Diversity in Brief "“ May 16 Edition

A digest of all the best: DREAM Act supporters sue the Senate; New Mexico governor criticizes Mitt Romney's approach to Hispanics; and more.

DREAM Act Supporters Sue the Senate

Nonprofit organization Common Cause filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Senate Monday, challenging the constitutionality of filibuster rules, which it maintains caused the DREAM Act to fail in the Senate. Supporters of the DREAM Act maintain the legislation, which would grant a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants, passed the 50-vote majority, but only failed because it fell short of the five votes needed to break filibuster.

Read more: Politico (5/14); The Huffington Post (5/15)

Hispanic Gang Members Charged with Preying on Illegal Immigrants

Nearly two dozen Hispanic gangsters were arrested in Kansas last week after a federal grand jury indicted them for victimizing illegal immigrants. Feds have cast a watchful eye on the Dodge City area, according to the Washington Post, because it has become a hub for drug trafficking in the Midwest.

All but one of the 23 members of the Nortenos gang arrested were U.S. citizens, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom told the Post. They preyed on vulnerable illegal immigrants who were unlikely to go to the police, using violence and threats to defend the gang's reputation and territory and promote its drug trafficking activities.

Read more: The Washington Post/The Associated Press (5/11)

Obama's Support of Gay Marriage Revitalizes Hispanic Activists

President Obama's announcement last week of his support for same-sex marriage has electrified Hispanic voters who have been campaigning alongside gay-rights activists. The alliance between Hispanic voters, especially the young, and gay-rights activists had been growing for some time, the Associated Press reports, and many maintain that Obama's announcement has not pushed away supporters despite the notion that many in the Hispanic voting bloc are more conservative.

Read more: The Huffington Post/The Associated Press (5/15)

N.M. Governor Has Harsh Words for Romney's Approach to Hispanics

N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez recently criticized the idea of "self-deportation" for illegal immigrants, a concept that's at the heart of Arizona's controversial immigration law and a talking point for Mitt Romney during the GOP primaries. Martinez, whose name has been dropped as a potential running mate for Romney's presidential campaign, maintains that the Hispanic voting bloc has been "alienated" during his campaign and that the GOP needs to do more to win them back.

Read more: The Washington Post (5/14); ABC News (5/15)

Same-Sex Marriage Stops Deportation

A federal immigration judge ended deportation proceedings against a Costa Rican man in the country illegally because he married a green-card holder when marriage was briefly legal in California. David Gonzales and his husband now live in Houston. Gonzales was detained in 2006 after he overstayed a tourist visa. He and his husband married in 2008.

According to the Observer, this is the first time a same-sex marriage influenced immigration proceedings in Texas.

Read more: Texas Observer (5/8)