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.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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:
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

U.S. Citizenship For Illegal Immigrants By Early 2010

The discussion about immigrant reform should be very interesting. Even more than the one about health care reform. - - Donna Poisl

Written by

In a few months President Obama will push legislation to legalize the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who assures her boss's jam-packed agenda won't delay his campaign promise to the influential La Raza movement.

By early next year the country's immigration system will be overhauled, guarantees Napolitano, who is the president's point person on the matter. The former Arizona governor dispelled suggestions that the administration is too busy with health care, Middle Eastern wars and other pressing issues to postpone enacting immigration legislation.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Patrick orders staff to craft plan on immigration

Massachusetts governor has ordered his staff to form a plan to help immigrants in their state to integrate better. They will use a recent report which listed 131 ways to do this. - - Donna Poisl

By Maria Sacchetti and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff

Governor Deval Patrick urged Massachusetts residents today to avoid getting mired in "the usual debate" over illegal immigration as he gave his cabinet 90 days to craft a plan for better integrating all foreign-born residents into the state's daily fabric.

The governor's remarks came at the State House unveiling of a report with 131 recommendations on ways to improve the lives of immigrants, who make up 14 percent of the state's population. The recommendations include expanded English classes and job training for any immigrant who needs them. But the report also urged him to push for two controversial steps: extending in-state tuition at public colleges and driver's licenses for immigrants here illegally.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Census Turns to Kids for Help

Many immigrants are not sure they want to or are capable to fill in the census forms. Their children are learning how important it is and how to help their parents. - - Donna Poisl

In Immigrant Neighborhoods, a Way to Reach Adults Who Don't Speak English


LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting a new set of volunteers: kids.

Seeking to ensure strong participation in the decennial population count, especially in so-called hard-to-count neighborhoods, the bureau has decided children are key.

That has led it to settings like Arlene Paynes's first-grade class at Union Avenue Elementary School in this immigrant enclave on the edge of downtown. Last Thursday, the class gathered to read aloud a story titled "Who Counts?"
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Interfaith Group Prays For Immigration Reform

More people are getting active in immigration reform, this interfaith group among them. - - Donna Poisl


CINCINNATI -- A controversial issue took center stage at a prayer service downtown this weekend. On Sunday morning, church leaders from several different faiths came together to pray for immigration reform.

People at the event said they want to end the current laws that can rip families apart.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Military Families Act Honors America's Immigrant Soldiers and Families

About 8% of our military personnel are foreign born people, our military relies on these immigrants and is honoring them now. - - Donna Poisl

by Spanish Journal

Washington D.C. -Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) have introduced the Military Families Act (S. 2757).

The Military Families bill would allow immediate family members of active military service members to become lawful permanent residents even when the sponsoring solider has lost his or her life in service. Also included in the bill are the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans whose immigration status has been long deferred due to numerical limitations on immigrant visas.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants mix it up — peacefully — in San Jose

Asians and Latinos met and discussed their differences and problems. And discovered they are very much alike: working hard, trying to make a living here and raising their kids. - - Donna Poisl

By Joe Rodriguez

Do Vietnamese really eat dogs? Why are Mexicans so loud and noisy?

The questions reflect two stereotypes of San Jose's largest immigrant groups. And both questions came up in a special gathering Sunday of ordinary people of Mexican and Vietnamese heritage brought together to discuss something they share: trying to raise children using their cultural traditions in America.

"What we all have in common is that we came here to work,'' said Marisela Padilla, a young Mexican-American mother of three from Milpitas. "We're so focused on work, paying the rent, that sometimes our children fall by the wayside."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Mass. immigrant tuition bill to get new push

Ten states have legislation to allow these kids who went to their high schools to go to their colleges with instate tuition charges. Massachusetts is not one of them and might be changing that law. - - Donna Poisl


CHELSEA, Mass. — It seemed like a given that Mario Rodas would go to college.

The Guatemalan-born student certainly had the academic credentials, going from English as a second language classes to taking advanced placement exams for college credit his senior year at Chelsea High School.

But paying for it was another matter. As an undocumented immigrant in 2005, Rodas would have had to pay out-of-state tuition fees to go to a public college in Massachusetts, and he couldn't afford that.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Participate in Unprecedented Grassroots Movement

Thousands to Participate in Unprecedented Grassroots
Movement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

sponsored by Reform Immigration For America

Over 800 House Parties Nationwide Underscore Voters' Commitment to Passing Immigration Reform

Washington D.C. - On Wednesday, November 18, tens of thousands of activists, families, friends, and neighbors will gather for a nationwide tele-town hall event that will continue the momentum for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2010. The teleconference is coming on the heels of comments from White House Senior Advisor and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, both of whom indicated the White House is ready to push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2010.

The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign is convening the national teleconference with Congressmen Luis Gutierrez, Raul Grijalva and Nydia Velazquez to discuss a progressive outline for immigration reform legislation that Representative Gutierrez is preparing and share thoughts with families and communities directly.

WHO: Reform Immigration for America
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

WHAT: National Teleconference and Town Hall on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WHEN: Wednesday, November 18
English Call 8:00pm EST
Spanish Call 9:00pm EST

Join a house party:

Join the call from home:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

York man pays back on a dream

This is a wonderful story about a man who came here on the Golden Venture and after many many years, has gone back to the community that helped him then. He has opened up a store and is giving back to the town. - - Donna Poisl

Pin Lin's journey took him through York County Prison. He says the people of York County practically saved his life, inspiring him to return here as a free man and contribute to the community.

By KEVIN HORAN, Daily Record/Sunday News

York County Prison's walls kept Pin Lin from the dream of American prosperity he held as he fled China 16 years ago in a boat alongside hundreds of other illegal immigrants.

People in York County, however, fought for Lin and the others on the Golden Venture. Some visited. Some held vigils to draw the public's attention. A volunteer taught Lin English. A lawyer counseled him for free.

Lin never forgot their kindness.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Obama presses Congress to rework immigration laws

Immigration reform is supposed to begin in a few months, it should be exciting to see how we get a "tough but fair" path for legal status. - - Donna Poisl

By Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post staff writer

The Obama administration expects Congress to begin moving to overhaul the nation's immigration laws early next year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday, adding that improved border security and a drop in migration caused by the economic downturn make such changes "far more attainable" than in 2007.

"When Congress is ready to act, we will be ready to support them," said Napolitano, President Obama's "point person" on immigration policy issues. "The first part of 2010, we will see legislation beginning to move," she said.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Muslim immigrant in line for Granite Falls mayor

This immigrant, a Muslim in a small WA town, has gone all the way in the American Dream and is becoming Mayor of his town. - - Donna Poisl

By LYNN THOMPSON - The Seattle Times

GRANITE FALLS, Wash. Among the more improbable scenes in Granite Falls in the days following Tuesday's election was a burly man in an insulated trucker cap giving a bear hug to the elegant Pakistani-American restaurant owner who appeared poised to become the town's new mayor.

"I love you, man," the local gushed.

Saleem Haroon, 54, sporting a flag lapel pin that blinked frenetically in the dimly lit lounge of his Timberline Cafe, returned the hugs of a steady stream of well-wishers.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Settlement opens door for hundreds of legal immigrants to become U.S. citizens

This settlement means these legal immigrants will finally have their applications completed. They have been waiting for many years because of backlogs and unexplained delays. - - Donna Poisl

by Anna Gorman

Hundreds of legal immigrants in Southern California who have been waiting years for citizenship will have their cases resolved as a result of a settlement with the federal government, attorneys announced today.

The immigrants were stuck in lengthy delays as they waited for the FBI to complete their security name checks and for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve their citizenship applications.

The settlement, approved Friday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, sets a six-month deadline for the government to decide on hundreds of citizenship applications from Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Bernardino.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hope for a Hurting World gift catalog helps refugees

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights

This group in Chicago works to help refugees and immigrants and has a new gift catalog, with all of the proceeds going to providing this assistance.

Parents lost jobs, families lost homes, many fell into poverty, all while funds for services in city and state budgets were reduced and sometimes completely eliminated. But at Heartland Alliance, budget cuts haven’t stopped the work, they are still providing help to people who need a home, or a doctor or protection from harm. Proceeds from this catalog should help replace some of the funds they are lacking.

Check out the gift catalog online at There are great gifts, including things like winter outerwear for a child, health care for a homeless person, or job skills training for parents.

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
208 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1818
Chicago, IL 60604

Monday, November 09, 2009

C.E.O. Women Launches Grand Café Educational Soap Opera and Expands Proven Program into San Jose

Look at the youtube video and see the trailer for the telenovela, go to

This educational soap opera, also known as a “telenovela,” follows the lives of 4 immigrant women how are trying to start their own business in America. The video series imparts language and entrepreneurial training – and supplements an award winning classroom based learning model, which was founded by CEO-Women (an Oakland based non-profit) nine years ago.

MCHD to provide Spanish course for employees

Employees of the county who work in health care are learning Spanish, so they can help faster in emergencies with their Hispanic population. It is always good to learn another language, this is a good idea. - - Donna Poisl

By Nancy Flake

With Montgomery County’s Spanish-speaking population growing every day, the language barrier can be a problem – if not a danger – when trying to communicate with emergency medical workers.

That’s why the Montgomery County Hospital District board approved spending $31,750 over the next two years for an online Spanish course for its employees working with EMS and Health Care Assistance Program.

The board unanimously approved the measure Tuesday.

“Having worked as a paramedic in the field for a number of years, I knew the frustrations for paramedics and patients when there’s a language barrier,” CEO Allen Johnson said.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Austin anti-immigration rally flops

Maybe this is a good sign. In Minnesota, an hour-long speech about the dangers of illegal immigration only had two people listening to it. - - Donna Poisl

By Jim Troyer, Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

On guard for a possible clash with counter-protesters against a neo-Nazi group in Austin, police and firefighters outnumbered those who attended Saturday's downtown rally.

Two members of the National Socialist Movement Southern Minnesota branch held a banner near the George Washington statue on Main Street while Austin member Samuel Johnson delivered an hour-long speech on the dangers of illegal immigration.

His audience consisted of two people who sat quietly across the street and did not want to be named.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

German immigrants hopeful their children will retain heritage

Another article about trying to be American while keeping their language and culture alive. Let's hope this helps more people be bilingual and they don't lose the second language. - - Donna Poisl


In Dorothea Drew's Middletown household, the Frankfurt native speaks to her bilingual children in German while her American husband speaks to them in English.

Over at Michaela Greco's house in Atlantic Highlands, the mother of two also speaks to her children in German. They respond in English.

"I don't think they find it fashionable for me to speak in German," said Greco, 46, who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1995. "But you hope that something sticks."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Indians in America meet cultural clash

Immigrants often struggle trying to fit into life here and also keeping their own culture alive. Even first generation American children run into obstacles trying to mix the two cultures. - - Donna Poisl

Accommodation not so easy in US melting pot

By Jesse Washington

To 12-year-old Suzannah Pabla, piercing her nose was a way to connect with her roots in India. To Suzannah's school, it was a dress-code violation worthy of a suspension.

To other Indians, the incident was emblematic of how it still can be difficult for the American melting pot to absorb certain aspects of their cultural and religious traditions. Suzannah was briefly suspended last month from her public school in Bountiful, Utah, for violating a body-piercing ban.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A message from Reform Immigration for America Director, Rich Soltz

A message from Reform Immigration for America Director, Rich Soltz

On Wednesday, November 18th, the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign will host a national call for thousands of community leaders across the nation to build the base and strength necessary to press forward the fierce need for just and humane immigration reform. Please join us, and spread word to your networks.

Information on Families Freedom and Faith: A Call to Action for Immigration Reform is now available at the Campaign's website:

On this national telephonic town hall event with community members everywhere Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, and the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign will share information about next steps for reform as we build toward the critical early months of 2010.

We are inviting community members to register for the call and to host house parties and local listening events on November 18th at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific for English speakers and 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific for Spanish speakers. Register a house party in your community or organization.

Thank you for all that you do!

Rich Stolz
Reform Immigration FOR America

Some immigrants in Central Falls are afraid to give info to the government

Only half of the residents in this city sent their census forms back in 2000, officials are trying to get a better count this time. Federal money is based on population and towns all need financial help. Yet there are groups urging immigrants to boycott the census. - - Donna Poisl

By Karen Lee Ziner, Journal Staff Writer

CENTRAL FALLS –– On any given street corner of this struggling city, you might hear people speaking English, Spanish, Creole, K’iche, or Portuguese, lending truth to a sign at the city’s border, “Welcome to Central Falls — The Whole World in One Square Mile.” Until recently, Central Falls held a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” claim as the smallest, most densely populated city in the country.

But the fact is, no one knows how many people live here.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

SSJ Mission Corps Inspires College Grads To Serve

When the job market is so tough, many college grads are volunteering to help the poor, many of them immigrants. Teach for America, Peace Corps and the SSJ Mission Corps, shown here, are putting these young people to good use and they will be able to use their experiences in their future careers. - - Donna Poisl

By ERIN MAGUIRE, For The Bulletin

The post-college call to serve was made popular by the Peace Corps in the 1960’s, but is especially attractive now with ample volunteer opportunities and few jobs in the market. The economy has inspired more graduates to serve – Teach for America alone received a 42 percent increase in applicants in 2009 – and fresh programs were started to meet this interest.

In Philadelphia, the SSJ Mission Corps run by the Sisters of St. Joseph is in its inaugural year as a volunteer program with the core values of: spirituality, justice, simple living and community.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Internal conflicts:American Muslim teens face a daily struggle in defining their identity

Muslim kids in the U.S. are trying to fit into teenage life and also keep their faith and keep their parents happy. A hard task. - - Donna Poisl

By Shahla Khan, IFN Staff Reporter

The clock on the wall of Kaplan Test-Prep Center in Austin, Texas points to 6:30; ten minutes left until the time for Asr (afternoon prayer) ends. Sixteen-year-old Amir glances at his wrist watch, worried that his SAT preparation class won’t end in time. He knows he should probably leave the session early so he doesn’t miss prayer, but the thought of getting up in front of everyone and leaving the room makes him nervous. "What will they think of me," he wonders anxiously. He decides to stay and misses the prayer.

Meanwhile, at a movie theatre in downtown Los Angeles, 17-year-old Khadeeja waits at a parking lot to meet up with some friends for pizza. Her cell phone rings; it’s her mother. Khadeeja’s boyfriend’s car approaches from around the corner; she looks frantically at her ringing phone again and presses ignore. She takes the front seat next to Brad and recites a short prayer to herself, hoping her mother doesn’t call again while she is with him.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Language school to open in downtown Staunton

Several languages will be taught at this school. Native speakers are teaching French and Spanish and other languages and English will also be taught to immigrants. - - Donna Poisl

By Cindy Corell/staff

STAUNTON — Whether you have a trip planned to another country and want to speak the language or just wish you had paid more attention in your high school language class, Michele Edwards has the solution for you.

Staunton Language and Cultural Center will open in downtown Staunton on Nov. 16. Promising small classes in a comfortable, casual setting, Edwards aims to take the intimidation out of learning another language. She also will teach English to area immigrants of any nationality.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Immigrants in the American heartland

This story shows how diverse this whole country is becoming, including small town Iowa and other rural areas. - - Donna Poisl

By Paul Adams

Look around America's rural heartland in the 21st Century and you see some remarkable things.

A Buddhist temple, with monks dressed in vivid saffron robes, set amid rain-drenched cornfields.

Newly arrived Somali workers, tucking into burritos in a Mexican restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

Ultra-orthodox Jews hurrying through the chilly autumn gloom to Sabbath prayers in a small town set amid rolling hills.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

High Commissioner's Remarks at Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony

The Nansen Refugee Award is awarded in recognition of extraordinary service to refugees. Senator Ted Kennedy received it posthumously. - - Donna Poisl

HC Statements

Mrs. Kennedy, ladies and gentlemen,

During my time as Prime Minister of Portugal and in my current position as High Commissioner, I had the great honor and pleasure of meeting with Senator Kennedy on a number of occasions. I could not help but be immensely impressed by him -- impressed by his compassion and his unwaivering commitment to human rights and refugee protection. What he famously said of his brother is so true of him as well: he saw wrong and tried to right it. He saw suffering and tried to heal it.

When he traveled to East Bengal in 1971, he recalled a sight that seared his memory. I quote – " …a 10-year-old girl out foraging for something to cover the body of her baby brother." Thirty five years later, he wrote of those who fled the war in Iraq, "refugees are witnesses to the cruelty that stains our age." His powers of observation and compassion never waned. His conviction led to action that rescued scores of uprooted lives.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this presentation speech. This is only a small part of it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Va. Hispanic chamber founder believes in building bridges

This story, about a son of immigrants who grew up with the thought to help his community, just like his family was helped. He has started a Chamber of Commerce office helping businesses owned by immigrants. - - Donna Poisl


Helping others is a common thread in Michel Zajur's life.

It began at an early age for the soft-spoken son of immigrants who moved to the Richmond area from Mexico in 1960.

"When my parents came here, they did not speak any English," he said. "So my siblings and I grew up as translators and we helped them, because we learned English a lot quicker than they did," Zajur said. "There were people who helped my family. There was an uncle who helped my father get started in a business."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

State to launch new grants on English classes

There are about 17,000 immigrants on waiting lists to learn English in state funded classes, this grant should help tremendously. - - Donna Poisl

Posted on

WORCESTER, Mass.—State officials are slated to announce $1.3 million in grants aimed at helping the state's immigrants learn English.
The state secretaries of labor and education are scheduled Wednesday to give details on the grants for new adult English classes.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Hispanic ministries finds a home at FUMC

This church has added programs to help the immigrants in their area. They are teaching them English and how to function in this culture. - - Donna Poisl

By David Snow | Demopolis Times

DEMOPOLIS — One of the greatest issues facing the United States is immigration. Many thousands of people are coming into the U.S., predominantly from Mexico and Central America, seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

The two greatest needs that these future Americans have is to learn English and to become a part of their new communities. There is a ministry at the First United Methodist Church that seeks to meet both needs.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Immigrants urged to back Deeds

If immigrants will vote in all the elections and not just for president, they can help the presidential programs go through. Many immigrants think the president is the one who does everything, not realizing he is only one small part of the whole process. - - Donna Poisl

By Anita Kumar

Immigrants, who traditionally are not well represented at the polls, are being encouraged to get out and vote Tuesday for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.

Organizers of the effort say they want to get the same immigrants who turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama to turn out for Deeds because of his stances on the economy, education, healthcare and, yes, illegal immigration.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Many L.A. students not moving out of English language classes

Students do much better if they get into the mainstreams classes and out of the English learner programs as soon as they are able. But many are staying in the classes and many of them drop out of school entirely. - - Donna Poisl

Almost 30% of those placed early on in such programs in L.A. Unified were still in them when they started high school, study says. The sooner students moved on, the more they excelled.

By Anna Gorman

Nearly 30% of Los Angeles Unified School District students placed in English language learning classes in early primary grades were still in the program when they started high school, increasing their chances of dropping out, according to a new study released Wednesday.

The findings raise questions about the teaching in the district's English language classes, whether students are staying in the program too long and what more educators should do for students who start school unable to speak English fluently.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Census sees rise of foreign-born population on LI

These communities are all trying to make sure the population is correctly counted in the new Census. It is very important to get an accurate count. - - Donna Poisl


Thirteen of Long Island's hamlets and villages have a foreign-born population of at least 20 percent, with most increasing since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest estimates for 2006-2008 out Tuesday.

In 10 of those localities, 10 percent or more of the population are not U.S. citizens, a Newsday analysis showed.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.