Domestica en America

They work in our homes, our gardens, restaurants, and they are our neighbors — but what we don’t realize is they live everyday in fear of being deported. More than 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States and often they are voiceless, invisible, and afraid to stand up to injustice. But despite their immigration status, they are people just like every other American with their own unique stories.

Independent Producer and Latino USA contributor Maria Martin brings us the story of one invisible migrant that will touch your heart.

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Esperanza Spalding

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist this week. But long before she made headlines and stirred up Justin Bieber fans, Latino USA had been following her career. In 2008 when she released her first album Esperanza, Maria Hinojosa talked to Spalding about her inspirations and influences in her music. Her latest album is Chamber Music Society

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Health and the Community

This is the first part in a new series about Latinos and health. We focus on the Betances Community Health Center, an example of how the community health model can work. Along with the implementation of health care reform, the federal government is investing billions of dollars in community health centers. The Betances clinic was founded in 1970 on the principal that everyone, rich or poor, has the right to health care. It started out as a mobile van that went out on the streets testing prostitutes for STDs. Forty years later the Betances clinic has expanded to 6,000 patients and is serving the Puerto Rican, Dominican and Chinese populations that make up the Lower East Side. It’s an under-served community that struggles with drug addiction, obesity, and many chronic illnesses. Maria Hinojosa meets the staff at this clinic, some of the unsung heroes in the health care profession.

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A Deeper Conversation about Diversity in The Media

AOL’s acquisition of the Huffington Post for $315 million made headlines around the world and raised a lot of eyebrows among media makers. For loyal Huffington Post followers, there were concerns about maintaining the blog’s progressive point of view. For journalists of color, questions arose about how this merger will effect reporting about their communities — especially now that Arianna Huffington will oversee AOL’s Black Voices and AOL Latino and plans to include special “Latino” and “African American” sections to the Huffington Post. Many are asking, “Is this a step forward, or a step back?” Maria Hinojosa sits down with filmmaker and Columbia University Journalism Professor June Cross and columnist Ruben Navarrette to find the answer and discuss the reality of diversity in America media.

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Two Latino Candidates in The Race for Chicago Mayor

On February 22nd, the city of Chicago will elect a new mayor…and for the first time in the city’s history, two Latino contenders are on the ballot for the top job, but they running against tough competition with Rahm Emmanuel, president Obama’s former chief of staff, leading in the polls. Some argue they’re in danger of splitting the Latino vote, but the candidates say they want to represent entire city. From Chicago, Yolanda Perdomo has our story.

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Civility in Political Discourse

Louisiana Senator David Vitter, along with Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, recently proposed legislation that would amend the 14th amendment to take away birthright citizenship. For commentator Jose Torres Tama, there will be no civility in our politics until the scapegoating of immigrants ends.

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But What’s Happening With Democracy in Latin America?

In the past week all eyes have been turned to Egypt as demonstrators there continue to flood the streets. The Middle East is an important region for the United States and we’ve been paying close attention to the unfolding events. But much closer to us, just south of the border, problems have been boiling for years and are still left unresolved. What’s in store for Latin America and what are the prospects for democratic reform there?

Maria sits down with recently-appointed Special Envoy for The Organization of American States and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to talk about U.S. — Latin America relations, and what role the United States plays in democratization.

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Rally On The U.S.-Mexico Border

In the past three years, drug-related violence in the Mexican city of Juarez has taken more than 7,000 lives. About 200 of the victims were Americans, among them students, teachers, nurses, and government employees. Juarez is the deadliest city in Mexico. And only a chain link fence separates it from El Paso, Texas.

Last week, that fence was just a formality as hundreds of people from both sides of the border joined together to raise awareness. Monica Ortiz Uribe reports that’s not an easy task.

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