Friday, February 24, 2012

Sign DREAM Act petition to Romney and Gingrich

from Matt Hildreth, America’s Voice

Next week, the national spotlight will be on Arizona’s Republican primary, where immigration is already at the forefront of the debate.

The conversation must start with protecting (and passing) the DREAM Act. That’s why we started a Protect the Dream Act petition. Will you sign it? CLICK ON THE HEADLINE ABOVE.

On Monday, DREAMers in Arizona will deliver the petition to Mitt Romney -- so now is your last chance.

Once you sign the petition please forward this email to people you know who care about the DREAM Act.

Matt Hildreth
America’s Voice

Thursday, February 23, 2012


from Latinos for Democracy which is part of Movimiento Hispano

Click on the headline and read all the rules and requirements for voting in your state.
Then learn the issues and DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!

IS THIS ALABAMA?: watch the video

from Mahwish Khan, America’s Voice Education Fund

Have you seen these videos yet?

The short videos that Hollywood director, Chris Weitz, created about Alabama’s immigration law have been seen by over 45,000 people -- go to to take a look.

Since these videos were released last week, thousands of people watched them. The hashtag, #CrisisAL, was even a top trending topic in D.C. on Twitter. Everywhere I go, people are talking about them.

I have spent much of the last 4 months on the ground in Alabama, and I can tell you that these videos capture the true sentiment down there. Trust me, if you have a minute -- they’re definitely worth watching.


Mahwish Khan
America’s Voice Education Fund

USHLI and GM Team To Raise Funds for Hispanic Students

Such a good idea, several kids should be helped by this scholarship money. - - Donna Poisl

by Rebecca Villaneda

GM Director of Diversity Initiatives Alma Guajardo Crossley and Buick and GMC Regional Director Marc Hernandez announced today that the auto giant will donate a Buick Verano to the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.

Proceeds from raffle tickets to win the Buick Verano will go toward raising scholarship funds for USHLI recipients. The Buick Verano will be raffled off to a lucky winner after August.

GM is a sponsor of USHLI's Student Leadership Series, which will tour the country and visit 30 states -- more than 40,000 students will be reached.
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In wake of immigration law, some migrants return to Alabama

We must hope they do not start cracking down again, now that the people are returning. - - Donna Poisl

By Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

When Alabama's immigration law went into effect in September, it sent shock waves throughout Hispanic communities within the state. Whole families left overnight, parents pulled their children out of school, and city centers became ghost towns as legal and illegal immigrants alike hid from police.

In the months since, a number of illegal immigrants who fled have returned.
"Little by little, it's been calming down," said Gabby Sullivan, a legal immigrant from Mexico who has been helping community groups in the southern city of Robertsdale.
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Immigrants versed on legal requirements for citizenship

People legally here for 20 years are interested in the issues (FINALLY) and want to become citizens so they can vote. - - Donna Poisl

Sandra Baltazar MartÍnez | The New Mexican

Luis Guzmán wants to be able to vote. That's his primary motivation in studying to become a naturalized United States citizen.

During a two-hour informational session Wednesday night offered by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officer at Santa Fe Community College, Guzmán took notes on this federal agency's requirements for becoming a citizen. He's just about ready, he said.

"I just need to improve my English," Guzmán said. "I've been going to English classes for two years and I plan to stick with them."
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Washington ag leaders: Immigration reform vital for economy

Farmers all across the country are in desperate need of immigrant workers and laws to allow them to work. - - Donna Poisl


ELLENSBURG -- More Washington farmers are expected to turn to a federal foreign guest worker program out of concern that last fall's labor shortage will only get worse in 2012, employer advocates say.

And Washington's agriculture director said he believes solving agriculture's labor needs through comprehensive immigration reform may require a nationwide groundswell similar to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

"It will take that much effort to solve this," Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse, a Sunnyside farmer and former state representative, told a farm labor conference here last week.
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2nd Fla. immigrant tuition bill dies in committee

Such a waste; to educated these kids all through their younger lives and then not help them to go to college, get a good job and become tax payers. - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Marcus Atkinson

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill that would have let certain illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities is dead in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted it down Thursday largely along party lines.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Future of a Generation: How New Americans Will Help Support Retiring Baby Boomers

For Immediate Release

The Future of a Generation: How New Americans Will Help Support Retiring Baby Boomers

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases The Future of a Generation: How New Americans Will Help Support Retiring Baby Boomers, by Walter Ewing, Ph.D.

The United States is in the midst of a profound demographic transformation that will long outlast the current economic downturn. In 2011, the first of the baby boomers—Americans born between 1946 and 1964—turned 65 years old. There are 77 million baby boomers, comprising nearly one quarter of the total population, and their eventual retirement will have an enormous impact on the U.S. economy.

There will be growing demand within the U.S. economy for younger workers and taxpayers as the number of working-age adults supporting those over 65 diminishes. More and more of these workers and taxpayers will be immigrants and the children of immigrants. Given these trends, and given the size of the predominantly white, native-born baby boom generation that is now heading into retirement, projections point to an inescapable conclusion: immigrants and the children of immigrants will play increasingly important roles within the U.S. economy as workers and taxpayers for decades to come.

To view the fact check in its entirety, CLICK ON THE HEADLINE ABOVE:

The Future of a Generation: How New Americans Will Help Support Retiring Baby Boomers, by Walter Ewing, Ph.D. (IPC Fact Check, February 2012)

For more information, contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7424.

Restrictive State Immigration Laws: Questions Answered and Lessons Learned

For Immediate Release

Restrictive State Immigration Laws: Questions Answered and Lessons Learned

Washington D.C. - This session, state legislatures around the country, including those in Mississippi and Kansas, are again considering harsh immigration-control laws. These laws are intended to make everyday life so difficult for unauthorized immigrants that they will choose to “self-deport” to their home countries. However, experience from states that have previously passed restrictive immigration laws, like Arizona and Alabama, shows that these laws can hinder prospects for economic growth and cost taxpayers millions to implement, defend and enforce.

The Immigration Policy Center is releasing two publications that explain the wide range of issues associated with these restrictive state immigration laws:

Q&A Guide to State Immigration Laws: What You Need to Know if Your State is Considering Anti-Immigrant Legislation (IPC Special Report, Updated February, 2010)
This updated guide provides key answers to basic questions about state immigration-related laws—from the substance of the legislation and myths surrounding the debate to the legal and fiscal implications. As other states contemplate legislation, knowing the answers to these basic questions is critically important in furthering a rational discussion.

Bad for Business: How Harsh Anti-Immigration Legislation Drains Budgets and Damages States’ Economies (IPC Fact Check, February, 2012)

This paper outlines some of the economic and fiscal lessons from states that have passed harsh immigration-control legislation.

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

Project Literacy Seeks Volunteers to Help Immigrants Learn English

Cities all across this country are looking for this exact same thing: volunteers to help immigrants learn English. - - Donna Poisl

Volunteer tutors work with people to teach them basic English skills.

by Project Literacy

Do you want to have a positive impact on someone else’s life and learn about another culture? Volunteer with Project Literacy at the Watertown Free Public Library to tutor adults in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
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Sisters of St. Joseph to host meeting focusing on immigration

Immigration is the topic of this meeting for the community to discuss and give suggestions. - - Donna Poisl

By Nancy Calderon, Dodge City Daily Globe

DODGE CITY — Last November, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia stood with the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph at the congregational Senate to talk about a national issue, immigration. An enactment on immigration was decided upon unanimously and thoroughly supported by the entire congregation. "Immigration Conversations" was born.

An immigration committee made up of five members came together to organize the project.

The intent of the Immigration Conversation is to open dialogue for the community to gather and discuss one of the most controversial topics today.
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Student learns about her roots during semester in Mexico

This first generation American discovered what many others have learned before her; she doesn't fit into either culture completely. It usually takes another generation for that to happen. - - Donna Poisl


DELAVAN — Karen Cano returned to UW-Whitewater last month with a deeper understanding of what it means to be Mexican.

The 19-year-old daughter of Mexican immigrants flew to Mexico in late July as a foreign exchange student.

"I know it seems kind of odd," she said, "but they considered me an international student."

Cano of Delavan studied five months at Technolgico de Monterey in Guadalajara, her father's hometown.

"It was cool because that is where my family is from," she said during an interview before leaving. "People say to me, 'Why not go somewhere else?' I want to go there to learn about myself and to learn about my culture."
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NYC Immigrant Students Lobby For A Dream (Act)

Let's hope legislators will pay more attention to student problems when the students are the ones telling them. - - Donna Poisl


The teens from Brooklyn and Queens are pressuring the pols to pass legislation that would help young people without papers get their sheepskin.

"I'm going to tell them that people like me, we want to succeed, we want to go to college," said Katherine Tabares, 16, a senior at International High School.

She left Colombia for Corona, Queens, two years ago and overstayed a tourist visa after her mother decided to remain in the city.
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Labor Force Growth To Be Largely Hispanic

Mostly because of older (white) workers retiring and higher Hispanic birth rate, the work force is changing. - - Donna Poisl


Hispanics are likely to account for 74 percent of the growth in the U.S. labor force through 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.

Citing federal statistics, the non-profit Pew Research Center, based in Washington, said the 74 percent figure is substantially higher than the percentage of Hispanics who accounted for labor force growth in the previous two decades. Hispanics accounted for 36 percent of the increase in the 1990s and 54 percent from 2000 to 2010, Pew said.
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Legal help for immigrants comes to East Contra Costa

A new organization helping immigrants with their legal issues while they are applying for citizenship. - - Donna Poisl

By Paul Burgarino, Contra Costa Times

Arturo Sanchez is earning his U.S. citizenship -- the hard way.

Sanchez, 28, was shot in his left clavicle by his wife's ex-husband while driving to work from his Antioch home on Lone Tree Way early one morning in 2007.

Years later, the undocumented Mexican immigrant sought the help of a nonprofit organization that provides inexpensive legal assistance to immigrants trying to obtain citizenship. Sanchez became eligible for a U visa because he was the victim of a crime and helped police make an arrest.
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Alabama's Immigration Law Could Cost Billions Annually

The awful immigration laws could cost the state 70,000 jobs and more than $2.3 billion. - - Donna Poisl

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

Alabama’s harsh immigration law has stirred controversy since it went into effect in September. The statute, which among other things requires police to question people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally, has prompted thousands of immigrants to flee the state. The law’s backers believed out-of-work Alabamians would snap up the jobs those immigrants once held.

It hasn’t turned out that way. A new study details the economic impact of harsh immigration laws such as those passed by Alabama and five other states. Published by the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Alabama, it’s the first economic cost-benefit analysis (PDF) of the state’s immigration statute.
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Immigration from China surges in Iowa

This surge in students in Iowa universities has also prompted many Iowa students to go to China and study there. This is an excellent way for cultures to learn about each other, it will save a lot of troubles in the future. - - Donna Poisl


AMES, IA. — The epicenter of the Chinese immigration wave in Iowa is found on the campuses of the state’s largest universities.

Ziyu Jiang remembers his shock at the sea of Chinese faces in his Finance 301 class at Iowa State University. About 20 of the 30 seats were filled by students like him.

Jiang, 23, arrived on campus four years ago in the midst of a nationwide enrollment boom fueled by China’s burgeoning middle class, a product of that country’s hard-charging economy. By last fall, the number of undergraduate Chinese students at ISU had rocketed to more than 1,200 — a nearly 2,000 percent increase since 2006. Universities across the country, including the University of Iowa, have reported similar gains.
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Brockton’s new police chief to reach out to immigrants

Maybe this is what is needed; more city officials who are immigrants and understand the issues and can empathize. - - Donna Poisl

By Erik Potter, Enterprise Staff Writer

BROCKTON — Brockton’s new police chief came to the United States from Portugal as a child. He knows the challenges faced by immigrants.

So it wasn’t a surprise that after being sworn in as interim police chief Friday, Emanuel Gomes said he wants to focus on reaching out to Brockton’s immigrant communities and diversifying the police force with bilingual officers.

“Whenever you’ve lived through (the immigrant experience) ... you’re very compassionate about that,” he said.
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On Ellis Island, Examining Those Who Arrived Before and After

The National Museum of Immigration in NYC is now focusing on immigrants who did not come through Ellis Island, in addition to the people who did come through. - - Donna Poisl


Officials of Ellis Island estimate that as many as one in three Americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants who landed there from overseas.

Now, the officials are focusing on the other roughly 200 million newcomers who arrived in the United States before Ellis Island opened its doors or after it stopped becoming a portal for immigrants. The national historic site in New York Harbor is halfway through a transformation into a more inclusive National Museum of Immigration.
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Decision 2012: Latinos Missing in Action on Sunday Morning Network News Shows


WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last March 2011, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) launched the Art of Politics Impact Project to address the lack of Latino commentators and guests on the four network Sunday news shows: ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, FOX News Sunday, and NBC's Meet The Press. The Art of Politics Impact Project is being implemented in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Being Latino (BL), The Libre Initiative (TLI) and 16 other national Latino organizations.

After reviewing 149 broadcasts over 9 months, NHFA found that only 10 Latino men were invited as guests and commentators. Most of them appeared more than once and some were invited both as guest and commentator. The individual breakdown by show is as follows: ABC's This Week included 5 Latinos; CBS's Face the Nation (1) had 2; FOX News Sunday had 4; and NBC's Meet The Press had 7.

Latinos accounted for 5 percent of the combined number of appearances in these four shows. However, if Juan Williams, a regular FOX commentator, is subtracted from this equation, Latino appearances on Sunday morning shows drop to 2 percent.

NHFA and its key partner organizations met individually with the executive producers of each Sunday show and in three instances with the staff of the broader news divisions. "While all networks expressed a desire to include more Latino guests and commentators," said Felix Sanchez, NHFA Chairman and Co-founder "the networks have not kept pace with the demographic reality of the Nation. For example, in 2010 the Latino vote had a greater impact on Congressional and Senate races than the Tea Party, but that analysis came after the mid-term elections, not before," said Sanchez.

The Sunday news shows summarize the week's top political stories and preview the upcoming week's news narrative. These network centerpiece news shows impact and influence the top national political issues of the day.

"Decision 2012 is upon us and every Sunday morning Latino voices are absent from key interviews and from political discussions," said Esai Morales, actor and NHFA Co-founder. "Not only are the networks missing an important part of the story, but they are passing up an opportunity to increase Hispanic viewership across all news shows," concluded Morales.

For nine months, NHFA categorized the guests and commentators on the four network news shows. The extensive findings are included in our report available at

"While Latinos occasionally appear on these shows, the networks are inconsistent in whom they book as Latino guests or commentators," said Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, NHFA's Director of Media Diversity Initiatives, "Although there are minute fluctuations over the 9-month period, the data clearly shows that Latino presence on network Sunday talk shows is flat."

About NHFA: The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by actors Esai Morales, Sonia Braga, Jimmy Smits, Merel Julia and Washington, D.C. attorney Felix Sanchez to promote Latinos both in front of and behind the camera.

(1) Face The Nation's 30-minute format limits the number of guest and commentators that can be invited to the show.

Contact: Gretchen Sierra-Zorita
202-293-8330 Office

LULAC Celebrates Its 83rd Anniversary with Legislative Conference and Awards Gala


Renewing America's Promise

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Annual Legislative Conference provides a unique opportunity for LULAC members to meet with Members of Congress and have a meaningful exchange regarding the impact that today's policies have on the Latino community as a whole. The troubled economy, high unemployment rates, health disparities and educational inequalities provide the backdrop for LULAC to lay out its legislative agenda for overcoming those challenges.

This year marks the 15th Annual LULAC National Legislative Awards Gala for key leaders who have served the Hispanic community, to be recognized. At this year's Awards Gala, a Legislative Award will be presented to the Honorable Richard Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader; and to the Honorable Jorge A. Santini Padilla, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Presidential Award will be presented to Joaquin Avila, Esq., Director of the National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative at Seattle University School of Law.

Members of Congress in attendance include, The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip; The Honorable John D. Dingell; The Honorable Lloyd Doggett; The Honorable Al Green; Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; The Honorable John Lewis; The Honorable Ben Ray Lujan; The Honorable Lucille Roybal Allard; The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee; The Honorable Joe Baca; and The Honorable John Conyers.

"We are a passionate community of volunteers, staff, and partners, empowering Latinos at the local and national level," said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. "This year's Annual Legislative Conference and Awards Gala is especially meaningful because it also falls on LULAC's 83rd Anniversary. Since the formation of our organization 83 years ago, we continue to serve our community as the nation's premier Latino empowerment organization. The 2010 Census unequivocally demonstrated that the Hispanic community, now 50.5 million strong, is the nation's largest minority group. In the upcoming 2012 elections Latino voters will play a decisive role in determining who will occupy the Oval office. It is up to us to make sure that policymakers address the issues critical to the advancement of the Latino community in order to win our votes."

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is a volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

SOURCE League of United Latin American Citizens

CONTACT: Paloma Zuleta, +1-202-812-4477 (M), +1-202-833-6130 ext. 103 (O)

The 2012 Latino Vote: Reshaping the Electoral Map


LULAC Announces Collaborations with LCLAA and Mi Familia Vota to Register and Turn Out the Latino Vote

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ --Today, LULAC announced the strategies to increase the Latino voter registration and turnout; as well as the efforts to defend the rights of Latino voters across the country. In partnership with these two national grassroots organizations, LULAC discussed the issues that are motivating Latino voters, and how Latino voters are reshaping the electoral map.

"It is now less than three weeks before Super Tuesday, and the candidates for President have failed to address issues of concern to the Hispanic community," said National LULAC President Margaret Moran. "Sadly, some have attempted to engage the Hispanic electorate through superficial rhetoric; others have dismissed the Hispanic vote altogether and certain states are attempting to pass legislation designed to suppress the vote. Today, LULAC addressed the issues the Latino community is concerned about, as well as, the impact the Latino vote will have on the election, given that the Hispanic turnout is expected to be 26% greater than it was in 2008."

"Our march to the ballot box begins today,'" said Ben Monterroso, National Executive Director for Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. "Hundreds of Mi Familia Vota volunteers will canvass neighborhoods throughout the country to register every eligible Latino to vote and to ensure that their voice is heard at the ballot box. Collaborations such as the one we have with LULAC and LCLAA prove to others that the road to the White House runs through the 'barrios.'"

"As the 2012 elections approach, the future of the Latino community is at a critical juncture. Participating in the electoral process provides Latinos with the opportunity to demand justice, dignity, better opportunities for their children and accountability from their elected officials. The Latino vote will play a decisive role in the coming elections and in light of growing attacks on their voting rights, we will work to ensure that their voices are heard," said Hector E. Sanchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).

The 2010 Census confirmed that the Latino community, now 50.5 million strong, is the nation's largest minority group. Not surprisingly, Latino voters are poised to play a decisive role in the upcoming 2012 elections, especially in the key battleground states of Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. LULAC members and partners are helping to register and turnout a record number of Hispanic voters in November.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is a volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

SOURCE League of United Latin American Citizens

CONTACT: Paloma Zuleta, +1-202-812-4477 (M), +1-202-833-6130 ext. 103 (O)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The American Immigration Council Seeks Entries to New National Multimedia Contest

The American Immigration Council is calling all young filmmakers and photographers to submit to the 2012 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The contest invites young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects. The first place prize is $1,000! Projects should focus on celebrating America as a nation of immigrants and exploring immigration's impact on our everyday lives.

Who is eligible?

Young adults between the ages of 16-25 are eligible to submit entries. Both individual and group entries are permitted, however there is a single cash prize for first, second and third place.

What do we mean by “multimedia”?

Acceptable entries include videos projects or photo essays. (Check out these examples created in iMovie and Power Point)

How technical does my project need to be?

Your story and the way you tell it matter more than how sophisticated your technical abilities are.

Is there a time limit?

Entries should be no more than 5 minutes in length.

How do we enter the contest?

There are two ways to submit entries.
Click on the headline to go to entry form.

Submit a complete and signed entry form and a copy of the multimedia file on a CD or DVD, to the American Immigration Council “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest , 1331 G Street N.W. Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005.

Submit your video entry via your own YouTube account. Send us an email, attach a complete and signed entry form and a link to the submission on your YouTube account. Type "2012 MULTIMEDIA Contest" in the subject line. We will add the content on the American Immigration Council’s Playlist on YouTube. (When submitting your videos please tag the content with the following: “American Immigration Council’s “Change in Motion” Multimedia contest 2012.)

Who will judge the contest?

The winners will be chosen by representatives of the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a panel of distinguished judges.

What criteria will be used to select the winner?

The multimedia entries will be judged on the basis of concept, originality, creativity, aesthetics, technical execution and relevance.

What is the prize?

There are first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) prizes.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is Midnight EST, April 17, 2012.

For more information, including the rules and terms of the contest, please visit our Multimedia Contest page
or email

Univ. commission says immigration is beneficial

This report talks about all immigrants, not just the highly skilled people that some have reported on recently. Good news. - - Donna Poisl

Report set to be blueprint for other states

By Quinn Kelley, Staff writer

A commission on immigration found immigrants have had a positive impact on the state's economic development, according to a report released Thursday.

The 19-member Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland, authorized by the General Assembly in 2008 to assess the demographic information and impact of this state's immigrant population, found providing immigrants' children with higher education support has benefited the state's economy, as well as immigrants' significant contributions to the workforce. The commission also found many public schools face significant challenges in educating children of immigrants.
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For Duluth Denfeld students, immigrant children, learning a 2-way street

This high school class is practicing their Spanish with fourth graders who have Spanish as their first language and want practice in English. It is helping both groups learn the other language. - - Donna Poisl

By: Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune

Denfeld High School junior Matthew Johnson stayed after class Thursday to perfect the Dr. Seuss quote he spelled out on a bookmark in both Spanish and English.

The bookmark is for Jessica Romero, a fourth-grader from Henry D. Lloyd Elementary School , a predominantly Latino school on the northwest side of Chicago. He, along with the rest of his level-four Spanish class, had written letters on Valentine’s Day-themed stationery and made fancy bookmarks for fourth-grade students with whom they’ve become pen pals.
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Illegal Immigrants Say They're Afraid to Cooperate With Law Enforcement in Miramonte Abuse Case

These parents were afraid to report their fears to the police and their children have suffered. Some are still afraid to speak up. - - Donna Poisl

By Emma G. Gallegos

Some parents of students at Miramonte Elementary School have said that because they're illegal immigrants, they are afraid to cooperate with law enforcement in the Miramonte abuse scandal—despite pleas from the sheriff's department.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (they're the ones who said John & Ken listeners made threatening calls to them) has been coordinating with two attorneys bringing eight suits against LAUSD in the Miramonte abuse scandal. The attorneys each released statements earlier today calling upon the sheriff's department to go out of its way to let illegal immigrants know that it is okay for them to cooperate with authorities without fear of deportation.
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Commission says immigrants, illegal and otherwise, have had a positive impact on Maryland

This new report shows that Maryland benefits from all the immigrants in their state. - - Donna Poisl

from Associated Press

BALTIMORE, Md. — A new report highlights the positive impact of foreign-born residents in Maryland and criticizes efforts to deport or deny services to illegal immigrants and their children.

The University of Maryland on Thursday released the report by the Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland. It was prepared for Maryland lawmakers.
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NH committee recommends killing immigration checks

The committee voted 14-1 to kill the bill, no racial profiling will occur now. - - Donna Poisl

By Garrett Brnger

CONCORD, N.H.—A bill that would require police in New Hampshire to check the immigration status of any people they arrest has drawn the ire of opponents who say it would encourage racial profiling, and a legislative panel committee voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to kill the measure.

Opponents say the bill would make police more ready to arrest people who "looked foreign" in order to check their immigration status. Others voiced concerns the bill would harm police relations with the Hispanic community and make illegal immigrants less likely to even report a crime.
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Latinos, hit hard by job losses, are making strong comeback

Latinos are the only group whose employment numbers have returned to pre-recession levels. - - Donna Poisl

By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington— After scraping by on handyman jobs for a year, Bert Qintana figured he'd have to leave his wife and teenage son at their home near Taos, N.M., and find work elsewhere.

Then Qintana got a call last month from Chevron Mining, which runs a mine 20 miles away. Would he be interested in hauling muck from the molybdenum mine for $17.05 an hour? He leaped at the offer.
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Monday, February 06, 2012

Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

Read the stories of 61 immigrants who made huge contributions to the U.S. economy. Their companies had revenues of more than $900 billion and employ more than 2 million people. - - Donna Poisl

from Karen E. Glover, Director of Communications, The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.

America is world-renowned for its entrepreneurial business spirit, and this spirit is fueled in large part by immigrants. In every economic census since 1880, immigrants are more likely to be self-employed than the native-born population. While some of these immigrant entrepreneurs were highly educated, many were not. In fact, the only characteristic they share is the courage to leave their home countries and the drive and determination to start a new life in the United States.
Click on the headline above to read about all of these amazing people!

Discrediting Self Deportation as Immigration Policy

For Immediate Release

Discrediting Self Deportation as Immigration Policy

February 6, 2012

Washington D.C. – Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Discrediting "Self Deportation" as Immigration Policy by Michele Waslin, Ph.D. The term “self deportation” has been used lately as a way to deal with our nation’s immigration woes. However, the concept of self-deportation is not new and is part of a broader “attrition through enforcement” strategy, which is designed to make life so inhospitable for unauthorized immigrants that they will leave on their own. The groups behind “attrition through enforcement” have pushed federal and state legislative proposals, provided litigation support, and created a network of organizations to promote it. However, this strategy does nothing to address our national immigration problems and instead places unprecedented legal, fiscal, and economic burdens on states and local communities.

On a teleconference today, the deliberate strategy of attrition through enforcement was examined, as well as how it plays out in state legislatures, courts, and communities around the country.
“Attrition through enforcement is an incredible euphemism,” said Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. “Our experience, from suing the six states that have passed extreme laws embracing this strategy, is that attrition through enforcement is properly understood as a state plan to cause the exodus of a particular ethnic group—Latinos.”

“The effort to pass laws similar to Alabama’s HB56 in states and localities has to be understood as part of an orchestrated strategy driven by immigration restrictionists who also have a comprehensive legal strategy, and conduct aggressive outreach to the grassroots,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“As time passes, the harms of “attrition through enforcement” are becoming clearer: widespread civil rights abuses, economic harms, fiscal costs, reputational harm, and harm to citizens” said Jonathan Blazer of the American Civil Liberties Union. “What’s also notable is the number of repeal and reform efforts underway in states now exhibiting buyer’s remorse.”

“It’s not too hard to see that some state laws are part of an organized strategy. Arizona’s SB1070 says in the text of the law that the ‘intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona,’” said Michele Waslin. “Alabama lawmakers also stated that their recently passed law ‘attacks every aspect of an illegal alien’s life’ and is ‘designed to make it difficult for them to live here.’” Waslin continued, “We need to ask ourselves whether this is the type of country we really want to be, and is making a community so inhospitable that people will choose to leave really the type of policy we want to support?”

To view the report in its entirety click on the headline above:
Discrediting "Self Deportation" as Immigration Policy (IPC Special Report by Michele Waslin, Ph.D.)

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

While Immigrants Study Hard to Pass America's Citizenship Test, Most U.S. Citizens Would Fail the Exam

This article tells how difficult it is to get to the point to study and pass the test. - - Donna Poisl

from Aaron Wee

For the many immigrants who still continue to land on America's shores, citizenship is the ultimate privilege – never a right – that lies at the end of a tortuously circuitous road of requirements, bureaucratic nitpicking, and, finally, a citizenship test. Pass it, swear an oath, and – ta-dah! – you’re a citizen, no longer a resident in America but an American. To the aspiring few, this test is the most important in their lives.

This is on top of other considerations. It’s never easy living in a foreign – sometimes alien – land, where the customs, habits, and manners differ significantly from one’s own home. The locals gabble on in that indecipherable English they’re so fond of; they also seem to practice a variation of football played almost exclusively with one’s hands! Then there’s the difficulty of finding a job – a good, decent, and respectable one – in this economy and possible (or rather, sadly, probable) episodes of racism; but slowly, confusion develops into clarity. It’s not easy to be a part of the huddled masses yearning to be free, but aspiring immigrants claws, works, and toils their way into citizenship.
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Kansas plan to allow illegal immigrants to stay, work

This state program might be a good start for all states to use. - - Donna Poisl

from INDOlink

TOPEKA, Kan.: A coalition of business groups will propose Kansas start a new program to help some illegal immigrants remain in the state so they can hold down jobs in agriculture and other industries with labor shortages, coalition representatives disclosed.

A spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Council called the proposal “unprecedented” and questioned whether the federal government would allow such a program, though she was sympathetic toward supporters’ goals. Utah has set up a guest-worker program, but it doesn’t take effect until 2013 and was part of a broader package of initiatives on immigration.
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We are one community

This organization is helping immigrants learn to become Americans. - - Donna Poisl

Colorado programs are helping immigrants integrate — and contribute

By Susan Downs-Karkos

In so many ways, immigrants come to our shores embracing our most cherished American ideals: to find a job and succeed; to reunite with family; to have a safe place to live; and to enjoy a sense of freedom and community. Like many other states, Colorado's demographics have changed significantly over the past two decades: The foreign-born now account for one of out every 10 Coloradans.

Because learning the language is important for immigrants, many social service organizations like the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning teach newcomers English. Many also help them prepare for employment and ensure their children succeed in school because economic and educational opportunities are crucial components of immigrant success.
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TN lawmaker puts illegal immigration bill on hold

This is good news for TN immigrants, maybe the bill will die soon. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Brian Wilson and Chas Sisk, The Tennessean

A state House bill that would allow law enforcement to check the immigration status of someone pulled over or detained was put on hold last week, at least for the moment.

The Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act was moved behind the budget by a House finance subcommittee Wednesday morning. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, acknowledged that the move, made until an estimated $3 million can be generated to implement the measure, slows its progress.
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Commission named for immigrant scholarship program

If kids qualify for college, they should go, this scholarship program will help some of them. - - Donna Poisl

By Ryan Haggerty, Tribune reporter

Gov. Pat Quinn today named seven people to a state commission that will oversee a privately funded scholarship program designed to help undocumented immigrants pay for college.

The scholarship fund was created by the Illinois DREAM Act, which Quinn signed into law in August.

The law’s supporters have praised it as a civil rights victory that represents an alternative to measures cracking down on undocumented immigrants that have been passed in Arizona, Alabama and other states.
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Website helps immigrants compare fees to send money home

A new place to compare rates. - - Donna Poisl

Alex Renderos

Immigrants from Central America and the Dominican Republic can go online to compare the cost of sending money from the United States to relatives back home. is a new service that shows how much different transfer services cost in five remittance-sending hubs in the United States: California, Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. Fees are calculated based on transfer amounts of $200 and $500.
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Immigrants get help deciphering political process

New citizens must be completely confused about some of the political process, many people born here are probably confused too. I am glad there is help for some. - - Donna Poisl

by Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio

St. Paul, Minn. — When DFL State Director Nimco Ahmed trains groups of Somali Americans to participate in Minnesota's upcoming caucus, a political institution that mystifies even many Minnesota natives, she tells them they have a responsibility to participate for the greater good of their community.

"You all are privileged not only to be in this country, but privileged to be United States citizens," Ahmed tells trainees.

As Minnesota's Feb. 7 caucus approaches, both the state DFL and, to a lesser extent, the Minnesota Republican Party, are pushing the state's immigrant communities to get involved in this first step in the political process, where planks will be proposed to party platforms and delegates will be chosen for county and district conventions.
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Voice behind efforts for Md. Dream Act began activism as a teenage immigrant

This Union leader, who is fighting for the DREAM Act, uses his experiences as an immigrant to help in the fight. - - Donna Poisl

By Luz Lazo

That April 10 nearly six years ago was one of Jaime Contreras’s defining moments.

People arrived on the Mall by the tens of thousands, waving American flags and chanting in Spanish, “Yes, we can!”

Contreras, 37, still vividly remembers the vigor of more than a quarter of a million people demanding immigration reform.

“I was proud. . . . The thing that made me the most nervous was [thinking], ‘Where do we go from here?’ ” Contreras said.
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Thursday, February 02, 2012

White House Community Action Summit Zeroes in on Hispanic Concerns

The White House summit heard many issues that affect us in Southern Arizona and will take the information back to D.C. and start work on them. - - Donna Poisl

by Alexis Huicochea

Immigration and Mexican American Studies were among two of the emotionally charged topics discussed at an all-day summit hosted by the White House in Tucson, Ariz.

About 400 community members and local leaders took part in the talks held Monday at Sunnyside High School with federal officials on education, jobs and the economy, immigration and health care.

The Southern Arizona issues raised will be taken by administration officials back to Washington, D.C., where follow-up and action will be conducted as appropriate.
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Modesto school program tackles culture, family, life

This Language Institute has started working on the mental health needs of their students along with teaching English. - - Donna Poisl

By Nan Austin

Learning algebra in English, before you know English, takes determination.
Learning both while battling flashbacks of bombings, midnight raids and other horrors takes true grit.

Students at Modesto City Schools' Language Institute at Davis High call such moments "Iraqi head," said history teacher Lindsey Bird.

The institute serves the complex needs of more than 150 recent immigrants, this year representing 26 countries and 14 languages.
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Helping Unlicensed Chinese Contractors by Bridging the Language Gap

These contractors are trying to start legitimate companies and are getting help with their English, especially before taking the tests. - - Donna Poisl


If New York City’s licensing test for home improvement contractors were given in Chinese and included the finer points of bamboo scaffolding, contractors like Gary Lin, 42, of Queens would breathe much easier taking it.

Mr. Lin worked on bamboo platforms while working in construction in Changle, his home city in the Chinese province of Fujian. Now, despite speaking very limited English, he is trying to start a legitimate home improvement company in Flushing, which is rife with unlicensed contractors.
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Uncertainty for Immigrant Children in Foster Care

This must be the worst part of the immigration problems right now -- families torn apart. - - Donna Poisl

By: Marjorie Valbrun

In a story at America's Wire, Marjorie Valbrun depicts the inexorable, agonizing fate of more than 5,000 children of immigrants who are languishing in state foster care because their parents were living in the United States illegally and were detained or deported by federal immigration authorities.

... These children can spend years in foster homes, and some are put up for adoption after termination of their parents’ custody rights.
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United Interfaith Action holds meeting advocating in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants

State officials and faith based groups are working together and discussing how this can be accomplished. - - Donna Poisl

By Staff reports, GateHouse News Service

FALL RIVER — United Interfaith Action held a public forum earlier this week to support legislation providing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.

The event took place in the parish hall at St. Mary’s Cathedral and was attended by state Reps. Kevin Aguiar, Paul Schmid and David Sullivan, as well as University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack and Bristol Community College President John Sbrega.

Undocumented local high school students gave testimony about the need for in-state tuition. They stated the cost of their education is more than double that of their peers, making it extremely difficult to pursue a college degree.
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Italian immigrants: The Times-Picayune covers 175 years of New Orleans history

Very interesting, I didn't realize Italian immigrants were such a big part of New Orleans history. - - Donna Poisl

By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune

The tourists waiting patiently for muffulettas in the aisles of Central Grocery likely have no idea they are surrounded by what was once a standard fixture of many New Orleans neighborhoods: the Italian-owned corner store.

These grocery stores once dotted the city’s landscape, built by immigrants who flocked to New Orleans and surrounding parishes beginning in the late 1800s. Unlike Italian immigrants to other major American cities — who hailed from all over the then recently unified country — New Orleans’ immigrants came almost entirely from the poverty-stricken island of Sicily.
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Kansas agriculture secretary seeks federal waiver for illegal immigrants

Let's hope this works, the farmers certainly need a way to get workers. - - Donna Poisl


TOPEKA -- Facing pressure from large dairies and feedlots desperate for workers, Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman is seeking a federal waiver that would allow companies to hire illegal immigrants.

Rodman has met several times with officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about launching a pilot program that would place employers and illegal immigrants in a special state-organized network.
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Immigrant health initiative begins in SE Minnesota

This should save a lot of lives and money in future, immigrants often develop health problems when they try to fit into life here. - - Donna Poisl

Written by Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio News

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, researchers at the Mayo Clinic are working with more than a dozen community organizations to keep immigrants and refugees from developing common diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

The project, which includes nursing students at Winona State University in Rochester, focuses on southeastern Minnesota, an area of the state that has seen some of the largest demographic shifts in the last decade.
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Neighbors Link Board Chair Has Empathy for Immigrant Community

The Chair of this organization recognizes that the Hispanic community is the same as all the immigrant groups that have come here before. - - Donna Poisl

By Tom Auchterlonie

For Neighbors Link Board Chair Barbara Jackson, the Hispanic immigrant community that lives in Mount Kisco has similarities to historical patterns of immigration, with successive groups coming to America in search of a better livelihood.

Interested in history - her husband Kenneth Jackson is a professor at Columbia University - she notes that looking back, we are all immigrants.

“It’s been our narrative, it’s been our story.”
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Dream Act Week of Action is Here!

from Mohammad,

Right now the DREAM Act has 71 co-sponsors in the House and 34 co-sponsors in the Senate. We know it is a popular bill and every year we fall just a little bit short of passage. That's why we are hoping this year we can start early and raise the profile of the DREAM Act up high.

Join us in organizing for the National DREAM Act Week of Action: February 20th to the 25th.

You can plan many different actions, here are some ideas:

Organize a petitioning day at school/college;
Set up a table on campus or at school to pass out flyers and get postcard signatures;
Ask your teacher for permission to do a quick 5min (or longer) presentation in class;
Organize a movie night and discus it afterwards;
Set-up a lobby day with your local member of congress to get them to co-sponsor;
Organize a rally or other event;
Make an announcement at church;
And the list goes on . . .

If you have a good idea for an event please click on the headline so we can share it with others. What's worked for you and your group? Not part of any group, don't stress, we can help you come up with an event you can do by yourself or with a friend or two.
RSVP for our DREAM Act Get Active call and we'll help you plan something. Click on the headline or go to

We have a lot of supplies ready to go, we have petitions you can use, postcards you can fill out, brochures you can pass out, movies you can screen and all that fun stuff. We just need your help to organize some events.

If you need help brainstorming join us on facebook as we ask others what they plan on doing.

Much love,


P.S. Check out our organizing store for some cool DREAM Act gear, it might just give you an idea as to what you can do :)

How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source

For Immediate Release

How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source

February 1, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source. This perspectives paper is part two of a three-part series by former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. In this piece, Goddard shines a much-needed light on the nature of modern-day smuggling.

"If this country wants to stop smuggling and not just present an obstacle to immigration reform," Goddard says, "we must take a broader and more analytical approach to what motivates the smugglers—and the means by which they illegally move drugs, money, guns, and people in such large volumes with such impunity. Going after the contraband product or smuggled people, as this country has been doing for years, is destined to be an endless chase. The cartels will just regroup and continue operations, learning from their mistakes. If we are serious about stopping the threat on the border, we have to dismantle the criminal organizations that carry the contraband and take away the tools that make them so effective. Anything less will fail."

To view the paper in its entirety, click on the headline above:
How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source (IPC Perspectives, February 2012)

Also view part one of the series:
How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts (IPC Perspectives, September 2011)

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