Thursday, December 31, 2009

NY Mayor Bloomberg to promote immigration reform

Immigration reform will need lots of help, NYC's mayor will be a good supporter of President Obama's plan. - - Donna Poisl

by Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged on Friday to promote a more open U.S. immigration policy during his third term, much as he made a campaign against illegal guns a hallmark of his second term.

"With leaders from across the country, we will assemble a bipartisan coalition to support President Obama's call for comprehensive immigration reform that honors our history, upholds our values, and promotes our economy," Bloomberg said upon being sworn in for his third term as mayor.
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Obama Readying Immigration Overhaul Despite Political Risks

Immigration reform is still on the agenda for 2010, a brave move for a political party. A path to citizenship is part of the plan, let's hope it passes and does not prove too costly for the administration. - - Donna Poisl

WASHINGTON - The punishing battle over healthcare is still unresolved, but the Obama administration is quietly laying plans to take up another issue that could generate even more controversy and political division--a major overhaul of the nation's immigration system.

Already, senior White House aides have privately assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation in 2010 to provide a road to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers now living in the United States.
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Births, international immigration key to Iowa’s slow population growth

Low birthrate and low immigration means Iowa will lose a congressional seat. - - Donna Poisl

By Lynda Waddington

From July 2008 to July 2009 Iowa’s population increased by only 13,869 residents, most of them newly born Iowans or immigrants from abroad, according to new estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Politically, this spells bad news for the Hawkeye State, as it stands to lose one of its five congressional seats during the 2010 redistricting that follows the census.

Despite the fact that Iowa is growing, its rate is slower than the U.S. overall and most other states. Nevada, the fastest growing state, is estimated to have a 32.3 percent increase since the census. Iowa, with its current state estimated population of just over 3 million, increased by only 2.8 percent.
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'Complementarity' & 'Circularity': New Words Fuel Immigration Debate

Immigration reform and economic recovery are connected, this will be an interesting debate. Let's hope it is civil and successful. - - Donna Poisl

New America Media, News analysis, Marcelo Ballvé

With a national debate on the impact of foreign workers on jobs and the economy heating up for 2010, it’s time to brush up on some relevant policy jargon. Two words in particular – “complementarity” and “circularity” – seem to have caught the attention of experts, as legislators prepare to consider a new immigration reform bill introduced by Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill.

“Complementarity” refers to an immigrant workforce that fills niches and roles that complements rather than competes with what U.S.-born workers are offering. For immigration advocates, it’s a fancy way of saying that, even in economic hard times, immigrant workers perform jobs that Americans prefer not to do.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

In Our Schools: Chinese Academy in Parsippany gets state award

These Chinese schools in New Jersey are very successful teaching Chinese and non Chinese children more about Chinese language culture and language. - - Donna Poisl


PARSIPPANY — The Morris Chinese Academy, one of 12 Huaxia Chinese schools statewide, was recently honored by Gov. Jon S. Corzine for its contribution to preserving Chinese culture in New Jersey.

The academy, founded by Parsippany resident Diana Zhang in 1997, received a letter from Corzine during a presentation by state Public Advocate Ronald K. Chen at the headquarters of Huaxia schools in Essex County.
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From Mexico to law enforcement

This immigrant from Mexico became a decorated military officer and now is in border law enforcement, his version of attaining the American Dream. - - Donna Poisl

By DEBORAH HIRSCH • Courier-Post Staff

Like so many immigrants, Ricardo Cobian came to the United States for the job opportunities he didn't have in Mexico.

While many of his fellow countrymen set about earning money to improve their lives back home, Cobian dreamed of becoming a U.S. soldier.

The 46-year-old Voorhees resident not only realized his dream, but worked his way up through the ranks to become a decorated lieutenant colonel.
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Obama Quietly Changes U.S. Immigration Policy

Another controversial enforcement policy, enacted during the last administration, has been overturned by the Obama administration. - - Donna Poisl

New America Now, News Analysis, Edward Alden

The Obama administration quietly announced last week that it would overturn one of the harsh immigration enforcement measures enacted by the Bush administration following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Beginning next month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said, those who arrive in the United States fleeing torture or persecution abroad will no longer automatically be welcomed with handcuffs and months in a jail cell. Instead, many of those seeking protection will again be permitted to live freely in the country while their applications for permanent asylum are considered by an immigration judge.
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Embracing immigrants would help economy

This report show many reasons why Wisconsin needs its immigrants and that the economy will benefit as they succeed here. - - Donna Poisl

By Phil Hauck

A new report this month from the American Immigration Council focusing on Wisconsin highlights why embracing immigration is so important to our state's future.

The September report of the local Bay Area Community Council emphasized that immigrants are critical to both improved economic development as well as innovation, and that our needs in expediting their integration must focus on faster provision of English Language instruction as well as adult/parent cultural assimilation (
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

L.A. attorney confirmed for federal judgeship

The first Chinese American woman has been confirmed to serve on the U.S. District Court. Her mother came here from China and worked hard in low paying jobs to make it possible for her to get an education. - - Donna Poisl

Ten years ago, Los Angeles attorney Dolly Gee was nominated by President Clinton to serve as a United States District Court judge. But Clinton's term ended without a confirmation.

On Christmas Eve, the Arcadia resident -- nominated again by President Obama -- heard from the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Gee called her 81-year-old mother to break the news that the U.S. Senate had confirmed her.

"She said, 'Finally!' " Gee said on Friday. "It's a huge breakthrough not just for me and my family, but our entire community."
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Families separated by miles, years and immigration laws

This is a good example of why we need immigration reform, it is long overdue. The reason many people come here illegally is that they get tired of waiting. - - Donna Poisl

Immigration rules for close relatives to be re-examined By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter

When Peter Aldeza first arrived in Illinois from the Philippines, he filed U.S. Immigration paperwork to allow his older brother and sister to join him. That was 26 years ago.

Just last month, his sister, Sionie Sales, finally arrived to live in the U.S., in what has been a bittersweet reunion of once-close siblings now trying to become reacquainted. She was an exuberant 26-year-old when he left home. She is a grandmother now.
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Somali immigrants: face of local taxi industry

This story shows how immigrants manage in a new country, using their own social hiring network. - - Donna Poisl


A few days after about 300 San Diego taxi drivers went on strike to protest the amount of money they pay to lease cabs, organizers gathered the drivers in a City Heights meeting hall to rally them. The impassioned speeches were in Somali.

In San Diego, Somali immigrants are nearly synonymous with the taxicab industry. Since Somalis began settling here in large numbers as refugees in the early 1990s, fleeing a civil war at home, they have come to dominate the business as drivers. While there is no official figure, it is estimated by groups who work with African immigrants and by drivers themselves that at least three-fourths of San Diego cabbies are East African, the vast majority from Somalia. Others are from Ethiopia and Eritrea, and a few are from other African countries.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

USCIS To Process Applications of Widow(er)s of Deceased U.S. Citizens

This law finally allows widows and widowers to continue with their application for permanent resident status when their spouse dies. Previously they were deported if they were married less than two years. - - Donna Poisl

USCIS Fact Sheet


On October 28, 2009, the President signed the FY2010 DHS Appropriations Act into law, allowing eligible widows or widowers of U.S. citizens to qualify for permanent resident status regardless of how long the couple was married. The new law amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by removing the two-year marriage requirement previously necessary for a widow(er) to qualify for permanent resident status as an immediate relative of his or her late U.S. citizen spouse. Additionally, when a widow(er) qualifies as an immediate relative under the law, his or her unmarried minor children will also qualify for the same status. The law applies equally to widow(er)s living abroad, who are seeking immigrant visas and widow(er)s in the United States, who want to become permanent residents based on their marriage.

These provisions of the FY2010 DHS Appropriations Act relate only to the impact of the citizen’s death on a widow(er)’s eligibility for classification as an immediate relative. All other requirements for approval of a visa petition remain in force. Specifically, the widow(er) must still establish that:

  • He or she was the citizen’s legal spouse.
  • The marriage was bona fide and not an arrangement solely to confer immigration benefits to the beneficiary.
  • He or she has not remarried.
  • He or she is admissible as an immigrant.
  • In an adjustment of status case, that he or she meets all other adjustment eligibility requirements and merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
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HIAS Welcomes New ICE Procedures for Asylum Seekers

Posted by Genever McBain

(New York, NY) HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, welcomes the new procedures for asylum seekers announced yesterday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to Mark Hetfield, Senior Vice President for Program & Policy, this is “a step in the right direction” toward fair treatment of asylum seekers.

“Many asylum seekers fled their homelands to avoid being jailed on account of their beliefs, only to find that upon arrival in the United States, they were jailed just for seeking asylum,” he explained. “For years the United States had a policy favoring the release of asylum seekers, but in fact, ICE and earlier INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) did not follow their own policies, and asylum seekers were released only when there was a shortage of beds.

“In November 2007, the Bush Administration announced a policy that made it very difficult to release asylum seekers. This new policy is a step in the right direction, and this time Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton seem to be introducing enforcement procedures.”

He cautioned that it will be necessary for NGO’s, like HIAS, “to keep a close eye on the implementation, to see that this policy is followed, and that those asylum seekers who present little flight or security risk are not incarcerated just for seeking asylum.”

HIAS’ Asylum Unit provides legal representation for those seeking asylum in the U.S. The HIAS-Prins program, established in 2007 by a major grant from the Vivian G. Prins Foundation, provides representation for artists, scientists, scholars, and other professionals, and their families who have been persecuted in their native country. Additionally, HIAS represents detained survivors of torture who seek asylum in the U.S. and currently are incarcerated in the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey; local county correctional facilities; or elsewhere in the New York-metropolitan area. This service is funded by the Lutheran Immigrant & Refugee Service (LIRS).

Putting a Human Face on Immigration Issue

In order to better understand the immigration issue, the Centreville Immigration Forum met with day laborers and listened to their stories. - - Donna Poisl

By Bonnie Hobbs

Right from the start, the Centreville Immigration Forum wanted to get as close as possible to — not just the immigration issue in Centreville — but the immigrants, themselves. Here, both doors and hearts were open, and the members realized they could better help local immigrants if they knew more about them.

CIF member Al Fuertes teaches a course on Conflict, Trauma and Healing at GMU and, as part of it, he had his students interact with the Centreville day laborers. They talked with the men outside the Centreville Regional Library and learned about their struggles, hardships and challenges in this place far from their homes and loved ones.
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A place where all belong

Immigrants have always settled in this area, the recent influx is changing the city again, in interesting and good ways. - - Donna Poisl

Immigrants transforming Malden anew

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

MALDEN - At J&R market on Salem Street, the shelves are stocked with Kenyan tea, Nigerian flour, and Mexican cactuses. The public library boasts a collection of 2,000 books in Chinese, 10 times the count a decade ago. French classes, fading elsewhere, are thriving at Malden High School as Haitian families have poured into the city.

Malden, an unassuming community of 56,000 residents just minutes north of Boston, has quietly become a major destination for immigrants, second in the state only to Chelsea in its percentage of foreign-born residents.
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Latino Leaders Use Churches in Census Bid

This should help with the Census count, hopefully the immigrants will follow what their churches recommend. - - Donna Poisl

MIAMI — Fearing that millions of illegal immigrants may not be counted in the 2010 census, Latino leaders are mobilizing a nationwide drive to urge Hispanics to participate in the survey, including an intense push this week in evangelical Christian churches.

Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money. Hispanic organizations are far better organized for next year’s census, but they say that if illegal immigrants — an estimated eight million of whom are Latino — are not included, the undercount could be much greater.
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Pew study on Latino youth: Between Two Worlds

The Pew study on Latino youth is showing that how these kids assimilate will make a big impact on the future of our country. - - Donna Poisl

By Father Tom Joyce CMF

The Pew Hispanic Center released a study on Latino youth that reflects the transitional situation of the country’s largest minority: Between Two Worlds .

Their story in many ways parallels that of youth in previous generations of immigrant youth. The second and third generations generally fare better than youth born outside the country. But the second generation is often caught in an identity crisis which seems to be behind the third. That happened with the Irish and Italians that preceded them. And there lies the future of the future of the Hispanic community.
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2010 Census at Risk of Inaccuracy Due to Immigrants’ Reluctance to Participate

Community groups are being asked to help get immigrants to fill in their Census forms. States and cities need an accurate count to get the representation and funds they are entitled to. - - Donna Poisl

By Maibe Gonzalez-Fuentes, FI2W contributor

Against an unsettling background of immigration raids and deportations, the U.S. Census Bureau expects to have a hard time convincing close to 12 million undocumented immigrants to take part in its population count next year. Therefore, it is asking community and advocacy groups for help.

“Because the bureau is part of the federal government, we don’t have credibility among people,” Philip Lutz, the assistant regional census manager for the bureau’s Philadelphia region, said last week.
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Indians are head-and-shoulders above other immigrants in US: Forbes

Indian immigrants have climbed the corporate ladder more than other groups. Their advanced education level is the main reason for their success along with their English skills. - - Donna Poisl

by Indo-Asian News Service, Washington

Pepsico chief executive Indira Nooyi inevitably tops the list of what Forbes calls "Eight Indian-Flavoured CEOs" who lead US corporations with revenues of at least $2 billion as the premier business magazine chronicles the rise of Indians in corporate ranks in America.

"The chief executive of PepsiCo would be prominent no matter what. The fact that the current one - Indira Nooyi - is an Indian immigrant (and female, in case you've been living under a rock) makes her all the more noteworthy," it says.
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In Pittsburgh, cookies are a wedding tradition

It was probably Italian and Eastern European immigrants who brought this tradition to their new home and it stayed, like many old traditions do. A good idea to me, I love cookies. - - Donna Poisl

PITTSBURGH — Like brides and bridegrooms the world over, the ones in this city and nearby towns bask in the glory of the white dress, the big kiss and the first dance.

But then, a large number of them happily cede the spotlight to a cookie. Or a few thousand of them.

For as long as anyone can remember, wedding receptions in Pittsburgh have featured cookie tables, laden with dozens of homemade old-fashioned offerings like lady locks, pizzelles and buckeyes. For weeks ahead — sometimes months — mothers and aunts and grandmas and in-laws hunker down in the kitchen baking and freezing. On the big day, guests ravage the buffet, piling plates high and packing more in takeout containers so they can have them for breakfast the next day.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

As census nears, groups debate racial identity

The census will raise questions for many immigrant groups, they don't fit into the categories that are listed. But if there were all the necessary choices, how many would there be? - - Donna Poisl

Many Americans say they don't fit into set categories

By Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — With her light-brown skin and Islamic head scarf, Khadigah Alasry of Dearborn, Mich., said she doesn't see herself as white.

But the Arab-American is officially classified as such by the U.S. government, which says that anyone with roots in the Middle East — including north Africa — is white.

"That's just weird to me," said Alasry, 23, born to immigrants from Yemen.
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Teacher uses history to point students toward future

This teacher of English to immigrant students is using her love of history to also teach them culture, government, civil rights and all aspects of their new country. - - Donna Poisl

By Harold Reutter

Amanda Levos has always loved history.

So it is no surprise that Levos, a native of Columbus, majored in secondary education with an endorsement in social sciences when she enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Earning that degree would allow Levos to teach high school classes in geography, economics, sociology or psychology, but most important of all, history.

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We are not Europe...

Read about this testimony at a Congressional committee last week, discussing whether we have a home grown terrorist problem (with some of our immigrant youth) and becoming more like Europe. - - Donna Poisl


In the wake of the Fort Hood massacre and recent arrests involving some young men seeking association with dangerous international terrorist activity and others who appeared to be on the verge of carrying out terrorist actions in the US, questions have been raised by politicians and the media. "Do we have a homegrown terrorist problem?" "Are we becoming like Europe?"

It was in this context that I accepted an invitation, last week, to testify before a Congressional committee. I was pleased that the committee wasn't buying into the media frenzy, but was seeking, instead, a sober discussion, because I believe that this entire matter is critical not only to our national security, it also represents a test of our national character.
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Getting real about immigration reform

Read this whole article and see what he writes about each of the five topics, showing why we need a real discussion and update the law. - - Donna Poisl

By Mark Alvarez

Immigration reform is overdue. Economics counts. Here are five realities that should inform the debate:
1. Immigrant workers form part of the labor force.
2. Immigrant workers compete with and complement native-born workers.
3. Immigrant workers are entrepreneurial.
4. Worker visa quotas are excessively rigid.
5. The benefits and costs of immigration are unevenly felt.

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Immigrant children struggle to get college aid

This writer wants financial aid for immigrant children to go to college and not be punished for decisions they did not make. - - Donna Poisl

by Paul Penniman

I would like to shine a light on an issue rarely discussed because, despite the best efforts of the Pew Hispanic Center, it is nearly impossible to count immigrants and their children properly. When children without documents, or those whose parents do not have documents, attend school, they are not asked about their status. These children are rarely in the official workforce, either. But a large percentage of high school seniors in the District who are immigrants or children of immigrants, perhaps up to 30 percent, are shut out of access to college financial aid.
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Cold facts and hot words on immigration

This very interesting article proves that immigration has no impact on unemployment over time. - - Donna Poisl

By Edward Schumacher-Matos

You would think that with unemployment running at 10 percent, economics would play a role in deciding how many immigrants to let into the country and what to do with the unauthorized ones here.

Think again.

What we have instead is the slugfest of name-calling, cynicism and hypocrisy that passes for policymaking in Washington these days.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Glenwood immigration reform rally draws large crowd

Ten rallies and vigils were held across Colorado in support of immigration reform. Their businesses need these immigrants in their workforce. - - Donna Poisl

Concurrent candlelight vigils held around Colorado

by John Stroud, Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — A crowd of more than 200, both Latino and Anglo, stood together on a cold December evening in Sayre Park Friday night for a common cause — furthering immigration reform efforts.

The rally and candlelight vigil, sponsored by the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), was one of 10 held around the state at the same time.

Glenwood was among five mountain resort towns to hold rallies — including Telluride, Avon, Dillon and Gunnison — as a way to show the importance of immigrant labor to the ski industry, according to CIRC.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

'People of Color' Label Lame on Every Level

An interesting piece about labels and what people call themselves and others. - - Donna Poisl

by Luisita Lopez Torregros

First, we struggled for tolerance. Then, for acceptance and understanding. Then, for assimilation and recognition. Now, we struggle over labels.

We are Latinos or Hispanics, Chicanos or Tejanos. Or we are black or African-American, or we are Asian Pacifics or Asian Latinos. We've got minority divisions and subdivisions, enclaves and tiny corners. We used to talk about the melting pot, the mosaic, the rainbow. That wasn't that long ago. Now we identify ourselves, or others identify us, with easy-to-stick-on labels, ethnic and racial Post-Its.
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Immigrant helps to heal other refugee families

This 30 year old immigrant, who came here as a teen aged refugee is helping immigrant and refugee families in his city learn how to fit in and be successful here. - - Donna Poisl

By Sean Kirst / The Post-Standard

Based on what he witnessed as a teen-ager, Mirza Tihic decided to go into medicine. Tihic comes from Bosnia. He lost 60 male relatives, he said, including his grandfather, in the Serbian "ethnic cleansing" of the 1990s. With his parents, he escaped to Germany. From there, the family came to Syracuse, where Tihic sought a peaceful way of pushing back against the forces that tore apart his family.

"The goal was to be a doctor, to help humankind," he said. "In a war, when the doctor shows up - even if the doctor has no tools - people feel more secure."
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Latino Catholics said to challenge, energize church

The Center on Religion and Cul­ture sponsored a forum and is looking at the way Latinos are affecting the Catholic church in this country. - - Donna Poisl

By Beth Griffin - Catholic News Service

The rapid growth and cultural diversity of Latino Catholics makes tremendous demands on the Cath­o­lic Church at the same time it en­riches and revitalizes the church com­munity, said speakers at a forum on “Becoming Latino: The Trans­for­ma­tion of U.S. Catholi­cism.”

Latinos, like Catholics throughout the church, vary greatly and require a variety of pastoral responses. The U.S. bishops support integration as a way to receive people of different cultures into the church, rather than assimilation, which is dehumanizing and racist, the speakers said.
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Secretary Napolitano Calls for Immigration Reform at DHS Oversight Hearing

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano testified on December 9th at the Senate Judiciary Committee's oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary. In her testimony, she says we must seize this moment to build a truly effective immigration system.

Click on the headline to read the complete testimony.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Immigration bill backers try again despite jobless rate

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, the Illinois Democrat, has become the leader in the immigration debate has introduced a bill and will be very active pushing this discussion forward. - - Donna Poisl

By Stephen Dinan

Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.

"It certainly will confuse the debate a lot more, but at the end of the day what we have to understand is fixing this system will be good for American workers," said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which is one of the major advocates for legalizing illegal immigrant workers.
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Immigrant of the Day blog

I was sent information about a new blog today:
Immigrant of the Day (, is a way to share positive stories about immigrants living in the United States. The goal is to post a profile of an immigrant on this blog every day in 2010, starting January 1st.

If you are interested in being featured as Immigrant of the Day, please email the following to the blogger at If you are not an immigrant yourself but know someone who may be interested, please share this with them.

1. your photo (preferred) or your favorite photo of your country of birth;
2. first name;
3. country of birth;
4. state of current residence; and
5. answers to the following questions:

- What does the American Dream mean to you?
- How do you work to make the United States a better place?
- What is your favorite food and why?

She requests that only lawfully present immigrants respond, she does not want to put anyone in danger by posting their picture and first name on this blog.

It starts today

Now is the time!

Today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez is introducing the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act (CIR ASAP),” a bill that will bring 12 million people out of the shadows and into the full protection of the law.

Please ask your Member of Congress co-sponsor this critical immigration reform today:

Immigration Attorneys Weigh In On The DREAM Act

Immigration Attorneys hope to help alien minors gain residency

by Douglas Stevens

Millions of dollars in taxpayer money goes toward the education of illegal minors each year. According to an experienced immigration attorney, Darren Silver, without reform the current policies, many of these youth could be at risk of future deportation, and their American education would have been largely wasted. The DREAM Act, a longstanding proposal sponsored in part by Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois, directly addresses this problem and would allow certain undocumented individuals to become legal residents. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would provide a legal pathway to permanent citizenship for those who graduate from U.S. High Schools, the majority of whom were brought here by their parents at a young age and had no say in the matter. The DREAM Act has been on the table for quite some time, but it could be pushed to the forefront come next year.

Staunch conservatives that strongly oppose amnesty in any form will no doubt oppose this legislation, but the goal of this act is not to reward the actions of illegal immigrants, but rather extend grace to their children, encouraging education, hard work and military service.

To be eligible for the DREAM Act, an individual must have first entered the United States before their 16th birthday and must have remained in the U.S. for a period of 5 years without interruption. This person must also demonstrate the ability to speak English. The first step to qualify would be enrolling in some sort of higher education (Universities, vocational schools, and apprenticeship programs are all acceptable) or enlist with the U.S. military. Within 6 years of filing the initial petition the applicant must receive an Associate’s degree or a 2-year equivalent to be considered for permanent residency. Under the DREAM Act it would be possible for 65,000 students to become conditional residents, with the opportunity to eventually become permanent citizens should they comply with current immigration regulations.

Teachers and administrators would agree that spending resources on young immigrants that will be unable to contribute to our society is a disservice to the entire system of public education and the country as a whole. The Obama administration will be forced to grapple with this issue of Immigration in 2010 as the economy and the war in Afghanistan lose steam as front page news, giving a hard working immigration attorney more tools with which to fight for the rights and permanent residency of undocumented young people.

Visit immigration attorney website at

Sunday, December 13, 2009

South Carolina Will Need Immigrants to Boost Its Political Power

Several states, even those with very tough laws against illegal immigrants, need them in the Census count or they will lose federal money and possibly seats in Congress. - - Donna Poisl

By Alexandra Vilchez

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – South Carolina, one of the states with the toughest laws against undocumented immigrants, will need its growing Hispanic community to be counted in the 2010 Census to increase its representation in the U.S. Congress.

Over the past 10 years, an estimated 88,000 Hispanics have made South Carolina their home, which represents 19 percent of all new residents.

Census figures indicate that in 2008 alone some 77,600 Latinos moved into the state, which means an 8.37 percent increase to make this the state whose Hispanic community has grown the most.
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2010 could see changes in immigration policy

Three major parts of immigration have to be discussed and decided: enforcement, path to legalization for people already here and immigration reform for people wanting to come. It has to start soon, it will take time. - - Donna Poisl

By Antonio Olivo, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- Having waited patiently in the wings, immigration advocates are anxious to take President Barack Obama at his word when he said immigration reform would soon follow health care on the nation's agenda.

With several initiatives gearing up to put the issue before Congress in 2010, the advocates are all too aware they haven't had much cause for celebration in recent years. Their last big push in Washington, in 2007, failed to settle the status of the nation's estimated 11.9 million undocumented immigrants.

Deportations have continued, with nearly 370,000 immigrants detained during the fiscal year that ended in October. That's more than twice the number in 1999, according to a report last week by Transactional Records Clearing House at Syracuse University.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Helping hands reach out to refugee

This refugee family is trying to settle in San Diego and a group of volunteers is helping them with everything they need to learn to live here. - - Donna Poisl

Rotary Club, others give immigrant family assistance adjusting to America

By Anne Krueger, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER — Agnes Saah and her three children have been struggling to get ahead since they arrived in San Diego seven months ago from a refugee camp in the African country of Sierra Leone.

The four of them share a one-bedroom apartment in City Heights. Saah’s earnings as a hotel maid aren’t enough to pay for rent and food, and her 18-year-old son, Robert, hasn’t been able to find work. They’re trying to learn the language and culture of a country 7,000 miles from their native Liberia.

The members of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club and others are helping the Saah family adjust to their new home.
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Griego: DU panel sheds light on how to discuss immigration reform

Univ. of Denver's recent report on immigration had some surprising ideas in it. It is an honest attempt to get everyone talking and look at things in a new way. - - Donna Poisl

By Tina Griego, Denver Post Columnist

Our challenge today, ladies and gentlemen, is to talk of immigration without becoming emotional. I shall staunch my bleeding heart. You of contrary opinion shall cast aside the flame throwers at least for the next 800 words.

Since the discussion of new-and-improved immigration laws is typically hijacked by focus on illegal immigration, let me make clear that reform means changing the way we address legal and illegal immigration.

I write this during a week in which I learned the English as a Second Language and acculturation classes for refugees at Emily Griffith Opportunity School are "bursting at the seams." The 150 students at any given time is now at 500 currently enrolled.
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Young immigrants have a dream

An editorial about immigrant students and the dream they have to stay and succeed here. - - Donna Poisl

By Father Tom Joyce CMF

Just yesterday it was announced that Rigoberto (Rigo) Padilla will not have to leave this country later this month. He can stay another year while his immigration status is reviewed and regularized.

Rigo came to this country at 6 years old, went through U.S. schools, and was an honor student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was caught running a stop sign, had had a few beers, and, as an undocumented immigrant, had no driver’s license. ICE came upon him as he was locked up in Cook County Jail, and an immigration judge quickly ordered his deportation.
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Rep. Luis Gutierrez renewing push for immigration reform Tuesday

click on the headline to see the details of the new legislation and the list of legislators backing it. - - Donna Poisl

By Lynn Sweet,

Below, from Gutierrez....

"Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity"
to be Introduced December 15

(Washington D.C.) On Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gutierrez will be joined by members of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Napolitano: Migrant reform still a priority

After a long health care debate, it will be hard to start another debate, but the government says it will start soon. Let's hope so. - - Donna Poisl

by Dan Nowicki - The Arizona Republic

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that overhauling the nation's immigration laws is still a top priority for President Barack Obama and that Congress is poised to act despite some lawmakers' concerns that a push could complicate Democratic re-election prospects.

Napolitano, Obama's point person on the topic, said key Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, are onboard with moving ahead early next year. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Senate's immigration subcommittee, is working on the bill.
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Leaders expect immigration debate to heat up

Debates are going to be loud and nasty when immigration reform gets going. People have so many different beliefs as to what it means: from complete deportation to complete amnesty and everything in between. - - Donna Poisl

By Joe Tash, Contributor

Comprehensive immigration reform may once again come up for debate in Congress by early next year, but a polarizing debate over the measure could make it difficult, if not impossible, to pass the legislation.

Even the meaning of the term "immigration reform" can be tricky to pin down. On one side are those who want tougher border-enforcement measures to prevent illegal immigrants from working in the United States and deportation of immigration violators.

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An Illegal Immigration Patchwork

States and cities are making their own laws to stop illegal immigration and without the federal government enacting laws to regulate it, some of these laws are before the Supreme Court to see if they are legal. - - Donna Poisl


States and localities have been taking immigration enforcement into their own hands out of frustration over Washington’s failure to enact comprehensive reform, over misguided and ineffective federal enforcement of existing rules and over a sense that America has lost control of its borders.

Numerous states and towns have enacted harsh laws seeking to regulate the employment of undocumented workers, and, in some instances, keep them out of housing.
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Young Latinos seem to face a tougher future

A very interesting article, read the whole thing. It compares Latino immigrants and children of Latino immigrants and how well or poorly they are doing here. - - Donna Poisl

Those between the ages of 16 and 25 are more likely than other young people to have a child before 19, drop out of school and live in poverty, a study finds.

Latinos believe education and hard work are key to a successful future, but they are more likely than other young people to drop out of school and live in poverty, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center study being released today.

About one-third of young Latinos are immigrants, but two-thirds are born in the U.S. Many are the children of immigrants who began arriving in the U.S. in 1965.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pope names Texas native as new Brownsville bishop

The new Bishop of Brownville is a Texas native who has been very active in immigration reform and outreach. - - Donna Poisl


Pope Benedict XVI chose a Texas native known as a great evangelizer in three languages to be the next bishop of Brownsville, the Vatican announced Wednesday.Bishop Daniel Flores, 48, will take over for the retiring Bishop Raymundo Pena. Pena reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops when he turned 75 in February.

"It's a great fit," said Bishop Edmond Carmody of the neighboring Diocese of Corpus Christi, where Flores was ordained in 1988. "We're very, very happy to have him back in Texas."

Flores, born in Palacios along the Texas gulf coast and raised in Corpus Christi, comes most recently from Detroit where he served as an auxiliary bishop and led that archdiocese's Hispanic outreach.
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More immigrants leap into business ownership

Immigrants start their own businesses at a high rate, but without the network to help them with some of the usual problems, they struggle. - - Donna Poisl

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

CHELSEA - People thought Melissa Vo was crazy to launch a new restaurant in the middle of a recession.

The single mother, a refugee from Vietnam, had never managed a business, and the only place she could afford to rent in February was a tiny hole-in-the-wall across from a laundry and a corner bodega in Chelsea. But Vo, after 25 years in America, believed that the only way to make it was to become her own boss.

Call it immigrant drive, or desperation, but immigrant-owned businesses are popping up at levels unimaginable decades ago.
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Univ. Panel: Legalization of Immigrants Beneficial

This report shows how legalizing immigrants would be good for the country. AFTER illegal immigration is stopped and the people passed certain tests and paid taxes if any are owed. - - Donna Poisl

By IVAN MORENO Associated Press Writer

Millions of undocumented people in the U.S. should be given a path to legal status after the country finds a way to stop illegal immigration, business and government leaders said in a report Wednesday.

The University of Denver report argues that legalizing as many of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants as possible could strengthen the economy and national security. But it should come with conditions, such as requiring new immigrants to learn English, pass criminal and medical background checks, and pay any taxes that they owe, the document states. Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

The Bilingual Ban That Worked

Since California stopped bilingual education, children are doing well in English immersion classes. Test scores have risen every year. - - Donna Poisl

Rising test scores vindicate English immersion in California—but Hispanics are still struggling.

Heather Mac Donald

In 1998, Californians voted to pass Proposition 227, the “English for the Children Act,” and dismantle the state’s bilingual-education industry. The results, according to California’s education establishment, were not supposed to look like this: button-cute Hispanic pupils at a Santa Ana elementary school boasting about their English skills to a visitor. Those same pupils cheerfully calling out to their principal on their way to lunch: “Hi, Miss Champion!” A statewide increase in English proficiency among all Hispanic students.

Instead, warned legions of educrats, eliminating bilingual education in California would demoralize Hispanic students and widen the achievement gap. Unless Hispanic children were taught in Spanish, the bilingual advocates moaned, they would be unable to learn English or to succeed in other academic subjects.
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Immigration Reform Is Good for Economic Recovery

We have read many reports explaining how immigration reform is good for our economy. I think this article might explain very logically and help some people understand it better. - - Donna Poisl

By Angela Maria Kelley, Gebe Martinez

There are signs that the nation is slowly emerging from the longest and most severe recession since the Great Depression. But a full economic recovery will require solid thinking about the strength of our workforce so that we are better positioned to produce and consume goods, contribute to the tax base, and expand job opportunities for all. An overlooked source of economic recovery will be the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.

It might seem counterintuitive to enact immigration reforms and legalize up to 8 million workers in the United States who are without documents, including many who pay taxes. But the simple truth is that updating our immigration laws will generate tax revenues by requiring all workers and employers to be in the system and level the playing field for business owners who play by the rules.
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Immigrants could alter political scene in 2010

This is another way the economy and the fact that large cities are not losing their immigrant population are affecting us, this time it is politics. - - Donna Poisl

Residents staying put in cities because of housing crunch


A steady flow of new immigrants is providing a late-decade population boost to major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Miami, New York and Los Angeles, whose states are seeking to stem declines before the 2010 census and the political redistricting to follow, according to a new study.

Even with a recent dip in immigration, the addition of foreign migrants into those major cities has cushioned substantial population losses from native-born Americans who had migrated to interior parts of the country in search of jobs, wider spaces and affordable housing before the recession.
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Interactive 2008 Census data map

Check this out, an interactive map from the Census with data from 2007-2008.
You can instantly see the figures in 10 categories and compare each state. One of the categories tells how many foreign born are in each state.


Click on the headline to go to the map from or put this address in your browser:

Immigrants prop up metro areas

The economic problems have drastically changed the pattern of people moving long distances for housing or jobs, but many large cities are being helped by the number of immigrants who are there. A very interesting piece, be sure to read all of it. - - Donna Poisl

The recession has brought a nation built on moving from place to place to a standstill not seen since World War II, but immigration continues in major metropolitan areas, according to a report out today.

Despite a slowdown fueled by fewer jobs in construction and service industries, immigrants are helping metro areas such as Chicago, Miami and New York make up for the net loss of residents to other parts of the USA.
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bilingualism the voice of the future

This teacher has written a good piece telling how important it is for the U.S. to be a country with a bilingual population. - - Donna Poisl


Over a spoonful of oats, I spot the freebie on the front of the Cheerios box. Forget the decoder rings; there's a book inside! I pull out "Tea for Ruby," a children's story written by Sarah Ferguson and illustrated by Robin Glasser (of "Fancy Nancy" fame).

It begins, "Estás invitada a tomar te con la Reina el domingo" (You are invited to have tea with the queen on Sunday). Also entitled "Te Para Ruby," this delightful bilingual romp features Ruby as she fancies herself to have tea with the queen.
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Monday, December 07, 2009

Perris police and Latino community leaders meet to build trust

Meetings between police and immigrants are starting to build trust on both sides. - - Donna Poisl

By DAVID OLSON, The Press-Enterprise

For months, Latinos in Perris complained that Riverside County sheriff's deputies stopped them for no reason. Some charged racial profiling. Mistrust festered.

The sheriff's office denies the allegations but subsequent meetings that sheriff's officials had with Latino community leaders -- and changes in how Perris-area deputies interact with Latino residents -- have yielded increased trust and reduced complaints.
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Refugees and immigrants today, citizens and leaders tomorrow

This organization, founded by a refugee, is teaching immigrants and refugees how to get involved in local issues. It is helping them understand their rights and learn how to help each other and find their voice. - - Donna Poisl

By Gosia Wozniacka, The Oregonian

On a Sunday afternoon in October, Kayse Jama stood before two dozen immigrants and refugees from 14 countries, describing how Portland's commissioners run the city. Though many in his audience had fled to Oregon for fear of a violent or corrupt government, Jama told them how to join committees, attend meetings, and vote.

"You have to be early at the table, otherwise no one will raise your issues," Jama said. "If you're not there, no one will be speaking for you."

Six years ago, Jama, a refugee from Somalia, founded the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) in Portland. He felt that immigrants and refugees wanted more than government services; they wanted a way to affect their community and have a say in state and city politics.
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A national priority / Public, if not lawmakers, wants immigration reform

Even though the immigration debate has gotten quiet, most of the public still want reform and expect the discussions to start early in the new year. - - Donna Poisl

Union-Tribune Editorial

Just because a policy debate quiets down doesn’t mean the issue has gone away. Most Americans still want immigration reform, even if other concerns like health care reform and the economy have recently taken center stage.

Indeed, it’s hard to find anyone who is pleased with the status quo on immigration. Even in a political climate where consensus is rare, there is general agreement that the current system is dysfunctional. Those on the right think it’s broken because the borders are porous, while those on the left point to the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States without civil rights or legal protections.
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Stetson University student helps Hispanic homeowners understand their rights

Wouldn't it be great if every community had a local bilingual person who would translate and in the process help everyone learn their rights and responsibilities? Helping these people understand the statutes enabled them to start a homeowners association and protect themselves. - - Donna Poisl

by John Barry, Times Staff Writer

CLEARWATER — Every chair, every sofa in the Southern Comfort clubhouse was taken Tuesday night. Older Anglos crowded shoulder to shoulder alongside young Hispanic mothers and fathers propping children on their laps. The one dog present had to lie on the floor. All were trying out democracy. Most didn't understand each other's language.

It was an episode of unforced, organic, civic assimilation. They were organizing two basic community institutions — a homeowners association and a crime watch. It was possible because of a Stetson University law student there to translate.
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African immigrant seeks alliance with Chicago's Mexicans

This African immigrant has discovered how similar the stories are between African and Mexican immigrants and is trying to get the two groups to work together for reform. - - Donna Poisl

Immigration issues bond two cultures

Tribune reporter

A few months after arriving from Sierra Leone, Alie Kabba learned the dynamics of Chicago immigrant life when he found a pickup soccer game near his Rogers Park apartment. All of the players were Mexicans.

"I didn't have enough for my own team," he recalled. "They had the numbers."

Now head of the United African Organization, Kabba is pursuing an intriguing and complicated experiment: to see whether Africans can forge a political alliance with the Mexicans, who make up the largest share of immigrants in Chicago.
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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mixtco-speaking immigrants struggle to make a life near Othello

These immigrants from Mexico don't speak Spanish or English and have a very hard time here. Their American born children learn English and some Spanish and even have a hard time speaking with them. - - Donna Poisl

By MELISSA SÁNCHEZ, Yakima Herald-Republic

OTHELLO, Wash. -- In a bleak housing project west of this small rural town, the Mexican farm workers living here murmur to each other in a dialect many of them don't want their children to learn.

It's called Mixteco, one of the dozens of dialects spoken by Latin America's indigenous people. For these immigrants, Spanish is a second language. Many don't speak it.

"I want my children to learn Spanish," said Isabel Reyes, a 31-year-old who speaks to them in broken Spanish. "And English. I want them to go to school and get good jobs so they don't have to work in the fields like we do."
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Follow MLK's guidance on immigration reform

African-Americans are recommending that immigrants use Dr. King's message and vision in the immigration reform debate. - - Donna Poisl


It is nothing new for an African-American minister like me to look at Scripture and perceive that something is amiss in our society. That was Martin Luther King Jr.'s story. King dared to read Scripture and proclaim God gave all people the dignity and intelligence to choose which bus seat was right for them, even in Alabama. King's vision included more than justice for black folk. His vision included all God's children, red and yellow, black and white.

King's vision and struggles are important to remember as serious conversations about immigration reform are again beginning to brew, as indicated by the remarks last month of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at the Center for American Progress. Though the conversation concerning immigration in America is more ancient than King, King's vision provides a helpful tool with which to view the immigration struggle today. Immigration is about human dignity and the nobility of parents of different tribes and nations facing the risk of coming to a foreign land, a land of opportunity, to work for a better tomorrow for their children.
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Book special, How to Live & Thrive in the U.S.

How to Live & Thrive in the U.S. / Cómo Vivir y Prosperar en Estados Unidos
Tips to help you fit in and make your life easier / Consejos para ayudarlo a adaptarse y hacer su vida mas fácil

If you are looking for a great gift for people who can use some help learning and getting around in our confusing system, please consider my book. Sample chapter is available on the website too.

Type D2009 or d2009 into the promotion code area and you will pay only $1.00 to ship each book anywhere in the U.S.

If you want a large quantity, special shipping rate for that too, but ask me personally.
Author, Donna Poisl

NHCSL Announces Newly Elected Leadership Team


NHCSL Announces Newly Elected Leadership Team

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators today announced its newly elected national leadership team. NHCSL members present at the 2009 annual meeting held in Santa Monica, California on November 21, 2009, elected the following candidates to leadership positions:

President: Senator Iris Y. Martinez (IL)
President-Elect: Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT)
VP for Public Policy: Representative Mario Goico (KS)
VP for Membership: Representative Pedro "Pete" Marin (GA)
Secretary: Senator Juan M. Pichardo (RI)
Treasurer: Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon (IN)

"Our team is humbled by the opportunity to lead NHCSL. We bring a diverse set of attributes to the work of leading Hispanic State legislators in building policy solutions for Latino communities and America. We will continue the hard legislative work necessary to address the issues that are critical to all Latinos, including well-paying jobs, quality education, comprehensive immigration reform, professional and technical training, and access to healthcare for all," said NHCSL President Iris Y. Martinez (IL).

The newly elected leadership team serves for two years. The leadership team is charged with representing NHCSL members to national constituencies and serving as the voice of over 300 Hispanic state legislators across the country, along with a 30-member executive committee. Rep. Joseph E. Miro (DE) continues to serve on the leadership team as immediate past President.

The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 300 Hispanic legislators. For more information, visit

Jason Llorenz

SOURCE National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
-0- 12/02/2009
/CONTACT: Jason Llorenz, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, +1-202-434-8070/
/Web site: /

Assistant Secretary Sepulveda to Attend Latino Veterans Summit


Assistant Secretary Sepulveda to Attend Latino Veterans Summit

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to Open Jobs Fair for Veterans

John U. Sepúlveda, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will attend the 4th Annual 2009 Latino Veterans Summit in Los Angeles on December 3-5th. LULAC, the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, is holding the summit in partnership with VA, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the American GI Forum.

"I am thrilled to join LULAC as we expand and build networks that will create job opportunities and services for Veterans in all communities," said Sepúlveda. "At VA, not only do we want to be an advocate for Veterans, but we also have the responsibility of enabling Veterans to serve their country, once again, as successful employees."

Keynote speakers include Sepúlveda, Steve L. Muro, VA Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Attendees will participate in two days of cutting edge seminars, conference break-out sessions, job and health fairs and clinics including interactive informational displays.

"LULAC's Veterans Summit will address issues of critical importance to U.S. Veterans and their families in a state with over 13.2 million Latino residents," said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. "You can expect to hear from cabinet secretaries, political leaders, government experts, local elected officials, and respected business and community leaders."

There will be a free two-day expo showcasing services, education and employment opportunities and resources to start your own business. The job fair features top companies and federal agencies looking to hire.

What: 2009 National Veterans Summit
Ribbon Cutting Press Conference: Job Fair, Health Clinic & Services

When: Friday, December 4, 2009, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Media covering the event should arrive at 10:45 a.m.

Where: Millennium Biltmore Hotel
506 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, California

Contacts: Katie Roberts, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or 202-461-4982; or Lizette Jenness Olmos, League of United Latin American Citizens, or 202-365-4553

The event is free to the Veteran community. Please call 1-877-LULAC-01 to RSVP or visit the web site

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Report: Immigrants help local economy

Cincinnati is covered in the Fiscal Policy Institute and shows how immigrants are helping the local economy. They are not hurting it, as many naysayers believe . - - Donna Poisl

By Quan Truong

There may be debate over whether Greater Cincinnati is immigrant-friendly but a study released this week made one thing clear: foreign-born residents are good for Cincinnati’s economy.

Of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas, Greater Cincinnati has the lowest percentage of immigrants but ranks second for the comparative amount they contribute to the economy. Pittsburgh ranks first and others in the top five include Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore. New York City tied with Los Angeles for 14th.
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Silva and other immigrants help Minnesota

St. Paul MN has named its next superintendent of schools. She is a woman who came here 24 years ago from Chile, speaking no English. Another immigrant who is adding so much to our country. - - Donna Poisl

It's not, but this could easily be the story of an Irish, Italian or Jewish person who arrived in the United States a century ago, speaking no English, and having virtually no money. Instead, this is the story of Valeria Silva, and thousands of other Minnesota immigrants. A fascinating new report, "The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota," helps describe their impact in suburbs, greater Minnesota and cities.

Twenty-four years ago, Valeria Silva came here from Chile. She spoke no English, and had almost no money in her pocket. Last week, the St. Paul School Board, on a 7-0 vote, named her its next superintendent of schools.
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EVEN ARTICHOKES HAVE HEARTS: Humanitarian aide for immigrants now

The humanitarian side of immigration is discussed in this article, it is rarely discussed by politicians or pundits. - - Donna Poisl

By Renee Villasenor, Senior Staff Columnist

Immigration has always been widely discussed in American politics. The positive and negative impacts have been debated for decades.

However, what many fail to recognize is that immigration is not as much a political issue as it is a humanitarian issue. According to the American Civil Liberties Union and Mexico’s human rights agency, around 350 to 500 immigrants die every year in their attempts to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. While many argue that this is simply the consequence of illegal activity, the reality is human lives are being lost and something must be done to stop it.
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Editorials The boon of immigration: Newcomers to America more than pull their economic weight

This editorial also quotes figures from the report by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Census report. - - Donna Poisl


What's next on the White House's domestic agenda after health care reform and the economy? How about comprehensive immigration reform? Remember that?

The need for combining secure borders with a rational policy for admitting newcomers is as pressing today as it was when the last attempted remake went down in flames under President George W. Bush, victim largely of the myth that immigration is a drain on the economy and a threat to native-born workers.
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Pew Research: Public Mixed on Immigration Policy

This report shows that most of the public and the government are in the middle, wanting both strictness and leniency. - - Donna Poisl

Public favors both strict enforcement and path to citizenship

by Phil Leggiere

With Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano playing a key role, the Obama administration has attempted to stake out a middle ground on immigration issues, stressing the necessity of both stricter enforcement against illegal immigration and the creation of clearer, fairer pathways for undocumented immigrants already in the United States to earn legal citizenship.

Pursuit of this middle course strategy has made the administration and Secreatary Napolitano the target of outspoken criticism from both immigration “hawks” and “doves”. According to a report published last week by the Pew Research firm, however, Napolitano’s middle course strategy may be representative of the attitudes of a majority of the US public.
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Inland area more dependent on immigrant labor, study says

A recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute has interesting data on immigrants and their impact on many U.S. areas. - - Donna Poisl

By DAVID OLSON, The Press-Enterprise

The Inland area is more dependent on immigrant labor than most other large U.S. urban areas, a new study concludes.

The report, by the Latham, N.Y.-based Fiscal Policy Institute, also revealed that although foreign-born workers are more likely to be concentrated in low-paying occupations than native-born people, they represent an increasing share of high-earning, highly skilled professionals, such as nurses and engineers.

The study found that 22 percent of people living in Riverside and San Bernardino counties between 2005 and 2007 were foreign-born, but they comprised 29 percent of civilian workers at least 16 years old.
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Knoxville group helps immigrants with car seats

Car seats are often not used by immigrant parents, I have a chapter in my book about car seats too. They save lots of lives. - - Donna Poisl

WRCB tv news

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Many Latin American immigrants never used child car seats in their home countries.

That's why Knoxville's Safe Kids Coalition is now offering car-seat safety demonstrations in Spanish.
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Unemployed U.S.-born workers seek day-labor jobs

Construction workers are looking for work where only illegal immigrants used to look. - - Donna Poisl

Growing ranks of U.S. citizens are heading to street corners and home improvement store parking lots to find day-labor work usually done by illegal immigrants.

The trend is most pronounced in regions where hot construction markets have collapsed, says Abel Valenzuela Jr., a professor of urban planning at the University of California-Los Angeles.

"You had many, many unemployed construction workers who found themselves without any permanent or stable work," he says. "Some of them have gone on to seek employment by standing on street corners alongside immigrant workers."
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Trail of DREAMs / Camino de los Sueños

Students are organizing a Trail of DREAMs to end up in Washington DC on May 1. They are asking for donations, volunteers, people to walk with them, etc. - - Donna Poisl

by S.W.E.R., Students Working for Equal Rights

A small team of brave, passionate students from Miami will embark on a 2000 mile journey accross the deep south, all the way to Washington, D.C. to galvanize unorganized communities and link immigrant rights networks and their allies to stand in solidarity for the passage of the Development Relief in Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM).

We will start the nationwide Trail of DREAMs -the underlying passions that once gave us all the pride to stand up in the morning and step out of our homes with the vision of being able to accomplish incredible things for the improvement of society and the protection of the fundamental human rights of ALL.
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lending a helping hand for immigrants

This program is helping immigrants learn to thrive in their new country; their children learn in school and the parents are left behind. - - Donna Poisl

Richland 2 program leader's goal: 'Make sure they have a better life'

Alma Puente-Ruiz scanned the church fellowship hall for the immigrant parents she had rescued from loneliness.

She pointed to one woman amid a throng of laughing, talkative women, then another, and another and another.

For Puente-Ruiz, a Richland 2 social worker, ending the isolation of parents new to America became a passion as she worked with families, first at the Department of Health and Environmental Control and then with the school district. Out of that passion and drive was born an adult-education program that teaches newly arrived immigrants how to navigate the language and the culture.
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Maryland immigration then and now

Fewer eligible immigrants are becoming citizens than previously in Maryland. The Council for New Americans has issued a new report. - - Donna Poisl

By Nicholas C. Stern, News-Post Staff

Maryland's attempts to help immigrants become part of the community date back to at least 1783, with the establishment of the German Society of Maryland.

Volunteers helped Italian and Irish immigrants integrate in the 1800s, according to an August report by the Maryland Council for New Americans.

Maryland ranks 10th in the nation for immigrants who have achieved permanent resident status. Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thanksgiving: One more reason to be grateful to immigrants

This interesting article tells about prayers and feasts of thanksgiving that took place before the Pilgrims had theirs. - - Donna Poisl



Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, was created by immigrants. While everyone associates the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, that is not historically correct. Several thanksgiving celebrations were held by immigrants prior to that event.

The first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565 when 600 Spanish settlers landed in what is now St. Augustine, Florida and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for their safe delivery to the New World. The Mass was followed by a feast and celebration.

A Spanish expedition party rested and conducted a mass at San Elizario (near El Paso, Texas) in celebration of thanksgiving on April 30, 1598.

On December 4, 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, which is about 20 miles north of Jamestown, Virginia. The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God.
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The path to citizenship: Son of immigrant to help permanent residents make the leap

Learning from his father's experience, this man is helping permanent residents with their paperwork and studies to become citizens. - - Donna Poisl

By Nicholas C. Stern, News-Post Staff

James Chung witnessed firsthand the difficulties his father faced immigrating in the mid-1960s to the United States from South Korea.

His father had little money and could not speak English well, Chung said. But he learned the language, attended college, became a real estate broker, started his own sporting goods store, went to law school in his 50s and is a practicing attorney.
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Immigration reform activists diversifying ranks

Immigrants in the U.S. from many parts of the world are getting involved in immigration reform, not just Latinos - - Donna Poisl

WASHINGTON — With the 2010 election year looming, Democrat Barack Obama in the White House and increasing numbers of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in Congress, many groups, including the NAACP, are working harder in the traditionally Latino-led movement, sensing a fresh opportunity to overhaul laws affecting millions of immigrants, both legal and illegal.

"For far too long, the Latino population in the U.S. has really borne the brunt of the anti-immigrant sentiment," said Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y. Washington NAACP bureau director Hillary Shelton said: "The immigration debate needs to have, in addition to a Latino face, it needs to have a Haitian face. It needs to have an Asian face."
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Holiday new experience at Bucs' academy

Our holiday is a way for new immigrants to learn some of our history without studying a book, much easier to learn while eating good food. - - Donna Poisl

Thanksgiving another way to introduce U.S. culture

By Jenifer Langosch /

PITTSBURGH -- Down in El Toro, Dominican Republic, a town located on the outskirts of the capital city of Santo Domingo, about 80 people will pass through the cafeteria at the Pirates' Latin American headquarters on Thursday. And there, they'll find Thanksgiving dinner.

It will be a fairly traditional Thanksgiving meal as we would know it in the U.S. But for a group of young men that have been raised in various Latin American countries, it will serve as a unique cultural experience.

"Some of them had heard of Thanksgiving because Dominican society is influenced by America," said Caleb Santos-Silva, a U.S. citizen working for the Pirates in their Dominican academy. "We wanted to do something for Thanksgiving to let everyone know what we do in the states."
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Board of Guadalupe Schools diverse group

This school board is doing many different and unusual things to meet the needs of their community. - - Donna Poisl

Education » Fundraising, oversight and filling needs are members' goals.

By Tom Harvey, The Salt Lake Tribune

Perhaps it's a bit unusual for a school board to learn Polish during one of its regular meetings. But that's what the members of the Guadalupe Schools did recently.

In fact, four members got up in front of the others in a classroom on the west side of Salt Lake City and held up various objects having to do with keeping warm in the winter as teacher Kate Diggins said the name in Polish.

The lesson served as a demonstration of how the schools can teach English to someone who has no prior experience with the language and served to help members identify with the people Guadalupe serves, said Executive Director Victoria Mori.
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Immigration reform next up on bishops' wish list for Congress

Immigration reform is the next priority for the Catholic church. I hope it helps. - - Donna Poisl

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new postcard campaign in 2010 will urge Congress to take up as its next priority comprehensive immigration reform that would reunite families, regularize the status of an estimated 12 million people in this country illegally and restore due process protections for immigrants.

"We want to increase Catholic grass-roots support for immigration reform, but we also want to show members of Congress a strong Catholic voice and strong Catholic numbers in support of immigration reform," said Antonio Cube, national manager of the U.S. bishops' Justice for Immigrants project, in a Nov. 16 conference call with reporters.
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Pilgrim descendants in Chicago salute a legacy of freedom

These people in Chicago are related to the first immigrants in this country and hundreds of years later, we all celebrate their pact to work together and form a new community. - - Donna Poisl

Mayflower Compact gets its due from those who had ancestors at Plymouth Rock

By Ron Grossman Tribune reporter

Cutting the turkey and spooning out the cranberry sauce, most people -- if remembering the Pilgrims at all -- will credit them with setting the Thanksgiving Day menu. But Don Sherman will thank them for a more profound legacy, what he calls "their fierce, you could say fanatical, devotion to freedom."

Sherman is among a number of Chicagoans who have discovered they are Pilgrim descendants and who gather on the weekend before Thanksgiving for a luncheon (yes, turkey). Someone reads the Mayflower Compact, a kind of mini-constitution the Pilgrims wrote just before landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Then the list of its signers is recited:

William Bradford, Myles Standish, John Alden ...

As each Pilgrim's name is called out, his descendants rise.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Immigration Reform Must Happen this Congress

Send an electronic postcard to your Members

Through the We Were Strangers, Too campaign, the Jewish community is sending thousands of postcards to Congress with a clear message that we want immigration reform in the 111th Congress.

To receive hard copies of the cards, contact The message from the Jewish community on this website is an electronic version of the card that you can send to your Senators and Representatives with one click.

Click on the headline or go here to send the card:

Urge your Representatives to join the Congressional Refugee Caucus

This bipartisan caucus was formed in 2003 to give greater visibility to refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers to mobilize support within the House of Representatives for refugee resettlement and overseas protection and assistance.

As a member of the Caucus, your Representative will help the U.S. Government keep abreast of actions needed to sustain U.S. leadership in responding to the global refugee crisis and represent our refugee community members.

Click on headline or go here to sign the message:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jobless rates soar for immigrants

Counselors are giving tips and information and even interview clothing to these people. Anything to help them be successful here in this difficult economy. - - Donna Poisl

Agency provides interviewing tips and more

By Georgia East, Sun Sentinel

They come to refugee resettling agencies hoping to find any kind of lead.

They listen closely to this country's interviewing tips - smile, maintain eye contact, give a firm handshake. Most have given up on landing a job in their field.

But the harsh reality is that at a time when the unemployment rate is high for American citizens, for refugees with the legal right to live and work here, finding a job in South Florida is a daunting prospect.
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State to announce in Brockton $1.4 million for English language program for immigrants

This new funding will help immigrants in the workforce learn English through programs with their employers. - - Donna Poisl

By Erin Shannon

BROCKTON - The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is expected to announce $1.4 million funding for the statewide Learn at Work program in a press conference Monday at the downtown HarborOne Credit Union.

The $1.4 million will be used to fund programs throughout the state for immigrant workers to learn English.

Mayor James E. Harrington is expected to announce on Monday additional funding for the same program for the Brockton area through the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board.
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Hispanic groups extend a charitable hand

Several groups helped hand out food and warm clothes to day laborers. Most of the men are Hispanic and most of these charitable groups are Hispanic too. - - Donna Poisl

By Magdalene Perez, Staff Writer

STAMFORD -- There wasn't any turkey, stuffing or mashed potatoes under the shadow of the Interstate 95 underpass Saturday morning. No cranberry sauce and doting aunts and uncles or wine in a cardboard box.

Instead, more than 80 immigrant men, mostly from Guatemala and Ecuador, formed lines at the day laborer pick-up site at Lafayette and South State streets to collect Thanksgiving donations of winter hats, coats and sweaters.

Volunteers from Hispanic community groups passed out the clothing, as well as doughnuts, bread and hot drinks. A man with a bullhorn distributed Peruvian fruit cakes. A makeshift band, consisting of a guitarist, singers and a percussion player on the gourd-shaped Latin American guiro instrument, belted out "Besame Mucho," and other Spanish-language favorites.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bill would boost money for literacy programs

This bill would direct more money than in the past to help kids in higher grades with literacy. Those kids are falling through the cracks, and then they drop out of school. - - Donna Poisl

By Les Blumenthal, McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — There are zero-book children, 1,000-book children, the summer slide, Early Readers, Reading First, Striving Readers and programs, methods and studies with names and acronyms that won't quit. It's all part of the effort to teach the nation's children to read.

With state and local funding for education being squeezed, however, school administrators and classroom teachers are hoping a bill introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that would provide nearly $12 billion for literacy programs over five years will inject some much-needed cash into what most consider the cornerstone of learning.
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Editorial: The economic case for immigration

Read the facts this editorial states. Very interesting reasons proving why we need immigrants for the economy to improve and thrive. - - Donna Poisl

Economic growth depends on replacing today's aging workforce.

by editors,

In the shallow, often misinformed rhetoric over immigration, we too seldom hear the case for reform made in economic terms.

That may be changing -- at least in Minnesota. A new report from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute and the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition pulls together compelling evidence that even in this mostly homogeneous state -- where the immigrant population is small but growing -- immigrants are playing an increasingly important role in the economy, and we will depend more on their contributions as boomers leave the workforce.

Consider these facts:
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Petitioners from around the world take oath of U.S. citizenship in Abingdon

Immigrants were sworn in recently as new citizens. The judge told them to keep their own religion, teach their language to their children and register to vote. - - Donna Poisl

By Michael Owens | Reporter / Bristol Herald Courier

ABINGDON, Va. – Francisca Loiola Turner has dreamed of becoming a U.S. citizen since she was a 7-year-old growing up in Brazil. Sparking the dream was a television spot featuring an American translating English into Portuguese, the native tongue of Brazil.

“I told my mom, one day I’m going to learn that language and go to that place,” Turner recalled Friday, as her dream was realized.

Turner, who now lives in Bristol, was surrounded by 21 other immigrants as they all swore the oath of citizenship Friday at the U.S. District Court in Abingdon.
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Women help lead Chinese culture course

As more businesses are interacting with China, this Asian Center is teaching locals about parts of the Chinese culture that will help their business. - - Donna Poisl

Regional Asian Center looks to attract businesses

By Judy Wakefield, Staff Writer

The local Asian Center started out as a gathering center for new immigrants, including many who had escaped from war torn homelands. It was the place to go for inexpensive English classes.

Grants earmarked for language programs for refuges paid the rent and salary stipends for years at the Asian Center of Merrimack Valley, which was founded in 1987 by nuns, the Sisters of Charity.

"Times have changed. Now, we need to be more about Asian culture, Asian business, not just language," Schmitt said. "It's a whole new generation [and new business climate in Asia, especially China]. You've got to understand that if you are going to do business over there."
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