-- by Nick Miroff, The Washington Post:
In the past five years, Homeland Security officials have jailed record numbers of immigrants, driven by a little-known congressional directive known on Capitol Hill as the “bed mandate.”
The policy requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep an average of 34,000 detainees per day in its custody, a quota that has steadily risen since it was established in 2006 by conservative lawmakers who insisted that the agency wasn’t doing enough to deport unlawful immigrants.
But as illegal crossings from Mexico have fallen to near their lowest levels since the early 1970s, ICE has been meeting Congress’s immigration detention goals by reaching deeper into the criminal justice system to vacuum up foreign-born, legal U.S. residents convicted of any crimes that could render them eligible for deportation. The agency also has greatly expanded the number of undocumented immigrants it takes into custody after traffic stops by local police.
-- by Ben Chapman, The New York Daily News:
Black and Hispanic students are getting stiffed — from science labs to libraries — when it comes to resources at city high schools, according to an analysis of Education Department data.
On average, white and Asian students attend high schools with twice as many Advanced Placement courses and almost twice as many science labs compared with schools attended by black and Hispanic students, according to figures from the 2011-12 school year, the most recent available.
-- by Becca Aaronson, The Texas Tribune:
Though they make up roughly a third of the state’s population, Latinos account for nearly two-thirds of the more than six million Texans without health insurance. But in the 13 days since a federal insurance marketplace aimed at helping the uninsured find coverage opened, health care advocates across the state have encountered common obstacles in getting Latinos registered, including limited access to computers and the lack of an e-mail address.
Advocates are developing community-based strategies to overcome these obstacles, and to ensure that Latinos do not miss out on insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act, which requires most people to carry coverage beginning in 2014.
One strategy is reliance on “promotoras” — health counselors, often women, who provide education on health coverage options in Spanish-speaking populations.
-- by Tal Kopan, Politico:
The Democratic National Committee is launching Spanish-language online ads and robocalls targeting Republicans on the government shutdown, it announced Thursday.
-- by Caitlin MacNeal, TPM:
-- by Matt Stevens, The Los Angeles Times:
More than 1,000 activists ended their hours-long rally and march through Hollywood on Saturday on a high note after getting word that Gov. Jerry Brown had signed several bills that would ease conditions for immigrants.
Just before noon on Saturday, a swelling crowd of union workers, immigrants and activists started their march down Western Avenue before turning onto Sunset Boulevard and finally Vine Street.
Oscar Valladares, 34, was heading down Sunset holding a purple "Citizenship for the 11 million" sign. When told that Brown had signed the Trust Act, the father of a 4-year-old rejoiced.
Under the new legislation, law enforcement officials in California who arrest immigrants in the country illegally will be prohibited from detaining them for transfer to federal authorities unless they are suspected of committing a serious crime.
-- by Noreen O'Donnell, Reuters:
Illegal immigrants can be licensed to practice law in California under one of eight bills expanding immigrant rights that were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday.
The California Supreme Court, which finalizes requests of applicants to be licensed as a lawyer in California, is now authorized to approve qualified applicants regardless of their immigration status.
-- by Robert Jones, The Washington Post:
This week has left an already jaded American public even more exasperated with Congress, as Republican demands that funding for the 2010 Affordable Care Act be excised from the federal budget were met with a rebuff from Democratic congressional leaders and the Obama administration, resulting in the first government shutdown in nearly two decades.
-- by Samantha Leal, Latino magazine:
Salma Hayek was honored by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute last week, where she spoke out about the government shutdown and Latino stereotypes.
-- from The Associated Press:
House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled an immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightens border security, and they warned of political fallout if House Republicans fail to act.
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