Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

U.S.-Mexico Border Violence

Murders are a daily occurrence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Fueled by the drug trade, the killings no longer necessarily make the front pages of newspapers in communities such as El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Maria talks with Latino USA contributor Monica Ortiz Uribe about the current state of affairs along the border.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Miguel Turriza, a reporter for Noticias Cablecom, found himself in the crossfire in February in Reynosa, Mexico.

Sam’s Audio Postcard

Sam recently traveled to New York to participate in a panel about the DREAM ACT. The event was hosted by The College Board. Because of his undocumented status, Sam could not get on an airplane and had to be driven. Here’s his audio postcard of that trip.

If you’d like information about helping Sam in his quest for an education, click HERE.

America’s Secret ICE Castles

Jacqueline Stevens reports in the January 4, 2010 edition of The Nation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is using 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield office, many in suburban office parks and commercial spaces, as detention sites. She quotes ICE official James Pendergraph as saying, “If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” Maria Hinojosa talks with Stevens about her report 1 minute into the program.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Latinos in 2010 & Beyond

The 2010 Census has begun and Latino population growth is widely expected to continue despite immigration losses due to the bad economy from 2008 onward. That’s because Latino population growth in the U.S. is actually fueled more by birthrates than by immigration. But judging from the amount of media coverage given to immigration issues the first decade of the milenium, many people may not know this. And a case can be made that for as many gains the Latino community has made, almost as many setbacks could also be found. Does a “wise Latina” in 2009 erase the memory of a disgraced U.S. Attorney General in 2007 in the minds of most Americans?

But there are positive things to look at as well. One would assume that population growth would eventually lead to greater representation – or at least greater recognition. The digital divide has drastically decreased. But school dropouts have not. All these things have societal impact.

To help us make sense of who we are and where we are going as a community, Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa speaks to a panel of social, political and cultural experts to get their thoughts on the future of Latinos in the U.S.

Angelo Falcón founded the Institute for Puerto Rico Policy in New York in the early 1980s. In 2005 the organization changed its name to the National Institute for Latino Policy in an effort to better reflect the changing dynamics of Latino politics in the U.S.

Marcos Najera has contributed to Latino USA as the Latino Affairs reporter for NPR member station KJZZ based in his native Phoenix, Arizona. He has produced radio and television programming for children and worked as a theatre actor and writer.

Xeni Jardín has traveled throughout Latin America and produced the “Xeni Tech” segments for NPR’s Day to Day program but is best known as a co-editor for the interactive weblog known as boingboing.net.

Listen to their EXTENDED CONVERSATION:


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Israel’s Undocumented Latinos

When thousands of Latin American immigrants left their homelands throughout the 1990s in search of opportunity, the U.S. was not the only country recruiting this cheap labor. Many European countries sought Latin American workers. And thousands of immigrants also ended up in the state of Israel. As Israeli politicians seek to deal with their immigrant “problem” in light of the economic times, the children of these Latin American immigrants could be deported.

Independent Producer Reese Erlich found that many of these non-Jewish young people now share a strong Israeli identity, with little memory of a Latin American homeland.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

New American Voices: Mental Health and Refugees

Latino USA has often documented how immigrants coming from a particular community tend to migrate to the same region in the U.S. as a means of creating a safe social net. But refugees represent a different kind of immigration experience. And for refugees who have experienced war and violence, the mental health issues of that community can pose particular challenges.

When the U.S. accepts refugees, it is often the practice to resettle them together within an American city or community. So when many Somali immigrants in Minneapolis began showing signs of mental health trauma due to war, it caught local health officials by surprise. As part of Latino USA’s ongoing New American Voices series, Andrew Stelzer reports on how Minneapolis mental health workers are using media to help deal with the challenges.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

New Routes – Abriendo las Cajas

New Routes to Community Health seeks to improve the health of immigrants through immigrant-created media. Eight immigrant-led collaborations across the United States have received three-year grants from New Routes to create locally-focused media and outreach campaigns that speak directly to immigrants’ health concerns. Grants have been given to collaborations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St Paul, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

In these communities, immigrant groups, media makers and prominent community institutions work together to produce original content in English as well as in immigrants’ first languages, including Amharic, Chinese, Creole, French, Lao, Somali, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese. New Routes to Community Health is grounded in the belief that everyone in society benefits when immigrants get help to live healthy, productive lives. Integrating immigrants into work and social life is key to building healthy communities.

CLICK HERE to see all New Routes project productions.

From Patchogue, LI to Gualeceo, Ecuador

Patchogue is located in New York’s Long Island. The village has been in the news lately, but not in a good way. Reports of local teens “hunting” Latino immigrants and roughing them up in recent years surfaced. This harassment of immigrants eventually resulted in the death of local resident Marcelo Lucero at the hands of several White teenagers.

On November 5, one of those teens, Nicholas Hausch, pled guilty to four charges stemming from his role in the attack that killed Lucero. Hausch agreed to testify against the other six defendants in exchange for leniency. He now faces the next 5 to 25 years in prison.

Recently, WSHU radio producer and reporter Charles Lane decided to go beyond the headlines and take a closer look at the Latino immigrant community in Patchogue. What he found was an Ecuadoran community that had strong ties to its home base.

Lane traveled to Gualeceo, Ecuador and saw the economic prosperity that having remittances from North America bring to this community. Despite the economic benefits, however, families often are torn apart.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

UPDATE: Charles Lane’s (WSHU) reporting from Gualeceo won a 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage. ¡Enhorabuena!

Watch a slideshow from Gualeceo, Ecuador produced by Charles Lane.

A 3,000 Mile Bridge from NPR's Latino USA on Vimeo.

An Unexpected Detour

Most travelers know that even joking about something can be considered inappropriate in an airport situation. Understandably, similar rules apply to border crossings. The wrong sort of statement could find one in the grasp of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That’s what happened to Mexican civil rights attorney Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson.

Because of the drug war in Mexico, De la Rosa has been a busy civil rights attorney in Mexico. That nature of his clientele made him fearful for his life. So much so that he started making it a habit to spend the night in El Paso, just across the border from Juarez. But when U.S. border officials heard this, they decided to act.

We have two stories, beginning with El Paso based reporter Monica Ortiz Uribe.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson

Mexican civil rights attorney Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson had the proper permits to cross the border and was doing so legally at the designated port of entry. But when asked by U.S. border officials why he was crossing so much, De la Rosa mentioned that he was fearful because of the work he did.

Based on his expression of fear for his life, De la Rosa was taken into protective custody by ICE officials. But they did not put him in a comfortable safe house or hotel but rather kept him handcuffed in a prison facility as they awaited a bureaucratic decision over whether to give him political asylum. The fact that De la Rosa, a Mexican citizen, neither requested nor wanted asylum fell on deaf ears.

De la Rosa tells his story now to Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

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