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NAACP Has 'Serious Concerns' With New Voting Rights Legislation

The NAACP on Thursday expressed appreciation for lawmakers' effort to update voting rights laws, but raised "serious concerns" with provisions of the bill.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced the legislation during a press conference earlier Thursday. The bill, which aims to update a key component of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, has bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

George P. Bush Takes A Stand Against 'Ignorant Statements' About Hispanics

CORPUS CHRISTI — George P.

‘State Of Arizona' Retraces History Of The Immigration Law That Redefined The Debate

The Arizona state legislature redefined the way the country debates immigration when it passed Senate Bill 1070. In an effort to crack down on illegal immigration in a state with an population of roughly 460,000 undocumented immigrants at the time, the 2010 law required police officers to check the immigration status of people they stopped, among other provisions. The law turned the state into ground zero for the immigration debate.

80,000 Alcohol-Caused Deaths In North And Latin America Each Year, Study Finds

Alcohol consumption is directly responsible for nearly 80,000 deaths every year in North and Latin America, with most deaths being caused by liver disease, according to a new study. And that doesn't even include the number of deaths that are somehow linked, but not directly caused, by alcohol consumption, such as falls, suicides, violence, heart disease and stroke, noted study researchers Dr. Vilma Gawryszewski and Dr.

Family And Nostalgia Are Main Reasons Immigrants Are Going Back To Mexico

Mexican immigrants are returning home in significant numbers but it’s not mainly due to the tepid U.S. economy, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Returning migrants said family and nostalgia drew them back to Mexico, trumping joblessness, health and other concerns.

Latinos In California Set To Be Majority By March

San Francisco Gate: California is growing older and more diverse. The Latino population is projected to surpass that of whites in California in March to become the single largest "race or ethnic group," according to a report on shifting demographics in Gov. Jerry Brown's 2014-15 budget proposal. Also, the number of residents 65 and older will jump by 20.7 percent over the next five years, the report said. State demographers expected Latinos to surpass the non-Hispanic white population seven months earlier, but Latino birth rates were lower than anticipated.

Obama picks Maria Contreras-Sweet to head SBA

The president will announce the nomination formally at a public event in Washington, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the event had not taken place. (Charles Dharapak/AP) - Maria Contreras-Sweet founded the Pro­América Bank, a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, in 2006. More from PostPolitics Congratulations on your budget, Congress. America still hates you. Congratulations on your budget, Congress.

Puerto Rico Teachers Launch Two-day Strike

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hundreds of teachers in Puerto Rico gathered on Tuesday with tambourines, cowbells and bullhorns outside public schools across the island as they launched a two-day strike to protest changes made to their pension plan amid an economic crisis in the U.S. territory. The strike coincided with the first day of classes after winter break, forcing dozens of schools to close. Legislators of the main opposition party supported the strike and some principals and parents joined in, demanding that changes to the teachers' retirement system be revoked.

California Legislator Wants To Extend Insurance To 1 Million People Excluded Under Obamacare

News . California is considering whether to extend Obamacare to one of the country's largest uncovered groups. State Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, is proposing legislation that would offer inexpensive health insurance to undocumented immigrants through a state version of the Affordable Care Act, the local press report. “Immigration status shouldn't bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy,” Lara said last week in a press release, according to Fox News Latino.

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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