The Hispanic Institute

The Hispanic Institute's Statement on President Barack Obama's Executive Order on Immigration Policy

For Immediate Release

We are more than pleased that the President has taken this incremental move toward fairness and justice in immigration policy.  While we hoped this administration would have acted much earlier, thus sparing pain for countless hard-working families who were dedicated to helping this nation and its residents make a better life, we applaud his determination and encourage him in the battle that lies ahead.

In that vein we welcome the dialogue that this action will provoke.  But let us not forget that in terms of constitutional authority this administration has already used executive power to deport two million undocumented immigrants.  The Republican opposition will not talk about those deportations because it demonstrates that the President has already done exactly what they have asked.  This executive action is a sorely needed corrective measure.

We expect that the order will arouse some not-so-kind sentiments towards immigrants.  However, in the end we believe "better angels" will prevail.

www.thehispanicinstitute.org

Contact: XiNomara Velazquez: (202) 544-8294 xinomara@thehispanicinstitute.net

Gus West: Immigration Not a Crisis, It's An Opportunity

-- from the Sun Sentinel (Florida) :

Concern about immigration recently tripled, thanks largely to the surge of unaccompanied minors across the nation's southern border, according to the latest Gallup poll. Yet Congress is hopelessly deadlocked over what to do.

Republican leaders have deferred to the most anti-immigrant members of their caucus — who are effectively calling for mass deportations. Democrats, meanwhile, have refused to even discuss immigration until after this fall's election.

This political gamesmanship must end. Our leaders must welcome the immigrants who have made their way here — not just for humanitarian reasons but for economic ones, too.

Since last October, nearly 60,000 unaccompanied immigrant children have entered the United States from Mexico. Most are fleeing Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — three nations wracked by unthinkable levels of gang violence and poverty.

The Hispanic Institute Launches Bilingual PSA for Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign

The key to reaching Hispanic voters? Speak both their languages!

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22) -- Today, The Hispanic Institute launched a bilingual public service announcement video encouraging Hispanics to vote in this November's midterm elections. The video -- which transitions seamlessly between English and Spanish -- is part of the Institute's 2014 Get-Out-The-Vote campaign.

Our Responsibility to Vote! from Aalia Network on Vimeo.

"America's 54 million Hispanics owe it to themselves and their families to make their voices heard at the polls this November," said Gus West, Board Chair of The Hispanic Institute. "Our video appeals to Hispanic Americans' sense of civic duty -- whatever their preferred language may be."

Historically, Hispanics have been under-represented politically. That's largely because they've voted at rates 25 percent lower than blacks and whites.

The Hispanic Institute's video aims to change that. And reaching Hispanics requires bilingual outreach. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the use of Spanish as the primary language will decrease among Hispanics in the coming years. Already, a quarter of Hispanic Americans speak only English at home.

The Hispanic Institute is looking to air its Get-Out-The-Vote video in five states with the most competitive elections this fall: Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa.

"With the mid-term elections just six weeks away, Hispanics have a historic chance to influence policy on the issues that matter most to them," said West. "Our campaign will call on them to seize that opportunity."

Chair Gus West Discusses THI's Bilingual PSA & Voter Program on ABC New York's "Tiempo"

The Hispanic Institute's Chairman Gus West appeared on ABC New York's Tiempo program Sunday, October 5th to discuss the Institute's bilingual PSA and voter program:

Recommended browser: Google Chrome

Part One

Watch on Tiempo's Home Page

Part Two

Watch on Tiempo's Home Page

Taxes and Fees: Barriers to Hispanic Connectivity

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2012) – A new report “Taxes and Fees: Barriers to Hispanic Connectivity” released today by The Hispanic Institute calls for Congress to pass bi-partisan legislation that would require uniform tax rules for online purchases of digital goods and wireless phone services.

The report supports passage of the Digital Goods and Services Fairness Act, which would prohibit the imposition of taxes by multiple jurisdictions on the same digital purchase, and the Wireless Tax Fairness Act, which would impose a five-year moratorium on new, discriminatory state or local taxes on mobile services, providers and property.

"Right now, thanks to a regressive patchwork of state and local taxes, Americans are paying more than they should for their phones and the products they buy online," said Gus West, Board Chair of The Hispanic Institute. "This unfair tax burden hits hardest those who can least afford it, including many Hispanics.”

Both measures would deliver significant savings for all Americans, including the many Hispanics who rely heavily on digital devices for employment, education, commercial and other economic and social interactions.  

Read the Full Study [PDF]

Soda Size Cap Cuts Calories Most in Kids, the Overweight, Study Finds

-- by Melissa Healy, The Los Angeles Times:

A day after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Health Department went to court to defend its proposed cap on the sale of super-sized sodas, a published study has offered evidence that Bloomberg's plan would reduce average calorie intake among those most likely to buy large drinks, and would have its greatest effect on overweight and obese kids.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, also found that low-income consumers were no more affected by a portion cap than were those of higher income -- a major challenge to opponents of the proposed cap, who have argued it unfairly targets the poor.

The research was published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition...

... At the same time, the finding that low-income consumers pared about the same number of calories from their daily intake as those with higher incomes may undermine an argument mustered by many opponents of soda restrictions or taxes: that such measures restrict poor people's choices but not those of higher-income consumers.

Gus K. West, president of the Washington-based Hispanic Institute, says it's time for that argument to lose its power anyway. In low-income communities and Latino communities disproportionately affected by obesity and diabetes, measures that drive down sugar-sweetened beverage consumption should and will have a heavy impact -- for the better, West says.

Read the Full Story

FROM THE "VANGUARDIA" NEW BLOG

GOP Vows to Swiftly Counter Obama's Immigration Moves

-- by Micheal D. Shear, The New York Times:

Republicans on Thursday vowed a swift and forceful response to the executive action on immigration that President Obama is to announce in a prime-time address, accusing the president of exceeding the power of his office and promising a legislative fight when they take full control of Congress next year.

Bachmann: Obama Wants to Turn "Illiterate" Immigrants into Democratic Voters

-- by Catherine Thompson, TPM:

Outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said Wednesday that President Barack Obama wants to use executive action to temporarily shield "illiterate" immigrants from deportation in order to bolster the Democratic base.

Congressman: Obama's Immigration Plan Could Prompt Impeachment, Jail Time

-- by Betsy Woodruff, Slate

Conservatives hate everything about the president’s imminent immigration move, starting with its timing, and one House member is hinting that the executive action could result in impeachment, and maybe even prison time.

President Obama is expected to announce his executive action on immigration—a move which could defer deportations for as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants—on Thursday.

Obama's Immigration Plan Could Grant Papers to Millions, at Least for Now

-- by Julia Preston, The New York Times:

When Reagan and G.W. Bush Took Bold Executive Action on Immigration

-- by Mark Noferi, The Hill:

A Powerful Shift: Cuban-Americans are Moving Left

-- by Owen Parr, Brown Political Review:

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