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January 13, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
AKELA FLATS, N.M. - Each year, Emily Haozous joins other Fort Sill Apache tribal members in a mountain spirit dance in Oklahoma. But the spirits they pay tribute to and invoke for power and protection belong to a mountain more than 600 miles to the west, in the tribe's ancestral homeland in southwestern New Mexico. More than a century ago, Apaches with lineage to Geronimo were driven from New Mexico and taken as prisoners of war before eventually being released in Oklahoma. Now, the tribe's 700-plus members want to return to the yucca-speckled desert town of Akela Flats.
January 10, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - In the three weeks since a federal judge told Utah gays they had a constitutional right to marry, the issue of whether such a right exists in the state has pingponged from a federal appeals court to the U.S. Supreme Court, the state attorney general, the governor and, Friday, the U.S. attorney general. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that the federal government would recognize the more than 1,300 same-sex marriages that took place in Utah during the past three weeks, meaning those couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns and be eligible for hundreds of other legal rights and obligations.
January 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Immigrants who are in California illegally should have access to health insurance through a state version of the Affordable Care Act, the head of the Legislature's Latino caucus said Friday. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said immigration status should be irrelevant if the goal of the federal law is to provide coverage to the uninsured, so he will introduce legislation to involve the state in providing coverage to those in the country illegally. "Immigration status shouldn't bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy," Lara said.
January 10, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
A new flow of money to a handful of low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods could cause the areas to gentrify and squeeze out the poor who live there, according to experts reacting to news that the city has been included in a special federal anti-poverty program. The White House announced this week -- marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Johnson's War on Poverty -- that five areas in the country would be designated "Promise Zones," pushing them to the top of the list for federal grants and making them test sites for President Obama's new poverty reduction initiative.
January 9, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - Nearly seven in 10 Mexican city dwellers believe that crime has rendered their cities unsafe, according to a new poll that underscores the ongoing challenge facing President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office more than a year ago promising to beat back the lawlessness that affects law-abiding Mexicans. The December poll was released late Wednesday and is the second of its kind to be produced by Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography. [Link in Spanish]
January 2, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - A Mexican immigrant without a green card on Thursday won the right to practice law in California, an unprecedented ruling that will permit others in similar circumstances to become lawyers. The state Supreme Court agreed unanimously that Sergio C. Garcia - who passed the bar examination four years ago - should receive a law license while awaiting federal approval of his green card application. The court, which has the final word on licensing lawyers, said it was able to approve Garcia's admission to the State Bar because the Legislature had passed a law last year that cleared the way. "The fact that an undocumented immigrant's presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote for the court.
December 28, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
In a just world, all the people who have piled on to the federal government for blowing the launch of would take a look at the UPS Christmas Day screwup and swallow hard. But it's not a just world, so the lesson of how the nation's leading parcel delivery service got blindsided by an excess of Internet traffic surely will be ignored.  Alec MacGillis of The New Republic reminds us of all the finger-wagging by private sector triumphalists  to the effect that, unlike the government's health insurance enrollment system, commercial websites and services wouldn't have been brought down by a surge of users, especially when the key deadline was foreseen.  The government needs "an Amazon-like culture," lectured Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal.
December 1, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Last year, when the Supreme Court struck down the noxious Arizona law known as SB 1070, it sent a clear message to states seeking to enact their own immigration laws: Don't do it. The court ruled that the law, which in effect sought to bully undocumented immigrants into leaving the state, was an unconstitutional intrusion by a state government into an arena - immigration policy - that is the responsibility of the federal government. But apparently the high court's decision has done little to diminish support for such laws in Hazleton, Pa., and Farmers Branch, Texas, where officials have spent millions defiantly defending local housing ordinances intended to regulate immigration.
November 22, 2013 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
This week, Americans from across the political and cultural spectrum have paid tribute to Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy with nostalgia-tinged reverence, a longing for a time when strong, inspiring leaders could bring us together in unity and move our country forward . The irony is that while the memories of Kennedy and Lincoln now serve mostly to unify Americans, both men were exceptionally divisive in their own times -- and the...
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