Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History, by 14th Amendment scholar Garrett Epps. One of the most insidious attacks on immigrants at both the federal and state level is the suggestion that the U.S. should repeal the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment and deny birthright citizenship to the children of certain immigrants. Some proponents of this position argue that the Framers of the 14th Amendment never intended that birthright citizenship extend to the children of temporary immigrants and unauthorized immigrants.

Epps argues that the Framers of the 14th Amendment lived during a period of increasing immigration, in which Chinese laborers were the temporary immigrants of the day and "gypsies" were the unauthorized immigrants of the 19th century. The 14th Amendment provided for birthright citizenship for both of these populations, and most certainly provides for birthright citizenship for the children of temporary and unauthorized immigrants today.

Perhaps most fundamentally, Epps explains that the Framers of the 14th Amendment were intent on changing the status quo and undoing the impact of years of slavery. They sought to amend the Constitution and not replicate the discriminatory policies of the antebellum period. A true analysis of the original intent of the Framers finds that they could not have intended to create a new population of vulnerable persons who, because of the national origins or actions of their parents, are denied U.S. citizenship.

Epps writes: If the children of "illegal aliens" are "illegal" themselves, then we have taken a giant step toward recreating slavery in all but name. If citizenship is the hereditary gift of the nation rather than the inheritance of its people, we are drifting back toward the discredited doctrine of Dred Scott...The clamor for hereditary inequality comes from people eager to repeat the mistakes of the American past, and by doing so, to betray the American future.

To view the piece in its entirety, click on the headline:
Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History (IPC Special Report, March 28, 2011)

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

The Unauthorized Population Today: Number Holds Steady at 11 million

For Immediate Release

Three-Fifths Have Been Here More Than a Decade

March 22, 2011

Washington D.C. - Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.

Despite that decline, the new data make clear that the current population of unauthorized immigrants is very much part of the social and economic fabric of the country. Three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade. Unauthorized immigrants comprise more than one-quarter of the foreign-born population and roughly 1-in-20 workers. Approximately 4.5 million native-born U.S.-citizen children have at least one unauthorized parent. In short, unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families.

To view the IPC fact sheet in it's entirety click on the headline:
The Unauthorized Population Today (IPC Fact Check, March 22, 2011)

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

Hispanic student launches pro-immigrant crusade

This young immigrant is working hard to get immigration reform in this country. His own experiences with the immigration process prompted him to help other immigrants. - - Donna Poisl


Denver – A young Mexican who came with his parents to the United States seeking a better future has undertaken a personal crusade to help undocumented immigrants fit into their new home.

The constant delays in obtaining U.S. citizenship and the unnecessary challenges he faced have inspired Felipe Vieyra to lend the immigrant community in Colorado a helping hand.

"I want to reform the American immigration system," the 21-year-old tells Efe.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

New Bill Could Expand Rights For New York Illegal Immigrants

Individual states are trying to pass bills that are similar to the DREAM Act for their students. - - Donna Poisl


The DREAM Act, a congressional bill that would've made it easier for the nations younger illegal immigrants to become US citizens, may have died in Washington, but it's making a small comeback in New York, thanks to a bill introduced in Albany by state Senator and Manhattan Democrat, Bill Perkins.

The bill stops short of granting illegal immigrants legal residency but would grant them some rights they don't currently possess.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Hispanic Boom

This article says the large number of Hispanics in the new Census figures should not be a worry. They will all blend into the country just like immigrants did in the past. - - Donna Poisl

by Linda Chavez

New Census figures out this week show that the Hispanic population in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the last decade. Hispanics now number roughly 50 million nationwide, up from 35 million in 2000. They also are no longer concentrated in just a handful of Southwestern states, as they were for decades, but have spread out across the country. Some of the largest percentage increases have incurred in Southern states, with the Hispanic population more than doubling in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. Both higher Hispanic birthrates and immigration have driven this trend.

But what will this demographic shift in the American population mean in the long term?
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

English lessons make life easier for immigrants on campus

University students volunteer to teach immigrants English. It is changing lives and opening up a whole new world for them. - - Donna Poisl

BY ALI EAVES, Collegian Reporter

Majak Yai leaned over the book and carefully sounded out the words.
“And she can turn people into st-stone and do all kinds of horrible things,” he read aloud.

He finished the chapter, closed the book and smiled. “I think it’s better than before, right?” he asked his tutor. Just seven months ago, Yai, 24, did not speak English.

“When I started, I did not even know to say ‘Hi,’” he said.

Now, with the help of six dedicated tutors and C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” he can speak it, read it and write it a little, too.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

State illegal immigration laws: What have they accomplished?

All the anti-immigration laws have done, in most cases, is get the pro-immigrant people more organized. - - Donna Poisl

Five years into a legislative surge, state illegal immigration laws have yielded few arrests. But they have stirred a populist backlash, say immigrant rights groups.

By Aaron Couch

Boston - The wave of immigration laws that has swept through states since 2006 shows few signs of letting up, with state legislators expected to introduce about 1,400 bills this year. Yet five years into this legislative surge, the toughest laws have not recast immigration in the ways that legislators might have intended.

From an enforcement standpoint, the impact of state anti-immigration laws like Arizona's controversial SB 1070 "is almost negligible," says Veronica Dahlberg, an immigrants' rights activist.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration debate opens new front on the Internet

This group is working to get pro-immigrant comments on the websites to counteract all the hateful comments that are there. I hope it helps. - - Donna Poisl

from Chicago Tribune

Chicago – The debate on undocumented immigration is now being pursued on a new front: the commentary section on newspapers' Web sites.

The Chicago Tribune reports that several Hispanics have formed groups to provide a counterweight to the negative commentaries about immigrants.

Sara McElmurry, head of communications for the Latino Policy Forum, decided to activate her "Comment Corps" when she saw comments that were "full of hate" concerning two articles about immigration in the online versions of the Tribune and Sun-Times, Chicago's two major dailies.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants get introduction to America's cops on the beat

This program should be in every city: immigrants are being educated on how the police force in their community is there to help them, not like in their old countries. - - Donna Poisl

This citizens academy is tailored to the questions and life experiences unique to people who are new to the U.S.


Imagine if your formative years were spent where police don't have uniforms or squad cars, where a traffic stop can be dangerous or even fatal, or where violations require immediate payment -- to the officer.

Some new immigrants share such a background. In response, a Twin Cities program has taken a familiar concept -- the citizens academy, classes where civilians can learn about law enforcement -- and customized it for immigrants, to strengthen ties between them and police. Now, the program has become an international model.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Asians aim for 'Ya es hora'-style citizenship push

California has about a third of the country's Asians and advocates are working to convince and help them to become citizens. - - Donna Poisl

By AMY TAXIN, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—Inspired by a highly publicized Latino naturalization drive, Asian Americans are fanning out to help immigrants across California—and eventually the country—become U.S. citizens.

Asian American advocates say getting more immigrants to naturalize is crucial to flex the political muscle of the state's fastest-growing ethnic group and give the community a louder voice. And it has become even more pressing since the country ramped up immigration enforcement, making citizenship a requirement to get more government contracts and to avoid deportation if convicted of a crime.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.


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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Arizona, Bowing to Business, Softens Stand on Immigration

It is good to see that some of the state representatives are acting more humane and reasonable. Finally! - - Donna Poisl


Arizona established itself over the past year as the most aggressive state in cracking down on illegal immigrants, gaining so much momentum with its efforts that several other states vowed to follow suit. But now the harsh realities of economics appear to have intruded, and Arizona may be looking to shed the image of hard-line anti-immigration pioneer.

In an abrupt change of course, Arizona lawmakers rejected new anti-immigration measures on Thursday, in what was widely seen as capitulation to pressure from business executives and an admission that the state’s tough stance had resulted in a chilling of the normally robust tourism and convention industry.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Snowy Minnesota’s Population Boosted by Hot-Climate Immigrants

You might think that immigrants from warm climates would move to warm states, but they move where there are jobs, so they can support their families. - - Donna Poisl

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Minnesota’s snow and cold aren’t deterring residents drawn to its thriving medical technology industry, performing arts and service jobs that attract immigrants from as far as sub-Saharan Africa.

The state’s population grew 7.8 percent between 2000 and 2010, more than anywhere else in the Midwest except South Dakota, to reach 5,303,925 people. More than 80 percent of the increase came from minorities, U.S. Census Bureau data released yesterday show.

Non-Hispanic whites remain because of a diverse economy marked by technology companies such as Medtronic Inc., the world’s largest maker of heart devices, and a cultural scene known for Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show. Immigrants are pulled by service-sector jobs and affordable housing.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Our View: Census points to need for assimilation, celebrating cultures

This opinion piece shows how Asian immigrants assimilated in the past and now that more cities in this area have large Asian populations, it should happen again. - - Donna Poisl


The affable Tony Lam stood out in the early 1980s as a uniter, not a divider, when the central Orange County city of Westminster was changing from white and Hispanic to predominantly Asian. The restaurateur-turned-politician would say Little Saigon should be for all citizens to enjoy, not just Asian Americans.

It could be said Orange County's Vietnamese immigrants became the test case for suburban integration, ethnic changes, culture clashes and the unfortunate by-product - prejudicial attitudes.

Now that the top 2010 Census story for the San Gabriel Valley is the changing of formerly majority-white populations with a majority of Asians in Temple City, Rosemead, Walnut, Monterey Park, Rowland Heights, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Arcadia, it's time that these cities re-double their efforts at getting along. We don't need any more studies on ethnic diversity - it's already here. Our region is the most ethnically diverse in the nation. What is needed are leaders - new Tony Lams - who can build more bridges into chambers of commerce, service clubs and city halls.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

'Startup' Visas Could Boost U.S. Entrepreneurship

A bill has been introduced to offer visas to highly educated immigrants in jobs and schools here so they can stay if they start businesses. This will help the "brain drain". - - Donna Poisl

New legislation aims to keep skilled workers in the country if they start companies that create American jobs

By Vivek Wadhwa

There has been little to be optimistic about on the immigration reform front, of late. The Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, failed in the Senate last year despite starting with bipartisan support. Meanwhile, skilled immigrants trapped in "immigration limbo" have been voting with their feet. Because we did not provide them with visas, and because of greater opportunities abroad, highly educated workers are returning home to such countries as India and China. As a result, entrepreneurship is booming in those countries and not in the U.S.

But there is hope on the horizon.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

At Brown forum, speakers urge support for immigrants

Many people are urging support for immigrants, but many are not. The same story all over the country. - - Donna Poisl

By Karen Lee Ziner, Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE –– The phenomenon of immigration should be “welcomed and embraced, not feared or rejected,” the Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, bishop of Providence, said at a Brown University symposium on Saturday.

The daylong symposium, “Immigrants and Immigration in the 21st Century,” centered on a new public opinion survey of Rhode Islanders’ views on immigration issues, conducted by the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, and the John Hazen White Public Opinion Laboratory at Brown.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

The American Debate: GOP's Muslim stand isn't helping the country or the party

Muslims in this country need more people telling what an asset they are, not that a few are radicals and blame all of them. - - Donna Poisl

By Dick Polman, Inquirer National Political Columnist

It's well-established that the Republicans are broadly unpopular with all kinds of minorities - blacks, Jews, gays, Latinos, Asians. Not content to rest on its laurels, however, the white people's party is now working assiduously to alienate yet another minority group: Muslim Americans.

Those voters, who are heavily concentrated in swing states such as Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia, had long been trending Democratic anyway, thanks to the conservatives' post-9/11 scapegoating rhetoric. But the new House Republican hearings on the "radicalization in the American Muslim community" - and the implicit message that the rest of us should Be Very Afraid - will likely put the kibosh on the GOP outreach efforts that George W. Bush successfully pioneered a scant decade ago.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

McDonald's English program makes workers loyal, fluent

McDonald's has an intense English class for some of its workers and everyone is reaping the benefits: the company and the employee and their families and their community. Other companies should do this also! - - Donna Poisl

By RICHARD MULLINS | The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - Dora Perez looks back at her life eight years ago and shudders. She moved from Juarez, Mexico, to be with her husband in Tampa, but soon found herself divorced with two daughters to support. She spoke only a few words of English, and needed a job, fast.

She walked into her local McDonald's and applied for a job, and for seven years, she grilled burgers, a task she could do with almost no English.

Then, a year ago, managers looked at Perez and saw potential. They enrolled Perez along with a dozen other employees in a new, intense program to teach English to potential managers. The company pays for the instructors, provides the computers for live online classes, and pays their employees to take classes during work time.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Hispanics Entering Industry Jobs that Drive Economic Recovery

This article shows that Hispanics are entering these important industries but are not feeling very secure in the jobs. - - Donna Poisl

by Staff--HispanicBusiness

A new analysis released by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) about employment trends shows significant Hispanic representation within certain industries, such as administrative and waste services, nursing and residential care, and trucking.

The same analysis, however, shows Hispanics are more likely to feel insecure in a job, which may reflect the low quality of newly created jobs and Hispanics' concerns about lack of preparedness, says an NCLR spokesperson.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

How to Learn English with Help from the Government


There are many free resources to help you learn English on your own schedule

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- There are many reasons to learn English.

Many consider learning English to be the key to economic success and a way to fully participate in civic life in the United States. It's also a requirement for some immigrants who aspire to become naturalized citizens, as they must demonstrate a basic level of English.

Of course, the benefits of speaking English go beyond borders. English is a global language that is used in many countries, industries and professions, regardless of whether the person lives in the United States.

One way to learn English is to take advantage of the resources the government has to offer.

Learn English in a classroom

Each state, county and city has its own programs and resources to support aspiring English speakers. If you are interested in learning English, be sure to look for adult classes or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the following places:

Your children's school. Many schools offer classes for working adults.
Community colleges or junior colleges.
Non-profit organizations and local community centers.

The Department of Education (click on the headline above) provides a page where you can find links to public and private organizations that offer some of these classes in your community.

You can also visit America's Literacy Directory, a non-profit organization where you can find schools that have civics, citizenship, reading and writing classes.

Learn English online

A great way to learn English for free and on your own schedule is by going to The site conceived by the Department of Education provides interactive lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. The program uses text, audio and video to explore a variety of situations where the user can learn through examples. The program seeks to enrich students' vocabulary by introducing new words in each lesson.

When registering, students can save their progress and advance to the next lesson when they are ready.

Learning English as a student in the United States

Some people come to the United States just to learn English. Visitors can enroll in courses even if they have a tourist visa as long as it's a short course of less than 18 hours per week. Students who want to take longer courses need to get a student visa, which they may apply for from abroad through U.S. embassies and consulates.

Students seeking advanced degrees in the United States, such as a masters or PhD, may have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), to assess their English proficiency. Students who got their college degree abroad from an accredited college in the United States may be exempt. and are the U.S. Government's official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).


CONTACT: Laura Godfrey of GSA, +1-202-341-7124,

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Utah immigration plan could stir legal storm

Two bills were passed in Utah that will affect immigrants, one will help them get work permits and the other will enforce the present laws. - - Donna Poisl

by Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

The Utah Legislature passed a pair of immigration bills aimed at striking a balance between people who want to deport all illegal immigrants and those who want to integrate them into American society.

Much as Arizona discovered after passing an immigration enforcement law last year, Utah's road toward immigration changes will probably go through the courts.

Advocates on both sides of the debate indicated Monday that lawsuits could soon be on the way to halt both bills.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Ohio churches seek to minister to immigrants by teaching English language

Immigrants from different countries practice their English in "small talk" classes. This gives them a comfort level when they talk to others in their lives. - - Donna Poisl

by MEREDITH HEAGNEY The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The soft-spoken woman formed her words carefully, without the help of the electronic dictionary that sat nearby.

"My name is Sachiko," she said, pausing between words. "I am from Japan."

Her teacher praised her and then asked what she thought about the weather.

When it was her classmate's turn to talk, Feras Mohammed said that his wife was expecting a baby. The 35-year-old Iraqi added that the cold Ohio winter has been difficult at times.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Editorial: Don't copy Arizona's foolishness on immigration law

More states are trying to copy Arizona's law, we hope they all fail. - - Donna Poisl

Detroit Free Press editorial

Bad ideas rarely die in politics; they just get recycled. Such is the case with a plan to give Michigan law enforcement officers the right, with reasonable suspicion, to request proof of immigration status from people stopped or detained for other offenses, including traffic violations.

But the bill introduced last month by state Rep. Dave Agema, a Grandville Republican, goes further, empowering police to arrest someone -- with or without a warrant -- if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense that makes him or her deportable. It also requires immigrants to carry their documents with them or face new state misdemeanor charges, including fines or jail time.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Latino Policy Coalition Applauds Colorado's Stand Against Arizona-Style Racial Profiling Laws


Latino Policy Coalition Applauds Colorado's Stand Against Arizona-Style Racial Profiling Laws

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Latino Policy Coalition issued the following statement concerning yesterday's decision to stand against Arizona-style racial profiling laws by Colorado's Senate State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

"By voting down SB-54 and SB-129, Colorado has struck a serious blow against those who would persecute minorities, and apply the Bill of Rights selectively," said Latino Policy Coalition Chairman Jim Gonzalez.

"While it is important to stop Arizona-style racial profiling laws from ever being enacted in any state, inaction by the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform has caused the center of debate to move to state houses and ballot boxes. At least 31 states have introduced a plethora of increasingly hostile Arizona SB 1070 copycat legislation to legalize racial profiling," continued Gonzalez.

"Until the Congress and President Obama make enacting meaningful immigration reform a priority, other states across the country will consider following in the ill-advised footsteps of Arizona and those that seek to divide our nation. As a nation, we deserve better. Now is the time for the Congress to act," concluded Gonzalez.


The Latino Policy Coalition is a national non-partisan non-profit consortium of the country's leading Latino research organizations and scholars. The LPC analyzes, through nationwide public opinion surveys, policy issues affecting the Latino community. Chaired by former San Francisco City and County Supervisor Jim Gonzalez, the LPC seeks to highlight Latino community views on key national issues; and thus stimulate public policy debate among local, state and national elected officials.


Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Jim Gonzalez

Contact: Pablo Rodriguez, +1-510-842-6063

SOURCE Latino Policy Coalition

CONTACT: Pablo Rodriguez of Latino Policy Coalition, +1-510-842-6063

Legal Status Boosts Immigrant Wages

This report proves how important immigrant reform is to immigrants who are here already. It will benefit the whole country when they are earning more and paying more taxes. - - Donna Poisl

by Bettye Miller

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Granting legal status to undocumented U.S. residents helps them find jobs that are better suited to their skills, and helps increase wages and economic efficiency, according to a study by economics professors at the University of California, Riverside and Pomona College.

This report comes on the heels of a national survey of Latinos which shows that immigration reform is an even bigger priority for Latino voters than the economy or health care. With Latino voters growing in numbers in many presidential battleground states, studies like these may also point to political benefits that may arise from immigration reform, in addition to the economic benefits noted.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

The Racial Blame Game: Immigrants Are Not the Cause of High Unemployment and Low Wages Among Minority Workers


The Racial Blame Game:
Immigrants Are Not the Cause of High Unemployment and Low Wages Among Minority Workers

March 1, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, the House Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee is holding a hearing entitled "Making Immigration Work for American Minorities." Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, some are still trying to make the claim that deporting millions of unauthorized immigrants would free up jobs for unemployed American workers, and minority workers specifically. However, the best available evidence suggests that there is no correlation between high levels of immigration and high unemployment among native-born workers.

Immigration is not the cause of poor employment prospects for American minorities. According to noted scholar, Gerald Jaynes, the impact on less-educated native-born workers of competition with immigrant workers "is swamped by a constellation of other factors (such as declining factory jobs and other blue-collar employment)." Moreover, the most recent economic research indicates that immigration produces a slight increase in wages for the majority of native-born workers. A recent report estimates that, from 1994 to 2007, immigration increased the wages of native-born workers - including African American workers - by 0.4 percent.

IPC has produced a fact sheet summarizing the best data available on the impact that immigration has on employment and wages:
The Racial Blame Game: Immigrants Are Not the Cause of High Unemployment Among Minority Workers (IPC Fact Check, March 1, 2011)


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

New Study on Immigrant Integration Compares and Ranks the United States, Canada, and Europe


US Ranked in Top 10 Among 31 Countries

February 28, 2011

Washington D.C. - In cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center, the British Council and the Migration Policy Group release a new study today which reviews and ranks U.S. immigrant integration policies against other countries. The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX: contrasts and compares integration policies for legal immigrants across countries in Europe and North America. The United States is ranked ninth among 31 countries. This is the first year the United States has been part of the study, and IPC is pleased to be chosen as the U.S. partner for this important study.

The MIPEX compares and ranks countries across 148 policy indicators, providing objective and comparable data presented in a reference guide and an interactive online tool to help policymakers, advocates and researchers assess and compare integration policies around the globe. The policy indicators are divided into seven categories: employment opportunities, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to citizenship and anti-discrimination. Countries include all 27 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the USA.

Overall the U.S. ranked ninth in terms of integration policies, and first in terms of its strong anti-discrimination laws and protections. The U.S. also ranked high on the access to citizenship scale because it encourages newcomers to become citizens in order to fully participate in American public life. Compared with other countries, legal immigrants in the U.S. enjoy employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to reunite with close family members. However, MIPEX also acknowledges that the U.S.'s complex immigration laws, limited visa ability, high fees, and long backlogs may make it challenging for immigrants to integrate into the fabric of American life.

MIPEX also highlights the fact that several U.S. states are taking the lead on immigrant integration. States including Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington state, as well as major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have offices dedicated to welcoming newcomers.

"As the United States continues to struggle with its own immigration policies, the MIPEX index offers policymakers and the public a framework for analyzing our best and worst practices on immigrant integration compared to other countries in the world. We have much to learn from other countries as well, but perhaps the greatest lesson that comes from MIPEX is that the very things that distinguish the United States are worth preserving as we move forward into the next decade of the 21st century," said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

"As the UK's international cultural relations organization, the British Council fosters the networks, cooperation and dialogue needed to build trust between people worldwide. We hope the third phase of MIPEX research will encourage dialogue and debate on best practice and enable better future policies," said Sharon Memis, Director of the British Council North America.

For more about MIPEX and to access the online tool, visit
MIPEX has been co-financed by the European Community under the European Integration Fund.


For more information contact:
Mary Giovagnoli, Immigration Policy Center, or 202-507-7511.
Samantha Yale, British Council, or 202-588-7838

Immigration bill worries agribusiness

Since resident workers do not want to do farm work, immigrants are crucial to the industry. Immigration rules could shut down the farms and our food supply. - - Donna Poisl

By INDA S. MORRIS and MAGGIE LEE - The (Macon) Telegraph

MACON, Ga. -- Donald Chase and his father farm 1,600 acres in Macon County, and if proposed immigration rules being considered by Georgia lawmakers go into effect, Chase and lot of farmers are worried it will cost them more than time and money.

Some farmers say it could put them out of business. While the immigration rules intended to stem undocumented workers would affect many private employers, agriculture is the state's largest industry - valued at more than $11.3 billion in 2009 - and would be one of the hardest hit.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Muslim-Americans still face social dissent

This thoughtful piece show how important it is for our country to accept Muslim-Americans into our communities. - - Donna Poisl

by Karthik Soora

In the past year and a half, public anti-Muslim sentiments have become increasingly toxic and vitriolic. A Florida pastor threatened to burn Qurans, gaining worldwide media attention. The proposed mosque in Nashville, Tenn., has faced protests, arson, graffiti and even gunshots. The great state of Oklahoma has even passed an overwhelming referendum that banned the use of "Sharia law" in the state.

Nationally, overall Gallup poll data shows that American impressions of Islam have decreased in favorability in the last five years. Muslim-American claims now comprise 25 percent of discrimination claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Our view: Growing menu of Latinos big plus for region

Here is a community that is happy about the immigrants who have moved in. - - Donna Poisl

from Observer-Dispatch

A growing Dominican population in Utica could bode well for a city whose numbers have seen a steady decline in recent decades.

The challenge now is to foster an assimilation of the Dominican people into the regional diversity that can be woven into the fabric of our community. That means establishing a reciprocal plan between Dominicans and their adopted community, whose ancestors faced similar challenges.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Liver cancer study shows affects on immigrants

This new study shows how U.S. born and foreign born Latinos and Asians have different patterns in their cancer rates in this country. This means environment is the reason, not genetics. - - Donna Poisl

by Christina Jewett, California Watch

A researcher examining cancer rates among California Latinos and Asians who were born in and out of the United States reached conclusions that reveal two very different versions of the American dream.

U.S.-born Latino males have liver cancer rates more than double those of their foreign-born counterparts. For Asians born in this country, rates of liver cancer fall by half or more.

"The diversion of patterns in these two ethnic groups is really interesting and raises questions we can study more in depth," said Ellen Chang, a research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, who conducted the study.
Click on the headline above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrant students win national video contest on diversity

from Crissy Spivey, I AM THIS LAND Producer

We are pleased to announce that the winner for the I AM THIS LAND contest on diversity is ‘Role Call,’ ( a fun and thought-provoking video made by a team of students and alumni at Flushing International High School (FIHS) in Queens, New York. The MTV-style video - of a student in class daydreaming about gender, cultural expression, and racial stereotypes - won the judges over.

“The video was created in response to several incidents of violence in our school, and our desire to use media to promote respect and tolerance in our school and beyond,” said teacher Dillon Paul. "Our students come from approximately 40 different countries and speak 20 different languages. Like most high schools, however, cultural differences, sexual and gender identity can be sources of discomfort and fear, leading to bigotry, bullying and violence.” From Jean Franco Vergaray (a student, and Lead Director and Editor on the film), “That we could portray one person being all these different personalities, all these different identities, was just a way to say, diversity is okay. People shouldn't be labeled.”

The Breakthrough media team met with the students at FIHS and we were really touched by their story and determination to push for tolerance. Watch the video interview here: