Nuestras Voces Latinas Welcomes Law Dreamer Sergio Garcia….

California Supreme Court Grants Law License To Undocumented Immigrant Sergio Garcia

AP  |  Posted: 01/02/2014 1:54 pm EST

immigrant law license


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court has granted a law license to a man living in the United States illegally who graduated from law school and passed the state bar exam.

The decision Thursday means Sergio Garcia can begin practicing law despite his immigration status.

Garcia had challenged a 1996 federal law that bars people living in the country illegally from receiving professional licenses from government agencies or with the use of public funds, unless state lawmakers vote otherwise.

Shortly after the court heard arguments in the case, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state law that authorized the granting of the license. The new law went into effect Jan. 1.

Garcia arrived in the U.S. illegally 20 years ago to pick almonds with his father and worked at a grocery store and in the fields while attending school.

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Sun, January 19 2014 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

Should the undocumented be able to practice law?


A Tampa-area man, who is undocumented, passed the Florida Bar and would like to receive his law license.  But can he practice law without a legal status?  Law professor Ediberto Roman explains the evolving circumstances surrounding this case.




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Sun, January 12 2014 » Latinos in the United States » 4 Comments

Call for Papers: Conference on Women, Gender and Rights, Havana Cuba

I am happy to share this call for papers to an upcoming conference in Cuba, sponsored by the Cuban National Union of Jurists and the Federation of Cuban Women (La Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba y la Federación de Mujeres Cubanas).  Papers may be submitted in English or Spanish.  The conference “Women, Gender and Rights” considers these issues form a national, internaitonal and transnational dimension.  I hope you might consider contributing to what is likely to be a very special conference.

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2014))

The call for papers follows:


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Tue, January 7 2014 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

Thank you, Madiba…..

Mandela Through His Own Words

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Fri, December 6 2013 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

Important Outreach effort by Latino Justice in NYC on January 6th….

In June of 2005, LatinoJustice PRLDEF launched a new initiative called LAWbound®, a project whose aim was to increase the number of Latinos who successfully stay on the path to law school.

With the support of the Office of Diversity Initiatives of the Law School Admission Council, LAWbound builds upon our current pre-law programming and identifies Latino students early in their college career. The program provides targeted services that address some of the most common barriers to admission to law school, and helps students effectively navigate the law school admissions process, and, in turn, underwrite their own success.

Our goal is simple. To increase the number of Latinos who go to law school.

The LAWbound program plan includes:

  1. Outreach, recruitment and college activities
  2. The Luis J. DeGraffe LAWbound Summer/Winter Academy
  3. Mentoring and networking
  4. Wrap-around programming that improves access from law school to bar admission.

Program Eligibility Requirements

  • Demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a legal education.
  • Be of Hispanic heritage and currently enrolled as a college freshman or sophomore during initial application to the program.
  • Demonstrate strong academic potential with a minimum overall B average or better and permit LatinoJustice PRLDEF access to your academic record.

Applicants must be able to attend the full summer prep program that takes place in August. Applicants for the winter class must be able to attend our new winter academy, which takes place the second week of January.

I am thrilled Latino Justice has asked me to Host the LAWbound Academy this year!

Hope to see some of you there!!

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Sun, November 24 2013 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

The “Illegal” Immigrant Game & Our Collective Future

The “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” Game at the University of Texas at Austin is not just about the students of that university. It implicates everyone who lives in the United States today. Though it can be easily dismissed as political theater or as a publicity stunt, performance and spectacle reveal that, for some, immigration has become trivialized to the level of a “game.” Yet that game plays out in this country every single day with very real winners and losers.

The stunt isn’t a one-time aberration but a window into a culture of cruelty that treats immigrants like animals to be chased, hunted, and captured. It underscores a privilege that makes it acceptable to make a game out of something that is the literal embodiment of the pain of many communities. It is about the preservation of a campus climate that makes it clear that some people do not belong, were never meant to belong, and do not have the luxury of ever getting too comfortable.

And yes, Young Conservatives of Texas, it is about the performance of a racial anxiety that the United States is changing and the children of the people who have been scrubbing your toilets and trimming your rose bushes also have a claim to this place that for so long you have somehow thought of as yours alone.

And perhaps the most mortifying part of it all is that there is a “prize.” What is particularly shameful about this event is that the Young Conservatives of Texas set up the rules of the game to include a monetary incentive. A cash prize. A fair trade – engage in an act of degradation and walk away with your wallet a little fatter! That pretty much sums it up.

They didn’t mean to offend anyone, they assure us. But guess what, Young Conservatives of Texas? Your “game” does offend me.

Who am I? Like you, I am the graduate of a top, flagship public research university – a three-time graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Fifteen years ago, I cut my political teeth protesting “ethnic-themed” frat parties and defending my Chicana housemates who had racist slurs hurled at them from College Avenue windows while walking home from class. I am also a former lecturer at U.C. Berkeley. Each Spring I taught there, a racist incident at one of the U.C. campuses cropped up demanding our class time and collective attention – the noose at the U.C. San Diego library, Alexandra Wallace’s racist “Asians in the Library” rant, the notorious Affirmative Action Bake Sale.

And I have also spent the last decade learning from, working with, and researching undocumented college students. Students who have literally risked everything they have to get an education. Students who have slept in parks and the library because there was not enough money to pay rent and to buy school books. Students who work an all-night shift and then show up in class the next morning because it doesn’t make any sense to do the one if you are not going to do the other. These students deserve to attend a university without facing a mockery of their pain and sacrifice.

So yeah, Young Conservatives of Texas, I’m offended.

Those of us who are not at U.T. Austin can sit on the sidelines and shake our heads at the ignorance of students, hoping that they enroll in an Ethnic Studies course, or at least an American History course, and eventually learn how their ahistorical worldview is misguided, nativist, and racist. But we can do more: we can see their little racist performance for what it is – a reflection of the society in which we all live, a snapshot of our historical situation in which people are hunted like animals and traded in for small meaningless rewards. The “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” is an inevitable outgrowth of a social, economic, and political context that treats many immigrants as less-than-human, i.e., as “illegal.”

In that sense, the U.T. Austin DREAMers and their allies who put up a fight and shut the event down are also a reflection of the society in which we live: a reflection of the growing number of people who insist that dehumanization is not acceptable, that racism is no joke, and that the world we are fighting for does not have space for the mockery of suffering. They give me hope that we can all do better than this.

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco.

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Sun, November 24 2013 » Latinos in the United States » 1 Comment

Cuidad Juarez y Consulate Processing

Indiana Tech Law Assistant Professor Steven Richardson:  Ciudad Juarez and Consular Processing

Mexican born spouses of Unites States citizens who wish to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. and who entered the country without inspection by an immigration official are in an especially difficult position.  Anyone who has not been lawfully inspected and admitted to the U.S. must undergo a process called consular processing.  Consular processing requires that your interview with an immigration official be conducted at a consulate or consular section of an embassy in your home country.  In Mexico, the only consulate that handles these interviews is in Ciudad Juarez.

Ciudad Juarez is a particularly dangerous area of Mexico right now because of drug and gang violence.  The State of Chihuahua, and the city of Ciudad Juarez in particular have been noted as not advisable for travel according the U.S. Department of State.  Given that the consulate in Ciudad Juarez typically has very long lines stretching out from it, means that many intending immigrants will have to wait a very long time in a very dangerous part of Mexico.  While this should not dissuade you from beginning the immigration process, you should be aware of the dangers before filing an application.

Further danger comes from the fact that persons who have been in the United States for more than one year without lawful status after reaching the age of eighteen who leave the United States are prohibited by law from returning to the U.S. and must file an application for a waiver to reenter the country.  This applies even if you are leaving the United States to go to a consular processing interview, and these waivers can take months to process.  So many Mexican intending immigrants will have to wait for several months in Mexico before their waivers can be approved, and if they are not approved, the intending immigrant is not allowed back into the U.S.  It is recommended that you not stay in Ciudad Juarez during this waiting period or carry large amounts of money on your person.  Staying with family in safer areas of Mexico is advisable, so long as you can travel back to the consulate when necessary.

Before filing an application for immigration benefits, be aware of the risks, both physical and legal.  If you believe that you might be eligible for immigration benefits, please consult an immigration attorney in your area.  An immigration attorney will be able to advise you on the specific facts of your case and what benefits, if any may be available to you.


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Thu, November 14 2013 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

USF COnference on Latino Issues….

Conference on Latino/a Issues

Immigration reform may have stalled in Congress, but this and other important legal concerns fuel discussion at Nov. 8 event; free for USF students.




 Associated Press Photos                                                                                                                                                                          

By Barbara Melendez

USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2013) – “Anyone with an interest in the current condition of Latino communities in the U. S. should consider attending our conference this Friday,” stated Associate Professor and Sociology Department Chair Elizabeth Aranda.

“Between the speakers, who are top researchers in their fields, and the topics we will cover, which touch on some of the most important issues facing Latinos today, we expect to come away better informed and more focused in our efforts to understand what needs to be addressed going forward.”

The conference title, “Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Assessing the Impact of Legal Reforms,” encompasses a broad range of topics including, legal status as it affects Latina/o youth, inequalities in the criminal justice system, the well-being of vulnerable populations as well as intra-ethnic relations and social integration.

“And we’ll highlight the importance of these issues for the Latino communities in the mid-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest and the Southwest as well as those of Central Florida, and Tampa and St. Pete in particular, as these issues are also playing out in our own backyard,” Aranda, the conference organizer, said.

The one-day conference takes place Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg. The registration fee of $50 includes lunch, snacks and refreshments during the day, but is waived for USF students who can attend for free by registering online, click here. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis until the limited seating capacity is filled.


Good timing



“The conference is timely given that the current state of immigration reform legislation is stalled. The conference highlights the important need of immigration reform before the end of the year and draws attention to the state of limbo and hardship that many immigrant families face due to the House’s inaction on moving forward on broad legislative reforms,” Aranda said.

“Our panelists, who come from a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches, will look at social policies at the federal, state and local levels and how they affect what has become a truly diverse Latino community – one made up of many types of communities,” said Aranda. “We’re talking about people from many different countries, people whose status ranges from long-time citizens of multiple generations to the newly-arrived, people with many different economic backgrounds and with varied experiences of race.

“Traditional gateway cities are seeing changes and new destinations are turning into thriving communities. What they have in common are certain struggles that cross all lines and that’s what we’ll be talking about. Our emphasis will be on legislation, court decisions and local ordinances,” Aranda said.


Distinguished participation


Cecilia MenjÍvar, Cowden Distinguished Professor, T. Denny School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University and Law Professor Ediberto Román from Florida International University College of Law are the featured guest speakers. MenjÍvar is the vice president elect of the American Sociological Association and Román is among the founding faculty of FIU’s School of Law.

Among USF researchers who will be presenting are sociologist Aranda along with fellow sociologist Elizabeth Vaquera along with Heide Castaneda and Angela Stuesse from the Department of Anthropology.

“Students from my undergraduate research class, in which we are conducting research on undocumented immigrant youth, will be volunteering at the conference and will get to meet some of the authors whose work they have been studying,” Aranda said.

“We will be looking at how Latino/a lives are hurt in some cases and helped in other cases, depending on the legislation we examine and whether it is at the federal, state or local level. This can show up as the denial of drivers’ licenses or racial and immigrant profiling practices, the under-representation of Latinos on juries and a lot of other areas we will delve into.”

Sponsors include USF Research and Innovation, USF College of Arts & Sciences, USF Department of Sociology, USF Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), The Citizenship Initiative, USF Research One, the Suncoast Credit Union, USF World and Unidos Now.

For questions and assistance, contact Aranda at


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Fri, November 8 2013 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

Internationalizing the University Curriculum, Address by Stanley Katz at Penn STate

On September 27-28, 2013, Penn State University hosts a provocative conference as part of its Global Penn State challenge, “Internationalizing the Campus, College, and Classroom,” which aims to explore innovative practices for internationalizing the classroom. (more information here:Conference: “Internationalizing the Campus, College and Classroom” at Penn State University).
 (Stanley N. Katz)
A highlight of that event for me was the excellent key note address delivered by Stanley N. Katz, currently Lecturer with rank of Professor in Public and International Affairs; Director, Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies– “Thinking Internationally: Internationalizing the Undergraduate Curriculum.” The address ought to be required reading for anyone interested in internationalizing American education, and a reminder that gesturesof internationalization, however tempting and useful for glossy brochures and administrative ambitions, is never a substitute for the hard work of internalizing the emerging cultures of education which, at their very best, are deeply international and perhaps global in scope, even as they remain local in function. Our very best intentions to avoid this inevitability can only do harm to the very best education we can deliver to our students, and to the sophistication and rigor of our own academic work.Professor Katz’s address follows:

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Thu, October 3 2013 » Faculty Developlemt, Latino Education, Law and Society, noteworthy » Comments Off

Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva: “The Current Deregulation of Cuban Enterprises”


Arch Ritter over at his excellent blog, The Cuban Economy/La Economía Cubana, has posted Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva paper, “The Current Deregulation of Cuban Enterprises””

The complete document is available here:  Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, The Current Deregulation of Cuban Enterprises. Oct. 3 2013


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Wed, October 2 2013 » Cuba, Law and Society, The Economy » Comments Off