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Monday, May 24, 2004

Immigrant Children

From the Arizona Daily Sun:

The majority of the 85,000 undocumented children caught entering the United States last year came from Mexico and were turned back at the border, figures show.

But a growing number of kids from other countries are detained by authorities and held in federal shelters.

Last year, 6,000 children were detained by federal authorities and the total could reach 7,700 this year, said Wendy Young, of the Women's Commission for Refugee Resettlement.

On any given day, 700 immigrant children find themselves living in the 14 shelters and group homes around the U.S., Young said.

Hispanic Marketing

Tere Zubizarreta, founder and CEO of Zubi Advertising Services:

Madison Avenue once dismissed Hispanics as too poor and uneducated to be worth taking seriously. Big mistake then -- and monumental one today.

A Call to End Cuba Restrictions

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A bipartisan group of prominent business leaders, ex-government officials, elected officials and humanitarian leaders from across the nation today, in an open letter to President Bush, called on the administration to work with the majority of members of Congress who seek to lift all restrictions on humanitarian trade and free travel to Cuba.

The letter was issued by Americans For Humanitarian Trade With Cuba (AHTC) in response to the administration's recent adoption of measures that would limit Cuban American family visits, humanitarian aid and travel recommended by its interagency Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba.

Kerry Seeking Support

The Democratic nominee wants to have the endorsment of Hispanic legislators:

LOOKING FOR SUPPORT: Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in an effort to shore up support from members who had largely backed other candidates during the primaries. The fact that a majority of Hispanic members of Congress had initially supported other presidential candidates would not be an issue, assured Rep. Hilda Solís (D-Calif.), who had backed former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Conservatives and Immigration

In a yet-to-be-published article, Andre Traversa makes a convincing argument for conservative opposition to the anti-immigration movement:

...it's important to point out that conservatives have some legitimate concerns about immigration, especially illegal immigration, which creates document fraud, smuggling rings, and other black market practices. But the solution to these problems does not lie in placing troops on the border, but in providing legal channels, such as guest-worker programs, that would allow foreigners easy access to the American economic pie...

Not only is a generous immigration policy consistent with conservative support for the free market, but the real benefits to America are not merely economic. The greatest rewards to come from charitable immigration are moral, cultural, and spiritual.

Andre has written on immigration issues before, and he can be reached at goandre@xnet.com.

The Latino Vote

Not surprisingly, the latino vote is divided:

A new poll shows Latino voters in the United States divided in their support for George Bush and John Kerry, six months before the U.S. presidential election.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Learn more about this great non-profit organization:

Established in 1975, the agency has awarded more than 61,000 scholarships totaling more than $115 million. During the 2002-2003 academic year, the organization awarded more than $26 million in scholarships to more than 7,500 Hispanic students in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Last year, the fund had expenditures of $36.5 million, ranking it fifth on the Hispanic Business annual listing of top nonprofits.

Since the late 1990s, the agency's annual scholarship amount has increased every year, thanks largely to a $50 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., and to the agency's participation in the $1 billion Gates Millennium Scholarship Program. With a goal of doubling the percentage of Hispanics completing at least four years of college - from 9.3 percent in 1996 to 18 percent by 2010 – the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has mounted a multi-pronged campaign funded almost entirely by foundation grants.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Immigration and Republicans

From the D.C. Times:

Immigration is turning into an election battleground among Republicans, with several challengers running primary campaigns against leading congressional supporters of legalizing illegal aliens.

The Hispanic Vote

Both parties are fighting and spending to attract Hispanic voters.

Criminal Alien Bill

From the Washington Times:

Key congressional Republicans introduced a bill yesterday to cut down the number and types of appeals available to criminal aliens before they are deported.

Currently, aliens who have committed major felonies have more chances to ask for judicial review, thereby delaying deportation, than an alien guilty only of overstaying a visa, the lawmakers said.

Race Preferences in Education

Edward Blum and Roger Clegg discuss the huge gaps between average SAT scores among white, black, Hispanic and Asian students:

Politicians are less likely to address failures in public education for so long as racial preferences allow them to sweep the problem under the rug. That was the lesson of California's Proposition 209 initiative: K-12 educational reform was much easier after preferences were banned.

These academic and proficiency test gaps are also likely to continue to remain stubbornly wide simply because affirmative action preferences remove much of an individual's incentive for high achievement. After all, as Professor John McWhorter points out, why should an African-American high school student bust a gut studying three extra hours every night to get an A in a difficult course, when he knows a C+ will get him the same offer from a competitive college?

Justice O'Connor thought she was helping academically underachieving blacks and Hispanics gain a rightful place in the leadership of our nation by allowing an applicant's race to be used in university admission, but in fact she may have helped guarantee just the opposite.

As long as African-Americans know they can rely on preferences to help them into school, they won't commit the sweat-equity needed to make them truly excel on their own; as long as politicians can use preferences to paper over the real problems in K-12 education, they won't act.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Bill Rejected

From the L.A. Daily News:

WASHINGTON -- The House overwhelmingly rejected legislation Tuesday that would have required emergency room doctors to report illegal immigrants for deportation.

The Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Act would have required hospitals that accept federal reimbursement for the cost of treating illegal immigrants in their emergency rooms to ask the immigration status and other personal information from foreign-born patients.

The government would have deported patients found to be in the United States illegally.

Negativo

The New Republic has an interesting article regarding the Bush campaign's use of "negative" political ads airing in Spanish-language media:

So the Bush team is faced with a difficult decision: It can either stick to the positive style that seems to have worked with Latinos in 2000, or try to exploit the relative media vacuum around Latinos by going negative in a bid to change as many minds as possible before November. The former might be a little harder to do now that Bush is the incumbent... At the same time, going negative could well turn off Latino voters...

Assimilation

Michelle Malkin has never been one to mince words:

The difference between past and present immigration experience is the existence of a defiant anti-assimilationist lobby that encourages legal and illegal aliens to resist adapting to the American way of life.

America the Bully

Mr. Douglas Starr thinks American is behaving like a bully with Cuba:

Eager to curry the Miami extremist vote, the administration has eliminated all "people-to-people" cultural exchanges and university-related educational travel. Customs agents at airports in Canada, Mexico, and other third-country way stations have been alerted to nab any American tourists who might try to end-run the travel restrictions. The enforcement branch of the Treasury Department has beefed up its anti-Cuba surveillance, devoting 21 full-time employees to enforcing the Cuban embargo and travel ban. Only four track the finances of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

I'm no fan of the embargo especially because it limits Americans' freedom to travel and makes us look like hypocrites when we talk about free trade. However, I am concerned that liberalization of trade with Cuba will strengthen a totalitarian regime as has happened in China. Despite those concerns, I think the lifting of the embargo is long overdue. It should end instead of getting stricter.

The President's latest policy announcement is even angering some of his Cuban American supporters:

President Bush's new Cuban sanctions policy creates more hardship for Cuban Americans, his voting constituency, than to the Cuban government and opens itself up to serious discriminatory legal actions, aside from loss of votes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

David Duke is Out

The White Supremacist Ex-Con is free and speaking publicly again.

Chavez's Militia

Another step toward the militarization and Cubanization of Venezuela:

CARACAS - President Hugo Chávez's decision to create a citizens militia and strengthen Venezuela's armed forces to protect his government was condemned by opposition leaders Monday as another ominous turn toward a Cuban-style government.

Remittances

From the Miami Herald:

WASHINGTON - Latin American immigrants in the United States will send $30 billion -- about 10 percent of their income -- to families in their home countries this year, the first major survey of remittances has found.

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Latino Vote

From USA Today:

President Bush leads in the contest for Florida's potentially decisive Latino vote but is failing to cut into John Kerry's strength with Latinos in the Southwest battlegrounds of Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Resegregation?

Edward Blum & Roger Clegg or the Center for Equal Opportunity think not:

Every family, regardless of race and ethnicity, prefers to raise its children in safe, secure neighborhoods and to send them to competitive, high-achieving schools. Blacks and Hispanics, along with whites, have been heading to the suburbs in record numbers in search of this way of life during the past decades. Conversely, whites will gladly send their children to sit side-by-side with minority classmates in inner-city, high-achieving magnet schools like Boston Latin or Houston Vanguard because of the quality of instruction there.

Brown Anniversary

Thomas Sowell is critical of Brown on the eve of its 50th Anniversary:

Brown v. Board of Education was the crucial case establishing a pattern in which rhetoric beats reasoning--and we are still paying the price today. The painful irony is that black schoolchildren, the supposed beneficiaries of all this, have gained little or nothing in their education.

Diplomacy - Castro Style

Carlos Alberto Montaner:

In its diplomatic relations, Castro's Cuba projects the same kind of constant turmoil that the Comandante uses to govern the island. More than a permanent revolution, it is a permanent ruckus. Castro cannot live without a crisis to which he can impart ''a resounding response,'' without a ``mafioso enemy whom our glorious history will crush like a vile worm.''

To coexist with that government is like having as a neighbor a raving lunatic who shouts constantly, beats his family, gets drunk, pummels anyone who walks past his door, bursts uninvited into your home and starts irrational arguments that end up affecting the entire neighborhood.

Friday, May 14, 2004

War Saves Lives

Jose Ramos-Horta, the 1996 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize makes a good case for using military might to defeat evil:

The new Socialist government in Spain has caved in to the terrorist threats and withdrawn its troops from Iraq. So have Honduras and the Dominican Republic. They are unlikely to be the last. With the security situation expected to worsen before it improves, we have to accept that a few more countries--which do not appreciate how much the world has at stake in building a free Iraq--will also cut and run.

No matter how the retreating governments try to spin it, every time a country pulls out of Iraq it is al Qaeda and other extremists who win. They draw the conclusion that the coalition of the willing is weak and that the more terrorist outrages, the more countries will withdraw...

The consequences of doing nothing in the face of evil were demonstrated when the world did not stop the Rwandan genocide that killed almost a million people in 1994. Where were the peace protesters then? They were just as silent as they are today in the face of the barbaric behavior of religious fanatics.

Some may accuse me of being more of a warmonger than a Nobel laureate, but I stand ready to face my critics. It is always easier to say no to war, even at the price of appeasement. But being politically correct means leaving the innocent to suffer the world over, from Phnom Penh to Baghdad. And that is what those who would cut and run from Iraq risk doing.

More Latino Republicans

According to the GOP:

Over the past four years Republicans have made impressive gains within the Latino community, especially among newly registered voters.

A recent study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center shows that between 2000 and 2003, the percentage of Latinos registered as Republicans increased 3.3% while the number of Latinos registered as Democrats decreased by 6.5%.

That means Republicans netted an increase of almost 10% better than Democrats in the number of Latinos registered.

UPDATE: More details.

Immigration News

The University of California at Davis has an informative website that follows what it calls "migration news."

Thursday, May 13, 2004

More Paranoia

Paranoid minds think alike:

CARACAS - (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Wednesday accused a senior U.S. military commander of knowing about a purported conspiracy to send Colombian paramilitary fighters to overthrow his government.

Although he acknowledged he didn't ''have proof at this moment,'' Chávez said he was ''completely sure'' that U.S. Army Gen. James Hill, the commander of U.S. military operations in Latin America, ''knew about the plan that was being prepared against Venezuela.'' Chávez stopped short of accusing Hill of involvement.

Topeka 50 Years After Brown

The Washington Post has an interesting article looking at integration of the public schools in Topeka, Kansas 50 years after the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education ending official segregation:

Today, the mayor of Topeka is black, as is the school superintendent. "I am a direct beneficiary of Brown," said James A. McClinton, 42, who became mayor last year. The court ruling enabled him to "attend desegregated schools and get some of the best education Kansas has to offer."

But McClinton and others say the revolution wrought by Brown is fragile and incomplete. As whites leave the city for the suburbs, maintaining racial balance in Topeka schools is an increasingly complicated juggling act. Even more alarming, blacks and Hispanics continue to trail whites significantly in educational achievement.

Paranoia

From the Jamaica Observer:

TEGUCIGALPA (AFP) - Cuba has stepped up military preparations, fearing an invasion by the United States "is closer than ever", Cuba's ambassador to Honduras Alberto Gonzalez said yesterday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Cuban Dollar Stores Closed

From the Miami Herald

Cubans awoke Tuesday to shuttered stores that sell goods in U.S. dollars after a government announcement that sales of nonessentials in greenbacks would be suspended indefinitely.

The government blamed the new measure, first announced on television Monday night, on the Bush administration's decision last week to tighten trips and cash remittances to the island.

Huntington's Nativism

Louis Menand of the New Yorker has a review of Samuel Huntington's "Who Are We?" Menand goes after Huntington's nativism:

The new immigrants are people who, as Huntington describes them, “may assimilate into American society without assimilating the core American culture.” Many maintain dual citizenship (Huntington calls these people “ampersands”); some do not bother to become American citizens at all, since the difference between the benefits available to citizens and those available to aliens has become smaller and smaller (a trend that originated, Huntington notes, among “unelected judges and administrators”). In a society in which multiculturalism is encouraged, the loyalty of these immigrants to the United States and its core culture is fragile...

One keeps wondering what Huntington, in his chapter on Mexican-Americans, means by “cultural bifurcation.” What is this alien culture that threatens to infect Anglo-Americans? Hispanic-American culture, after all, is a culture derived largely from Spain, which, the last time anyone checked, was in Europe. Here is what we eventually learn (Huntington is quoting from a book called “The Americano Dream,” by a Texas businessman named Lionel Sosa): Hispanics are different because “they still put family first, still make room in their lives for activities other than business, are more religious and more community oriented.” Pull up the drawbridge!

Strange Story

This story is a good example of what a lawsuit-happy society we've become:

A Massachusetts prep school alumnus is suing the institution, claiming he was racially and sexually humiliated by an adult adviser.

What's unusual about the case is that the former student, Michael Lubin, 18, of Marblehead, Mass., is white...

Mr. Markham said the adviser in question, Eduardo Villavicencio, is Hispanic and "routinely referred to Michael as a gringo" and told the youth he was "too white."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Separate But Equal Proms

Disturbing news from the Miami Herald:

LYONS, Ga. - (AP) -- A high school in South Georgia held three different proms -- one each for whites, blacks and Hispanics...

Parents and students in a few counties in Georgia still organize separate proms for whites and blacks after school systems stopped sponsoring dances, in part, because they wanted to avoid problems arising from interracial dating.

I don't know what is more disturbing, the separate proms or the fact that some people still have "problems" with interracial dating.

Mel Martinez

Former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez is running for the Senate in Florida in a very competitive race:

Ethnicity is only part of the appeal. Martinez claims he's plainly the most electable candidate in the Republican field. He draws interest in Miami, but actually calls Orlando home, essentially giving him two bases in the state.

He's also conservative — pro-life, pro-gun, and in favor of a constitutional amendment on marriage. "I would not have favored a marriage amendment but for that marriage-license nonsense in San Francisco," he says. He also has criticized Jeb Bush's recent move to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.

Cubans Reject U.S. Help

From Reuters:

HAVANA (Reuters) - Leading Cuban dissidents on Monday rejected President Bush's plans to speed up a democratic transition in communist-run Cuba and said U.S. meddling would not help bring political change.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Kerry and Latin America

From HACER:

When it came to Latin America policy at large, Kerry almost always ran with the Left crowd, but at least once he stood alone. In December 1985, he was the only senator to vote against money for police training in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Even Senator Dodd voted for it. Yet another Republican Latin America specialist reflects, "Kerry aligned himself with all the leftist-chic causes, and he was virulently anti-Reagan. And he never apologized for it, never showed any regret, in light of how things have turned out in Central America. I mean, really: In El Salvador, they just had an election in which a tired old leftist guerrilla lost to a conservative candidate. Instead of meeting on the battlefield, they met at the ballot box. Everything was peaceful. The other countries are doing the same thing." And will Kerry give no credit to the policies he tried to stop?

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Pregnant Aliens Debate

From FOX News:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Prenatal exams have become the newest addition to the abortion debate, now that Arkansas is making fetuses eligible for federally-funded health care benefits.

Under recently adopted guidelines in the state, the unborn child of a pregnant illegal immigrant can be considered an American citizen even before birth, and thus qualifies the mother for government-paid prenatal care.

Since Medicaid doesn’t cover adults who are non-citizens, whether they’re in the U.S. legally or not, the unborn fetus will now have rights the mother doesn’t have, in addition to being considered an American citizen in the eyes of the federal government.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Regime Change in Cuba

From AP:

President Bush, accused by some in his party of not doing enough to confront Castro, offered them on Thursday what amounts to a policy of regime change in Cuba.

"We're not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom, we are working for the day of freedom in Cuba," Bush told reporters.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Oliver Stone & Fidel Castro

From FrontPageMagazine:

On March 15, HBO premiered Stone’s documentary Looking for Fidel, which it publicized as more critical than his previous documentary on Castro, Comandante. HBO cancelled Comandante last spring after the imprisonment of 80 Cuban human rights activists sentenced to 20 years or more in most cases. Stone returned to Cuba in May to film Looking for Fidel.

As its chummy title indicates, Looking for Fidel retains an admiring tone toward Castro. Sure, Stone poses human rights issues to Castro and includes brief remarks by dissidents Oswaldo Payá, Elizardo Sánchez, and Vladimiro Roca, but his heart isn’t in it. Stone is smitten with Castro – “one of the Earth’s wisest people,” he said last February [3] – and it begets obscene indulgences.