ICE Intimidates Latino Community with Arrest of DACA Recipient Practicing Free Speech

Earlier this week in Jackson, Miss., 22-year-old Dany Vargas stood bravely before reporters to speak about the fear that she and many of her friends and family have of being deported at any moment under a new administration that has targeted the Latino community.

Dany’s fears are real. After all, it was just two weeks ago that she watched her father get arrested outside their home. She literally hid inside her bedroom closet for fear that she too could be deported. Dany’s father and her brother were arrested, detained, and are currently awaiting deportation. Despite her fears after watching her family members taken away, Dany spoke eloquently about being a DREAMer and how much she wants to contribute to her country, which she has called home since she was seven years old.

As a DACA recipient, Dany has been able to work as a store manager, and has dreams of being a math teacher. But, her DACA status lapsed after she was unable to pay the $500 fee that is required every two years to maintain the status. However, Dany did save up the money she needed, and last month got her paperwork in order so that she could begin the renewal process. Since her application is pending, what happened next was shocking.

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This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending February 17

Week Ending February 17

This week in immigration: NCLR responds to immigration enforcement actions; shares information on Telemundo town hall on immigration; and responds to A Day Without Immigrants.

NCLR responds to enforcement actions: This week we continued to see chaos that erupted as a direct consequence of President Trump’s Executive Orders and his full-speed ahead order to immigration agents to arrest and detain any and all undocumented immigrants they encounter.

Millions of American families are feeling anxious as a result of the scorched-earth approach this administration is pursuing. This follows the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a long-time Arizona resident and mother of two U.S. citizens when she went for a check in with the local immigration office. Earlier this week, another mother of U.S. citizens with strong ties to her community took sanctuary in a church in Colorado.  NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguia took to twitter to state that deporting hard-working moms who pose no threat does not make anyone safer but does destroy families.

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Stopping the Debt Trap in Orlando

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At the 2016 NCLR Annual Conference in Orlando last month, NCLR staff was out in full force collecting comments from attendees in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule to curb payday lenders’ abusive lending practices.

As we’ve highlighted in our Truth in Payday Lending series, the Latino community has especially fallen victim to these shady operators. In the absence of safe and affordable financial products, people desperately in need of cash turn to payday lenders, who prey on our communities. Promising relief, these payday lenders lure struggling Latinos into situations that quickly morph into an endless cycle of borrowing and debt.

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NCLR Educators Invest in Informal Science Education

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The new cohort of CHISPA 2.0 educators.

Last month, NCLR welcomed its new cohort of CHISPA 2.0 educators to Fort Worth, Texas, for three days of STEM engagement.

The CHISPA (Children Investigating Science with Parents and Afterschool) program works to increase STEM learning among Latino youth, and encourages parental involvement in their children’s education. Through CHISPA, students and parents have an opportunity to foster a greater understanding of the STEM disciplines, and learn new strategies for navigating the education system.

NCLR STEM manager Juliana Ospina Cano, along with two educators from previous CHISPA cohorts, Irma Lopez from New Economics for Women and Rico Harris from the Latin American Montessori Bilingual School (LAMB), led this year’s session. The presenters discussed ways to implement CHISPA’s After-School Program Exploring Science (APEX) curriculum, as well as our parent engagement program Padres Comprometidos con CHISPA.

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Truth in Payday Lending: Alfredo’s Story

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Getting laid off from your job is never welcome news, but receiving that news during the holidays just adds anxiety to an already stressful season. For Alfredo Romero, the news couldn’t have come at a worse time. With his landscaping job gone, Alfredo turned to the one source he knew would give him some much-needed cash: payday lenders.

In desperate need to get his family through the holiday season, Alfredo took out a $1,000 payday loan from Regency Financial in Mentor, Ohio. He had two years to pay it back.

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