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Janet Napolitano asks ICE to apply more scrutiny


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks. She is asking federal immigration agents to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, according to the Washington Post.

"ICE is now scrutinizing these cases more thoroughly to ensure that (targets) are being taken down when they should be taken down, and that the employer is being targeted and the surveillance and the investigation being done how it should be done," said one official.

Pro-immigrant groups have hailed the review.

Tip on tax tricks

SACRAMENTO -- The California Tax Education Council is warning consumers to beware of thousands of illegal tax preparers who are doing business statewide and use the last-minute rush to prey on uninformed or distracted taxpayers.

The council's suggestions:

Verify that the tax preparer is an attorney, certified public accountant, registered tax preparer, or enrolled agent.

Be aware that no tax preparer can guarantee you a refund, at least not legally.

Do not trust a tax preparer who claims only your signature is required to prepare your return.


Leslie Farms workers sought

The Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB) and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation are seeking former farmworkers at Leslie Farms. The tomato and strawberry grower in north San Diego County is known to many workers as "Los Diablos."

Up to $400,000 is available to pay workers as a result of a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by former workers who claimed the company did not pay all wages owed them for overtime and other hours worked.

Eligible claimants must mail their claims no later than April 30, 2009 in order to receive money.

The settlement involves workers who were employed by the company between July 23, 1999 and July 22, 2003.

Details: Dorothy A. Johnson at (619) 370-1783.

Buscan trabajadores

La Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB) y Fundación de Asistencia Rural de California (CRLA, siglas en inglés) están busacando trabajadores en el caso de Leslie Farms, o "Los Diablos." Si usted trabajaba con Los Diablos entre el 23 de julio del 1999 y el 22 de julio del 2003, estará eligible para reclamar dinero de un arreglo en un caso colectivo entablado con la corte.

Detalles: Dorothy A. Johnson al (619) 370-1783.


River poetry & music

FRESNO -- Puerto Rican poet Víctor Hernández Cruz will be among poets who will be featured at River Rock, a celebration of poetry and music organized by the San Joaquín River Parkway Trust from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (April 11).

Hernández Cruz is the founder of the East Harlem Gut Theater and author of 'Maraca: Selected Poems.'

A writers workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The festival will be at 11605 Old Friant Road. Admission is $5 per car load.

Details: Tim Z. Hernández at (559) 248-8480.

Horizon Awards

FRESNO -- The Fresno Arts Council will honor the League of Mexican American Women and musician Patrick Contreras, among other recipients, during the Horizon Awards Ceremony on Thursday (April 9.)

The award recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made significant contributions to the community through excellence in the arts.

The awards ceremony is at 6 p.m. in the Fresno City Council Chambersl, and a reception will follow the ceremony. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at the FAC office or at the ceremony.

RSVP to Maria Franco at or call (559) 237--9734.

Latina women's confab

FRESNO -- The Central California Chamber of Commerce's 13th annual Latina Women's Conference will be held Wednesday (April 8) at the Radisson Hotel in Fresno from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mary Galván Rosas, deputy director of the Department of Consumer Affairs' Consumer and Community Empowermnet Division, will be the keynote speaker.

The event will include a trade fair, fashion show, workshops, vendor booths, and networking. For more information and to register for business courses, visit