Archive for April 28th, 2008

Biz Journals

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill Monday that would have given local police more latitude in tracking illegal immigrants.

House Bill 2807 aimed to allow local police and governments to share, compile and track information related to illegal immigration, including smuggling rings and crime syndicates.

Some police agencies (such as the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office) take an aggressive approach to immigration, while others work under some restrictions.

The measure sought to prohibit such restrictions and facilitate more cooperation among federal, state and local police on the immigration front.

Napolitano said HB 2807 could result in the state having to pay for police training on immigration matters. The bill would have the federal government pay for the training of Arizona police and others on immigration matters, but it said state money could be used for the effort if federal money were not available.

The governor nixed a similar bill in 2005.

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LA Times

Organizers of Thursday’s march, which is expected to attract from 20,000 to 100,000 people, have voiced cautious optimism that this year’s event would go smoothly. They have commended Hillmann and other LAPD leaders for their efforts.

“It’s up to the LAPD to follow through on their promise, to be there to support the march and make sure all of the march participants have a good experience,” said Bethany Leal of the Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network, one of the sponsors of the march and rally.

Juan Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement USA echoed Leal, adding that many immigrants still distrust police because of their heavy-handed actions last year.

“There has been progress, but I don’t think the relationship has been totally repaired,” he said. “A lot of us are in a wait-and-see mode.”

The scrutiny will extend far beyond the city’s Latino communities. Federal monitors, who oversee the department’s efforts to comply with a set of mandated reforms imposed after a corruption and abuse scandal in the late 1990s, will be on hand to observe.

Members of the department’s civilian oversight commission, who have sat in on some of the planning meetings, and legal observers from several community and civil rights groups also will be on the streets.

The training at Dodger Stadium arose directly out of what went wrong last year. Near the end of a largely peaceful day of immigrant rights rallies, a group of 20 to 30 people at MacArthur Park provoked police by throwing sticks and water bottles filled with ice and gravel.

Police failed to effectively cut off the violent pocket from the rest of the crowd and, amid growing confusion, commanders gave an order to disperse the entire gathering. The message to leave was broadcast but only in English and from a speaker on a noisy helicopter.

Chaos ensued as officers in riot gear pushed their way through the park, wielding batons and firing nonlethal bullets.

More than 240 protesters and journalists have claimed they were injured, as well as 18 officers.

Read the entire article.

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“This finding may reflect not what is happening today but the story that’s been told of the last 40 years - that if you get people of different kinds together then eventually there’s going to be trouble.”

BBC

Almost two-thirds of people in Britain fear race relations are so poor tensions are likely to spill over into violence, a BBC poll has suggested.

Of the 1,000 people asked, 60% said the UK had too many immigrants and half wanted foreigners encouraged to leave.

But the proportion of people describing themselves as “racially prejudiced” was down to 20%, compared with 24% in 2005.

Equality and Human Rights Commission head Trevor Phillips said the findings were “alarming”.

Mr Phillips told BBC News: “What worries me is if that friction starts to catch fire - if people do genuinely believe it’s going to catch fire then we’re in trouble.

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Raw Story

China isn’t the only one mad at CNN.

Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a coalition of 21 Latino congressmembers, dispatched a letter Friday to Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes complaining that the network’s news coverage is slanted against immigration and has adopted the rhetoric of outspoken CNN host Lou Dobbs.

CHC Chairman Joe Baca (D-CA) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) expressed outrage that their appeals to meet privately with CNN have gone ignored, and that their letter to Time Warner’s CEO have instead ended up on the desk of CNN’s president.

?We are deeply offended that you did not take the time or effort to respond to a request from twenty Members of the United States House of Representatives and a United States Senator, but instead simply passed the letter along to Mr. Walton,? the lawmakers wrote, according to an article Monday in Roll Call. ?It is additionally offensive that you did so on a topic as important and sensitive as your company?s treatment and portrayal of Latinos in this country.?

Read more.

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.

In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana’s strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to prevent fraud.

It was the most important voting rights case since the Bush v. Gore dispute that sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush. But the voter ID ruling lacked the conservative-liberal split that marked the 2000 case.

The law “is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting ‘the integrity and reliability of the electoral process,’” Justice John Paul Stevens said in an opinion that was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy. Stevens was a dissenter in Bush v. Gore in 2000.

Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also agreed with the outcome, but wrote separately.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter dissented, just as they did in 2000.

More than 20 states require some form of identification at the polls. Courts have upheld voter ID laws in Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, but struck down Missouri’s. Monday’s decision comes a week before Indiana’s presidential primary.

The decision also could spur efforts to pass similar laws in other states.

Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said he hadn’t reviewed the decision, but he was “extremely disappointed” by it. Falk has said voter ID laws inhibit voting, and a person’s right to vote “is the most important right.” The ACLU brought the case on behalf of Indiana voters.

The case concerned a state law, passed in 2005, that was backed by Republicans as a way to deter voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights groups opposed the law as unconstitutional and called it a thinly veiled effort to discourage elderly, poor and minority voters ? those most likely to lack proper ID and who tend to vote for Democrats.

Read more.

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The Washington Post

Hundreds of foreign-born families have pulled their children from Prince William County public schools and enrolled them in nearby Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria since the start of the school year, imposing a new financial burden on those inner suburbs in a time of lean budgets.

The school-to-school migration within Northern Virginia started just as Prince William began implementing rules to deny some services to illegal immigrants and require police to check the immigration status of crime suspects thought to be in the country illegally.

Opponents of the rules say they have had a chilling effect on Prince William’s once-thriving Latino community, prompting even legal immigrants to flee a hostile environment. Supporters say the rules have done what they were supposed to by primarily pushing illegal immigrants out.

“The resolution is clearly working,” said Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “It is driving down the non-English-speaking portion of the schools and saving us millions of dollars. They’re going to other jurisdictions and costing them money.”

Stewart called those jurisdictions “sanctuary” cities and counties, saying illegal immigrants are welcome there. He added: “There is going to be pressure to enact similar resolutions in those neighboring cities and counties.” Officials from those jurisdictions reject that assertion.

Until now, the evidence of a migration has been largely anecdotal, making it difficult to measure or trace its causes. Data from school systems, however, provide the most concrete evidence to date that a significant exodus of immigrants is underway — and that most of those leaving are settling in neighboring communities.

According to the Prince William school system, enrollment in the English for speakers of other languages, or ESOL, program dropped by 759 between September and March 31. It was the first known instance of a decline in ESOL students, said Irene Cromer, a schools spokeswoman.

During that period, 623 ESOL students from Prince William enrolled in Fairfax schools, compared with 241 in the same period the previous year. Eighty-three enrolled in Arlington, and 75 signed up in Alexandria, the latter up from 10.

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This video is from last year but it’s new to me. That’s Frank Jorge behind the camera. Two great Patriots!

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