PRESIDENT OBAMA IS SET TO APPOINT EDITH RAMIREZ AS CHAIRWOMAN OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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President Obama is set to appoint Edith Ramirez as the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), making her the top Latina with oversight over matters such as consumer protection, fraud prevention, deceptive and unfair business practices, and online privacy protection. Ms. Ramirez is a former law school colleague of President Obama and since 2010, she has served as a commissioner at the FTC where she has been a driving force in maintaining robust competition and innovation in the high-tech marketplace.

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Before joining the commission, she was a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in Los Angeles, where she represented clients on matters of antitrust, intellectual property and unfair competition. As a commissioner, Ms. Ramirez has spoken strongly in favor of self-regulation and voluntary codes of conduct among companies involved in international trade. At a commission workshop on cross-border consumer protection in November, she said that self-regulation was “an important tool for consumer protection that potentially can respond more quickly and efficiently than government regulation.”

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Edith Ramirez will replace Jon Leibowitz as chief of the FTC and her new role leaves an opening for a third Democratic member on the five member commission.

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THE TEA PARTY BEGINS ITS LATINO OUTREACH INITIATIVE

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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The Tea Party group that sponsored a prime-time response last week to President Obama’s State of the Union address is the latest group recognizing the power of the Latino vote. Officials with the Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee, have been discussing their own Latino outreach, said Sal Russo, the group’s co-founder.
“We’ve been trying to do a bus tour that would focus on communities that we don’t normally talk to,” Russo said.
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Sal Russo Co-Founder of the Tea Party

Russo, who worked for Ronald Reagan when he was California governor, said the former president had a rule that any campaigning should include voters who didn’t traditionally pick Republicans.  “He believed in going to labor unions, going to places where you don’t normally go, so people could hear his message about cutting taxes and growing the economy,” he said.
Officials of Tea Party groups — national and smaller, local ones — like to point out these days that some of the nation’s most prominent Latino politicians, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, were Tea Party candidates

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The plans by the Tea Party, widely viewed by many liberals as being antithetical to the interests and well-being of minorities, follows an announcement last week by House Republicans about a new, ambitious Latino outreach campaign.  On Feb 11, the House Republican Conference, which essentially represents the chamber’s GOP, launched a Spanish-language Twitter account, @gopespanol. The account is part of a broader plan – still being hashed out – to reach out to Hispanics, and repair their image with them.

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“It’s a recognition that we, as Republicans, did not do as well as we hoped in the 2012 elections with a number of groups – with young people, with women, and with Hispanics,” said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is chairperson of the conference and was the House GOP liaison to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Not all Republicans and conservatives are on board with the efforts to court Latinos, particularly when it involves relying on Spanish. Some the most conservative Republicans in the House, for instance, see it as pandering.
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Representative Steve King

In an interview with the National Journal, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he is opposed to trying to reach out to Latinos in Spanish. “There’s a conflicting message that comes out from the Republicans if we want to recognize the unifying power of English, and meanwhile, we send out communications in multiple languages,” said King, who has one of the most hard-line approaches to immigration. “Official business and documents needs to be in English.”

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The 2012 presidential elections, and the critical role that Latinos played in the victory of President Barack Obama, led to soul-searching on the part of many Republicans. Romney won only 27 percent support from Hispanics and even less from Asians in the 2012 presidential election. And an AP-GFK poll last month showed 62 percent of voters want to let otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants eventually become citizens — up 12 percentage points from 2010.
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Tea Party members say Latinos, and other minorities, are as critical to their future as the Republicans are finding they are to the future of their party. “The bus tour is the iconic symbol of the Tea Party,” Russo said. “When we’ve gone to some states, like Texas, we’ve had good Hispanic participation. We’re trying to do a [national] bus tour that would be more directed that way.” “We want to try to get our email communication and our website in Spanish,” Russo said. “The Tea Party movement has been successful using social media – emails, Twitter, Facebook. That’s how people found out about us. We have to communicate directly”
READ MORE: FOX NEWS LATINO

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WHY IS TEXAS SILENT ABOUT IMMIGRATION REFORM?

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Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Republicans have been relatively silent on the renewed push to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Despite the state’s nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants and 1,200-mile long border with Mexico, Perry and the Texas legislature have kept mum on the issue. They’re not resurrecting dozens of contentious immigration bills that roiled the statehouse in 2011. They’re not making the rounds on TV and radio to talk about President Barack Obama’s plan for legalizing immigrants. They’re not even saying the word “immigration.”

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When Perry delivered his State of the State recently — his first since his failed presidential run — glaringly absent in the 37-minute speech was any mention of the issue at all. The silence speaks to the sudden political shift in immigration since last fall’s presidential election, in which Hispanics voted Democratic by a nearly 3-to-1 margin and created a powerful incentive for Republicans to change their approach to this growing ethnic group.
r-MARCO-RUBIO-IMMIGRATION-large570In Congress, Republicans have softened their opposition to accommodating immigrants, and a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators unveiled a bill framework that includes a pathway to citizenship for those already in the U.S. so long as border security is beefed up.
But in Texas, the party has been left speechless in the Capitol. Only two years ago in his State of the State address, Perry called for punishing “sanctuary cities” that bar police officers from asking detainees about their immigration status. There’s no talk of such measures now.
“You want an answer? That tried and that failed,” said Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri. “Responsible leadership is now focusing on things that have a chance to get passed.”
Immigration isn’t an easy subject to ignore in Texas, though. About 16 percent of the undocumented immigrants in the United States live in the state, according to a Department of Homeland Security report in 2012, and immigration leaves an outsize footprint on the state’s infrastructure.

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So red-hot was immigration for Texas Republicans in the last legislative session that state Rep. Debbie Riddle camped outside the clerk’s office to make sure her bills targeting undocumented immigrants were filed first. About 50 bills related to immigration were filed in all. This time, Riddle, who once famously warned of immigrant mothers in the U.S. giving birth to “terror babies” who would grow up to attack the country as unsuspecting citizens, has not submitted any immigration proposals.
“Establishment Republicans are trying to brand a different message,” said Maria Martinez, executive director of the Immigration and Reform Coalition of Texas that backed “sanctuary city” proposals in 2011.

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READ MORE: FOX NEWS LATINO

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LEGALIZING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IS A BAD IDEA: THE OP-ED THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE PUBLISHED

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The Chicago Tribune published an op-ed rehashing claims about undocumented immigrants that have been widely debunked, without noting that the author is a fellow at nativist organization the Center for Immigration StudiesCIS is an anti-immigrant organization whose affiliation with hate groups has been thoroughly documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the February 8 op-ed titled, “Legalizing Illegal Immigrants A Bad Idea,” CIS fellow David Seminara repeated the false claims that undocumented immigrants steal jobs from hard-working Americans and that they put a strain on social services. The Tribune identified Seminara simply as a former diplomat who has “issued thousands of visas during his career at the State Department.”

According to his bio on the CIS website, Seminara has been a fellow at the organization since 2009. He has written extensively for the group’s blog, including writing posts that have criticized an undocumented immigrant fearful of applying for deferred action and attacked scholarships for undocumented immigrants.

Knowing Seminara’s affiliation with CIS would have alerted readers that the op-ed was presenting a biased view of the immigration debate as it repeated many of CIS’ and other nativist groups’ talking points. Indeed, his claim that undocumented immigrants steal Americans’ jobs is not new; it has been discredited by economists and immigration experts using mountains of research: Undocumented immigrants do not generally compete with Americans for labor, and in fact have been found to boost Americans’ wages.

Immigrants given legal status under the immigration reform framework announced by the Senate are also unlikely to be a strain on the welfare system. Under the current framework, newly legalized immigrants would not be eligible for Medicaid or any government social benefit. In addition, immigrants are more likely to have jobs and over half have a high school degree or more.

In Illinois, consumer spending by undocumented immigrants already generates $5.45 billion in gross regional spending which accounts for 31,000 jobs in the Chicago area,according to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In fact, the Immigration Policy Center reported that in 2010, undocumented immigrants in the state paid nearly half a billion dollars in taxes.

Read More: Media Matters

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FASCINATING VIDEO: A HISTORY OF OUR NATION’S VOTING RIGHTS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Voting is the cornerstone of democracy!

eLocal worked very hard to create a motion infographic video that covers a great deal of historical information. The infographic is an animated map of the United States illustrating the evolution of our country’s voting rights, presented as a video. As the video progresses, viewers can see highlights of the most interesting and dramatic shifts in voting rights. This video includes major milestones for Hispanics as well as women and African-Americans. Additionally, there is information about the court cases and events that led to these and other major changes in the voting culture of our country. This video is definitely what our Latinos need as an inspiration to vote this November, therefore please distribute it to your networks. Contributors to this video: Eric Opal – Brennan Center of Justice; Professor Alex Keyssar – Harvard University; Al Fuller – History of Half; James Jolly – US History Files and  Jessica Marie Gutierrezthehispanicblog.com.

 

For a direct link to this video http://www.elocallawyers.com/infographics/democracy-distilled.html.

DID YOU DO YOUR PART? HAS YOUR VOICE BEEN HEARD? HAVE YOU VOTED? ELECTION 2012 BECAUSE YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

The new, stricter voting laws have become an issue in light of this year’s presidential election. (Vox Efx, Creative Commons)

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