Esther Fuentes: banker and Bloomington Latina activist

Fuentes, 43, now fulfills this aspiration as the Board President at El Centro Comunal Latino and the assistant manager at Old National Bank. Splitting her time between the two jobs is challenging, but she said they give her a sense of fulfillment. They incorporate her love for helping others, specifically the Latino community in Bloomington.

El Centro is a 15-year-old nonprofit that helps the Latino population in Bloomington. The organization offers health programs, translation, tutoring, youth mentoring, cultural competency training and cultural events.

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National Guardsman in Racist Wrigley Brawl

Ahmad Damra, a member of the Indiana National Guard, has been identified as the man who yelled “beaners” and “spics” at Hispanic people during a brawl in the bleachers of Wrigley Field. The brawl broke out following the Chicago Cubs 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 23. The game was promoted as “Hispanic Heritage Night” with the crowd being given t-shirts that read, “Los Cubs.” As security guards separating the brawling fans, a woman can be heard telling an official that the guards “will never know what it’s like.” The Chicago Tribune reports that local police were called to investigate the incident but no charges were filed.

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Immigration influx to Indiana

The candidates and their campaign advisers undoubtedly are stoking the anti-immigration fires because it’s proven effective in past practice or in polling. But if they want Indiana to grow and prosper, they should back off the fear-mongering. A new report from the Indiana Business Research Center suggests Indiana’s workforce will grow by only 34,000 between 2020 and 2050. The state’s economic future depends on its ability to attract young workers, including legal immigrants.

Matt Kinghorn, senior demographic analyst for the research center, notes the state’s labor force will record a “relatively healthy gain of 120,000 workers between 2010 and 2020” but will likely contract over the next decade as more baby boomers retire. Lower fertility rates affect the labor pool, as well. If rates had held steady to those recorded before the Great Recession, Indiana would see 70,000 more births than are expected in that decade-long span.

Migration is another factor, of course. Indiana saw its population and labor force declining through the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, but the trend was reversed with gains in net migration between 1990 and 2010. Hispanic residents moving into the state were responsible for 77 percent of the gain, according to data from the Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin.

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Seventh Annual Indiana Latino Expo

As part of its efforts to build meaningful bridges with Latino communities, Indiana University will sponsor and host an exhibition booth at the 2018 Indiana Latino Expo. Held on Oct. 13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Indiana Latino Expo will offer families and prospective students the opportunity to learn valuable information about the many educational opportunities available through IU.

The expo will take place in the Element Financial-Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and is free and open to all.

More information about IU’s presence at the 2018 Indiana Latino Expo, including details about the 21st Century Scholars Program, can be found at diversity.iu.edu.

Hoosiers need to know about the battle over immigration

The Trump administration has covered a lot of ground when it comes to immigration, often battling federal courts over actions taken to crack down on undocumented immigrants, restrict travel to and from predominantly Muslim countries and fighting in Congress for funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

A week into his presidency, Donald Trump announced a 90-day travel ban aimed at seven majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and a 120-day ban on refugees worldwide. That action was struck down by federal district and appeals courts. A second version of the ban was also struck down. In August, the Supreme Court upheld a third version of the ban that excluded Sudan and added Chad, North Korea and officials from Venezuela and made the ban indefinite instead of temporary.

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Hispanic-Owned Firms Packing Billion-Dollar Punch

INDIANAPOLIS – Hispanic-owned businesses in the Indianapolis area contribute more than $1 billion to the region’s economy, according to a new Indiana Business Research Center report. The study, commissioned by the Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council, reports nearly 4,900 Hispanic-owned firms employing about 7,300 in the nine-county metro area.

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Conflicting Feelings On Immigration

Striker Ricardo Osuna, 17, who just graduated from Galax High and whose father is Mexican, says the Galax community is open and welcoming. But the opposing teams? Not so much.

“When we played, there was a bunch of racism,” he says. “Like, ‘Oh, wetbacks, get outta here!’ Once I got a yellow card, and they were like, ‘Hey ref, give him a green one, he probably needs it!’ Everybody was really mad about it.”

The Latino soccer players have powered the Galax team to four state championships in the last five years. The champion team is celebrated with a triumphant victory parade through town, escorted by fire trucks and police cars.

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Northern Indiana US courthouse flags honor late Judge Lozano

VALPARAISO, Ind. — Flags at federal courthouses in northern Indiana will fly at half-staff through Monday to honor late U.S. Senior Judge Rudy Lozano.

The court for the Northern District of Indiana announced Friday that the 76-year-old Lozano died Wednesday. A memorial Mass for Lozano will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Lozano, of East Chicago, the first Hispanic federal judge in Indiana in 1988. The court said he took senior status in July 2007 but continued to serve as a senior judge until his death.

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‘God Bless America’: 100 Years of an Immigrant’s Anthem

From this story, a classic piece of music emerged. The family, fleeing religious persecution in Russia in 1893, was soon reunited and allowed to enter the country. And that little boy, born Israel Beilin, would grow up to become Irving Berlin. Twenty-five years after emigrating, the same year he became an American citizen, he composed “God Bless America.”

[full story]

New immigration detention centers proposed for Indiana, other Midwest states

INDIANAPOLIS — Companies and local governments have proposed building new immigration detention centers in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, responding to a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials stepping up arrests in the center of the country.

The proposals, most by for-profit corrections contractors, were submitted to ICE after it put out a request in October for detention sites near Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City and St. Paul, Minnesota. ICE disclosed the proposals in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Immigrant Justice Center, which provided the information to The Associated Press.

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What Americans totally misunderstand about immigration, in one chart

Immigration may be at the center of the American political debate, but a new Harvard University study shows Americans are missing a crucial piece of information.

Generally, people believe that immigrants are poorer, more dependent on welfare, and more numerous than they really are. That’s according to study published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, based on a 2018 survey in six developed countries.

Respondents in all of the countries held strong misconceptions about immigrants and their contributions to society, according to the poll’s results. But the discrepancy between perception and reality was particularly striking in the United States.

One example: On average, US respondents estimated that immigrants made up 36% of the US population. That is more than three times the real share of immigrants in the country, which is 10%.

[see chart here]

Hoosiers Participate In National Immigration Protests

Hundreds of activists gathered in at the Monroe County courthouse Saturday as part of a national movement to condemn the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

Speakers addressed the crowd about issues ranging from the travel ban that bars people from primarily Muslim nations, from coming to the United States, to ending immigrant family detention.

Gavin Everett, with the City of Bloomington Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs, says he’s concerned about those children who have already been separated from their parents.

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Indiana needs a hate crime bill

Indiana has a dubious commonality with Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming. It is one of only four states that have no statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation.

In a recent “Lunch With the League” presentation, Dr. Anita Joshi, who has practiced pediatrics in Crawfordsville for more than 20 years, made a clear case for the need of such legislation in Indiana.

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Five myths about the refugee crisis

Myth 5: History is repeating and there’s nothing we can do about it

The Holocaust is never far from the surface of European consciences. And its presence has been felt in a range of responses to the refugee crisis – from grand political statements about Europe’s duty to act, to the invocation of the Kindertransport in Britain’s debate over child refugees, to stories about elderly Jewish Europeans helping today’s displaced migrants cross borders. But it can lead us to a Schindler’s List interpretation of history – the one dramatic moment of rescue that either averts disaster, or absolves us of a greater crime.

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Small Indiana City Feels Aftermath Of Hurricane Maria

Warsaw-based Zimmer Biomet is located about 29 miles west of Columbia City. They also have a plant in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria, Zimmer asked some of their Puerto Rican employees if they would relocate to plants in the continental U.S., like the one in Warsaw.

Local officials helped welcome the new residents but Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel had some concerns. When he heard the news, he worried about housing and whether the new residents would feel welcomed.

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Group hopes to break barriers for Latino community

On the adults’ end, Rivas said, it’s not that they don’t want to learn English, but rather that classes don’t line up with their work schedules and family obligations. In a lot of cases, Rivas said, the adults know some English, but hesitate to use it in formal situations out of fear of being judged or misunderstood.

The discussions also showed a perception among Anglos that Latinos don’t value education or work promotions as much as Anglos. Rivas said that’s not the case. Rather, the issue is that Latino parents don’t understand the U.S. education system, having not grown up with it, and the language barrier can make it difficult to learn about it. For promotions, Latino workers would like to be promoted, but are often hesitant because of Latino cultural norms. Latino families, for example, value keeping the family together above personal success. That can lead younger Latinos to turn down promotions that could elevate their status above someone else in their family or necessitate a move.

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IU students raise thousands to help favorite C-Store cashier’s daughter

Being a cashier at the C-Store in Indiana University Bloomington’s McNutt Quadrangle can be stressful. But Residential Programs and Services Dining employee Oscar Arreaza has a simple strategy for keeping his cool: He has fun.

“I have seen many cashiers over the years stressing themselves out,” Arreaza said. “What I do to avoid stressing is I always have a good time.”

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IU offers help to Puerto Rican graduate students

When news of Hurricane Maria hit IU, several members of the School of Education decided they wanted to do something to help.

The result became the IU Bloomington-Universidad de Puerto Rico Education Graduate Scholars program. This partnership created space for six graduate education students from the University of Puerto Rico to come work and study at IU-Bloomington.

Two of the main people driving this initiative are Professor Bradley Levinson and Associate Professor Carmen Medina from the School of Education.

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El Paso Mayor On National Guard Mexican Border Deployments

DEE MARGO: El Paso is one region of three states and two countries and a population of 2.7 million. But we’ve been involved with Mexico for over 400 years. So we’re pretty close and proximate here. We haven’t had – we’re considered the safest city in the United States. We don’t have any real issues. And we already have a fence that was established under the Bush administration that runs through our city, so…

 

 

[Read transcript]

A US vet facing deportation

A US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan says he didn’t realize he’d been deported to Mexico until it was too late to turn back.

Speaking from Tijuana Monday, Miguel Perez told reporters that he’s feeling well physically, but is “very confused.”
Perez was escorted across the US-Mexico border from Texas and handed over to Mexican authorities Friday, ICE said in a statement. Perez says a truck took him to an airport in Indiana. He was then flown to Brownsville, Texas, ICE said.

Indiana Health Rankings Report

“Black and Hispanic children in Indiana are doing worse than white and Asian children,” said Willems Van Dijk.

In Indiana, Hamilton County near Indianapolis ranked as the healthiest county. The county placed first in health outcomes, which included length and quality of life statistics. Hamilton was also the best in health factors, including health behaviors, clinical care access, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

What is Puerto Rico?” A state? A territory? A commonwealth?

Almost everyone can remember the video of President Donald Trump throwing rolls of paper towels to the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“People were aghast,” said Dr. Luis Fuentes-Rohwer. “To me, that’s just the way it’s always been. You, the American public, just happened to see it then.”

Fuentes-Rohwer, a native of Puerto Rico and current professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, was one of the keynote speakers at the 19th Annual Indiana Latino Leadership Conference held at Indiana University Kokomo on Saturday.

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Sueños pausados

Aquel martes comenzó como cualquier otro.  María Chávez Juárez estaba sentada en su clase de criminología, Sandy Rivera estaba en astronomía y Kemberly Hernández estaba en el Campus Center de IUPUI. Muy pronto el celular de María, que estaba entre sus piernas, empezó a vibrar con cada mensaje que recibía.

Ella empezó a mirar los mensajes de Snapchat olvidándose de escuchar a su profesor. El Presidente de los Estados Unidos había enviado un mensaje de Twitter al mundo:

“Congreso, alístese a hacer su trabajo – DACA!”

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