Sunday, February 28, 2010

Justus proposes bill to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition

It seems that after going through high school here, these kids should be able to go to their state colleges at a decent price. Let's hope more states make this possible. - - Donna Poisl


JEFFERSON CITY — No one voiced opposition to a bill providing children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition in a Senate committee hearing Wednesday, something the bill's sponsor said was a surprise.

Still, Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Jackson County, said she wasn't confident the legislation would move any closer to becoming law in the coming year.
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Law enforcement officials back immigration reforms

If law enforcement officials want immigration reform, it will definitely help move it along. They especially say that the present system is too expensive. - - Donna Poisl

Facing re-election challenge, Lake County sheriff calls legalization a moral issue

By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter

Joining a growing list of local law enforcement officials across the U.S., Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran on Wednesday urged Congress to adopt federal immigration reforms that would legalize the nation's estimated 10.6 million illegal immigrants.

In an interview with the Tribune and its Spanish-language sister newspaper, Hoy, Curran said processing and holding illegal immigrant inmates has become too costly, in the millions of dollars. A Roman Catholic, Curran added that his position also is based on his personal convictions.
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The Startup Visa: Create Jobs, Get A Green Card

Other countries have similar plans, sounds like a good idea. Immigrants are often the most entrepreneurial, sad for their country to lose them, but good for the U.S. - - Donna Poisl

Erick Schonfeld,

A bill introduced today in the Senate by Democrat John Kerry and Republican Richard Lugar proposes a new type of visa for immigrants who create startups and jobs in the U.S. A similar proposal is part of an immigration reform bill in the House.

The Startup Visa has been controversial and will no doubt draw fire from anti-immigrant forces and xenophobes.
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Multicultural Coalition holds open house at its new offices

This multicultural center is serving many people from many different countries in this Nebraska city. - - Donna Poisl

By Harold Reutter

The Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island has been in its new location at Workforce Development, 1306 W. Third St., for a little more than two months.

That’s enough time for staff and volunteers to feel like they are settled in, and that made it a good time for them to welcome visitors to an open house to see the organization’s new offices.
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Birthplace weighs heavily on immigrant weight

This study may help immigrants be more aware of the health issues, particularly diabetes, that they should watch for. - - Donna Poisl

by Lynne Peeples

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Where a US immigrant was born could play a significant role in how many pounds they pack on after arriving in America, according to a new study.

What's more, birthplace may alter how heavily body weight influences an immigrant's risk of developing diabetes.

"There was a clear link between being overweight and having diabetes for certain migrant groups, but not for others," Reena Oza-Frank, the study's lead researcher from Emory University, told Reuters Health in an email.
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Korean school moves to Gonzaga’s Schoenberg

We don't hear much about what the Korean community is doing in this country. This sounds like a good way for everyone to share cultures. - - Donna Poisl

By Noelle Chadbourne

Generations of Spokane Koreans gathered at Cataldo Hall and the Schoenberg Center on Feb. 13 for the Korean School Open House. They were celebrating the Korean School’s move to Gonzaga University.

The open house was available to the Gonzaga Community, and there were several students present. The open house featured a complimentary array of traditional Korean foods.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Does the US media portray immigrants only as people of color?

A very interesting debate, written by two people, side by side. You can vote for the side you agree with. I voted YES. - - Donna Poisl

YES by Christopher Kendalls
There is more of an emphasis placed on people of color than there are Caucasian immigrants definitely. Xenophobia is playing a part in the immigration debate but it is taking form in interesting ways.
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NO by Judith Bonawitz
I can say no to that remark. The only time that a race or color is brought up by the media is illegal immigrants that have been found that they are here illegally.
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Immigrants to U.S. are among their countries' finest

This opinion piece is about an undocumented worker the author knows and admires for his work ethic. It is well known that the most ambitious, entrepreneurial people are the first to emigrate. Our country was built by these people. My grandparents; yours too? - - Donna Poisl

by Steve Blow

I have come to know a man in his late 20s who is sweet natured and an incredibly hard worker. Let's call him Ernesto.

He helps me periodically with chores around the house. And he has pitched in on projects at my grown children's homes as well.

We have come to think of him as a family friend.
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Immigration Reform: The Time is Now! Meets Legislative Reality

Immigrants from many countries listened to speakers talk about immigration reform. All know it has to happen now. - - Donna Poisl

by Jeffrey Kaye

Hundreds of people who jammed into a Los Angeles union hall for a town hall meeting about immigration reform on Saturday morning got a bargain. Expecting to hear from just one influential member of the House of Representatives, audience members ended up getting two messages for the price of one.

An idealistic Democratic Congressman, Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles, shared a podium with the more pragmatic version of himself. One person embodying two realities: a longtime proponent of immigration reform and a realist experienced in vote counting.
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Muslims turning to home schooling in increasing numbers

More Muslim parents are choosing to home-school their children, joining almost 1.5 million Christian students who are home schooled. - - Donna Poisl

By Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post Staff Writer

On a chilly afternoon in western Loudoun County, a group of children used tweezers to extract rodent bones from a regurgitated owl pellet. A boy built a Lego launcher. A girl practiced her penmanship. On the wall, placards read, "I fast in Ramadan," "I pay zakat" and "I will go on hajj."

Welcome to Priscilla Martinez's home -- and her children's school, where Martinez is teacher, principal and guidance counselor, and where the credo "Allah created everything" is taught alongside math, grammar and science.
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Lake Zurich academy celebrates Chinese culture

Chinese immigrants in this Chicago suburb have a wonderful center that helps them connect to their culture and language. - - Donna Poisl


Chinese-American families in the nearby suburbs have a way to stay connected to their heritage thanks to Lake Zurich's Fenghua Chinese Academy.

Students from the nonprofit academy performed folk dancing and Tai Chi as part of a three-hour Chinese New Year celebration at the Ela Area Public Library Saturday.

"I think it's not just the language learning - it's more to provide a bridge to build a better community," academy volunteer principal Ron Li said.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Arab, Muslim Community Makes Case For Immigration Reform

Arab and Muslim immigrants have a hard time in our immigration system, mainly because of suspicion and stereotyping. - - Donna Poisl

By: Shazia Khan

For many Arab and Muslim Americans, learning how to navigate the immigration system is not an easy task. It was also one of the issues on the agenda at a town hall meeting in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

"People are applying for citizenship passing the exam and waiting two to three to even up to five years to get cleared," said Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York.
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Immigrant Rights Coalition opens Montrose office today

New office to assist immigrants and educate everyone about immigrant issues and laws. - - Donna Poisl

By Charles Ashby

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is opening an office today in Montrose, the first for the Denver-based group to appear on the Western Slope.

Karen Sherman Perez, the group’s Western Slope coordinator, will run the office at 300 N. Cascade Ave. in downtown Montrose. She said the coalition is trying to reach out to as many Coloradans as it can to educate them about immigration issues.
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Judge Keeps His Word to Immigrant Who Kept His

This is a story about an immigrant and second chances and the judge and the laws that are affecting it all. Let's hope he wins. - - Donna Poisl


The judge and the juvenile had grown up on the same mean streets, 40 years apart. And in fall 1996, they faced each other in a New York court where children are prosecuted as adults, but sentenced like candidates for redemption.

The teenager, a gifted student, was pleading guilty to a string of muggings committed at 15 with an eclectic crew in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The judge, who remembered the pitfalls of Little Italy in the 1950s, urged him to use his sentence — three to nine years in a reformatory — as a chance to turn his life around.

“If you do that, I am here to stand behind you,” the judge, Michael A. Corriero, promised. The youth, Qing Hong Wu, vowed to change.
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Participation in Census Still in Doubt Among Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants are not believing the promise that the Census is confidential. I wonder how they can be convinced, it is important that they are counted. - - Donna Poisl

Latin American Herald Tribune

CHICAGO – The broad campaign launched by the Census Bureau to convince the immigrant population to participate in the 2010 count is not convincing those who feel that responding to the census takers could complicate their situation in the United States.

Starting in March, the Bureau will begin distributing forms so that all people in the country, including undocumented immigrants, may be counted and it has emphasized on numerous occasions that the information it collects will be confidential.
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N.J. advocates for immigration reform march from Jersey City to Elizabeth

This march for immigration reform started at the bridge to Ellis Island. Very symbolic. - - Donna Poisl

By Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger

JERSEY CITY -- Starting in Jersey City near the foot bridge to Ellis Island, nearly 100 advocates for immigration reform staged a 10-mile walk to the Elizabeth detention center today, to highlight the plight of immigrant detainees there and to press for reforms allowing most of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants to become citizens.

"I hope we can take one step toward restoring the humanity to these people, who all they want to do is come to our country to work," said Kathy O’Leary, co-coordinator of Pax Christi NJ, the state chapter of the national Catholic peace movement, during a prayer service before the march.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

How two gwailos learned to speak perfect Cantonese

Read this whole story, it might give some tips for other people studying a language. - - Donna Poisl

Two expats describe their journeys to becoming fluent in one of the world's most notoriously difficult languages

by Christopher DeWolf

It might be spoken by more than 90 per cent of the population, but learning Cantonese in Hong Kong isn't easy. Thanks to 150 years of colonial British rule, it's possible to get by entirely in English, which is exactly what most expats from Western countries end up doing. But the expats that do make an effort to learn Cantonese find it can completely change their experience of the city. We spoke to two native English speakers -- or gwailos as the Cantonese call them -- who did just that.
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Teaching a foreign language? Best teach in the accent of the listener

A very interesting piece about learning a foreign language the easiest way: in the accent of the person learning. - - Donna Poisl

Provided by University of Haifa

Many adult schools teaching second languages insist on exposing their students to the languages in their 'original' accents. However, this new study, carried out by Dr. Raphiq Ibrahim and Dr. Mark Leikin of the University of Haifa's Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, Prof. Zohar Eviatar of the Department of Psychology and Prof. Shimon Sapir of the Department of Learning Disabilities, found that this system is not necessarily the best and certainly not the most expeditious.
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Census Reaches Out to Hispanics, Illegal Immigrants

Even though people are here illegally, we need to have an accurate count. Federal money for roads, schools, security etc are based on numbers and those people use these things too. - - Donna Poisl

State Government, Nonprofits and Telemundo Promote Census Participation


Pedro trekked across the border from Mexico 10 years ago in search of a better life.

But now, standing outside a Mexican bakery in Phoenix, he shuffles his feet and shifts his eyes from side to side as he speaks. "I'm always looking around, just in case," he said.

Pedro, who would not give his last name, is an illegal immigrant. "America is the place for opportunity," Pedro said. "I knew I had to cross over."
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Immigration reform advocates rally in Saratoga

New York groups are backing immigration reform and working to get it done this year. - - Donna Poisl

By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saying, "We are America, too" immigrants and advocates for immigration reform took to the snowy streets of Saratoga Springs this afternoon.

Most of the demonstrators came from out of town to pressure Congressman Scott Murphy to support comprehensive immigration reform.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Immigration reform urged

More church groups are urging reform this year, I hope they are influential. - - Donna Poisl

by Catholic Sentinel Staff

The Archdiocese of Portland and other dioceses around the United States are urging Congress to pass immigration reform legislation.

The campaign, called “Justice for Immigrants,” is being led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration. In Oregon, the Archdiocese of Portland Office for Justice and Peace/Respect Life will coordinate a Justice for Immigrants postcard campaign this month.
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New program helps the blind learn English with free program

English classes are geared for sighted students, this program uses braille to teach the language. And it is free. - - Donna Poisl

It pays to speak another language. Well, it pays better if that other language is English.

Posted by Marisa Treviño

According to research published in 2003, immigrants (in the United States) who have mastered English compared to those who speak it poorly earn 67 percent more in wages.

New system to teach English incorporates both braille and audio.
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DREAM walkers seek voice for immigrants

The young people walking from Miami to Washington talk to groups along the way, they are now in Georgia, explaining their hopes and dreams for immigration reform. - - Donna Poisl

By Jim Wallace -

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –A group of Hispanic young people are walking from Miami to Washington D.C. to raise awareness of what they call racism and discrimination against undocumented immigrants in the United States.

The Dream Walkers are spending the day in Albany on their five month journey.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Friends Without Borders" Launches, Young People's Project Still a Success

This organization of students works with young immigrants and helps them fit into their new culture. It is much easier to learn when taught by peers. - - Donna Poisl

by Jessie Brown '12, Features Writer

While many Hamilton students may be familiar with Project SHINE, few are aware of two similar programs supported by Hamilton students: Friends Without Borders and the Young People's Project.

Like the national organization Project SHINE, Friends Without Borders aims to facilitate the integration of English for Speakers of other Language s (ESOL) students into their new culture. The organization works with the ESOL Newcomer Program at the Utica City School District Administrative Building. The students in the program range in age from 17-20, a group that can be easily overlooked, since they are too old to be placed into an English-speaking high school and adult English education programs have a minimum age of 21.
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Bend rally puts focus on immigration reform debate

Immigration reform has many people in this city calling for action now. - - Donna Poisl

By Amy Easley, KTVZ.COM

It was their moment, their day to be heard. Friday afternoon, close to 100 protesters paraded down Bend's Greenwood Avenue, by Rep. Greg Walden's office, with a message for the Second District Republican:

"What do we want?" "Immigration reform!" "When do we want it?" "Now!"

They claim House Bill 4321 can do just that.
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South Florida group to honor 3 people for work helping immigrants

Read this to learn what these good people have done for immigrants. They certainly deserve the awards. - - Donna Poisl


The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center will honor several people for their work on behalf of immigrants during its annual awards dinner at the Hotel InterContinental in downtown Miami on Feb. 25.

The honorees: Miami Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles, Dr. Stephen Symes of the University of Miami Medical School and celebrated artist Edouard Duval-Carrié.
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Crowd overwhelms event for immigrants

Iraqi refugees showed up to get their documents notarized by an Iraqi consulate official. The office was not prepared for the large crowd, but will get the job done. - - Donna Poisl

By Susan Shroder, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

EL CAJON — A crowd of more than 500 people had to be dispersed Friday when they jammed a small office, stairwell and parking lot at the downtown Chaldean-Middle Eastern Social Services office to have Iraqi documents notarized, authorities said.

People lined up as early as 5 a.m. outside the office, which provides services for Iraqi refugees, on East Main Street at Avocado Avenue, said Monica Zech, public information officer for the city of El Cajon. The office opened at 8 a.m.
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New NCC Yearbook examines religious impact of immigration

This yearbook shows a snapshot of religion in the U.S. and Canada and how immigration has affected it. - - Donna Poisl

From Philip Jenks

2010 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches examines the impact of the New Immigrant Church

New York, February 12, 2010 -- Forty-five years after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the profound impact of the "new immigration" on the religious landscape of the United States is still being measured.

A substantial number of immigrants since 1965 -- perhaps a majority -- have been Christians. Their influx into the United States and Canada, writes the Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, "has altered not only the demographic composition of Christianity in America but ... has expanded the variety of expressions of the faith itself."
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East African Women's Center scrambles to survive

Funding cuts are causing this women's center to make cuts to the programs. Mothers and children are learning how to function successfully in this new culture, a necessary lesson for all immigrants. - - Donna Poisl

By Cynthia Boyd

It's a little tricky finding the East African Women's Center, housed as it is in a one-story building in a winter-cloaked courtyard engulfed by high-rise apartments in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Tricky that is until to you see red and yellow playground equipment and a walkway worn clear of snow by the feet of mothers and their children. In a real way, this is their pathway to the American dream.
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Miami Immigrants Get Tax Help

People make mistakes all the time on their tax forms and Miami immigrants are being helped to understand how important it is to do it correctly. - - Donna Poisl

El Nuevo Herald, Juan Carlos Chavez

MIAMI-- Representatives of independent community organizations in the state of Florida are urging immigrants to file income taxes correctly and on time, El Nuevo Herald reports.

The local group Colombian American Service Association (CASA) is offering free assistance, or assistance at low cost, to lower middle-class immigrants to help them file income taxes.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Interfaith Immigration Press Conference

HIAS Advocacy Update

Interfaith Immigration Press Conference

On February 10th, the "We Were Strangers, Too" campaign, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, and Justice for Immigrants held a telephonic press conference to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of postcards people of faith have signed over the last several months in support of immigration reform. The press conference also highlighted the hundreds of local interfaith events being held this February. The call included speakers from the Jewish, Mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Evangelical traditions, as well Congressman Mike Honda and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.

Listen to an audio recording of the call at

Conference to Explore Stories of Life in a New Language


Conference to Explore Stories of Life in a New Language

Author: Lee Ann Cox1
Email: LeeAnn.Cox@uvm.edu2
Phone: 802/656-1107 Fax: (802) 656-3203

"Identity and Intercultural Awareness: Responding to the stories of English Language Learners," an afternoon focused on the experiences of school-age refugees and other immigrants, will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Silver Maple Ballroom, Davis Center.

Conference highlights include a presentation of digital stories by Cynthia Reyes, associate professor of education, whose research centers on helping young English language learners simultaneously increase linguistic proficiency and self-confidence by sharing themselves and their cultural heritage through multimedia storytelling. The keynote speaker is Denise Lamoureux, state refugee coordinator for the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and a panel of high-school age refugee immigrants will share their stories of navigating dual cultures.

One panel volunteer, a young man from the Congo, asked Reyes what (future education and social work students) were going to learn from them that they couldn't get from a book. "That's just it," she answered, summing up a key point of the event, "they don't get anything in a book about you. If you're able to personalize the experience they can make that connection between you and what they learn in the book about how to teach you."

There will also be small group discussions focusing on specific topics (for more information, see a PDF of the event flyer at )
and a performance by Africa Diamono of drumming and West African music.

The conference is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Needs of immigrants, poor are a planning concern

This neighborhood has changed over the years, from being home to Irish and German immigrants 100 years ago, to mostly Latino and African now. These new immigrants are learning English and the culture, just like 100 years ago. - - Donna Poisl

By Maria Wiering

Leticia Cazales and Amina Osman engaged in conversation recently about their families in a classroom at Centro Guadalupano, which is housed at Holy Rosary in South Minneapolis.

The problem was, Cazales’ native language is Spanish, while Osman’s is Somali. But, thanks to the Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage class in which they were en­rolled, free of charge, they were able to conquer the language barrier and learn about each other’s backgrounds.
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Summit County immigrants continue to press for reform

Activists and a petition with more than 6,000 signatures are working to get immigration reform this year. - - Donna Poisl

by Julie Sutor, Summit County correspondent, Post Independent

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Hundreds of immigrants to Colorado and their allies gathered near the foot of the Grand Mesa Wednesday afternoon to press lawmakers for immigration reform.

The activists, including about a dozen from Summit County, delivered more than 6,000 signatures on petitions and postcards to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's staff.
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Evangelical leader calls for kinder, gentler immigration laws

More religious leaders and groups are calling for immigration reform this year. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Kathy Kiely

Galen Carey of the National Association of Evangelicals called for Congress to "pass meaningful immigration reform this year" today in a conference call with other faith leaders. Members of the group said they are trying to create a grassroots, church-based movement to press for passage of legislation.
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Genealogy for a Nation of Immigrants

An interesting review of the PBS series about immigrants and ancestors. - - Donna Poisl


Eva Longoria and Yo-Yo Ma have a common ancestor.

It takes a long time and considerable patience to get to that surprise denouement of “Faces of America,” a four-part PBS series, beginning on Wednesday, about family roots by the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. And even with charming celebrities — Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols and Queen Noor of Jordan are among the 12 whose genealogy is explored almost back to Paleolithic times — the telling can at times be a little wearisome.
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Monday, February 08, 2010

ACLU attorney debunks immigration 'lies, myths and urban legends'

This article disproves many myths and lies about immigration, very interesting. - - Donna Poisl

By TOM EVANS, Hour Staff Writer

Misconceptions about immigration -- both legal and illegal -- continue to cause problems in a system that produces more questions than answers, according to attorney Philip Berns.

Berns spoke in the fourth-floor cafeteria of the Government Center on Sunday morning, and he tried to impress upon the 15 people gathered the "Catch-22" nature of immigration at the event, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Fairfield County.
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SVC hosts ‘citizenship day’

Immigration attorneys, paralegals and interpreters gave free assistance to people filling out their citizenship applications. Even after living here for many years, many immigrants need help with the difficult application. - - Donna Poisl

by Marta Murvosh | Skagit Valley Herald

MOUNT VERNON — Sedro-Woolley resident and English citizen Paul Baker has lived in the United States since he was 13.

He has been living as a legal permanent resident of the United States for 35 years. On Saturday Baker, 48, picked up an application to become a citizen.

Baker was one of 67 people who came Saturday to Skagit Valley College, where Washington New Americans Program held “citizenship day.”
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Friday, February 05, 2010

Campaign Update: A Drumbeat to March 21st

sent by Rich Stolz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

Since we announced that the Campaign would work with its many partners to pull together a major mobilization in Washington, DC on March 21, energy has been building across the nation, and Members of Congress and the White House have noticed. We need to bring our voices to Washington to get the legislative process unstuck, and to drive our Members of Congress to act! As Ali Noorani noted in a blog post earlier this week, "The anger is real, the demand for a solution is urgent, and our time to fight is now." For more information about the Mobilization, go to

News from the Field:
This week, our field organizers and partners are working to build real momentum for reform in the home districts of all of our key swing targets during the February congressional recess, February 15-18. This is a key moment for our chances for reform, and our representatives need to feel the strength and breadth of this movement. Already, our partners in the faith community have already pressed Senator Schumer to push forward the timetable for reform at a Syracuse vigil this week. To find out what events and actions are taking place locally, click here.

Important New Research:
On Thursday, the Economic Policy Institute published a new report, Immigration and Wages-Methodological Advancements Confirm Modest Gains for Native Workers. This new study adds to the growing body of research demonstrating that comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and strengthen our workforce. To read the executive summary and full report, click here.

On Tuesday, the Urban Institute released a new study on the impact of the Department of Homeland Security's immigration enforcement policies on children. In Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement, researchers focus new light on the 5.5 million children with unauthorized parents, almost three-quarters of whom are U.S.-born citizens. Over several years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intensified enforcement activities through large-scale worksite arrests, home arrests, and arrests by local law enforcement with dire consequences for these children and America's future.

News from Congress:
This week Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) offered two major efforts in support of refugees. The first came in the form of a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), which was signed by 31 other members of congress, calling for the protection of LGBT refugees all over the world suffering and fleeing from abuse in their home countries. Senator Gillibrand and Senator Menendez (D-NJ) also announced that they will introduce a bill that would speed up the admission of 55,000 Haitians who both have families in the US and have approved immigration petitions.

The White House released its proposed budget this week. From the perspective of immigration advocates across the nation, the President's budget demonstrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Following the President's anemic leadership on comprehensive immigration reform in his State of the Union address last week, the budget adds further fuel to a growing fire nationally calling on reform of the nation's broken immigration system.

Looking ahead to the 2010 Census, campaign partner Ya Es Hora has released a Census education toolkit for community partners, elected officials and national partners. They include marketing and educational materials. Visit this page to see the full toolkit.

In closing, it's clear that the energy for reform is building in communities across the nation, even as we all take into account the challenging political environment in Washington, DC. This weekend a coalition of organizations in the American southwest are organizing to ensure that the deaths at the border caused by our nation's immigration system will not be forgotten. We know why we're fighting. Our families and communities are counting on us. We are called by our conscience, our faith and our relationships to rise to this occasion.

Rich Stolz
Reform Immigration FOR America

Town Hall Attempts to Revive Immigration Reform Movement

Supporters are working for immigration reform, afraid it is not going to be done this year. The march on Washington on 21 March is looking for supporters, either marchers or donations to help the marchers. - - Donna Poisl

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

Hundreds of immigration reform supporters gathered at Placita Olvera’s Our Lady of Angels Church on Monday night for an Immigration Town Hall and gave U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), author of an Immigration Reform Bill presented in Congress last year, a rock star welcome.
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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Honda & Manzano: This Is the Year for Immigration Reform to Pass

A hopeful piece about immigration reform this year. - - Donna Poisl

By Rep. Mike Honda and Sonia Manzano, Special to Roll Call

The tide seems to be turning in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, despite populist trends that might suggest otherwise. President Barack Obama’s ability in 2010 to hammer out reform has been helped by some unusual suspects. Democrats, already on board the reform bandwagon, are even seeing some conservatives rally for similar reform measures.

These new voices, along with recent polling that puts the majority of the American public in favor of a legalization process for our 12 million undocumented immigrants, bodes well for a nation in desperate need of a new immigration policy. This president, unlike his predecessor, will not shy away from needed reform as it is the right thing to do economically, the right thing to do politically, and the right thing to do morally.

In the throes of America’s recession, Obama must do everything in his power to weigh the fiscal pros and cons of any policy decision.
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White Oak Middle School drama program helps African immigrants find their voice

African immigrant students are writing a play based on their experiences, and learning English and self-confidence at the same time. They will use drama, poetry and dance and perform for friends and family at the end of the school year. - - Donna Poisl

By Jeanette Der Bedrosian, The Gazette

As a group of young African immigrants struggles to adapt to life in the United States, an after-school drama program at White Oak Middle School in Silver Spring strives to make their lives easier by first making them a little harder.

Project X is a program that uses drama, dance, poetry and other creative outlets to help students discuss the tough and sometimes painful problems they face as preteen immigrants with significant language barriers, instructors said. A final unveiling of their creation will be performed for friends, family and donors at the end of the year at Imagination Stage, a nonprofit children's theater in Bethesda.
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Register Now for DREAM Action Week: February 22nd-27th

sent by Mohammad Abd, United We Dream Network -- Organizing Committee Chair

In September we urged all of you to host actions in support of the United We Dream Back to School Dream Act Week of Action and you responded with an amazing 120 actions in over 30 states. You hosted everything from movie screenings in Montana, to soccer games in caps and gowns in Kansas, a mock classroom in Florida and so much more. We hope it is with that same excitement and courage that you take on this next challenge.

From Monday February 22nd to Saturday February 27th, the United We Dream Network, will be hosting a Week of Action in support of the Dream Act and just and humane immigration reform.

To support you in your action we have set up 4 online sessions to train you in the following:
Week of Action 101: This webinar will provide a short introduction to the United We Dream network (UWD), a basic overview of the week of action, and provide information on supporting resources and material.

Recruitment and Action: This webinar will arm you with the tools needed to effectively recruit volunteers and participants for the week of action, and to help you plan and organize successful actions.

Legislative Analysis: This webinar will provide you with the tools and resources needed to effectively engage your Members of Congress and other key constituencies in the events surrounding the week of action.

Producing Local Media: This webinar will provide you with the tools and resources needed to communicate with and secure local media for your action.

More information here:

If you have any questions feel free to email us or just register an action you are thinking of and we will contact you to walk you through it!

Mohammad Abd | | 1-(800)-596-7498
United We Dream Network -- Organizing Committee Chair

PS: Are you on Facebook? So are we! Follow us at

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Host 20th Annual Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.


United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Host 20th Annual Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.

March event hosts top elected officials and highlights key policy issues affecting the Hispanic business community

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) will host its 20th Annual Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., from March 22 - 24, 2010. Still celebrating its 30th anniversary, the USHCC offers this unique three-day event, which will provide participants with an unparalleled opportunity to hear directly about today's urgent policy and business concerns from key administration officials and top legislators representing the full political spectrum. The dynamic workshops will address the practical implications for business owners of such issues as financial services reform, green energy, broadband internet, telecommunications regulation and access to capital. Participants cap-off the Summit with ample time to visit elected representatives on Capitol Hill.

David C. Lizarraga, USHCC Chairman of the Board said: "So many of the rules and regulations that will impact small businesses for a generation are being designed and debated in Washington right now. The Hispanic business community and its allies must be at the table to ensure those changes provide opportunities and do not pose obstacles." He emphasized that to be included and represented effectively, the Hispanic business community must deepen relationships in Congress and maintain a high profile with key decision makers on Capitol Hill and the Administration. "This Legislative Summit is the perfect forum for that," added Lizarraga.

"I encourage everyone from the executive suite to the neighborhood store to join fellow Hispanic business owners and the leaders of Hispanic chambers of commerce from around the country in advocating for those issues that impact our community," said Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the USHCC. "Participation at this event is critical to effectively convey our views and show strength in unity and numbers. We must speak up, be heard and be counted on those policies now debated in our nation's capitol. At no time in recent memory has the case for attending been stronger," he concluded.

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate nearly $400 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

About USHCC Foundation

The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Hispanics alternatives for life preparation and life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs gain access to and achieve success in the world of business.

More Information:

CONTACT: DeVere Kutscher, +1-202-715-0497,

Police Chief to Immigrants: May the Force Be With You

The L.A. police chief is trying to convince immigrants that the police will protect and help them and are not going to check on their immigration status. Everyone will benefit from this. - - Donna Poisl

by Jeffrey Kaye

Activists at political rallies are accustomed to the sight of police officers, uniformed and plainclothes, observing their actions. But rarely are cops featured as invited guests and welcomed participants.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise last night when new Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck, decked out in uniform, stood before an immigrants' rights rally at La Placita church downtown to declare to a crowd of about 1,000 that "a person's immigration status alone is not the business of the Los Angeles Police Department!"
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Craven Literacy Council expands services in new office

This literacy council has new equipment and space and is teaching more people to read English. But they always need more people, money, staff, offices. - - Donna Poisl

Laura Oleniacz, Sun Journal Staff

Craven Literacy Council staff tell of one of their success stories: A man who learned to read well enough to take his wife’s grocery list to the store to buy all of the items on the handwritten paper.

The council’s volunteers helped that man and 224 others work on basic literacy skills in Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties last year, and they hope to help even more this year since they moved to a larger office last week.
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Gaps emerging in US census outreach to immigrants

As hard as the government and many groups are working to get everyone counted, mistakes are being made. The count is so important, we must hope it is much more accurate than other years. - - Donna Poisl

By HOPE YEN, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The government is fumbling some efforts to assure immigrants that U.S. census data won't be used against them, including gaps in outreach and foreign language guides that refer to the decennial count as an investigation.

With the launch of the head count weeks away, the Census Bureau's outreach has been falling short in at least a dozen major cities, such as Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Jose, Calif., and Seattle, according to a report released Monday by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
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Census chief tries easing immigrant fears in Texas

The Census Bureau Director is talking directly to immigrants, trying to convince them how important it is that they be counted and that the information is confidential. Immigrants are always undercounted and yet, their numbers must be added so the communities they live in get the federal money that is due them. - - Donna Poisl

By PAUL J. WEBER, The Associated Press

LAREDO, Texas -- Police cars and large white vans rumbled down the unpaved road toward the ramshackle houses, where illegal immigrants are among hundreds living in a slapdash neighborhood, or colonia, called San Carlos.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves emerged from the caravan Monday with a message: You can trust us.
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Faces of America to air on PBS

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts "Faces of America", a four-part series that asks, What made America? What makes us?

The series will explore the family histories of 11 guests, including comedian Stephen Colbert, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and actors Eva Longoria Parker and Meryl Streep.

The episodes are titled “The Promise of America,” “Becoming American,” “Making America,” and “The Record Within.” The show will air on PBS Wednesdays, Feb. 10 through March 3, 8 to 9 p.m. ET.

Speaking Their Language

These classes are teaching Spanish to English speaking people who want to communicate with their neighbors, with their clients, with their co-workers, with some family members. They know how important it is to be bilingual. - - Donna Poisl

Grad students take Spanish lessons to Roxbury

By Jeremy Schwab

Leslie McConnell is long past the age when the mind is a blank slate for language learning. She took her last forgettable Spanish class in college and since then has made only minor attempts to keep up with the language.

But on a recent night, she dreamed of conjugating verbs in Spanish. “For once,” she says, “I can honestly say that I’m acquiring a language. Always in the past, I was just learning it by rote.”
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Reform Immigration FOR America, February update

Sent and written by Rich Stolz, ReformImmigrationFORAmerica

As 2010 slips into February, the urgency for action on comprehensive immigration reform only grows. It's time to pick it up a few notches. On March 21st thousands of workers, families, immigrants and allies are mobilizing to Washington, DC to make sure our voices get heard. We're telling the White House and Congress that the time is now, and there is no turning back on the promises they've made. So start raising money, start organizing your people, and start preparing to have your voices heard loud and clear. Mark your calendars and sign up here to stay updated.

Congressional and White House Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Reform
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that immigration reform can and will get done this year. Senator Schumer, who is drafting a reform bill, told reporters, "our intention is to move forward" with reform efforts, echoing the intentions of this campaign. In the Spanish language media, Valerie Jarrett discounted the claims that immigration reform and jobs legislation cannot happen together: "We can do several things at once," she said. Now it is up to us to put the pressure on our leaders to ACT.

Resolutions for Reform
Several important resolutions urging Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform were passed around the country this week. The first was passed by the City Council of Philadelphia, PA, introduced by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez who said, "I am introducing this resolution because we cannot wait another generation for action." In New Hampshire, a proposed anti-immigrant resolution (that was expected to pass) was rejected entirely by the New Hampshire State House Committee in favor of a resolution calling on Congress to pass comprehensive reform! It was an amazing turnaround that came following testimony against the anti-immigrant resolution by seven New Hampshire residents. Finally, the Board of Commissioners in Barack Obama's former home of Cook County, IL passed a resolution in favor of comprehensive reform in general and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009 (H.R. 4321) bill specifically. These resolutions demonstrate the growing support from local elected officials throughout the country for CIR now!

Evangelicals for Reform
Evangelical leaders called for reform at vigils in six cities across the country this week as part of the Evangelical Witness for Immigration reform movement organized by the Christian Community Development Association. There were vigils in Chicago, Santa Ana, Memphis, Miami, Denver and Phoenix. In Phoenix, over 120 evangelical leaders came together to pray and plan for immigration reform to unite families, bring people out of the shadows and ensure equal rights for all.

Following these actions, the Washington Post published "Why evangelicals want immigration reform this year," by Galen Carey, the director of government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Carey discussed the religious and moral imperatives for immigration reform and the vigils held nationwide this week, saying "Evangelicals may have largely missed the civil rights battles of the 1960s, but we do not intend to repeat our mistake in 2010."

Voices like Carey's and yours are essential to this movement. While the handwringing continues in Washington, DC and disheartened or opportunistic politicians whine, opine or crow about the prospects for reform this year, we know that we're building the power we'll need from the outside-in.

See you on March 21st!

Rich Stolz
Reform Immigration FOR America

Multicultural Marketing Panel, April 27-29, 2010

Multicultural Marketing Panel featuring President and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Javier Palomarez

by Eddie Graves, Director of Marketing & Finance at

Multicultural experts or anyone who is interested in multiculturalism are encouraged to attend our 10th Annual National Multicultural conference in Washington D.C. on April 27th-29th, 2010.

One of the highlights of this conference is our Multicultural Opportunities and Challenges Panel, where the fastest trends in the market place will be discussed. The panel will includes Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Kathleen Haley; Director of Multicultural Marketing at Hewlett Packard;Miriam Muley;President and CEO- of 85% Niche
and Mariela Dabbah; Author, Speaker and Consultant.

To learn more about the conference and agenda, please visit-

2010 Census Road Tour Comes to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami


2010 Census Road Tour Comes to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The following was released today by the U.S. Census Bureau:

What: The 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour is part of the largest civic outreach and awareness campaign in U.S. history -- stopping and exhibiting at more than 800 events nationwide. The National Road Tour vehicle will be traveling to Super Bowl events in South Florida to motivate America's growing and increasingly diverse population to complete and mail back the 10-question census form when it arrives in mailboxes March 15-17.

Traveling for a total of 1,547 days and more than 150,000 miles across the country, 13 road tour vehicles will provide the public with an educational, engaging and interactive experience that brings the 2010 Census to life.

At each event across the country, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the 2010 Census and understand the benefits a complete count can bring to communities everywhere; view a sample 2010 Census form and learn how the collected information is used; and contribute stories and photos to the Portrait of America project to explain why "I count!" and view messages from other road tour participants.

When: Sunday, Feb. 7, 1 to 7 p.m. (EST)

Where: Calder Race Course
Parking Lot D near the entrance to the casino
21001 N.W. 27th Avenue
Miami Gardens, Fla. 33056

For more information about the 2010 Census and the Road Tour, please visit and follow us on Twitter (@2010Portrait), Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube (/uscensusbureau).

Editor's note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau's home page. Go to and click on "Releases."

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau
-0- 02/01/2010
/CONTACT: Lisa Cochrane of the U.S. Census Bureau Public Information Office, +1-202-507-2570, /

Monday, February 01, 2010

Immigration reform again coming into national focus

This story tells how some immigrants who got amnesty in '87 are doing now and how the economy and country did after they got their green cards and citizenship. - - Donna Poisl

By Matt O'Brien, Contra Costa Times

BERKELEY -- Patricia Hernandez has the unenviable job of cleaning up the mess left by undergraduates at UC Berkeley.

"Whatever they break, we fix it," she said, sitting on a dormitory couch during her morning break. "Change light bulbs, fix furniture, fix toilets, unclog toilets, replace toilets."

Hernandez, 48, is not complaining, just describing. She is proud of the job she has held for 18 years and the financial security it brings. She loves that her brother is a cook at a nearby campus cafeteria and that her daughter works as a pharmacy technician a few blocks away.

She loves it because 40 years ago, she was living in a Mexican orphanage. Twenty-five years ago, she was living in a car in Southern California and struggling to find work because she was an illegal immigrant.
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Macomb County news briefs: Immigrants sought for Sterling Heights TV show

This monthly 30 minute show is looking for local immigrants to share their stories. Seems like a good way for everyone to get to know their neighbors. - - Donna Poisl


The city is looking for residents who moved to Sterling Heights from other countries and are willing to share their stories for a new "Getting to Know Your Neighbor" show on Sterling Heights Television.
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Immigration reform is a pressing issue of morality

Houston area clergy met and are trying to work together in support of immigration reform. - - Donna Poisl

by DiNardo, Doyle, Rinehart, Clemons and the Rev. John Bowie, pastor of True Light Missionary Baptist Church and co-chair of The Metropolitan Organization.

On Jan. 11, more than 300 clergy from dozens of religious denominations came from the far reaches of the Houston region in support of a critical moral issue, humane immigration reform.

The local heads of several major religious denominations, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Catholic archbishop of Galveston-Houston; Bishop Janice Riggle Huie of the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rabbi David Rosen of Congregation Beth Yeshurun; the Rev. Mike Cole of the Presbytery of New Covenant; and the Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr. of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, along with The Metropolitan Organization, released a Houston Interfaith Statement on Humane Immigration Reform and launched a campaign for reform this year.
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Nonprofit seeing success in helping along assimilation process

This class is helping immigrants with their citizenship test. - - Donna Poisl

By Nicholas C. Stern, News-Post Staff

Simy Buckwold was applying for U.S. citizenship when her husband pointed out an advertisement for a citizenship class held by Centro Hispano at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church's Community Center in Frederick .

Centro Hispano is a local nonprofit that provides educational and other support for local immigrants.

The eight-session course began in November and ended Wednesday. The class was mostly a primer on U.S. civics, history and the necessary citizenship forms and procedures.
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Immigrants learn about tax rules

Immigrants are confused about tax rules and filing taxes, the same as the rest of us. This workshop is teaching them how it works. - - Donna Poisl

IRS does not report to Immigration

By DAN BARKER, Times Staff Writer

The Internal Revenue Service does not report tax returns to the immigration department, although sometimes immigration officials will review tax information.

However, if someone is applying for citizenship, one thing officials look at is tax returns, which makes them doubly important, said tax adviser Debra Polansky of H&R Block in Fort Morgan during one of two workshops on taxes held Tuesday.
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New study says immigrants help California's economy

Another study proves that immigrants help the economy. - - Donna Poisl


Immigrants in California are less likely to use public services and more likely to contribute significant amounts than U.S.-born citizens, which equates to a substantial contribution to the Golden State economy, according to a report released on Jan. 26 by an immigrant advocacy group.

Titled “Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State,” the study released by the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) indicates that immigrants have a combined federal tax contribution of more than $30 billion annually, with each immigrant-headed household contributing a net $2,679 to Social Security, roughly $539 more than the average U.S.-born household.
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Sen. Schumer: ‘I Met With Lou Dobbs’ To Discuss Immigration Reform

Senator Schumer says they are making good progress in immigration reform, exphasizing the need for a bipartisan immigration reform bill. - - Donna Poisl

Friday, January 29, 2010

( – Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, said Congress is moving forward with immigration reform and that he personally had met with Lou Dobbs to discuss the issue, an apparently surprising development given that Dobbs, a former CNN anchor, is known for his outspoken criticism of past congressional attempts at immigration reform.

Schumer made his remarks at a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday when a reporter asked about President Barack Obama’s comments concerning immigration in his State of the Union speech.
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Cidadao Global's goal is to train future leaders of New York's Brazilian community

This program teaches Brazilian immigrants how New York City works. Each week they learn a different city system, learning how to be proactive citizens in their city and country. People born here should learn the same things. - - Donna Poisl

by Clem Richardson

Ramona Ortega hopes to be out of a job in five or so years.

Heck of a thing, since Ortega, 34, is founder and executive director for her employer, Cidadao Global , a two-year-old community based nonprofit group that advocates for the local Brazilian community.

If Ortega has her way, this Mexican-American farmworkers' daughter, former sous-chef, UCLA graduate, journalist and human-rights policy wonk will step down so group members she has trained can take over.
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Northern Virginia Leadership Roundtable Luncheon on Immigration Reform on February 17th

Northern Virginia Leadership Roundtable Luncheon on Immigration Reform on February 17th

HIAS is joining with the American Jewish Committee, the Anti Defamation League, and the Jewish Community Relations Council to host a roundtable on the state of the country's immigration system and the Jewish mandate to "welcome the stranger." The roundtable will take place Wednesday, February 17th from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center.

This event is open to clergy, agency and lay leadership, and the Northern Virginia Commission. For more information, contact Debra Linick at 703-893-4007 or