The “Border Beat” (December 15, 2008)

Health care, the Border Patrol, murder, religion, abuse, and intrigue–it’s all here in the latest edition of The “Border Beat,” a roster of the must-read news for you Latinos and Latino-philes out in Latinolandia.

• “Hiding in Plain Sight” (NY Times Magazine)
This might be one of the most complete and humanistic stories written on undocumented immigrants in the past year.  In this profile story, a family of Mexican migrants living in New York serves as the foundation of a thorough and thoughtful description of the myriad forces shaping life and circumstance for the millions living and  studying and working within our borders.  My favorite part is a child’s description of her and her family’s status as “unlegal.”

• “Children of U.S. Farmworkers Often Uninsured” (Washington Post)
This is not a surprising article in terms of the revelation that the children of farmworkers remain among the most underserved when it comes to health care, but it is a reminder of the continuing need for more–more attention, effort, affordable health care, insurance, fair labor standards, movement, and justice.

• “Border Patrol swells to more than 18,000” (Houston Chronicle)
Bush is close to fulfilling his pledge to double the Border Patrol by the end of his presidency.  There are problems, of course, with such a rapid growth spurt (not to mention the ones relating to the “pledge” in the first place).  The Border Patrol is now most-armed federal agency, having more gun-carrying personnel than the FBI.

• “More Hispanics in USA fluent in English” (USA Today)
This is as interesting a story and are the sad comments of many of the readers.  For those who care, Latinos seem to be assimilating according to tradition in U.S. history, with respect to language–only faster.  Germans, Russians, and others held on to their native tongues in monolingual enclaves as well, don’t forget, and often for longer.

• “Jews, Latino Pentecostals together” (Post-Bulletin)
A small piece that serves as an able introduction to both the growing population of Latino Pentacostals and the strengths/weaknesses of Jewish-Protestant relations.

• “Calls for justice after Ecuadorean’s beating death” (Newsday)
Just weeks after the murder of Marcelo Lucero, another New York Latino is dead, apparenty the victim of a hate crime.

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