by the El Reportero’s wire services
The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, declared on Sunday, April 24, eight days of national mourning in honor of the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country last April 16.
The earthquake affected the whole country, especially, the province of Manabi and the southern region of Esmeraldas.
The death toll from the quake rose in the last hours to 654.
According to a report, until 18:30 on Saturday the number of missing people was 68, the number of injured people reached 16.601 and 25.640 people are staying in shelters. The text adds that 113 people were rescued alive.
The powerful earthquake destroyed or affected 9.730 buildings in Manta, Portoviejo, Pedernales, Canoeing, Jama, Bahia de Caraquez, Muisne and other cities in the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas.
According to the Ecuadorian authorities, once the stage of search and rescue of survivors is completed, the government will focus on providing temporary shelters for the victims, and then will start the reconstruction phase.
The national government sympathizes with the families of the victims and will provide all the support required, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Correa expressed his eternal gratitude to the international community and to the general public for the many expressions of solidarity due to what he called the worst tragedy suffered by Ecuador in almost 70 years.
MALDEF wins court order blocking Texas immigrant harboring law
HB 11 provision targeted homeless shelters and landlords
SAN ANTONIO, TX – A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on April 14, blocking the immigrant harboring provision of HB11, which was enacted in the 2015 Texas Legislative Session. Judge Ezra, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, ruled that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on their claim that the Texas immigrant harboring law is preempted by federal law: “Congress created a federal statutory scheme regarding the harboring and transporting of undocumented aliens so pervasive that it left no room in this area for the state of Texas to supplement it.” Slip Op. at 39.
Judge Ezra also concluded that the Texas immigrant harboring law conflicted with federal harboring law in key respects and thus was likely preempted. Slip Op. at 41-49.
Although the court dismissed two other claims put forward by the plaintiffs, the court held that because the Texas immigrant harboring provision was likely unconstitutional, it should be blocked.
The Texas immigrant harboring provision in HB 11 created a new state felony offense under which individuals could be arrested and prosecuted for providing shelter or renting a home to undocumented immigrants.
“Residents and taxpayers are ill-served by elected officials who continue to legislate in service of short-term political opportunism, rather than in answer to critical needs of residents,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “Texas should respond to this court order by reorienting its lawmaking away from anti-immigrant posturing.”
The plaintiffs in the case are two landlords who do not ask tenants for proof of immigration status as a condition of renting property, the Executive Director of RAICES, an organization that provides shelter and legal services to undocumented immigrants, and the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas.
“The Texas immigrant harboring law placed everyday businesses and charities at risk of criminal prosecution,” stated Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation and lead counsel in the case. “Texas now has the dubious distinction of having joined all the other states whose attempts to regulate immigration have been struck down by the federal courts,” continued Perales. (By MAlDEF).