The “Border Beat” (October 27, 2008)

Here is a round-up of some of the Latino-related news of the past week or two.

• “NPR Town Hall Offers Frank Assessment Of Race” (NPR)
This short but illuminating summary of some of the work NPR is doing in trying to uncover how American voters “bring race into the voting booth.” One of the struggles with race we have in this country is our inability to discuss it.  While this isn’t solved merely by discussing it (but rather by providing each other the kinds of tools we need to listen and critically analyze), this NPR project is nothing if not educational.

• “Guest workers win in court over low pay” (Christian Science Monitor)
The courts are finally standing up for the rights of immigrants, in this case, those imported into this nation as labor.  This story provides some solid coverage on the issues, while sounding like a concerned citizen who just learned this kind of abuse was so common.

• “White supremacists target middle America” (USA Today)
Wow.  It’s important to keep the spread of white supremacist hate groups in perspective.  When it comes down to it, they don’t represent more than the smallest fraction of the total U.S. population.  And, for tht reason, they’re not the problem with race in this country.  Still, you might be part of a white supremacist online community and not know it.  Nah, you know it.

• “Supreme Court to Decide ID-Theft Case” (Wall Street Journal)
Recently, some poultry workers caught in an ICE raid were sentenced to federal prison for identity theft.  Their crime was making up a social security number to get a job.  That’s it.  No attempt to impersonate another person, since they didn’t even know whose number they had chosen.  Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case which will decide if this unknowing version of identity theft meets the standard of a felony under the current law.

• “U.S. to miss deadline on Mexico border fence” (Reuters)
You knew this was coming.  Maybe if they had better workers…

• “Hispanic baby boom has Texas ramifications” (Dallas Morning News)
This story from Texas describes the current trend for other parts of the Southwest as well.  Check out the comments after reading, you’ll be in for a treat.

• “As US economy sours, some migrants return south” (Associated Press)
More on the continuing economic exodus of labor migrants.

• “Economic strife drives Latino vote” (Los Angeles Times)
This interesting profile of Latino voters makes them look awfully “American” when it comes to their voting interests, doesn’t it?

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