Jose Gaspar

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    JOSE GASPAR: Politics are putting undocumented people in harm's way

    By Jose Gaspar
    Sunday, Feb 15 2015 03:00 PM

    As they say in the real estate business, it's all about location, location, location. The same philosophy appears to be the case for undocumented immigrants who apply for a U visa. A bipartisan Congress created the U visa program in 2000 under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Realizing that undocumented immigrants are prime targets of violent crimes who are afraid to speak out because of their legal status, the intent was to give these victims an incentive to cooperate with law enforcement to catch the perpetrators without fear of deportation.

    People granted a U visa can temporarily live and work in the country while his or her case makes its way through the judicial system. Ultimately, it is the U.S. Citizenship...

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    JOSE GASPAR: New Kern judge did it just like Honest Abe

    When Bakersfield attorney Marcos Camacho passed the state bar exam in 1986, he was elated at having achieved a longtime personal goal. "I really wanted to be a lawyer," said Camacho, who handles criminal, family, immigration law, and wage...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Hola, Cuba!

    With a little help from a higher power, the United States and Cuba are finally restoring diplomatic relations. Que bueno! The two countries just 90 miles apart from each other have not seen eye to eye in more than 50 years. President...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Displaced Arvin residents happy to be back home for Christmas

    You know that feeling you get when you've been away from home for a while either because you're on vacation, a work-related assignment or something else? You get tired and feel out of sorts sleeping somewhere other than your own bed. And...

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    JOSE GASPAR: 20-somethings a new political force in Arvin

    One of the disappointing things about the midterm elections held Nov. 4 was the poor voter turnout at all levels. In Kern County, just 39.2 percent of registered voters thought it important enough to vote. Conventional wisdom often takes...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Immigration action to bring some out of the shadows

    When she would leave her home in the morning to go to work in the fields, Bakersfield resident Ester Cervantes would first check in with her sleeping children. "I would look at them and wonder if I might not ever see them again should I...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Trip to Mexico debunks perceptions

    My wife and I recently went on vacation. We chose to go to a place that is often in the news, where reports of wild shootouts between gunmen and law enforcement or even the military take place in broad daylight. Family on both sides...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Is it time for Latinos to part ways with the Democratic Party?

    Cal State professor Edna Molina will not be voting for any Democrats in the November midterm election, which is now less than one month away. "Democratic leaders need to get the message that they won't get the Latino vote (sorry to say,...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Church addresses abuse allegations in very public way

    The priest approached the podium as he does every Sunday ready to give a sermon. Except this time he did not. With a somber look and holding a document in his hand, the priest said, "Instead of a homily, I've been asked by the bishop to...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Immigrant youth can succeed -- so let them

    Would you expect a 19-year-old to be a) in college; b) working full-time; c) partying at every opportunity; d) a homeowner? Thinking back to what I was doing at 19, answer c would likely be the top answer. But Brenda Ruiz is no ordinary...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Teen, tenacious mom working hard to save young lives

    While some well-known public figures have emerged from Kern County, there are lesser-known individuals who fly under the radar while working for the benefit of their neighbors. They seek no political office, but are just as determined to...

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    JOSE GASPAR: Here's a thought, McFarland: hire police with clean records

    Help wanted: Looking for a person to be police chief in a small northern city in Kern County. Pay not all that great, but excellent career opportunity. Serious inquiries only. If interested, contact McFarland City Manager John Wooner....

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    JOSE GASPAR: Nellie Martinez enters a new chapter in life

    If there's a positive side to working in the news business, it's that it can bring you to know people who have faced the most tragic losses and yet somehow are able to endure, achieve and rise above adversity. One such person is Nellie...

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