By Catherine E. Shoichet and Gustavo Valdes, CNN
(CNN) Nearly half of the nation's states have new voting measures that could stop some Latinos from heading to the polls in November, a civil rights group said Monday.
"This year, an unprecedented number of voting restrictions impose barriers to voting that disproportionately affect the Latino community," said a report from Advancement Project, which has also sued to block such voting measures in a number of states.
Monday's report from the organization, which pushes to protect voting rights, was the latest volley in a national battle over such measures that splits largely along party lines.
Advancement Project's report points to three different types of efforts in 23 states that it says will impact eligible Latino voters: efforts to purge rolls of non-citizen voters, proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration and photo ID laws.
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Editor's Note: Emil Guillermo is a journalist and author. He writes for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and at www.amok.com.
By Emil Guillermo, Special to CNN
(CNN) - To the average American, the name Wilma Lamug may not have any meaning at all. But to the more than 3 million people in the Filipino-American community, the name could some day be as important as that of Rosa Parks.
Lamug and 68 other nurses in California’s Central Valley have achieved a major victory in their two-year language discrimination fight against the Delano Regional Medical Center. Without admitting guilt, the medical facility has agreed to undergo anti-discrimination training and monitoring, and more importantly, pay out a settlement to the nurses of nearly $1 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The nurses’ advocates at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center call the deal the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. health care industry.
Some might be very familiar with discrimination based on skin color or an ethnic look – but based on language or accented English? Some people – especially those who feel that English and only English should be spoken in America – might lack sympathy.
If that’s you, the case of the Filipino nurses of Delano, California, is instructive to understand how language discrimination can lead to a hostile workplace, one that’s unhealthy and illegal. FULL POST
Editor's note: Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and commentator, served as national Hispanic campaign chairwoman for John McCain in 2008 and national Hispanic co-chair for Jon Huntsman's 2012 campaign. Follow her on Twitter @ananavarro.
By Ana Navarro, CNN Contributor
(CNN) - There is a new level of intensity in the courting of the Hispanic vote, and it culminated last week in two Univision Candidate Forums, one with Gov. Mitt Romney and one with President Barack Obama.
But before I get to that, there's the issue of the secretly recorded videotape of Romney's remarks at a fundraiser earlier this year, where he was caught on camera saying it would have been helpful if he were Latino. This election cycle, we have seen political operatives perfect the art of feigned outrage. After the video was released, Democrats pounced on the remark, calling it offensive and insulting.
The question regarding Romney possibly having Mexican heritage has come up before. Romney's father was born in a colony of American Mormons in Mexico and soon after, the family moved back to the United States. In Romney's last interview with Univision, in January, the network's co-anchor, Jorge Ramos - who is fiercely proud of his Mexican descent - told Romney that under the Mexican Constitution, he could claim Mexican citizenship. Ramos asked Romney why he wasn't embracing his Mexican roots when he could be the first Latino president.
Romney answered then with a similar answer to the one on the video. He gave a brief description of the circumstances of his father's birth, but then explained that neither he nor his dad was Mexican or had any claim to Hispanic heritage. He finished by quipping, "I don't think people would think I was being honest with them if I said I was Mexican-American. But I would appreciate it if you'd get that word out."
I saw nothing wrong with Romney's answer. Neither did Ramos. Romney is not funny. When he tries to be, it often comes across as awkward. But his remark was not offensive. What would be insulting is if he used his father's Mexican birth to try to pass himself off as what he is not, solely for political purposes.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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