Thursday, May 26, 2011

Latino population in U.S. could top 54 mil

Adding Puerto Rico to the U.S. census total would significantly change the characteristics of the Latino population.
By Angelo Falcón, National Institute on Latino Policy

The Census Bureau just released more detailed results of the 2010 Census for the United States as a whole, each state, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico (the other U.S. territories are not included). The total Latino population they reported for 2010 was 50,477,594, or 16.3 percent of the total United States population.

However, this total does not include the population of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States whose residents are U.S. citizens. By including Puerto Rico, the Latino population increases to 54,166,049, or 17.3 percent of the total U.S. population.

Below are tables we compiled that present these 2010 Census data for: 1. the United States without Puerto Rico; 2. Puerto Rico without the United States; and 3. the United States with Puerto Rico combined.

Adding Puerto Rico to the U.S. total significantly changes the characteristics of the total Latino population. For example,take the subgroup composition of the Latino population: Mexicans drop from 63.0 to 54.5 percent of the total Latino population; Puerto Ricans increase from 9.2 to 15.1 percent; Cubans decrease from 3.5 to 3.3 percent; and Other Hispanics go from 24.3 to 22.8 percent. In this current release, the Census Bureau did not break down the Latino population beyond these four categories, which they will do in future releases.

These data are based on the U.S. Census Bureau's May 26, 2010 release of the Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for the United States. The demographic profiles provide 2010 Census data on age and sex distributions, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, household relationship and type, the group quarters population, and housing occupancy and tenure (whether the housing occupant owns or rents). With the release of data for all the states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, profiles are now available for the nation, regions, metropolitan areas, American Indian and Alaska Native areas, and other cross-state geographies. The profile includes more than 150 data items in all, plus percentage distributions. 

To accessfull data profiles for the United States as w hole, specific states and Puerto Rico, click here.

Why was Latino Marine shot 60 times by AZ SWAT?

By New America Media, Commentary, Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Another Latino has been shot dead in an Arizona home invasion – and the national media is once again ignoring the story. It happened on May 5 and the news is only now surfacing outside the Arizona media through citizen journalism on blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

According to the Arizona Daily Star...
“Jose Guerena, 26, a former Marine, was sleeping after the graveyard shift at Asarco Mission mine about 9:30 a.m. when his wife woke him saying she heard noises outside and a man was at their window. Guerena told his wife to hide in a closet with their 4-year-old son, his wife has said. He grabbed an AR-15 rifle and moments later was slumped in the kitchen, mortally wounded from a hail of gunfire.”

Jose was shot 60 times by members of the Pima Regional SWAT team. His bullet riddled body was found by his wife Vanessa and their four-year-old son, Joel. “Mom, my dad was a bad guy? What did my dad do?'" asked Joel according to Vanessa. Her desperate 911 call to save her husband’s life was recorded on a chilling YouTube video.
The explanation by the Pima County Sheriff’s office for the home invasion has changed since the May 5 shooting. First reports by the Sheriff’s office were that the SWAT team’s mission was to break up a suspected drug ring and that Jose fired his weapon before the SWAT team fired back. That story was later reversed when it was discovered the safety on Jose's AR-15 was still locked. The motive for the SWAT team’s mission was then changed by the Sheriff’s office, which now says that "someone in the home" had been suspected of a connection with a home invasion robbery ring. The search warrant and court documents that would reveal what the SWAT team was looking for in Guerena's home have been sealed by a judge and are unavailable to the public.

No drugs, cash or criminal evidence of any kind were found in the home. Neither Jose nor his wife Vanessa has a criminal record. In an attempt to discredit Guerena’s character, a lawyer for the AZCOPS law-enforcement union, Michael Storie, told the media that rifles, handguns, body armor and a portion of a law-enforcement uniform were found inside the house where Jose Guerena was shot. However, Storie was forced to admit that if SWAT members had entered the home without incident, those inside "probably ... wouldn't have been arrested."

Ironically, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik was highly critical of right wing talk radio following the Tucson shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in January, saying that Arizona had become "a mecca for prejudice and bigotry" thanks to the “vitriol” spread by far-right pundits. Sheriff Dupnik is now stonewalling requests for more details about the case but implied Guerena should not have resisted.

Although virtually ignored by the national media, most Latinos in Arizona know about the 2009 home invasion by Shawna Forde and her Minutemen accomplices posing as Border Patrol agents that led to the shooting death of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father. So it’s not surprising José Guerena would have reached for his rifle to defend his family.

Jose served two tours of duty as a decorated Marine in Iraq. He returned from service no doubt grateful to have survived the firefights in that war-torn nation. In a cruel twist of fate, he would die in a hail of bullets in his own home.

This tragic story is shocking and sad. Sadder still is that this tragedy has found no "bounce" in the national media. Had this two-hitch Iraq veteran been named Grady instead of Guerena, I think it would have made headlines across the country.

No federal investigation of the actions by the Pima County SWAT team is planned at this time. And without any significant national media coverage of this questionable incident, that is likely how it will remain.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez is the award-winning author of the novels AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED from Grand Central Publishing as well as the host of For more information visit

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Gap for Latinos

While young Latinos value a college education, fewer than half expect to get a college degree.
By Mark Hugo Lopez is associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center.

Young Latinos, more than all youth in the U.S., are sold on the benefits of a college education.

Fully 89 percent of young Latinos think a college degree is essential, while the jobless rate for Latino graduates has spiked.

In a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center survey, fully 89 percent of Latinos ages 16 to 25 said a college degree was necessary for success in life, a share higher than among all American youths (82 percent). Young Latinos also said their parents emphasized the importance of attending college — some 77 percent said this was the first thing their parents encouraged them to do after high school.

But the Great Recession affected young Latino college graduates greatly. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the unemployment rate among 25 to 34 year old Latino college graduates was 2.9 percent. By the fourth quarter of 2010 it was 8.1 percent. In comparison, among non-Hispanic white college graduates, the unemployment rate increased more modestly, from 1.8 percent in 2007 to 3.8 percent in 2010. But Latino college graduates fared better than other Latinos. For example, among Latino high school graduates ages 25 to 34, the unemployment rate increased from 5.3 percent in 2007 to 12.1 percent in 2010.

While young Latinos value a college education, fewer than half expect to get a college degree. And when it comes to pursuing a degree, only 29 percent of Latinos ages 18 to 24 are enrolled in college, with enrollment rates higher among the native born than among the foreign born — 36 percent versus 16 percent.

Economic pressures may be playing a role. When asked why they are not enrolled in school, the number one reason cited was a need to support family. Some 74 percent of young Latinos not enrolled in school said this. Even so, young Latinos are optimistic. According to our 2009 survey, 72 percent expect to be better off financially than their parents.

Last year’s census counted 50.5 million Latinos in the U.S., accounting for 16.3 percent of all Americans, but their share among the nation’s children is even greater: nearly 1 in 4 are Latino. By their sheer numbers alone, how these young people come of age will determine what kind of nation America will be in this century. 

Opinion: Not all Hispanics believe in the same immigration "reform"

Hispanics are as diverse in opinion as they are in background, race, language, and culture.
By Justin Vélez-Hagan (as it appeared on Fox Latino)

These Hispanics see security as the major concern. Maintaining information on who enters and remains in our country, knowing whether they have a criminal history, being cognizant of potential terroristic or gang affiliations or harmful, infectious diseases that people may be carrying are all examples of vital data that is essential to maintaining our national security, our health, and our overall well-being.

Everyone, however, is sympathetic to the plight of the desperate, low-wage farmworker, for example, who cannot afford to wait five to 15 years to enter the country legally and therefore opts to risk his or her life to enter the land of opportunity. 

God bless those souls who choose patience, but extensive waiting periods discourage legal immigration, and seem to result from an excessively bureaucratic system.

Aside from accepting other countries’ “tired [and] poor” all agree that continuing to attract the best and the brightest, as well as those who innovate, research, and create businesses and jobs will maintain America’s exceptional position in the world. Proposed legislation to do so has been recently submitted, and widely supported, by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle -- only to be tabled for unexplained reasons.

Whatever results from the debate, we all know that complete amnesty is just as impossible as resolute deportation, security will be just as important as remaining open to great immigrant minds, and race will be baited as often as assumptions will be made.

But what cannot be forgotten is that no single group or person speaks for all Hispanics, or all Americans. Those politicians, administrative officials, organization heads, and other leaders who lump an ethnicity into a singular ideology are going to find themselves discriminating against the only monolithic voice that exists in the United States: believers in the American quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Justin Vélez-Hagan is the National Executive Director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, Publisher of, and an international developer of senior living facilities. He can be reached at

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Black President and the Brown vote

Can the President count on the kind of support he got in 2012 from Latinos?
by Bruce A. Dixon
Black Agenda Report (May 11, 2011)

Can Barack Obama be re-elected without the overwhelming majorities he received in Latino communities across the country? The short answer is probably not. Detentions, deportations, raids, profiling and mass roundups of immigrants are at an all time high. The border wall that Obama originally campaigned against has been built with his endorsement, and generous federal contracts to jail detained immigrants have rescued the private prison industry. What happened, Latino activists are asking, to the president's commitments to fairness, human rights and a path to citizenship? And what will happen to the Latino vote in 2012?

In 2008, President Obama got a full two-thirds of the Latino vote, a greater slice than of any ethnic group apart from African Americans. The brown vote for Obama was decisive in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado and topped 70% in California, Illinois and New Jersey. Can the president count on that kind of overwhelming support in 2012? With deportations and family separations at an all-time high, and no end in sight, some Latino activists think not.

"We can't hide from it, even if we wanted to," Roberto Lovato, writer and co-founder of Presente.Org, the nation's premiere on-line Latino advocacy group told Black Agenda Report. "Just about every Latino family contains undocumented people, along with citizens and adults registered to vote. They know. They can see that deportations are at an all-time high. The number of these brutal family separations where children and old people are left behind has never been greater. They see this in their own families and the families of friends and neighbors. The level of actual fear people live in, in their homes, on the street or at the job has never been more intense than it is right now."

In the generation since the Freedom Movement ended, black politicians and the black church have appropriated its mantle and symbols to market black candidates in black constituencies for every office from city council to president as the heirs and fulfillers of Dr. King's Dream. Hence candidate Obama didn't even have to make black America any promises. Black voters bit the marketing, made up the promises in their own heads, and flocked to the polls in record numbers. But along with the slick marketing and the slippery language of "comprehensive immigration reform" Barack Obama did make a handful of specific commitments to Latinos. He promised a road to citizenship for the millions of undocumented, along with a more just and fair immigration regime. He hasn't delivered.

"The fact is that on immigration issues," Lovato continued, "Barack Obama has been the worst US president of modern times. Supporting him again, for many Latinos is a proposition that flies in the face of our own dignity and self-respect."

Without overwhelming majorities in brown constituencies, re-electing Barack Obama will be difficult indeed. White support for the president is dropping, and even African American support is softening. Latino support for the president, according to an authoritative February 2011 survey by Latino Decisions and impreMedia, is around 70%. But that number, they caution, ". . . does not translate into automatic votes for 2012 . . ." The second part of that poll reveals that while Republicans are gaining no ground in Latino communities, only 43% of Latino voters are certain they will support Barack Obama next year.

The White House knows it's in deep trouble.

"My sources in DC tell me that when the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for the President Obama to use his executive authority to suspend or alter the so-called "Secure Communities" program under which hundreds of workplace raids and countless incidents of profiling, indiscriminate roundups, detentions and deportations have occurred, the White House responded by working the phones, calling up key House Democrats and cautioning them to keep their distance from the caucus on this.

"The president is running around the country, showing up at town hall meetings claiming that federal policies are only deporting criminals, but everybody knows it's not true. At one meeting a young woman, a college student stood up and pulled out her own deportation order to show the president. The president is convening panels of Latino celebrities, asking them to spread the word about the good work he's doing for our people. But it's not working, not as well as he needs it to. There is a solid and growing base of people and organizations in our communities who just aren't buying it.

"There are moves to silence critics of the administration on this, to deny them access to publication and broadcast, to cut funding and such. But I think those efforts will fail. The number of imprisoned, brutally separated and terrorized families and communities is just so great that Latinos even in unions, in community groups and such that normally constitute the informal infrastructure of the Democratic Party can't ignore them.

"At some point the White House will either have to try to divide us, or step to the table and negotiate. When that happens, the two minimum demands, neither of which Obama needs Republican support to meet, will be to stop the deportations of DREAM Act students, and to cut off funding for the "Secure Communities Act. Maybe we'll even get to remove the many punitive elements of so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" as well. We just have to stand against this White House, and Latinos are showing some backbone, I'm an optimist, I think we can."

We think Lovato has a point. President Obama, in his El Paso speech earlier this week dishonestly laid the blame for the wave of deportations and terror exclusively on Republicans. He talked about undocumented workers "jumping to the front of the line." The president might have taken a moment to explain to the "what do you not understand about illegal" chorus of white America that the federal government, in the 19th and early 20th centuries removed all barriers to and actively solicited European immigration, with the oft-stated goal of making this a white republic. The famed American "melting pot" was intended, in those days, to exclude everybody who wasn't white. So much for the "our ancestors came here legally" nonsense. Time to get over all that. But in the color-blind America of the 21st century, this remains forgotten and forbidden history.

Lovato adds that many Latinos have carefully studied the struggle of African Americans, both before and since the Freedom Movement of a generation ago. Let's hope they don't make some of the mistakes black America is making today, like unconditionally supporting an administration that does virtually nothing for them. They have little to lose. When that happens, black people will have a lesson to learn from Latinos.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and based in Marietta GA, where he is also a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He can be reached at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hispanic Republicans react to first 2012 Presidential GOP debate

The boring 2012 GOP debate and the case for Jon Huntsman

by Arizona-Hispanic-Republicans 

Publisher's Note:  This letter first appeared on May. 07, 2011, under General Political Talk of the Tucson Citizen.
I watched the 2012 Presidential Candidate GOP debate on Cinco de Mayo, and I must tell you that I was not really encouraged with the candidates except for one – former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.   Gary is a fellow at CATO Institute and he comes with considerable economic Libertarian experience.  He can crunch numbers, do a cost benefit analysis on our suffering economy, and is probably one of the most Capitalistic thinkers out of the bunch.  However, his abortion views are something I cannot support during the primary election phase.  Mitt Romney lost the 2008 primary election to McCain when Romney’s video of his “oath to protect a woman’s right to choose” played over and over again via social networks.

How can I sell the Republican Party Presidential Candidate to Latinos in light of the past year where GOPers have introduced harsh anti-immigrant laws that swept the nation?  Most Latinos in our nation have been affected in some form or another because they knew of someone or a relative who was being deported.  President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than George W. Bush.
How did the other GOP Presidential candidates perform in the debate?

I believe Rick Santorum is a no-go because he has extremism stamped on his forehead.  Rick Santorum’s 2006 campaign was aimed against President George W. Bush’s legal immigration plan.

Herman Cain seems to be a no-go because he is not the most polished speaker to begin with.  Put him up against Obama and we’re done.

Tim Pawlenty is okay, but am skeptical.  Ron Paul?  He made us laugh.

Before the debate, I have been keenly following Jon Huntsman who was the former Governor of Utah.  He is good looking, wealthy, and an experienced individual who has been living in China as the ambassador of China under the Obama administration.

I was relieved to hear Huntsman opposes abortion and is a 2nd amendment advocate.  Some have stated that Mitt Romney would pose a hurdle to him but this is not so.  Mitt Romney gave his oath to protect a woman’s right to choose, remember?  Therefore, Huntsman wouldn’t have to worry because some of the most reliable primary election GOP voters are those from the pro life movement.  

Sounds good so far, right?  Not quite.  I’m uncomfortable with Huntsman recruiting McCain’s former advisors.  Once Latinos find out about this, they will be quickly reminded of McCain’s opposition to the DREAM Act in 2010.  McCain soon became an  ex-amigo with the Latino community, and if I had a suggestion to give to Mr. Huntsman it would be for him to seek Karl Rove’s strategic political advice instead.  President George W. Bush obtained 44% of the Latino vote during the 2004 Presidential elections.   McCain only received 31%.  The goal for the 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate is to lock in at least 40% of the Latin vote to receive enough electoral votes.

One thing that Huntsman has to his favor with regard to increasing the Latin vote is the recent immigrant-friendly stance led by the Latter Day Saints (LDS) of Jesus Christ when the church helped to introduce the Utah Compact.  Huntsman could say that President Obama abandoned the Latinos who voted him in 2008 when he failed to deliver his immigration promise.  State legislators have been screaming for immigration reform across the nation as they introduce their isolationist unconstitutional laws, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that the immigration issue is the job of the federal government (under the Supremacy Clause) to which Obama has failed to act upon.

Some pundits have made the mistake by saying  Latinos will not be motivated to vote during the 2012 Presidential Elections, however, this was before the recent announcement of the National Tequila Party Movement in which concerts, events, rallies and dinners will motivate Latinos in all high Hispanic populated states to be consistent Primary election voters as well as general election voters.

I have a feeling that 2012 will be the year of the Latin-American.  And I am not talking about this in a Mayan/Aztec calendar sense.  Nay, I’m talking in a ‘vote the issue’ sense where both Latino Republicans and Latino Democrats are proving to be autonomous and pernickety type of voters.
Something to think about.