Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Social Justice’ Category

“Lost in Detention” Special Preview

Immigration has been a key issue across the political arena, but despite all the promises, the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are scarce. Last year, President Obama’s administration set a new record for detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants under the Secure Communities enforcement program. The program was set up to target and deport dangerous criminal immigrants, but has that always been the case? In her upcoming FRONTLINE documentary “Lost in Detention,” Maria Hinojosa takes an in-depth look at the enforcement of the Secure Communities program, and explores the hidden world of immigration detention. What she and the FRONTLINE Investigative team found, is shocking and unimaginable. And we have a special preview on Latino USA. Watch the one-hour FRONTLINE documentary “Lost in Detention” on October 18th at 9pm on PBS.


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Searching the Past for Evidence

Paul Bieber is a private investigator and law student in California. He has an abiding interest in the investigation of instances of human rights abuses. This summer, he went to Colombia on a 10-day fact-finding mission organized by Witness for Peace, the social justice organization based in Washington, D.C.

With the help of veteran public radio producer Jay Allison and the Peabody-winning website Transom.org, Bieber also is making his first foray into radio storytelling. We’re pleased to be the first to air the result for a national audience, with his piece Scene of the Crime.

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

You’ll find more information on Paul Bieber’s work in Colombia at the Transom.org website.

In Los Angeles, Protests of LAPD Shooting of Day Laborer

The killing of Manuel Jamines, on Sunday 5 September, by an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department sparked several protests throughout the week. Jamines, an immigrant from Guatemala, was working as a day laborer. Frank Stoltze of Southern California Public Radio has this report.


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Dolores at 80

Dolores Huerta. The woman behind some of the most important huelgas America has ever seen. At 80, the legendary activist is no little old lady — she’s a force to be reckoned with. Co-founder of the United Farm Workers, now leader of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she’s championed dozens of civil and human rights causes alongside some of the most prominent people of the 20th and 21st centuries… and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

She sat down and talked with Maria Hinojosa about her work and her life.


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

Special thanks to WGBH Boston for the audio of Maria and Dolores’s conversation. Find out more about WGBH’s One on One with Maria Hinojosa. And thanks to Marcos Najera for audio from the 80th birthday celebration.

Dolores Huerta Timeline

See some of the moments from Dolores Huerta’s life as she describes, in her own words, how she got involved in community organizing.

Just Associates

In the days before the coup in Honduras that forced President Manuel Zelaya out of the country in his pajamas on June 28, 2009, several women’s rights organizations had been organizing for constitutional reforms. Within hours of the coup, these same organizations quickly took to the streets, calling on the de facto government to respect the country’s constitution and democratic institutions. According to leaders within these groups, many protestors were met with repressive tactics by police and military and these human rights violations have not been addressed.

Lisa Veneklasen is the founder and executive director of Just Associates (JASS), an international organization supporting women’s rights advocacy and political organizing in 30 countries in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Mesoamerica. Veneklasen says many of the human rights groups in Honduras continue to look to the Obama Administration to support their pro-democracy stance and to pressure the Honduran government to investigate and prosecute human rights abuses.

Listen to the EXTENDED CONVERSATION:


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Constitution on ICE

In order for law enforcement agents to enter private homes, specific legal provisions must be met. The most common tool used by police is that of a warrant issued by a judge. Normally, the warrant is for the arrest of a specific person at a local address. A search warrant requires even stricter legal guidelines. And police also respond to public complaints at private residences. And if they have reason to believe a crime is being committed, law enforcement have some authority to enter private residences without a warrant.

Prof. Peter Markowitz

Confusing? Perhaps the most important thing about all the rules is the idea that law enforcement can’t randomly come into a private residence looking for crime or people to arrest. This was the impetus for a Freedom of Information Act filed against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by legal academics at the Benjamin Cardoza School of Law in New York. This FOIA request documented a pattern of illegal entrances into private homes by ICE agents.

Latino USA’s Katie Davis reports.


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Identification in New Haven

Fr. James Winship. (Photo courtesy of New Haven Independent. Used with permission.)

New Haven, Connecticut is a sanctuary city. In 2007, the town voted to allow municipal IDs for all its residents regardless of immigration status. This caught the attention of anti-immigrant activists, who decried this de-facto legalization that allowed undocumented persons to open bank accounts and get access to city services. And yet not all is peaceful in New Haven.

For some time, the town’s Latino immigrants have claimed harassment by local police. And recently, a catholic priest was arrested and charged with interfering with an officer in the performance of his duties. And what was the priest doing? He was videotaping police officers as they hassled a Latino small business owner.

Aswini Anburajan, a reporter with the Feet in Two Worlds Project, has a profile of this activist priest: Fr. James Manship.


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

See Aswini Anburajan’s reporters notebook on her profile of Fr. James Manship from the Feet in Two Worlds website.

Click HERE.

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