IUPUI Celebrates Largest Freshman Class

INDIANAPOLIS –

IUPUI has set a new record for its largest freshman class and says this year’s group is also the most diverse in its history. The university says more than 4,100 beginning freshman have enrolled for the 2017-2018 academic year, beating the previous record, set in 2014.

This year’s class also represents a 2.8 percent increase over last year. The university says minority students represent 28.3 percent of the freshman class with Hispanic/Latino students making up the largest minority group at 9.8 percent.

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Republicans hire mariachi band to welcome Dem senator

The Senate Republican campaign arm surprised Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) with a mariachi band at one of his recent campaign stops.

Republicans have taken to calling Donnelly “Mexico Joe” over a report last month that his family’s arts and crafts company, Stewart Superior Corp., manufactures some of its products in Mexico. Donnelly announced shortly after the report that he was selling his stock in the company.

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Places with the fewest immigrants push back hardest against immigration

The paradox of this emotional debate is that generally the states and communities with the fewest immigrants are pushing to reduce immigration over the objections of the places with the most immigrants.
Even as Republicans from President Trump to leading legislators in the House and Senate are driving to reduce both undocumented and legal immigration, the core of the GOP’s electoral strength in both presidential and Congressional contests are the places with the smallest share of immigrants, US Census data show.

Do Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes?

“Do you think an illegal immigrant getting money is going to be paying taxes? Sure, some probably do only because employers are insisting on it. But there’s very little percentage wise very little, probably 5 percent, 10 percent. It’s a very small amount pay taxes … Look, they’re here illegally. They’re not paying taxes.”

On the surface, the claim seems plausible. This is a population that largely lives in the shadows. And it’s fair to assume that many undocumented workers are paid under the table, with little incentive to report their earnings.

But while this may be the case for some, it certainly does not hold true for the majority.

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Agency having money issues: Fundraisers not getting attention from residents

“We don’t have any federal or state funding, and we are not part of United Way,” she said. “What we need right now is the funds to keep our operations and doors open for three days a week. That would be good for us to be able to keep serving our clients.”

About 80 families visit the agency a month asking for help with translating birth certificates, identification cards and other written documents or correspondence. The agency also helps write résumés and letters of permission for children to travel and assistance with applications for services offered within the community.

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NAACP sues over Lake County precinct consolidation law

The Gary NAACP wants a federal judge to block a new law that would consolidate Lake County’s voting precincts.

The organization claims the law, formerly known as SB 220, would discriminate against the black and Latino populations in Lake County by making voting access more inconvenient.

Defendants are Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and individual members of the Indiana Election Division.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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Walmart’s C.E.O. Had Plenty to Say About Trump. So Did His Customers (in Bloomington, IN).

Since the violence in Charlottesville, chief executives across corporate America have had to weigh the risks of taking a stand against the administration. Mr. McMillon himself, while harshly rebuking the president, initially opted not to step down from the Strategic and Policy Forum before it disbanded — an example of the delicate balance that corporate leaders try to strike when dealing with Mr. Trump.

On Wednesday, we spoke with customers at Walmart stores in three communities — Las Vegas; Bloomington, Ind.; and Union Township, N.J.

This is what they had to say about Walmart chief executive’s decision to weigh into the political fray this week.

Why are people still racist?

“The only way to change bias is to change culture,” Richeson said. “You have to change what is acceptable in society. People today complain about politically correct culture, but what that does is provide a check on people’s outward attitude, which in turn influences how we think about ourselves internally. Everything we’re exposed to gives us messages about who is good and bad.”

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Indianapolis looks to end compliance with immigration detainer requests

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office plans to drastically reduce its compliance with federal immigration detainer requests.

On Monday, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis filed a stipulated judgment (or settlement) and injunction to end the practice of holding people in jail without probable cause on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agreement is expected to be signed by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

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At Least 18 Lynchings Took Place In Indiana By 1940

A national nonprofit organization says at least 18 lynchings took place in Indiana between 1880 and 1940, as part of more than 300 lynchings in eight states outside the deep south during that time.

The Equal Justice Initiative released a new report Tuesday outlining the history of racial terror lynchings in the United States.

“Racial terror lynchings were horrific acts of targeted violence against African Americans…by white mobs who murdered black people with no risk of accountability or punishment,” the report says.

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‘Kate’s Law’ battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems

The fight over immigration enforcement is moving to the Senate, where Democratic opposition will be tested.

The House passed a pair of immigration bills late last week: “Kate’s Law” to increase maximum penalties for criminal aliens who attempt to re-enter the country, and a second bill cutting funding to cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws.

Republicans got an unexpected boost when two-dozen House Democrats voted for “Kate’s Law,” viewed by GOP supporters as a first step toward implementing President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration.

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Hispanic, Asian numbers increase

Despite anti-immigration rhetoric surrounding political campaigns, Indiana’s Hispanic population continues to grow, though not as fast as in past years.

And while its numbers are still relatively small, the Asian population continues to be the fastest-growing ethnic group in the state and nation, according to recently released census population estimates.

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Continuing School Segregation in Indiana

Segregation between white students and students of color in Indiana remains high, according to a new analysis from Indiana University.

This is true even as Indiana sees a growing share of non-white students. IU’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy conducted the study along with the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

equityseriespromo

“It is important for Hoosiers to recognize that research shows that segregated schools are systematically unequal,” said Gary Orfield, UCLA professor and co-director of the Civil Rights Project. “History shows that Indiana did much more about this problem before the courts withdrew and needs to think again about positive strategies.”

The most decorated US WWI veteran from Texas was actually a Mexican immigrant

On April 26, 1896, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Marcelino Serna was born into a very poor family.  He left home at the age of twenty, and crossed the border into the United States, traveling to El Paso, Texas to find a job and improve his life.  Since he didn’t speak English, he had to take low-paying jobs and was soon working in Denver, Colorado on a sugar beet farm.

When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Serna was in Denver working with a group of men who were picked up by federal officers checking the draft status of potential soldiers.  To prevent his deportation to Mexico, Serna volunteered to join the Army.

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These robotics students were told ‘to go back to Mexico.’

Just a few months ago, not many knew about these five fourth-graders from a low-income community in Indianapolis.

But now, the Panther Bots, a thriving robotics team at Pleasant Run Elementary School, have become the face of a success story about a group of kids who were taunted with racial slurs but were too determined to let that affect their confidence. Earlier this month, they found themselves being honored on the Senate floor of the Indiana Statehouse. The group travels to Louisville on Sunday to compete in a worldwide robotics contest.

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Bicultural students analyze Latino population

Bicultural students will hone research skills and study civic resilience of North-Central Indiana’s Latino communities this summer by analyzing data collected from surveys they create and distribute.

The students will travel to Fort Wayne, Frankfurt and other regions in Indiana beyond Tippecanoe County as part of a joint university operation between Ivy Tech Lafayette and Purdue University in a class titled “Latino Immigrants in the Crossroad of America.” The course will be led by Jay McCann, a Purdue professor of political science, and Randy Triplett, an Ivy Tech professor of political science.

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CLDC workshop focuses on community engagement

Seven people spoke about their fears in the current political climate and the future and discussed ways to be involved in community and create change even in the face of discrimination Thursday evening.

Members of the Community and Leadership Development Center led activities and discussions of community engagement during their program “Together We Rise” at La Casa Latino Cultural Center.

“It’s important to remind students that they have the power to engage and participate in democracy,” CLDC graduate assistant Alyssa Beauchamp said.

This program has occurred two times before, once with staff at the CLDC and once at the Indiana Latino Leadership Conference. Director of La Casa Lillian Casillas asked the CLDC if they could bring the program to La Casa.

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Partnership Aims to Tackle Diabetes Among Latinos

INDIANAPOLIS –

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) has announced a research collaboration with the William Sansum Diabetes Center in California. The pharmaceutical company says the partnership aims to improve the lives of Latino people affected by diabetes.

Lilly says the collaboration will provide insight into the unmet needs of Latino diabetes patients and help with the development of interventions that could improve health outcomes.

“This is a great opportunity for us to further understand the significant impact of diabetes for Latino families,” said Dara Schuster, senior director of U.S. Medical Affairs for Lilly Diabetes. “Through this collaboration, we will learn where the gaps are so we can develop meaningful solutions for the unmet needs.”

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Army Vet Who Served Two Tours In Afghanistan To Be Deported

A Chicago immigration judge ruled last week that an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan be deported back to Mexico, according to a local ABC affiliate.

The decision comes after Miguel Perez Jr. served seven years in prison for a felony drug offense. Perez, 38, was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States since the age of 8. He enlisted in the Army as a legal permanent resident in 2001 and served two tours in Afghanistan with U.S. Special Forces.

“My son served for this country, not for Mexico,” Perez’s mother, Esperanza Medina, told reporters at a Pilsen church on Sunday. 

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Crowdsourcing Dataset Map of ICE Raids

Alternative journalism, and humor social commentary digital platform Latino Rebels launched a new crowdsourcing data campaign called MIGRAMAP that tracks and maps ICE raids. The new initiative allows everyone to pinpoint the location of these raids.

MIGRAMAP is a data tool, a social media platform and a global positioning system, all in one. The community reports the location immigration officers are raiding. The website will show a color-coded map with the data results. The tool is based on self-reports. It has the option for the community to post their own stories.

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San Jose, CA an immigration success story

Q: What have the waves of immigration meant for San Jose?

A: In Silicon Valley diversity and our immigrant community has been the secret sauce to our success. About half of our venture-funded start-ups are started by foreign born entrepreneurs. Obviously we have our share of challenges. But there’s an incredible story to tell about what immigration has brought to our community. I hope the rest of the nation will take heed.

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Immigrant rights group has ‘know your rights’ workshops

Nettie Garza said she wants to go visit her grandmother, whom she hasn’t seen in nine years, in Mexico. She has been saving up money to make the trip, but now, Garza, a green card holder, is scared to leave the country.

Garza, 29, attended Bloomington Immigrant Rights Coalition’s “Know Your Rights” workshop Tuesday evening. She wanted to be informed on what to do if her resident status is questioned in the wake of President Trump’s executive order on immigration and 
international travel.

Tuesday’s workshop was the second in a series of five workshops at the Monroe County Public Library that will teach immigrants their rights if questioned by Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement officers.

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