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FRONTERAS: Hispanic Heritage Voter Drive; Refugee Cap And Resettlement Agencies; Quinceañera Barbie

Norma Martinez


This week on Fronteras: 

  •  A major push to register Hispanics to vote finds many  of them struggle to make ends meet in their everyday lives.
  •  Border Land Act would protect owners from Trump Administration land grabs for border wall.
  •  President Trump’s decision to lower the number of refugees welcomed in the U.S. threatens the viability of resettlement agencies.
  •  A major toymaker wants to cash in on a pricey Hispanic rite of passage with the Quinceañera Barbie.

Hispanic Heritage Month Voter Registration Drive


A huge voter registration campaign is underway for Hispanic Heritage Month.

The voter registration campaign is being driven by the Texas Victory Project – an organization that advocates for the working poor – and other local and national organizations. The goal?  Register 1000 voters statewide to increase turnout in the 2018 primary and general election. I talked with Claudia Sanchez and Arnoldo Alonzo – political director and state director of the Texas Victory Project – about their efforts.

The Story



Credit Wikimedia Commons
Border Fence


Bill Seeks To Protect  Owners From Border Wall Land Grabs

One of the candidates seeking those 2018 votes is Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke who’s running against Senator Ted Cruz.  O’Rourke has a plan for stopping the Trump Administration from being able to seize privately owned land along the border to build the wall the president wants between the U.S. and Mexico. TPR’s Ryan Poppe has details.  


Credit Guillermo Sevilla
Catholic Charities of San Diego Executive Director Robert Moser speaks about refugee resettlement with KPBS City Heights Reporter Tarryn Mento, Sept. 20, 2017.


Refugee Cap Threatens Viability Of Refugee Resettlement Agencies

Millions of refugees around the world have been displaced by turmoil in their home countries. Every year, the U.S. President gets to decide, how many of them come to America. For the second time since he took office, President Trump is reducing the cap on refugees - down from 50,000 to 45,000.  That’s a dramatic difference from the Obama administration’s previous goal to have America accept 110,000 refugees this year.  It’s also the lowest cap since the Refugee Act of 1980. KPBS reporter Taryn Mento sat down with the local head of a refugee settlement agency in San Diego to learn how federal policies have impacted resettlement there and how this may affect resettlement agencies across the country.

The Story


Credit Shelly Brisbin
Quinceañera Barbie



Wants To Cash In With Quinceañ

era Barbie

The year 2002 may not mean anything to you but for about 2 million American girls – it’s the year they were born. That means, they're turning *15 in 2017.  And MANY are celebrating with a Quinceañera.  It's the rite of passage party usually celebrated by Hispanic girls.  The celebration is similar to a "Sweet Sixteen" - but often much more extravagant. In fact,  as KUT’s Joy Diaz reports, the Quinceañera industry in the U.S. is a billion-dollar business and it’s no wonder that toymaker Mattel is trying to get a piece of the action with its Quinceañera Barbie.

How Barbie Is Getting Into the Quinceañera Business

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1