Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Hoping to defuse an issue hurting Republicans among Hispanic voters, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is working on a compromise alternative to the DREAM Act, a proposal backed strongly by Democrats and Hispanics to offer a normal life to children of illegal immigrant families.

But Rubio is taking a risk that his compromise will please neither side. It could anger tea party-style Republicans while failing to satisfy many of his own Hispanic constituents. So far, he hasn’t persuaded even leaders of his own party, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker John Boehner, to get in line.

According to if the Tea Party wins so does America…

“It’s a significant risk,” said retired University of South Florida political scientist Darryl Paulson, a Republican. “The primary thing any political candidate wants to do is solidify his base, and this could fracture that base.” 
Rubio has been accused of using the issue as an election-year ploy, but his spokesman Alex Conant said, “There’s just as much political peril as there is potential benefit in doing anything like this.”
Originally proposed by members of both parties 10 years ago, the original DREAM Act would allow a path to citizenship for young people brought here as children when their families illegally immigrated, if they attend college or serve in the military. The name is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. Such young people, not having known any other home, often are prevented from going to college because of their undocumented status, even after serving in the military. The DREAM Act would allow student loans and work-study jobs but not federal higher education grants for the students.

Daniela Pelaez/ Photo by Bill Clark/Roll Call

One recent case involved the valedictorian of North Miami High School, Daniela Pelaez, an aspiring surgeon. Admitted to the University of Florida and Dartmouth College, she instead faced deportation because her family came here illegally from Colombia when she was 4 years old. Pelaez got a respite from deportation last month after her case made headlines and sparked demonstrations by fellow students.

Daniela Pelaez 18, Alberto Carvalho, superintendent for Miami-Dade Public Schools, and Dayana Pelaez 26, at press conference, where over twenty-five hundred students protest the possible deportation of student Daniela Pelaez 18, this Friday morning, March 2, 2012, at the North Miami Senior High School. Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Rubio recently told The Huffington Post he wants “a bipartisan solution … that does not reward or encourage illegal immigration by granting amnesty, but helps accommodate talented young people like Daniela, who find themselves undocumented through no fault of their own.” Throughout his career, Rubio has had to thread the needle on immigration issues, trying on the one hand to please his conservative base, but also satisfy his Hispanic constituency. That has led him to compromise or to take ambivalent positions on issues, including official English and tough state anti-illegal immigrant laws. The son of a Cuban immigrant family, Rubio has said the original DREAM Act is flawed because allowing a path to citizenship could lead to “chain migration,” in which family members sponsor each other.

His proposal, which he hopes will be considered this summer, will include a temporary student visa rather than citizenship or legal resident status for students. But it likely would allow the students eventually to apply for legal residency without returning to their parents’ home countries. Those honorably discharged from the military, Conant said, also would be able to seek legal residency or citizenship.

Getty Images

Democrats who back the original DREAM Act, a 10-year-old proposal that passed in the House last year but failed in the Senate, decry Rubio’s idea as creating a permanent underclass of “bracero” non-citizen workers.

Rodolfo De La Garza CU Political Scientist/ Columbia Talk Radio

“It makes a very limited offer to a small segment of the population,” said Rodolfo de la Garza, a Columbia University political scientist who specializes in Hispanic voters. “I think what most Latinos are going to pick up on is what I have to characterize as either a political ploy or profound disingenuousness to the point of deceit on Rubio’s part.” He called the DREAM Act “the one issue on which there is a clear Latino position — they are 75-80 percent in favor of it in numerous polls.”
Conant called the bracero allegation “nonsense.” “Nothing is in this proposal that would prohibit these kids from someday seeking permanent residence or citizenship.”

Immigrants chant slogans during a rally Monday, May 1, 2006, in Miami. Hundreds of thousands of mostly Hispanic immigrants skipped work and took to the streets Monday, flexing their newfound political muscle in a nationwide boycott that succeeded in slowing or shutting many farms, factories, markets and restaurants. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

In a national poll of Hispanic voters in January by Univision, ABC and Latino Decisions, respondents cited “immigration reform/DREAM Act” as tied with the economy and jobs as the top issue in their voting decisions for the November election. In Florida, where large numbers of Hispanics are either Cuban refugees, who automatically receive resident status, or Puerto Ricans who are citizens, immigration and the DREAM Act were still in second place, with 17 percent, to 23 percent for the economy. Despite that, Romney said during the primary campaign that he would veto the DREAM Act, although he favored the idea for illegal immigrants who serve in the military.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) after Romney was introduced by Rubio during a town-hall-style meeting in Aston, Pa.
Jae C. Hong / AP

Earlier this week, Romney declined to endorse Rubio’s compromise, even though he was standing next to Rubio in a joint news conference in Pennsylvania at the time. “It has many features to commend it,” Romney said, “but it’s something that we’re studying.” He said he expects to lay out immigration proposals before the November election, but added, “Obviously our first priority is to secure the border.”
Also this week, Boehner said it is unlikely Rubio’s proposal could pass the House this year, citing “a very hostile political environment.” “To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best,” he said. Conant called Romney’s reluctance “totally understandable, that he would want to see the plan’s details before endorsing the plan. But the idea isn’t likely to be popular with the tea party Republicans to whom Romney and Boehner must appeal. 

Boehner To Rubio: DREAM On, Dude! photo by Jeff Malet

“It’s an amnesty bill — it rewards lawbreaking,” said Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-illegal immigration advocacy group. “Rubio is marching off into McCain-land” — a reference to Ariz. Sen. JohnMcCain’s support for an immigration reform bill that would have allowed a path to citizenship. “Whatever support he’s going to pick up from Hispanics is probably going to be far outweighed by what he loses from his conservative base.” he said. Rubio’s idea may get a better reception, but still not unanimous approval, from tea partiers in his home state, who consider him a hero.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah waits to speak during a Tea Party Express town hall meeting at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday.
Cliff Owen/AP

“Some people draw the hard line, absolutely no amnesty, but some tea party groups understand you’re trying to address a difficult issue,” said tea party leader Karin Hoffman, who said she formed her opinion from online forums and message boards. “They acknowledge you’re providing a way for them (young illegal immigrants) to be a contributing member of society, and it’s not blanket amnesty — it’s for the individual alone.”

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29th April 1912: A crowd await the return of survivors of the ‘Titanic‘ disaster, at Southampton. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images) and FOX News Latino

The ill-fated trip aboard the Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean 100 years ago today, included a well-to-do Mexican man who had high-level political connections, a rich businessman from Cuba and at least eight passengers from Spain. Some were willing to shell out big bucks to be part of the historic journey, others were onboard because they were servants for the very wealthy. Some survived and even found love amid the wreckage. Others were not so lucky. What strings their lives together is that each of them were passengers of the most famous cruise line in history.



The only Mexican on the Titanic voyage was 39-year-old lawyer, Don. Manuel Ramirez Uruchurtu. Although Uruchurtu was lucky enough to be in first class on the ship, he did not make it out alive. Uruchurtu was part of a well-to-do Mexican family, which allowed him the luxury of studying law in México City where he met and married fellow student Gertrudis Caraza y Landero, a Mexican lady of high social standing. Settling down in México City to establish his law practice, the couple had 7 children. During the time of the Mexican revolution in 1910, Uruchurtu had already established himself in the national political scene of the dictatorship of President Porfirio Díaz which, along with his wealth, made him an automatic target for the revolutionaries. When the former dictator and other former government officials were exiled to France a year following the revolution, Uruchurtu decided to visit his friend General Ramón Corral, who was vice president of Mexico before his exile.

URUCHURTU, Don. Manuel Ramirez
Age: 39
Class: 1st Class passenger, boarded in Cherbourg
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico, Mexico
Destination: Mexico City, Mexico
Ticket number: 17601
Travel fare: £27 14s 5d
Died during the sinking, his body —

After visiting with his political friends, Uruchurtu decided to return home to his family. Guillermo Obregón, the son-in-law of Corral, persuaded Uruchurtu to take his ticket on the Titanic’s maiden voyage to return to México. Boarding the ship at Cherbourg in the Normandy region of France on April 10th, Uruchurtu communicated with his family for the last time, sending his brother a telegraph that read “embarcome” (going on board).

April 1912: Survivors of the Titanic disaster boarding a tug from the liner which rescued them. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) and FOX News Latino

In the fatal night that followed, Uruchurtu , a first class passenger, gave up his seat in a lifeboat to an English lady from the second class who was pleading to be let into the boat because her family was waiting for her.In what he knew would be his last moments, Uruchurtu gave up his seat but not before asking the woman to visit his wife in Veracruz, Mexico.


Two passengers from Uruguay were relatives Francisco M. Carrau and José Pedro Carrau, whose relationship, as to if they were uncle and nephew or cousins, is unknown. Francisco was 28 at the time of his death and an active member of the board of directors of one of Carrau & Co., a food distribution company that is one of Uruguay’s largest businesses. Francisco, along with his 17-year-old relative and traveling companion Jose, boarded the Titanic in Southampton England on April 10, 1912. Both men died in the crash although their bodies were never recovered. Other than family legends, little is known about the men and the happenings on their ill-fated voyage.

Name: Mr Ramon Artagaveytia
Born: July 1840
Age: 71 years 9 months
Last Residence: in Buenos Aires Pampas Argentina
Occupation: Businessman
1st Class passenger
First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17609 , £49 10s 1d
Died in the sinking.
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 22)
Buried: Cemeterio Central Montevideo Uruguay on Tuesday 18th June 1912. photo source: encyclopedia titanica

Ramon Artagaveytia came from a family whose life was the sea. Born in July 1840 in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Titanic was not Artagaveytia’s first experience aboard a sinking ship. In 1871, Artagaveytia survived the fire and sinking of the ship America near the shore of Punta Espinillo, Uruguay. Of the 164 passengers, only 65 survived. The experience left Artagaveytia emotionally scarred. However, that did not stop him from traveling. After settling down in Argentina, Artagaveytia traveled to Europe to visit his nephew who was the head of the Uruguayan Consulate in Berlin. But before returning home, Artagaveytia decide to visit the U.S.
Two months before setting sail on the Titanic, Artagaveytia wrote in a letter to his cousin, “At last I will be able to travel and, above all, I will be able to sleep calmly. The sinking of the America was terrible!… Nightmares keep tormenting me. Even in the most quiet trips, I wake up in the middle of the night with terrible nightmares and always hearing the same fateful word: Fire! Fire! Fire!…I have even gotten to the point where I find myself standing in the deck with my lifebelt on…’” The second time, he was not as lucky.

The night of the sinking Titanic, both Artagaveytia and his fellow Uruguayan passengers, Francisco and Jose Pedro Carrau, died. A week later, Artagaveytia’s body was recovered by the MacKay-Bennett. After being transferred to New York, his body was finally laid to rest in Cemeterio Central, in Montevideo on June 18, 1912.

Spain: The Spanish represented the largest percentage of Latino’s on the Titanic voyage

Sisters Asuncion Duran y More, 27, and Florentina Duran y More, 30, boarded the ship in Cherbourg in the Normandy region of France. Both sisters were lucky enough to survive the sinking, rescued by the Carpathia in lifeboat 12. After arriving in New York City, the sisters immediately embarked on a voyage to Cuba. While Asuncion’s life after the Titanic is vague, the voyage for her sister proved to be life changing in more ways than one.

photo source: Titanic-Titanic

Florentina found love through the unfortunate event, marrying fellow second class passenger, 26-year-old Chauffeur Julian Padron Manent. The couple lived together in Cuba until Florentina’s death in 1959 at the age of 70. Following Manent’s death in 1968, the couple were buried side by side in an elaborate mausoleum in Colon Cemetery in Havana.

Chauffeur Julian Padron Manent

Speculated traveling companion to Julian Padro Manent and the Duran y More sisters, Emilio Pallas y Castello was a 29-year-old American citizen heading for Cuba. Like his friends, Castello was rescued and lived a long life until his death in 1940.

photo source: encyclopedia titanica John William Thompson, William McIntyre, Emilio Pallas y Castillo are shown in New York after the sinking. Thomas Whiteley was being treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital for a leg injury sustained during the sinking.

Spanish domestic Encarnacion Reynaldo, 28, boarded the Titanic to visit her sister in New York City. And luckily for Reynaldo, she eventually reunited with her sister after being rescued by the Carpathia in lifeboat 9.

Victor Peñasco died and was newly wed to María Josefa Pérez de Soto photo source: Gente del Pueblo

Of all 8 Spaniards aboard the titanic, only one, Victor Peñasco y Castellana, did not make it out alive. Left by himself on the ship, Castellana died in the sinking. Victor Peñasco y Castellana, along with his wife Maria Josefa Perez de Soto y Vallejo and her maid Doña Fermina Oliva y Ocana , boarded the Titanic the same day as the Duran y More sisters in Cherbourg. While all were first class passengers, only Maria and her maid were rescued as they were able to be go ashore in lifeboat 8.


Brothers Ahmed and William Ali boarded the Titanic in Southampton England. Laborers from Buenos Aires, the two purchased third-class tickets for the voyage. While both lost their lives, only William’s body was recovered. He was buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetry in Halifx, Nova Scotia on May 10, 1912.

photo source: A UMNS web-only photo collage by Kathleen Barry.
All photos are public domain.

Another Argentine, Edgar Samuel Andrew, never intended on boarding the Titanic. Originally from Córdoba, Argentina, Andrew came to the U.S. in 1911 to visit his brother. After traveling to Bournemouth, England to study, Andrew was lured back to the states for his brother’s wedding and the promise of a job at the Harriet White Fisher company in New York. However, when the coal strike forced Andrew to change his ticket from the Oceanic to the Titanic, his future fate was sealed.

photo source: Titanic Project

In a letter to his friend Josey Cowan in Argentina, on April 8, 1912 Andrew wrote, “I am boarding the greatest steamship in the world, but I don’t really feel proud of it at all, right now I wish the ‘Titanic’ were lying at the bottom of the ocean.” Along with a suitcase that was recovered from the wreckage in 2001, Andrew’s letter to Cowan has remained in the family. Somehow foreboding the ship’s fate, Andrew died in the sinking.


Servando Jose Florentino Ovies y Rodríguez

Servando Jose Florentino Ovies y Rodríguez, was the sole Cuban aboard the Titanic. The 36-year-old worked in the import business in Havana where he lived with his wife, Eva Lopez del Vallardo and son, Ramon Servando. Although a first-class passenger, Rodríguez was not able to make it out of the sinking alive. After his body was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nova Scotia on May 15, 1912, his wife filed a claim for $75,000 for the loss of his life and $2,800 for the loss of property.


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The numbers from the U.S. Census dazzle.  One out of six residents of America is Hispanic. Over the past decade this group grew 43%.  By 2014, its purchasing power will reach more than $1.5 trillion.  Mmmmm, if you think about it they will eventually constitute the 10th largest economy in the world.  This should be a gold mine for marketers.  But, it isn’t, at least not yet.  Investors have to be cautious about companies gushing about the potential.  That might all it turns out to be – potential.

Who’s Tapping Into the Surging Hispanic Market?

The reality is that the Hispanic market is a tough nut to crack, at least for outsiders, that is those who aren’t Hispanic.  Too many marketers made that same wrong assumption in pitching the over-50 audience, which is really at least…

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“If we want to compete at another level, then we have to behave at that other level.”

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

Chicago is an awesome place for standup, it’s an awesome place for comedy. The audiences here are amazing,” said Mike Oquendo, the man behind Mikey O Comedy Productions. The son of Puerto Rican parents and Chicago native, Oquendo has managed to maintain a solid comedic reputation for 10 years, has given back to the community and has made people of all different backgrounds laugh.

For the last five years, Oquendo’s production company has done no less than 80 shows in a year. Last year, they finished off with 114 shows. Catering to a predominantly Latino audience, Oquendo said that when he first began hosting these comedy nights, there was a thirst for it. “When people heard ‘Latino comedy’ they said, ‘What’s that?’ When people come to a show, I ask how many people have been to a comedy show. About half of them raise their hands,” he explained. Oquendo owes his comedic passion to the Freddie Prinze comedy album.

“I remember being fascinated by the fact that this guy was a Puerto Rican comedian and there was an album out in which this guy was telling the Puerto Rican story,” he said. “There was a part of me that learned at that moment that that was ok; that talking about that experience was nothing to be ashamed about.”

From high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was a medic. Oquendo used his experience and worked in hospitals in Chicago. Eventually, he went on to become a dispatcher for the Chicago Fire Department getting jobs where he could, with comedy in the back of his head.

grant Jose “Pepe” Vargas, director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. (EFE)

It was Pepe Vargas, executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, who Oquendo says, gave him his big break and first real job with being a member of the gala production team. After, he went on to work at museums and eventually the Adler Planetarium where he was in charge of special events, still having an incredible passion for comedy.

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

“Taking that combination for production experience and my love for comedy gave birth to what I do today,” he explained. “I’ve done every single job in this business: I’ve been the box office guy, I’ve been the coat check, I’ve been the janitor, I’ve been the guy that delivers the sound equipment, I’ve been the host, I’ve been the usher. I wanted to be in it so badly, that I took any job to be in the mix.”

Fourteen years later, Oquendo has left a lasting impression on the community he decided to stick to. Dedicating funds to particular charities and organizations that support the arts, among others, Oquendo says that his team raised just under $90,000 in 2011, 70 percent of that, arts related. Inclusive of production, Oquendo says his biggest job is motivating his comedians to be professional and authentic in their performances. Taking experiences from his youth to create standards and upholding them, Oquendo believes that if he demands more, the performers will deliver at a higher quality.

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Former Cuban President Fidel Castro accused Barack Obama of looking down on Latin America.

Cuba will implement migratory reform in the next months to eliminate the old restrictions impeding Cubans from traveling abroad

“One of the issues currently under discussion at the highest level of the Cuban State is the issue of migration. We will carry out a radical and deep immigration reform in the coming months, in order to eliminate this type of restriction,” said Alarcon, president of the National Assembly of the People’s Power. Alarcon said the migratory control in the last five decades was one of the resources used by the revolution that began in 1959 to defend itself from “the long terrorist campaign,” for which some Cuban immigrants were responsible. “Now things have changed a lot,” Alarcon said, adding that “nearly half a million Cubans living abroad visit us each year. The vast majority of Cuban emigrants have normal relations with their country of origin.” “Currently it is an economic emigration, whose fundamental interest is to keep peaceful links with its country of origin, they have family and friends on the island, and they wish above all stability,” he said. “This new reality leads us to a ‘substantial’ reform of our migratory policy. Some rules must be changed and others eliminated,” Alarcon saidAlarcon also recalled that the migration issue has been always a “weapon used by the U.S. government to destabilize the revolution.” Cubans are the only foreign immigrants who may automatically gain residence after a year in U.S. territory according to the Cuban Adjustment Act, established in 1966 to encourage illegal Cuban immigration by crossing the Florida Strait in unsteady boats, he said.

The first announcement on a migratory reform in Cuba was made in August 2011 by President Raul Castro at the parliament and was ratified in December

HAVANA – People walk through the streets December 3, 2006 in Havana, Cuba. The island nation continues to wait for a glimpse of President Fidel Castro, who has ruled Cuba since 1959, he temporarily transferred his powers as president to his younger brother Raul Castro, the defense minister, due to his ailing health on July 31. Since that time he has been seen by the public only in videos and photographs released by the government. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Castro’s government has removed several restrictions observed in the country for half a century, but Cubans still can travel into and out of the country freely. To travel abroad, a Cuban citizen must suffer a winding net of limitations and expensive permits that cost nearly 1,000 dollars. If successful, the travel permission is granted for 30 days and may be extended ten times. People must return within the time limit, otherwise they will lose the right to reside on the island.

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