Friday, November 26, 2010

Santa Rita teens start Vietnamese on citizenship path

These high school students are helping Vietnamese adults study for their citizenship tests and become more fluent in English. - - Donna Poisl

by Alexis Huicochea, Arizona Daily Star

For one hour a day once a week, four Santa Rita High School students become teachers. The 11th- and 12-graders volunteer their time to use what they've learned in U.S. Government to teach citizenship classes to Vietnamese adults.

The students, who are also Vietnamese, spend time working not only on facts like who signs bills to become laws and how many justices are on the Supreme Court, but also on helping the adults become more comfortable with the English language.
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Dispelling DREAM Act Myths

For Immediate Release

Dispelling DREAM Act Myths

Washington D.C. - The DREAM Act - a popular proposal to provide legal status to undocumented youth who entered the U.S. as children, graduated from U.S. high schools, and attend college or enter the military - is the target of a smear campaign from anti-immigration hardliners. This tired effort to pit immigrants and native-born, whether they are workers or students, against one another is not only destructive, but has no basis in fact. Moreover, it ignores the economic benefits that come from legalizing a group of talented, hard-working individuals who want nothing more than to contribute to America and repay the country for the opportunities they've been given.

Research has shown that providing a legal status for young people who have a proven record of success in the United States would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. The U.S. military also needs the DREAM Act. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, Bill Carr, stated that the law would be "good for readiness" and would help to recruit "cream of the crop" students. The DREAM Act is part of the Department of Defense's 2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in its recruiting efforts.

Yet, despite the popular support and extensive data that should make passage of the DREAM Act a no-brainer, there are those who continue to spread half-truths. The Immigration Policy Center has compiled a fact check that breaks down typical myths about the DREAM Act.

To view the fact check, in its entirety click on the headline above to see:
Dispelling DREAM Act Myths (IPC Fact Check, November 23, 2010)

For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.

New country, new holiday, new foods for Minnesota immigrants

This story tells how different immigrant groups celebrate Thanksgiving Day here, combining their culture with turkey and family gatherings. - - Donna Poisl


Surviving the cuisine of a new country is a challenge for immigrants; as it was for the pilgrims in the sixteenth century as it is now for new American immigrants. And so history goes that Native Americans saw to it that the Pilgrims, the new immigrants, would not starve. Somewhere along the way turkey, cranberry sauce and all the present day trimmings were added to what is now one of America's largest holidays. While the rest of that story on the Native Americans and the Pilgrims would turn ugly, today Thanksgiving has become a day of giving thanks and feasting. So, how do today's immigrants celebrate Thanksgiving?
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Dream Vote Next Week

from Kemi Bello, co-founder of

Yup, your hard work is paying off. So far this week you have stopped the deportation of three DREAMers, all from very important states (Ohio, Kentucky and Florida) and if all goes as planned you might get a vote on the DREAM Act this coming week!

To donate $25 to sponsor a student to D.C., click on the headline above.

To make this happen though you have to keep taking action and be more active than ever before. As we did the previous two months, we will be sending another contingent of youth to D.C. to make our voices heard. We are hoping you will sponsor another round to make the trip, it will be $25 per student per day.

While your donations are really important there is still more you can do. We need to flood congress with our calls this week and until we get DREAM passed in both the Senate and the House.

Set this as your profile picture on facebook and make those calls!

Thanks for all of your hard work, we are almost there!

P.S. Make sure you have the right dream gear for the week of action!
Go to

One week to go

from Fatima Lopez, Development Director, National Immigration Forum

The Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation has given the Keepers of the American Dream a challenge: If we can raise $5,000 this month, they’ll match it $ for $ and give us another $5,000.

With one week left to go, there's still time to participate! Will you join us and donate $10 or more TODAY? Click on the headline above.

Your support is invaluable and every dollar counts. Throughout generations, the American Dream has fueled the advancement and growth of our nation. Let’s make sure it remains attainable for future generations.

Support the Keepers of the American Dream project and make a $10 donation TODAY.

P.S. Going to be in DC on December 2? Join us at the Newseum for the Keepers of the American Dream Awards event!
Go to

Thanksgiving: A Lesson in Illegal Immigration

This story tells about our first illegal immigrants, the pilgrims. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Suzanne Murray

You know the story. In 1620, the Pilgrims hopped the Mayflower and sailed across the stormy seas for the New World. They landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, hung with the Native Americans, and scarfed down some deer and maybe some cornmeal mush (sorry to burst your turkey and marshmallow yam bubble). And every year, in celebration, we (new) Americans watch football, eat way too much, and plan out our Black Friday shopping strategy.

The events that culminated in the original Thanksgiving feast (and those that followed) weren't exactly America's proudest moments. And for some (shout-out to Angelina Jolie) that history is reason enough to opt out of Thanksgiving. I don't see why it should be -- and not just because I love me some cranberry sauce.
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Senate set to take up immigration reform bill

There will be one last push for immigration reform this year, but it does not look very likely to pass in such a short time. - - Donna Poisl

By: Susan Ferrechio, Chief Congressional Correspondent

While lawmakers will be pressing the House to address expiring tax cuts and an arms treaty with Russia when Congress returns this week from its Thanksgiving break, Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to make one last effort to pass an immigration reform bill before their majority diminishes significantly in January.

With just a few weeks left in the 112th Congress, it will be difficult for lawmakers to clear the DREAM Act in time for the president's signature this year, but it will nonetheless consume part of the shrinking lame-duck calendar.
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As Hispanic Population Grows, Political Parties Vie for Latino Hearts, Minds

I hope Latinos study the issues and parties (better than many of the rest of us) and vote for reasons other than flashy ads. Their votes are very important. - - Donna Poisl

by Dan Zeiger

In recent years, the Del Yaqui Restaurant in Guadalupe has been a barometer of the battle over the political hearts and minds of Latino voters.

Lunchtime tension was so high during the Maricopa County Sheriff Office's crime sweeps of the town in 2008, when a picture of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was put up in the restaurant as a joke, an enraged patron tore it down. And this year, the staff saw clientele disappear after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070.
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Chafee wants to be voice for immigration reform at national level

The governor-elect of R.I. wants to organize all 50 governors to work together on immigration reform. - - Donna Poisl

By Philip Marcelo, Journal State house Bureau

PROVIDENCE — Governor-elect Lincoln D. Chafee, who has pledged to rescind Governor Carcieri’s executive order cracking down on illegal immigration, says he expects to be a vocal advocate for national immigration reform through the National Governors Association when he takes office in January.

“I want to be active in pushing this as a priority for us 50 governors,” he said, prior to speaking at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the Convention Center on Monday night. “We have to push through comprehensive immigration law.”
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New center in Alexandria to provide 'great service' for immigrants

This new center has just opened to help immigrants from all countries with their immigration paperwork and other issues. - - Donna Poisl


Immigrants in Central Louisiana now have a place to go to in Alexandria to get help on immigration issues.

Three religious organizations, a faith-based agency and members of the community gathered Tuesday to officially open the Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center.

"It's a reality. I am overjoyed about the prospect and excited that we can make this work and that is going to be a great service for all of these immigrants, who won't have to go so far" to process documents or get information, said José Colls, executive director of the center.
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Click the headline to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

Commentary: Illegal immigration makes your holiday meal possible

This opinion piece shows how all of us are involved in the immigration system, and why it needs fixing. - - Donna Poisl

Bill McEwen - The Fresno Bee

When you eat today, thank a farmer -- and an illegal immigrant.
Here in the Central Valley, they are joined at the hip: the farmer who needs his crops picked and the men and women who cross the border with only dreams and the clothes on their backs.

Farmers are revered for being the backbone of our Valley economy. Illegal immigrants are reviled for breaking the law and having children who need schooling and medical attention.
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First Person: Making Chanukah Personal

This is an interesting article, showing how people keep their own cultural traditions and combine them with American traditions. - - Donna Poisl

Gail M Feldman

Chanukah is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. But it's a favorite, nonetheless, among Jews of the 20th and 21st century in particular because, with the assimilation of Jews into American community life, the pleasant practice of exchanging gifts was incorporated into its festivities.

Jewish families now give each other tokens such as gold- and silver-foil-wrapped chocolate coins (Chanukah gelt) or more substantial gifts, one or two for the holiday or one every night, according to personal and family tradition. My very secular family had no set custom; we got what we got. My sister and I generally gave each other, and each parent, one present, while our folks might or might not give us a little something extra. We couldn't afford eight nights' worth of unique goodies, and were not in the habit of creating inexpensive but personally meaningful objects for each other.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cynthia Tucker: We really need immigration now

This writer makes a good case for legalizing the immigrants here illegally. They are needed and will help the economy improve. - - Donna Poisl

By Cynthia Tucker

If you've spent any time pondering those dense reports on cutting the deficit, you know that there aren't any pain-free answers around. Any remedy will hurt, since it will have to include raising taxes and reducing benefits.

But there is a palliative that would ease the pain: Put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to legalization. And don't touch birthright citizenship.

Yes, you heard that right: Granting legal residency to illegal immigrants will eventually help sop up some of the federal budget's red ink. I know that's counterintuitive, since so many citizens have come to believe that Mexican landscapers and Guatemalan maids are a drain on the treasury. But the fact is that their relative youth is just what the U.S. economy needs.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Firefighters reach out to immigrants

All areas of this country are treating immigrants differently, this area is trying to help them if they have an emergency. It is good to hear this, everyone is better off if emergencies are reported and understood. - - Donna Poisl

Jackson Township department learns Spanish phrases to communicate in emergencies

By Kathy Antoniotti, Beacon Journal staff writer

Americans grapple with issues involving Spanish-speaking immigrants in vastly different ways from one region of the country to the next.

In the Southwest, a multibillion-dollar fence project started by the Bush administration is aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.

Earlier this year, Arizona passed the nation's toughest bill on illegal immigration by giving police broad powers to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County printed bilingual ballots in some voting precincts for elections Nov. 2, and will expand the initiative to all precincts next year, in an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.
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The Economic Impact of Long Island’s Immigrant Workers

This study shows that immigrants have helped the economy of Long Island and the study is probably true of most areas of the country. - - Donna Poisl

By Aaron Rutkoff

There are some 293,000 immigrant workers on Long Island, and according to a new study there is little evidence to suggest that their presence harms U.S.-born workers.

A study released Wednesday by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that more than half of immigrant workers on Long Island hold white-collar jobs. Far from harming their U.S.-born counterparts, data in the study strongly suggests that immigrant workers have played a part in economic growth for the region between 1990 and 2007 — the period analyzed in the study.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

The DREAM Act to be Revived in Congress

For Immediate Release

The DREAM Act to be Revived in Congress

November 18, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would introduce the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act as a stand alone bill during the lame duck session of Congress.

First introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act would address the plight of young immigrants who have been raised in the U.S. and managed to succeed despite the challenges of being brought here without proper documentation. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high school, stayed out of trouble, and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.

Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go on to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation: immigrants brought to the United States at a young age who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with second-generation Americans. These students are culturally American, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth. The vast majority are bicultural and fluent in English.

Research has shown that providing a legal status for young people who have a proven record of success in the United States would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. University presidents and educational associations, as well as military recruiters, business and religious leaders have added their voice to those calling for passage of the bill. The DREAM Act is even part of the Department of Defense's 2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in its recruiting efforts.

Unfortunately, immigration status and the associated barriers to higher education contribute to a higher-than-average high-school dropout rate. The DREAM Act would eliminate these barriers for many students, and its high-school graduation requirement would provide a powerful incentive for students who might otherwise drop out to stay in school and go on to college.

For research and resources on the DREAM Act visit IPC's resource page:
IPC DREAM Act Resource Page

For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.

Proposed Schools Policy Says Two Languages Better Than One

Schools and parents are debating bilingual education to help students learn two languages at once, instead of losing the Spanish they speak at home. We need people to be fluent in more than one language and these people will have much better career choices too. - - Donna Poisl


Minerva Espejo remembered her own rocky start in English after moving from Mexico to San Diego as a teenager. English classes were bewildering; a bilingual class taught by a teacher who barely understood Spanish was even worse. She improved her English at home by pulling out a dictionary night after night to pick up the vocabulary that helped get her to college.

She didn't want the same troubles for her children. Soured by her own experience, she rejected the idea of a bilingual class and enrolled her kids in a different program until she found out about Sherman Elementary, where kids spend half the day in English and half in Spanish. Her son, who just finished up first grade at Sherman, can explain his homework in English and read to his grandfather in Spanish.
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Millions of immigrants want visas: only a lucky few get them

This farmer has to use illegal immigrants because legal workers cannot get the visas they need to come here and work. Many of them apply for the visas but can't get them, so they come in illegally. - - Donna Poisl

by Chris Collins

FRESNO — A decade ago, Vernon ran his Tulare County farm without the help of illegal immigrants. He had plenty of legal workers to keep the packing shed humming, irrigate and harvest the 200 acres of peaches, plums and apricots, and tend to the stuffy, smelly chicken houses.

Today, two-thirds of Vernon's 100-plus seasonal workers are illegal immigrants. He's spent the past several years brushing up on his Spanish, learning one new word a day so he can communicate with his workers.
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Give immigrant kids a path to college

This columnist writes about the DREAM Act and how various states are treating college students now. - - Donna Poisl

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor

San Diego, California (CNN) -- The new battleground in the immigration debate is college and university campuses. And watching this fight unfold is, well, an education:

-- In California, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that illegal immigrants could continue to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities -- as they do in at least 10 states -- even though out-of-state students are charged higher rates.
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Alzheimer's Disease is a Growing Problem in the Latino Community

Identifying this disease early is crucial, but Hispanics are not getting the diagnoses that are necessary. - - Donna Poisl


Suddenly, the older man broke into the conversation. "We cannot do it; we are illegal," his daughter Angelica remembers him saying. "If we leave, we may never get back again."

The room fell silent with shock. Reyes and his family, who crossed the border from Mexico to Arizona three decades earlier, have been U.S. citizens for more than 20 years.

"It was then I realized my father is sick," Angelica said. "He's not himself anymore."
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

This year's Keeper of the American Dream Award recipient!

from Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

The 10th annual Keepers of the American Dream Awards is just around the corner! It is my pleasure to announce that Lydia G. Tamez, Associate General Counsel of Microsoft Corporation, will be the recipient of this year’s Keepers of the American Dream Award.

Lydia directs all of Microsoft’s U.S. and global immigration programs. A major provider of jobs in this country, Microsoft has a total domestic workforce of over 50,000 people. Most are U.S. workers, but Microsoft also benefits tremendously from the contributions of talented foreign nationals who have come to the United States from over 130 countries. Lydia guides senior management in formulating immigration policies and practices relating to this critical part of the company’s U.S. workforce.

Lydia has played a key role in Microsoft’s efforts to help reform our country’s immigration policies for highly skilled professionals and in Microsoft’s efforts to promote comprehensive immigration reform. She is frequently invited to speak on immigration issues to distinguished organizations in Washington and across the nation.

Lydia also directs the company’s participation in Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice and was instrumental in the establishment of KIND, Inc., a Microsoft and Jolie-Pitt Foundation joint venture to provide pro bono counsel to unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings.

We are delighted to recognize Lydia at this year's Keeper of the American Dream Awards for her tremendous positive impact in the field of immigration.

Join us on December 2 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. as we honor four individuals and organizations, including Lydia Tamez, who embody the spirit of immigrant achievement and the American Dream, who contribute significantly to the well-being of immigrants in America, and who enhance our appreciation of immigrants and the immigrant tradition.


Ali Noorani
Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

P.S. The challenge is still on! If we raise $5,000 this month, the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation has promised to match that with an additional $5,000. Make a $10 donation to the Keepers of the American Dream TODAY and have it matched $ for $ by the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation.

Ariz. immigration law strains U.S.-Latin America relations

I doubt anyone is surprised that this has happened. How could it be otherwise? - - Donna Poisl

by Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

When Arizona passed a law in April allowing police to conduct roadside immigration checks, Mexican officials blasted the law as a prejudiced attack against its citizens in the state. That condemnation has spread throughout Latin America.

Ambassador Luis Gallegos of Ecuador presented the law Nov. 5 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which sends recommendations to nations to improve rights. Gallegos said they were extremely concerned that the Arizona law would lead to widespread stereotyping of both legal and illegal immigrants. The council included it in the recommendations it sent to the U.S. State Department. Ecuador is one of 10 Latin American countries that signed on to a brief opposing the law in a federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's rule.
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California court backs in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

It will be interesting to see if other states do this same thing. - - Donna Poisl

Monday's California Supreme Court ruling upholding in-state tuition for illegal immigrants may lead to similar legal challenges elsewhere.

By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer

Los Angeles - In a decision that added a new twist to the debate surrounding federal versus state control of immigration, the California Supreme Court on Monday ruled that undocumented immigrants can be eligible for reduced in-state tuition at California's public colleges and universities.

The case, Martinez vs. Regents, challenged a 2001 state law – the California Immigrant Higher Education Act – that gives in-state tuition rates at California’s public colleges to students who complete three years at a California high school and earn a high school diploma or equivalent, regardless of their immigration status.
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Patrick to focus on change for immigrants

Maybe this governor will be able to do this and others will follow. - - Donna Poisl

Says he wants to integrate foreign-born into state

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

Governor Deval Patrick, fresh from a bruising campaign in which he was sharply criticized for his positions on immigration, vowed yesterday to spend the next four years pushing for changes for legal and illegal immigrants alike, reigniting a debate that consumed the state only a few months ago.

Speaking to thunderous applause at a Thanksgiving luncheon for immigrant advocates, Patrick promised to advance an ambitious agenda he launched during his first term to integrate immigrants into Massachusetts. He said he wants to implement all 131 recommendations contained in an administration report last year, which includes controversial measures such as in-state tuition at public colleges and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Immigrants learn the language in Stoughton adult literary class

Every city in the country needs programs like this, but sadly, many cannot afford it and/or don't have enough volunteers. There are certainly enough students waiting. - - Donna Poisl

By Peter Cox, Stoughton Journal

Stoughton — When Willer Rossow moved to the United States nine years ago, his English was not very good. The Brazilian native desperately wanted to speak the language of his new country, but he was working long hours to support a family, and was stuck with learning only the most basic ways to communicate.

But thanks to an adult literacy class at Stoughton Public Library, Rossow is getting the help he needs to connect with his community.

“With working all the time, there’s no time to go to school,” he said. “This time it’s different.”
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Advocates press for immigration bills as Hispanic vote is debated

The DREAM Act might be able to be voted in this year, if people will show some courage and responsibility. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Catalina Camia

A Latino Republican who is leaving Congress is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to schedule a vote on a bill that would open a path to citizenship for thousands of students who are illegal immigrants.

The prospects for considering what is known as the DREAM Act are slim, however, as Congress begins its lame-duck session focused on what to do about tax cuts set to expire and how to fund the government.
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Pass the DREAM Act Now, fax to Congress

from Marissa Graciosa, Reform Immigration FOR America

Pass the DREAM Act
We've waited long enough

We always knew that our fight didn't begin - or end - on Election Day.
Two weeks ago, we stood up all over the country for what we believed in. We showed Congress where we stood, and how powerful we are. Now it's time to remind them of what we want.

Before the election, Harry Reid promised that he would put the DREAM Act up for a vote before the end of the year. Nancy Pelosi wants that vote to happen. It's up to us to show Reid and the rest of the Senate that our movement isn't going to wait.

Click on the headline to send a fax to leaders in Congress or go to

We have waited long enough to reform our broken immigration system. Pass the DREAM Act during the lame duck session this year.

Passing the DREAM Act would be a clear sign from Congress that they're willing to work with us moving forward. It's time to stand together and show the policymakers in DC what we're made of.

It's time to bring Asians and ethnic blocs into the immigration debate

All immigrant groups should be involved in the discussions, not just Hispanics. This columnist is correct. - - Donna Poisl

The nation's Latino-centric immigration narrative excludes many who also have a stake in this debate, writes Esther Cepeda. Prominent among the excluded are the nation's Asian immigrants.

By Esther Cepeda, Syndicated columnist

CHICAGO — If I were a member of the third-largest minority group in the United States, I'd be really frustrated that the immigration issue continues to be discussed almost exclusively with Latin Americans in mind.

As immigrants' rights advocacy groups across the country wonder whether there's even a slim chance Congress will take up debate about comprehensive reform anytime soon, recent national conversations have been set exclusively in the context of the Latino vote and Republican Hispanics.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pushing for immigrant Dream Act to come true

This may have a chance of getting enough people to vote on it. Many on both political sides agree this is a good bill, and the military agrees too. - - Donna Poisl

By: Susan Phillips

Advocates for immigrants are making one last push for the Dream Act before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives next year. The bill would put immigrant students on track for citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military.

House and Senate Democratic leaders say they will use the lame-duck session of Congress to put the bill up for a vote.
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Brown: Immigration reform should focus on economy

As the economy improves we will definitely need more immigrants, the economy should be the focus for new negotiations. - - Donna Poisl

By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

BOSTON—Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown said Friday he wants to work with Democrats on possible federal immigration reform, as long as it's not "fluff."

Brown, who replaced the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, a champion of immigrants' rights, told The Associated Press he plans to meet with Senate leaders of both parties about options for reforms. But he said any effort should be focused on improving the economy.
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Let's honor immigrant veterans

Immigrants are an important part of our military and should always be honored for their service. - - Donna Poisl


I'm a veteran, and I want to honor all vets Thursday, including those who are immigrants but not yet citizens.

They've been willing to risk their lives to defend our country even before they could call it their own. We owe them our thanks, just as we owe all vets our thanks.

The first U.S. casualty of the war in Iraq was Marine Lance Corp. Jose Gutierrez. A Guatemalan orphan who made his way to the United States to find a better life, he joined the Marines to earn money for college and to support his sister still living in Guatemala. He was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his death, yet he was willing to sacrifice his life in the pursuit of a liberty he only briefly tasted.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Angst growing over immigration policies

There seems to be a possibility the DREAM Act can be passed this year. - - Donna Poisl

Undocumented arrivals fear a Republican crackdown on immigration, but some activists remain hopeful immigration reform will happen.


Fear is spreading among many day laborers in South Florida after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, a move immigration activists say will make it more difficult -- if not impossible -- to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.

But some activists who support legalization said Wednesday that separate immigration reform components could pass in the lame-duck Congress such as the DREAM Act, a bill that would give green cards to undocumented young students brought to the United States as babies or toddlers by their parents.

Even a Miami Republican political strategist, Ana Navarro, said the DREAM Act is still possible -- but only if Democrats are willing to reach out to Republicans.
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Election May Have Long-Range Impact On Immigration Reform

I think everyone realizes the election last week put the brakes on any hope of immigration reform in the next two years. Let's hope it reverses the next two. - - Donna Poisl

Posted on

(New York, NY) – As the result of Tuesday’s elections, it is not anticipated that Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) will be a priority for the next Congress, according to a panel of experts at HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, who convened yesterday for an Insider Briefing for its constituents. Though immigration was not the decisive issue in Tuesday’s national election, where the economy was foremost on voters’ minds, it played a major role especially in certain races. The results will have long-ranging impact for immigration advocacy and change the way advocates press for new legislation.

According to Gideon Aronoff, President & CEO of HIAS, “We have reason to believe that it is possible to pass certain aspects of immigration reform, like the DREAM Act. For the next Congress, we and our immigration partners within the faith community will look for incremental, building-block solutions as we build toward CIR.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Washington Post live Q&A featuring immigrants

The Washington Post is launching a new live video Q&A series on Thursday (Nov. 11), that will feature immigrants living in the Washington, D.C. metro region telling their immigration stories, what they’re passionate about, what their experience has been and more. This will be on a weekly basis.

Tomorrow it is featuring Esraa Bani, who moved to the U.S. in 1998, after being born in Sudan and growing up in Saudi Arabia.

Check it out and submit a question:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Click the headline to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center. Especially about the recent mid term election results.



November 9, 2010


HARTFORD, CT — Today, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) will discuss the future of U.S. policy towards Latin America and answer questions from students, faculty, and staff from Central Connecticut State University, including representatives of the Latin American Association and the Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Center. Dodd is the Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Dodd’s interest in Latin America was fostered during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1966 to 1968. For 25 years, he served as either Chairman or Vice Chairman of the U.S. – Mexico Interparliamentary Group, which brings together Mexican and American legislators on an annual basis to address matters critical to the U.S. – Mexico relationship.

Dodd led the Senate Central America Negotiations Group during the 1980s, which monitored the progress of the Guatemala City accord. He also has been a longstanding critic of the United States embargo against Cuba and recently was an original co-sponsor of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which would lift travel restrictions on all Americans wishing to travel to Cuba.

Following his remarks, Dodd will be available to the press for questions.

WHO: Senator Chris Dodd

WHERE: Central Connecticut State University
Constitution Room- Memorial Hall
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT

WHEN: TUESDAY, November 9, 2010
1:00 P.M.

Contact: Caren Auchman
Rebecca Kaplan

Copy of Ellis Island art will tell of immigrants

This artist has painted a reproduction of a mural that was done by an artist in the 1930s to commemorate Ellis Island. This copy is 5 feet tall and 90 feet long (half the size of the original) and is on display in Augusta, Georgia. - - Donna Poisl

By Carole Hawkins, Staff Writer

Augusta artist Andrew Sabori went to Ellis Island in 2003 to find his ancestors and discovered a lost piece of American heritage instead.

During the Great Depression, artist Edward Laning painted a mural at Ellis Island, in the New York area, celebrating America immigrants. It was never seen by the general public, and 20 years later it became damaged when the roof of the building that held it collapsed in a storm.
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DREAM Act’s final event brings community together to rally for immigration rights

During Immigrant Advocacy Week students are pushing for the DREAM Act to be enacted. They know how much this is needed by their friends who were in high school with them and cannot go to college. - - Donna Poisl

By CHUHENG DING | The Daily Tar Heel

UNC students braved the chilly, wet weather Friday night to rally for the DREAM Act.

The event, called Give Up Your Dreams for the DREAM, was geared toward gathering support for the bill, which would allow undocumented minors who have been in the country for more than five years to become citizens if they complete two years of college or military service.

The event Friday marked the culmination of Immigrant Advocacy Week, during which Students United for Immigrant Equality hosted a series of events that sought to raise awareness for issues surrounding immigrants’ rights.
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We Celebrate Sports Star Immigrants and Vilify the Rest

We should assume that many people who want all immigrants to "go home" are happy they are playing on their sports teams. - - Donna Poisl

By Nellie Nelson

Sports coverage all too often ignores when successful athletes are part of groups targeted by right-wing fear-mongering.

During the National League Championship Series a couple weeks back, a roar would go up from bars and living rooms at the close of every winning game. You could hear it in all parts of the city. During the World Series the roar went up at every home run, accelerating in the last couple games for every Giants hit and then for the Texas Rangers' rapid accumulation of outs. At the close of that final inning, the roar reached a crescendo, carrying well across the bay as San Franciscans of all ages poured into the streets.

In the midst of all the vocal opposition to the right, there was one thing that almost no one was talking about: how much people categorized as immigrants had contributed to the unprecedented success. The players and coaches we showered with cheers and ticker tape hail from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Curaçao, France, Panama. Their families came from the Philippines, Mexico and Japan.
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Making the DREAM Act a Reality

This student writes that going to college and getting a job is expected by everyone, except immigrant kids who have gone to school here and are not citizens. The DREAM Act will change that. - - Donna Poisl

By Will Dudding, a junior literature major at CMC

For many of us at CMC, the American Dream has become less of a dream and more of an expected reality. We go to college, we get a job, and we reap the benefits. For some, however, the dream is far more difficult to attain.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, first introduced to Congress in 2001, aims to remove the barriers blocking the way to success for many within our nation’s borders. If passed, the DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants under the age of 35 who were brought to the US as minors and graduated from an American high school. Those eligible would be granted a “conditional” citizenship status for a six-year period during which they would complete two years of study for a college degree or enlist in the military for the same amount of time
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Latino voters' impact varied by region

Latino votes were very important, depending on what part of the country they were in. - - Donna Poisl

Few Republican candidates in the midterm election paid a price for adopting a hard-line immigration stance — except in the West

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Denver — With images of menacing, tattooed Latinos and beleaguered whites, the TV ad contended that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was too soft on illegal immigrants. "It's clear whose side he's on," the announcer said, "and it's not yours."

Sharron Angle, a "tea party" favorite and Reid's Republican challenger, had attempted to pummel Reid for his support for legalizing illegal immigrants. But Angle paid a price for her tough stance when Nevada's Latino voters came out in record numbers last week and helped Reid win a fifth term.
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National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH):

Celebration surrounding the opening of the new National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH), the nation’s only museum dedicated solely to telling the story of Jews in America, and press conference with leaders, architect and designer.

Special guests Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler to perform at Opening Gala, Nov. 13; Vice President Joe Biden to lead Grand Opening ceremony, Nov. 14

101 South Independence Mall East (5th and Market streets), Philadelphia

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Legal Action Center Argues H-1B Employees Should Not Face Arrest While Extension Requests Remain Pending

For Immediate Release

Legal Action Center Argues H-1B Employees Should Not Face Arrest
While Extension Requests Remain Pending

November 8, 2010

Washington D.C. - Late last week, the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council (LAC), together with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), filed an amicus brief arguing that an H-1B employee should not face arrest, detention or deportation after his initial period of admission expires if a pending extension request remains under review. The brief, filed in federal district court in Connecticut, maintains that H-1B employers who follow the law should not lose valuable employees because of widespread delays at immigration processing centers."Both existing law and common sense dictate that the government cannot sit on an employer's H-1B extension request and then arrest the employee due to its own processing delays," said Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center.

The LAC filed the brief on behalf of a Lebanese national represented by the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The plaintiff was gainfully employed when his employer requested an H-1B extension in early 2004, more than a month before the deadline.Though his employer paid a $1,000 "premium processing" fee to obtain a decision within fifteen business days, the government neither approved nor denied the application and refused to respond to requests for information.Nearly seven months after the extension request was filed, but before DHS had decided it, immigration agents arrested the plaintiff for allegedly "overstaying" his visa.

While federal law permits H-1B employees to remain in the United States for up to six years, the government grants visas for only three years at a time. Typically, the government may seek to remove noncitizens who overstay a temporary visa. But a federal regulation specifically permits an H-1B employee to continue working for up to 240 days after his initial period of admission expires so long as his employer filed an extension request before that period ended.

In the amicus brief, LAC and AILA argue that the automatic extension of work authorization should prevent the government from arresting H-1B employees while their employers' extension requests remain pending. With supportive declarations from three prominent companies that rely on H-1B workers, the brief further argues that subjecting noncitizens in the plaintiff's position to arrest would threaten to disrupt key sectors of the U.S. economy and undermine the goals of the H-1B program.


For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7524 or

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bloomberg's Chinese Lessons: Low Taxes, Hardworking Immigrants

Mayor Bloomberg is touring China factories and is talking about how we need more hardworking immigrants here. - - Donna Poisl


Mayor Bloomberg called into the John Gambling show on WOR-AM this morning from Shenzhen, China, where he's on a whirlwind trip to chair the C40 group of global cities responding to climate change, as well as to see all the cool things that China is doing and America isn't.

He toured factories for prescription drugs and solar panels in Shenzhen, which is just across the border from Hong Kong, where the climate summit is being held.
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Latinos Reached Milestones in Midterm Races

Latinos voted for candidates in both parties and are showing that their concerns should be listened to. - - Donna Poisl


PHOENIX — There was plenty of grim news for Latinos in Tuesday’s election results: three Latino congressmen were voted out, the odds of an immigration overhaul appeared to diminish and — here in the state that gave rise to the strictest immigration measure of all — hardliners were re-elected amid vows to continue cracking down on illegal immigrants.

But 2010 also signifies a milestone of sorts for Latinos, the country’s largest minority: their overwhelming support for Democrats in the midterm elections is credited with helping to keep the Senate Democratic. And Latinos won an unprecedented voice in the Republican Party with the election of more Latino Republicans than ever before — sometimes without the support of Latino voters, who tend to put issues before ethnicity.
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Sponsor a DREAMer in D.C. for $25

from Mohammad Abdollahi, co-founder of

In September your donations helped us to sponsor 10 undocumented youth who traveled from all over the country to Washington D.C. to advocate for the DREAM Act. Students met with legislators, delivered thousands of petitions and even sat and watched the critical vote that delayed the DREAM Act. The vote may have not gone in our favor, but these brave DREAMers were just yards away from Senators who were forced to see the faces of those affected.

This November 15th Senators will again return to Capital Hill and we want them to be welcomed back by an army of DREAMers. We are again reaching out to you, our allies and supporters, to ask that you help us get undocumented youth to Washington D.C

With a donation of just $25 you can sponsor one of these students for a day.

All of your donations will go towards expenses such as food, housing and other needed materials and other things needed during the week of action.

p.s. Check out the shirts and other cool DREAM Act gear we have for sale! Go to

Vote Cuts Both Ways on Immigrant Issues in NY

New York voters seem to want immigration reform and were not happy with the negative ads depicting immigrants. - - Donna Poisl

from Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY

NEW YORK CITY - This week's election saw some candidates portraying immigrants in a negative light, but when the results came in, local immigrant advocates claim victory in saying New York voters rejected those stereotypes.

Pat Young is an attorney active in immigrant issues and a blogger for Long Island Wins. He says New York voters had four chances to elect candidates to Congress who campaigned on anti-immigrant platforms, and Young says New Yorkers rejected them all.
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Latino Vote Decisive in Key Battle Ground States


Latino Republican Candidates Make Historic Gains

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Strong Latino voter turnout in key battle ground states has demonstrated once again that the growing Hispanic population is having an increasingly profound impact on US elections. Latino Republicans in particular combined strong support from conservatives and Latino voters to win 2 new governorships, 4 new house seats, and a new senate seat more than doubling the number of Republican Hispanics in Congress and giving our nation 3 Republican Hispanic Governors for the first time.

Overall Latino voter turnout was strong and continued to lean Democratic even as Republicans made big gains with other voters. According to MSNBC exit polling in key battleground house races, Latino voters made up 8% of those races and favored Democrats over Republicans by 65% to 33%.

"The elections of 2010 are further proof of the power of the Latino vote," stated Margaret Moran, LULAC National President. "No longer can politicians afford to ignore the needs of their fastest growing constituency. Latino voters have demonstrated that they are paying close attention to the issues that matter most to their families and their communities and they are prepared to support the candidates who respond to their concerns."

In Nevada, Senator Harry Reid was reelected with overwhelming support from Latinos who turned out in large numbers to beat back challenger Sharon Angle whose anti-immigrant attack ads angered Latino voters across the state. Exit polling by MSNBC indicates that Latinos made up 15% of the Nevada vote with 68% of Latino voters supporting Harry Reid.

In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio handily won election to the Senate with 55% of the Latino vote in a state where Hispanics made up 12% of the vote according to the exit poll. In addition, Republican David Rivera defeated Democrat Joe Garcia in the states closely watched 25th district.

Republican Susana Martinez made history in New Mexico by becoming the nation's first Latina Governor, defeating Diane Denish with 54% of the vote. She is joined by Governor-elect Brian Sandoval of Nevada who picked up 33% of the Latino vote which proved enough for him to become Nevada's first Latino Governor.

However, Latino voters in Arizona were not able to overcome some of the most racially polarized voting in the nation as Governor Janet Brewer of SB1070 fame was reelected despite the fact that 71% of Latinos supported her opponent Terry Goddard. Still Brewer's lack of support with Latino voters coupled with Harry Reid's win in Nevada is a clear sign that harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric will cause politicians to lose support from the nation's fastest growing voting population.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 880 LULAC councils nationwide.

SOURCE League of United Latin American Citizens

CONTACT: Lizette Jenness Olmos of LULAC, mobile: +1-202-365-4553

Immigration reform should stay on front burner

These Japanese Americans understand how important it is for everyone to continue working on immigration reform. - - Donna Poisl

by Michael Honda, Scott Fujita

In the wake of Tuesday's election, political analysts are busily predicting what the outcome means for Congress and the country. With Republicans now in the majority in the House of Representatives, many policies will probably change radically. What must not change, however, is work on immigration reform.

We are both of Japanese American descent - I was raised (and Scott's father was raised) in World War II-era internment camps for Japanese Americans. Thus we are keenly aware of the need for our society to be more inclusive.
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Imam Is a Shepherd to West African Immigrants in Harlem

This Imam is helping the immigrants in his neighborhood, he has become part religious leader and part social worker, helping them learn how to function in their new country. - - Donna Poisl


Long before daylight breaks in Harlem, the imam Souleimane Konaté puts on a wide embroidered robe and wakes up his wife, Assiata, so she can pray in their one-bedroom apartment while their 9-year-old daughter Fanta sleeps.

Mr. Konaté (pronounced Ko-NAH-tay) then walks four blocks in the dark to his mosque, Masjid Aqsa, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 116th Street. He passes the lowered grates of shops that sell African beauty products, halal meats and bolts of bright cloth. He passes stragglers headed home from late-night carousing.
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Immigration ripe for discussion

This opinion piece says we should all be talking about immigration reform now, this new Congress may not agree. - - Donna Poisl

Opinion By Ron McAllister

Much of what we hear about citizenship these days arises in the context of non-citizenship. The prominence of immigration and so-called "illegals" in the news is one of the ways in which citizenship makes it into our consciousness. There seems to be an assumption operating among some people that immigrants should be allowed to take up residence or to remain living alongside native-born people. There are plenty of assumptions worth reconsidering in life and this is one of them.

The focus on immigrants too often assumes wrongly that non-citizens do not pay taxes, do not love the country where they live, do not have vested interests in their local communities. Congress will have a chance to recognize and respond to this when it considers the DREAM Act later this month.
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Rural immigrants lack child care

This is a big reason why immigrants have trouble getting to ESL classes also. Read the full report at - - Donna Poisl


URBANA, Ill., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say finding child care is difficult for rural U.S. Latino immigrants due to language, cultural, cost and time barriers.

Researchers at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in Urbana say these immigrant parents in rural areas need child care that meets a certain cultural comfort level, is affordable for them and is available during shift work.
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