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Rafael Vela's blog

Texas Voter I.D. Law Goes to Trial

-- by Pam Fessler, NPR:

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

Texas' Republican-controlled Legislature passed new photo ID requirements for voters back in 2011. Supporters said the law was needed to prevent voter fraud, although opponents noted that there was little evidence of such fraud at the polls.

At the time, the state was covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which meant it needed federal approval for the law to go into effect, because the state had a history of discrimination against minority voters.

The case ended up before a three-judge federal court in Washington, D.C., which in 2012 ruled against the state. It said Texas could not impose the new ID requirement, because the state was unable to show that it would not discriminate against blacks and Latinos. Under Section 5, the burden of proof was on the state to show that the law was nondiscriminatory.

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White House May Hold Off on Immigration Action Until After Election

-- by Doug Mataconis, The Christian Science Monitor:

At the beginning of the summer, President Obama said that he was directing his administration to come up with steps that he could take as president to deal with immigration issues in light of the fact that the House of Representatives had made it clear that it would not be acting on either the bill that the Senate passed last year or any other bill before the midterm elections. Almost immediately, the president’s announcement was cited by many on the right as another sign of the executive overreach that they have accused him of for several years now, and which is also the basis for the lawsuit that the House of Representative recently authorized to be filed against him. More recently, some members of Congress, most especially Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, hinted that if the president took any such action prior to the midterms, then Republicans in Congress would be forced to consider shutting down the government over the issue. Indeed, Senator Cruz himself had threatened such a shutdown earlier this summer, although he and other Republicans have backed off of that talk in recent weeks and have asserted that all of the talk of shutdowns is coming from Democrats.

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Immigration Activists Push Reform Despite Possible White House Delay

-- by Kathleen Hennessy, Lisa Mascaro & Christi Parsons, The Los Angeles Times:

Advocates pressing President Obama for an immediate immigration overhaul vowed Friday to continue to push for action, despite signs that the White House may postpone an expected change in deportation policy until after the November election.

Latinos, The Customers of the Future

-- by Lucia Acosta, for U-T San Diego:

Latinos play an important role in business and economic development in our society, with a purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015.

The majority of the purchasing power lies with English-speaking second and third generations. This is reflected in industries from real estate to consumer goods over the last decade. Do not miss the mark on engaging the customer of the future.

Will Insult and Inaction on Immigration Cost the Republicans the Senate?

-- by Loren McArthur, for The Huffington Post's "Latino Voices":

The 2010 midterm elections were a resounding victory for Republicans--they took control of the House of Representatives with a net gain of 63 seats, the biggest mid-term House pick-up since the Great Depression, and won control of 29 state governorships, putting them in the driver's seat for the 2011 redistricting process.

Honduran Authorities, U.S. Lawmakers Talk About Child Immigration

-- from Fox News Latino:

Honduran authorities and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers met in this capital to discuss the structural causes of child immigration, officials said on Sunday.

Honduran government general coordinator Jorge Ramon Hernandez and five U.S. legislators spoke on Saturday evening about how violence and crime have forced hundreds of unaccompanied Honduran children to try and enter the United States, the President's Office said in a communique.

Study Finds Hispanics Buy & Play More Video Games Than General Public

-- by William Cannon, The Latin Times:

The video game industry is booming and Hispanics play a huge part in its success. A new study from ThinkNow research has proven that Hispanics are avid gamers and surpass the general market in usage, purchasing of titles and technology adoption. 

Mexican President Calls for Immigration Reform

-- by Brian Melley, The Associated Press:

Mexico's president spoke of the need for U.S. immigration reform on a two-day visit to immigrant-friendly California, saying those who reject diversity and inclusion will ultimately be proven wrong.

Republicans More Focused on Immigration as Top Problem

-- by Frank Newport, Gallup Politics:

Although both Republicans and Democrats name dysfunctional government, the economy, and unemployment as top problems facing the country today, they attach different importance to other issues. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are significantly more likely than Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to say that immigration and moral decline are top problems in the U.S., while Democrats are more likely to mention poverty and education.

Minority Children Will Be The Majority in U.S. Schools This Fall

-- by Juan E. Gastelum, Buzzfeed News:

The number of minority students enrolled in U.S. public K-12 schools will likely surpass that of non-Hispanic whites for the first time this fall.

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