Today in Latin America
Top Story — Washington D.C.’s mayor Vincent C. Gray said Wednesday that the police and other public agencies in the nation’s capital will not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), forcing the federal government to determine on its own whether a resident is an undocumented immigrant or not. While past mayors have made similar claims, Gray said that the new guidelines go one step further by setting standards for how the city’s criminal justice system will deal with immigrants. The new guidelines state that D.C. police and corrections officials will not ask those they come in contact with about their immigration status and that police will not enforce an ICE detainer or warrant issued against someone who has not committed another crime. Adding to this, police and corrections officers are forbidden from contacting ICE to investigate the legal status of someone who has been arrested. D.C. police have been instructed to process all offenders in the same manner and leave it up to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ICE to decide whether to check on their legal status. “In the spirit of ‘One City,’ and assuring the equal treatment of citizens and non-citizens alike, I am delighted to sign to this,” Gray said.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- A class action lawsuit filed in Illinois has the potential to change the rules under which Immigration and Customs Enforcement can issue a detainer for those suspected of immigrating illegally. Check out the report by Amy Elmgren.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The United States and Mexico announced Wednesday that they will expand an earthquake monitoring system in the wake of a deadly earthquake last year.
- Mexico’s lower house plans to approve a budget plan that will seek a higher deficit than that proposed by President Felipe Calderón’s government.
- Some union leaders and two California congressmen are still pushing to stop the cross-border trucking program between the U.S. and Mexico days before it is slated to begin.
- A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was charged with smuggling marijuana after he was arrested following a high-speed chase.
- Cuba plans to expand the amount of land the government grants to private famers, an agriculture official said Wednesday.
- In a major policy shift, Haiti has agreed to support a massive vaccination program to slow a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 6,000 people.
- The government of the Dominican Republic announced a crackdown on illegal immigration Wednesday that will lead to the ouster of thousands of Haitians who escaped the earthquake last year.
- Puerto Rico’s largest bank, Banco Popular, will cut up to 250 jobs, as it seeks to streamline operations.
- Health authorities warned of virus outbreaks and food shortages due to the heavy rains throughout Central America.
- The torrential rains in Central America are hurting coffee production and trade routes in the region, supplier of 10 percent of the world’s coffee beans.
- The United Nations approved an emergency cash grant for El Salvador and sent additional staff to the country to deal with severe floods.
- Approximately 1,000 demonstrators arrived in La Paz on Wednesday after a two-month, 310-mile march from the Bolivian Amazon to protest the construction of a highway on indigenous land.
- About 2,000 sharks died after poachers massacred them and cut off their fins at the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary off the Pacific coast of Colombia.
- The Peruvian government released video footage of an encounter with an isolated Amazonian tribe that approached travelers with bows and arrows on the shore of the Manu River.
- At least 263 people were arrested in clashes between police and demonstrators protesting for reforms in the Chilean education system on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Chilean Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla.
- Alexander Mendes da Silva, allegedly one of Brazil’s most-wanted drug traffickers, was arrested in Paraguay on Wednesday.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced Wednesday that unemployment in Argentina has fallen to 7.2 percent in the third quarter.
Image: Don Baxter/Media Images International @ Flickr.