Xenia Rubinos Finds Her Magic Mojo

Singer and composer Xenia Rubinos never thought of herself as a very political artist. After releasing her acclaimed first album Magic Trix, she’s became known for an eclectic compositional style, blending elements of R&B and experimental rock, as well as for her undeniable vocal and keyboard skills.

But with the national conversation on race heating up in the public square, Xenia found herself more and more writing about issues relating to identity and her experience as an Afro-Latina woman in the United States. The result is Black Terry Cat, a funky sophomore album laced with fat beats and reflections by Xenia on her “brown girl magic.”

Xenia Rubinos sat down with Maria Hinojosa at the Latino USA studio to talk about her new music.

Featured image by Camillo Fuentealba

Before Kaepernick, John Carlos Raised His Fist in 1968

The year was 1968. In the United States, the Civil Rights Movement was still underway and all over the world, people were fighting for social justice. The year 1968 also held an international event: the Olympics.  It was the first time it was televised and in technicolor—the perfect stage for two Olympians to take a stand for the whole world to see.

John Carlos, the son of a Cuban-raised mother and African-American father, was one of the two black athletes who raised his fist during the national anthem at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. He and Tommie Smith were protesting racial inequalities and human rights in America.

The backlash that followed was grave, but now, at the age of 71, John Carlos has zero regrets. “If you have an opportunity to speak out on the issues that affect you and your environment, the environment that you came from, it’s your responsibility to step up and speak about these issues,” he told Latino USA.

Generations later after Carlos’ historic stance, athletes like NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick have continued to use their fame as a public stage for sports and politics.

Featured image by AFP/Getty Images

At Standing Rock, Indigenous Nations of the World Unite

From far away, the encampment at Standing Rock looks like a tapestry. Here, protesters have gathered to fight against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. There are colorful teepees, tents, RVs and trucks alternating one after the other. Months into the protest, the camp site is getting ready to “winterize” as the weather gets colder—suggesting their protest will not end any time soon.

The pipeline, which would go from North Dakota and down into Illinois, was approved in July. Supporters of the pipeline say that it will make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. But even before the pipeline was announced, members of the Sioux Nation began to protest. They feared the construction would harm their sacred sites, that their primary source of water —the Missouri River— would be polluted, and that the presence of thousands of laborers could threaten the safety of their community.

But the Sioux nation was not alone in its struggle. Thousands of people from around the U.S. and beyond came to support the cause—especially members of indigenous communities from both North and South America.

The global indigenous community strengthened in 1990 when an international meeting of indigenous nations happened in Quito, Ecuador, in response to the upcoming quincentennial celebrations of Columbus “discovering” America. The meeting helped set the stage for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since then, there have been many more conferences, and the global indigenous community has become more and more effective at organization due to the internet.

Indigenous communities are fighting to have more visibility as they tap into a larger network. The protest of the North Dakota Access pipeline is evidence of how this global community is working to protect each other.

To accompany our Latino USA audio piece, Humanizing America, a digital video series produced by the Futuro Media Group and anchored by Maria Hinojosa, also produced a story from Standing Rock.

Featured image by Monica Wise

Remembering Moody Park: The Death That Sparked a Houston Riot

On Mother’s Day 1977, the body of a Mexican-American man was found floating in Houston’s Buffalo Bayou.

It was the body of Jose Campos Torres (also known as Joe), a 23-year-old Army veteran who was last seen in police custody.

When the body was found, people started to ask questions about what happened to Jose. The officers involved were eventually charged and convicted for his murder, but although the officers involved were charged and convicted, their sentence was suspended and they got a $1 fine.

The death of Jose Campos Torres started a chain of events that culminated in a violent uproar nearly a year later in Houston’s Latino community. Known as the Moody Park Riots, the event changed many lives forever—and brought reflection about the racial makeup of Houston’s police department.

Image courtesy of the Facebook page of Carlos Calbillo’s documentary “Jose Campos Torres, The Case of”

New Latino Voice October 17 Poll: Clinton 78% Trump 13%

Hillary Clinton has a 65-point lead over Donald Trump with Latino voters in the latest New Latino Voice (NLV) online tracking poll released Thursday by Florida International University and Hispanic mobile advertising company Adsmovil.

The October 10-17 results —which sampled 2,343 online Latino voters and concluded before the third presidential debate— showed Clinton with 77.7% (78% rounded up) of Latino support, with Trump at 13.1% (13% rounded down) and Other at 9.2% (9% rounded down). The NLV results were consistent with a October 3 Latino Decisions analysis predicting that Clinton’s Latino electoral support would reach historic levels.


Although Clinton stills leads Trump by a significant margin in this current NLV poll, her Latino support dropped more than six points (84.3% to 77.7%) since the last NLV poll, which was conducted between October 3-10. Despite Clinton’s drop, Trump saw an increase of less than three points.


A closer look at the NLV results revealed that Clinton has stronger support with Latina woman than with Latino men.


In addition, Trump’s Latino support mostly skewed towards an older demographic.


Other recent national polls that oversampled Latinos have shown somewhat similar results, although a Pew Hispanic poll released on October 11 shows a closer margin between Clinton (58%) and Trump (10%). Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson earned 10% of Latino support and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 6%.


The Pew results show Clinton with much larger margins among Latina women, as well as Spanish-dominant or bilingual Latinos. However, unlike the NLV poll, the Pew data showed Clinton holding a larger lead with Latino non-millennials than Latino millennials.

The complete topline results of this latest NLV poll are below. (For an explanation of how the NLV poll was organized, click here.)

New Jorge Ramos Documentary Explores Hate in America

In a new film titled Hate Rising, Fusion and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos travels across the United States to explore if hate in America has increased during this election season. A Mexican immigrant himself, Ramos sits down with neo-Nazis, KKK members and the alt-right, and also talks with Latinos and Muslims who have been victims of hate.

Directed by Emmy-nominated Catherine Tambini, Hate Rising will premiere on Sunday, October 23rd at 10pm (local time) simultaneously in English on Fusion and in Spanish on Univision.

What Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Said About Immigration During Final Debate (VIDEO)

ABC News clipped the 7-minute 56-second exchange on immigration between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during Wednesday night’s final presidential debate in Las Vegas.

In addition, here is a transcript of what each candidate said about this issue (Source: POLITICO):

Chris Wallace: All right. Let’s move on to the subject of immigration. And there is almost no issue that separates the two of you more than the issue of immigration. Actually there are many issues that separate the two of you. Mr. Trump. You want to build a wall. Secretary Clinton, you have offered no specific plan for how you want to secure our southern border. Mr. Trump, you are calling for major deportations. Secretary Clinton, you say that within your first 100 days as president, you’re going to offer a package that includes a pathway to citizenship. The question really is why are you right and your opponent wrong? Mr. Trump, you go first in this segment, you have two minutes.

Trump: Well first of all, she wants to give amnesty, which is a disaster. And very unfair to all of the people waiting in line for many, many years. We need strong borders. In the audience we have four mothers of – I mean, these are unbelievable people that I’ve gotten to know over a period of years whose children have been killed, brutally killed, by people that came into the country illegally. You have thousands of mothers and fathers and relatives all over the country.

They’re coming in illegally. Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border. Hillary wants to give amnesty. She wants to have open borders. As you know, the border patrol agents, 16,500 plus I.C.E. last week endorsed me. First time they’ve endorsed a candidate. It means their job is tougher. But they know what’s going on. They know it better than anybody. They want strong borders. They feel we have to have strong borders. I was up in New Hampshire the other day. The biggest complaint they have, it’s with all the problems going on in the world, many of the problems caused by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. All of the problems. The single biggest problem is heroin that pours across our southern borders. Just pouring and destroying their youth It is poisoning the blood of their youth and plenty of other people. We have to have strong borders. We have to keep the drugs out of our country. Right now, we’re getting the drugs, they’re getting the cash. We need strong borders. We need absolute, we cannot give amnesty. Now, I want to build the wall. We need the wall. The border patrol, I.C.E., they all want the wall. We stop the drugs; we shore up the border. One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, all of the bad ones, we have some bad, bad people in this country that have to go out. We’re going to get them out. We’re going to secure the border. And once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out.

Wallace: Mr. Trump, thank you. Same question to you, secretary Clinton. Basically, why are you right and Mr. Trump is wrong?

Clinton: Well, as he was talking, I was thinking about a young girl I met here in Las Vegas, Carla who is very worried that her parents might be deported because she was born in this country but they were not. They work hard. They do everything they can to give her a good life. And you’re right. I don’t want to rip families apart. I don’t want to be sending families away from children. I don’t want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country. We have 11 million undocumented people. They have 4 million American citizen children. 15 million people. He said as recently as a few weeks ago in Phoenix, that every undocumented person would be subject to deportation. Here’s with a that means. It means you would have to have a massive law enforcement presence where law enforcement officers would be going school to school, home to home, business to business. Rounding up people who are undocumented. And we would then to have put them on trains, on buses to get them out of our country. I think that is an idea that is not in keeping with who we are as a nation. I think it is an idea that would rip our country apart. I have been for border security for years. I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan, of course includes border security. But I want to put our resources where I think they’re most needed. Getting rid of any violent person, anybody who should be deported, we should deport them. When it comes to the wall that Donald talks about building. He went to Mexico. Had a meeting with the Mexican president. He didn’t even raise it. He choked. And then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said we’re not paying for that wall. So I think we are both a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws and that we can act accordingly. And that’s why I’m introducing comprehensive immigration reform within the first 100 days with a path to citizenship.

Wallace: Thank you secretary Clinton. I want to follow-up-

Trump: Chris, I think it’s — I think I should respond. First of all, I had a very good meeting with the President of Mexico. Very nice man. We will be doing very much better with Mexico on trade deals. Believe me. The NAFTA deal signed by her husband is one of the worst deals ever made of any kind signed by anybody. It’s a disaster. Hillary Clinton wanted the wall. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or there abouts. Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally the wall wasn’t built. But Hillary Clinton wanted the wall.

Wallace: Well, let me —

Trump: We are a country of laws. By the way —

Wallace: I would like to hear from secretary Clinton.

Clinton: I voted for border security and-

Trump: And a wall.

Clinton: -There are some limited places where that was appropriate. There also is necessarily going to be new technology and how best to deploy that. But it is clear when you look at what Donald has been proposing. He started his campaign bashing immigrants, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and drug dealers, that he has a very different there view about what we should do to deal with immigrants. Now, what I am also arguing is that bringing undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them into the formal economy would be good. Because then employers can’t exploit them and undercut Americans’ wages. And Donald knows a lot about this. He used undocumented labor to build the Trump tower. He underpaid undocumented workers and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do. You complain, I’ll get you deported. I want to get everybody out of the shadows. Get the economy working and not let employers like Donald exploit undocumented workers which hurts them but also hurts American workers.

Trump: President Obama has moved millions of people out. Nobody knows about it. Nobody talks about it. But under Obama, millions of people have been moved out of this country. They’ve been deported. She doesn’t want to say that, but that’s what has happened and that’s what happened – big league. As far as moving these people out and moving, we either have a country or we don’t. We’re a country of laws. We either have a border or we don’t. Now, you can come back in and you can become a citizen. But it’s very unfair. We have millions of people that did it the right way. They’re on line. They’re waiting. We’re going to speed up the process bigly, because it’s very inefficient. But they’re on line and they’re waiting to become citizens. Very unfair that somebody runs across the border, becomes a citizen. Under her plan you have open borders. You would have a disaster on trade and and you will have a disaster with your open borders. What she doesn’t say is that President Obama has deported millions and millions of people.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton —

Clinton: We will not have open borders. That is a rank mischaracterization. We will have secure borders. But we will also have reform. This used to be a bipartisan issue. Ronald Reagan was the last president to sign —

Wallace: Excuse me.

Clinton: To sign immigration reform and George W. Bush supported it as well.

How Artists Beautified the Border Wall

As a part of their #RiseUpAsOne campaign, Fusion took their cameras to the border to see the art organized by Enrique Chiu from the La Case del Túnel Art Center.

“I think any wall that divides friends and neighbors looks bad. It’s ugly,” said Chiu, who brought artists and community organizations together to paint the border fence and turn it into a work of art.

For All You Political Geeks, Pew Research Lets You Embed Its Interactive 2016 Latino Vote Map

With less than two weeks until Election Day, it is safe to assume that stories about the 2016 Latino Vote will reach a fever pitch, both before and after the vote. It is also safe to assume that some of the information that will be reported might not be accurate (see Exhibit A), so I wanted to take a moment and share an embeddable map produced this year from the Pew Research Center.

The map provides a detailed breakdown of the Latino vote by state and by congressional district. It also tells the share of the Latino vote per state, the House races per district and also which states have Senate races in 2016. This data tool is a must for those who will be reporting about the 2016 Latino vote or are political geeks who love following races (I might fit both categories). If you want to embed the map on your own site or blog, just click on the EMBED link and copy the embed code. You can also download all the public data here.

And while you’re at it, check out Latino USA‘s election episodes from the past year:

Watch How Immigration on the Border Has Drastically Changed Since the 1940s

The U.S.-Mexico border —and the infamous border wall that Trump has promised― has been a hot button topic during the 2016 election. So, it’s no surprise that misinformation abounds when it comes to immigration on the border.

But Editor at Large for Fusion Alexis Madrigal is setting the record straight in a new video posted Saturday. The correspondent takes viewers back in time to give a breakdown of how immigration into and out of the United States has changed since the Bracero program.

The U.S. government’s need of inexpensive manual labor in the ‘40s temporarily brought in over 4 million Mexican migrants into the States under the Bracero program. But, as Madrigal explains, the U.S. would simultaneously backtrack those efforts and put limitations on Mexican migration.

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.