Monday, February 28, 2005

Reactions to Certificate for Driving still varied

Certificate for reports that the Certificate for Driving still generates frustration and fear among immigrants, surprise among law enforcement agencies, and interest from neighboring states.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Nashville City Paper profiles Juan Berrios

The Nashville City Paper profiles Juan Berrios, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Meinl, USA.

"Berrios is the top official at Meinl U.S.A., the Nashville-based U.S. headquarters of German company Meinl Cymbals and Percussion. As such, he oversees marketing, advertising and distributing Meinl products in the United States and Canada. Berrios leads nine employees working from the company's office on Ambrose Avenue in Northeast Nashville."

Berrios is from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Mexican crime group has come as far as Nashville

The Dallas Morning News reports that the group of Mexican ex-military knowns as the Zetas has operated inside the United States, and possibly as far as Nashville.

"A team of rogue Mexican commandos blamed for dozens of killings along the U.S.-Mexico border has carried out at least three drug-related slayings in Dallas, a sign that the group is extending its deadly operations into U.S. cities, two American law enforcement officials say."

"They are extending their reach - and violence - beyond the Nuevo Laredo-to-Matamoros border area into Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, where they blend into burgeoning Mexican immigrant communities, state and federal officials said."

"The group may have ventured as far as Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga., the officials said."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Literacy council calls for ESL tutors

The Tennessean reports that the Nashville Adult Literacy Council needs tutors of English as a Second Language.

"'We have a huge demand for tutor volunteers right now,' said Scott King, director of marketing for the council. 'We have a huge need in the Antioch area for ESL tutors.'"

Monday, February 21, 2005

Big & Rich includes English-Spanish raps in unconventional country act

Knight Ridder reports that the country duo Big & Rich is breaking out of the country music mold with influences from other areas of the musical spectrum, including bilingual rap.

"'The roots of it is absolutely country music and its branches go all over the place,' Rich says, citing previous trailblazers like the late Johnny Cash, who held sway over rock and country audiences in his prime without diluting his sound."

"Into the staid and polished world of Nashville-produced products comes an album that actually lives up to its name. 'Horse of a Different Color' brims with the hallmarks of traditional country like banjos, fiddles, acoustic guitars and punny song titles such as 'Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).'"

"But it upends convention by adding rock guitars, hip-hop rhythms and bilingual English-Spanish raps from Cowboy Troy."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Cinco de Mayo restaurant to open on White Bridge

The Nashville City Paper reports that brother Carlos Figueroa and Gregorio Bahena will be opening a Cinco de Mayo restaurant at 358 White Bridge Road. This is the second Cinco de Mayo restaurant owned and operated by the brothers; the first is at 5770 Old Hickory Blvd. in Hermitage.

The target opening date is March 15.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cobalt merges with Birmingham Hispanic yellow pages

The Nashville Business Journal reports that Cobalt Publishing has merged with Birmingham-based Latino Yellow Pages. Cobalt bought the Nashville-based Directorio Commercial last year, changing its name to El Enlace Latino, increasing distribution, and adding an Internet-based search feature. It is Nashville's leading Hispanic yellow pages.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tennessee sees high growth rate in immigrant children population

The Nashville City Paper reports that since 1990 the immigrant children population in Tennessee has increased at a 165% growth rate, one of the nation's highest.

A recent report by the Urban Institute indicated that immigrant children are more likely to be in poverty than children of two U.S.-born parents.

"Dr. Kerry Mullins, director of planning and evaluation with the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) ... said the immigration population within the Families First program has increased from 611 people in 1999 to 1,269."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Immigrant slavery arrest made in Nashville

The Jersey Journal reports that Noris Elvira Rosales Martinez was arrested in Nashville for her role in a New Jersey-based immigrant smuggling ring. The AP reports that Rosales Martinez had been on the run after the other ringleaders were previously arrested in New Jersey.

"The arrests followed raids last month at two Union City addresses where agents found 19 female Hondurans, including six juveniles. According to court documents, the women told investigators that smugglers promised them jobs as restaurant waitresses in America but instead turned them into indentured servants."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made the arrest.

For more information about modern slavery and to learn how one private sector organization fights slavery and bonded labor, a good place to start is the International Justice Mission.

Friday, February 11, 2005

U.S. House passes bill with national license standards

CNN reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill setting national drivers license standards with immigration enforcement in mind.

The new law would de-legitimize drivers licenses from states that don't check immigration status at the DMV. The Dallas Morning News reports that Tennessee's new certificate for driving is being eyed by states as an option if the law passes in the Senate. Because the certificate for driving - not a drivers license - is issued to drivers who can't establish legal immigration status, the Tennessee drivers license would presumably pass muster under the new law.

The National Immigration Forum says that the bill has little chance of passing in the Senate, in part because the proposed legislation slaps immigration and national security issues together without promising an effective improvement in either.

In an editorial, the Tennessean argues that the bill's claim to merely improve drivers licenses ducks the real issues:

"If the federal government actually wants to pay states extra for acting as immigration agents, let's have that debate. And if Congress wants a national identification card, let's have that debate too."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Davidson County still working on child literacy program with bilingual books

The Tennessean reports that Davidson County is still working on bringing the Imagination Library program to the county. Imagination Library was started by Dolly Parton and ships books to children at no cost to their families.

"This year, seven bilingual books were offered, featuring English and Spanish text on the same page."

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Gallatin hires first Hispanic police officers

The News Examiner reports that Gallatin has hired its first Hispanic police officers, Angela Negrin from Puerto Rico and Julio Gautreaux from the Dominican Republic.

Gallatin Police Chief John Tisdale said, "'We’re trying to develop some Spanish outreach programs ... They’re (Negrin and Gautreaux) going to be a great asset ... they’ll be our bridge to the Spanish speaking community.'"

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Nashville: third nationwide in Hispanic birth increase

The Nashville City Paper reports that the Hispanic birth rate in Tennessee is rising. The paper interviewed Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, after the publication of the KIDS COUNT update funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

"Memphis was listed as having the largest increase of Hispanic births with an increase from 36 births in 1990 to 777 births in 2002. Nashville ranked third nationwide with an increase from 72 births in 1990 to 1,085 in 2002."

"'In Memphis it’s still a relatively small proportion of the [overall] births,' O’Neal said, adding about 7 percent of all babies or one in 14 are born to Hispanic mothers. 'In Nashville though, it’s one in every eight babies in 2002 that is born [is] Hispanic.'"

Monday, February 7, 2005

El Protector fosters cooperation between police and Hispanic community

NewsChannel 5 and the Nashville Business Journal report that the Metro Police department's El Protector program has become actively involved in the Hispanic community since its launch approximately one year ago. The program's face to the public, Officer Juan Borges, visits with Hispanic businesses and community members to provide access to and understanding of the police department. Businesses and community leaders brainstormed with the police department on January 31 to generate crime-stopping solutions in the Hispanic community.

" The list of recommendations includes:

* increased lighting outside and inside stores;

* the removal of large signs on shop windows that make it difficult for patrolling police to see what is going on inside;

* discouraging the gathering of people outside stores

* increased presence of security guards."

"The Jan. 31 meeting was organized by local disc jockey Alejandro Solis of La Sabrosita Spanish radio, Diana Holland of Hispanic Link Consulting and Juan Casillas of California Fashion on Nolensville Road."

Friday, February 4, 2005

Chamber group says ELL needs social, cultural curriculum

From the Nashville Business Journal: the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's citizen panel on education believes that Nashville public schools' English Language Learner (ELL) program needs to expand beyond just language teaching and include social and cultural instruction.

"The panel expressed concern that the system's English language learning program for immigrant students is too narrow and doesn't address social skills and cultural knowledge."

"Now in its 12th year, the 12-member Citizens Panel for a Community Report Card is made up of citizens, social activists and members of the business community."

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Memphis immigration office makes appointment switch, turning some away

The Tennessean reports that Tennessee's only Citizenship and Immigration office has switched from a take-a-number system to requiring a reservation in advance. The switch has been generally positive, except immigrants without advance warning have traveled hours to the Memphis office and been turned away because they have no reservation.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Wilson County judge orders Hispanic mothers to communicate with children in English

The Tennessean reports that Wilson County Juvenile Court Judge Barry Tatum has advised Hispanic mothers in his courtroom that they should communicate with their children in English. Judge Tatum has issued orders directing mothers to learn English, but the Lebanon Democrat reports that Judge Tatum doesn't care if the mother learns English, as long as her children do, so that they can be assimilated into the culture. Judge Tatum acknowledged, "I don’t have the authority to say she can’t have her child because of the language..."

It is unclear whether Judge Tatum's orders to learn English, some of which are sealed and some of which have not yet been filed, carry the force of law or are mere suggestions. Attorney Jerry Gonzalez says that one of Judge Tatum's orders threatened the mother's custody of her child if she failed to learn English. Gonzalez argues that merely ordering someone to learn English violates the U.S. Constitution.

A Tennessean editorial criticized Tatum's rulings: "Look at the scenario from the viewpoint of these mothers. Even if Tatum is urging them to learn English — not ordering them — they still see a government official who is linking their language skills with their ability to keep their children. Even someone highly proficient in English could interpret that suggestion as a threat. Every person who lives in this nation would benefit from learning English. That's particularly true of parents with young children. But while the inability to speak English is a hindrance, it isn't a crime. And it shouldn't be a factor in keeping one's children."

The Hispanic Nashville Notebook cited a similar case in Nebraska in October 2003.

Update: the Nashville Scene gives the exact language of one of the orders: "'If at the next hearing [the mother] is not able to communicate with the court and remains inarticulate in English, the court will direct that a hearing be set on the pending petition for termination of parental rights.'"

Update: the Tennessean reports that Judge Tatum has been disciplined by the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary (story here).

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Hispanic Real Estate Professionals convene in Middle Tennessee

The Nashville Business Journal, the Nashville City Paper, and the Tennessean report on the first official meeting of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

"'Latin Americans come to the United States looking for the American dream they hear about,' said Miguel Torres, a program coordinator for the nonprofit Affordable Housing Resources Inc. 'Owning a home is at the center of this dream. … (But) there are many obstacles.'"

"A new group led by Torres is trying to remove some of those obstacles. At its first official meeting late last week, the Middle Tennessee chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals pledged to increase home ownership among Hispanics in the area, and in the process help local real estate professionals better serve what many in the industry say will be a vital segment of the U.S. housing market in the decades to come."

"Other local chapter officers are Viviana Milam, vice-president; Fabian Bedne, secretary; Fabiola Lemus, treasurer and Dianne Clayton, parliamentarian. New board of director members elected and confirmed at Thursday’s meeting are Rob Harvey, Brian Spicer, Aaron Armstrong, Andrew Snyder, Tomas Tejeda, Alex Delgado, Renee White, Tim Taylor, Benny Lee Santiago and Mark Gill."

Bredesen pledges $11 million for English Language Learners

The Nashville City Paper reports that Governor Phil Bredesen has proposed education spending that would direct $11 million "for increases for at-risk and English Language Learner (ELL) students."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...