Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Proposed Cuts In House Could Prove Disastrous To U.S. Refugee Program

This is another needy group that will lose funding with the cuts the House made to the budget. - - Donna Poisl

posted on HIAS.org

(New York, NY) – Cuts contained in the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House of Representatives at the end of last week would bring the U.S. refugee program to the brink of disaster, if enacted.

The House of Representatives slashed the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, which provides basic, life-saving assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, by 45 percent from current funding levels. If this level of funding is enacted by Congress when the Senate returns from the President’s Day recess, the State Department essentially would have no additional funding to continue to protect and resettle refugees for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which ends on September 30th.
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Cokie and Steven Roberts: Time for grown-ups to lead on immigration reform

A good opinion piece telling the country to grow up and fix the immigration problem. - - Donna Poisl


President Barack Obama has called for an “adult conversation” about the country's fiscal failures. Well, Washington desperately needs a grown-up approach to another unavoidable crisis — the immigration mess.

Being an adult means two things: Confronting reality, not fantasy, and taking responsibility for your actions. And both issues — budget shortfalls and immigration overloads — are rooted in the same fundamental truth: Demography is destiny.
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Mass. banker to match immigrants' college savings

A wonderful story about this man who is helping immigrant families save for their kids' college expenses and then matches what they saved. - - Donna Poisl

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press

CHELSEA, Mass. — It started with an immigration raid four years ago.

From his Melrose home, Bob Hildreth watched the aftermath of federal immigration agents storming a New Bedford, Mass., leather factory and netting 350 suspected illegal immigrant workers from Guatemala and El Salvador. The event drew national attention when news reports showed the small children of some the detainees being cared for by strangers.

It also motivated the Boston banker and philanthropist "into action."
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Join the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) on Facebook and Help Us Share the Facts on Immigration!

Although Valentine's Day has come and gone, it's never too late to share the love by "Liking" the IPC on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Immigration-Policy-Center/122037065517.

And if you're already an IPC fan, help us spread the facts on immigration by posting IPC on your wall and asking your friends to check us out.

IPC strives to keep you informed with the latest immigration news, facts and changes in policy through our reports, fact checks, and blog posts. Joining the IPC on Facebook allows you to stay informed, share the facts and add your voice to the immigration debate.


Click the headline to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

The way to do multiculturalism right

This opinion piece compares the way different countries deal with immigrants and how they fit into the culture. - - Donna Poisl

by Clarence Page

Among their other headaches, some of Europe's biggest leaders are troubled by the lukewarm state of their countries' melting pots.

As in the United States, a combination of economic recession, terrorism fears and electoral politics have made scapegoats out of immigrants and government multiculturalism policies. Unlike the United States, they don't have a melting-pot tradition. Instead they've tried a brand of multiculturalism that's getting bad reviews.
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I Want to Be Just Like You

Immigrants will eventually assimilate, this piece illustrates that fact. - - Donna Poisl

by Gary Hart, Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado

The immigration "debate", which routinely produces more heat than light, is contentious in part because it assumes foreign people entering the United States want to remain foreigners and not become Americans. Most recently the British prime minister decried "multiculturalism" because it was producing more or less permanent ghettos in the U.K.

American critics of Mexican immigrants often reflect the same opinion. And throughout our history as every wave of immigrants arrived here, there were always haters who sought to keep them in their place.
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Immigrant youth advocates lauded

This group of students who fought (and failed) to get the Dream Act passed is still working to help students get to college. Now they are working on the state level. - - Donna Poisl

By Travis Andersen, Globe Staff

CAMBRIDGE — In November, students huddled in an upstairs room in a Harvard Square church and spoke about having to put their college and career dreams on hold because of their immigration status.

The students, members of a youth advocacy group, were speaking to a small group of people at First Parish in Cambridge in the weeks leading up to a vote on the federal Dream Act, a controversial bill that would give children of illegal immigrants a path to legal residency, which failed in December in the US Senate.
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Employers say immigrants fill needed Louisville jobs even in tough economy

Another story telling how hard it is to find non-immigrants to even apply for a job, much less stay in it. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Jere Downs

For more than a decade, Jose Martin Cruz Del Porte says, he earned $10 an hour pouring concrete for homebuilders in and around Louisville.

But after an arrest in LaGrange on misdemeanor harassment charges that were later dropped, Del Porte, 40, was found to be in the country illegally. By June, he has agreed to relocate to his native Chiapas, Mexico.
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Cuban 'Peter Pan' immigrant now Denver mayor

A terrific American Dream story, this man came here as a child from Cuba and is now a big city mayor. - - Donna Poisl

from Google News

DENVER (AP) — As a child, Guillermo "Bill" Vidal shook Fidel Castro's hand shortly after he seized power in Cuba in 1959. It was, Vidal jokingly says, his first "Forrest Gump" moment, referring to the movie character who crosses paths with iconic figures throughout his life.

At the time of his second such moment — meeting Robert F. Kennedy at a Chicago airport two years later — Vidal was on his way to an orphanage in Pueblo, Colo. He was one of thousands of Cuban children flown to the U.S. in Operation Pedro Pan following Castro's revolution.
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Black SC lawmaker: Immigrants are hardest workers

This state senator admits that Americans do not work as hard as immigrants do and shows that they are needed. - - Donna Poisl

By SEANNA ADCOX, The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An African-American lawmaker in South Carolina said Tuesday that stricter illegal immigration laws would hurt the state because blacks and whites don't work as hard as Hispanics.

State Sen. Robert Ford made his remarks during a Senate committee debate over an Arizona-style immigration law, eliciting a smattering of nervous laughter in the chamber after he said "brothers" don't work as hard as Mexicans. He continued that his "blue-eyed brothers" don't either.
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Monday, February 07, 2011

Surge of immigrants from India baffles border officials in Texas

Illegal immigrants from India are crossing the border in Texas, a long dangerous journey, usually with human smugglers. - - Donna Poisl

Thousands from India have entered Texas illegally from Mexico in the last year. Most are Sikhs who claim religious persecution at home.

By Richard Marosi and Andrew Becke

Reporting from Harlingen, Texas — Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations.

The immigrants, mostly young men from poor villages, say they are fleeing religious and political persecution. More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began here early last year, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have sneaked through undetected, according to U.S. border authorities.
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How We See Immigration — and Why We're Wrong

A VERY interesting article, showing the things most people believe about immigration and how many of them are correct (not many). Many change their opinions when they find the true story. - - Donna Poisl


From Arizona to Amsterdam, immigration remains one of the most contentious and divisive debates for Americans and Europeans alike. It is also, it seems, a debate fueled by large-scale misconceptions on both sides of the Atlantic. A new survey released Thursday has found that Americans and Europeans both tend to greatly overestimate the immigrant population in their home countries — but, when armed with accurate population figures, they hold significantly more lenient views towards migrants.

In the U.S., for instance, the average resident believes that 39% of the U.S. population was born abroad; the real figure is less than 14%.
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Country's First Latina Justice Has Candid Talk with Young People

Justice Sotomayor talked with students, answering all their questions. This kind of involvement will help young people, especially immigrants, become interested in law, politics, community service, etc. - - Donna Poisl

by Dahleen Glanton

Dressed in a black skirt and jacket and sitting, legs crossed, in a leather wingback chair on an auditorium stage Monday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor looked nothing like the staid image of a U.S. Supreme Court judge most people are used to.

Sotomayor visited the University of Chicago Law School to do something she said is as important as the decisions she renders from the bench engage in lively conversation with young people. That included a rare opportunity to ask any question they wanted and have her as a guest professor during a class.
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Good chance of passage in Senate for bill allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

The Colorado Senate's Republicans and Democrats are working together to get their illegal immigrant students into college with in-state tuition. Maybe the best hope is for individual states to enact their own DREAM Acts. - - Donna Poisl

By Tim Hoover, The Denver Post

A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to attend college at the in-state tuition rate stands a good chance of passing the Colorado Senate, and supporters say the measure could even pass the Republican-controlled House.

The conventional wisdom this session had the bill unable to clear the Democrat-led Senate, where a similar measure died in 2009 after a handful of Democrats joined Republicans in voting against it.

But things have changed. The ASSET bill — standing for "Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow" — has been reworked from the 2009 version so that the students in question would not receive a direct state subsidy called the Colorado Opportunity Fund scholarship.
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Friday, February 04, 2011

Federal Court Upholds Immigrants' Right To Reopen Cases From Outside the U.S.

For Immediate Release

Federal Court Upholds Immigrants' Right To Reopen Cases From Outside the U.S.

February 3, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, a federal appellate court chastised the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for preventing noncitizens from reopening their cases from outside the United States. This important ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit repudiates the government's view that immigration judges and the BIA lack "jurisdiction" over such cases.

The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which filed a joint amicus brief in the case, applaud the Sixth Circuit's ruling. The Legal Action Center and National Immigration Project have coordinated litigation on this issue nationwide and call on the BIA to abandon its misguided regulation barring review of motions filed by noncitizens outside the United States.

"The Sixth Circuit recognized that the regulation deprives noncitizens of their statutory right to present new evidence in their cases. The decision corrects the government's unlawful attempt to separate families and opens the door for them to return to the United States," said attorney Trina Realmuto of the National Immigration Project. Beth Werlin of the Legal Action Center said, "A motion may be a person's only chance to present his case to the immigration judge. The government should take immediate steps to withdraw this unfair and outdated regulation rather than proceed with continued, unnecessary and costly litigation."

Federal law gives noncitizens the right to file motions to submit new evidence after their removal orders become final. But the BIA has long maintained that it cannot consider such a motion if a foreign national is outside the United States. This policy gives the government a perverse incentive to remove noncitizens from the country before they have an opportunity to submit evidence that could change the outcome of their cases. Moreover, the policy is at odds with provisions of a harsh 1996 immigration law that resulted in a dramatic reduction in due process rights and expansion of expedited removal but that made it clear that noncitizens had the opportunity to seek review of unfavorable decisions from outside the United States.

Today's ruling involved Vakhtang Pruidze, a green card holder from Russia removed from the country because of a minor offense in Michigan. Less than two weeks after his removal, the criminal court vacated Mr. Pruidze's conviction. He then sought to reopen his immigration case, but the BIA refused to consider the motion because he was outside the country.

As the Sixth Circuit declared in its ruling, the BIA's interpretation "has no roots in any statutory source and misapprehends the authority delegated to the Board by Congress."


For press inquiries contact Wendy Sefsaf at wsefsaf@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7524 or Trina Realmuto at trina@nationalimmigrationproject.org or (617) 227-9727, x8.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans' Unauthorized Immigration to the United States


New Research Examines Link Between Poverty and Latin Americans' Unauthorized Immigration to the United States

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Despite unprecedented levels of U.S. government spending on guarding the border with Mexico, unauthorized or illegal immigration into the United States continues. Here, there are millions of jobs that legal workers do not fill -- even in times of recession. Poverty and hardship are the main drivers pushing Latin Americans to search for better lives in the United States. New research from Bread for the World Institute, "Development and Migration in Rural Mexico," examines the links between poverty and inequality in rural Mexico and unauthorized immigration.

"Hunger and poverty, the driving forces of unauthorized migration to the United States, are often overlooked in the immigration debate," said Andrew Wainer, immigration policy analyst for Bread for the World Institute. "In order to comprehensively address immigration reform policies, the United States needs to implement foreign assistance projects that promote development."

"Development and Migration in Rural Mexico" highlights the For a Just Market project in Mexico's Chihuahua region. Its goal was to increase rural incomes and create jobs for small apple farmers. The project effectively decreased poverty and migration to the United States by promoting agricultural development and supplying technical assistance to small farmers.

"More than half of rural Mexicans live in poverty and 25 percent live in extreme poverty," added Wainer. "Research shows that agriculture is one of the best returns on investment in terms of reducing poverty. Investing in Mexico's small farmers will generate rural employment and reduce poverty and migration."

Most estimates suggest there are between 10.8 million and 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. The bulk -- 80 percent -- come from Latin America; Mexico alone is the source of at least 60 percent of the United States' unauthorized immigrants.

To learn more about the links between hunger, poverty, and unauthorized immigration, visit http://www.bread.org/institute/research/immigration/.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World

CONTACT: Racine Hamilton, +1-202-688-1138 office, +1-301-922-8417 cell, rhamilton@bread.org, or Isabel Morales, +1-202-688-1101 office, +1-214-718-0145 cell, isabel@bread.org

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Housing Study: Municipalities urged to reach out to immigrant residents

Immigrants usually do not get involved in local government until they have been here a long time, but some suburbs are trying to change this. This would help the whole immigrant community because they are the only ones who truly understand their problems and can help solve them. - - Donna Poisl


The northern suburbs have become the "new Ellis Island" of the Chicago region, with a growing number of immigrants who have bypassed the City of Chicago and landed directly in the suburbs.

In order to meet their needs, north suburban municipalities need to reach out to their immigrant populations and involve them more in local government.

That is one of the recommendations included in a report on immigrants and housing in 16 northern suburbs, compiled over the past three years for the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs by the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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Click the headline to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

Texas' assimiliation experiment

This editorial explains why it is so important to make sure Latino students get a good education. This state has a very large Latino population, but the same reasons apply to states with smaller numbers. - - Donna Poisl

William McKenzie/ Editorial Columnist

This morning, Sharon brought up Sunday's DMN report about 2010 Census data as being an important story for Texas. She's right. Over the next few decades, Texas will start looking a lot more like its early days, when we were part of Mexico, than the middle part of the 20th century Texas, when middle class white families populated Texas' growing cities and suburbs. How this story plays out will determine how well Texas does between now and 2050.

The numbers bear this up. Latinos already make up a plurality of Dallas and Harris counties, the state's two largest population centers. Soon, Latinos will be the largest population group in the state.

The immediate challenge is making sure the state's large number of Latino students leave high school ready for college
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