Domestic Worker Bill of Rights passes the CA Senate

September 12th, 2013 · No Comments

A bill that would give housekeepers, nannies, and elder care workers overtime passed in the California Senate on Wednesday. The Domestic Worker Bill of Rights law, known as AB 241,  passed in the California Assembly in May. Last year Governor Brown vetoed similar legislation because he felt that extending overtime was too costly.

According to a report from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, 91% of domestic workers indicate that overtime provisions don’t exist in their work contracts.

I covered an event in Los Angeles earlier this week for NBC Latino on the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Check it out here.

Los Angeles Domestic Workers Sept. 10 2013

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Gun Control Debate Rages in Colorado with Latino Candidates at Center

July 16th, 2013 · No Comments

As Colorado becomes more “blue” (Democratic) and urban, issues like gun control have become even more contentious. Southern Colorado is more rural than the northern part of the state. In one state senate district, a recall effort has been underway because of a freshman legislator’s support for gun control legislation that was passed and signed by Governor Hickenlooper earlier this year. This happens to be a district where two Latino candidates will end up facing off against each other.

Read about it here: In Colorado, first-term Latina state Senator faces recall over gun control support.

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Immigration Showdown in the Capitol Begins

June 9th, 2013 · No Comments

On Sunday, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte indicated that she would support the gang of eight immigration bill that was crafted by a group of bipartisan senators. Just last week, an amendment to end the deferred action program (DACA) passed in the House of Representatives (read about that here) that was split largely along party lines. The Senate will begin the floor debate on immigration this week, and it is expected to take a vote on its bill before the July 4 holiday. Since the GOP holds a majority in the House, the bill that will emerge from the lower chamber is expected to be more conservative. So eyes will be on the Capitol in the next few weeks to see how the GOP maneuvers itself in the immigration debate. Given recent polling that shows Latino voters will judge Congress based on its support of a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, the Republicans are in a position to determine the extent that they can appeal to Latino voters in advance of the upcoming midterm elections. It will likely be a contentious time for the immigration debate in the next few weeks.

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Steps toward divorcing local law enforcement from immigration enforcement

May 20th, 2013 · No Comments

While there has been a steady push in recent months for comprehensive immigration reform on Capitol Hill, there have been a few steps in the states and in localities to limit the extent that local law enforcement participates in immigration enforcement (which has been seen as a federal duty). One of the reasons why deportations have skyrocketed in the Obama administration has to do with the roll out of the Secure Communities program, which allows for the fingerprints of anyone who has been arrested by local police to be checked against federal immigration databases and flagged for removal. Two years ago, I wrote about my experience witnessing local police involving themselves in immigration in one Southern California city.

One of the main reasons why immigration activists want the local police to be out of the immigration enforcement game is that it compromises trust between community members and the police.

To lessen the local police involvement in immigration enforcement, there are a few measures brewing. In California, the TRUST Act is moving through the legislature again. Read about it here.

And in New Orleans, the city council has passed a resolution to limit the detaining of immigrants or suspected immigrants in its jails in part because of the cost to house them.

In addition, some local counties in California are opting out of cooperation in the federal program.

That localities feel the need to lessen involvement in the federal immigration enforcement effort highlights the problems of having local police engage in an activity that has typically been reserved for the feds.


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How Terrorism Crept into the Immigration Debate & Why It Shouldn’t be a Focal Point

April 24th, 2013 · No Comments

I have a piece on BlogHer explaining how the terrorism issue become a sidebar in the current immigration debate. One thing to keep in mind is that there will always be people who want to commit crime and harm people regardless of country of origin, but if children who are brought to the U.S. are the perpetrators of terrorism, perhaps we, as a society, need to look inward at the factors here in the U.S. that may have influenced the violent acts as well.

This piece also addresses how the current immigration bill will impact women.

Click here to read.

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Latinas More Likely to Have Multiple Teen Pregnancies

April 3rd, 2013 · No Comments

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with some new data showing that Latinas are more likely than their black or white peers to have multiple teen pregnancies. Overall, the teen birthrate has been declining.

About one in five teen births are repeat births. For young women between the ages of 15 and 19, the highest percentages of repeat teen births occur in Native American (21.6%) women and in Latinas (20.9%). Non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites follow (20.4%) and (14.8%). One positive data point is that Hispanic teens were more likely to use more effective forms of birth control.

Teen pregnancy has been on the decline in the Latino community; the community has historically had high teen birth rates, which are tied to drop out rates, college completion rates and the cycle of poverty. Experts cite better access to information and contraceptives as being major factors in declining teen pregnancy rates.

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New Data: GOP Can Make Inroads with Latino Voters on Immigration

March 24th, 2013 · No Comments

The folks over at Latino Decisions came out with a new poll a few weeks ago. Basically, immigration reform is now the most important issue for Latino voters, and the GOP has an opportunity to make gains within the Latino electorate if it is able to take on a larger role in passing immigration reform with a path to citizenship. You can read a quick synopsis of the polling here. In essence, the GOP doesn’t have to win a majority of the Latino vote to be competitive with Democrats again in capturing this growing voter block, but they just need to get back to the high 30 percentage mark again instead of only winning 27 percent as Romney did in November.

For more context on how the GOP can make some gains with Latino voters, check out this NPR interview with Gary Segura of Latino Decisions.

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Loretta Sanchez and Husband Appear in New Holiday Card

December 13th, 2012 · 1 Comment

It’s that time of the year again when Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez sends out her annual campy holiday card. This year’s card features the Congresswoman’s second husband, Jack Einwechter. Last year, she also posed with her husband next to the Christmas tree with Gretzky (her deceased cat) in the ornaments. When she was married to Stephen Brixey, he appeared on the cards along with Representative Sanchez.

This card makes light of the fiscal cliff situation currently going on in Washington, D.C.

The cost of producing the card is paid for by campaign funds.


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