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Rafael Vela's blog

Courts Block Voter ID Laws in Texas and Wisconsin

-- by Will Weissert and Todd Richmond, TPM.com:

 A federal judge likened Texas' strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day — and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar measure in Wisconsin.

The twin rulings released Thursday evening represent major and somewhat surprising blows to largely Republican-backed voter identification rules sweeping the nation that have generally been upheld in previous rulings.

"Latino America's" Matt Barreto: Politicos are Missing the Boat

-- by Sandra Lilley NBC News:

It can feel like "deja vu all over again" when it comes to coverage of Latinos and American politics. Latinos are either the electoral "sleeping giant" or they just are just not that into politics, and they will always vote Democratic unless their religious conservatism makes them Republicans without knowing it, like Ronald Reagan famously said.

Two leading Latino social scientists, Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, co-founders of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions, do a reality check on these assumptions in their new book "Latino America: How America's Most Dynamic Population Is Poised To Transform The Politics Of The Nation."

Through a thorough recounting of past Latino voting patterns as well as through extensive surveys, what emerges is a more nuanced, big-picture look at the country's Latino electorate and its rapid growth, which is, in the end, why it matters.

"Demographic change is happening in real time," said Barreto in an interview with NBC News. "Campaign officials don't see it coming until after it happens."

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El Instituto Hispano hace el Lanzamiento de un Anuncio de Servicio Público Bilingüe para la Campaña (Salgan a votar)

¿Cuál es la clave para conectar con los votantes hispanos? ¡Es hablarles en su propio idioma!

WASHINGTON, D.C. (22 de septiembre) – El día de hoy, El Instituto Hispano lanzó un video publicitario de servicio público bilingüe para alentar a los hispanos a votar en las elecciones de medio término de este noviembre próximo. El video – que se desarrolla fluidamente en inglés y en español – es parte de la campaña Get-Out-The-Vote (Salgan a Votar) del Instituto.

Our Responsibility to Vote! from Aalia Network on Vimeo.

"Este noviembre, los 54 millones de hispanos de los Estados Unidos tienen la obligación con ellos mismos y con sus familias de hacerse escuchar en las urnas" dijo Gus West, Presidente de la Junta del Instituto Hispánico. "Nuestro video es un llamado al sentido del deber cívico de los Hispano-Americanos – sin importar cuál sea su idioma de preferencia".

Históricamente, los hispanos han estado sub-representados políticamente. Eso ha sucedido principalmente porque su votación ha sido 25% menos que los votos de afroamericanos y blancos.

El video del Instituto Hispano busca cambiar esta situación. Para poder hacer llegar el mensaje a los Hispanos, hace falta un mensaje bilingüe. La Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos predijo que en los próximos años, el uso del español como lengua principal bajará entre los hispanos. Actualmente, un cuarto de los Hispano-Americanos solo habla inglés en sus hogares.

El Instituto Hispano busca transmitir su video Get-Out-The-Vote (Salgan a Votar) en los cinco estados que tendrán las elecciones más competitivas este otoño: Nevada, Colorado, Carolina del Norte, Georgia y Iowa.

" A solamente seis semanas, con las elecciones de medio término,, los hispanos poseen una oportunidad histórica de influenciar la política relacionada con los asuntos que son más sensibles para ellos," dijo West. "Nuestra campaña es un llamado para que aprovechen esta oportunidad".

Obama's Wise Move on Immigration

-- by Maria Cardona, for CNN.com:

As a Latina activist I was devastated to learn the President would delay executive action to keep undocumented immigrants with no criminal record from getting deported.

He'd promised he'd do it, our community expected it, and the country's economy needed it -- especially as Republicans have abdicated their obligation to pass real and lasting legislative reform for our broken immigration system.

Could Cruz's Immigration Move Lead to Shutdown Fight

-- by Ted Barrett and Deidre Walsh, CNN:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday Congress should "use all means necessary" to prevent President Barack Obama from granting what Cruz considers amnesty to more immigrants who are in the country illegally.

He said it would be "appropriate" to include a provision that would block the President from doing so in a critical government-funding bill that Congress must approve this month.

Obama to Delay Executive Action on Immigration

-- by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press:

Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.

The move is certain to infuriate immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.

Latinos, Labor Tell Obama: Pick Tom Perez for Attorney General

By Edward-Isaac Dovere, Carrie Budoff Brown and Seung Min Kim, Politico:

Hispanic lawmakers, immigration advocates and labor allies are lining up to lobby President Barack Obama to nominate Labor Secretary Tom Perez as attorney general.

Report Documents Latino Voting Power & Issues in Midterms

-- by Chris Adams, McClatchy:

A record 25 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, and if history is a guide they will also cast a record number of votes, according to a new report.

But if history holds true as well, Latinos will leave far more votes on the table than they cast, due to participation rates that significantly lag those of whites or African-Americans.

Thousands Released After Immigration Holds Denied

- by Amy Taxin, The Associated Press:

Immigration officials say local authorities across the U.S. released thousands of immigrants from jails this year despite efforts to take them into federal custody, including more than 3,000 with previous felony charges or convictions.

The numbers are the first time federal immigration authorities have publicly detailed how many times local agencies have refused to comply with their requests.

Opinion: Supreme Court Should Rule for Workers in Overtime Case

-- by Paul A. Reyes, Fox News Latino:

Nobody likes waiting in line. Not at the movies, not at the DMV, not at the airport. Now imagine that you have to wait in line every day after work as part of your job. Should you be paid for your time? That’s the issue that the Supreme Court is considering in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk. 

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