Friday, October 31, 2003

MTSU International Conference on Cultural Diversity ends today

Panelist: Don Flores, Editor and Vice President, El Paso Times

“Hispanic Presence in the Newsrooms: Why Should It Matter?”

Mr. Flores is recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States. In his position with the El Paso Times and through his proactive leadership of several national organizations, he empowers other journalists and news professionals of color. He was the president and publisher of the Iowa City Press-Citizen and currently serves on the Texas State University Board of Regents. He recently received the highly coveted Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership and serves as the vice president of the Freedom of Information Foundation.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Rev. Philip Beisswenger pastors white, African-American, and Hispanic congregations, heralded as model of unity

"There have been some combined services and programs for the three congregations. Last summer Eastminster had a bilingual vacation Bible school. And on Thursday nights, the English-speaking members practice their Spanish while the Hispanics practice their English."

Metro Human Relations Commission to begin Spanish-language communications in effort to reach Hispanic community

The Commission's mission is to "hear discrimination complaints" and "promote cross-cultural understanding."

The Commission will participate in a diversity meeting scheduled at the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 14. The meeting is "a first step to organizing more diversity discussions in the south Nashville area, where much of Davidson County's international population lives."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

General Accounting Office (GAO) says proposed U.S.-Mexico Social Security "totalization" agreement needs more study

The agreement, which would eliminate dual social security taxes and fill gaps in benefits for people who work in the two countries during their careers, had been on fast track

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation believes the agreement could benefit both nations if system were privatized

Read the GAO's Congressional report and testimony

Homeland Security committee told that fake documents work like a charm

"Using false driver's licenses and birth certificates, [GAO special investigations] agents traveling from Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and Barbados were able to enter the United States several times between July 2002 and May 2003 -- no questions asked."

"The same fake papers have allowed the agents to purchase firearms from licensed dealers in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona, Malfi said. "

"In April and May 2000, the investigators used false driver's licenses to obtain genuine passes to government buildings that contained the offices of cabinet secretaries."

Grandma Irene and friends share spooky Halloween stories in Spanish and English at the Southeast Branch of Nashville Public Library

Date: 10/30/2003

Time: 6:15pm

Cost: Free

Phone: 615-862-5871

Address: 2325 Hickory Highlands Dr., Nashville, TN

U.S. House votes to expand immigration background checks

Six-state pilot program already allows employers to check social security numbers and alien identification numbers with databases of Social Security Administration and Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

City Paper letter faults politicians and employers for illegal immigration and warns of ignored long-term costs

"If the laws are not enforced, we do not resist. Who calls the IRS to seek reversal of a questionable deduction? Who stops a trooper to confess speeding? Why do we get mad when these illegals do the same thing?"

"The targets of our wrath ought to be the employers who break these laws and the government workers who dole out unmerited privilege. Maybe we don't because they offer us cheap goods and drive down costs. We ignore the long-term effect on our wallets until it is too late."

Money sent to Mexico by family members in U.S. surpasses tourism and direct investment to become Mexico's second-largest source of income

"Oil remains No. 1."

Increase may be due to easier access to banks, or better tracking due to increased use of banks.

Benjamin Hooks, retiring from Tennessee Human Rights Commission, identifies law firms' minority participation as most sluggish in corporate sector

NASCAR to market to Hispanics

Liberty Elementary, with 121 Hispanic students comprising 27% of student body, is most diverse school in Williamson County

Met all ratings benchmarks in latest No Child Left Behind report

Pilot Spanish program targets both native English and native Spanish speakers

No Child Left Behind Act brings $3 million in federal funds and mandatory testing of ESL students

Testing of ESL students criticized as uninformative, may discourage teachers in immigrant-heavy districts

Monday, October 27, 2003

Conexion Americas is opening the doors to Hispanic home ownership

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemns Wal-Mart immigration arrests; calls for shift of focus to employers

Metro's downtown Sounds stadium proposal contemplates role for minority contractors

Rick Treviño balances country, Hispanic heritage in new album In My Dreams

Bredesen teacher pay equity task force recommends pay hike for teachers of students from low-income and immigrant families

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Hispanics victimized by tax preparers

Nolensville Road business "Servicio Latino" cited in affidavit filed with IRS

Victim hit with $14,000 tax bill; Conexión Américas helping with settlement discussions

"Undocumented immigrants can not only file taxes, they're encouraged to do so by the Internal Revenue Service."

"All Social Security withholding paid by undocumented immigrants remain in a Social Security Administration 'suspense account,' which stands in the billions of dollars. Lawmakers have not yet decided the fate of these funds."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Wells Fargo reports 250,000 new accounts opened with matriculas since November 2001

"Wells Fargo, the first financial services company in the country to accept the matricula card as valid identification for account openings, requires prospective customers to have two pieces of identification in addition to a U.S. Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)."

No Hispanics on boards of Middle Tennessee's 10 largest state-chartered banks.

"Overall, latest census figures show the former eight-county Nashville metropolitan area is 74% white, 16% black, 2% Asian, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska native and 1% people of two races or more. Roughly 3.78% of that 1.27 million overall eight-county population said they were of Hispanic or Latino origin."

Cheekwood holds 4th Annual "Día de los Muertos Fall Family Celebration" this Saturday, October 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Government selected the term "Hispanic" in 1975 committee

Immigration authorities arrest 300 in Wal-Mart cleaning crew raids

Search of executive office indicates government may be after Wal-Mart leadership; Tyson Foods just the beginning?

Just missed: Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students (VAHS) hosted Lalo Alcaraz author of the comic strip La Cucaracha on October 16, and Pat Mora Latina writer on October 22

Alcaraz's visit was reported in the October 23 edition of Nashville Today, where Alcaraz is said to focus on Hispanic issues because no other cartoonist does. Responding to criticism that he doesn't speak for Mexican-Americans, Alcaraz responded, "It's just mine. The old joke is that you get two Chicanos in a room and you get three opinions."

La Cucaracha comic

Spanish replaces French at David Lipscomb Elementary

The 2003-2004 academic year is the first time that all elementary students are studying Spanish. Teacher Robin Rosch, who was a missionary in Peru and has taught in Sumner and Davidson County for five years, emphasizes audio language skills, according to the October 23 Nashville Today.

October 23 Nashville Today features Metro Public Schools' multilingual Homework Hotline

Help is available at 298-6636 in Spanish, Arabic, Kurdish, and Laotian. The next language to be added is Somalian, due to high demand.

Attorney Ana Escobar withdraws as candidate for Metro General Sessions Court Judge

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Chicago Tribune tracks Hispanic trends as revealed in recent Pew Hispanic Center study.

For the first time, second- and third-generation Hispanics account for most of the growth in the Hispanic population, replacing new immigrants, who fueled the growth in the past...

Immigrants' children and grandchildren who were born in the United States are American citizens. They are overwhelmingly people who speak fluent English, usually without a trace of an accent, and thus meld into the work world with few problems...

"For me, being of Salvadoran descent and speaking Spanish are important for me," said Marcos Villatoro, a professor of English at St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. "But for my kids it is a shadow in the house. They know it is there, but they kind of ignore it..."

"One of the great ironies of the changing demographics in the United States is that, as the Hispanic population grows, it becomes quickly assimilated and, in a sense, becomes less visible," said Janet Dudley-Eshbach, president of Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md...

"The new generation of American-born Hispanics are becoming such a part of the cultural fabric that the Hispanic name is losing its `edge' as a foreign name," he said. "The same thing, from a cultural standpoint, is happening to the Hispanic surname. For example, Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera, even Jennifer Lopez, are hardly thought of as `Latin bombshells.' They're just considered attractive, successful women who happen to be Latin..."

Dudley-Eshbach said a recent study by the American Council on Education found that about 32 percent of Hispanics attend college. "As this percentage grows," she said, "Hispanics will increasingly be perceived as intelligent, hardworking and sophisticated..."

The political ramifications remain difficult to determine. Hispanics--like the rest of the population--come in many political stripes.

Volunteers bring young Guatemalan shooting victim to Nashville for medical treatment

Cartoonist Ted Rall: "Republicans have it right: close the borders"

Exoneration of policemen accused of Hispanic abuse haunts acting Metro Police Chief Deborah Faulkner's bid for top spot

Ousted Fisk president sought more Hispanics

Hispanic homebuyers tell H.U.D. they were sold homes at inflated prices

Nashville Scene profiles Marcela Gomez

Nashville Scene questions role of race in General Sessions selection

Hispanics rejected more often than whites for mortgages; disparity worsening

Latino Reading & Learning Center opens

No Hispanics on Nashville's 40-member Metro Council

IABC to host Marcela Gomez-Heinlein, president and founder of Nashville-based Hispanic Marketing Group, for November 13 speech, "Targeting the Hispanic Market"

The Nashville chapter of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) presents guest speaker Marcela Gomez-Heinlein, president and founder of Hispanic Marketing Group, at its monthly meeting. Cost is $20 for members, $30 for non-members, $15 for students. For reservations and more information, visit or contact Kristi Gooden at 248-8202 or

Hispanic elderly less likely to enter retirement homes

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's Southern Area Business Council to spruce up Nolensville Road area

Heritage and Woodland middle schools are teaching Spanish in engaging ways.

Overcrowding at Crockett Elementary in Brentwood not due to Hispanic immigration: only 9 students, or 1.3% of the student body, are Hispanic.

Attorney Gregg Ramos will begin his one-year term as President of the Nashville Bar Association on Tuesday, December 9, 2003. Gregg will be the first minority president in the NBA's 171-year history.

Attorney Ana Escobar ranks second in Nashville Bar Association rating of candidates for Davidson County General Sessions Judge.

Nebraska state court judge Ronald E. Reagan orders a father not to speak the "Hispanic" language to his daughter.

Anne Hull wrote an excellent four-part series in the Washington Post about immigrant life, as seen through the eyes of Atlanta residents Cisco, Nallely, Amy, and Adama.

The Tullahoma (TN) Herald-Chronicle also has a less impressive but nonetheless informative series about the impact of immigrants in the area, and the fact that locals are noticing and even helping.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Memphis Muslim leader Dr. Nabil Bayakly's immigration deportation hearing is Monday, October 27, in Memphis.

Dr. Bayakly has always held a valid visa and did not have any difficulties with his immigration status until he registered with the INS under the Special Registration Act targeted at Muslim men. The hearing will be held at 8:30am in Immigration Court, on the 4th floor of the federal building, 167 N. Main, located across from City Hall. Contact TIRRC for more details on Dr. Bayakly or the hearing.

Failure of courts to follow new Tennessee rule on court interpreters likely to cause trial errors similar to those experienced by the deaf community.

Washington Post explores, and Samuel Francis deplores, implications of "Hispanic" and "Latino" labels.

Samuel Francis laments mass immigration and blames it for forcing whites out of communities

The Tennessee Foreign Language Institute wins Best (and Most Unheralded) Learning Resource in the Nashville Scene Best of Nashville 2003 awards.

Hispanic homeowners get bad deals

Bill O'Reilly opines that border patrol works better than law enforcement

Conexion Americas wins Best New Entrepreneurial Venture in Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville 2003 awards

U.S. Census Bureau releases Brief on language use and English-speaking ability in U.S.

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