Monday, June 25, 2012

URGENT! Stop SB1070

from Pablo Alvarado, NDLON
We need to take urgent action for Arizona.

The Supreme Court just decided to uphold the part of SB1070 that requires police to profile by investigating people's status to go into effect. If the bill goes into effect it could only make Arizona's human rights crisis even worse. But it doesn't have to. The President can prevent SB1070 from doing further damage immediately.

Please tell President Obama to stop SB1070 by refusing to deport it's victims.

The Supreme Court decision would give Arizona law enforcement new tools to separate families and violate civil rights, but it can only happen if the federal government agrees to process and deport SB1070's victims. Unless we act, the terror created by Sheriff Arpaio, who just last week arrested even a 6 year old child, will only be emboldened.

As the people of Phoenix rally against the Court's decision at the ICE offices and start to meet with their neighbors to prepare for the checkpoints that are sure to go up and the raids that are already coming down. We need the country to step up and rally in their support.

We're part of a lawsuit to stop 1070 that is still moving forward in the courts. It's based on the civil rights violations the Department of Justice ignored, but we all know we don't win in the courts alone. We win when we make our voices heard and come together in unstoppable ways.

The President can stop Arizona's crisis. Please tell him to do so and share this email with friends so that they can do the same.

Thank you,
Pablo Alvarado, NDLON.
Supreme Court rules on Arizona's anti-immigrant law

from Adam Luna, America’s Voice

With a 5-3 majority vote, the Supreme Court sent a strong signal to the nation that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is NOT a model for our country.  The ruling was a warning to other states not to follow in Arizona’s footsteps. However, we still have work to do.

While the Justices ruled that most provisions of the law were unconstitutional, they let the dangerous “show me your papers” provision stand.  The Justices warned Arizona officials that they could only enforce the provision very narrowly, and the Court left the door open to striking the law down later on.

But for now, with Sheriff Joe Arpaio still in power and with flawed programs like “Secure Communities” still in place, we know that the Court’s decision will lead to racial profiling and harassment of people based on what they look like and how they speak – even if they are born in the US.

I had a minute to sit down with Frank Sharry, Executive Director at America’s Voice Education Fund, to talk about the ruling.  Here’s what he had to say:

Watch Frank Sharry's Video on the Supreme Court's Ruling

I heard good news and bad news from the court today, but clearly, our movement is strong and headed in the right direction.

While you read this email, community organizations on the ground in Arizona are launching a neighborhood defense project, and are on the lookout for examples of discrimination to bring the case back to court. Legal experts are putting the next phase of the court battle in place. Polls show that the President’s decision to stop the deportations of DREAMers is wildly popular. And in 2012, no state followed Arizona’s lead by passing copycat legislation.

Thanks for all you are doing and all that you’ll continue to do.  Onward!

Adam Luna
America’s Voice
Our next steps: Educate, mobilize, vote

from Gabe Gonzalez, Reform Immigration FOR America

Today, the Supreme Court has let stand the despicable "Papers, please" provision of Arizona's SB 1070 that allows police to profile individuals based on the color of their skin.

The ruling follows last week's courageous announcement on administrative relief for DREAMers. While the Obama administration endorses positive reform for our families, the Supreme Court decision supports discrimination over equality.

It's time for us to hand down our decision. Now is the time to use the power of our movement to stand up for the only real solution for our broken system: comprehensive immigration reform.

How do we do that? Today we are kicking off the RI4A Organizing Project, a national initiative to educate, mobilize, and get out the vote.

We must use our voices and our votes to educate our friends and families about key policies, mobilize our communities, and vote for pro-reform champions like never before. If we do this, we can secure more victories and make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.

We have ambitious goals to push back against the national assault on immigrant communities -- and your support will be critical to ensuring reform and justice for our families is a front and center priority, in 2012 and beyond.

Get involved today. The futures of our communities depend on it.


Gabe Gonzalez
Reform Immigration FOR America

PS: For more analysis on the Supreme Court's ruling, read and share our latest blog post. We will keep it updated as we learn more about the decision.
DREAMers React to Supreme Court Decision on SB 1070


Media Contact
Carmen Cornejo

Phoenix, Arizona The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, an organization composed of immigrant youth and their allies, laments the Supreme Court decision which upheld section (2b) of the law that allows authorities to ask individuals their immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion the individual is undocumented. We believe the section being upheld are conducive to racially profiling citizens, legal residents, and undocumented immigrants and therefore do not provide equal treatment under the law.

We respectfully disagree about the constitutionality of the decision and we will continue to educate our community on how we can overcome the implementation of this section so the impact to the people in our state is minimized.

We encourage the community to stand firm, to not panic, and to stay informed.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of the press release! Read how ADAC will continue fighting.

India to America: a 20-year tale of assimilation

A very interesting story, showing how people live in both cultures after immigrating here.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Saritha Prabhu

This June marks a personal anniversary for my family and me: It was 20 years ago, June 1992, that my husband and I immigrated to this country from India.

I remember almost every detail of those first days and months. We came with four suitcases. I wore a red salwar-kameez the first day. We were newly wed, and the bridal henna marks were still on my hands. Our first meal here was bread with Indian pickle out of a jar. Like many newlyweds, we had optimism in our hearts and little money in our pockets. I remember feeling a little disoriented and homesick for most of the first year.

But the years went by, as they usually do, in a whirl. We lived in three states, moved five times, had two children, visited India seven or eight times, went from J-1 student visas to green cards to becoming naturalized citizens, and now two decades later find ourselves in an American suburb in the proverbial house with the white picket fence.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

USHCC: SB1070 Ruling by Supreme Court Shows Arizona Overstepped Its Bounds


WASHINGTON, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) today announced its disappointment with the Supreme Court's mixed decision on the Arizona immigration law known as SB1070. In its 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court essentially gutted the Arizona law by striking down three of the main provisions of the law, and that action is a major victory for the Constitution and federal supremacy in determining immigration law. The USHCC, however, participated in an amicus brief, filed by a coalition of leading Hispanic serving institutions, that called for the entire law to be struck down.

Though the decision upheld Section 2(B) of the law, the Court significantly narrowed how the law could be applied. This decision also affirmed that the "federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled." The implications for America's business community are clear. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, wrote, "Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism, and diplomatic relations for the entire Nation, as well as the perceptions and expectations of aliens in this country who seek the full protection of the laws."

"Arizona may have understandable frustrations with problems arising from illegal immigration, but the Arizona legislature and Governor Brewer overstepped their bounds by passing a sweeping anti-immigrant law," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "We are glad the Supreme Court shares our view."

Palomarez continued, "SB1070  has dramatically hurt businesses in Arizona and cost the state thousands of jobs. The Hispanic-American business community will continue to fight the law until it is fully repealed."

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that combined generate in excess of $465 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit

SOURCE  United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Jesse Salazar, Vice President, Government Relations & Policy, USHCC, +1-202-715-0477,

Midwest farm town, transformed by immigration, thrives

This story proves how hard immigrants work to better themselves and make a living for their families. And how well they can do it in all parts of the country, not just in big cities.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mary Wisniewski and Christine Stebbins

BEARDSTOWN, IL, June 20 (Reuters) - Two years ago, Bozi Kiekie taught English at a university in the Congo. Although he liked his work, he wasn't earning enough to make a good life for
his family.

So Kiekie, 44, entered a lottery for one of 55,000 annual visas to enter the United States. When he won a so-called diversity visa, he came to Illinois, where he found a job cutting out hog tongues at the meatpacking plant in Beardstown, a small river town about 200 miles southwest of Chicago.

"Leaving a teaching position and pulling tongues - that's a big gap," said Kiekie, who talks with his wife and three young children by Skype or phone every day.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Don’t Shut the Golden Door

These writers show how important immigrants are to this country. And how important they have been throughout our history.   - - Donna Poisl


IMMIGRATION is in the headlines again, with President Obama’s decision last week to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, and the Supreme Court’s approaching decision on the constitutionality of Arizona’s crackdown on undocumented migrants.

But too much of the public debate has focused on the legality of immigration without considering a more fundamental question: What effects has mass immigration had on American society?

As a result of the 1965 immigration act, which opened the door widely to non-European immigrants, 40 million foreign-born immigrants now live in the United States.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fueled by immigration, Asians are fastest-growing U.S. group

 For the first time, Asians are the fastest growing immigration group. They are highly skilled and educated and are in the higher income groups.   - - Donna Poisl

By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times

Asian Americans are now the nation's fastest-growing racial group, overtaking Latinos in recent years as the largest stream of new immigrants arriving annually in the United States.

In an economy that increasingly depends on highly skilled workers, Asian Americans are also the country's best educated and highest-income racial or ethnic group, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Increase in Asian immigration

Click on the headline to see the graph showing the figures about Asian immigration. Very interesting.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The White House declares relief for DREAMers, Thank the President   

from Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America

The Associated Press just broke news that the administration will grant relief from deportations to DREAMers, and provide a pathway to work permits.

The road to today's announcement was built on the courage and dedication of DREAMers and grassroots organizations, fighting for years for justice for our families.

We are grateful for the bravery of activists across the country and their commitment to demanding real relief for immigrant youth. Their fearless work made today's news a reality.

To honor this announcement, we will deliver a card to the White House with your message, thanking President Obama for keeping his promise of real relief. Add your name and message now.

The fight for the national DREAM Act and national reform continues -- but today's news means the promise of relief for an estimated one million DREAMers will be made real.

With hope and gratitude,
Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America
Stand with President Obama on Immigration

from Senator Patty Murray

President Obama just made history by standing up for young immigrants, including those serving in the military.

Now children who are going to school and those defending our country don’t need to live every day scared that they could be kicked out of the country they call home.

Stand with President Obama: Tell him that you support his decision to protect young immigrants, students and members of the military.

In the words of our President: “We are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.”

This giant step to tackle immigration is the biggest that we’ve seen in years. It’s essential that we stand united behind President Obama on this decision that will positively change so many lives.

Click here to stand behind President Obama today.

Sen. Patty Murray
The President Has Spoken, Sign our Petition

from Gaby, Felipe, Juan, Erika, Jesus, Carlos from the Trail of DREAMs and the rest of the Team

This is huge! The President just announced that he's going to stop deporting us DREAMers. We've heard promises like this before. Now, we need to make this promise real. Tell President Obama and the world that you will be watching to make sure to not one more DREAMer gets deported. members have been pushing for action from the President like this for a long time. It was two years ago, with and the Trail of DREAMs that I walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington D.C. to demand action on the DREAM Act. On the trail, I met hundreds of inspiring undocumented youth, like a young woman in North Carolina who wanted to go to medical school, or the hundreds of high school kids who walked with us in Orlando. All joined the DREAM movement then, and like myself, all haven't stopped fighting for a moment.

Since then, the pressure from DREAMers has been too much for President Obama to bear without doing something. Through the Right to Dream campaign, through actions in Obama campaign offices, through the cover of TIME magazine, we've demanded action from the President, and we've finally built enough power, in part through the growing Latino vote, to get it.

It would be easy to stop here and celebrate the President's words, but we're 1.2 million deportations past words at this point. We have to send the country a message that while we appreciate the President's announcement today, we won't stop fighting for change until we see it.

That's why I need you to tell the President, Congress and other leaders in this nation that you stand with me, and millions of undocumented people who have become Americans, even if we don't have papers that recognize us as such. If you tell them that you stand with us, you'll be sending a message, and that you'll continue to fight against every deportation. Tell them, now, and tell all your friends to do the same.

We got here because we fought, and we didn't stop fighting. This is a huge moment that we can mark by telling the President that we stand with DREAMers, and that we are watching.

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Gaby, Felipe, Juan, Erika, Jesus, Carlos from the Trail of DREAMs and the rest of the Team

Immigrants outpacing the general population in owning small businesses: study

Nearly one half of small businesses in New York City are owned by immigrants

This makes perfect sense, it is duplicating the immigrant story throughout our whole history.   - - Donna Poisl


They're coming to America - and starting businesses.

Immigrant entrepreneurship is on the rise both in New York City and across the country, with immigrants owning a disproportionately large number of small businesses, according to a just released study from the Fiscal Policy Institute.

As of 2010, more than one in six small business owners in the U.S. were immigrants, the study found. And in New York City, nearly one half of entrepreneurs were born in foreign countries.

By contrast, immigrants accounted for a smaller portion of the population - 13% of the U.S. and 36% of New York City.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Immigration Law Slows A Family's March Forward

This story was on NPR this week, telling how legal immigrants with businesses are being hurt by the harsh laws of some of the states. This also means the state doesn't get as much in taxes, etc.   - - Donna Poisl


Immigrant success stories are closely woven into the concept of the American dream. In South Carolina, two generations of an immigrant family have worked hard to live out their dreams, but anti-illegal immigration laws have put even legal immigrants like them on edge.

Working Upon Arrival
Angel Cruz became a field worker in the Dominican Republic when he was just 8 years old. He came to New York in 1964 when he was 25 and went on to do a variety of jobs — from making coat hangers to sanding cabinets in a factory. He worked in landscaping and as a carpenter. It was hard, he says.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
World Refugee Day 

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war
1 refugee family without shelter is too many

from UNHCR

Each year on June 20th the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Millions need your help.

 You can help refugees rebuild their lives. Take a stand with Special Envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie by adding your name to her new public service announcement – details here.

Most people in America don’t realize – there are over 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world and of those, UNHCR provides lifesaving assistance and protection to 33.9 million of them.

Imagine being the mother of a sick and hungry child and having to decide between risking your life staying in a conflict or leaving behind everything in search of safety. UNHCR provides tents, shelter, supplies and life-saving services to refugees – 80% are women and children. Millions of refugees need help all around the world – 1 family torn apart by war is too many.

Our goal is to share refugee stories with you – to get the word out, so compassionate people across America will extend their generosity and concern to support --1 family at a time. You can help us. Please take action now.
You tell us: Should the United States welcome highly educated immigrants?

By J.D. Harrison

Senate and House lawmakers recently introduced the Startup Act 2.0, a proposal that would grant visas to foreign students who obtain graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. The measure has garnered bicameral and bipartisan support, an increasingly rare feat as the election draws closer.y introduced the Startup Act 2.0, a proposal that would grant visas to foreign students who obtain graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. The measure has garnered bicameral and bipartisan support, an increasingly rare feat as the election draws closer.
Click on the HEADLINE above to take the survey! Very interesting!
New Film Reveals Masterpieces of Islamic Art, Documentary to Air on PBS July 6th 


Narrated by Susan Sarandon

SILVER SPRING, MD – June 11, 2012 – Perceptions and ideas around Muslim identity and culture vary widely and too few are aware of the significant works of art and architecture that make up a large part of Islamic civilization’s legacy. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, is a new documentary from award-winning Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) that brings to life this legacy and will be broadcast nationally on PBS July 6th at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Narrated by actor, Susan Sarandon, this 90-minute film takes audiences on a global journey across nine countries and over 1,400 years ofhistory to present the stories behind the masterworks of Islamic art and architecture.

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is the ninth film by Executive Producers Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer and UPF (Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, Prince Among Slaves). The film was produced to nurture a greater appreciation for the exquisite works of art that Islamic culture has contributed to humanity. “I believe all viewers, Muslim and non-Muslims alike, will bepleasantly surprised with what our film uncovers,” states Alex Kronemer. “As a window into an often misunderstood culture, this film has the ability to be a real catalyst for understanding and perhaps offer a new perspective on Islam’s values, culture and lasting legacy,” continues Kronemer.

The film will air on PBS as part of the new PBS Arts Summer Festival, a multi-part weekly series that will take viewers across the country and around the world.

Viewers of Islamic Art are presented with a kaleidoscope of exquisite works of art – from the opulent Taj Mahal of Agra, India, to the written word in the form of Arabic calligraphy with master calligraphers such as MohamedZakariya. A common theme linking each of the showcased works is the way each piece of art is so different from the next – exemplifying not only the beauty, but the diversity within Islamic cultures. Each masterpiece is a contribution to the larger narrative of just how much Muslims have contributed and still contribute to society.

Michael Wolfe says, “Never before have viewers had the opportunity to explore such richness of Islamic art and history with commentary from some of the world’s most renowned experts who have the ability to explain just why these works are so important.”  “We hope watching the film will result in Muslims feeling a source of pride, aswell as celebration in their heritage,” continues Kronemer.

After its national television debut July 6th, Islamic Art will be available on DVD for $19.95 through

Islamic Art has already caught the attention of thought leaders who are calling the film an important contribution to documentary filmmaking about Islamic cultures.

"UPF's Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is a stunning achievement in documentary filmmaking. Itopens a window onto a sight of Islam so often neglected in the west. The aesthetic, beauty, and culture offer an opening for us all to start a dialogue on the values that we share and hold in common."  - Karen Armstrong, Award-Winning author of religion

"This film will open the eyes and the imagination of American Muslims, reminding us all of our rich artistic heritage. I highly recommend that all American Muslims watch this documentary and share it with their neighbors!" - Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America 

Join us on Twitter at @islamicartfilm the evening of the premiere, July 6th, for a tweet chat using the hashtag #IslamicArt.

About Unity Productions Foundation

The mission of Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is to create peace through the media. A nonprofit organization founded in 1999, UPF produces documentary films for both television broadcast, online viewing, and theatrical release, and implements long-term educational campaigns aimed at increasing understanding between people of different faiths and cultures, especially between Muslims and other faiths. For more information, visit

Media Contact:  Lisa Mabe, Hewar Social Communications, 202.505.2890,
Dream Come True: Obama Administration Announces Relief for DREAMers

For Immediate Release

June 15, 2012

Washington.D.C. - The American Immigration Council applauds today’s announcement by the Obama Administration that it will grant deferred action to undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as small children and who have been raised and educated in communities around the country.  Today's announcement builds on the prosecutorial discretion initiatives already undertaken by the White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was done to ensure that eligible young people do not fall through the cracks, that resources are used wisely, and that humanitarian factors are considered when enforcing our immigration laws. 
Deferred action is not permanent legal status or citizenship but rather a way to allow those young people, who have been in this country since they were young, to complete their education, continue their military service or begin their careers. The grant of deferred action will be issued on a case-by-case basis and is renewable every two years. 

Deferred action has long been available on an individual basis, but in certain compelling circumstances, past administrations have found it more efficient, predictable, and practical to designate a broader group of individuals who share common characteristics as presumptively eligible for deferred action.  

Today’s announcement will create the necessary space to allow Congress to craft a more permanent solution that will extend legal status to these young people who are American in all but their country of birth.  

According to DHS, deferred action will be offered to young people between the ages of 15-30 who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have been in the country for at least five years, have no criminal history, and are in the country as of today. 

The following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:

"The Administration has acted responsibly and compassionately to a growing humanitarian crisis - thousands of undocumented young people, whose talents and energy are incredibly valuable to this country, languish while Congress refuses to act on the DREAM Act. The memo issued by Secretary Napolitano lays out in clear and compelling language the need for our immigration laws to be enforced in a way that recognizes the impact on the lives of these young people. The Administration has recognized that bipartisan support exists in Congress for addressing this issue and is giving Congress the time to reach a consensus by taking the immediate threat of deportation off the table.  Everyone benefits from this plan: the young people whose futures will no longer be on hold, the Members of Congress from both parties who are interested in developing real solutions, and the public who deserve a more meaningful conversation on immigration. To be clear, a permanent solution must be found that allows these young people to become full citizens.  But until Congress acts, the deferred action program offers the breathing room needed to ensure that no more young lives are jeopardized through senseless deportations." 

For more information contact, Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-812-2499.
Today's Immigration Announcement 

 From CNN Newsroom/Fredricka Whitfield

Jose Antonio Vargas talks to CNN's Fredricka Whitfield about the recent immigration decision and how it will impact dreamers and the upcoming election.

Click here to watch the Video

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sign Petition to stop Florida voter purge

from America Ferrera,, Voto Latino 2012 Campaign Co-Chair

After our campaign launch in DC, I got a lot of people asking, "What's America4America all about?"

My answer was simple: this is about making the 2012 elections personal for every American.

Because in November, we're not voting for politicians or political parties. We're voting for ourselves. And anywhere people are making it harder for voters to participate, we're going to call them out.

Well, it's time to step up. Voters in Florida are receiving notices that they're being kicked off the voter rolls. One victim is a 91-year old World War II veteran born in Brooklyn. This has to stop.

Sign our new petition to stop this Florida rule and let every American be heard.

Some people think that voter profiling only hurts Latino voters and other groups that are usually targeted by rules like this.

But these issues don't belong to Latinos, or to women, or to young voters, or to older voters. These issues belong to all of us, because they are American issues.

That's why I'm running this America4America campaign, because I know that all of our diverse communities can work together to make a positive impact.

November's elections may feel far away, but we have to act now to fight unfair rules wherever we find them. Stand with me and Voto Latino to demand a stop to this unfair voter profiling immediately:

Thanks for standing up for every American voter,

America Ferrera
Voto Latino 2012 Campaign Co-Chair
U.S. Immigration Fund Supports U.S. Senator's Bill to Make EB-5 Visa Program Permanent

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation that will make the EB-5 Visa program a permanent fixture to US economy-boosting endeavors.

(PRWEB) June 05, 2012

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation seeking to give permanent status to the EB-5 Regional Center Program, among other job-creating endeavors. Established by Congress in 1990, the EB-5 Regional Center Program has successfully facilitated immigrant investments toward economy-boosting and community development campaigns across the country. As the program was scheduled for review in September 2012, the current bill introduced by Senator Leahy will ensure permanence for this positive program.

According to Senator Leahy, months of negotiation led to the final draft that was introduced for Congressional approval.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this Press Release! This is only a small part of it.
Prosecutorial Discretion: A Statistical Analysis

For Immediate Release

June 11, 2012

Washington D.C. - In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would review more than 300,000 pending removal proceedings to identify low-priority cases meriting favorable exercises of prosecutorial discretion. The initiative was officially launched in November 2011 and is expected to continue for much of 2012. To date, DHS has released statistics on three occasions measuring the progress of the initiative.

While the case-by-case review remains ongoing, figures relating to the first 290,000 cases have disappointed immigrant advocates. Thus far, slightly more than 7% of cases have been found eligible for administrative closure, only a few dozen of which involved immigrants being held in detention. Moreover, as the review process has expanded, the number of immigrants being found eligible for administrative closure has steadily decreased. Relative to the number of immigrants who ordinarily prevail in removal proceedings, the number likely to avoid removal as a result of the case-by-case review process is comparatively small. The IPC has produced a fact sheet that provides background information about the case-by-case review process and a statistical assessment of those figures.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety see:
Prosecutorial Discretion: A Statistical Analysis (IPC Fact Check, June, 2012)

For more information contact Seth Hoy at 202-507-7509.
The American Immigration Council Honors Immigrant Achievement in Music at the 2012 American Heritage Awards
For Immediate Release
June 11 , 2012

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 American Heritage Awards. The Awards celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants to America and this year we recognize immigrant achievement in music. The Council will celebrate the honorees and enjoy live performances on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee during the Council’s Annual Benefit and as part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Annual Conference.

The honorees include:
Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel (Australia)
Violinist/Violist Yura Lee (South Korea)
Pianist/Composer Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera (Cuba)
(For biographical information on the honorees, click here or visit

“Each year we honor immigrants who have made exceptional contributions to America” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. “This year’s focus is on the important mark immigrant musicians are making on America. However, our event seeks to remind everyone about the enduring and significant contributions immigrants make, in all fields and at all levels, every day."

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

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Teachers taught how to encourage students learning to speak English

New tactics to teach English to immigrant kids are being taught to the teachers now.   - - Donna Poisl


Roughly 150 Des Moines public school teachers spent their first day of summer vacation Monday in a familiar place — the classroom.

Just last week, the educators — all of whom teach kindergarten or first grade — celebrated the end of another academic year with their young charges.

But as the demographics of Des Moines change, so do teaching tactics. Monday’s mission? Create classrooms designed to bring English Language Learners out of their shells while boosting oral language development.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
United We Dream is on Fire!

From Gaby Pacheco, END Coordinator, United We Dream

So much incredible work has been accomplished so far in our effort to stop the deportation of DREAMers through our "Right to Dream" campaign.

First, we had La Opinion write an editorial piece right after our May 17th actions stating: "Our message to the White House: more action and fewer words. Providing administrative relief to the Dreamers will say more than running 100 ads in Spanish."

Then, we had La Opinion write a piece on the 96-Professor sign-on letter, which supported our campaign, and highlighted the legal ways the President can take action. They said "Los jóvenes no descansan." (The youth do not rest.)

Last week Julia Preston from the New York Times wrote, Students Press for Action on Immigration. Lorella, an NCC member, was quoted saying “It’s not a question of whether the president can or can’t, [...] It’s a question of whether he will or he won’t.”

And just last morning the Editorial Board of the New York Times wrote "There is one important thing Mr. Obama could do right now to give these young people hope: He could use his executive authority to halt deportations of those who would be eligible for the Dream Act."

Will you join us in support by signing the Declaration of Dream, which states the basic human rights we are demanding?

Our work has been cut out and now more than ever we need to continue pushing. We cannot let this momentum die. Next week, we need to double our efforts from May 17th. We are calling for a National week of Action for our Right to Dream Campaign on the week of June 11th. We need to show President Barack Obama that granting us administrative categorical relief for DREAMers is in the best interest for the people and his administration.

Please sign our Declaration of Dreams to show President Obama that we have a Right to Dream and that he needs to stop the deportations.

Right now is the time to show President Barack Obama that we are still waiting for this promise, and that while he says there is nothing he can do, yes he can. Thank you all for your incredible work!

With much love and admiration,
Gaby Pacheco
END Coordinator
United We Dream
Spanish Teacher Helping Undocumented Students in North Carolina Achieve College Dreams

This teacher is concentrating her efforts on students who had few chances to get ahead.    - - Donna Poisl

From hispanicallyspeakingnews

A Spanish-born North Carolina teacher is helping dozens of undocumented high-school students fulfill their dream of pursuing university studies.

After just four years of teaching English as a Second Language at the Zebulon B. Vance High School in Charlotte, Madrid native Cristina Sanchez has already changed the lives of at least 80 Hispanic youth.

“These were young people who had no support or information about how to go to university without papers. Many had already resigned to working and giving up their dreams despite being excellent students,” Sanchez told Efe.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Iowa community and religious activists work to protect immigrants

A new campaign is helping Hispanic immigrants to integrate better into their city.    - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

A group of community and religious leaders in Iowa has collected hundreds of signatures supporting a project seeking to integrate Hispanic families in the region and lessen the marked anti-immigrant tone that prevails in the current political debate in that state.

The campaign, Helping Our Iowa Neighbors, was launched in April during a meeting in Orange City, a rural town of 6,000 residents near Sioux Falls, in a zone that is 7 percent Hispanic.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Trouble in the South, sign the petition

from Patty Kupfer, America’s Voice Education Fund

“The main reason people don’t stand up for themselves and defend their own rights,” says Josue Diaz, “is because they’re afraid of being deported.”

Josue should know -- when he helped organize a strike, his employer called the police and Josue ended up in deportation proceedings.

Tell Secretary Napolitano that deporting labor organizers is unacceptable. Click here to take action.

Josue is just one of 32 civil rights and labor organizers throughout the South currently awaiting deportation because they dared to stand up for their rights.

This kind of punitive action is not only morally wrong, it also violates Obama Administration policy. The White House issued a policy last year designed to stop the deportations of labor organizers and civil rights defenders.

But immigration officials in charge of five Southern states are ignoring this policy and deporting immigrants standing up for their rights. And their boss Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, has done nothing to help.

That’s why we’re hand-delivering a petition to Janet Napolitano next week, and we want your name to be on it.

Click here to add your name to the petition telling Janet Napolitano to stop deporting labor organizers.

Josue wasn’t just standing up for himself, he was trying to help others. He was hired to clean up in the Gulf area after Hurricane Ike, and like many other immigrant workers, he was denied the safety gear needed to protect him from toxic sludge. If that’s not bad enough, he and other workers were denied the wages they were owed. 

By standing up, Josue and the Southern 32 have strengthened civil rights and labor protections for everyone.  Now we need to stand with them.

Take action now and tell Janet Napolitano to stop deporting these leaders. 

Patty Kupfer
America’s Voice Education Fund
Immigration and faith

Many churches take their Bible teachings that say to love strangers as the best way to treat immigrants.    - - Donna Poisl

By Matthew Soerens

There are few issues as contentious in American society today, including here in Maryland, as immigration. While immigration is inherently an economic issue, a cultural issue and a political issue, at Baltimore-based World Relief we view the issue first and foremost from the perspective of our Christian faith.

As an organization that empowers churches to serve vulnerable refugees, human-trafficking victims and other immigrants throughout the United States, we believe the Bible has a lot to say that should inform our thinking as we confront the challenges and opportunities of immigration. The Hebrew word for an immigrant, ger, appears 92 times just in the Hebrew Scriptures, often referenced alongside the fatherless and the widow as uniquely vulnerable groups for whom God has a special concern and whom he commands his people to love. God reminds his people that their own ancestors were immigrants and commands that immigrants be treated equally to the native-born.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Help Immigrants Take an Important Step on Path to Citizenship

A new change is making things easier and more fair for immigrants.     - - Donna Poisl

From Hispanicallyspeakingnews

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed an important change to its regulations which would help alleviate the family separation and financial hardship currently encountered by some immigrants who are seeking legal permanent residence (LPR) and have U.S. citizen relatives.  The proposed rule would enable these immigrants to apply for a waiver they may need to obtain their LPR status while living in the United States. 

Under current procedures, they must return to their home countries before beginning the waiver process, which can last up to a year or longer. Thus, the proposed rule will encourage eligible immigrants who are fearful about lengthy absences from their families to regularize their status.  While the proposed rule is a positive step toward improving these procedures, it could go further, and extend relief to thousands more of our friends, families, colleagues, and clients.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Whaling, opportunity led Portuguese immigration to Taunton area

Immigrant groups came here through different routes, whaling brought this group. - - Donna Poisl

By Marc Larocque, Taunton Gazette Staff Reporter

The first major migration of Portuguese people to southeastern Massachusetts and the Taunton area can be explained by the whaling industry, according to the director of the Center for Portuguese Studies at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Professor Frank Sousa said an influx of Portuguese immigrants began appearing in this region in the late 18th century as a result of New England whaling ships with ports in New Bedford, which traveled the sea in routes that came across the Portuguese Archipelago of the Azores.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Immigration Groups Seek Information on Customs and Border Protection’s “Translation” Activities in Northern Border States

For Immediate Release

June 4, 2012

Washington, D.C. - Last week an alliance of immigration advocacy groups represented by the Legal Action Center filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The FOIA requests seek information regarding CBP policies on providing translation assistance to other law enforcement agencies and on participating in 911 dispatch activities. The filing coincided with a federal agency decision finding the U.S. Forest Service’s policy of using Border Patrol agents as interpreters to be discriminatory. The alliance is seeking documents explaining the relevant legal authority, applicable procedural guidance, training materials, statistical data, and complaints filed with the government as a result of CBP's practices.

Over the past year, advocates in states along the northern border of the United States have reported that Border Patrol agents frequently “assist” other law enforcement agencies by serving as Spanish-English interpreters and participating in 911 dispatch activities. Capitalizing on their access to noncitizens, Border Patrol agents often use these opportunities to question individuals about their immigration status and, in many cases, initiate removal proceedings. 

There is little public information about the scope and purpose of CBP's collaboration with other law enforcement agencies. The alliance hopes to promote greater transparency regarding these practices and includes the American Immigration Council, the Michigan Organizing Project/Alliance for Immigrants & Reform Michigan, Migrant Justice, the New York Immigration Coalition, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and OneAmerica.

To view the FOIA requests in their entirety see:

FOIA request regarding CBP’s translation assistance (May 31, 2012)
FOIA request regarding CBP’s participation in 911 dispatch activities (May 31, 2012)
For more information, contact Geena Jackson at or 507-7516.
For press inquiries contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.
A project to help immigrant students looks for a boost

Immigrant students have a much harder time in college than others and drop out at high rates. This program is helping them solve those problems and stay in school.   - - Donna Poisl


For Aylwing Olivas, a 21-year-old college biology major at Miami Dade College InterAmerican campus, there is a troubling problem that plagues his peers. His colleagues, many who are bilingual immigrant students, are dropping out of college at high rates.

Olivas believes this is partially due to the unique challenges that immigrant students face. Some students are undocumented or the children of undocumented immigrants and as a result have little or no access to financial aid and work opportunities during their studies. Others are first generation Americans who are unaware of their education options after high school.

Olivas, who was undocumented himself, understands these challenges and wants to be sure that future generations are prepared so they are not discouraged from pursuing an education.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Candidates weigh value of Spanish to reach voters

Recent surveys found that most Latino voters speak English and it may not be necessary to use Spanish when advertising to them.    - - Donna Poisl

by Nicole Goodrich Medill News Service

WASHINGTON - Spanish or English - español o inglés?

To reach young Hispanic voters, most politicians and organizations have taken a bilingual approach, to varying degrees.

But most young Hispanics lead English-dominant lives, raising the question of whether the Spanish-language campaign communication still is necessary.

"What both Romney and Obama need to start doing to the Latino community - they need to start talking to them in English," said Maria Teresa Kumar, the executive director of Voto Latino, a nonpartisan voter-registration organization. "The best way to get their votes is to talk to them in an acculturated tone."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Immigration's 10 Worst State & Local Politicians

An interesting list, some are in the news every day.   - - Donna Poisl


This week, Immigrants' List unveiled the inductees into its second annual Local Hall of Shame. This is a list focused exclusively on the ten worst anti-immigrant local politicians in America. These are politicians who have benefited politically from spreading fear and misinformation about immigration, and have enacted harmful policies that are hurting local economies and hurting families.

Immigrants' List is a bipartisan political action committee dedicated to electing lawmakers who are pro-immigration and highlighting and working to defeat obstructionist politicians.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Do-It-Yourself Immigration Reform

An interesting look at the figures, the authors say legal immigration from Mexico is solving some of the problems.     - - Donna Poisl


IN the noisy American debate over immigration reform, something important seems to have escaped notice: time, and common-sense decisions by Mexican migrants, have brought us nearly everything immigration reform was supposed to achieve.

Migration between Mexico and the United States has returned to a healthy circular pattern: large numbers of Mexicans legally cross northward to work, then return south with confidence that they can repeat the journey the next time. The reason: Even as illegal Mexican migration flattened out in recent years, legal Mexican travel north rose.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Join the diasporas' and immigrants' Online Community

ImmiLounge is a community for foreigners and American immigrants. Whether you are looking for assistance with things like finding schools, immigration attorneys, jobs, scholarships, and insurance or are just looking to learn more about life in the USA and chat with new people, Immilounge is the place for you. Join to connect with like minded people and make it easier for yourself to live the American dream. About Us.
Successful College Student's Pyramid

from Elena Verlee

Click on the headline see how college students should organize their student lives. 
Illinois offers lessons in teaching English as a second language

New reports are showing that it is very smart to start teaching English to preschool children of immigrants, they do much better in regular school. They learn so quickly then, too.  - - Donna Poisl

By Maggie Severns, policy analyst for the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative and the author of “Starting Early With English Language Learners: First Lessons From Illinois.”

The news that minority babies make up a majority of all births in the United States should be a wake-up call. This shift to a majority-minority population has been taking place for years, while the way minorities are educated in our public schools has stayed the same. It’s time to think about next-generation America — a young, unprecedentedly diverse group with different needs, and strengths, from generations past.

Immigrant youths and the children of immigrants are one of the lowest-performing groups in U.S. public schools. But they will account for virtually all growth in the workforce over the next 40 years, the Brookings Institution has estimated, based on census data.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Join America4America campaign with America Ferrara

from America Ferrara, from Ugly Betty fame

This year, more than 22 million Latino voters can shake up elections all over the country.

The 2012 election is personal, and not just for me. It's personal for every American. Because in November, we're not voting for politicians. We're voting for ourselves.

I'll be running this campaign online and offline, to hear from grassroots supporters and community activists, and to build the future we know we can share together.

Join America4America to get the latest videos and updates about our campaign.
America Ferrera: Racist immigration laws make it critical for Latinos to vote

The star of Ugly Betty is urging Latinos to vote this year, saying it is more important than any other year.  She told her personal story, as a child of immigrants. - - Donna Poisl

By Aliyah Shahid

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera says her new effort to push Latinos to vote isn't just personal— it's critical to roll back the tide of strict immigration laws being passed across the nation.

The 28-year-old actress recounted to MSNBC's Al Sharpton on Thursday how she felt labeled as an "other" while growing up in Los Angeles during the '90s push for Proposition 187, a racially-charged ballot initiative (later deemed unconstitutional) that banned illegal immigrants from benefiting from public schools, health care, and social services.

She recounted her mother telling her at the age of 8 or 9 that "people might ask you questions" and urging the young girl to understand that "You are an American. You have every right to be heard. Don't be intimidated. Don't be afraid."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Immigration groups say tourists should avoid Alabama

Another way the state and its own businesses will suffer because of the new laws.   - - Donna Poisl


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A national coalition of civil rights and labor organizations said Thursday they will run advertisements around the country encouraging people not to visit tourist sites in Alabama because of the state's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Leaders of the group said in a telephone news conference Thursday that they also plan to have demonstrations in front of 73 Hyundai dealerships around the county to encourage the South Korean auto manufacturer to publicly take a stance against Alabama's immigration law.

Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said changes the Alabama Legislature made this year to the law have not resolved the problems civil rights organizations had with the law that has been described as the toughest crackdown on illegal immigration in the country.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
In Alabama, strict immigration law sows discord

Alabama's harsh laws have forced its own businesses to cut back, which will cut state taxes they could receive and hurt their own population when food prices go up.    - - Donna Poisl

By Daniel Trotta and Tom Bassing

Alabama tomato farmer Darryl Copeland looked out over his seedlings and fretted about this year's harvest.

He was afraid his seasonal migrant workforce might not return for the summer picking season, opting to stay away rather than risk running afoul of Alabama's stringent immigration law. The crew he awaits is picking the Florida harvest.

"I had to cut back my planting not knowing if the labor is going to be available," said Copeland, 47, who planted just two-thirds of his 30 acres on the far side of Straight Mountain in northeastern Blount County.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Speaking Truth In The Immigration Vacuum

An interesting opinion piece about the immigration forum in NYC and how much we need more immigrants to build our economy.   - - Donna Poisl

By Larry M. Elkin

It takes courage to speak truth to power. It takes character to speak truth to a vacuum.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed character as he took on virtually all of Washington’s political power structure last week over the nation’s decrepit immigration policy. The setting was a panel discussion called “Competing for Talent,” which opened the one-day New York Forum.

The panel, which also included Ricardo Salinas, a Mexican businessman who founded the Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas, unveiled a new report on the challenge of attracting and keeping talented immigrants in America. The report, called “Not Coming to America: Why the U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent,” suggests that the shortage of workers in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields (often called STEM workers) and the shortage of young workers together presage both near- and long-term problems for the country.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Friday, June 01, 2012

A Comparison of the DREAM Act and Other Proposals for Undocumented Youth

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases A Comparison of the DREAM Act and Other Proposals for Undocumented Youth, a fact sheet comparing various proposals that attempt to address the plight of undocumented students. The fact sheet focuses particularly on the availability of a dedicated path to lawful permanent residence and the policy implications of legislation that does not include such a path.

There is a growing consensus that undocumented youth who graduate from American high schools should not face deportation from the United States. While the DREAM Act—the oldest and best known legislative solution to this problem—has been introduced in both the House and the Senate during the 112th Congress, the once bipartisan support for it in Congress has waned, leaving undocumented youth in limbo. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) continues to promote an alternative to the DREAM Act which, according to his public statements, would offer temporary legal status but not provide a dedicated path to permanent residency. Although Sen. Rubio has yet to introduce a bill, continued speculation over its contents has further heightened the sense that a solution for undocumented youth is necessary. 

This week, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) introduced part two of his own solution, the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act, which would provide a path to permanent residency to graduates of a four-year college or university. In January 2012, Rivera introduced the Adjusted Residency Status (ARMS) Act, which would provide a path to permanent residency to undocumented youth who serve in the military.

These current proposals are all discussed in the following fact sheet:
A Comparison of the DREAM Act and Other Proposals for Undocumented Youth (IPC Fact Check, June 2012)

For futher information contact, Wendy Sefsaf at of 202-507-7524