First Lady talks education to Hispanic audience

By Percy Luján

NEW YORK CITY — First Lady Michelle Obama, featured speaker at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention, which concluded here this past week, didn’t venture into the national debate about the 50,000-plus Central American children clogging the U.S.-Mexico border. She left that contentious politicized subject up to husband Barack. Instead, addressing 1,200 LULAC members at a unity luncheon here, she chose to talk about education and Latino youth. After commending LULAC for its consistent civil rights advocacy on Latino and black education issues, she shifted, “While all of you are proud of what you did, you are by no means satisfied.”

A U.S. Department of Education study released in April showed the high school graduation rate for Hispanic students nationwide was 73 percent, 13 points lower than for white students in the school year ending in 2012. For African-American students it was 69 percent.

You read me right. We abhorred Salvadorans

By Kay Bárbaro

D.C.’s SALVADORAN INGREDIENT: Salvadorans now comprise 40% of the still-small Hispanic population (9%) here in the nation’s capital, with next-to-no local political influence. At the Democratic mayoral candidate forum involving eight candidates (no Hispanics) last month, two-thirds of the 111 Latino caucus members supported incumbent Vincent Gray, whom voters hoisted onto a greased rail out of town when his term expires in January,2015 while winner Muriel Bowser, who outpolled Gray in the total community 44-32%, didn’t even gain single–digit support. Wrong horse, paisanos. Back in 1987, when Salvadorans were starting to bail out of their embattled homeland, a Washington Post survey found that their exodus to the USA in the previous five years had doubled. (Yet only 5% of those who applied for U.S. asylum received it vs.

Documental vuelve a encender debate sobre la muerte de Rubén Salazar

By Kay Bárbaro

Read this story in English

WASHINGTON — A pesar de la convicción declarada del productor de Hollywood, Phillip Rodríguez, con respecto a que el homicidio de Rubén Salazar, director de noticias de KMEX TV (Los Ángeles), cometido hace 44 años, fue un accidente, dos públicos independientes —uno en Washington, D.C., y otro en Long Beach, California— que vieron el preestreno del documental de 54 minutos, no concuerdan con él. Algunos dijeron, además, que aunque trató de hacer un caldo de cultivo para exponer un mal, solamente logró un refrito para la televisión. El programa, Rubén Salazar: Man in the Middle, saldrá a nivel nacional el 29 de abril por la red pública de televisión, PBS. Respondiendo a la invitación de PBS, 125 personas valientes —incluyendo las del equipo del Hispanic Link, el reportero Aaron Montes y el editor Charlie Ericksen, acompañados por Peter Copeland, quien formó parte de la fundación de periodismo de Scripps-Howard—, se aventuraron la noche del 27 de febrero, con temperaturas bajo cero, a ver el documental en el auditorio del Museo de Arte Americano, del Instituto Smithsoniano, en el noroeste de Washington, D.C.

En la otra costa, con temperaturas más cálidas, el profesor y activista Armando Vásquez Ramos invitó a un grupo de 350 jóvenes universitarios al teatro de la California State University, Long Beach, el 10 de marzo, y poco después 100 invitados asistieron a la recepción y discusión que siguió. Al productor del documental, Rodríguez, se le unió Phil Móntez, gran amigo de Salazar, jubilado recientemente de su cargo de director regional de la costa oeste para la U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Documentary revives debate over Rubén Salazar’s death

By Kay Bárbaro

Lea esta historia en español

WASHINGTON — In spite of independent Hollywood producer Phillip Rodríguez’s stated belief that the killing of KMEX-TV (Los Angeles) news director Rubén Salazar 44 years ago was accidental,  two separate audiences – in Washington, D.C., and Long Beach, Calif. — that previewed his 54-minute television documentary, beg to differ. Where there was grist for an exposé, a TV rehash resulted, some say. The program — Rubén Salazar: Man in the Middle — is scheduled to run nationally April 29 on the Public Broadcasting Service network. Responding to PBS invitations, 125 brave souls, including Hispanic Link’s reporter/editor team Aaron Montes/Charlie Ericksen along with Scripps-Howard Journalism Foundation member Peter Copeland ventured into the sub-freezing night of Feb.

Obama, Republicans fail to advance hopes on immigration reform

By Aaron Montes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When President Barack Obama delivered the fifth State of the Union address of his presidency, he dedicated just three sentences to immigration reform. Not once did he mention the contributions or needs of Latinos, nor did he touch on his administration’s handling of deportations. Most of his proposals won applause from Democratic members while the majority of the Republican Party sat in silence. They did the same when the president said “…and fix our broken immigration system.”

On Jan. 30, the house GOP released its immigration requirements: more border security, implemented entry-exit visa tracking and employment verification systems and no special path to citizenship.

Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council. (

Hispanics are tired of Obama’s lip service on immigration reform

By Kay Bárbaro

For Borderzine from Hispanic Link

WASHINGTON – WE’RE STILL WAITING:  Cecilia Muñoz, longtime vice president of the National Council of La Raza whose appointment in Jan. 20, 2009, to President Obama’s initial cabinet was seen as a payoff to the Hispanic community for its huge role in Obama’s winning a front-door key to the White House. This, we and many others innocently believed, would ensure that el presidente nuevo would move quickly to make good on his repeated promises to end our undocumented immigrant agony by delivering genuine immigration reform legislation. Did he? Of course not.

Media Report- August 7, 2013

By Luis Carlos López

Piolín’s exit: Univisión’s abrupt decision to pull the plug on long-time syndicated radio show Piolín por la Mañana stems from alleged sexual harassment by its star, reports The Los Angeles Times. Writer, producer and performer for the radio program Alberto “Beto” Cortez alleges that his boss, Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, was “physically, sexually and emotionally harassing” him for a three-year period ending last January, the Times reported. The accusation was made in an April 16 letter from Cortez’s attorney Robert Clayton to executives Roberto Llamas and José Valle of Univisión Communications Inc., the Times reported July 29. Sexual harassment alleged

“In addition to the claim of sexual harassment, Cortez alleged that Sotelo ordered members of his radio production team to falsify letters in support of a high-profile campaign for congressional immigration reform, an issue that Sotelo championed on his program,” the Times wrote. According to documents it obtained, Cortez claimed that Sotelo continually made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances.

Ken Salazar resigns; President’s cabinet is devoid of Hispanics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar is resigning from President Obama’s Cabinet and will return home to Colorado by the end of March. His impending departure, announced Jan. 16, follows that of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís, who returned to her native California Jan. 23. Their decisions leave President Obama’s Cabinet bare of Hispanics.

Families made a good part of the participants in the march for immigration reform. (Justin Monarez/

Rival immigration reform plans could ignite Capitol Hill fireworks

By Basilisa Alonso

The comprehensive immigration reform proposal spread out Jan. 29 in Las Vegas by President Obama could eventually put as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants, about 80 percent of whom are Hispanic, on a path to U.S. citizenship. It is could also light up the sky with an awesome display of political fireworks by the Fourth of July. While Obama’s 25-minute televised speech was seen and heard by millions and then regurgitated and analyzed for days by print as well as broadcast  media, its message was clearly directed to those 535 members of Congress who must sign off before it reaches his desk for signature. The stakes — the President’s reputation, the future viability of the Republican Party and the welfare of the Hispanic community — are enormous.

Mexico caravan for peace winds up in Washington

By José de la Isla

EDITOR’S NOTE: Influential Mexican writer and poet Javier Sicilia jolted that country’s public and political conscience last year following the murder of his 24-year-old son Juan Francisco Sicilia, and six others, by members of one of that country’s drug cartels by forming and leading a national movement to end the years-long domestic warfare between the government and drug syndicates which has already cost as many as 70,000 lives. The movement came to the United States to address our involvement as the cartels’ principal drug-user market, arms provider and multimillion-dollar partner, while the Mexican government’s counter-offensive has come at a price of additional victims — 10,000 missing and 160,000 displaced persons in Mexico alone. Hispanic Link’s Mexico Citybased columnist José de la Isla has been traveling with the Caravan For Peace and Justice and is filing dispatches covering its final week of U.S. travel and activities in Washington, D.C., which wrapped up this week. Episode I: 70,000 faces of the caravan for peace

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 — Before the historic Caravan For Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived at Riverside Church on the Upper West Side, local volunteers wearing white T-shirts with “#YoSoy132NY” brought refreshments and fruit for the 110 sojourners on the buses coming from Cleveland, Ohio.

Texans await decision by federal judges about state’s Voter ID law

By Jim Lamare

A three-judge panel of the Federal District Court of Washington, D.C., heard arguments this month concerning the legality of Texas’ Senate Bill 14, the voter identification law enacted by the Republican-controlled state legislature last year. In March, the U.S. Department of Justice refused to clear the bill under its powers authorized by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Texas appealed that decision to the Washington, D.C., court. SB 14 requires Texans to produce suitable personal identification to vote. “Suitable” is legislatively defined as one of the following photo IDs: a valid Texas driver’s license, an election identification certificate, a U.S. military ID, a U.S. citizenship certificate, a U.S. passport, or a license to carry a concealed handgun.

Aurora’s Latino Community responds to theater massacre

By McKenzie Romero

In Aurora, Colo., which by community estimates is more than a third Latino, none of the 12 midnight moviegoers killed in the July 20 Century 16 Theater massacre were Latino. Nor were the several initially identified in media accounts as injured. No official list of the 59 hospitalized by 24-year-old gunman James Holmes was immediately released. Aurora’s Latino community was quick, however, to reach out to survivors. David Sánchez told the story of his daughter and son-in-law in theater 9 when James Holmes opened fire.

President Obama arrives at Fort Bliss. (Raymundo Aguirre/

Hispanic leaders, experts weigh in on ‘Obamacare’

By Elizabeth de Armas & Luis Carlos López

Now that the Supreme Court has validated President Obama’s hallmark Affordable Care Act, the states must grapple with interpreting and implementing its 2,801 pages. As the cliché goes, the devil is in the detail. When the verdict was announced June 28, many Hispanic experts and organizational leaders hailed its passage as a victory. A follow-up survey by Hispanic Link News Service has found others are raising strong objections about some of its substantive provisions. Senior research analyst for the health policy project at the National Council of La Raza, Kara Ryan, called it a “major breakthrough.”

Some six million Latinos would gain a pathway to coverage should the law be fully implemented in 2014, she asserted saying that this would translate to the highest single gain by any ethnic group.

ICE reports precipitous decline in deportation proceedings following Morton’s memorandum

By Griselda Nevárez

A 33% drop in deportation proceedings initiated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the first three months of this fiscal year reflect recent Obama Administration efforts to prioritize those with criminal records, according to a report by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). From October through December, ICE filed 39,331 deportation cases to immigration courts across the country — down from the 58,639 filings recorded a year ago. Filings are usually low this time of year but the 33% falloff is unheard of, said TRAC co-director Susan Long. “You usually see a small drop — maybe 10% — but 33% is huge,” Long, an associate professor of managerial statistics, told Hispanic Link News Service. The decrease, she said, may have been caused by steps ICE has been taking to implement the use of prosecutorial discretion outlined by agency director John Morton in a June 17 memorandum.

Texas’ Hispanic population increases by 2.8 million (42%)

By Patricia Guadalupe, NALEO Director of Communication

Texas experienced exceptional growth since 2000, with the Latino community playing a key role in the record number of new residents added to the Lone Star State, according to an analysis by the NALEO Educational Fund of newly released Census 2010 data. While the state’s overall population grew from 20.9 million to 25.1 million (21%) in the first decade of the 21st century, the Latino share of that population increased 42%, from 6.7 million to 9.5 million. LATINO YOUTH ZOOMED

Latino residents account for nearly two thirds (65%) of the population growth in Texas over the last ten years. “Now more than ever, all eyes are on Texas. Our state is gaining four new congressional seats, and that is largely due to the unprecedented growth of the Latino population,” says NALEO President Sylvia García, former Harris County Commissioner.

Southwest Draws 7.3 Million More Latinos in Decade

Hispanic presence jumps 34%; California (3 million), Nevada (82%) are major gainers

The combined Hispanic population in the nation’s six Southwestern states soared by 34% between 2000 and 2010, growing by 7.3 million to 28.1 million. In raw numbers, California accounted for the greatest increase, adding more than 3 million Latinos to magnify the influence of their presence to slightly more than 14 million. Nevada produced the largest percentage growth, 82%. It shot up from 393,970 Hispanics in 2000 to 716,501 a decade later. National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund executive director Arturo Vargas emphasizes the growth in Latino numbers is fueling a surge in states which will gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hispanic Link premiado por cobertura sobre Rubén Salazar

Por Bianca Fortis

Escritores de Hispanic Link News Service ganaron homenajes en tres de nueve categorías periodísticas durante el segundo banquete de premios anual de New America Media (NAM) en Washington, D.C. el 15 de febrero. La competencia, para noticias o variedades publicadas o emitidas en el 2010, fue auspiciada en cooperación con la Escuela de Comunicaciones de la American University, con el fin de dar reconocimiento a la excelencia de los medios étnicos en la región metropolitana de Washington, D.C. Más de 100 entregas de prensa escrita y transmitida en nueve idiomas fueron juzgadas por paneles políglotas de periodistas y educadores del periodismo. Se unieron doscientos invitados al brindis realizado en la sede de la Universidad de California en la capital.  NAM vincula una red de más de 700 organizaciones noticiosas. Los periodistas de Hispanic Link ganaron dos de los premios más importantes y otro de segundo lugar, “mención honorífica” por sus entregas. Frank O. Sotomayor ganó en la categoría de Mejor Noticia de Investigación, por su narrativa de 2.800 palabras, “La muerte extraña de Rubén Salazar — ¿Accidente o asesinato?” publicada el 10 de noviembre en el semanario de Hispanic Link y distribuida a nivel nacional por Scripps Howard News Service.

Hispanic Link’s Salazar coverage wins award

By Bianca Fortis

Hispanic Link News Service writers won honors in three of the nine featured journalism categories at New America Media’s second annual Washington, D.C. awards banquet Feb. 15. The competition, for news or features published or broadcast in 2010, was cosponsored by the American University School of Communications to recognize ethnic media excellence in the Greater Washington region. More than 100 print and broadcast submissions in nine languages were judged by panels of multilingual journalists and journalism educators. Two hundred invited guests joined in the salute, conducted at the capital’s University of California headquarters building.