Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Immigrant from India helps others find first jobs

Often the people who can help immigrants the most are other immigrants. They know what is needed. DP

By ANASTASIA USTINOVA, Houston Chronicle Harb Hayre has helped thousands of legal immigrants find their first jobs in the United States since he founded the nonprofit CEI Education Specialists in 1994.

Hayre, who came to the United States from Punjab, India, more than 40 years ago, helps evaluate foreign diplomas and offers career counseling to professionals from all over the world.

Hayre recently spoke with the Chronicle's Anastasia Ustinova about his job.

Q: Many immigrants who come to the Unites States have received education in their native countries. How can you evaluate their diplomas?

A: We look at their credentials, and we check if they have finished high school. We discuss their background. We check their experience. We evaluate the transcripts of all countries and all subjects, and for various purposes: for jobs, for admission to colleges and universities, for professional certifications like teachers and engineers.

Q: Adjusting in a new country may be hard even for those with professional experience and good résumés. What are some common challenges your clients face?

A: They usually don't know where to go, what to do, unless someone guides them in a professional sense. To clients who don't know the language, we recommend they start speaking English at home and with friends right away, or go to a church where they teach English. If they go to the colleges, it sometimes can take years. They can pick up an intensive English program in a church.
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

‘Immigrants Bring Crime’ Is a Myth

Note: Government and academic studies prove decisively that the common belief that immigrants, especially undocumented ones, bring criminality is based on a big lie. Walter Ewing is a Research Associate at the Immigration Policy Center. IMMIGRATION MATTERS regularly features the views of the nation's leading immigrant rights advocates.

New America Media, Walter Ewing Among the many troubling aspects of the public debate over immigration is the power of myths over facts. One of the most enduring myths about immigration, despite literally decades of evidence to the contrary, is the belief that immigrants are more likely to commit crime than the native-born.

This myth is so widespread and unquestioned that it has been the catalyst for scores of local governments to consider anti-immigrant ordinances over the past year. These calls to crack down on undocumented immigrants, the employers who hire them and the landlords who rent to them, are framed in part as “anti-crime” ordinances.

Government and academic studies, however, have demonstrated repeatedly for over a century that immigrants actually are less likely to commit crimes than the native-born. Even though immigration has increased dramatically over the past decade and a half, the crime rate in the United States has declined.
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Immigrants race to apply for citizenship

People should apply for citizenship as soon as they are eligible, especially since there is such a backlog and it takes a long time to get it finished. DP

Applications jump 79 percent this year as fee increases, new test and other changes in law loom

By Anna Gorman and Jennifer Delson, LOS ANGELES TIMES Citizenship applications are skyrocketing across the nation as green-card holders rush to avoid a proposed fee increase, a revised civics test and possible changes in immigration law.

Applications filed in Los Angeles and six surrounding counties shot up to 18,024 in January from 7,334 in the same month last year, a 146 percent increase, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nationwide, the number hit 95,622, up from 53,390, a 79 percent increase.

The jump is the largest in a decade, officials said. The numbers of applications first spiked last March with mass immigrant rights rallies and saw the most dramatic increase after the new year.

The filings are expected to continue as Congress prepares to restart the debate on immigration reform.

"Every time we have this much talk of immigration in the news and on the Hill, we get a lot more interest," said CIS spokeswoman Marie Sebrechts. "We tend to see a surge in applications."
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

More immigrants applying to become citizens

I'm happy to hear that people who have been eligible, often for many years, are applying for citizenship. They can vote, have all the rights of citizenship and help make a difference in the country. DP

By Mike Madden, Gannett News Service WASHINGTON — More immigrants applied to become U.S. citizens last year than any year since 1999, thanks largely to the national debate over border security and illegal immigration.

Government officials, advocates for immigrants and demographers said the increased applications mirrored a similar spike about a decade ago, the last time illegal immigration was so prominent in national politics.

Applications for citizenship increased more than 19 percent over the 2005 fiscal year, with 721,268 immigrants seeking to become naturalized in fiscal 2006, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials. A total of 696,020 new citizens were sworn in during 2006.

“Every time there's an immigration debate, there's always a big surge in applications for naturalization,” said Dan Kane, a spokesman for the agency.
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California Needs Immigrants: Some Startling Facts

An opinion piece about education of immigrants being a good investment for the state and country. DP

By Peter Schrag

californiaprogressreport.comm: Question: Who are the five biggest California homebuyers these days?

Answer: Garcia, Hernandez, Rodriguez, Lopez and Martinez.

No, this isn't a joke or a fantasy. According to Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California, those were the five most common names of California homebuyers in 2005, the most recent year for which he has data. In the nation as a whole, four of the 10 most common homebuyers' names are Latino. Five years ago it was two out of 10.

The story, of course, is evidence for a much larger point: Immigrants don't just "pile up" as unskilled, undereducated burdens on the economy like so many Peter Pans who never grow up or change. They learn English, get jobs and buy homes.

And as boomers retire in the coming generation, those immigrants and their children represent the core of California's labor force and, ultimately, much of the nation's as well.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

New year, old ways

A wonderful story about the way these families are combining American culture with their heritage. It shows that it is not an easy thing to do either. DP

Chinese school grows as parents keep traditions alive

By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff Between reciting Chinese poetry and performing traditional dance routines, kids munched on McDonald's fries and hunched over Game Boy consoles.

They were preparing a pageant to celebrate the Chinese New Year, 4075, the Year of the Pig, which starts Sunday.

Mothers helped their daughters slip out of Disney Princess backpacks and into white tutus. Teachers hustled children clutching paper fans and flowers on and off the stage at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Framingham.

Trying to keep the dress rehearsal for last weekend's performance on track, Century Chinese Language School director Lina Chen commandeered a microphone and issued rapid-fire instructions in Chinese, punctuated by a single word in English: "Listen!"

A decade ago, the school had four parent-volunteers and 28 students. Today, it has 40 teachers and enrolls 210 children, ranging from preschool to high school, in language and culture classes every Sunday afternoon on the Mass Bay Framingham campus.

The purpose is to help American-born, English-speaking children of Chinese immigrants bridge the gulf between their ancestry and modern US culture.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Legislation to aid immigrants is 'American-dream thing,' supporter says

This law would help attract workers to a state that needs workers to replace their aging population. DP

BY DENNIS LIEN, Pioneer Press Immigrants in Minnesota would get more help becoming citizens, attending college, and getting work under a legislative package announced Wednesday by House and Senate lawmakers.

The proposals would help the state attract the workers it needs to replace an aging bulge of workers who will be leaving their jobs over the next decade or so, they said.

"This is a good-justice thing,'' said Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul. "It's an American-dream thing.''

Portions of the package have been debated in past legislative sessions, but have not passed either chamber. The package, which is being introduced in four separate bills, would:

• Provide immigrants access to tax credits for naturalization fees, which will increase from $400 to $600 this summer.

• Enable immigrant children who have attended Minnesota high schools for at least three years and graduated to get in-state tuition rates at state colleges.

• Establish the Minnesota Commission on New Americans, which would identify resources for immigrants and would work with businesses.

• Urge Congress to pass immigrations laws that would expand the number of work visas, reimburse hospitals for emergency care of undocumented immigrants, and pay for civics and English classes.

John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, said it's unclear how many people would be affected by the various bills. About 7,300 people became new citizens in Minnesota in 2005, and 300 to 500 people could benefit from the in-state tuition proposal, he added.

Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, said the number of students graduating from Minnesota high schools will peak next year, meaning fewer youths will be entering the workforce. For Minnesota to maintain its economic health, help must come from people who arrive here from other states or nations, Rest added.

"Immigrants are vitally important to our state and they've always been important,'' Mariani said.

Immigrants find success as entrepreneurs

Stories of a few immigrants who are entrepreneurs and have their own businesses now. DP

By ELIZABETH LLORENTE, STAFF WRITER Herminio Morales did the odd jobs so familiar to new immigrants: He worked as a dishwasher, a busboy and a factory worker.

The toiling helped put food on the table, but it also seemed a dead end to Morales, who left a life of poverty in Mexico with dreams of someday owning a home and living comfortably in the United States.

"It meant long, long hours working for someone else, and hardly any time for me to spend with my family, and to devote to doing things to help me really advance in this country, things like learning English," Morales said.

So he followed another familiar immigrant path -- he scraped together some hard-earned savings, and went into business for himself.

He dabbled in a few -- investment properties, tortilla manufacturing -- before opening up a travel agency in Passaic nearly 15 years ago right in the heart of the city's mushrooming Mexican community.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Demand for ESL teachers growing

Laid off teachers are finding a new job in their own districts. A good idea for any laid off teacher anywhere. DP

Simone Sebastian, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Math teacher Jane Jones calls her pink slip from the Columbus Public Schools a blessing in disguise.

Facing unemployment because of district budget cuts last year, Jones started training to teach immigrant students, a move that could ensure she stays employed from now on.

"There was a rumor that there was a need" for teachers who can work with students who don’t speak English well, Jones said. "It will make me more desirable and able to keep a job."

There was a time when the scarcity of math teachers would have made Jones’ job secure. Now, the demand for educators with skills to teach students with limited English is on the rise statewide.

While Columbus has cut positions in math and science because of a decline in overall student enrollment, the schools’ demand for teachers of English as a Second Language has grown about 10 percent per year, said Craig Bickley, the district’s executive director of human resources.

Ohio’s population of ESL students has skyrocketed in recent years.

Ten years ago, Columbus had fewer than 900. Now, it has more than 3,618.
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Early education

Knowing that the children will learn and favor English in school, these pre-schoolers are prepared for school, but taught in Spanish. This should help them to grow up bilingual. DP

Program prepares Latino kids for school, preserves culture

By Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune Twice a week, a basement room at the old Midvale City Hall comes alive with the city's youngest constituents: children ages 1 to 5. La Escuelita, an early education program for Latino children, is in session.

The program has an obvious goal: Get the children ready for school and teach their parents, many of whom have only an elementary school education, how to help.

But it also has a more subtle aim: Give Latino children a firm foundation in Spanish so they do not lose their native language skills once they begin public school.

"Families who've migrated to Midvale realize that once the children get in school, their Spanish practically disappears," said Mauricio Agramont, community developer. "Parents want to keep a solid base of their native language so as [their children] grow up they become fully bilingual as adults."

Within a year or two of entering public school, most children start to become fluent in English but their literacy in Spanish begins to fade.

"By the next generation, Spanish will be out of their lives," Agramont said. "We keep hearing over and over, 'I wish I had done something so my kids had kept their language' because it's an advantage to be bilingual."
So Midvale created La Escuelita, a preschool program that is conducted almost entirely in Spanish.
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Let's Keep Skilled Immigrants in the U.S.

Because of our immigration policies, we are losing highly skilled workers who have studied here and want to stay. We need immigration reform, we are training these people and then other countries get them. DP

In order to stay on top of the rapidly changing global economy, the U.S. needs to make it easier for foreign talent to stay in the country

by Vivek Wadhwa Here's a story about an immigrant realizing the American Dream—well, almost. In 1996, Denis Kholodar won first prize in a national engineering contest in Russia and came to the U.S. to complete a PhD in aerospace engineering. His professor and adviser at Duke University, Earl Dowell, who describes Kholodar as one of the brightest students he has ever worked with, took him under his wing. Together, they pioneered new techniques in aerodynamic modeling to reduce wing flutter in jet aircraft.

After earning his PhD, Kholodar landed a fellowship with the U.S. Air Force. For eight years, he didn't leave the U.S. out of fear of not being able to re-enter—he says re-entry background checks on Russian scientists can take as long as six months. Though Kholodar wanted to remain in the U.S. and make it his home, he had to leave when his visa expired last year. His trajectory illustrates one of the problems being overlooked in the immigration debate—the losing out on the formidable contributions of legal, skilled immigrants.

Executives of companies like Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) often raise the alarm about their aging workforce and the shortage of engineers (see, 7/10/06, "Engineering Gap? Fact and Fiction"). Yet Kholodar says both companies wouldn't interview him when he applied for a job because he wasn't a permanent resident. (Both declined to comment.) Kholodar points out that hiring a nonresident requires extensive paperwork. And the U.S. Air Force couldn't hire him because he wasn't a citizen.
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Employers, laborers find center welcome relief

This center helps the people find work and get some English classes while they are waiting. DP

By Bill Dipaolo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer JUPITER — A blue ticket can get Rito Hernandez $12 an hour.

That's why the 33-year-old Mexico native was outside Jupiter's Neighborhood Resource Center at 6 a.m. on a recent Friday morning. Three hours later, he was joined by about 120 others, who wrote their names on blue and red tickets that go into two plastic lottery jars.

If their tickets are chosen, they land jobs as landscapers, cleaners and painters. The laborers - almost all men, most younger than 40 and from Guatemala and Mexico - said the center is a welcome relief from their former outdoor pick-up spot along Center Street.

"Here, there is control. There was no control on Center Street. Here, I know everybody," said the painter and landscaper.

When the center opened, Jupiter passed an ordinance making contractors or laborers subject to a $500 fine if they solicit work on Jupiter's streets. Since then, laborers are gone from Center Street, said Moss Jahan Begum, the assistant manager at the Circle K on Center Street.

"They were everywhere, sitting and standing," Begum said.

Since opening five months ago, the center has registered about 1,200 workers, who must show proof they live in Jupiter or the town's unincorporated areas. About 1,500 employers have registered. About two-thirds of the employers are homeowners, the rest are business owners. Although center officials don't ask applicants immigration status, they estimate that about one-third of the workers are illegal. Catholic Charities of Palm Beach Inc. operates the center on the southwest corner of Military Trail and Indiantown Road. The non-profit organization obtained a $180,000 grant and signed a three-year lease last summer to rent the building, the former site of LifeSong Church, from Jupiter for $1 a year.

Original plans called for weekday hours only, but the center now is open seven days a week and English classes are taught at night. More hours mean the grant money will be used up by August, said Tom Bila, executive director of Catholic Charities. The Palm Beach Gardens-based charity pays two full-time employees. Friends of El Sol and the Hispanic advocacy group Corn Maya also provide support.
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Study shows immigrants 'a real engine' for growth

Highly skilled immigrant entrepreneurs are starting many new businesses, not just small shops and restaurants. This story give figures on several US cities. DP

By Edward Iwata, USA TODAY The growing number of immigrant entrepreneurs in major U.S. cities is giving a huge lift to urban economies and even outpacing self-employed native-born Americans, according to a report Tuesday.

"It's not just a handful of mom-and-pop enterprises," says Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, a non-profit think tank in New York that conducted the study. "Immigrants have become a real engine for economic and job growth in many sectors."

Immigrants, of course, have started small shops, restaurants and other neighborhood businesses throughout U.S. history.

But with the fast-rising immigrant population in recent years, highly skilled immigrant entrepreneurs in many industries are creating broader "enclave economies" of supermarkets, food-manufacturing companies, health clinics, banks, law firms, high-tech start-ups and other companies.

The report, "A World of Opportunity," says the immigrant economy is thriving in:

•Los Angeles. Immigrants started 22 of the city's 100 fastest-growing businesses, including Red Peacock International, a consumer electronics wholesaler;, an online comparison-shopping store; and Norstar Office Products, a workplace furniture company.

Los Angeles County also boasts more businesses owned by Latinos and Asians than any U.S. county.

•New York. While the number of businesses citywide rose only 9.6% from 1994 to 2004, the number of firms exploded in immigrant neighborhoods such as Flushing (55%), Sunset Park (47%), Sheepshead Bay-Brighton Beach (34%) and Washington Heights (18%).
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Sweet rewards

More success stories of immigrants with their own businesses. DP

Local Cambodian doughnut shop owners: Having own business a dream come true

By Kendyce Manguchei, News-Sentinel Staff Writer "Before we opened the business, I didn't eat doughnuts at all," said Dorra Yonn, the owner of Star Donuts in Lodi.

Her husband and co-owner Jim Yonn, learned everything about the doughnut-making business for a decade before he took a chance and opened Star Donuts in 2002, redesigning a storefront on Kettleman Lane that once housed a sandwich shop.

These days, Dora Yonn said she just has to have a steaming cup of coffee and doughnuts each morning. Her favorite? Raised doughnuts, with maple icing.

The Yonns, like most doughnut shop owners locally and throughout California, are Cambodian immigrants who learned the trade from fellow refugees who entered the United States in the 1970s and '80s.

None of the area's doughnut shop proprietors could think of a doughnut shop that isn't operated by Asian immigrants.

The Cambodian-born owners of doughnut shops in Galt and Lodi said they came to the United States without knowing a word of English, without knowing what to expect, and without modern work skills.
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Immigrants Key to Economic Growth in NYC

Immigrants all over the country are starting more businesses than native born. DP Immigrants in New York City are creating more new businesses than native-born citizens, and they have a similar impact in other major U.S. cities, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report by the New York-based think tank Center for an Urban Future is one response to critics across the country who say America's growing number of immigrants, mostly from Latin America, are straining welfare resources and taking jobs away from citizens.

"Immigrant entrepreneurs remain a shockingly overlooked and little-understood part of cities' economies," the report's authors wrote. The report says cities have done a poor job including immigrant businesses in overall economic planning.

Overall employment in New York City grew by 6.9 percent between 1994 and 2004, but growth in heavily immigrant areas was much higher, the report says. Overall employment in Jackson Heights in the borough of Queens, which has been called the most diverse community in the Unites States, rose by 27.9 percent in the same period. The heavily Asian area of Flushing, also in Queens, saw a 12.1 percent increase.

Over the same period, the number of businesses grew 9.6 percent citywide, but Flushing showed an increase of 54.6 percent.

The report also says Los Angeles County has more Asian-owned and Hispanic-owned businesses than any other county in the United States.

The new report is based on 18 months of research, including analysis of state and federal data and interviews with immigrant business owners and economic development experts.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jornaleros Project in Spring Valley has regular class schedule

More proof that the immigrants want to learn English, but often can't fit a class in. These men are fitting it in. DP

By SUZAN CLARKE, THE JOURNAL NEWS A year ago, the village-based nonprofit program that provides aid to local day laborers resolved to enhance its activities so clients could be better prepared to live and work in America.

That plan has come to fruition.

Now, on any given day at the Jornaleros Project, housed at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the men who come to the center for jobs also have the opportunity to attend free daily morning classes in basic English and computer literacy, weekly seminars on mental and physical health or other topics relevant to life in this country, and a monthly seminar on the law.

There had previously been some instruction or seminars, but the courses have been made a regular part of the program so the workers - most of whom are Hispanic immigrants, many in the country illegally - become more self-reliant.

Ricardo Saravia, the Jornaleros Project's program director, said the changes had been well-received.

Saravia said he felt good about the interest shown in the four weekly classes. The classes, taught by volunteers, started in the fall.

While the men's top priority remains the search for jobs, Saravia said they knew that if they didn't find daily work, they could come to the center and learn something useful.
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Welcome Candy, Sam, & George

One way many immigrants, especially Asians and Arabs, assimilate is to change their names to common American names. DP

Immigrants change countries, and their names
By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff They entered ornate, flag-filled halls, ready to swear their first oaths of allegiance: Jiong Ping Huang from China; Mohammad Hussam Sawar from Syria; Dung Thanh Ho from Vietnam; and Gjergji Cani from Albania.

They emerged after moving ceremonies, bearing proof of their new US citizenship, smiles, and something else. Jiong Ping was now Candy. Mohammad became Sam. Dung was now Brandy. Gjergji became George.

"I adjusted to my new environment," said Cani, a Medford accounts coordinator who immigrated to the United States with his family five years ago. "Here, diversity is the norm, but you have to adapt yourself in this new culture."

The roiling national debate over immigration has been largely driven by questions of how waves of new arrivals are remaking American society.

But the urge to assimilate in the most conspicuous way -- changing one's name -- remains surprisingly strong in this era of cultural diversity.
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Immigrants add spice to Super Bowl parties

Here is another way immigrants have added to our culture. They keep some of theirs and combine it with what was here. DP

By LAUREL FANTAUZZO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS When Ludy Ongkeko arrived in the United States from the Philippines four decades ago, she was baffled by the hoopla over football at the University of Southern California, where she was a doctoral student.
So she bought a player's manual, studied the rules and watched a game on television.

Forty Super Bowl parties later, football is as integral a part of Ongkeko's life as the foods of her homeland — lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), pancit (stir-fried noodles), mechado (beef stew) and steamed rice — are to the game day bashes she hosts.

"We have friends, we're there howling, and, of course, these are the dishes I'm prone to prepare," said Ongkeko, who recently retired to Reno.

For generations, immigrants have flavored American traditions by blending them with their own cultures and cuisines. So it's only fitting that Super Bowl parties — by some accounts nearly as all-American as the Fourth of July — get similar treatment.
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Adults face dearth of ESL classes: The waiting lists are long

There is a 6-18 month wait to get into ESL classes in this community. This same problem exists in almost every city in the country. DP

By JESSICA VAN SACK, The Patriot Ledger It took Federico Meono, 39, six years to find an English-as-a-second-language class that was right for him.

He now pays about $240 for 16 lessons, and travels from Lynn to Randolph to attend classes at American ESL Inc.

‘‘It was really not easy to find,’’ said Meono, who says he came here in 1994 to support his wife and children in his native Guatemala. ‘‘I am always working in restaurants and doing landscaping work.’’

While children are learning English at an improving rate, adults are having a difficult time finding a place to do so themselves.

‘‘There’s a shortage of ESL classes, teachers and money,’’ said Joan Shottenfeld, program coordinator for the adult English as a Second Language classes run by Randolph Public Schools.

Randolph schools have the capacity to teach English to 175 adults. Yet the waiting list to get into one of the classes can be anywhere from six to 18 months, depending on the level of familiarity with English.
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A community takes root

Another group of immigrants settling in our country and fitting in, while keeping some of their own culture alive. DP

Filipinos preserve religious heritage while sharing life in U.S.

By JEREMY HSIEH, The Beaufort Gazette If an American hospital recruiter hadn't paid a visit to the Philippines 11 years ago, Stineli Floresca, a native of the country, her husband and three children probably wouldn't call Beaufort home.
According to 2005 U.S. Census estimates, Floresca and her family are part of the fastest-growing minority population in Beaufort County: Asians.

The Asian population jumped 44 percent from 953 people in 2000 to an estimated 1,372 people in 2005, outpacing the well-publicized increase of the Hispanic population, which grew 35 percent during that time, from 8,208 people to 11,116. Overall, Asians make up about 1 percent of the county population, and Hispanics make up 8.4 percent.

Although a Hispanic subculture has asserted itself in the Lowcountry -- evident through the proliferation of Spanish-language publications, business people stating "Se habla español" in their advertising, churches holding Spanish services and even Wal-Mart selling DVDs from the Hispanic movie industry -- Asian subcultures have been slow to follow suit, with at least one exception.
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Immigrants gone, but at what cost?

When this town passed a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, thousands of immigrants, mostly Brazilians, left town. Now most of the businesses are suffering, many have closed. The immigrants spent their money in the town and now they are missed. DP

Riverside deals with law of unintended consequences.

By Jennifer Moroz, Inquirer Staff Writer In the darkened space still labeled Classroom 2, the desks are gone.

All that's left are a few forgotten pens, some abandoned posters. One titled "Antonyms" contrasts day and night using cartoon illustrations of a sun and moon. Another sign reminds students, in Portuguese, that they are lucky to be studying in one of Riverside's most treasured historic buildings, so please don't write on the walls.

Just a few months ago, there were students in class to read them. Every week, hundreds flocked here, to the second floor of the old Watch Case Tower, to take English lessons at the Harvest Institute.

But a lot has changed in Riverside since local officials passed a controversial ordinance last summer to help deal with - some say crack down on - the thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Brazilians, who have flooded in and around this Burlington County town of 8,000 over the last six or seven years.

Because the law, which bans hiring or renting housing to illegals, is being challenged in state and federal court, it is not being enforced. But even so, the sentiment behind it and uproar surrounding it have been enough to chase out many of the Brazilians.

"They're scared," said Ricelle Martins, a Brazilian who manages the Race Track Cafe in Riverside. "They're moving... anywhere they can."
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FB schools have different view of immigrants

This school is teaching all their children to be bilingual, although the city is cracking down on illegal immigrants. DP

Most students are Hispanic, and state law requires bilingual education

By KATHERINE LEAL UNMUTH / The Dallas Morning News FARMERS BRANCH – On a recent Friday afternoon, a kindergarten class of white, black and Latino children stands in a circle, laughing and singing the hokeypokey in Spanish.

American and Mexican flags hang side by side on the wall at Janie Stark Elementary. The class is part of a pilot dual-language program that teaches students half the day in English and half in Spanish.

In many ways, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district is at odds with the path the city of Farmers Branch is taking with its recent measures targeting illegal immigrants.

The Farmers Branch City Council declared English the official language. But the school district still offers bilingual education – as required by state law – and continues to send mailings and hold parent classes in Spanish and other languages.
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Norwich English learners outnumber spots in classes

People from many different countries are learning English and, as in most cities, there are not enough classes to hold them all. These people understand how important it is to learn English. DP

By ADAM BOWLES, Norwich Bulletin NORWICH -- It has become a fact of life at Norwich Adult Education.

Every year, 350 foreign-born students, mostly from China and Haiti, but also Peru, Cape Verde and other countries, and most of them legal, sign up for English as a Second Language classes.

Every year, there is a waiting list of about 80 people.

The hunger to learn English as a way to land a better job, communicate with neighbors and simplify day-to-day living continues to drive people to the classes, which began Tuesday.

Apparently, the latest wave of immigrants to Norwich and the region -- a migration still prompted by available casino jobs -- is steadily growing, with 70 new students this year.
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Monday, February 05, 2007

Immigrants reshape Hillsboro

This article shows how a city has changed from all Anglo to mostly Asian and Hispanic. It tells how there are some good results and some bad ones. DP

The city finds itself a "petri dish" of racial and ethnic relations as a swelling Latino and Asian population puts a new face on the onetime farm community

ANGIE CHUANG and ESMERALDA BERMUDEZ HILLSBORO -- Laurence Hughes and her husband, Steve, are one of the last remaining Anglo families along Southeast Oak Street where they settled 25 years ago. For roughly 10 square blocks, Latinos have moved in. Taco trucks line the streets and Spanish banda music flows from backyard family celebrations.

"You see a lot of families and kids," says Laurence Hughes, a French and Spanish high school teacher who likes dropping into the Mexican bakery down the street for sweet bread. "They live their lives out a lot in the front yard. It makes it lively, makes it human."

Yet she hesitates to walk her dogs because the heavy traffic agitates them and, she says, Latino men sometimes gawk at her.

It's this mix of discomfort and attraction that casts Hillsboro as a real-world laboratory for the forces rapidly reshaping Oregon into a more populous, diverse and, some say, divided state.

Once a traditional farm town, Oregon's fifth-largest city has more than doubled since 1990, adding nearly 50,000 residents because of the surging high-tech economy. Today, migrant farm laborers shift to service and construction jobs while other immigrants design Pentium processors.
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Michigan Hmong

An interesting story about the Hmong people getting into university in Michigan. DP

From China to Laos, Thailand to Detroit, the Hmong have been searching for a home. Is the university it? A concentrated piece of limbo between the industrial hum of Warren and the trickling sprawl toward downtown, Northeast Detroit is a fiefdom ruled by Cash-N-Go's, Coney Islands and places of worship. The occasional Asian grocery store and church dot the landscape. At the heart of the neighborhood sits a public high school, middle school and elementary school, arranged in stair-step formation behind the block of 7 Mile and Hoover Road.

Welcome to the home of one of the highest Hmong concentrations in the United States.

Despite being one of the largest minority groups in Southeast Asia, the Hmong (pronounced mung) have long been misunderstood.

Like Asian gypsies, they have been historically persecuted, thousands of years ago in China and later, Laos. During the Vietnam War and Laotian conflict, the Hmong fled to Thai refugee camps.

From there, many immigrated to the United States, settling in Merced and Fresno in California, Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. The Hmong moved to Wisconsin, Connecticut and Detroit. Detroit held the promise of factory jobs, often the best-available option for new immigrants with little grasp of English and large families to support.
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After-school program helps immigrant children

Education and command of English is the key to everything in this country. These kids are learning after their regular school day ends. DP

Lac Viet Academy focuses on literacy

By Darhiana M. Mateo, The Courier-Journal Fifth-grader Trang Nguyen flipped through the pages of a dictionary one afternoon last week, her forehead furrowed in concentration as she translated words from her native Vietnamese to English.

The girl, clad in a fuzzy lime-green sweater, is one of about 60 children -- mostly Vietnamese immigrants -- who attend the Lac Viet Academy, an after-school and summer instruction program for immigrant children in kindergarten through eighth grade who live in southern Louisville.

She has been in the United States for only a few weeks, but she said through a translator that the program has already "helped her a lot."

Lac Viet Academy began in the late 1990s to help the fast-growing number of Vietnamese families then resettling in Louisville. Local college students and young professionals wanted to help the children do well in school and started offering homework assistance at sites throughout the South End.

Over the years, the nonprofit program, now housed in the former St. John Vianney school building on Southside Drive, has evolved into a rigorous academic program offering small-group classes taught by certified teachers, said Sister Susan Kilb, executive director. It also offers individual tutoring by trained mentors, and a focus on intensive literacy development.
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Immigrants Behind 25 Percent of Startups

A country's strongest and bravest are the ones who are driven to emigrate to better themselves. Aren't we lucky that they come here? DP

By RACHEL KONRAD, AP Technology Writer SAN FRANCISCO — Foreign-born entrepreneurs were behind one in four U.S. technology startups over the past decade, according to a study to be published Thursday.

A team of researchers at Duke University estimated that 25 percent of technology and engineering companies started from 1995 to 2005 had at least one senior executive _ a founder, chief executive, president or chief technology officer _ born outside the United States.

Immigrant entrepreneurs' companies employed 450,000 workers and generated $52 billion in sales in 2005, according to the survey.

Their contributions to corporate coffers, employment and U.S. competitiveness in the global technology sector offer a counterpoint to the recent political debate over immigration and the economy, which largely centers on unskilled, illegal workers in low-wage jobs.

"It's one thing if your gardener gets deported," said the project's Delhi-born lead researcher, Vivek Wadhwa. "But if these entrepreneurs leave, we're really denting our intellectual property creation.

Wadhwa, Duke's executive in residence and the founder of two tech startups in North Carolina's Research Triangle, said the country should make the most of its ability to "get the best and brightest from around the world."
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Sayville's changing face

Indian immigrants and the way they are making this country their own too. They are keeping parts of their own culture and taking on some of the surrounding culture. Exactly the way it should be done! DP

A growing number of Indians settle in a once homogeneous community, calling it their own

BY BART JONES, Newsday Staff Writer Varsha Kinariwalla's parents introduced her to the young man one afternoon at his family's home in India. They spoke alone for an hour or two, got engaged two days later and were married 10 days after that.

It was a traditional arranged Indian marriage, although Kinariwalla had the option of turning him down and had done so with four previous suitors. "I think it was the biggest gamble of my life," she said recently, nearly a quarter-century later and happily married.

Holding tightly onto her heritage and its traditions, Kinariwalla is part of a growing community of immigrants from India that has sprouted up in, of all places, Sayville. For decades, Sayville was a quintessentially homogeneous Long Island community set hard on the Great South Bay. It was known for its clammers, its Victorian homes in South Sayville and the "Flying Dutchmen" of neighboring West Sayville's fire department.

But starting in the 1980s and accelerating in the past decade, the number of Indians has steadily grown. The community has expanded from only four people in 1980 to 205 in 2000, according to U.S. Census figures. While they make up just 1.2 percent of Sayville's total population, their presence underscores how Long Island's changing demographics are leaving no corner untouched.
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