Chicano, Latino department running on last fumes, program leaders seek outside help

(Photo by Images Money published under Creative Commons License)

With only one full-time faculty member, the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chicano and Latino Studies is concerned for its future.

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Reflections of New Minnesotans: What does Obama's order mean for Minnesota immigrants?

This week's featured guest is local immigration attorney and activist Susana de León. The conversation focuses on Obama's recent executive order on immigration, examining what it means for immigrant communities in Minnesota, and for immigration reform nationally. [Audio below]

The immigration reform trap (or how the GOP took the bait)

So Obama finally showed some backbone and did what he should have done before the election–he acted on immigration. Had he done this before the election as he said he would (if Republicans did not act) then maybe more Hispanics would have voted for Democrats and the November results would have been different. Now we see Republicans engaged in a faux act of anger, declaring that they will get even. The Republicans should be grateful that Obama acted–it takes immigration off the table without Congress having to act, or not act, and therefore it removes a thorny problem for the GOP. But foolishly and predictably the Republicans have protested, only guaranteeing that they will continue to guarantee that Latinos vote for Democrats, perhaps for the next generation.

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Slow down and live: The journey to beloved community

I am white. I am male. I am heterosexual. I am university educated – by all these markers I am empowered by society. I have been given a ticket to take the express lane to success and am able to by-pass those stuck in the traffic of life. For those of us in the express lane it is hard to NOT wonder why those in eternal rush hour don’t “…just get in a better lane.”

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Was it political cowardice or bad strategy?

UPDATE: Heard from the Speaker of the Minnesota House, sadly shortly to be minority leader (replaced by this guy), and looks like some state-specific comments of mine might not hold up. Details here.

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Twin Cities immigrant community welcomes Obama's action

(Photo from El Colegio's website) El Colegio's school mascot, Los Jaguares.

Maria Cervantes was among dozens of Latino community members who assembled Thursday night at El Colegio High School in Minneapolis to watch President Obama’s televised announcement on immigration reform.

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Don't put mothers and their children in prison

Today’s Twitter feed is abuzz with the news that the White House intends to announce administrative action for some of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented Americans. While the contours of the relief remain unclear, President Obama’s action undoubtedly moves the immigration reform debate to a new place and promises to make real – at least in a limited way for the very near future – the right to family unity guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at articles 17 and 23.

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Lao American students and why social capital is important

Lao parents play a significant role in students’ academic success, even if they feel they don’t have a lot to contribute because they didn’t attend U.S. schools, speak fluent English, or fully understand American higher education systems. -Dr. Krissyvan Khamvongsa Truong

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Reflections of New Minnesotans: "Ebola thrives within weak health care systems"

Julia and guests LaBelle Nambangi and Wynfred Russell discuss the local impacts of Ebola, as well as global efforts to battle the epidemic in West Africa. Nambangi is with the Minnesota Task Force Against Ebola. Russell, a health care advocate and the executive director of African Career, Education & Resource, Inc., recently returned from a week-long trip to Liberia. The purpose of his trip was to conduct a research assessment to inform the possible deployment of an Ebola response team. [Audio below]

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Mr. President: Act now on immigration

With the election over, President Obama has no good reason to delay executive orders to mitigate the harsh application of current immigration laws. Every day that he delays means more families torn apart by deportation. He cannot change the immigration law itself — only Congress could do that, and they won’t. But the president can and must use his executive power to change the way that the current law is applied. That is now the only way to stop deportation of family members and longtime U.S. residents and to protect refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and terror in Mexico and Central America.

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