Hispanics

With the economy booming, Ernesto Martinez can barely keep up with all the construction work coming into the small drywall company he owns. He's part of a historic wave of Latino prosperity in America.

It wasn't always like this. Martinez remembers when he was 17. He had $120 to his name, and it was all in his pocket. It's how much he got paid for his first job in the U.S., as a mover. He says he stood there, mesmerized, in front of a shop window at the mall.

Martinez was looking at a pair of Air Jordans. They cost around $100.

Immigration is near the top of the list of issues Americans find "the most worrying," according to a new poll conducted for NPR by the research firm Ipsos.

But Americans' views on immigration diverge sharply depending on party affiliation, where in the country we live, and whether we know people who were born outside the United States.

Updated Jan. 30

The job market is strong right now, with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, and President Trump knows it.

In his State of the Union address, he said he is "proud" that "African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. And Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history."

Earier this month, he also bragged about the latest jobs report, focusing in on minorities in particular.

Latinos are one of the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. But a new finding by the Pew Research Center suggests the Hispanic population may not get as big as demographers have predicted.

"¡De...spa ... cito!"

The song of the summer actually became the Song of the Year at the 18th annual Latin Grammy's held in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee also picked up Record of the Year, Best Urban Fusion Performance and Best Short Term Video.


Valery Pozo still gets angry thinking about it. It was about a decade ago, and the immigrant communities in her hometown, Salt Lake City, were on edge because of recent immigration enforcement raids in the area. Pozo's mother, an immigrant from Peru, was on the sidelines at her son's soccer game when another parent asked whether she was "illegal."

"To me, that was clearly a racist question and a racist assumption," Pozo recalled.

But her mother saw it as a harmless comment, despite Pozo's best efforts to convince her that it was something bigger.

About a year ago, Gustavo Douaihi and Laura Smith were looking to rent a house in Baton Rouge, La.

Douaihi, a geologist from Venezuela, and Smith, a high school English teacher who grew up in Alabama, had just gotten married. The couple was living in a tiny house overflowing with wedding presents when they noticed that a larger, nicer home in their neighborhood was available for rent.

"When we saw the 'For Rent' sign, I pushed Gustavo to call and look into it," Smith says.

This viral video out of Hollywood raises an interesting question: What does racism look like from one Latino to another?

Hispanics in the United States have a longer life expectancy, but a poll finds few older Latinos are confident that nursing homes and assisted living facilities can meet their needs.

In the 1970s, the nation's Latino advocacy groups had grown fed up with the U.S. Census Bureau. During its 1970 population count, the agency had made a half-hearted attempt to quantify the number of Latinos and Hispanics living in the United States.

It's been a tense week for immigrants and people of color throughout the country, but there was some good news in California: a new study by the advocacy group National Council of La Raza points out that the state's Latinos, as a group, are doing much better in many areas.

There's been lots of chatter on social media and among pundits, warning that the treatment of immigrant kids and English language learners is going to "get worse" under a Donald Trump presidency.

Some people on Twitter are even monitoring incidents in which Latino students in particular have been targeted.

But I wonder: When were these students not targeted? When did immigrant students and their families ever have it easy?

Kyle Holsten / WLRN

Some South Florida voters took to social media to complain that there weren't enough Spanish speakers working at the polls in neighborhoods that needed them the most.

Roger Lords was voting at Precinct 669 in  Little Havana at  Miami Central Seventh Day Adventist Church when he noticed that older voters were asking  poll workers questions in Spanish and the questions were not being answered adequately. He posted to social media about it and WLRN received the tip through ProPublica's ElectionLand Project

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