Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ESL programs get $891,539 in grants

Language is the gateway to living here successfully and these grants will help tremendously. - - Donna Poisl

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded $891,539 in grants to help programs that teach language and vocational skills to immigrants and refugees.

Seventeen nonprofit organizations, community colleges and adult schools will receive grants for a range of programs, from traditional vocational and English as a second language instruction to a new educational telenova that provides language and entrepreneurial training by telling the stories of immigrant women starting their own businesses.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

City wants residents, including illegal immigrants, counted

Immigrants, illegal immigrants and homeless people are all very important to be counted in the Census. Federal money and representation are at stake. - - Donna Poisl

With funding at stake, Santa Ana works to ensure census is accurate.

By DOUG IRVING, The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – With lots of money on the line, community leaders here are planning an all-out push in the next several months to make sure every resident gets counted in the 2010 census.

It won't be easy. The city has large numbers of illegal immigrants, as well as a significant population of homeless people – two groups that have been hard to count in the past.

But the stakes are high for getting it right. The federal government uses census data to help distribute hundreds of billions of dollars to cities every year. Census numbers also help draw the lines for Congressional districts.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Fees deter many from citizenship

Citizenship application fees seem to be the main reason so many eligible immigrants are not becoming citizens. - - Donna Poisl

Advocates say cuts in services also play role

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

Nearly 300,000 legal immigrants in Massachusetts are eligible to become US citizens, but only a small percentage each year are reaching that goal, raising concerns that huge swaths of people are being priced out of the American dream.

Fees to apply for citizenship have soared in the past two decades from $60 a person to $675, making them among the highest in the Western world, researchers say. At the same time, assistance for navigating the often confusing system is dwindling because of state budget cuts.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Linda Chavez: Immigrants moving briskly to better U.S. lives

This opinion piece shows how immigrants are quickly assimilating. Even though many others say they are not and never will. - - Donna Poisl

by Linda Chavez

For the first time in decades, the number of foreign-born individuals living in the United States declined last year, according to new numbers released by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The reason for the tiny decline – from 12.6 percent of the U.S. population to 12.5 percent – may have less to do with tougher border enforcement effectively keeping out illegal immigrants than it does with a shrinking economy making the country a less enticing destination.

But what about those who remain? The greatest passion generated during immigration debates over the past few years has concerned illegal immigration, but many people also have voiced fears that Hispanic immigrants, even those who came legally, are somehow different from all previous immigrants and never will move into the American mainstream.

Contrary to the impression that Hispanics remain poor no matter how long they've lived in the U.S., upward mobility is still the rule, not the exception.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Latinos bank on bilingual census form to aid count

Immigrants are often afraid to fill out the census form. Maybe receiving bilingual forms will make them feel a bit better and make it easier for them too. - - Donna Poisl


LONG BEACH, Calif. — When Teresa Ocampo opens her census questionnaire, she won't have to worry about navigating another document in English.

The 40-year old housewife who only speaks basic English will be able to fill hers out in Spanish — which is exactly what U.S. officials were banking on when they decided to mail out millions of bilingual questionnaires next year.

For the first time, the decennial census will be distributed in the two languages to 13.5 million households in predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. Latino advocates hope the forms will lead to a more accurate count by winning over the trust of immigrants who are often wary of government and may be even more fearful after the recent surge in immigration raids and deportations.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Counting on the immigrants

More than three million people were probably missed in the 2000 Census. Counting everyone is very important, federal money goes to communities based on their numbers. - - Donna Poisl

Liaison works to allay census fears

Angela Mapes Turner, The Journal Gazette

An estimated 3.3 million people slipped through the cracks during the 2000 U.S. census.

It’s part of the job for Fort Wayne’s new Hispanic-immigrant liaison to make sure fewer are missed when the census rolls around next year.

“Most of our immigrants are scared, they are fearful,” said Giusti, executive director of the Center for Nonviolence, who has worked with Galindo on projects over the past decade.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

10 things you can do to close the immigration gap

Read the list of things we can all do to help immigrants assimilate into our culture. I write about these things all the time too. - - Donna Poisl

By the Herald editorial staff

In his column Wednesday, Ruben Navarrette Jr. lectured Hispanic immigrants on their duty to assimilate into this country.

In these times of political correctness, Navarrette's frank and honest criticism likely would be rejected by many if it hadn't come from a Hispanic commentator.

In that same spirit of candor, we have a few suggestions of our own for readers born in America.

The duty shouldn't fall entirely on recent immigrants. Those of us whose ancestors migrated decades or centuries ago now are duty-bound to ease the immigration gap where we can.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

S.F. Interfaith call to reform immigration laws

The San Francisco Organizing Project, or SFOP, is organizing their communities to push for reform of immigration laws. - - Donna Poisl

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer

When Bridget Byrne and her five children came to San Francisco from Ireland illegally in 1985, they were embraced by the city's robust Irish community.
Byrne and one of her daughters eventually got their citizenship, and Byrne's three other children secured their legal residency.

On Saturday, Byrne joined interfaith leaders, city officials and dozens of community members to reach out to other immigrants and call for the reform of immigration laws.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

HarborOne's financial literacy center recognized nationally; called a model for others

Financial literacy is almost as important as learning language, immigrants have to be taught how to manage their money in our system. This also helps them protect themselves from scams and predatory practices. - - Donna Poisl

By Beth Perdue, Bulletin editor

BROCKTON, Mass. — A community banking center, begun to help stem the tide of foreclosures in Brockton, has received national recognition for its work helping low and moderate-income residents, minorities and immigrants avoid predatory financial practices through education.

HarborOne's Multicultural Banking Center won the National Credit Union Foundation's Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Organization. The credit union will be one of only four in the nation honored at an awards dinner in Washington D.C. in February.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

West Portal immersion program still thriving

This Chinese immersion school has become a national role model. This year 446 kids were trying to get accepted and there were only 34 spots open. - - Donna Poisl

Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer

It was 1984 when a handful of San Francisco parents embarked on a controversial education experiment to open the first Chinese immersion public school program in the nation.

The idea was to immerse the students in Cantonese from the first day of school, teaching them math, science and other subjects in Chinese and gradually increasing English skills along the way. Success would mean that by the time the children finished elementary school, they would be grade-level literate in both languages.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

A Commitment to Citizenship

An interesting editorial, saying the naturalization fees should not be raised again, that the government should help more. - - Donna Poisl

Editorial, New York edition

Here’s a good federal stimulus project: citizenship. Reports this week that the United States citizenship agency was yet again struggling with a budget shortfall, and considering raising fees on the hopeful immigrants who are its main source of revenue, could have led any American to wonder what kind of beacon to the world we are anymore.

Congress requires Citizenship and Immigration Services to be self-supporting. For years, the agency languished, its ambitions and effectiveness sorely limited by the principle of economics and government known as You Get What You Pay For. Bureaucratic backlogs built up, as did frustrations. Would-be citizens spent years waiting for paperwork. Their long ordeals were compounded by a notoriously surly, inattentive bureaucracy.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Constitution center sponsors teen video debate on immigration

This high school student debate on immigration reform brought up the same arguments that are in all the other debates. - - Donna Poisl

By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer

Alternating between giddiness and focused attention, a cross-section of American youth debated immigration reform yesterday in an innovative videoconference centered in Philadelphia and sponsored by the National Constitution Center.

Challenged by the prompt, "Should the United States reduce immigration?" the selected students from several high schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and California were linked via closed-circuit TV and watched one another on large, subdivided video monitors.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Hispanic Student Population Grows in Mid-Missouri

Missouri has a growing number of Hispanic students and is using new tests to help the kids and also help the schools do a better job teaching them. Very interesting. - - Donna Poisl

COLUMBIA - English-language classes aim to teach the growing number of Hispanic students in mid-Missouri about the language and adjusting to life in the U.S.

The state requires children of immigrants at all school levels to take core content classes and separate English Language Learners classes to learn English and get help with other homework.

"It's a hard process," said Jenifer Albright-Borts, an ELL coordinator in Columbia.

In the 2004-2005 school year, Columbia Public Schools had 468 ELL students. This school year the district has 710 ELL students. Hispanics make up 27.4 percent of the total.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

San Francisco launches high school for immigrants

There are 12 public international high schools in the U.S. Recent immigrant students go to these schools, all learning English and all their other high school studies. - - Donna Poisl

By Steve Angeles, North America News Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO—15-year-old Zunrey Malgar and his sister, Aileen, just came from Mindanao 8 months ago. Fortunately for them the San Francisco School District has a school catered for them and other recent adolescent immigrants. They are both freshmen in San Francisco’s just-launched international high school.

Inside their class, fifty freshmen between the ages of 13 to 15 represent a dozen countries. Everyone is a recent immigrant. With limited English, the students learn through interaction with each other.

“The classes are hard because we don’t understand each other,” said Malgar, “But they (the instructors) teach us English in their lectures.”
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Students rally for change to U.S. immigration policy

University students are rallying for the DREAM Act to be enacted. They understand how important it is. - - Donna Poisl

They want to give undocumented students citizenship.

By Nathan Crabbe, Staff Writer

University of Florida students rallied Wednesday in support of giving undocumented students a path to citizenship, winning the backing of UF President Bernie Machen.

The rally was part of nationwide efforts to promote passage of the federal DREAM Act, which would allow illegal immigrants who graduate high school in the U.S. to gain legal status.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Pittsburgh's Renewal Draws a New Wave of Immigrants

Pittsburgh is booming and has remade itself from steel mills to high tech companies. This brought new immigrants and they are all thriving. - - Donna Poisl

By Kane Farabaugh

European immigrants flocked to western Pennsylvania at the dawn of the industrial age to work in the steel mills and factories of Pittsburgh, which was the world-famous "Steel City" well into the 20th century. Over the past 50 years, however, heavy industry has been leaving Pittsburgh, along with tens of thousands of jobs. But over time Pittsburgh essentially "reinvented" itself, and the city is now best known for high-technology enterprises, medical specialties, banks and universities.

That transformation has prompted a new wave of immigrants, this time including many from south Asia. Families originally from India now are one of Pittsburgh's largest ethnic communities, and they are thriving.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Hispanics get chance to tell life stories

This oral history project will record information and will hopefully open up discussion in the families. Many younger generations have no idea what their grandparents went through. - - Donna Poisl

By Drew Joseph - Hearst Newspapers

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez sits down to share his experiences for Historias, an initiative unveiled Thursday to record the stories of Latinos in America, the San Antonio Democrat is going to compare how he, his father — the legendary late Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez — and his grandparents assimilated in America.

When the younger Gonzalez's grandparents emigrated from Mexico around 1910, they initially planned on returning, he said at the debut of Historias, a project of StoryCorps, a nonprofit oral history group that records stories of everyday Americans.

“I want to talk about how my father sought that more complete assimilation and the obstacles he had to face and his generation's contribution to allowing me to do what I do today,” Gonzalez said.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Students make connections through SHINE

The SHINE project is a great way for students to learn about the world, while helping a group of immigrants who are usually ignored. These are elderly immigrants who are very isolated here. - - Donna Poisl

by Zac Owen

Students are able to meet and work with elderly immigrants through the Project SHINE program.

Students have the opportunity to meet people from around the world and do community service through Project SHINE,  Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders. Turning students into teachers, SHINE helps integrate elderly immigrants and refugees through English language and civics education. 

SHINE began as a resource for isolated immigrants in 1985, when Nancy Henkin, director and founder of Temple’s Intergenerational Center, read an article about a Hmong woman in  Philadelphia  who had committed suicide.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration officials consider more fee increases

Even though a budget shortfall is partly caused by fewer applications, the application fee might have to be raised. Experts think the applications are fewer because the fees were raised last year. - - Donna Poisl

Immigrant rights groups fear that further fee hikes would cut many out of the citizenship application process. The immigration agency, which must be self-supporting, faces a $118-million shortfall.

By Teresa Watanabe and Anna Gorman

U.S. immigration officials are considering another possible round of fee increases and budget cuts next year, prompting concern among immigrant rights groups.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the new director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said during a visit to Los Angeles on Wednesday that "financial challenges" have caused the agency to consider potential fee increases but no decision has been made.

The agency is facing a $118-million revenue shortfall this year in part because applications for citizenship and skilled worker visas are below projections, according to officials.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

A tale of Somali refugees in New Hampshire

These Somali refugees are struggling to live here, language is their first difficulty. They always lived in the rural areas and are located in cities here. But they are determined to succeed. - - Donna Poisl

NECN: by Lauren Collins

Batulo Mahamed knows her way around the garden -- there is no place more familiar to her than this small plot she tends to on a church lawn in Concord, New Hampshire.

She is safe here, thousands of miles and nearly a decade away from home. Batulo and her husband Salad Salad are Bantu Somalis, refugees forced to flee a village where even their garden, the source of the family's daily meals, could cost them their lives.

Refugees are immigrants without choice -- members of an ethnic or religious minority under the threat of persecution who seek protection in another country. Many spend years in a refugee camp until the U.N. decides whether and where to offer them a safe haven. This family was moved from a camp in Kenya to New Hampshire in 2004.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Navarrette: Advice for immigrants

Lots of good advice here for all immigrants and especially Latinos. He points out the responsibilities and opportunities for immigrants to assimilate and become citizens. - - Donna Poisl

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Some might consider this an impolite way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. But this year, I'm giving Latino immigrants a gift straight from the heart: a lecture.

Now is a good time. Immigrants are one of the best things about this country, but with Congress about to restart the immigration reform debate, they will soon have to be on their best behavior. A lot of American citizens are asking what immigrants are prepared to do for America — in exchange for what immigrants want America to do for them.

First, the good news: Unlike many Americans who seem to think that some jobs are beneath their dignity, immigrants don't need to be told to work hard at whatever jobs they find. In fact, if you want to know why many employers prefer foreign workers to the native-born, it's not just because immigrants will often work for lower wages but also because immigrants see work as a higher calling. While many Americans do just enough on the job to get by, many immigrants do what it takes to get ahead.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Many in Morris lack English literacy skills

ESL classes and Literacy Volunteers are enrolling new tutors; people from other countries are using their own language experience to teach the students. - - Donna Poisl


Ten percent of Morris County adults lack basic English literacy skills, according to the most recent statistics available from the National Center for Education Statistics. In large part, experts say, that's because an increasing amount of Morris residents aren't native English speakers.

Pablo De Paulis, a 47-year-old system engineer at Dialogic Research in Parsippany, is one of the new kind of tutors.

Originally from Argentina, he is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires. He is paired with Prisciliano Valdiviezo, a 40-year-old janitor who works for the company that maintains and cleans the Dialogic building.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Cardinal George calls for respect for immigrants

Cardinal George does not support breaking the laws but is asking that we all respect people, especially including immigrants. - - Donna Poisl

posted by Catholic News Agency

Yakima, Wash.: Cardinal Francis George, speaking in his former diocese of Yakima, has criticized the United States’ immigration policy as unsustainable.

The bishop of Yakima for nearly six years in the 1990s, Cardinal George is presently Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Daughter of Mexican immigrants wins national award

This daughter of Mexican immigrants beat 43,000 other entries and won a national award writing an essay about the Gettysburg Address. - - Donna Poisl

By Veronica Gonzalez

Eber Noyola never expected to win.
Not at the local level, not at the state level, and certainly not at the national level.

“I’m not gonna win,” the 12-year-old girl thought to herself as she entered the Daughters of the American Revolution’s biggest contest, an essay writing endeavor centered on American history.

Ebi eventually ended up winning the literary equivalent of the lottery by beating out 43,000 entries from fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth graders when she won the national award from the DAR. The national, nonprofit organization founded in 1890 is a genealogical society comprised of 168,000 members descended from a Revolutionary War patriot. The organization’s principals are to promote patriotism, preserve history and emphasize education.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Editorial: Community should help immigrants feel welcome

A good editorial, asking how you would feel if you didn't know the language or how to do or find something. Then tells everyone to volunteer to help. - - Donna Poisl

EDITORIAL Greenbaypressagzette.com

The Bay Area Community Council (BACC) issued two basic recommendations regarding local immigrants this week, and the community would move the issue forward by embracing them.

The council recommends helping immigrants learn the English language as fast as they can, and it proposes giving immigrant adults and parents information about how to navigate effectively within our local culture.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Center helps African immigrants succeed

A Somali refugee, who has been here 15 years has opened a new bank in Minneapolis. He is helping other immigrants with small business loans and teaching them about finances too. - - Donna Poisl

By NEAL ST. ANTHONY, Star Tribune

Hussein Samatar, one of the Twin Cities' most improbable bankers, hung a new shingle on Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis last week.

Samatar, a Somali refugee who 15 years ago was struggling to learn English at the nearby Franklin Library, is moving his African Development Center (ADC) staff of eight into the refurbished former North Country Co-op building at 20th Avenue in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, an immigrant crossroads since working-poor Scandinavians flocked to the area generations ago.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hindu Americans face challenges, growth in following their faith

This community of Hindu immigrants is working hard to teach their faith to their children, who are growing up as Americans. - - Donna Poisl

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff

The Hindu Temple of Minnesota is quite a sight - a massive boxy structure surrounding an ornate gray tower with a wedding cake top featuring layer upon layer of sculptured lotuses and icons. In one striking room, lit by a series of skylights, 21 shrines with statues of Hindu deities ring a large open floor area. This temple, in Maple Grove, claims to be the largest in the United States, and survived a horrific act of vandalism in 2006, in which two young men decapitated and dismembered the temple’s icons.

Remarkably, the Hindu community then reached out to and befriended the vandals, who are now college students, and even included them in a ceremony at which the destroyed icons were buried.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Schools provide tools to help kids learn in all languages

Teachers in this CT school district are working hard to teach English to the kids from as many as 189 languages, by learning some words from their own languages. - - Donna Poisl

By JAMES CRAVEN, Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN — Bonjour. Hola. Witaj. If you live in New Britain, there is a good chance that you know I have said hello in French, Spanish and Polish. But what if I said, marhaba, or nyobzoo, or even, sawubona? Would you know I was saying the same thing in Arabic, Hmong and Zulu?

You might, if you are a teacher in the New Britain school system.

And for 11-year-old Fatima Alashram, who moved to New Britain from a small village in Yemen, that is a good thing.

The schools teach more than 10,000 students speaking as many of 189 languages and teachers and administrators go to great lengths to make sure they’re understood and learning, according to Superintendent Doris Kurtz.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Buying land fulfills a dream for many Hispanic immigrants

Successful immigrants are purchasing land and now are spending their spare time as farmers and ranchers, as their families did when they were young. - - Donna Poisl


FLATONIA — Nelson Jiménez calls out “woo, c'mon,” alerting some of his 300 cattle of feed time. He darts across his 800-acre SA Bar Ranch in his green utility vehicle and shows his ranch hand chores he wants done on this property more than 100 miles west of Houston. The immigrant from El Salvador collects handfuls of eggs laid by hens strutting out of a barn.

This is how Jiménez — owner of a Houston company that repairs more than 300 apartment complexes in Houston and Austin — spends his weekends. He's earned millions of dollars, and now he's living his version of the American dream.

Anecdotally, it appears that more and more Hispanic entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, lawyers, doctors and athletes are buying land near Houston.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Local Muslims observe Ramadan, Eid

Muslim families have been observing Ramadan, even though it is difficult in this country. This Iowa family has to travel to Las Vegas to go to the closest mosque. - - Donna Poisl


Depending on the moon cycle, today or Sunday will mark the end of Ramadan for local Muslims and the holiday of Eid - a prayer service at the mosque to break their month-long fast.

One local Muslim family from Cedar City plans to travel to the closest mosque - located in Las Vegas - to celebrate Eid and offer communal prayers to Allah.

"We don't eat anything from sunrise to sunset," Kholoud says. "Fasting is the third pillar of Islam."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Learning through tutoring English

University students are teaching English and helping immigrants study for the citizenship test. The students/tutors benefit as much as the people they are helping. - - Donna Poisl


A Mexican man in his early 40s sat focused at the end of a long table, stumbling over his pronunciation of “fireworks.” Not far away, a woman studied for the U.S. citizenship test, easily answering questions about Supreme Court justices and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

On Thursday night, UI students helped immigrants transcribe Spanish thoughts into English words in West Liberty, a small town 30 minutes away from Iowa City. As the group members came together to share their summer stories, smiles and laughter lingered about the room like the small girl circling the tables, patiently waiting for her mother to finish her lesson.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Council study: Immigrants need help to assimilate

This study seems to have found an obvious need. But at least the community is doing something about the problem of immigrants needing help. - - Donna Poisl

By Patti Zarling • greenbaypressgazette.com

People who move to Brown County from other countries play a vital role in the economy, but they often need help learning English and assimilating, advocates said Thursday.

A study by the Bay Area Community Councilincluded interviews with more than 20 service providers working with immigrants and highlighted two key needs.

It found that help was needed to teach immigrants English as quickly as possible and that adults needed information about how to effectively navigate within the local culture.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Proxy wedding means Marine's widow, baby unwelcome

A complicated and confusing set of immigration rules has made it impossible for this widow and baby of a Marine killed in Iraq to live in this country with his parents. - - Donna Poisl


MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Hotaru Ferschke just wants to raise her 8-month-old son in his grandparents' Tennessee home, surrounded by photos and memories of the father he'll never meet: a Marine who died in combat a month after marrying her from thousands of miles away.

Sgt. Michael Ferschke was killed in Iraq in 2008, leaving his widow and infant son, both Japanese citizens, in immigration limbo: A 1950s legal standard meant to curb marriage fraud means U.S. authorities do not recognize the marriage, even though the military does.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today is Citizenship Day, share your story

by Celina Barrios Ponce. Reform Immigration FOR America

Each of us, regardless of status, carries the promise of citizenship. We are all called to create meaningful change in our communities. As an immigrant myself, I know how proud I was on the day I became a citizen of this country, but I also know that I was no less a believer in America when I first emigrated here.

Today is Citizenship Day, a day when we celebrate what it means to be a citizen. I can't help but think today of what President Obama, the child of an immigrant, said about citizenship in his inauguration speech:

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship."

What does citizenship mean to you? We want to hear your stories. Visit our blog (click on the headline or go to http://www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/citizenship-week-tell-congress-why-citizenship-is-worth-fighting-for/) and share your story in the comments. We will be broadcasting stories on our website as a part of our Citizenship Day celebration.

Celina Barrios Ponce
Reform Immigration FOR America

p.s. Do you have friends with extraordinary citizenship stories? Ask them to share their stories on our blog, or ask them to text CITIZEN to 69866.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vigil organizers aim to keep immigrant families together

More cities are holding vigils to support families being torn apart by immigration policies. - - Donna Poisl


In churches and parks, outside courthouses and municipal buildings, hundreds of people yesterday called for an end to federal immigration policies that advocates say tear apart families and punish the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants who are deported or detained for long periods of time.

So-called "children's vigils" were held through the afternoon and evening in nine New Jersey communities, from Morristown, Newark and Jersey City in the north to Bridgeton, Cumberland County, in the south. Advocates staged a 10th vigil in the Bergen County community of Dumont on Monday.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Graduates teach free language classes

These classes are teaching English to adults and taught by graduates as part of their practicum. A perfect match, helping both sides. - - Donna Poisl

by Emily Ayres

Marshall University's College of Education and Human Services is offering free English language classes for the third year in a row.

The classes are geared toward adults and students whose native language is not English. Life skills and occupational purposes are the focus of the teachings.

"We want our students to be able to function correctly in society," said Nadia Esque, adjunct professor in Marshall's Adult Technical Education Department. "We prepare them for life outside campus."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

On immigration, a foolish ploy

This editorial shows how self defeating the advice for immigrants to refuse to be counted in the census would be. - - Donna Poisl

Globe Editorial

IMMIGRANTS who want to be heard in Washington ought to step forward and be counted. Yet a coalition of Latino religious leaders representing 20,000 churches is urging immigrants to boycott the 2010 Census. These leaders want to incite Congress to work faster on providing a path to citizenship for the country’s 12 million illegal immigrants. The cause is just, but the boycott is self-defeating and potentially disastrous.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Growing community, independence, justice — and food

This English teacher/farmer is using both of his professions to help his community. He teaches English to the immigrants as they work together in the garden, benefiting from food and friendship and learning English and independence. - - Donna Poisl

By Tina Firesheets, Staff Writer

A wide-brimmed straw hat covers Daniel Woodham's sandy hair, shielding his tanned face from an early evening sun that's still bright and hot.

In a few moments, he'll surrender the hat to a petite Montagnard woman enrolled in his English class. The woman works alongside two others, pulling weeds from rows of eggplants, peppers and herbs. Their daughters enthusiastically help Woodham drag fistfuls of bamboo from his truck to the garden. The bamboo will be cut into stakes to prop up tomato plants.

Woodham's two professions -- English teacher and farmer -- merge on this plot of land, just past the Guilford County line on East Wendover Avenue.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Out of poverty, she will be a people's doctor; An immigrant from Morristown's Speedwell Avenue achieves her American dream

A nice story about a young immigrant woman who is becoming a doctor and plans to help poor people. She is living the American Dream and will help others do the same. - - Donna Poisl

by Jamie Duffy

Carol Mendez has always wanted to be a doctor to the poor.

"I think it was from very early childhood. My grandmother, after being a kitchen attendant person at a daycare center, worked as an elevator operator in a public hospital in Bogota. She would always take me to work with her.

"I just always found it fascinating and like, really useful how doctors would help all these people."

In her first year of a three-year residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the South Bronx, the 24-year-old 2001 Morristown High School graduate is making her dream come true.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrant backers to hold vigils Tuesday in Freehold, Keyport

Immigrant advocacy group is holding vigils for immigrant family rights in nine New Jersey cities. - - Donna Poisl


An immigrant advocacy group plans to hold candlelight vigils in Freehold, Keyport and eight other towns in New Jersey Tuesday to support the rights of children who may be at risk of being separated from their families because of deportations or detentions.

The New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees says the vigils are intended to show support for children who live in households where at least one parent is undocumented or is a legal permanent resident.

Other vigils are being held in Morristown, Bridgeton, Dumont, Hightstown, Jersey City, Highland Park, Montclair and Newark.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Area's Muslims reach out to Somali Bantu immigrants

These immigrants from Somalia are learning how to live in Milwaukee and the U.S. They are learning culture and laws, in particular. Many things that are illegal here, are not illegal in their country. - - Donna Poisl

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

When the local Somali Bantu community began arriving in Milwaukee in 2003, people came with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Largely illiterate, few spoke English. And little in their decade in the refugee camps of Kenya, where they'd fled Somalia's civil war, prepared them for life in the United States.

It's been a difficult adjustment for many of the Bantu, as families struggled to maintain their religious and cultural identities while navigating the complexities of American society and its laws.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

It's Politics: Californians support legal path for undocumented immigrants

A large majority of Californians support undocumented immigrants who are working being given a chance to become citizens. They agree that they are important to the economy. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by It's Politics

Turns out Californians aren't so split on immigration: more than two-thirds of folks in the state, including nearly half of Republicans, support putting working undocumented immigrants on a path to legal status, or so says the latest poll.

According to a Public Policy Institute of California poll, 69 percent of Californians think undocumented immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. That includes 78 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of Republicans.

Only 28 percent of Californians - 18 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans - think such immigrants should be deported.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Making a Difference Through Story Time

This group of mothers is learning how important it is to read to their toddlers. And it benefits the mothers too, especially learning English. - - Donna Poisl

A fun and fundamental skill opens up a world of possibility for women and their kids.

By Petra Guglielmetti

Tammy Barry sits in the front of the library, trying to transform a newspaper into a boat. Her audience is young women and their toddler children, and she has just read aloud a book about Curious George—that naughty monkey!—who neglects to deliver newspapers along his paper route and instead folds them into boats and floats them on a pond.

But Barry is not exactly a whiz at shipbuilding. "This is hard for me," she tells the mothers in Spanish. That's when one of the women, who had only paper boats to play with as a child, shows the group—in 30 seconds flat—how to make one. Once the fleet is folded, the group launches their boats in water-filled Tupperware "ponds."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Literacy tutor of the year can empathize with her students

A volunteer teaching literacy and English has been named tutor of the year, she has used her personal experiences as her guide. - - Donna Poisl


When Susan Boyd began looking for place where volunteering would make the biggest difference, she chose Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry.

After six years of teaching English to more than 100 students, Boyd has been named the organization's volunteer tutor of the year. She was recognized Tuesday night at a celebration of International Literacy Day in Bluffton.

Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry works to teach Beaufort County adults how to read, write, speak English and understand math.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Fewer immigrants head home amid recession

Fewer people came here from Mexico and fewer people went back there, than in other years. This recession seems to have people just waiting. The same thing is happening in other countries. - - Donna Poisl


EL PASO — Many immigrants hurt by the recession decided to ride out the downturn rather than return to their home countries, according to a Migration Policy Institute report released Tuesday.

The report found that fewer Mexican citizens tried to enter the United States, and fewer Mexican citizens who were in the United States illegally tried to return home.

“This recession has caused people to stay put at both ends, in their adopted countries and in their home countries,” said Michelle Mittelstadt, spokeswoman for the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “Even in countries that are paying immigrants to leave, such as Japan, the Czech Republic and Spain, the immigrants are not taking them up on these offers to (go home).”
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

National Museum of American History Explores Bracero Story in New Exhibition


WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History opens "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964" together with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Sept. 9. The exhibition explores the Emergency Farm Labor Program, in which 4.6 million short-term labor contracts were issued between 1942 and 1964, bringing approximately 2 million individual Mexican workers into the United States. More familiarly known as the Bracero Program -- the term derived from the Spanish word used in Mexico to mean laborer or farmhand -- it is the largest guest-worker program in U.S. history, and it affected the business of farming, immigration patterns and organized labor.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/americanhistory/39987/
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090909/NY72569 )

The exhibition explores the braceros' challenges and opportunities in the United States and Mexico. The exhibition includes 15 free-standing banners featuring photographs by Leonard Nadel, a photographer who documented the harsh reality of bracero life in 1956. Nadel's photos inspired "Bittersweet Harvest," which includes 16 of his original black-and-white prints and a slide show with an additional 170 images.

"This exhibition allows us to explore complex issues of race, class, community and national origin while highlighting the irrefutable contributions by Mexican Americans to American society," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. "'Bittersweet Harvest' is a unique opportunity to showcase an important but overlooked chapter in American history."

The display features objects collected from individual braceros and their families and from a former bracero labor camp. Among the dozen objects are a bunk bed from the Danenberg Labor Camp in El Centro, Calif., a well-worn hat from the family of Savas Zahvala Castro, a short-handled hoe and other tools collected in California's Coachella Valley and a radio. An audio station in the exhibition will present 12 excerpts from oral-history interviews in which braceros, family members, growers and others tell their stories. The Bracero History Project has collected more than 700 such interviews.

"Bittersweet Harvest" features bilingual labels and a bilingual gallery facilitators will lead tours and activities.

The Bracero History Project Web site, developed in partnership with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the University of Texas in El Paso and Brown University, provides transcripts and audio files of all the oral histories, images, essays, bibliographies and teaching materials associated with the project. Visit www.braceroarchive.org for Bracero Project information and http://americanhistory.si.edu/bracero for the exhibition Web site.

The museum began the Bracero History Project in 2005 with a coalition of museums, universities and cultural institutions to document the bracero experience.

"Bittersweet Harvest" will remain on display at the museum through Jan. 3, 2010. Two versions of the exhibition will travel across the country for more than two years. By 2011, more than 17 communities will have shown the exhibition.

Funding for "Bittersweet Harvest" is made possible through the Smithsonian's Latino Center. The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history.

SOURCE Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
-0- 09/09/2009
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Multimedia assets are available at: http://www.hispanicprwire.com/home.php?l=in/
/CONTACT: Kate Wiley, or Melinda Machado, both for Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, +1-202-633-3129/

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Immigration activists urge census boycott

I am not sure this is a wise idea. Yes, it might pressure politicians, but in the long run, I think it would do more harm than good. - - Donna Poisl

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

A small but vocal group of advocates is urging illegal immigrants and their supporters nationwide to boycott the 2010 Census to protest the government’s inaction on immigration legislation, a move that, if successful, could cost Massachusetts and other states millions of dollars.

The campaign is setting off alarms across the United States because census figures are crucial to determining how much federal funding cities and towns receive. A large-scale boycott, state officials and prominent pro-immigrant groups warn, could force Massachusetts to cut services from school lunch programs to highway construction, and heighten its chances of losing a seat in Congress.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Host a DREAM Act related event on September 23rd

From: Mohammad, Organizing Committee Co-Chair, United We Dream

As colleges and high schools welcome students back from summer break, we are ready to say it's time to let undocumented students DREAM.

So far people have registered the following kinds of actions:
Movie Screening
Educational Forum / Faculty Forum
Dream Act Play / Theater
Speak out
Walk-out / Walk-in

We are asking that everyone register here: http://dreamactivist.org/backtoschool

Even if you are unsure of what you can actually accomplish, register an event so that a UWD volunteer can help you come up with an action.

If you need anything or have any questions please contact me either by phone at 800.596.7498 or E-Mail at mo@dreamactivist.org.

Thanks, Mohammad, (Organizing Committee Co-Chair, United We Dream)

Monday, September 07, 2009

English as Second Language students thriving in 4-H Club

These kids who have Spanish as their first language are successful 4-H members, demonstrating at county fairs and winning ribbons. Very American! - - Donna Poisl

Deborah Sederberg, The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - Mom, apple pie and 4-H. What could be more American?

4-H teaches responsibility and dependability, as well as cooperation, said Norma Hurt, 4-H leader for the club at Marsh Elementary School. Directed at students in English as a Second Language classes, the Marsh 4-H club boasts 23 members in first through sixth grade.

"The younger children (in first and second grade) belong to Mini 4-H," said Hugh Tonagel, extension educator and 4-H youth development director for Purdue University Extension, La Porte County.

The youngsters in this 4-H club grew up with Spanish as their first language. Many of their parents still speak primarily Spanish.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

African-American churches in the East Bay give immigrants voice

This is a great idea. These two groups distrust and fear each other, if they work together for a common cause, they will all benefit. - - Donna Poisl


By Matt O'Brien, Contra Costa Times

OAKLAND — Latino immigrant workers took to the pulpits of African-American churches in the East Bay on Sunday morning and sought to gain allies in the fight to overhaul America's immigration system.

"I hope that my presence here helps you see me as a friend," said Rolando Rodriguez, speaking with the help of an interpreter before a receptive and boisterous crowd at the Bay Area Christian Connection, a church in downtown Oakland.

The 46-year-old described how after a long career in Guatemala's sugar cane fields, he was forced to flee political persecution in his native town and now struggles to find odd jobs on the streets of East Oakland.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration march on Monday will add to downtown traffic

I hope these demonstrations will help the process along. As soon as the health care debates are done, we have to get this started. - - Donna Poisl

Rally to begin in Union Park

By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter

Downtown Chicago drivers seeking to avoid any "Oprah Winfrey Show" traffic caused by Monday's closing of Michigan Avenue will also have to contend with an Immigration march.

Police expect several thousand people to parade through the Loop during a four-hour Labor Day demonstration scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in Union Park.

The event is part of several Labor Day demonstrations planned across the country by groups frustrated over the lack of movement on federal Immigration reforms.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Urbana resident keeps Chinese culture alive

This school teaches the language, art, music and martial arts of China. Children of Chinese immigrants are learning their culture and non-Chinese students are learning more about the world. - - Donna Poisl

by Adam Behsudi, The Frederick News-Post

Urbana -- Jianwei Zhu recognizes the importance of assimilation, but understands the power of retaining his Chinese culture.

Among the second generation, the culture of their Chinese parents is often outpaced by daily American lives -- a reason why Zhu decided to form the Frederick Chinese School.

"You are a member of this society, you have to think from that point," he said.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Library adds to collection

More libraries are stocking up for the growing immigrant population in their communities. - - Donna Poisl


GREENFIELD - Looking for a children's book written in Russian? A Spanish-language DVD? A Romanian dictionary?

Look no further than the Greenfield Public Library.

A $20,000 federal grant has allowed the library to create new collections for the growing numbers of immigrants and English language learners in the community. Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

A bad sign - illegal immigrants are leaving

This opinion piece tells many reasons why legalizing immigrants is important to the economy. The benefits outweigh the costs. - - Donna Poisl

By Jeff Jacoby

WHAT EVER HAPPENED to the furor over illegal immigration? Two years ago, the denunciation of “crimmigrants’’ was approaching fever pitch, especially in conservative precincts, and woe betide any candidate who appeared before a Republican audience and failed to denounce “amnesty’’ with every ounce of conviction he could muster.

Now, however, the hysteria seems to have cooled a bit. There was no bellowing when President Obama reiterated during a Mexican summit last month that he intends to press for “a pathway to citizenship’’ for the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States. News stories highlighted instead his acknowledgment that overhauling immigration law would have to wait until next year at the earliest.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration files in San Bruno providing link to families' past to be made public

Immigration files are being opened to the public. Called Alien Files, they will enable Americans to learn about their ancestors and how they came to the U.S. - - Donna Poisl

By Joshua Melvin, San Mateo County Times

SAN BRUNO — Steven Low, 64, looked on as a roughly four-foot long rectangle of red tissue paper covered in Chinese calligraphy was removed from a protective plastic sleeve at the National Archive building in San Bruno.

The almost century-old document is a marriage record that charts the development of his maternal grandmother's family and is a gold mine of personal history.

"It was very emotional," the San Francisco resident said of the first time he saw the document and other records contained in immigration files dug up at the archive by his wife, Jeanie, a genealogist, in 1993.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Chanting 'Si se puede,' hundreds march in Sacramento for immigration reform

More people are marching to show the government that it is time for immigration reform. - - Donna Poisl

By Gina Kim

Under signs stating "Protect our families" and "We contribute to America," several hundred people marched Saturday through downtown Sacramento, urging President Barack Obama to make good on his campaign promise of comprehensive immigration reform.

"Immigration reform is about making America stronger," Sacramento Catholic Bishop Jaime Soto said during a bilingual rally interspersed with chants of "Si se puede," translated roughly as, "Yes, we can."
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Citizenship Day, 17 September

From Rich Stolz, ReformImmigrationFORAmerica.org

September 17, 2009 is Citizenship Day and a wide range of events are taking place throughout the month of September reminding Americans about the promise and responsibility of citizenship. The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, with support from the Campaign and a wide range of partners will be holding a three-day "Unity in Movement" event in Washington DC on September 16-18. For more information visit their website: http://nakasec.org/blog/english/programs/citizenshipday.

Throughout the month of September, national and community-based organizations across the nation are also holding a number of citizenship workshops under the banner of Ya Es Hora to help immigrants looking to become New Americans file for citizenship. Visit them at http://www.yaeshora.info/

Census Bureau to Announce Findings for Income, Earnings, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage

This should be interesting for everyone and especially for to see how immigrants are doing. DP


Census Bureau News Media Advisory: Census Bureau to Announce Findings for Income, Earnings, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The following is being released by the U.S. Census Bureau:
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090226/CENSUSLOGO)

The U.S. Census Bureau will hold an online news conference to announce the findings from its annual report: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008. This report contains the official national findings from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
The Web conference will consist of a simultaneous audio conference and online presentation. There will be no physical event associated with this Web conference. Information on accessing the Web conference is provided below.
Reporters will be able to ask questions via the audio conference once the presentation is complete. Broadcast quality video sound bites on the findings will be available online. For information about setting up an interview with a subject matter expert, see below.
Note: Local data for income, poverty and health insurance coverage will be available Tuesday, Sept. 22, when the Census Bureau releases new socio-economic, housing and demographic data from the 2008 American Community Survey.

Thursday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m. EDT

David Johnson, chief, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Online news conference page:
The CPS report, data tables, news and video sound bites release will be posted online shortly after the Web conference begins and can be accessed by clicking on the income, poverty and health insurance icon in the top left corner of the Census Bureau's home page www.census.gov.

Conference details: Audio conference -- access information
Toll free number: 888-810-9649
Participant passcode: 2010 CENSUS

Online presentation -- access information
Please login early, as some setup is required.
URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/
Conference/meeting number: PW8906246
Conference/meeting passcode: 2010 CENSUS

Radio interviews:
Media who wish to set up a radio interview with a Census Bureau subject matter expert on income, poverty and health insurance coverage should contact Rick Reed, Public Information Office at 301-763-2812 or 301-763-7104.

On-camera video interviews following the Web conference:
Media wishing to tape on-camera interviews should notify Paul Shaw, Public Information Office at 301-763-3042 or 301-763-7104.
As stated above, the Census Bureau will have online video sound bites for broadcast media to download and use.

Public Information Office
e-mail: pio@census.gov

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau
-0- 09/03/2009
/CONTACT: Census Bureau Public Information Office, +1-301-763-3030, +1-301-763-3691, pio@census.gov/

Delays in Muslims’ Cases Spur Interfaith Call to Action

About 150 members of a particular mosque have all hit roadblocks in their quest for green cards or citizenship. The interfaith community has called for an explanation. - - Donna Poisl


FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Early one morning last June, fully two hours before his appointment, Mustafa Salih arrived at a federal office here in the Washington suburbs. He wore the new suit he had bought for the occasion. A friend, accompanying him, carried a camera to record the event. Mr. Salih had not slept the previous night.

High emotion was not supposed to be the province of a middle-aged accountant, which was exactly what Mr. Salih was. But on that particular morning, he was scheduled to be sworn in as an American citizen, the culmination of a process that had begun when he immigrated from Sudan in 1991.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Degliantoni: Your parents, not Telemundo, will make you multilingual

An interesting opinion piece about the importance of being bilingual or multilingual and how best to get there. - - Donna Poisl

by Lisa Degliantoni, editor-in-chief of the El Paso Media Group

Monolingual Americans living on the border have an obligation to embrace Mexican culture, food and language.

After living in El Paso for eight years, I am embarrassed by the fact that I can't read and write in Spanish. It's a shortcoming of mine; all around me, I see numerous individuals, adults and children alike, embracing more than one language.

On S. El Paso Street, the stores are filled with Korean and Chinese immigrants who navigate Mandarin, English and Spanish conversations depending on who gets to the register next. Most of the store owners are older than 16, way past the age where it's easy to learn a language, and I'm confident Spanish is not offered in Chinese grade schools, English is.

Several of my coworkers at El Paso Media Group speak Spanish as their first language but predominantly use English when at work. In their second language, they masterfully defend their design decisions, with a vocabulary that deals in layouts and colors.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

President Obama Appoints Record Number of Hispanics

Almost 14% of the administration's appointees are Hispanics. Read the whole list at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/09/eye_opener_obamas_hispanic_nom.html?hpid=news-col-blog - - Donna Poisl

by Rob Kuznia--HispanicBusiness.com

President Obama has appointed more Hispanics to high-level administration positions than any other president in U.S. history this early on.

In the eight months since Inauguration Day, the Senate has confirmed 304 of Obama's high-office nominees, and 43 of them -- or 14 percent -- are Hispanic, according to the Arizona Republic.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sign the Reform Immigration FOR America petition

From Rich Stolz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Reform Immigration FOR America campaign principles:

We're FOR being fair to workers and immigrants.
We're FOR protecting and uniting families.
We're FOR citizenship for immigrants in America.

And we're FOR an America where we're stronger when we stand together than when we are divided.

Here's what we believe must guide the new way forward for immigration:

Immigration reform must promote economic opportunity.
Immigration reform must be comprehensive.
Long-term reform requires long term solutions.

A reform package that works for all communities and families in America should include the following:

A rational and humane approach to the undocumented population.
Protect U.S. and immigrant workers.
Allocate sufficient visas to close unlawful migration channels.
Enhance our nation's security and safety.
Establish a strategic border enforcement policy that reflects American values.
Keep American families together.
Promote immigrant integration.
Protect fundamental rights for all.
If these are the principles you believe in as well, go here to sign our petition.

It's time for the reform movement to show Congress how serious and committed we are to these principles. I've signed the petition, and I hope you will as well. Ask your friends to join this movement by signing the petition as well - every person who signs in September will go a long way toward convincing Congress that it's time to be FOR immigration reform, and to stand with us, not against us.

Workers in America, Cheated

Labor law violations rob and injure workers in this country and the majority are immigrants who don't know how to help themselves. - - Donna Poisl

Editorial, The New York Times

An important new study has cast an appalling light on a place where workplace laws fail to protect workers, where wages and tips are routinely stolen, where having to work sick, injured or off the clock is the price of having a job.

The place is the United States, all across the lower strata of the urban economy.

The most comprehensive investigation of labor-law violations in years, released Wednesday by the Center for Urban Economic Development, the National Employment Law Project and the U.C.L.A. Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, surveyed 4,387 workers in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Even with deep Armenian roots, Watertown High barely saves classes

Most of the less common language classes are taught in neighborhood churches, but Armenian is taught in this high school, probably the last Armenian class in a public school. - - Donna Poisl

By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff

WATERTOWN - With the third highest number of Armenian immigrants in the United States, Watertown faces a formidable challenge - how to preserve what may be the country’s last surviving Armenian-language program at a public high school.

Prospects for the program, on the eve of its 40th anniversary, looked dim after the school could not find a replacement for its founder, Anahid Yacoubian, who retired from full-time work in 2007 but taught the advanced-level class to juniors and seniors until the end of school this spring.

Watertown’s school administrators considered dropping the program for lack of teachers, but after a frantic search found an instructor just two weeks before the start of classes on Sept. 8. Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick said officials were working out one-year contract last week.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

It's a myth that immigrants don't pay their way

This piece shows how immigration reform debates will be harsher than the health care debates are now. It also shows why both reforms are necessary for the country. - - Donna Poisl

By Ruben Navarrette, San Diego Union-Tribune

A few months ago, I was talking to a group of political strategists who insisted that - given the Obama administration's desire to pursue both immigration reform and health care reform - immigration should go first. Otherwise, they said, health care would fail because of public fears that illegal immigrants would get free medical services. Make those immigrants legal, they said, and it would defuse the issue.

The point is moot since the administration decided to roll the dice on health care first. But the strategists were right that the immigration debate would find a way to infiltrate the health care debate and damage it.

In fact, as divisive and shrill the health care discussion has been at times, the soon-to-be resurrected immigration debate could be much worse.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Invisible Immigrants, Old and Left With ‘Nobody to Talk To’

Many naturalized citizens bring their elderly parents to this country, but these people are often incredibly lonely and isolated. These Indian men meet in a mall and at least have someone to talk to. - - Donna Poisl


FREMONT, Calif. — They gather five days a week at a mall called the Hub, sitting on concrete planters and sipping thermoses of chai. These elderly immigrants from India are members of an all-male group called The 100 Years Living Club. They talk about crime in nearby Oakland, the cheapest flights to Delhi and how to deal with recalcitrant daughters-in-law.

Together, they fend off the well of loneliness and isolation that so often accompany the move to this country late in life from distant places, some culturally light years away.

“If I don’t come here, I have sealed lips, nobody to talk to,” said Devendra Singh, a 79-year-old widower.
Click on the headline to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.