Yearly Archives: 2019






Sealed Bids Are Hereby Requested For Project 2019 – 01: “Infrastructure Reconstruction”

all in accordance with specifications on file with the Hamburg Town Clerk’s Office, Hamburg Town Hall, 6100 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, New York 14075. Said specifications may be obtained from the Hamburg Town Clerk during regular business hours, Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (One (1) “Bid Package” may be collected at no charge. Additional “Bid Packages” can be purchased for $50.00 each. Funds paid for additional Bid Packages will NOT be returned. Checks for additional Bid Packages should be made payable to the: “Hamburg Town Clerk”.

Said bids will be publicly opened and read aloud in the Hamburg Town Hall conference room at 11:00 a.m. local time (according to the clock within Hamburg Town Clerk’s Office) on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 and thereafter considered by the Town of Hamburg. The successful bidder will be required to furnish a performance bond in the minimum amount equal to the contract award. Attention is called to the fact that Community Development Funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are being used to reconstruct approximately 340 linear feet of road within the Village of Blasdell. Due to the use of federal CDBG funds, compliance with Title VI and other applicable provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Executive Order 11246 (Buffalo Plan); Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 as amended; Section 109 of Order 11625 (Utilization of Minority Business Enterprises); Davis-Bacon and Related Acts is required. “The Town reserves the right to reject all bids and to waive any informalities.”

Sealed Bids Must Be Marked:


Dated: August 21, 2019

Catherine Rybczynski; Town Clerk

Town of Hamburg

    Buffalo, NY — It was a day filled with pride for the Puerto Rican & Hispanic community in the city, as thousands of people attended the Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade and Festival to celebrate their heritage and Diversity.

    The festival kicked off with its 17thAnnual parade with hundreds of colorful floats, Thousands of people dancing and celebrating as they slowly made their way along Avenida San Juan, draped in their counties flags with music playing from the musicians on the floats.

    Participants waved to those watching from sidewalks, and tossed out pieces of candy for children to grab, showing big smiles despite the unbearable heat.

    Nearly every parade goer could be seen sporting clothing with his or her counties native colors.

    Buffalo resident Dee Santos was dressed in a festive dress she got from Puerto Rico, accompanied by red, white and blue flowers tightly tucked into her hair. Her outfit matched her enthusiasm about the day.

    “This is my soul,” she said. “This is my heart.”

    Santos is proudly 100% Puerto Rican, and moved to the U.S. in the ’80s. She characterized herself as a community leader who represents and supports people from all backgrounds.

    “I will always represent when other people are celebrating. I’m there to support them,” she said.

    Santos’ favorite part of the parade — aside from the music that kept her dancing through its entirety — was the sense of unity from everyone coming together and sharing the same reason to celebrate.

    Hosted by The Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade, the day was about moving forward “PALANTE”, culture and contributions, said committee member Yolanda Martinez. In talking about the importance of the day, Martinez touched on the history of Puerto Rico and the U.S.

    A complicated background with the country they now call home, the former Spanish territory finally got a legal standing in the U.S. system in 1917. That of course followed the Spanish-American War, when the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico; and the Treaty of Paris in 1898, when the war ended and Spain ceded the territory to the U.S.

    Just before the United States entered World War I, Puerto Ricans were granted citizenship to the U.S.

    Now, Puerto Ricans in Buffalo are celebrating how far they have come, and how much they have contributed to America. From sports, to art, and large numbers in the armed forces, Martinez said they have given a lot to the country they are glad to be a part of.

    She said the day is not political, but about “happily celebrating heritage, culture and diversity.

    As the parade neared its end, attendees gathered in LaSalle Park to continue the celebration with food, drinks and live music.

    Festivities continue until Sunday evening.

      A gunman who police say shot six city officers was in custody Thursday after surrendering to end a dramatic, 7 ½-hour standoff during which two officers were trapped in the rowhouse where the suspect was firing away.

      Shots were first fired about 4:30 p.m. when narcotics officers tried to serve an arrest warrant at the house in the 3700 block of North 15th Street in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia.

      Two Narcotics Strike Force bicycle officers were pinned on the second floor with three other people who were handcuffed, police said. The officers were not injured but they and the three people in custody were at risk of getting shot because the suspect on the first floor was firing into the ceiling. A SWAT team reached the five and removed from the building about 2 ½ hours before the suspect surrendered.

      None of the six officers who were shot suffered life-threatening injuries and all were treated at hospitals and released, police said. At least three other officers sustained non-shooting injuries during the standoff. The gunman was briefly hospitalized, then jailed, after the standoff.

      President Donald Trump weighed in on the shootout Thursday morning, saying the alleged gunman “should never have been allowed to be on the streets.”

      “He had a long and very dangerous criminal record,” he wrote in the tweet. “Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!”

      Police identified the suspect as Maurice Hill, a 36-year-old Philadelphia man with alengthy history of gun convictions and of resisting attempts to bring him to justice.

      President Trump was briefed on the incident Wednesday.

      Commissioner Ross describes negotiations with gunman

      Police Commissioner Ross said Thursday morning that he personally took part in negotiations to get the gunman, identified as Maurice Hill, 36, to surrender.

      “This was the first time, and I hope it is the last time,” Ross said of his unusual foray into negotiating with a barricaded gunman.

      Ross said Hill rebuffed initial attempts by police to negotiate, but was using his phone to talk to other people, including his girlfriend with whom he recently had a daughter.

      Ross said he asked the police negotiator if it would help if he talked to Hill and the negotiator agreed.

      The negotiator instructed Ross on what questions to ask throughout his communications with the gunman, the commissioner said.

      Hill, he said, spoke of his newborn daughter and his criminal record. Hill also made “outlandish” but unspecified demands.

      “But we weren’t going to lie to him and tell him we were going to acquiesce to what he wanted, because that’s not what you do either because that creates problems as well,” he said.

      Still, Ross said, despite the negotiations it was the “the tear gas that ultimately brought him outside.”

      Lawyer: Typically they don’t ‘take black defendants into custody’

      Shaka Johnson, the lawyer of suspected gunman Maurice Hill, told FOX 29 on Thursday he was unaware his client was involved in the shootout until Hill called him at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

      Johnson, a former police officer, said at one point, he was involved in a four-way conversation that included Hill, Police Commissioner Richard Ross, and District Attorney Larry Krasner.


        NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Cory Booker on Thursday said he would create a White House office to combat white supremacy and hate crimes if elected, becoming the latest Democratic presidential candidate to call for action after a racially motivated massacre in Texas.

        Booker said he would also require the FBI and the Justice Department to allocate the same level of resources and attention to white supremacist-inspired violence as they devote to international terrorism.

        The New Jersey senator announced his plan less than two weeks after a gunman in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people inside a Walmart after posting an anti-immigrant screed online that echoed some of President Donald Trump’s heated rhetoric. The attack was among three mass shootings in the span of a week that killed 34 people in all.

        The incidents have roiled the presidential race, with Democrats accusing Trump, a Republican, of fomenting hatred while failing to embrace common-sense gun restrictions. Several candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris on Wednesday, have released plans to fight gun violence and white supremacy in the days since the El Paso massacre.

        Trump, who has said he is not a racist, has expressed support in the wake of the shooting for “red flag” laws that limit access to guns for dangerous people and a potential expansion of background checks for gun purchases. He has not endorsed any specific legislation.

        Last week, at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist gunned down nine people in 2015, Booker criticized Trump’s language while linking the El Paso shooting to the United States’ long history of racism.

        “To say this is to speak the truth plainly, because with the truth there can be no reconciliation,” said Booker, who is African-American.

        The proposal builds upon Booker’s sweeping anti-gun violence plan that would, among other things, establish a national licensing program for gun ownership.

        Booker’s campaign likened his proposed White House Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacist Violence to other agencies that presidents have convened to coordinate responses to major domestic crises, such as the White House Office of AIDS Policy.

        Under his proposal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies would be required to conduct assessments of white supremacist threats and improve reporting of hate crimes. Booker would also create an advisory group of leaders from communities hurt by hate crimes to advise his administration.

        Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

          OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s nuclear safety authority is analyzing tiny amounts of radioactive iodine detected in the air in northern Norway in the days after a deadly explosion during a rocket engine test over the border in Russia.

          Russia’s state nuclear agency, Rosatom, said on Saturday that five people killed in the blast were its staff members, and the accident involved “isotope power sources”, giving no further details.

          Norway’s radiation and nuclear safety authority DSA said it had detected the radioactive iodine at its air filter station in Svanhovd, which is by the Russian border. A river separates the two countries.

          The samples were collected in the period Aug. 9-12, while the accident in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia occurred on Aug. 8, it said.

          “At present it is not possible to determine if the last iodine detection is linked to the accident in Arkhangelsk last week. DSA continues more frequent sampling and analysis,” DSA said.

          Such radiation measurements are not unusual in Norway, as its monitoring stations detect radioactive iodine about six to eight times a year and the source is usually unknown.

          Russia’s state weather service said on Tuesday that radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk had spiked by up to 16 times last Thursday, while medics who treated victims of the accident have been sent to Moscow for a medical examination, the TASS news agency reported.

          Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, Editing by Terje Solsvik and Alison Williams

            Mounting signs of a global economic slowdown hammered stocks and drove demand for sovereign bonds to such an extent that shorter-term yields rose above long rates in the U.S. for the first time since 2007.

            The S&P 500 sank more than 1% as the inverted gap in rates for two- and 10-year Treasuries flashed the strongest recession warning yet. European shares plunged after Germany’s economy contracted in the second quarter, adding to angst fueled by weak Chinese retail and industrial numbers. Oil retreated, gold rallied and the dollar held steady.

            The damage in American stocks was broad, with four stocks lower for every one that gained in the S&P 500. High-flying tech shares that paced yesterday’s rally amid easing trade tensions gave back all the advance. Banks led the drop as the inverted curve hits lending profits. Macy’s plunged to a nine-year low on weak results.

            The British yield curve also inverted for the first time since the financial crisis and the pound edged higher after inflation unexpectedly rose. Government bonds rallied across Europe, with the yield on benchmark bunds sliding to another record.

            The warning emanating from bond markets spooked investors already seeking shelter from the fraught geopolitical climate and the impact of the global trade war just a day after equities rallied on a tariff reprieve from President Donald Trump. While curve inversions normally precede economic downturns, they do not necessarily signal imminent doom.

            “This is not a positive sign for the market,” Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse, said on Bloomberg TV. “The Fed is totally empowered to change this dynamic and the market is saying they have to.”

            Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s airport resumed normal operations after a chaotic night of protest in which demonstrators beat and detained two suspected infiltrators and Trump warned of Chinese troops massing on the border.

            Here are the main moves in markets:


            The S&P 500 Index dipped 1.4% as of 9:32 a.m. New York time.

            The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.5%.

            The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dropped 1.3%.

            Germany’s DAX Index sank 2%.



            The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.2%.

            The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 0.9%.

            The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.

            The euro increased 0.2% to $1.1188.

            The British pound climbed 0.1% to $1.2073.

            The Japanese yen jumped 0.8% to 105.90 per dollar



            The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank 10 basis points to 1.60%.

            The yield on two-year Treasuries declined seven basis points to 1.60%.

            Britain’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 0.465%.

            Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to -0.64%.



            Gold rose 0.8% to $1,513.79 an ounce.

            West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 3.4% to $55.16 a barrel

              The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY is happy to announce EDWIN MARTINEZ as the 2019 GRAND MARSHAL. We are truly proud of Edwin and all he has done for our community.

              Edwin Martinez is the Publisher and Owner the Largest Latino Newspaper and Online News Organization serving Buffalo, Rochester and Dunkirk New York. Thru Panorama Hispano News daily online Newspaper, Panorama reaches readers in Puerto Rico, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando and Miami, and many other large Latino markets across the nation and around the world, including Spain and Mexico.  Edwin was born in Buffalo, NY. And raised in New York City and Buffalo, New York. His professional career began in 1987, when he joined an International conglomerate company with sales in the Billions of dollars as a corporate manager. He then entered Politics as a Legislative Director in the New York State Senate. In 1989, he became Chief of staff at New York State Parole Board and of the Division of Parole serving Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1995, he was offered the Under Sheriff position in New York City but declined because of family commitments. That year, he moved on to become Regional Director of Programs at the New York State Division of Parole. Edwin, Likewise, worked at the US Justice Department.

              Edwin also built an impressive record of accomplishment in the human service arena beginning in the early eighties. In 1983, he helped created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the first full service agency headed by a Puerto Rican/Latino in Buffalo, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association. He provided the leadership and spearheaded the creation of Western New York’s first residential substance abuse treatment program, then incorporated and served the board of La Alternativa, Buffalo’s first Hispanic based substance abuse prevention program. He then merged La Alternativa with The Puerto Rican Chicano Committee and The Puerto Rican American Community Association to create Buffalo’s largest Hispanic Organization, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo.

              Edwin has also been a Generous Philanthropist to the Latino and Western New York community, funding College Scholarships, Youth Programing, Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Hispanic Veterans Memorial and Senior Services throughout his lifetime. Likewise, he has given and raised monies for political candidate for the last 35 years.

              A pioneer in healthcare reform in Western New York, Edwin Served on The health Systems Agency board for 15 years. Where, he regulated HealthCare provider services thru local Hospitals, Nursing Homes and ambulatory care facilities throughout Western New York. Likewise, Edwin has served on the Board of Directors of Columbus Hospital and Waterfront Nursing home which were later merge with Buffalo General Hospital.

              As a Ward chairman and Executive member of The Democratic Party, Edwin was instrumental in the election of the first Latino Judge, Councilmembers and The first Puerto Rican Mayor of the City of Dunkirk. As well as coordinated campaigns for Governors, Senators and State Assembly members. Likewise, Edwin served on the transition teams of various Governors, County Executives and Mayors across New York State and Western New York, which opened doors to the first Latino Commissioners, and Deputy Commissioners in the City of Buffalo. As well, Edwin’s involvement in government opened the doors too many Latinos in government positions today.

              Edwin has also been active throughout his lifetime in improving outcomes within the public schools system. While at the same time, creating organizations in Higher Education to serve the needs of Latino College Students.

              Today, through his vision, commitment, and leadership, Panorama Hispano News continues to grow and continues to be the number one news source for Latinos around Western New York, while, also reaching across the country and around the world.

                EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people. The national trend for minority communities to arm themself has become and overwhelming problem for weapons certification agency because they are unable to keep up with demand.

                Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was at the class with her two children. She said her military husband had long been pushing for her to get a concealed-carry license, which allows the holder to wear a gun hidden under their clothes or carry it in a purse when they are in public.

                Segovia said she felt urgency to do the required training now after the attack hit close to home. “I’m still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon,” she said.

                The vast majority of people at the classes were Hispanic; El Paso is a predominantly Latino city. Police say the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

                Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

                Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

                “I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

                “We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

                “This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”

                RUN FIRST

                With or without a weapon, McIntyre acknowledged most people would not be able to fight back in an attack like the one in El Paso. The class acknowledges this, and students are taught to run first before firing a gun. Only 1% of people return fire, he said.

                “One out of a hundred is a fire, the other 99 will run off,” McIntyre said.

                Segovia, who has military training, said the concealed-carry class does not compare to what is needed in an active shooter situation, but she wants her sisters to prepare anyway.

                “I’ve already told them, ‘Let’s go practice. Let’s go practice.’ It’s not just this one time that we have to keep coming to ranges and so you can feel familiarized with a weapon and be OK with it,” Segovia said.

                Segovia may be applying for her concealed-carry license, but she also wants to see changes in gun laws come from the top and make it harder for young people to get firearms.

                “I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people,” Segovia said.

                Gun control is definitely not on the horizon for Texas, where Governor Greg Abbot recently signed into law nine bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that will loosen up gun regulations starting on Sept. 1.

                One of the new laws lifts a ban on carrying firearms in places of worship. That ban came after a gunman fatally shot 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs. Another stops landlords from prohibiting firearms on their rental properties.

                The laws were all signed in the first regular legislative session after three mass shootings in Texas: the Sutherland Springs church massacre, a shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston that killed 10 in 2018, and the El Paso attack that killed 22.

                Reporting by Julio Cesar-Chavez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

                  MAICAO, Colombia – “Empuja, vamos, empuja sostenido. Push, come on, keep pushing.”

                  The doctor chanted it like a mantra at Venezuelan migrant Yulianis Rodriguez from a delivery room in the northern Colombia-Venezuela border city of Maicao.

                  Rodriguez, 26, was alone in the hospital in May, with no one’s hand to squeeze and no epidural, nothing for the pain other than a bright yellow rag in her mouth to stop her from biting down on her tongue.

                  She crossed into Colombia months earlier through “trocha,” illegal dirt pathways run by criminal groups, with little more than her Venezuelan ID to her name. After living through Venezuela’s collapsing economy and food and medicine crises, the pregnant Venezuelan hoped she’d be able to get the medical care for her baby that she’d never be able to get in her own country.

                  “I came to Maicao to be able to have my baby,” she said in Spanish. “To be able to work, to be able to help myself. I’m here because of this crisis.”

                  Because of Colombia’s citizenship laws, her baby became one of 24,000 children in the South American country who were born “apátrida” –  stateless, without a country to call home. Though Colombia is putting in place measures to protect babies like Rodriguez’s, human rights activists worry that those measures are only a temporary solution for a bigger problem.

                  A ‘legal limbo’

                  A stateless person is someone who is not considered a citizen of any country, . Being stateless often is caused by a lack of birthright citizenship, the legal right to citizenship given children born in a country’s territory.

                  As a result of the exodus of more than 3.7 million Venezuelans from their country, 24,000 Venezuelan babies have been born stateless in Colombia since the beginning of the crisis, according to government data from June.

                  Colombian law dictates that if at least one parent did not have citizenship or legal permanent residency – a miniscule percentage of the Venezuelans arriving at the country’s doorsteps – the child would not receive Colombian citizenship. That’s created a growing number of stateless infants in Colombia, the biggest receiver of the migrants.

                  That, in turn, made way for what experts called a “more vulnerable” population within an already desperate group of people fleeing Venezuela because stateless individuals often lack access to medical services, education or the ability to vote. They’re effectively in a “legal limbo,” said Juliana Vengoechea, a researcher with the Open Society Foundation, a U.S.-based group that funds independent human rights and justice groups.

                  “They’re stuck in a country without rights, but then they’re not able to exercise freedom of movement,” Vengoechea said.

                  That changed in August when Colombian President Ivan Duque decreed that Colombia would make an exception for children born to Venezuelan parents and give Colombian citizenship to those children and to babies born over the next two years.

                  Human rights defenders called the decree a temporary fix to a larger problem. They worry that the damage done by Colombia’s constitution may have had a ripple effect on the children and their families.

                  “The constitution of Colombia is still the same,” said Florencia Reggiardo, attorney and coordinator of the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness.

                  Venezuela’s migration crisis began in 2016, when the economy went into a freefall and brought with it shortages in food and medicine and an emerging medical crisis. As the situation worsened in 2018 and 2019, pregnant women such as Rodriguez flooded into Colombia to give birth and seek medical aid difficult to find in Venezuela.

                  “There was nothing,” Rodriguez said. “Here, at least I have the chance of getting the medical services.”

                  For years, Colombia did not provide automatic birthright citizenship – or jus soli, the “right to the soil” – to those simply born in the nation. Though Rodriguez’s baby did qualify for citizenship in Venezuela, it’s virtually impossible to obtain. Rodriguez and her baby would have to travel back to Venezuela, but the country is sinking deeper into political violence, food and medicine shortages.

                  Though Colombia’s rule change marks a significant turning point for the children born without a nationality, Reggiardo said, the country will struggle to provide legal status to those children because many parents don’t know their children were born without a nationality in the first place.

                  ‘Not valid for nationality’

                  Up until August, the parents were given a “certificado nacido vivo,” a birth certificate that many mistook as testament their child is a Colombian citizen.

                  A line at the bottom said otherwise: “Not valid for nationality.”

                  That important fact was largely unknown among many of the women streaming across the Venezuela border.

                  In the maternity ward in Hospital San Jose, a public hospital in Maicao, about half the women interviewed by USA TODAY said they thought their baby would be born Colombian. Most others said they thought their child would be Venezuelan.

                  Mothers such as Liliana Gonzalez, 23, were simply confused.

                  Gonzalez had been staying in a dusty, informal migrant settlement on the border and, like Rodriguez, had come to Maicao to give birth. She wanted to have her baby in her home of Maracaibo – a city devastated by the blackouts that swept through Venezuela in March – but had to flee to Colombia for medical care.

                  “I’m scared, because I don’t know if he’s Venezuelan or Colombian,” Gonzalez said in May, peering down at her newborn baby snuggled in the crook of her arm. “I don’t have a paper that tells me, well, who he is.”

                  As Colombia attempts to resolve its emerging human rights crisis, it’s unclear how many of the parents of these babies will know what resources they have to access their child’s nationality, or even know that their child doesn’t have a nationality.

                  This lack of knowledge of resources and basic documentation has been one of the core problems in the exodus of millions of migrants from Venezuela. Migrants cross the Venezuela border in desperate conditions, sometimes walking for days and in various states of starvation or deteriorated health. They often lack basic documentation such as valid passports because it’s become practically impossible to access those papers in the collapsing country.

                  For many, the complex legal maze that the statelessness situation presented is not the foremost concern; rather, it’s more basic human needs such as access to food, shelter and work.

                  Birthright citizenship around the world

                  Birthright citizenship gained an international spotlight after President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise that he would end the U.S. constitutional right of birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

                  Trump railed against the idea of migrants using their child’s birthright citizenship to stay in the USA without being deported. In October, the president told the Axios website in an interview that he wanted to use his executive power to end birthright citizenship.

                  “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years … with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

                  More than 30 other countries have similar birthright citizenship laws, most in the Western Hemisphere. Other countries that eliminated birthright citizenship have seen the rise of stateless populations, sometimes referred to as “ghost citizens.”

                  Worldwide, about 15 million people are stateless, according to the Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), an international nonprofit group. Every year, about 70,000 children are born into statelessness, according to the ISI.

                  For decades in the Caribbean, undocumented Haitian women fleeing deep poverty crossed to the neighboring nation of the Dominican Republic.

                  They gave birth to children who were legally Dominican, but for years, the Dominican government imposed increasingly stricter birthright citizenship policies on children of Haitian descent. In 2013, a ruling stripped Dominican nationality from anyone born to undocumented parents or grandparents since 1929.

                  Those residents were unable to access education or medical services, find work or vote in the only place they had ever called home. As part of the long history of persecution of people of Haitian descent in the country, they became victims of xenophobic attacks and even expulsion from the Dominican Republic, according to Jonathan Katz, a national fellow at the D.C.-based New America who  covered Haitian statelessness as a journalist for The Associated Press.

                  “It’s like all the things they need to do to live a healthy and complete life have suddenly been made impossible for them,” he said.

                  Only ones who benefit are smugglers

                  Colombia’s legal framework may have had a ripple effect as the exodus of migrants spreads across Latin America. Colombia is the largest receiver of Venezuelans in the world and has accepted more than 1.2 million migrants. It’s a transit zone, a place Venezuelans pass through on their way to countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina, which have all accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants.

                  Those children born stateless who passed into other countries will effectively remain stateless, Reggiardo said, forced to return to Colombia or Venezuela to gain legal recognition.

                  “A big problem is the children that were born in Colombia with this (legal) situation, who after that, migrate again with their parents to other countries in the region,” she said. “These children, they have to travel to Colombia to request their nationality.”

                  For many who arrive on their last leg to other countries around Latin America without food, shelter or documentation, that journey back is impossible.

                  They continue in the shadows, probably without access to education, more complex medical services or the right to legally migrate. Francisco Quintana, Andean director for the Center for Justice and International Law, an international legal initiative to protect human rights in the Americas, said migrants with those children could be forced into the hands of human traffickers or into dangerous situations to cross borders.

                  “The fear is that people will not stop,” he said. “With more walls, more papers, migration does not stop, and the only people that are benefited by these situations are the smugglers.”

                  Some have already been pushed into drastic circumstances.

                  Venezuelan migrant Nairobi Correa Martinez stood in a migrant soup kitchen in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia, in February as her 4-year-old daughter, Fabiana, brushed her small hand on her mother’s bulging pregnant belly.

                  They left their country at the beginning of the year, so Correa could give birth outside Venezuela. She, like many migrants from Venezuela, hadn’t had a single checkup for her pregnancy.

                  “Imagine being sick and unable to get anything practically ever,” she said. “It’s hard to get anything. All of it, medicine, toiletries, sustenance. Right now, everything is horrible.”

                  The goal was to stay for a month in Colombia to give birth. The border wasn’t what she expected, and it was hard on them. It was impossible for her to find work because business owners wouldn’t let her bring her young daughter along. They landed at the doors of a soup kitchen, accepting plates of food they wouldn’t have been able to afford outside.

                  Correa said that when she first heard murmurings that if she gave birth in Colombia, her child might face issues with citizenship, she decided she had to go back to Venezuela. There was no food, not even the most basic medicine, but she had family and the assurance that her baby would be Venezuelan.

                   “Yes, I’m scared, but at the same time, I have to do it,” Correa said.

                  Though Colombia’s decree in August is an important step, said Reggiardo, the attorney, it is a short-term one.

                  “If we have a solution solely based on solidarity, it means that these are only temporary, and for a specific situation as it is this one,” she said, “I mean, what is going to happen to children born from other nationalities?”


                    The Trump administration moved on Monday to weaken how it applies the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act, ordering changes that critics said will speed the loss of animals and plants at a time of record global extinctions.

                    The action, which expands the administration’s rewrite of U.S. environmental laws, is the latest that targets protections, including for water, air and public lands. Two states — California and Massachusetts, frequent foes of President Trump’s environmental rollbacks — promised lawsuits to try to block the changes in the law. So did some conservation groups.

                    Pushing back against the criticism, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and other administration officials contend the changes improve efficiency of oversight while continuing to protect rare species.

                    “The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species,” he said in a statement. “An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation.”

                    Under the enforcement changes, officials for the first time will be able to publicly attach a cost to saving an animal or plant. Blanket protections for creatures newly listed as threatened will be removed. Among several other changes, the action could allow the government to disregard the possible impact of climate change, which conservation groups call a major and growing threat to wildlife.

                    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

                    The Endangered Species Act is credited with helping save the bald eagle, California condor and scores of other animals and plants from extinction since President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973. The act currently protects more than 1,600 species in the United States and its territories.

                    While the nearly half-century-old act has been overwhelmingly successful in saving animals and plants that are listed as endangered, battles over some of the listings have been yearslong and legendary. They have pitted northern spotted owls, snail darters and other creatures and their protectors against industries, local opponents and others in court and political fights. Republican lawmakers have pushed for years to change the law itself.

                    John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Monday’s changes in enforcement were “a good start” but he would continue working to change the act.

                    Previous Trump administration actions have proposed changes to other bedrock environmental laws — the clean water and clean air acts. The efforts include repealing an Obama-era act meant to fight climate change by getting dirtier-burning coal-fired power plants out of the country’s electrical grid, rolling back tough Obama administration mileage standards for cars and light trucks and lifting federal protections for millions of miles of waterways and wetlands.

                    Monday’s changes “take a wrecking ball to one of our oldest and most effective environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act,” Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, said in a statement. “As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection — no matter how effective or popular — is safe from this administration.”

                    One of Monday’s changes includes allowing the federal government to raise in the decision-making process the possible economic cost of listing a species. That’s despite the fact that Congress has stipulated that economic costs not be a factor in deciding whether to protect an animal. The prohibition was meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections for a forest-dwelling animal on economic grounds.

                    Gary Frazer, an assistant director at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told reporters that the government would adhere to that stipulation by disclosing the costs to the public without it being a factor for the officials as they consider the protections.

                    Price tag or no, Frazer said, federal officials would keep selecting and rejecting creatures from the endangered species list as Congress required, “solely on the basis of the best available scientific information and without consideration for the economic impacts.”

                    “Nothing in here in my view is a radical change for how we have been consulting and listing species for the last decade or so,” Frazer added.

                    But Brett Hartl, a government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity conservation group, contended any such price tag would be inflated, and “an invitation for political interference” in the decision whether to save a species.

                    “You have to be really naive and cynical and disingenuous to pretend” otherwise, Hartl said. “That’s the reason that Congress way back … prohibited the Service from doing that,” he said. “It’s a science question: Is a species going extinct, yes or no?”

                    A United Nations report warned in May that more than 1 million plants and animals globally face extinction, some within decades, owing to human influence, climate change and other threats. The report called the rate of species loss a record.

                    In Washington state, Ray Entz, wildlife director for the Kalispel tribe, spoke of losing the struggle to save the last wild mountain caribou in the lower 48 states, despite the creature’s three decades on the Endangered Species List. With logging and other human activities and predators driving down the numbers of the south Selkirk caribou, Canadian officials captured and penned the last surviving members of the species over the winter for their protection.

                    “There were some tears shed,” Entz said, of the moment when tribal officials realized the animal had dwindled in the wild past the point of saving. “It was a tough pill to swallow.”

                    Despite the disappearance of the protected caribou species from the contiguous United States, Entz said, “We don’t want to see a weakening of the law.”

                    “There’s times where hope is something you don’t even want to talk about,” he said. But, “having the Endangered Species Act gives us the opportunity to participate in that recovery.”

                    In Idaho on Monday, meanwhile, officials reported that the state’s sage grouse population has dropped 52% since the federal government decided not to list the birds under the Endangered Species Act in the fall of 2015.

                    Wildfires, as well as oil and gas exploration and farming, have cut into the grouse’s habitat, so that as few as 200,000 are believed to remain out of as many as 16 million a century ago.

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