Diversity in Brief - May 30 Edition

How the Border Patrol has affected our Northwestern borders; columnist asks where have all the white people gone; and more.

Divide Over Voter ID Laws Widens
Some Hispanics, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are pushing back against concerns that voter-identification laws are discriminatory or problematic, exposing a complex divide across the nation on the issue. While Republican Mitt Romney has voiced support for the laws, President Obama has spoken out against them.

"What's the big deal?" Rubio asked, maintaining that people already have to show IDs for a variety of different reasons, from boarding airplanes to renting equipment. Critics of the new laws, however, maintain that the rules open too much room to discriminate against voters.

Read more here.

Illegal Immigrant Escorted From Romney Speech in D.C.
A 20-year-old undocumented immigrant and activist last week was escorted out of a Washington event with Mitt Romney. Lucia Allain, a student at Queens Borough Community College and a media contact for DRM Capitol Group, interrupted the Republican's speech on educational reform at the Latino Coalition's Annual Economic Summit, after which she alleges she was escorted out by a Romney staff member and berated to the point of tears.

Allain first met Romney in January at a New York fundraiser, where she claims he refused to shake her hand after she declared her immigration status to him. The recent events have fueled the fire among young immigration activists who maintain that Romney has largely avoided speaking about hot-button issues such as the Dream Act and recently passed state immigration laws.

Read more here.

Border Patrol's Presence in Northwestern Borders Creates New Tensions
Since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Border Patrol has increased its numbers along the nation's Northwestern borders in an effort to combat potential terrorist and smuggling attempts across the Canadian border. A large immigration population settled in Forks, Wash., but residents say the Border Patrol's presence has created undue scrutiny of the local towns' Latino populations.

Several civil-rights groups have filed lawsuits against the agency, alleging that its officers were racially profiling and interrogating people illegally. The Border Patrol has not commented on the pending lawsuits, but says it prohibits racial and religious profiling.

Read more here.

Column: Where Have All the White People Gone?

Media reports on the Census Bureau's latest release of data indicating that minority babies are now the majority over non-Hispanic white babies may be for naught, Jeff Jacoby writes for The Boston Globe. For years, he maintains, Americans have been hearing predictions of this change, including stories from June 2011 that already claimed minority babies were the majority.

But that loses all meaning since Hispanics can be any race, including white, diluting the definition of who a white American is, Jacoby writes. "You may relish the prospect of whites becoming a minority of the American population, or you may be alarmed by it," he adds. "Or, in an era when more newlyweds than ever are marrying across racial lines, you may wonder why anyone is still obsessed with race at all."

Read more here.

Indigenous Leaders Work to Quell Fighting Among Mexican Cohort
Indigenous Mexican leaders in California are working on a campaign to discourage the term "Oaxaquita" in an effort to push back on in-fighting between fellow immigrants. The term is a derogatory reference to indigenous Oaxacans and is often thrown around by other Mexicans.

This month, the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project in Oxnard, Calif., launched a campaign asking the Oxnard school district to ban the use of the term and increase anti-bullying efforts.

Read more here.