Large Majority of Border Residents Reject Building of Wall

A new Cronkite News-Univision News-Dallas Morning News poll released earlier this week said that 72% of residents living on the U.S. side of the border and 86% of percent of those living on the Mexican side are opposed to building a wall between the two countries.

The poll, which interviewed 1,427 residents in 14 sister cities on both sides of the border, also asked questions about law enforcement. For example, the following graphic asked respondents if they trust law enforcement. On the U.S. side, 82% of respondents said yes, but on the Mexican side, 76% said no.

Another finding showed how Americans on the U.S. side of the border view Mexicans and vice versa. Just 1% of the responses from Americans said that Mexicans were viewed as “criminals,” while 38% of the responses said Mexicans were viewed as “neighbors.” When Mexican respondents were asked a similar question, 45% said Americans were “neighbors,” with 8% saying they were “racists.”

You can read a detailed summary here. The following document shows the poll’s complete toplines:

Clinton Has 69-Point Lead Over Trump in Latest Latino Vote Tracking Poll

CLEVELAND – Hillary Clinton now holds a 69-point lead over Donald Trump with Latino voters, according to the latest New Latino Voice (NLV) online tracking poll from Florida International University and Hispanic mobile advertising company Adsmovil. The poll’s July 5-17 results, which sampled 8,242 online Latinos, show Clinton with 81% of Latino support and Trump with only 12%.

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The NLV poll’s newest numbers are consistent with other national polls of Latino voters, including NBC/Telemundo/WSJ (Clinton 76% Trump 14%) and Univision (Clinton 67% Trump 19%). The latest Pew poll has Clinton at 66% and Trump at 24%.

Ever since the NLV tracking poll launched in April, Clinton has seen her Latino support continue to increase steadily. One reason for the Clinton’s increase was the decrease in Latino support for an “Other” candidate, very likely Bernie Sanders. Once the “Other” candidate saw a significant drop in early June (around the time it was clear that Sanders would not get the Democratic nomination), Clinton has gone from 74% to 81%, while Trump has gone from 17% to 12%. (For previous stories about the NLV series, click here and here.)
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The toplines for this latest poll are below:

A Day in the Life of Gaspar Marcos, an Unaccompanied Minor in L.A.

Gaspar Marcos is an 18-year-old sophomore at Los Angeles’ Belmont High School, where “nearly 1 in 4 of the school’s estimated 1,000 students came from Central America – many of them as unaccompanied minors.” In a video posted Friday, the Los Angeles Times follows Marcos, an unaccompanied minor in Los Angeles, through a full day of high school and a late night at work. Marcos grew up in an indigenous village in Guatemala and became an orphan at 5. He was taken in by a neighbor, but was on his own at the age of 12. Now 18 in Los Angeles, he remains positive about life, despite the long hours at work and school with very little sleep. Marcos says, “I tell my friends that we can’t fall back. This is the life that we were dealt. We have to overcome it, by any means possible.”

A Day Before Start of GOP Convention, Clinton Leads Trump 76%-14% with Latinos in New Poll

A new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released the Sunday before the start of the Republican National Convention has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 76%-14% with registered Latino voters.

The poll sampled 300 registered Latino voters and has a +/- 5.66 margin of error, but when compared to other national polls of Latino voters, these latest numbers are consistent with other findings. For example, last week’s Univision poll has Clinton with a 67%-19% lead over Trump (Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 4% respectively). A Pew poll from July 7 has Clinton at 66% and Trump at 24%. The July 5 tracking poll from Florida International University/Adsmovil shows Clinton with a 80%-13% advantage.

If these current poll numbers were to hold for the general election, Trump will have earned the lowest support from Latino voters since 1980. In 1996, according to Pew, Republican Bob Dole got 21% of the Latino vote.

The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll also said that Trump’s unfavorability rating with Latino voters is at 82 percent. Clinton’s unfavorables were at 25%.

Latest Univision Poll of Latino Voters: Clinton 67% Trump 19%

A new poll of Latino voters released Monday by Univision shows Hillary Clinton with a 48-point lead over Donald Trump. According to the poll, which interview 1,000 Latinos in the United States, between July 1 and July 10, the presumptive Democratic nominee got 67% of Latino support, compared to her Republican opponent’s 19%.

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These latest numbers are in line with other recent polls of Latino voters, including a July 7 Pew poll and the weekly tracking poll from Florida International University/Adsmovil. The Pew poll has Clinton leading Trump 66%-24% in a head-to-head matchup. When Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is added to the Pew poll, Clinton’s support drops to 58%, with Trump at 20% and Johnson at 13%. The latest FIU/Adsmovil number has Clinton at 80% and Trump at 13%.

The Univision poll also shared the following findings:

  • In regards to Clinton’s remarks regarding her private email server and the FBI investigation about that issue, “a sizeable 42% consider her to be a liar while only 39% hold the opposite view.”
  • 73% said they believe Trump is a racist. In addition, 76% of Latino voters are opposed to Trump’s promise of building a wall along the southern border, while 19% support the idea.

You can read all the findings at this Univision News link.

REPORT: High Percentage of Latinos in the US Southwest Are Not Voting

According to a report issued by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York’s Center for Latino American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS), the southwestern states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico account for 25% of all Latinos living in the United States, as well as 25% of all eligible Latino voters as of 2014. However, the report shows low voter registration and participation rates.

For example, here are Texas’ Latino voting patterns from 1996 – 2016:

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Key findings in the Southwestern states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico include the following:

  • A high percentage of potential Latino voters in Texas Latinos of Mexican-origin and were born in the U.S., thus eligible to vote. However, because of low registration and turnout rates, these voters are not exercising their potential political influence. CLACLS projects that Latinos will comprise 24 percent of all Texas voters in November 2016. This increase is due to demographic growth, not increased participation rates.
  • Similar to Texas, Latinos of Mexican origin are a large percentage of eligible Latino voters. Arizona Latinos had very low voter registration rates at about 52 percent of all eligible Latino voters in 2008 and 2012. This is not expected to change in 2016. Because of these low registration rates, only 37% of  eligible Latino voters actually voted in Arizona in 2008 and 40% in 2012. CLACLS projects that about 41% will vote in November 2016.
  • Latinos in New Mexico both registered and voted at rates that were significantly above national averages.

You can read the entire report here:

For more information about this report, visit the CLACLS Latino Data Project.

Rep. Gutiérrez Announces October 9 Day of Solidarity to Call for Release of Oscar López Rivera

In remarks he gave Wednesday morning on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) called for President Barack Obama to free Puerto Rican activist Oscar López Rivera from a federal jail and invited members of the Puerto Rican community to an October 9 day of solidarity in front of the White House. López Rivera has been imprisoned since 1981 on charges of seditious conspiracy. In the past few years, political leaders from the island’s different parties as well the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have all asked President Obama to pardon López Rivera.

Here is a transcript of Gutiérrez’s speech, as provided by his press office:

Mr. Speaker, I will not be on vacation or traveling on junkets to far-off lands during the next 6 or 8 weeks that Congress is on recess.

Because I am involved in the campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera from incarceration.

Oscar López Rivera is regarded as the last political prisoner from Puerto Rico that is still being held in federal prison.

Oscar is a friend and a mentor and at 73 years old, he is not beaten or broken or sad, as you can see from his smile.

Even after spending 35 years in jail, nearly half of his life, he is a hero to many people in Puerto Rico and throughout the Puerto Rican diaspora.

It warms my heart that people from every walk of life now understand that the 35 years Oscar has served for crimes that were not violent is long enough. 

That there is a groundswell of support to tell President Obama that after 35 years, it is time to let Oscar López Rivera come home to his family, his Island, and his community.

Ya basta.  35 years is enough.OctoberI ask everyone who is watching today or who sees my remarks on-line to commit yourselves to joining me and others in Lafayette Square on October 9 in Washington, DC.

It is up to us.  It is up to you.

President Obama has done so much to address injustice, to address unfair prison sentences for non-violent offenses, to address the inherent injustice that all too often characterizes our system of justice – and I thank him and praise him for that.

But in this case, with this elder statesman of the Puerto Rican diaspora, for this non-violent, exemplary inmate, for this father and war hero…For Oscar López Rivera we respectfully say: Ya Basta.  Free Oscar López Rivera.

Video of Venezuelans Crossing Colombian Border for Food and Medicine Goes Viral on Facebook

A video posted Monday by AJ+ showing thousands of Venezuelans crossing the Colombian border to buy food and medicine has gotten more than 1.4 million views on Facebook as of this posting.

Reports of the economic crisis in Venezuela continue to make headlines in U.S. media. An article published Tuesday by the Associated Press spoke of increasing desperation and violence, as Venezuelans struggle in an economy is projected to experience 481% inflation this year and 1,642% inflation in 2017. Most would agree that the sharp drop in global oil prices have negatively impacted Venezuela, which exported $27.8 billion worth of oil in 2015.

Many are blaming the socialist policies of president Nicolás Maduro for the current crisis, although they are just as many critics who blame “a U.S.-led economic war” for Venezuela’s problems. As one commentator wrote:

It is odd that the mainstream press blames “socialism” for the food problems in Venezuela, when the food distributors remain in the hands of private corporations. As Venezuelan political analyst Jesus Silva told me recently: “Most food in Venezuela is imported by private companies, they ask for dollars subsidized by the government oil sales to do that; they rarely produce anything or invest their own money.”

According to Silva, the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the U.S., in addition to the oil crisis, have made it more difficult for the Venezuelan government to pay the private food importing companies in U.S. dollars. In response, the food companies are “running general sabotage.”

“Venezuela’s economy depends on oil sales. Now that oil prices are dropping down, the challenge is to get other sources of economic income,” he explained. “Meanwhile, the opposition is garnering electoral support due to the current economic crisis.”

Latino Community Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter at NYC Festival

Afro-Latinos in New York City represented in a major way over the weekend.

The 4th Annual Afro-Latino Festival kicked off Friday with a series of panels that explored the nuances of Afro-Latino identity and continued throughout the weekend with a series of concerts, parties and festivities.

Co-founded and co-directed by Afro-Panamanian singer-songwriter Mai-Elka Prado Gil and her partner Amilcar Maceo Priestley, who is also Afro-Panamanian, the festival aimed to affirm, celebrate and educate people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds about Afro-Latino culture and identity. “Our objective is to educate ourselves as Afro-Latinos, as well as the broader community of Latinos, and everybody else about some of the issues that we are concerned about, but in solutions-driven manner,” Priestley told The Huffington Post Sunday.

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.