Unemployment Rates Highest Amongst Black And Latinos (Huffington Post): The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, shows that black and Latino unemployment remain critically elevated and may present a political challenge for President Barack Obama as he seeks reelection.
Voter Apathy and Blue-State Blues: On the Latino Responsibility to Vote (Huffington Post): The last bit of confetti has been swept from convention centers in Tampa and Charlotte, but the media circus around the Latino presence at both the RNC and DNC continues: Speculation over how the Latino vote will or will not influence outcomes in swing states like Nevada, Florida, and Colorado. Philosophizing over what polar opposites like Marco Rubio and Julián Castro could possibly have in common besides a Latino surname. Debate over what it means to be a Latino politician–or a Latino in general, at least linguistically. Surprise over the very existence of the erstwhile “exotic” species that is aLatino Republican.
DREAM Act and DREAMers shaping 2012 and beyond (The Hill): During the Democratic National Convention, Benita Veliz made history during her prime time appearance by being the first undocumented immigrant, or DREAMer, to speak before a national party convention. Her speech was short but graceful: an American story illustrating perseverance and well-deserved academic accomplishments. She praised President Obama’s executive action to lift the shadow of deportation from young undocumented immigrants. The atmosphere of inclusion in Charlotte contrasted sharply with the rhetoric in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. Whether that translates into a substantial bump with the Latino electorate, the polls will soon tell. What is clear, however, is that the DREAM Act and Dreamers, like Benita, are heavily influencing policy positions and party platforms.
US political conventions highlight Hispanic split (Real Clear Politics): The Hispanics with the highest profiles in this year’s U.S. political conventions, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas, stand as opposites in a cultural and political split that has divided millions of Latinos for decades.
Obama, Romney immigration clash gives voters distinctive options (Orlando Sentinel): The explosive issue of immigration reform has given President Barack Obama a clear advantage among Hispanic voters in Florida while giving many conservatives one more reason to rally behind Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Romney improving numbers among Florida Hispanics (Tampa Bay Times): Buried in a poll that showed no convention bounce for Mitt Romney was this encouraging sign: His approval rating among Hispanics has improved over the last five weeks despite being far outspent by Barack Obama. Now, 49 percent of Hispanics have a favorable view of Romney, according to the Public Policy Polling survey. That’s up from 43 percent in the last poll. In a matchup, Obama leads among Hispanics 52 to 45. In July, the spread was 61 to 34. Those numbers seem a bit odd but overall, the trend shows Romney improving.
Romney, Obama aim at swing voters on health care (Associated Press/Nashua Telegraph): With swing voters in his sights, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is tacking toward the center on health care and defense spending now that he’s put his final partisan hurdle behind him and the sprint to Nov. 6 is underway.
Assumptions about Hispanic vote are wrong (Washington Times): The director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principals complained recently that the Republican National Convention speakers didn’t talk about immigration (“Spanish-language reports ‘obsessed’ on immigration,” Page 1, Friday). He didn’t specify whether he was speaking of legal or illegal immigration.
In Voter ID Fight, Hispanic Advocacy Groups At Forefront (Huffington Post): With less than two months to go until Election Day, Hispanic advocacy groups are pressing their fight against voter ID and registration laws that they say aim at restricting minority voting.
Chicago Teachers Strike Hits Latino Families Hard (Fox News Latino): In their mostly Latino neighborhood of Pilsen on Chicago’s Southwest side, many families – 27 percent, according to the 2010 U.S. Census – live below the poverty line and had to decide Monday whether a parent could afford to stay home from work to be with their children, or arrange for alternative child care.
Immigrants have positive impact on Kentucky economy (Currier-Journal): Indiana legislators want to defend strict immigration law, a recent headline that appeared in A Better Life news portal, prompted me to revisit some data about Kentucky and the economic impact of immigration in the Commonwealth. Kentucky lawmakers have repeatedly rejected proposed legislation similar to that passed in other states to address our broken immigration system.
Border Crossing Theme Park Simulates Illegal Immigration (Inquisitr.com): A theme park in Mexico will allow you to participate in a simulated border crossing, according to the Daily Mail. For those with a strong constitution and a penchant for faux danger, twenty American dollars will allow you to glimpse the dangers of illegal immigration. Not only will you be able to navigate perilous terrain in the dark, you’ll also be chased by a squadron of border guards who are extremely interested in preventing you from reaching your intended goal.
U.S. Stops Immigration Flights to Mexico (Associated Press/The Ledger): The U.S. government has halted flights home for Mexicans caught entering the country illegally in the deadly summer heat of Arizona’s deserts, a money-saving move that ends a seven-year experiment that cost taxpayers nearly $100 million.
Nuns’ signs urge immigrant acceptance (Columbus Dispatch): A group of Roman Catholic nuns plans to bring billboards to Columbus in an effort to encourage tolerance of immigrants and a review of immigration policies.
ID Laws Bring New Attention To Voting Rights Act (NPR): Around the country there are moves to tighten restrictions on voters at the polls, some of which fall under the purview of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Melissa Block takes a step back with voting and election law expert Nate Persily of Columbia University, to talk about the Voting Rights Act, and in particular Section 5. That provision, originally aimed at states in the South, requires certain states, counties and townships to get “pre-clearance” from the federal government before changing laws that affect voters.
Episcopal Church Woos Latinos To Congregations (NPR): Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, but only 5 percent of all Hispanics attend a mainline Protestant church. The vast majority are Roman Catholic. For the Episcopal Church, those numbers are an opportunity.
Latino Voters 2012: Sleeping Giant Unlikely To Turn Population Growth Into Power In November (Huffington Post): The nation’s 50 million Latinos make up the largest minority group and the fastest growing segment of the American electorate. Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are clamoring for Latino voters. So when America Ferrera, American-born actress of Honduran heritage and public ambassador for Voto Latino, downplayed Hispanic America’s political influence during a Democratic National Convention forum this week, there were murmurs from the back of the room.
U.S. Hispanic Business Owners: Cut Back Now, Grow Later (PR Newswire/Sacramento Bee): Nine out of 10 Hispanic business owners are optimistic about their prospects over the next two years but concerns about the U.S. economy have led the majority to focus on conserving cash and managing expenses more carefully.
Cine Latino: 10 Hispanic Films at Toronto You Should Know About (Fandango): With over 300 films from over 60 countries screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, already in full swing until September 16, it’s no surprise that Hispanic filmmakers and actors are a big presence on the scene with narratives from Chile, Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina and many more. Here are some noteworthy films created by Hispanic filmmakers and/or featuring Hispanic talent that should be on your radar.