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.”

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Latinos have been dying for America since before we were a nation.

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?

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Indiana’s Own James Comey Situation

“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.

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Latinos in Senate, House, State Races

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.

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Latino community reacts to Trump’s immigration policy

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.

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English Learners Prioritized Under New Federal Education Law

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.

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Inside A Dual-Language Preschool For Migrant Workers’ Children

Depending on the season, Indiana farms employ between 2,000 and 20,000 migrant farm workers. When workers migrate, often their families do, too.

Children in this mobile lifestyle can face interrupted schooling, cultural and language barriers, and social isolation — factors that inhibit a child’s ability to do well in school.

A public preschool for migrant children in Vincennes, the IN Region 4 Migrant Preschool Center, works to combat that. The preschool teaches migrant children, ages 2 to 5, in English and Spanish. It aims to prepare them for future instruction, wherever they may go.

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One Pennsylvania County Sees The Future. Is it similar to Goshen, IN?

“The rent is too expensive,” Indiana Hernandez, 33, the manager of Lucy’s Barber Shop on North 5th Street in Reading, said of her reasons for leaving the Bronx. She moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 2006, and she said she liked her adopted city well enough — work in the shop was preferable to the waitressing and factory jobs she had in New York, though she’d rather be doing hair in the front of the shop than sitting in the back room, monitoring the security cameras. Another shop employee, Aidee Maria, 39, said that the Bronx was fine for work, but that Reading’s quality of life was preferable.

“I like the flowers,” Maria said of her new hometown, laughing.

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Students honored within the Hispanic and Latino community

Families and friends celebrated the Hispanic and Latino communities Tuesday night with recognition through awards to community members and students.

The community members gathered at City Hall to recognize these leading members in the Latino and Hispanic communities in Bloomington.

Students and adults alike were honored.

The Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs includes members appointed by Bloomington Common Council and Mayor John Hamilton.

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Mike Pence’s ‘that Mexican thing’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Latino scholars and activists are criticizing Republican Mike Pence for referring to “that Mexican thing,” at the vice-presidential debate as he tried to brush aside criticism of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants.

They said Pence’s remark was dehumanizing and tinged with sexual innuendo.

Pence’s comment came after Democratic vice-presidential Tim Kaine pressed the Republican on Trump’s remarks last year comparing Mexican immigrants to rapists.

“Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence said.

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Latino Students: A Portrait In Numbers

Latinos are by far the fastest growing chunk ofthe U.S. school population. A new report by the National Council of La Raza gives a fascinating snapshot of this fast-growing population.

Here are some highlights:

Demographics

  • Over the last 15 years, Latino enrollment has significantly outpaced that of whites and African-Americans.
  • Latinos under the age of 18 now total 18.2 million, a 47 percent jump since 2000.
  • Though white children are still the majority in this age group — 52 percent — Latino children are projected to make up about a third of total pre-K-12 enrollment by 2023.
  • The percentage of Latino children whose parents were born in the U.S. now dwarfs the number of Latino children whose parents were foreign born, 46 to 6 percent. States in the southeastern U.S., led by Tennessee and South Carolina, have seen the most dramatic increases in second-generation Latino children. In other words …
  • Immigration is no longer the primary factor driving Latino population growth. Overall, 95 percent of Latinos 18 and younger are U.S. born.

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Indiana-born Mexican candidate for attorney general hopes to mobilize Latino vote

JEFFERSONVILLE — Lorenzo Arredondo was 5 years old when his teacher told him to speak English to his parents.

“[My mother] said, ‘Look, your teachers’ job is to teach you English. This is America. You have to learn English,'” Arredondo said. “‘My job is to teach you Spanish so you don’t lose your language and your culture …'”

That was 70 years ago.

A Hoosier-born son of Mexican immigrants, Arredondo finds that his Spanish is valuable these days. It helps bridge the gap between the former judge who is running for Indiana Attorney General and his Latino constituents, who he hopes he can motivate to vote.

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Fort Wayne first Latino Film Fest

The Latino Film Festival celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, that began Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15. The four-day event kicks off Sept. 22 at the Cinema Center, 437 East Berry, with an invite-only opening night. Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Alan Jonsson will present his film “La Carga (The Load)” about a Tameme Indian man, a noble Spanish woman and their escape through the forests of the New World in search of freedom in the 16th century.

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Fiesta Del Otono on Saturday

We are all immigrants in our own way, and we have that in common, said Rafi Khalid II, the director of a Safe and Civil City. That commonality, “Why We are All Immigrants”, is the theme for Fiesta del Otono this year.

The eleventh annual Fiesta del Otono will be Saturday at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market at 401 N. Morton St.

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La Casa celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — La Casa, the Indiana University Latino Cultural Center, is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with a full calendar of events on the IU campus and Bloomington community.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, honors the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates their heritage and culture. The month falls within the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and in celebration of Mexico and Chile’s independence day.

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IU strengthens engagement in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — With Indiana in the midst of a substantial increase in its Latino population — which is having a major effect on the growth of the state’s economic enterprise — Indiana University is strengthening its engagement with one of Latin America’s largest, most dynamic and most culturally vibrant countries.

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Editorial: Lack of political diversity hurts Indiana

For 200 years, throughout the state’s entire history, no female, black or Latino leader has represented Indiana in the governor’s office or the U.S. Senate. And that history will not change this year — Democrats and Republicans have again nominated only white males for the state’s two most powerful, high-profile offices.

In fact, over the course of the past two centuries, only one woman (Democrat Jill Long Thompson for Senate in 1986 and governor in 2008) has even been nominated by the major parties for either office. Only one African-American (Republican Marvin Scott in 2004) has won a major party nomination for the U.S. Senate.

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Elkhart County organizers reviewing ‘flawed process,’ lack of diversity for torch relay

ELKHART — The organizers of a 28-member torch relay team formed as part of Indiana’s bicentennial celebrations are open to adding Latinos and African-Americans to make it more demographically diverse.

Diana Lawson, executive director of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Monday that she contacted Mark Newman, head of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, about the make-up of the body after some in Elkhart County questioned the absence of minorities.

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