It is absolutely fundamental to me and the elected officials here to keep this community safe, to protect people from that kind of hatred, we will not tolerate that kind of behavior. We will prosecute it to the fullest extent of the law because that is not Bloomington.
COLUMBUS, Ind. (WTHR) – The hateful fallout of the presidential election has come to Columbus, Indiana – home of Vice President-elect and governor Mike Pence.
Rev. Felipe Martinez, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, was angry when he heard his two sons were bullied and harassed.
“It was traumatic, it was troubling; it was the language of intimidation,” he said.
Columbus school officials are investigating at least half a dozen incidents where Hispanic students were harassed and taunted, by some accounts by groups of classmates telling them to “go back home” and “Go build that wall.”
The dominant narrative is that we have just “illegally” crossed the border or are “fresh off the boat.” In fact the Spanish are evidence of America’s first original sin: We were mistreating indigenous people here long before the British brought slaves to the colonies. People forget that Latinos founded some of America’s first cities.
Latinos have been dying for America since before we were a nation. Why have our children not heard that thousands of Latino patriots fought for America in the Revolutionary War? Bernardo de Gálvez, a Spanish general, recruited Mexicans, Cubans, Native Americans and free African-Americans to fight against the British in the South, while Cuban women donated their jewelry and money to help the patriots. Where is the Ken Burns documentary about that?
“We don’t want people raising these claims right before elections,” says Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, an election law expert at Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law. “Unless you have hard evidence.”
To Fuentes-Rohwer, the situation in Indiana is alarmingly similar to the controversy surrounding the FBI’s involvement in the presidential election. Last Friday, FBI director James Comey announced new evidence in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, less than two weeks before the election and without any information about that evidence or proof of wrongdoing. The Trump campaign is now running an attack ad based on Comey’s announcement.
Indiana governor’s race: Christina Hale, who is of Cuban descent, is running mate to Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg. Gregg is seeking to replace Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate. If their ticket wins, Hale would serve as lieutenant governor. A Monmouth University poll showed Gregg leading, but that lead has narrowed as Clinton’s prospects in the state have fallen.
Indiana Attorney General: Democrat Lorenzo Arredondo versus Curtis Hill Jr., Republican. Arredondo, is a former circuit court judge from East Chicago, Indiana, while Hill is a county prosecutor. The attorney general’s job has been held by a Republican since 2001. According to reports, Arredondo was the longest serving elected Latino state judge when he retired in 2010 and would be Indiana’s first Latino state attorney general.
As of 2014, there were an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. More than half of these are Mexican immigrants.
In June 2015, Donald Trump discussed the dilemma of immigration in the U.S. and accused Mexico of sending drugs, crime and rapists to the country in his campaign announcement speech.
This statement has caused controversy among members of the Latino community. Sylvia Martinez, director of the IU Latino Studies Program, said she was shocked by Trump’s comments on immigration.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, directs more attention to English Language Learners. This new federal education law replaced No Child Left Behind last December, and it could mean a big change for ELL students and the schools that educate them.
One ESSA provision dictates states move English learner instruction from Title III, the program it used to live under, to Title 1. Title I has more prominence and money.
The law also dictates that ELL proficiency be part of the criteria that states use to hold schools accountable.