Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Labor Rights Week Held For Immigrants Across U.S.

Immigrants are being taught their rights in the labor force. A good idea, many of them are mistreated because they don't know their rights. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by slong

Labor Rights Week kicked off in Mexican consulates in cities across the nation to educate immigrants about their labor rights.

The week’s events are tied to the upcoming Labor Day holiday, the Denver Post reports. The consulates plan sessions with attorneys and local organizations to inform immigrants about rights to worker’s compensation, minimum wage and how to file workplace complaints with state and federal agencies, according to the Denver Post.
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Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism

This reassuring study shows that Muslim Americans are satisfied with their lives here. - - Donna Poisl

from Pew Research Center

Muslim Americans appear to be highly assimilated into American society and they are largely content with their lives. More than six-in-ten do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society, and a similar number say that most Muslims coming to the U.S. today want to adopt an American way of life rather than remain distinctive from the larger society.

By overwhelming margins, Muslim Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in their own lives and rate their local communities as good places to live. And Muslim Americans are far more likely than the general public to express satisfaction with national conditions.
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Fulani develop strength in unity

More than 1,200 Fulani people live in the Cincinnati area and are sharing their culture with their neighbors. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Mark Curnutte

LOCKLAND - The smell of cooking - rice with a brown sauce flavored by onion and peanut butter - fills the hallways of the three-story apartment building.

A third-floor unit, rented collectively by a community of West African immigrants, is the mosque. A dozen pairs of shoes are scattered in the hallway outside the door.

Downstairs, another rented apartment serves as a school, where the Pulaar language and Fulani culture are taught to young people.

All of the other 68 units in Mulberry Court Apartments are homes to one of the region's most cohesive and distinctive immigrant groups, the Fulani people - primarily from Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, Africa.
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More immigrants would help the ailing economy

This opinion piece has an interesting suggestion for finding buyers for lots of foreclosed homes. - - Donna Poisl


As the president contemplates his options for creating jobs and stimulating the economy, here’s one idea he should consider: Create a new immigration lottery that would let in up to a million newcomers — on the condition that they immediately purchase a home with cash.

I know this idea is bound to infuriate some people, but it could do more to stimulate the economy than anything the Obama administration — or the Republicans — have come up with so far. There’s no question that the depressed housing market is a major factor stalling the economic recovery. Most Americans’ wealth is tied up in their homes; housing prices have continued to fall precipitously, and largely because of the huge inventory of unsold houses. Many of those houses are foreclosures.
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Students keep culture alive after changing countries

Auburn students are trying to keep their own culture while mixing into American culture too. - - Donna Poisl

by Kristen Oliver / WRITER

More than 800 students from more than 80 nations take part in the Auburn experience each year, according to the Office of International Education.

“American culture is a combination of so many cultures,” said Shakeer Abdullah, director of the Multicultural Center in the Student Center.
In the same way, the Auburn student body is a combination of many international students bringing their own experiences and perspectives to the Plains.

“They come in with an understanding of American culture,” Abdullah said. “They really find a way to interact with American culture and also share their own culture.”
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Click the headline to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

Puerto Rican Community-Based Organizations Take the Discussion of Their Political Status to Congress


WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad Association (UPRAA), is making history by presenting for the first time ever in the Congress of the United States, the community based forum: "Puerto Rico at its Political Crossroads: A forum to discuss the political future of the island." This is the first time that a political discussion of this magnitude regarding the status of the island, has been organized in Congress by a community group organization and not for a political hearing.

The forum will be held on the Cannon House Office Building-Caucus Room on Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. It will start at 8:30 am with a special presentation by Dr. Edwin Melendez, Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY), New York. The forum will be moderated by Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent of PBS.

The event will have representatives of the three parties' ideologies of the island, starting with a welcoming remark Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner in Congress. The Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Hon. Kenneth D. McClintock-Hernandez will represent his position in favor of statehood. To represent the Commonwealth Party, Senator Hon. Eduardo Bathia-Gautier will represent the current status and Hon. Manuel Rodriguez-Orellana, former Senator of Puerto Rico will be representing the independence status.

The event was coordinated and organized by UPRAA and is being sponsored by MicroTech, Inc. and co-sponsored by the Hotel Sheraton National, in Arlington VA., and is being Co-Hosted by the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) and ASPIRA.

The Association of University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA) founded in 2003 as a not for profit organization, which represents Alumni and Friends of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) educational system residing in the Continental U.S. The UPR educational system currently includes 11 campuses: Aguadilla, Arecibo, Bayamon, Carolina, Ciencias Medicas, Cayey, Humacao, Mayaguez, Ponce, Río Piedras, and Utuado. Our Association represents over 250,000 graduates of these campuses residing in the Continental U.S. UPRAA was created to establish a strong network, develop and conduct cultural initiatives, and support charitable programs. It has given more than $70,000 on scholarships. The Association serves as a link between UPR Alumni and Friends abroad and the UPR educational system and works towards promoting opportunities and creating a support network for its membership and the Hispanic community at large.

For more information write to: and to confirm your participation visit


CONTACT: Ada Alvarez, UPRAA,, +1-202-997-0386

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

HIAS Applauds Obama Administration On New Immigration Enforcement Policy


(New York, NY) – HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, welcomes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement regarding immigration enforcement. DHS announced yesterday that it will implement an agency-wide expansion of prosecutorial discretion guidelines with the goal of allowing immigration officials to focus their enforcement efforts on targeting dangerous criminals. In addition, a joint committee will be created with the Department of Justice to review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings and determine which cases are low priority and can be administratively closed.

According to Gideon Aronoff, President & CEO of HIAS, "We are pleased to see that the Obama Administration is choosing to better focus immigration enforcement resources, especially as Congress has given no indication it will reform our country's broken immigration laws any time soon. As Jews, we support policies that fulfill the Torah's mandate to 'welcome the stranger,' as we know that effective immigration policies have often made the difference between life and death, between oppression and the opportunity for success."

HIAS has long advocated that the U.S. government prioritize the removal of people who pose a danger to the U.S., and to make sure they are not focusing resources on deporting individuals who pose no threat to public safety, such as DREAM students. HIAS will monitor how this new policy is implemented and continue to advocate for effective immigration enforcement as part of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

Learn more about HIAS' policy regarding immigration enforcement. Go to:

Influx of immigrants into Chattanooga

This area has a large population of immigrants from many countries, they like the area and the people who are there. And the city knows it needs them too. - - Donna Poisl

by Andy Johns and Perla Trevizo

Chinese immigrant Michael Zhou came to Chattanooga for a job at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in 1998, and now can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“I like the small-town setting, it’s not that crowded, it’s also relatively safe,” said Zhou, who now works at Unum.

New U.S. census figures released Thursday indicate he’s not alone.
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Some Deportations Halted for Gay Immigrants

Just in time, this deportation has been put on hold. - - Donna Poisl

By Trudy Ring

Some binational same-sex couples received good news about pending deportation orders this week, thanks partly to the Obama administration’s new policy making certain deportations low priority.

Denver immigration judge Mimi Tsankov Friday halted the deportation of Sujey Pando and scheduled a new hearing in January based on her marriage to U.S. citizen Violeta Pando, attorney Lavi Soloway reported on his Stop the Deportations blog.
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Soccer is a common connector for immigrant students

Sports are often an excellent way for different cultures to share and get to know each other. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Tiffany Lankes, Staff writer

They come here from all corners of the world, from Nepal to Latin America to countries in the African Congo Basin.

Many of the City School District's newly arrived immigrant students speak no English when they show up in this country. They have no way to communicate with their new peers and classmates, let alone the teachers charged with helping them acclimate.

Yet on Monday, these young people found comfort in a common ground that transcended even the greatest language and cultural barriers. They shared something familiar in a place where everything is so different.
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U.S. Issues New Deportation Policy’s First Reprieves

Here we see how quickly the new plan is working. - - Donna Poisl


The call came in the morning to the lawyer representing Manuel Guerra, an illegal immigrant from Mexico living in Florida who had been caught in a tortuous and seemingly failing five-year court fight against deportation.

With the news early Thursday that federal immigration authorities had canceled his deportation, Mr. Guerra became one of the first illegal immigrants in the country to see results from a policy the Obama administration unveiled in Washington that day.
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Obama plan to review deportation cases stokes heated debate

Many people will be debating the new plan, we will hear about this for a long time. - - Donna Poisl

by Christopher Goffard and Paloma Esquivel

The Obama administration's plan to review the cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants currently in deportation proceedings to identify "low-priority" offenders has sparked a debate in Washington and beyond.

Officials said that by launching the case-by-case review, they are refocusing deportation efforts on convicted felons and other "public safety threats." Those who have not committed crimes could be allowed to remain in the U.S.
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Could Farms Survive Without Illegal Labor?

Another article proving that most Americans will not take the jobs that illegal laborers take. - - Donna Poisl

No one in America is going to benefit from expelling immigrant farm workers. And the cost won't be pennies: it will run to billions of dollars.

by Tamar Jacoby

If only it were that easy — that the only consequence of driving unauthorized farm workers out of the U.S. would be a few more pennies on the price of lettuce or an extra nickel for an avocado. In fact, the likely upshot would be far worse and would cut far deeper into our economic well-being.

Why? Immigrant workers aren't a "cheap labor" alternative, as so many Americans think. They are the only labor available to do many unskilled jobs, and if they were eliminated, most would not be replaced.
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Sign petition. President Obama: Hold The Line

from Adam Luna, America's Voice

Last week, the White House announced a new policy which says that DREAM Act youth and immigrants who haven’t committed serious crimes, and who meet other reasonable criteria, won’t face deportation.

When I heard the news, I did a double-take. Is this new policy everything we’ve been asking for? No, it’s not. However, we believe it’s a critical step forward with big potential.

And there’s no doubt about it – you made this happen. Together, we tirelessly pushed the Obama Administration to change its ways and now, the President has begun to lead. If fully implemented, the new policy could keep hundreds of thousands of families together.

But now isn’t the time to declare victory and end our campaign. Like any new announcement from Washington, it will only become a reality on the ground if people like you ensure that the Obama Administration fulfills its commitment. Already, the anti-immigrant extremists are flooding the White House with calls to get them to back down. We’ve got to show the White House there are even MORE people who want them to press on.

Please join us and send a message to the President. We’re asking him to stand strong against the extremists and make his new policy a reality on the ground.
Click on the headline to sign petition.

Here’s how the new policy is supposed to work:

The administration will review cases of the 300,000 people currently in deportation proceedings, and those who meet certain criteria should have their cases closed. Next, agents and attorneys at the Dept. of Homeland Security will be directed to keep people like this out of deportation proceedings from now on.

I know that after fighting so hard against policies which have led to one million deportations, many of you are concerned about whether the Obama Administration will really stick to this new policy and halt the deportation of DREAM youth and others. We hear that and share your concern.

However, we must not waste this opportunity. We must take advantage of this moment to work together and stop the deportations of hundreds of thousands of people who deserve to be here.

It’s our job to ensure this new policy is the beginning and not the end of reforms. To do that, the President will have to stand up to the extremists – and we have to tell him to hold strong and keep moving in the right direction.

Will you sign the letter to the President telling him to Hold The Line?

Thank you for what you are doing to change history.

All the best,

Adam Luna
America's Voice

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Invitation to join live "News reporter and Commentator" web broadcasting team
Global Web Broadcasting

An invitation to join our live "News reporter and Commentator" web broadcasting team.

The team provides up-to-date informative and in-depth perspectives on issues benefiting our nation's Latino students and families.

Partial list of themes:

Upcoming events or other pertinent

Media experience preferred but not necessary.

Our reporters and commentators can participate in our Thursday programming from our Los Angeles studio, via live web cam or prerecorded clips.

Segments can be in English or Spanish.

Positions are on volunteer basis.

Email us for details.

Join our broadcast team!

Armando Sanchez
Exec. Dir. & Producer
Web Global Broadcasting

Latino Scholastic Achievement Corporation, a 501.c.3 organization

Upcoming in "National Universal Latino Scholarship e-Application"

New series beginning October 2011: "LIVE Thursday Night College Bound Show" Understanding financial aid and strategies for winning scholarships

* Live and free on-demand broadcast programs at Global Broadcasting studio at Pan American Bank, Los Angeles, CA is the web site of the Latino Scholastic Achievement Corporation, a 501.c.3 national non-profit organization.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Immigration a big topic in many state legislatures

States are trying to solve the immigration problems without any federal assistance. Each state having different laws will be hard to manage. - - Donna Poisl

Stephen Ceasar

LOS ANGELES -- Utah wasn't alone in having its state Legislature attempt to fix the immigration problem facing the country.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 1,592 bills were introduced in all 50 states and Puerto Rico in the 2011 legislative sessions that ended by June 30, a report by the bipartisan research organization found. In Utah, 13 immigration bills were introduced, including House Bill 116. That bill was a comprehensive measure that dealt with law enforcement provisions in regards to illegal immigrants and created a guest worker program for illegal immigrants residing within the state.

State legislators in 40 states enacted 151 of the bills, which mainly addressed law enforcement, identification and employment issues, said Ann Morse, program director of the conference's immigrant policy project.
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To Vote or Not to Vote, That Is Not the Question

Sitting out an election is never the way to make a difference. Voting is your right and must be used. - - Donna Poisl

by Jorge-Mario Cabrera

An active critic of mine emailed me recently wondering if my strategy and that of other immigrant rights advocates was to defeat President Obama by blaming him relentlessly for the lack of progress on immigration reform and/or urge Latinos not to vote in 2012. Did I want President Obama to be a one-term president, he asked. Did I think a Republican would do any better on behalf of immigrants?

There is no way to sugar coat it. President Obama has failed miserably in his promise to update our flawed immigration system. But as much as our community's grief pushes me to detest, denounce, and defy this administration's terror-inducing immigration policies, I do not for a minute think that getting rid of President Obama or withholding my vote next November will do my family, the community, or the nation any good whatsoever.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Multilingual skills finding favor in US homes

Our country is one of the few where most people only speak one language, these parents are changing that. Their children will benefit. - - Donna Poisl



MIAMI - One-year-old Alice Di Giovanni asks for "banane," not banana, when she's in the mood for one. She'll bid you farewell with a "ciao." And if she wants more, she says "mas."

The Miami toddler is one of an increasing number of Americans living in homes where a language other than English is spoken, and her parents want her to learn as many languages as she can. So her Polish-Canadian mother speaks to her in French, her father in Italian and her Honduran nanny in Spanish.

"She kind of mixes these things, but I know she understands all three languages," says mom Anna Manikowska.
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The American DREAM should become real for immigrant youth

Another opinion piece pushing for the DREAM Act in the whole country. - - Donna Poisl


Several states are taking an encouraging step on the immigration issue. They are making it easier for students who weren't born here but raised here to go to state colleges or universities.

California, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland have recently passed laws offering such students in-state tuition or access to privately funded scholarships to make it affordable. New York is considering a similar law, as well.
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Time Is Running Out -- Why Hispanic Leaders Must Step Up!

A recent survey shows that Hispanic leaders are needed and are not working their way up. - - Donna Poisl


Where are the Hispanic leaders? The most recent survey from the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 74% of people either do not know or do not believe there is an important Hispanic leader in the United States today. This is shocking, especially when you consider that Hispanics are -- at more than 50 million strong -- the majority-minority and fastest growing population in the United States. Where are the Hispanic leaders?

The run-up has already begun to the 2012 elections, and if Hispanics are to assert the leadership that their numbers demand, they need to find their voices quickly. Time is running out.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"My Fellow American" Video

From Elizabeth Potter. Unity Productions Foundation

America was built on the principles of equality and basic human rights for all. Recent mosque protests and congressional hearings on American Muslims are all unfortunate examples of a rising tide of fear that lead to intolerance and inequality. This climate of suspicion towards our fellow Americans compromises the great values that our country was founded upon. We've put together a 2 minute film in response that I believe your readers of Immigrants In USA Blog will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

The site also has many other cool features including the ability to share your own stories and you can even take the "My Fellow American" pledge. If you are able to help, please let me know - I'd love to share your post or tweet with my team. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.

Elizabeth Potter
Unity Productions Foundation

Know Your Chinese Sister, Fellow Seattleites: Sister City Chongqing, That Is

This talks about Seattle's Sister Cities in China. - - Donna Poisl

By Wendy Liu

You’ve probably heard China sometimes described in American terms, or place names. Shanghai’s financial district is, for instance, China’s Manhattan, and Tsinghua University, China’s MIT. Here is another one: Chicago on the Yangtze. Do you know, my fellow Seattleites, which city is this Chinese Chicago? Well, it is none other than our sister city Chongqing, according to Christina Larson, Foreign Policy magazine editor and journalist with extensive reportage from western China.

Larson may have her reasons to call Chongqing China’s Chicago, but Chongqing is really like no other city, American or Chinese. As one of China’s four special municipalities after only Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, with a population of 32 million, Chongqing is southwest China’s commercial, manufacturing and transportation hub, gateway to world-famous Three Gorges, and with strong historical ties to America.
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New eateries reflecting more immigrants of Fox Valley

Restaurants are often the best way to find out where people in an area came from. They want to cook and eat the food they are accustomed to. - - Donna Poisl

By Mike Danahey

Call it a feast for the senses. Or the census. Your pick.

The nation’s head count shows that pretty much every town, including those here in the Fox Valley, is becoming more ethnically and racially diverse. As two new area restaurants illustrate, the changing demographic brings with it more eating options for our already big American appetites.

To that point, four months ago, Merza Abraham opened his first restaurant and Elgin’s first Middle Eastern eatery, Babylon Kebab, at 512 Waverly Drive.

Abraham said he came to the United States in 1993. His uncles and their families already had settled in the Elgin area many years prior to that.
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HIAS Lauds Introduction Of SSI Extension Bill

Elderly and disabled refugees now have a way to survive and live here after their first few years are up. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Liza Lieberman

HIAS strongly supports Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s (R-FL) legislation (H.R. 2763), introduced on August 4, 2011, to ensure that elderly and disabled refugees living in the United States do not lose vital public benefits. Under the new bill, qualified refugees who have very low or no other source of income would be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for up to nine years before becoming citizens.

SSI provides a modest stipend of approximately $674 per month to elderly, disabled, and blind persons who are unable to support themselves financially. Currently, refugees are eligible to receive these benefits for 7 years. After 7 years, if they do not naturalize, elderly and disabled refugees lose their SSI benefits.
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Institute helping immigrants adjust

The English Center is teaching immigrants how to manage in this country. - - Donna Poisl

By Robert Guttersohn

Youngstown -- Hiwa Amid was only 3 when the Kurdish Revolution in Iraq began and knows of it only through stories passed down to him.

“I have heard a lot of it from family, from relatives and other Kurdish people,” Amid said. “It was pretty bad during that time.”

Now 23, the shy civil engineering grad student at Youngstown State University is learning English at the English Language Institute.
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Literacy group gets help from a likely source

These groups are working together to teach English to immigrants. - - Donna Poisl


For Joe Riccardo, literacy is the key to success in the modern-day United States.

It's a belief that has been passed down for generations through the members of the Dante Literary Society, a group that formed in 1934 to teach English to Italian immigrants.

More than 75 years later, Mr. Riccardo, president of the South Scranton society, said he wants to honor the immigrant connection by pairing with the Scranton Council of Literacy Advance, a group that's tutoring English reading and writing skills to a demographic that is about 70 percent Hispanic immigrants, and has lost its state funding.
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New immigrants can find housing a challenge

Refugees have a very hard time settling here, especially with large families. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Jennifer Bissell

After paying rent, Mohamed Shee has $100 left each month to feed and take care of his family of 11. He receives assistance money because of his refugee status, but it barely covers the cost of his large apartment. He’d get a smaller space, but housing laws limit how many people are allowed to share a room.

Standing with an interpreter at the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Shee waits to hear if his family may move into an affordable housing unit, which would save him $700 a month. He’s been on the waiting list for two years, ever since he moved to St. Cloud from Somalia.
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A Family Reunited After a Rare Return From Deportation

A very happy story; a woman who was deported has been allowed to come back to her husband. - - Donna Poisl


A Polish woman will step off an airplane in Chicago on Monday afternoon with a legal visa in her hand, coming back to live in the United States four years after her deportation sundered her family, in a rare case of the return of an immigrant who was expelled.

The woman, Janina Wasilewski, was deported in 2007 after living for 18 years in the Chicago suburbs. Several applications she had filed to become a legal resident became hopelessly tangled in the immigration courts and were finally denied. She left behind her husband, Tony, also a Polish immigrant, but with his agreement she took their son, Brian, an American citizen, who was 6.
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As it diversifies, Nevada shifts its tone

This story starts out bad, but shows how much better it is now in Nevada. - - Donna Poisl

Anti-Latino remarks from a Nye County official prompt a popular recall campaign — a sign of shifting worldviews that's reflected across the state.

By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times

Pahrump, Nev. — Andy Sanchez had just moved to this dusty outpost near Las Vegas when a gust of anti-immigration furor tore the town asunder.

The town board voted in 2006 to make English the official language of Pahrump and bar residents from flying a foreign flag without a U.S. flag near it. When a couple hung Italian and Polish flags in protest, their house got egged.

"I didn't know that kind of racism was here," said Sanchez, 73, though the ordinance was rescinded within a few months. "It broke my heart."
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Immigrants realize American dream on the Battleship Massachusetts

Fifty immigrants from 18 countries were sworn in as citizens at this ceremony. - - Donna Poisl

By Derek Vital, Herald News Staff Reporter

FALL RIVER — Chen Sour was a young child when she first moved to the United States as a refugee from Cambodia.

She returned to her homeland, but came back to America at the age of 19. By that time, she had the added responsibility of raising a four-year old boy. Sour had grown accustomed to the American style of living, and felt the United States afforded more opportunities for her young family.

Eight years later, the 28-year old Fall River resident was among a group of 50 people from 18 countries who became U.S. citizens Friday as part of a naturalization ceremony held aboard the Battleship Massachusetts. As a result of Sour becoming a citizen, her 12-year old son Ratha also is declared a citizen.
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One-woman program helps immigrants through the citizenship maze

Immigrants and refugees usually need some help with the citizenship tests and paperwork, this woman is helping many of them. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Matt Hayes

Faced with countless forms written in a second language and fees hard to afford -- plus the threat of a test at the conclusion -- many immigrants and refugees find the citizenship process daunting.

For 13 of the 38 newest citizens sworn in Thursday afternoon at the Tompkins County Courthouse, however, the process became a bit easier thanks to the support of the Immigrant Services Program at Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga.

The citizenship program, headed and run solely by director Sue Chaffee, provides guidance and encouragement to residents ready to become citizens.
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Helping Immigrant Entrepreneurs Create Good U.S. Jobs

The government is doing several things to help entrepreneurs come to this country and start businesses. - - Donna Poisl

by Karen Mills and John Doerr

In 1873, German immigrant Levi Strauss made the first pair of blue jeans. In 1968, Hungarian-born Andy Grove founded the world's largest computer chip maker, Intel. They're just two examples of a longstanding American tradition of immigrants who come to our country, start a small business, and create millions of jobs.

Unfortunately, due to an outdated visa system, too many of the world's brightest entrepreneurial minds aren't here. Some have come to the United States, received training at our excellent universities, and then been forced to leave. Others simply haven't been able to find a path here in the first place.
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Kunde: Immigrants understand the value of learning English

This ESL volunteer proves that immigrants do want to learn English. - - Donna Poisl

BY DIANA KUNDE, Special to the Star-Telegram

From time to time, I'm part of a group conversation where the talk turns to Tarrant County's large immigrant population. Inevitably, I hear: "Why won't they learn English?" or, "I think they ought to learn English if they want to live in this country."

In reply, I simply say that I direct and teach in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program as a volunteer. And we're bursting at the seams with people who want to learn English -- at 135 students last semester.
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Immigrant Identities, Preserved in Vinegar?

This true history is a very strange and funny side of assimilation and what people think it takes to be an American. - - Donna Poisl


TENSIONS over immigration in Europe are flaring this summer, along with questions about what — whether language, dress or diet — makes a foreigner a citizen. Of course, these questions also have a long history in America.

One of the biggest battles over assimilation occurred a century ago in New York City, and the battleground was food. Politicians, public health experts and social reformers were alarmed by what they saw as immigrants’ penchant for highly seasoned cooking. They used too much garlic, onion and pepper. They ate too many cured meats and were too generous with the condiments. Strongly flavored food, these officials believed, led to nervous, unstable people. Nervous, unstable people made bad Americans.
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California Dream Act offers young illegal immigrant a morale boost

This story about a young man in L.A. shows that the state's Dream Act is not directly helping him, but perhaps in future, it can. - - Donna Poisl

By Steve Lopez

His middle name is Diego, so I'm going to call him that, and I'll tell you he's 23. But if I give away too much identifying information, he's sure to lose his job.

Or worse.

Diego, who works in retail, was born in Mexico and got some tough news when he was 8. His parents couldn't find enough work to pay the bills, so they were leaving the kids behind and heading to the United States. Diego and his two little sisters stayed with their grandmother in Oaxaca for a year until they got the call to move to California.
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Monday, August 01, 2011

Mexican Migration Patterns Signal a New Immigration Reality

For Immediate Release

Mexican Migration Patterns Signal a New Immigration Reality:
Fewer Coming, Fewer Leaving, and 3/5 of Unauthorized Have Been Here for a Decade or Longer

August 1, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases a summary of recent data on Mexican migration to and from the United States. This data provides an important reminder that as migration patterns change over time, so too must U.S. immigration policies. Fewer Mexicans are migrating to the United States, fewer Mexican immigrants in the United States are returning home, and immigrants from Mexico are parents to a new generation of Mexican Americans who are U.S. citizens.

New reports from the Pew Hispanic Center and the RAND Corporation provide useful information about the state of immigration today. Although this data deals with Mexican immigrants as a whole and not just the unauthorized, it is a useful indicator of what is taking place in the unauthorized population. More than half (55 percent) of Mexican immigrants in the United States are unauthorized, and roughly three-fifths (59 percent) of all unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico.

The data reveals an emerging new reality: fewer immigrants are coming, fewer are leaving, and a majority of the unauthorized population has been here for a decade or longer. These trends suggest that our immigration policies must transition away from the current efforts to drive out unauthorized immigrants with deep roots in this country. We need a more nuanced set of policies that help immigrants who are already living here and contributing to the U.S. economy to more fully integrate into U.S. society.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety, see:

Mexican Migration Patterns Signal a New Immigration Reality (IPC Fact Check, August 1, 2011)

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

Dissecting the HALT Act Last Safety Valves in Immigration System Under Attack

For Immediate Release

July 25, 2011

Washington D.C. - Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement will hold a hearing on the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act” (HALT Act), a bill that would suspend discretionary forms of immigration relief until January 21, 2013—the day after the next Presidential inauguration.

Today, the Immigration Policy Center held a briefing to describe how the HALT Act systematically attacks many of the discretionary forms of relief available to immigrants. Immigration policy experts described the implications of limiting the Administration’s discretion in prosecuting immigration cases, as well as the impetus behind the bill.

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, said:

“The HALT Act seeks to disable or suspend a number of immigration provisions that provide any discretionary relief to immigrants in order to chastise the Administration for a series of policy memos that contemplate using executive branch authority to improve current laws. Its authors seek to discourage the Administration from interpreting the law in ways that are more streamlined or benefit more individuals.”

Beth Werlin, Deputy Director of the Legal Action Center, further explained:

“By taking away the power to grant deferred action, the HALT Act is basically interfering with the Administration’s ability to prioritize its removal cases and focus its resources on serious criminals and those who pose a true security risk.”

Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, commented on the impetus behind the bill:

“The suggestion that the Administration is 'tempted' to legalize the undocumented population is disconnected from reality. The president can’t legalize undocumented immigrants. The most he can do is delay their removal from the country if there are compelling reasons. President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has deported more immigrants than any administration in a generation. However, the authors of this bill continue to claim that DHS refuses to enforce the law and is pursuing a stealth amnesty agenda.”

Administrative authority must be preserved in order to ensure that important laws are available when they are needed. For example, the HALT Act would suspend Temporary Protected Status (TPS)—the protection granted to Haitians after the recent devastating earthquake—making it impossible for the Obama Administration to respond to humanitarian crises. Similarly, the HALT Act suspends waivers for the three and ten year bars to admission to the U.S.—exemptions that exist specifically to ensure that U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents would not suffer extreme hardship if their relatives were deported.

The HALT Act is particularly disturbing because it is so blatantly political, suspending important forms of relief only until the next presidential inauguration. This means that its chief sponsors, Congressman Lamar Smith and Senator David Vitter, are interested in using the American public and the immigration system as vehicles for promoting their political dispute with President Obama over immigration policy. The HALT Act would take a broken immigration system and make it even more inflexible and unworkable in order to make a political point. This is not the way to solve our immigration crisis, but only further highlights the necessity for passing legislation that comprehensively overhauls our immigration system, and gives us the flexible and forward looking policies we need to succeed in the 21st century.


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

For undocumented immigrants, 1 barrier to college falls

As states change their laws, immigrant kids are going to be able to go to college and become tax paying members of our/their country. - - Donna Poisl

Quinn signs DREAM Act, which sets up fund for private scholarships

By Monique Garcia, Tribune reporter

Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed a measure into law creating a privately funded scholarship program for documented and undocumented immigrants, a move supporters hailed as a civil rights victory as other states have recently moved in the other direction on immigration.

The Illinois DREAM Act creates a nine-member commission that will oversee the scholarship fund, which is aimed at removing one of the biggest barriers to higher education for immigrants: cost.
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Immigrants Taught English at Inwood Laundry

This is the perfect place to teach immigrants English, the people are there already and don't have to take other time out of their day or evening. - - Donna Poisl

By Ben Fractenberg, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

INWOOD — Don't wash your delicates with hot water and be careful conjugating that verb.
A group of Inwood residents is mixing its dirty washing with language by learning English while they do their laundry.

Artist Hector Canonge is offering a chance for more than 20 Spanish speakers to take free English classes at the Magic Touch Laundromat on Thayer Street, near Nagle Avenue.

"[The project] is based on what happens in laundromats with new immigrants," said Canonge, who will teach the sessions over four weeks.
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Immigrants' journey led to role as entrepreneurs

This article tells the stories of several immigrants in MN and their business success as entrepreneurs. Only in America. - - Donna Poisl

By: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune

Abdirahman "Abdi" Ahmed knows some see him as just "a Somali Muslim guy" with a funny accent.

Ahmed thinks of himself as an American businessman.

An accountant and systems analyst who has worked in IT and taught graduate school at St. Mary's University, Ahmed is a job creator and community volunteer.

He and his partners, Jamal Hashi and Sade Hashi, own booming Safari and Kilimanjaro restaurants. They also are leaders of the local Somali commercial community.
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Gov. Brown makes Calif. first Dream state: Undocumented youth get education

California is investing in its future by making sure all their kids have a chance for a college education. - - Donna Poisl

by Deborah Dupre, Human Rights Examiner

Several hundred celebrants attended Monday's event when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Dream Act - AB130 authored by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo that guarantees higher education private source funding for undocumented youth and makes California the first state to resist racist legislation targeting immigrants.

Gov. Brown declared, "This is a wise investment in the future of California and the country. Some in the capitol would resolve the budget deficit by shrinking our commitment to education. I think that this is a wrong approach."
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