States Struggle to Add Latinos to Health Rolls

shutterstock_49320484New York Times 02/13/2014

With an estimated 15 percent of the country’s uninsured population, California is crucial to the success of President Obama’s health care overhaul. Here, that success cannot come without enrolling Latinos, who make up more than half of the state’s uninsured.

But so far, enrollment of Latinos has fallen strikingly below the hopes of the law’s proponents, accounting for 20 percent or fewer of those who had signed up on the state-run health insurance exchange by the end of December. Now, state officials are rushing to expand marketing efforts and hire additional Spanish-speaking staff, hoping to sharply increase that number by March 31, when open enrollment in the new insurance plans ends.



Op-ed: Immigration and the New Old Me

New America Foundation, 5/16/12

Los Angeles

Despite my family’s rootedness in Southern California, migration has had an inordinate effect on my life. Now that it has come to a virtual halt, how do I see myself? Angeleno, as always.

The news that Mexican immigration to the United States has come to a virtual halt has me thinking about all the ways that will change things. It will affect politics, culture, labor and the nation’s racial climate. And it will also change how we see each other and ourselves as Americans and as Californians, me included.

I’m one of those mythical native Californians you might have read about. I was born near the corner of Sunset and Vermont in Hollywood. My father was born in L.A. and baptized, as was I, at La Placita Church downtown. My mom was born in northern San Diego County and baptized at the San Antonio de Pala mission there. My paternal great-grandfather arrived in the U.S. — Arizona — from Mexico in 1893. My family has been American so long that sometimes I think I should wear one of those buckled Pilgrim hats.

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New Data on Hispanic and Foreign-Born Populations in the U.S.

The Pew Hispanic Center, 2/21/12

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, today released updated statistical profiles of the Latino and foreign-born populations in the U.S. These profiles, based on the Center’s tabulations from the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, feature detailed characteristics of the Latino and foreign-born populations at the national level.

Topics covered include age, geographic dispersion, nativity, citizenship, origin, language proficiency, racial self-identification, living arrangements, marital status, fertility, schooling, health insurance coverage, earnings, poverty and other labor market outcomes. The data featured in the profiles may also be downloaded from the Center’s website.

The statistical profiles are available at the Pew Hispanic Center’s website,

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Latino Mormons speaking out against Romney

Associated Press, 2/20/12

When Honduran-born Antonella Cecilia Packard converted to the Mormon Faith 20 years ago, she said it was like “coming home.”

The Catholic-educated Packard, who grew up in “the middle of Mayan ruins,” appreciated the faith’s strong sense of family and conservative values. She also saw her own history in the Book of Mormon with stories of migrations, tragedies and triumphs of a people many Mormons believe are the ancestors of some present-day Latinos.

But two decades after her conversion while a college student at Mississippi State, the 43-year-old Packard finds herself on a new mission: defeating Mitt Romney and any Mormon politician who betrays what she sees as a basic Mormon principle of protecting immigrants.

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Press Release: Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood

Pew Hispanic Center, 12/1/11

Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2010 Current Population Survey, augmented with the Center’s analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population using a “residual estimation methodology” that the Center has employed for many years.

The characteristics of this population have become a source of renewed interest in the wake of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent endorsement of a proposal to create a path for unauthorized immigrants to gain legal status if they have lived in the country for a long period of time; have children in the U.S.; pay taxes and belong to a church. Several of Gingrich’s opponents for the Republican presidential nomination have criticized the proposal as a form of amnesty that would encourage more immigrants to come to the U.S. illegally.

Continue reading “Press Release: Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood”

The GOP’s Hispanic Problem

The Atlantic, 10/21/11

It was your typical sedate panel of Republican talking heads — until local Hispanic activists in the audience rose up in revolt.”The Democrats are kicking our behinds out there!” one man shouted. “The Republican leadership has to do something, has to send a message to our community!”

A woman pleaded, “What should be the message on immigration? Please, give us a talking point!” Another woman pointed to the rest of the audience to make the point that the conference hadn’t sought Hispanic participation: “How many Latinos from Las Vegas are sitting here? How many?”It was a remarkable scene, and a perfect illustration of the bind the GOP is in.

Its presidential candidates increasingly are demagoguing the immigration issue to stoke the passions of the overwhelmingly white base. But in the process, Hispanic Republicans fear, they are killing their chances at general-election victory by alienating the fastest-growing group of American voters.

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Recession Study Finds Hispanics Hit the Hardest

New York Times, 7/26/11

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the country during the recession, according to a study published Tuesday by the Pew Foundation.

The study, which used data collected by the Census Bureau, found that the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009. By contrast, the median wealth of whites fell by just 16 percent over the same period. African Americans saw their wealth drop by 53 percent. Asians also saw a big decline, with household wealth dropping 54 percent.

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