examples of STEM in our daily lives. In this program, families regain a positive attitude toward these disciplines while learning critical skills on how to successfully advocate for their children at school.
As an extension of the Escalera Program, Escalera STEM exposes high school juniors and seniors to STEM disciplines through inquiry-based instruction, exploratory activities, and engagement with STEM professionals. The newly developed STEM curriculum validates Latino’s attitudes toward STEM education and challenges STEM disengagement and family expectations as students analyze relevant data regarding current and future market projections. Given the overwhelming request to expand the Escalera STEM network, NCLR is pleased to announce a STEM education training this month in Houston, Texas.
The last component of the NCLR STEM initiative includes NCLR’s first STEM Youth Summit. This event will bring more than 150 high school students, STEM professionals, and community partners with the purpose of exposing students to STEM education.
As stated by President Obama, “American students must move from the middle to the top of the pack in science in math” and in order to achieve this goal, students need to have equitable and accessible resources to enable them to navigate their current STEM world, and the possibilities that lie ahead. NCLR invites its Affiliates to join the STEM network to boost and develop a competitive Latino-STEM-oriented workforce.
Thirty seven percent of the Latino electorate in Florida is still undecided about whom they will vote for in this November’s governor’s race, says a new poll released today by NCLR and the NCLR Action Fund (NCLRAF). Latino Decisions conducted the survey between Sept. 26-Oct. 3, 2014.
According to the poll, almost 40 percent of registered Latino voters in Florida say they plan to vote for former governor, Charlie Crist (D), while 23 percent they would vote for the incumbent, Gov. Rick Scott (R).
The Latino vote is a crucial one in Florida where it comprises 18 percent of the state’s entire electorate. Latinos in the Sunshine State are also energized to vote this year, according to the poll’s findings. In fact, 73 percent of those polled said they were certain they would make it to the voting booth next month.
“While undecided in the state’s top ticket contest, Latino voters are certainly energized to turn out and vote this November,” said Loren McArthur, Deputy Director of Civic Engagement for NCLR. “This provides a great opportunity for campaigns to reach out to Latinos and engage with them on the issues they feel are most critical to the community—which according to respondents of the poll were the economy, immigration and health care.”
Indeed, as the poll shows, there is much at stake for the Latino community and they are ready to make their voice heard. Overall, the economy, health care, and immigration are the top priorities for Latino voters.
Top lines from today’s poll:
- This was the top priority for respondents; 24 percent said it was the most important factor in deciding whom to vote for
- A whopping 64 percent of Latino voters in Florida support increasing the minimum wage
- Ninety-four percent support equal pay for women
- Almost 80 percent of Latino voters say the state should accept federal funding to expand Medicaid
- Sixty-six percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports expanding the popular health insurance program
- Sixty-nine percent of those polled think the governor should use his executive authority to expand Medicaid if Tallahassee fails to act on its own, including 54 percent of Republican Latinos
- Eighty percent say the inaction on immigration reform makes it more important to vote this year
- Twenty-two percent of Latino voters said immigration was the most important issue this election
“Latino voters’ policy priorities are clear, and it is also evident from what we’ve seen in the poll that Latinos continue to be issue-based voters” said Matthew McClellan, Executive Director of NCLRAF. “It’s up to both candidates to now clarify exactly where they stand on critical issues to Florida’s Hispanic community, like Medicaid expansion and immigration reform—it could make all the difference in some of the state’s most contested races.”