Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg shows the way to real immigration reform

The federal government won't do what Mayor Bloomberg suggested, but the thinking behind it is correct. He knows that immigrants saved areas of his city and would help other cities too.   - - Donna Poisl


Immigration know-nothings gasped when Mayor Bloomberg said the federal government “should deliberately force some places that don’t want immigrants to take them” as a way to revitalize America’s “big, hollowed-out cities.”

Experience teaches that he’s right. Imagine what New York would have been like had the city not benefited from new arrivals. Whole neighborhoods that now thrive would likely be shells.
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Pittsburgh's new immigrants equal brain gain

Pittsburgh doesn't have the highest number of immigrants in its population, but most of them are very highly skilled. They are doing something right.    - - Donna Poisl

By Christine H. O'Toole / Pittsburgh TODAY

BlackBerry in hand, Tek Rimal counts the minutes as he rides the bus from his job at BNY Mellon to his Bellevue apartment. Like many young parents, Mr. Rimal and his wife, Chandra, tag-team the care of their son, Anuj, with precision timing. Mr. Rimal rushes home from his day shift so his wife can work a 4-to-midnight stint at Rivers Casino.

Like many Pittsburghers, they rely on family to fill in the occasional gaps. Two of Mr. Rimal's brothers and one of Chandra's live in their building. The extended family shops and socializes together, often taking the bus to a favorite ethnic food store.
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Illegal immigrants find paths to college, career

This young woman managed to get through college and into a career, she had to do much more than other students did. The DREAM Act would have helped her, now she is helping others.  - - Donna Poisl

from USA Today

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Going to college seemed inconceivable when Adriana Sanchez, the 12-year-old daughter of farm workers, was brought from Mexico to Central California and the family overstayed their visas.

Even though Sanchez excelled in high school, she was in the country illegally, lacked a Social Security number and work permit, and didn't qualify for financial aid. But she volunteered hundreds of hours and paid her way through college and graduate school with a dozen internships.
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Leave a comment for family unity

from Mayron Payes, Reform Immigration FOR America

Earlier this year, we announced a proposal from the administration to change the rules around family visa applications currently keeping too many families separated. The rule change would allow spouses and children of US citizens to file for visas while remaining in the US, instead of leaving the country for 3 or 10 years as they have to do now.

This rule change could prevent parents from missing a decade of their children's lives, and spouses from facing years without the support of their partners. Now, we need your help to move this proposal forward.

Leave a public comment now to support the change in the rules that would help keep families together.

In order for this change to go into effect, we need major public support from activists like you, standing up for families separated by the 3 and 10-year bars. We will deliver your messages of support for the change to Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Taking a few minutes to write your comment today could make a difference for thousands of families.

The comment period closes soon -- we need to submit our comments now to support family unity waivers and keep our families together. Add your public comment today.

With hope,
Mayron Payes
Reform Immigration FOR America

PS: We also have model comments and helpful questions for you to write your comment -- learn more and send your message.
Please join - FRI 6/1: National Call on Supreme Court AZ Decision in June: What you need to know

from Shuya Ohno, National Field Organizer. National Immigration Forum

Please mark your calendar and join us this Friday, June 1st at 1pm Eastern for an important national State of Play conference call on the impending Supreme Court decision on AZ's SB1070.

Before the end of June, the Supreme Court will announce its decision on the Department of Justice's challenge to Arizona's discriminatory anti-immigrant law.

There are four provisions of the law that are under challenge. How the Supreme Court will rule is unpredictable, but experts on the call will clearly explain the possible scenarios, what they mean, not only for Arizona, but also for the whole country, while leaders from Arizona and around the country will outline what we all need to do.

The Supreme Court's decision will impact all of us, in every state and community across the country. The decision will determine whether our 50 states can enact 50 different sets of immigration laws, and whether legislators practicing the politics of fear and hate will continue to abuse our communities or be forced to stop their legislative attacks.

Please join this important national call to discuss what happened, what we need to know, and what we need to do to take action together.

Please join us:
Friday, June 1st at 1p.m. Eastern, 12 noon Central, 11am Mountain, and 10am Pacific.

Please call: 1-800-267-5734. Your conference title and password is "SCOTUS."

Please note: This call is closed to members of the press. For press inquiries, please contact Katherine Vargas at

Looking forward to your participation this Friday.

Shuya Ohno
National Field Organizer
National Immigration Forum

Former immigrants become citizens in naturalization ceremony in Gulfport

People from 15 countries are our newest citizens. Welcome!   - - Donna Poisl


GULFPORT -- Twenty-three former immigrants from 15 counties became United States citizens Thursday at a naturalization ceremony at the Dan M. Russell Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Gulfport.

"U.S. citizenship is truly a privilege like no other," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Graben told the group.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Commentary: How politics cripple Latin American universities

The new president of MIT talked about the problems in Latin American universities and why their students are all studying here. He knows because he was one of them.   - - Donna Poisl


The appointment of Venezuelan-born Rafael Reif as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last week raises an interesting question: why are so many Latin Americans excelling in the world’s best universities, but not in Latin America?

Reif, who will be the first MIT president not to be a native English speaker, graduated as an engineer from Venezuela’s Universidad de Carabobo in 1973, and moved to the United States to get a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University in California.
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New English speakers celebrate skills

Immigrant students who learned English together went on a cruise and celebrated the end of class and all the cultures they came from with music, food and fun.  - - Donna Poisl


A tray of hummus was wrapped in a big red, white, and blue (with stars) ribbon. Arabic dance tunes were followed by "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Hail to the Chief." Conversations in English occasionally detoured into Arabic or Chinese.

The blend of cultures was world-class on Wednesday as 60 immigrants from as many as 40 nations took a cruise on the Maumee River to celebrate the end of the school year and their English to Speakers of Other Languages class.

The leisurely lunchtime cruise aboard the Sandpiper included a potluck smorgasbord worthy of the United Nations, with chicken dishes, sliced beef, pasta, a variety of rice dishes, tabbouleh, hummus, plantains, and an array of desserts.
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More reject terms like Hispanic

Immigrants are becoming more interested in calling themselves something that describes the country they are from. After all, Germans and Italians don't say "European" when they tell their nationality.    - - Donna Poisl

by Gheni Platenburg

After years of being stereotyped as an unwelcome, illegal immigrant and being treated like an outcast, Brownsville native Francisco Cordova decided to have his blood tested to determine his true ancestral roots.

When he received the results in 2000, they reconfirmed what he already knew.

He was Mexica, a group of people indigenous to Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, namely the Aztecs.
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Educators Struggle to Teach Students Whose English is Infused with Spanish

This is the second article in a series about US born Latino students who have a Spanish accent.   - - Donna Poisl

By Soni Sangha

Iris Huerta was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but was raised in East Los Angeles. When she was in high school, her family moved to a neighborhood where the Latina became a minority. Then an AP English student, Huerta was surprised when she had to convince her new school that she was fluent in English.

“They made me take a standardized test and a listening test,” she recalled. “They straight out told me if you hadn’t told us you spoke Spanish at home you wouldn’t have to take the test.”

Educators are increasingly concerned about Latino students like Huerta. Some don’t speak Spanish but use a dialect from Latino neighborhoods in areas such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Houston. Their speech rings with traces of Spanish accents, rhythm and grammar.
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Born in the USA, and with the Latino Accent to Prove It

Latinos born here who have a slight accent are forming a new dialect. (like Southern, Western, New England, etc.)   - - Donna Poisl

By Soni Sangha

Allison Ramírez was born in Miami, and so was her accent. Though she always tells people she’s American they refuse to accept that as an answer to the question “Where are you from?”

“I’ve been here my whole life and I speak English better than Spanish,” said Ramírez, who is currently in graduate school in Savannah, Georgia and whose mother is Cuban and father is Colombian. “It’s like you can’t be from [the U.S.] if you have dark hair and dark eyes and you don’t sound like everyone else.”
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Report Sees Economic Drag in Immigration Policies

A new study shows that our policies are sending skilled immigrants to other countries even though we desperately need them here.    - - Donna Poisl

By Amelia Harris

New York City’s main business group is calling for revamped federal immigration policies to maintain the U.S. role as a global magnet for talented employees.

In a report released Tuesday, the Partnership for New York City claims that immigration laws have failed to keep up with the country’s economic needs. The report, co-written with the Partnership for a New American Economy, describes current immigration policies as “irrational and undirected,” citing low limits on visas and bureaucratic obstacles to hiring.
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Senate Immigration Bill Creates Two New Visas To Encourage New Talent

This article tells more about the visas that Start-up Act 2.0 will create.  - - Donna Poisl

By Juliana Gruenwald

A bipartisan Senate immigration bill introduced on Tuesday would create two new types of visas to attract and keep immigrants skilled in the fields where the United States is weakest: science, technology, engineering, and math. The bill is designed to follow on the success of the Jobs Act in helping start-ups get capital.

Technology firms have increasingly complained that without changes to the current immigration system, they may be forced to move research and other projects offshore so they can hire the high-skilled workers they need.
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The Startup Act 2.0 Offers Immigration Solutions That Will Create American Jobs

These Senators are working on a new plan that involves job creation and entrepreneurial immigrants.    - - Donna Poisl


What do Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have in common?

Not much when it comes to their voting records. But today these Republican and Democratic Senators did something we haven't seen in long time -- they showed uncommon bipartisan leadership by introducing the Startup Act 2.0, legislation designed to boost the American economy by creating incentives for entrepreneurs to start new business.
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Mike’s immigrant plan to save cities

Mayor Bloomberg is a supporter of more immigrants coming to our country and wants the federal government to help attract more to help our economy.    - - Donna Poisl

By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

Ratcheting up his controversial proposal for revitalizing America’s cities, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday suggested that the federal government “deliberately force” large municipalities to take in immigrants as the only hope for salvaging their battered economies.

The mayor also criticized President Obama for deporting more immigrants “than the last four or five presidents put together.”

Bloomberg spoke at a Midtown forum, timed to the release of a new study titled “Not Coming to America: Why the US is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent.”
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How To Fix a Broken Border: Follow the Money

For Immediate Release

May 18, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases How To Fix a Broken Border: Follow the Money by Terry Goddard, part three of a three-part series on the Southwest Border. In this series, former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard assesses current threats to our border security and calls for a coordinated, multi-dimensional, bi-national approach to cracking down on cartels. Goddard's suggestions for Federal action include targeting cartel money, closing money-laundering loopholes, pursuing cartel leaders, and focusing border security on ports of entry.

Using his experience fighting cartels in Arizona as an example, Goddard argues that “the next step must be national. Using the same leads Arizona derived from wire-transfer data, federal authorities are in an ideal position to coordinate among the states and with Mexican law enforcement to close down the criminal exploitation of the wire-transfer system.” But despite awareness about the money-laundering loopholes, Goddard says the government has not addressed the problem as they should. “Huge amounts of funds flowing illegally out of this country could be stopped," he said, "if financial institutions and government agencies focused on the problem.”

To view the paper in its entirety see:
How To Fix a Broken Border: Follow the Money by Terry Goddard (IPC Perspectives, May 2012)


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

Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis Talks Jobs, Issues Affecting Hispanics

Secretary Solis answered questions about jobs and other issues she is working on.   - - Donna Poisl

Rebecca Villaneda--HispanicBusiness

United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently spoke with HispanicBusiness and discussed some of the most critical issues facing Hispanics. She touched upon female wages, student loans and even discussed how the Department of Labor utilizes social media. She also shared useful tools for job searchers.

Solis is the 25th Secretary of Labor, a role she assumed in February 2009, and the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet. She was nominated by President Obama. Read on to find out what the Department of Labor is doing to help the economy.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Immigrants rally at California Capitol for rights of domestic workers

Domestic workers are rallying to get better rights and protections.   - - Donna Poisl

By Stephen Magagnini

Neira Ortega said she left Oaxaca, Mexico, 15 years ago for a better life in California. She said she didn't realize she would end up a virtual prisoner in her employer's Chula Vista home.

"I had to go to work Sunday night and work until Friday night for $60 a week," Ortega said Monday at a Capitol rally. "I wasn't allowed to leave the house to buy my own food. I had to eat canned food. I couldn't go to take classes."

Ortega, 40, told her story to about 400 people, many of them domestic workers, who gathered at the Capitol to celebrate California's 16th annual Immigrant Day.
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Commentary: U.S. demographics are shifting but we're all Americans

This man, born to immigrant parents, knows how hard it was to live between the two worlds. But he is an American and says assimilation will continue and immigrants will all become Americans too.   - - Donna Poisl

from MARCOS BRETON, The Sacramento Bee

The U.S. Census Bureau says I won't be a minority in California within three years, if not sooner. It also said last week that for the first time in American history, minority births have surpassed white births.

"The United States has reached a historic tipping point – with Latino, Asian, mixed-race and African American births constituting a majority of births for the first time," wrote the Associated Press.

"Minorities made up about 2 million, or 50.4 percent, of the births in the 12-month period ending July 2011, enough to create the milestone."

I've been waiting for this day for years. Truth be told, I turned my back on the "minority" distinction a long time ago and buried years of negative emotion in the process.
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Immigrants dream of return to Mexico

This makes sense, since it is cheaper to live in Mexico. Many retired Americans move there for that reason also, especially in the winter months.   - - Donna Poisl

By Kate Wilcox, Reading Eagle

Mexican immigration into the United States is slowing, and some Berks County Latinos say one reason is that older Mexicans are retiring to their home country.

When Roberto Sandoval, 54, nears retirement age, he isn't going to get a house in Florida. Instead, he plans to return to his native Mexico, the Reading store owner said.

"Everyone I know wants to retire in their home," Sandoval said in Spanish. "The life there in Mexico is more peaceful."
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Immigrant teens from Portland share stories through film

Fifteen teens from seven countries have made short videos telling their stories of living here.    - - Donna Poisl

By Tom Bell, Staff Writer

PORTLAND -- The inner lives of teenagers can be hard to penetrate. With the added barriers of language and cultural differences, teenage immigrants can appear to be living in a world that is shut tight to everyone around them.

The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center, has found a way to help 15 immigrant teenagers from Portland open that world to the larger community.

The Space Gallery on Thursday night will premier 15 short videos the teens produced with the help of local filmmaker David Meiklejohn and artist-in-residence Sonya Tomlinson, as part of the Telling Room's Young Writers and Leaders Program.
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Young illegal immigrants, unwilling to accept life in the shadows, declare themselves publicly

Hopefully, if enough of these kids "come out", the DREAM Act or another good plan will be passed.    - - Donna Poisl

from Associated Press,

She was tiny and trembling and looked so very vulnerable. Barely 15, having already experienced a lifetime of hardships since losing her mother at 5 and crossing the desert with her father, she clutched a microphone before a crowd in New York’s Union Square.

“My name is Diana,” she said. “I am undocumented and unafraid.”

With those words last March, another young woman stepped “out of the shadows.”
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Pope Pleased With US Catholics Receiving Immigrants

Maybe the Pope speaking out will encourage more of this.   - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

VATICAN CITY –  Pope Benedict XVI says he is pleased the Catholic community in the U.S. is opening its arms to new immigrants.  

The Pope has praised the "great generosity" of American Catholics in welcoming new immigrants and backed the commitment of bishops in the United States to immigration reform.

Benedict on Friday held the last of a series of periodic meetings with American bishops over the past few months, saying the church must embrace "the rich patrimony of faith" from newly arrived Hispanic, Asian and African Catholics.
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Some Like It Hot: Hispanics and the American Melting Pot

Even while Hispanics are such a huge part of our country, they are assimilating and becoming Americans.    - - Donna Poisl

By Guy Garcia

As the number and influence of Hispanics in the U.S. has steadily increased in recent decades, they have been celebrated and derided, welcomed and deported, courted for their dollars and lambasted for clinging to their culture even as they are bombarded with ads for the latest pseudo-enchilada at Taco Bell.

Hispanics have been sliced and diced by age, size, and gender. They have been measured by how they look and what they buy, what language they speak, where they live, and whom they vote for.

But what some people really want to know is: Do they melt? Specifically, are they following the traditional model of “melting pot” Americanization, or are they, as some recent studies suggest, impervious to the homogenizing foundry of acculturation? The answer to that question has important implications not just for Hispanics, but also for the social and economic well-being of all Americans.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Minorities now account for most U.S. births, census data show

Our country is getting more diverse.  Non-Latino whites could become the minority in less than 25 years   - - Donna Poisl

from the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is slowing.

New 2011 census estimates to be released Thursday highlight sweeping changes in the nation's racial makeup and the prolonged effect of a weak economy, which is resulting in fewer Latinos entering the U.S.

"This is an important landmark," said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University in Washington. "This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders."
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The House’s Immigrant Betrayal With New Violence Against Women Act

The President promises to veto this bill, but it is still very scary. See the story about Elena, posted today.  - - Donna Poisl

by Michelle Goldberg

Mony Ruiz-Velasco, director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center, has been representing immigrant victims of domestic violence for 15 years. In all of the hundreds of cases she has worked on, she says, “I’ve never had a case where the abuser did not use his immigration status as a tool.” Often an abusive American citizen or permanent resident with an immigrant wife will threaten her with deportation, which could separate her from her American children. Or he’ll begin the paperwork to sponsor his spouse for a green card but threaten to withdraw it. “You have no rights in this country,” an abuser will tell his victim, says Ruiz-Velasco.

The Violence Against Women Act offers these women some protection. But on Wednesday, House Republicans passed a reauthorization bill that significantly weakens it, claiming that VAWA facilitates immigration fraud. “For those of us who’ve been in the antiviolence movement for the last 30 years, some of the biggest victories are being completely turned on their head by what’s going on,” says Mallika Dutt, president and CEO of Breakthrough, a human-rights organization that has worked closely with immigrant victims of violence.
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Undocumented, Unemployed Immigrant Sells Good Eats at Chicago Laundromats

This is a perfect example of how hard working immigrants are and how entrepreneurial they are.  Within hours he had started a new business! - - Donna Poisl

from EFE

Chicago –  With a booming business preparing and selling food products, Mexican immigrant David Martínez practices just the kind of entrepreneurship the Chicago municipality seeks to promote among immigrants.

But David is undocumented and though he does not dismiss the possibility that he might one day formally establish a business, his immediate goal is to survive after losing his job at a wholesale bakery.

"For three years I did a little of everything, from scrubbing floors to baking," he told Efe.
"But I made a mistake and ended up without a job, so I immediately had to find a way to survive," he said.
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Gabe Gonzalez: Elena’s Story - Why Immigrant Women Deserve Protection From Domestic Violence

This article gives a good explanation of how and why immigrant women need to be protected in VAWA.   - - Donna Poisl

By Gabe Gonzalez, Fox News Latino

I have been a community organizer for 20 years, for more than half of that in my local neighborhood. Street organizing they call it. Working at that level you see things, some miraculous, some disturbing. I have seen neighborhood leaders take leaps of faith, engage in acts of courage that would humble the most cynical. I have also seen things that shook me. That made me angry or frightened or sad. Some unforgettable.

I remember a middle aged man, standing in his doorway, pleading with me to help him get gangs out of his neighborhood, shrunken with fear but desperate to protect his family. I remember a mother walking me through her basement apartment. Water six inches deep in places. She showed me the holes where the rats came in, and where her daughter’s crib was, and explained that her landlord charged her $800 cash every month for these luxury accommodations.

I remember the fear and the desperation these people experienced, and I remember how it felt when we won those issues, and those leaders could feel safe again.

But when I am really down, I remember Elena.
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Quincy Asian Resources awards scholarship to student volunteers

These students deserve this award, they will probably volunteer all their lives and get others to join them.   - - Donna Poisl

By Jessica Bartlett, Town Correspondent

Seven Quincy students will receive scholarships from Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. this year after dedicating more than 100 hours each in volunteer work within the community.

In its third year, the scholarship program seeks to recognize students that are doing exceptional work within their communities and thank them for giving back.

“It’s to give support to devoted young people connected to the community that they live,” said Tim Wismar, member of the Board of Trustees for QARI. “We hold them up as examples about what young people are going through.”
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Immigration permit auction touted as reform that would aid economy

Here is a new and very different idea for immigration permits.   - - Donna Poisl

By Matt O'Brien, Contra Costa Times

America's decades-old immigration system should be replaced with an auction of work permits, says a UC Davis economist who is attracting attention on Capitol Hill.

His market-based reform, which was unveiled Tuesday, would have U.S. companies compete in a quarterly electronic auction to buy permits to hire foreign workers.

In essence, U.S. firms' willingness to pay for work-based visas would become more important than family connections and fixed quotas in determining who gets to move to the United States.

"This would be quite a new system," said Giovanni Peri, a professor who studies labor economics, explaining how it would replace today's first-come, first-served waiting list and random lottery that dictate who gets work visas.
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Shift on marriage energizes immigration activists

I thought the outcome would be the opposite, I am glad it will bring more active and interested voters.   - - Donna Poisl

from the Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –  President Barack Obama's shift to support gay marriage is energizing young Hispanic voters who have been working side-by-side with gay activists in their push for immigration reform. The alliance has been growing nationwide and helping dispel what many say is an outdated notion that Hispanics are less tolerant of gays than the general public.

"My members are telling me that we need to learn from the gay community," said Dee Dee Garcia Blase, founder of the Phoenix-based Somos Republicans. She is now head of the Tequila Party, which she formed last year with the goal of registering young Hispanics to vote for immigration-friendly candidates like Obama.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The American Immigration Council Announces the Winners of the 15th Annual 'Celebrate America' Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2012

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce that the first place winner of our Community Education Center's 15th Annual 'Celebrate America' Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest is Alexander Tymouch of Chicago, IL. His poem entitled America, the Magical Land was chosen from among thousands of entries nationwide.

There is a magical place in this world,
Where people come to look for freedom and happiness.
They sail for weeks through the swaying ocean,
When they finally arrive at the mesmerizing new land,
They try to keep their own ways at first.
They celebrate the same holidays,
Wear the same clothes,
And eat the same food.
They do everything the same as before,
But eventually…
To read the rest of the winning entry click here.

Second place winners are Nakita Ranjit Nair of Austin, Texas and Emma Snavely of Seattle, Washington. Honorable mention goes to Aedra Li of San Francisco, California and Samantha Nelson of St. Louis, Missouri.

Alexander Tymouch will read his poem and receive his award at the American Immigration Council’s Annual Benefit in Nashville, TN this summer. 

The celebrity judges include New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes, philanthropists Jan and Marica Vilcek, author Peter Coan, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gerda Weissman Klein.

21 Chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association participated in the contest. The top entry from each participating Chapter was judged by a panel of immigration experts who chose the top five sent to the celebrity judges. Special thanks to the Chapters whose coordinators make this program possible. To view the names of each states' winners click here.

2012 marks the American Immigration Council’s 15th Annual Creative Writing Contest, a national contest for fifth grade students sponsored by the Community Education Center. The contest provides youth with an opportunity to learn more about immigration to the U.S. and to explain, in their own words, why they are proud America is a nation of immigrants. 

For more information contact Michele Waslin at or 202-507-7521.

Monday, May 14, 2012


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

Immigrants find education, hope at East High School

Kids with 35 languages, some not knowing how to sit at a desk or hold a pencil, are all learning to speak English and make it through high school successfully. Amazing!   - - Donna Poisl

BY JOE ROBERTSON, The Kansas City Star

Of course it would take monstrous forces to drive families from their homelands.

These are some of the things immigrant students in Kansas City’s East High School have seen:
A hoodlum’s gun in Juarez, Mexico, aimed in the face of 14-year-old Pamela Martinez’s pregnant mother.

Unremitting civil war in Somalia that chased 17-year-old Fardowsa Mursal into a Kenyan refugee camp for the first 14 years of her life.
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Alabama Immigration Crackdown Prompts Farmers to Scale Back Production

This horrible law is hurting everyone, including the people who live there and won't be able to purchase fresh food at good prices from their local farmers.    - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

ONEONTA, Ala. –  Facing the possibility of labor shortages due to Alabama's crackdown on illegal immigration, some of the state's farmers are planting less.

Keith Dickie said he and other growers in the heart of Alabama's tomato country didn't have any choice but to reduce acreage amid fears there won't be enough workers to pick the delicate fruit.

Some farmers lacked enough hands to harvest crops because immigrants fled the state after Gov. Robert Bentley signed the immigration law last fall, and some told The Associated Press they fear the same thing could happen this year.

"There's too much uncertainty," said Dickie, who farms with his brother on a ridge called Straight Mountain, about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham.
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Deportation cases halted, but illegal immigrants' lives remain on hold

The DREAM Act would take care of the problems this man has now. Letting him stay but not allowing him to work or go to school just creates different problems.    - - Donna Poisl

By JEREMY REDMON, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DALTON, Ga. -- Pedro "Peter" Morales remembers the party his family and friends threw last summer after he was freed from a detention center and told he would not be deported to Mexico.

They presented the 19-year-old with a chocolate cake that said "Welcome Back, Pedro." His dad grilled chicken and steaks. Morales - who was illegally brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 7 - was relieved to be back home in North Georgia. But those happy feelings have given way to anxiety. He still does not have legal status in the U.S. And the government won't permit him to work legally here.
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Early intervention efforts try to prevent future dropouts

In the past, the immigrant children's parents did not speak much English, now they do but it is not always changing the kids' success.    - - Donna Poisl

By Maureen Hayden, CNHI Statehouse Bureau

INDIANAPOLIS — At the kindergarten round-up this spring at West Goshen Elementary School, teachers and administrators noticed something different: There seemed to be significantly more Hispanic children with parents who spoke both English and Spanish. For a school that has seen a steady influx of Hispanic students for more than a decade, it was notable: school staff have long been used to teaching children of Hispanic immigrants who spoke little English.

School Principal Alan Metcalfe sees it as a hopeful sign but one that also carries a challenge: Many of the students have no solid footing in either language, so they may face increased difficulty not just in learning how to read but in making the critical transition to reading to learn.
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Immigrant’s granddaughter guides a new generation of arrivals

All schools need a teacher just like this one.    - - Donna Poisl


Every year, scores of students whose families are new immigrants to the United States enroll in the Upper Darby School District and Margie Tavakalian helps them adjust.

The 55-year-old English Language Learners (ELL) teacher at Beverly Hills Middle School takes shy and scared youngsters who speak Punjabi, Thai, or Greek, and helps them communicate — and more.

When frustrations mount because a student can’t open a locker or tell a cafeteria worker what he or she wants to eat, Tavakalian is there.
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Understanding Missouri’s Growing Hispanic Population

This state representative has first hand knowledge of what the Hispanic community in his county and state needs.    - - Donna Poisl

by Perez Ildefonso, KMOX Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX)  - Hispanic communities are growing in Missouri, and the state’s principal challenge is social assimilation.

The staff is working in the office of the minority floor leader, the phone is ringing, the secretaries are typing on the computers and someone is reviewing some documents after putting them on the desk.
The door opens and Rep. Mike Talboy, D-Jackson County, comes in, takes the documents and prepares himself for the interview. It’s the afternoon, and the office is bright from the sun coming through the windows and reflecting off of the white walls. He closes the door and now it is quiet.

Sitting on a chair in front of a big desk, Talboy begins to speak about his Hispanic heritage.
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Pasco woman to teach after graduating from WSU-Tri-Cities

This woman experienced these problems, helping her classmate as a child and is going to help others so they don't struggle like that.   - - Donna Poisl

As a fourth-grader in Othello, Angela Vargas served as a translator for another girl in her class who had just come from Mexico.

Vargas, now 20, said her teacher didn't speak Spanish and couldn't communicate with the girl. Vargas, however, was bilingual and helped her classmate as best she could, though the girl still struggled.
"This poor little girl, by the end of the year, didn't know any English," she said.

Today, Vargas graduates from Washington State University Tri-Cities, turning around her childhood experiences into a degree in elementary education with concentrations in bilingual education and English language learning.
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Speak Out TODAY in Support of Vulnerable Immigrants!

from HIAS

HIAS and various other faith organizations sent a letter to Congress expressing concerns with the immigration provisions of H.R. 4970, such as many provisions that would roll back protections in current law for battered non-citizens, making them more vulnerable and, in some cases, endangering their lives. Click here to urge your Members of Congress to strike these provisions from the bill before the measure is brought before the full House of Representatives for a vote.
Falling Through The Cracks: How Gaps in ICE's Prosecutorial Discretion Policy Affect Immigrants Without Legal Representation

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Falling Through the Cracks: How Gaps in ICE's Prosecutorial Discretion Policy Affect Immigrants Without Legal Representation by Joan Friedland.

While the Obama administration has expanded use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases, the subject of immigrants without legal representation and their ability to access this discretion remains unresolved. In 2011, nearly half of all immigrants in removal proceedings appeared “pro se,” or without legal representation. While immigration attorneys can explain the effect of these policies to their clients, pro se immigrants may be unaware that new policies are even in effect. Immigrant advocates have thus been rightly concerned about whether pro se immigrants in removal proceedings will benefit from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) prosecutorial discretion policies.

This paper lays out what immigration authorities can do to ensure that pro se immigrants understand what prosecutorial discretion is, how they can seek it, and what they should do after receiving (or not receiving) an offer of it.

To view the paper in its entirety see:

Falling Through The Cracks: How Gaps in ICE's Prosecutorial Discretion Policy Affect Immigrants Without Legal Representation by Joan Friedland. (IPC Perspectives, May, 2012)

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

On the rise: Immigrant entrepreneurs

Immigrants are very often entrepreneurs, they have big dreams and the nerve to try them.    - - Donna Poisl

By Jose Pagliery

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Working for a new company? There's a more than one-in-four chance your new boss wasn't born here.

Immigrants created 28% of all new firms last year. They were also twice as likely to start a new business when compared to those born in the United States.

It's a notable shift. Nearly all new firms are small, and many are hiring new workers, seeking small business loans and shaking up established industries.
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Our Anti-Innovation, Anti-Business, and Anti-People Immigration Law

This article shows how different the DREAM Act proposals are. The new one is not very good.  - - Donna Poisl

by Alexandra Starr

Sen. Marco Rubio's proposal to allow undocumented immigrant youth to stay in the country legally has elicited interest among some immigration reform advocates. That's primarily because it has breathed life into a moribund effort.

Under Rubio's as-yet unwritten plan, men and women who came to the United States as children and are pursuing higher education would be able to live in the country legally. Unlike the original DREAM Act, which has failed repeatedly to pass the U.S. Congress, the legislation wouldn't provide a pathway to citizenship for this group. It would only create that venue for men and women joining the military.
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Call now for next week's vote on VAWA

from Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Thanks to more than 6,000 activists, we are making our voices heard for a true Violence Against Women Act that does not discriminate on race or immigration status -- but anti-immigrant zealots are not backing down.

The House will vote early next week on the Adams-Foxx-Cantor version of the bill (HR 4970), and we are ramping up our message and calling our Representatives to reject H.R. 4970. Click here to make your call now.

You know what's at stake in this debate. Abusers who batter their immigrant partners often try to control and stop the marriage adjustment process to deny their spouses their right to get Permanent Residency status. The current Violence Against Women Act allows immigrant women who are trapped in these situations to self-petition, so that they can escape from violence and abuse. H.R. 4970 would eliminate confidentiality, stripping away the protection that self-petition depends upon, and giving abusers more power.

Will you make your call now to support VAWA for every woman? Click here for the script and phone number.

With hope,

Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America
Sam no es mi tio: twenty-four migrant stories and an American dream -- an anthology that is both unique and familiar


MIAMI, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- When twenty-four renowned authors come together to record personal anecdotes on migration and the United States, the result is an anthology as rich and colorful as the experiences that transpire in—or derive from—the "great country up north." Sam no es mi tio, published by Alfaguara, will be available throughout the country and Puerto Rico on May 8th, 2012.

Each Hispanic has a story, personal or collective, real or imaginary, to tell concerning the United States. At one point in our lives, one way or another, we have all crossed paths with the "North." For this reason, the twenty-four writers in this unique anthology set out to portray America—The Americas, their Americas. As Ailen El-Kadi, who along with Diego Fonseca edited this anthology, says "We wanted confessions, we wanted stories that were personal, stories that weren't that easy to tell. And what did we find? We found that behind the Unites States and behind every person passing through US customs a host of fantasies exist. Our chroniclers, like millions of others,  came face to face with reality when they reached the North. Things are not as you imagine they would be, whether for someone shopping in Miami or going to University, or for those who leave their countries, families, jobs, and loved ones behind in search of a better life or a decent wage. In Sam no es mi tio readers will find just that, diverse and distinct stories from all types of people, confessions from those who have dared to reveal the myths that Latin Americans have been piling up for years regarding the United States."

These chronicles take the reader through fascinating paths, they narrate encounters, miss-encounters, disappointments, happiness, triumphs, and reality. "The book's central question is: how would you describe, today, the relationship between Latin Americans and the United States?," says Diego Fonseca, co-editor of the book. "Giving a single absolute explanation to this discussion is impossible. This group of texts fulfills the task of a chronicle: an in-depth exploration of stories that are testimony to a much broader phenomena." And so, these accounts are the echo of migrants who no longer belong to one place but are now a part of them all.

Authors included in the anthology: Daniel Alarcon, Jon Lee Anderson, Joaquin Botero, Joao Paulo Cuenca, Andre De Leones, Aileen El-Kadi, Gabriela Esquivada, Diego Fonseca, Eduardo Halfon, Yuri Herrera, Hernan Iglesias Illa, Andrea Jeftanovic, Camilo Jimenez, Juan Pablo Meneses, Edmundo Paz Soldan, Claudia Pineiro, Santiago Roncagliolo, Carola Saavedra, Ilan Stavans, Wilbert Torre, Eloy Urroz, and Jorge Volpi.

SOURCE  Santillana USA Publishing

CONTACT: Carolina Schwarz,, +1-305-591-9522 ext 225

I Am White

A very interesting piece about the reasons and benefits or drawbacks when picking one or another classification to describe yourself.   - - Donna Poisl


I am an immigrant from Latin America. Darker skin, strong accent, black hair. An American citizen. And yes, white.

White? Why not Hispanic, or Latino, or Hispanic-American?

Because, if you push me, I choose to be white.

Question: Is George Zimmerman, the alleged killer of Trayvon Martin, white or Hispanic? The police called him "white" when they arrested him, while his own father called him a "Spanish-speaking minority." His mother is from Peru and his father is "white." So, which one is Zimmerman? And, more importantly, who decides?
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Monday, May 07, 2012

Undocumented Immigrant Health Care In LA Through New Inexpensive Program

The program offers uninsured restaurant workers $25-a-month preventive and primary care.

This is a good plan. I would want to know that the people cooking and serving my meals are able to get health care.    - - Donna Poisl

By Kathleen Miles / The Huffington Post

In a program believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, a restaurant workers' group and Los Angeles community clinic have teamed up to provide inexpensive health care coverage to undocumented immigrants.

The program, called ROC-MD (Restaurant Opportunities Center-MD), offers uninsured restaurant workers $25-a-month preventive and primary care at one of several clinics run by St. John's Well Child and Family Center, the Associated Press reports. Documented immigrants and restaurant workers who cannot afford health insurance are also eligible.
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Immigration and the need for workers

If the Arizona law is upheld and if immigration reform is not enacted VERY soon, this country is going to have a serious worker shortage, much worse than our farmers have now.   - - Donna Poisl


It would seem the debate over immigration policy, simmering for years, is nearing a boil.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the question of whether states can create and enforce immigration policy. The case involves an Arizona law that promotes a form of racial profiling to allow local law enforcement officials to determine a person’s citizenship status.

It’s an odd juxtaposition of realities for the citizens of Arizona, who could be stopped and questioned by police based only on their physical appearance.
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Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Women and Victims of Crime

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2012

Washington D.C. - As the House Judiciary Committee prepares to consider reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), numerous questions have arisen about the important immigration provisions that help to protect victims of domestic violence, trafficking and violent crime. In response, the Immigration Policy Center releases a new fact sheet that provides basic information on the key protections: the U visa, the T visa, and self-petitioning for battered spouses.

With approximately 19 million immigrant women and girls in the United States, nearly half of the foreign-born population is female. Unfortunately, many of these immigrant women, particularly those who are unauthorized, are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Immigrant women are more likely to experience exploitation while entering the country, while working, and even within their homes.  For these and other reasons, federal law provides numerous forms of protection, including special visas, for immigrant women.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety see:

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Women and Victims of Crime (IPC Fact Check, May, 2012)

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

Friday, May 04, 2012

Program Gives Maine's New Immigrants a Leg up on Jobs

Working in a new country presents cultural problems; some as "simple" as being on time and shaking hands.    - - Donna Poisl

By: Patty B. Wight

As far as graduation ceremonies go, this was a simple one. There were no caps and gowns or speakers blaring Pomp and Circumstance. Instead, the conference room at the Goodwill Training Center in Gorham was filled with years of work experience from eight graduates.

"You guys ready?" asks Monica Driscoll. "Yes," they respond in unison. "All right--and again thank you for all coming to celebrate with us. This is a great moment and you're watching people achieve their dreams right now," Driscoll says.

Driscoll taught these students as part of Goodwill's Teach ME job training program. It teaches hands-on skills, along with softer ones like interviewing. Driscoll says it's those softer skills that tend to be the biggest barriers to refugees and immigrants finding work.
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Salem’s Polish community remembered in new book

Polish immigrants started moving to MA in the 1880s to fill manufacturing jobs, they are still a big part of the communities.   - - Donna Poisl

By Sarah Thomas, GateHouse News Service

One day, Felicia Wilczenski, the dean of the College of Education at UMass Boston, was driving by the National Park Service office building on Clifton Street in Salem. In the window, large photographs of faces from the area’s past were displayed. Wilczenski glanced at them briefly, then stopped the car. One of the pictures was of her own father.

“I’m a second-generation American; both sets of my grandparents were from what is now Poland,” said Wilczenski, who grew up on Dunlap Street. “I knew my family was active in the Polish community, but it was still surprising to see his picture up there.”
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Immigrants with conditional permanent green cards have right to donate to electoral campaigns

Green card holders can't vote yet, but they can work for and donate to candidates.  - - Donna Poisl

by Allan Wernick
Permanent residents, including conditional permanent residents, may contribute to U.S. election campaigns. Non-citizens who are not permanent residents may not.

Conditional permanent residents are immigrants who received immigrant visas based on marriage or investment. In marriage cases, the immigrant receives only conditional residence when he or she became a resident within two years of the marriage. Conditional permanent residents have all the rights and benefits of other immigrants, including the right to contribute to electoral campaigns. Of course, you cannot vote until you become a U.S. citizen, but you can donate money and work in support of your favored candidate.
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A look at how Congress has dealt with immigration in the past 25 years

An interesting history; telling the roller coaster ride between 1986 and now. We must hope 2013 brings good reform.   - - Donna Poisl

By Associated Press

1986: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 both tightens controls on illegal immigration and extends amnesty for many illegal immigrants. It requires that employers attest to employees’ immigration status and make it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants. It also grants amnesty to some seasonal agricultural workers and to illegal immigrants who entered the United States prior to 1982 and have lived in the country continuously.
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Tell your Representative to support a bill that supports every woman

from Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Last week, the Senate reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The bill, originally enacted in 1994, provides federal funding toward the prosecution of violent crimes against women and includes provisions for undocumented immigrant women.

Now the reauthorization bill is before the House. But those vital protections for immigrant women are gone. In fact, the Adams-Foxx-Cantor proposal (H.R. 4970) gives abusers more power, not less, over their victims.

H.R. 4970 would require survivors of domestic violence and other crimes to be interviewed by local immigration offices, not specifically trained in victim issues.
H.R. 4970 requires women to report abuses within 60 days, placing further restrictions on women who have limited access to services, fear law enforcement, or may have language barriers to report the crimes committed against them.
H.R. 4970 would allow abusers to participate in the self-petition process -- a process that allows women married to citizens or Legal Permanent Residents to apply for legal status without their spouse using their immigration status as a tool of abuse.

There is another option.

Rep. Gwen Moore has introduced her version of VAWA (H.R. 4271). Moore’s bill protects critical resources for immigrant women seeking help. Her bill makes sure that every single woman in this country can fully access the protection granted under a true Violence Against Women Act.

Tell your representative: Support all women. Support H.R. 4271 and oppose H.R. 4970.

Moore's bill ensures the protections all women – including immigrant women – have received for 18 years under VAWA remain intact.

With your help, we can stop the Adams-Foxx-Cantor bill and support a bill that would keep immigrant women safe. Tell your representative now to support H.R. 4271 and oppose H.R. 4970.

With hope,

Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America
Why adult education must be kept alive

This retired teacher gives many reasons for schools to continue their adult education classes. He worries about the cuts the districts are making and shows how wrong they are.  - - Donna Poisl

By John McCormick

A little more than a year ago I retired from teaching adult school in Los Angeles. Since then, I'm embarrassed to admit I've forgotten most of the names of my students. But I certainly haven't forgotten the students themselves: the Guatemalan chef who wore a clean white shirt and tie to class every night; the twentysomething Cambodian woman who worked torturous hours in a doughnut shop and still found time to study, despite her obvious exhaustion; the older Korean man who knotted his long hair in a bun like a samurai and who wasn't afraid to sing "New York, New York" in front of the class.

During my 11 years in the classroom, I primarily taught English as a second language. I taught students who were illiterate not only in English but also in their native languages. I taught students whose grasp of English grammar was superior to mine. I taught teenagers. I taught 70-year-olds. And I taught every age in between. I taught in classrooms, in a community center, at a former public library, at a church and even a few times on the roof of a school.
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A Voice to be Heard: Coming of Age in America
Documentary needs funding, donations by May 11

from Adam Bowles,

Breaking the Barrier: "A Voice to be Heard"  is a unique documentary and web project that tells the inspiring and powerful story of immigrant students in Eastern Connecticut as they face one of their first obstacles upon arriving in America — learning English. In the shadow of North America's two largest casinos, families from China, Tibet, Haiti, Mexico, Cape Verde, Peru and elsewhere are making their home here, prompting an explosion in the number of languages spoken in the region.
Social Network for U.S. Immigrants

By Alex Ngujiri
I now introduce to you ImmiLounge, the first social network that connects Immigrants with the American dream. The creators of the website are immigrants who were having a hard time living in America just like most of the Immigrant population. They then decided to come up with a social network for immigrants, where the immigrants help each other, and other organizations that target immigrants log in to help and support the immigrant community. Be it immigration attorneys, immigration information, immigration papers, job search, insurance, etc; immilounge connects Immigrants with all this information with just one click.
I am an immigrant who has lived in America for almost one year now, and so far life has been a very big struggle of survival. I still remain in America because just like every other immigrant, I see America being the land of opportunities. Dreams do come true in America. The main problem I have been going through is connecting with other people like me and finding useful help regarding my immigrant life. I looked hard but nothing seemed to be helping, until I got introduced to one of the co-founders of ImmiLounge. He helped me find what I was looking for and helped me make numerous immigrant friends from all over the world. He then stated how he was going to create a social network that will connect all these immigrants together to form an online immigrant community, and here it is. 
ImmiLounge is a very good start if you are a new immigrant, "fresh off the boat." In immilounge, you can find other immigrants located near you and they can connect you with jobs, schools and much more. Also, if you are looking for health insurance, grants and other necessities, immilounge is connected with other organizations so as to give you what you need instantly. The community is growing on a day by day basis and it is definitely a community to join if you are: an immigrant/foreigner in America, a foreigner looking to migrate to America or a foreigner with family in America.
The site is still new, but it is bound to help millions of immigrants in their pursuit of happiness in America. If you are an immigrant looking to connect with family at home, find help or help other immigrants, find resources that will affect your immigrant life, immilounge is the place to be. Consider it as a Facebook but one that is mainly for immigrants and that is devoted to help them as much as possible. Visit ImmiLounge now at or contact for more information. Trust me, this is going to be the next facebook. 

Big Immigration News

from Frank Sharry, America’s Voice Education Fund

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court took on one of the most important legal cases of this year when it heard arguments over Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, SB 1070.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on SB 1070 in late June.

If the Court rules in favor of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, it will effectively legalize the harassment and discrimination of an entire population – just because of the color of their skin or the accent with which they speak.

But if the majority of the Justices vote in our favor, they will stand up for the basic rights of millions of people of color.

Some of what was said by the conservatives on the Supreme Court during the oral argument was hardly encouraging.  Justice Scalia compared immigrants to bank robbers.  Chief Justice Roberts insisted that “this isn’t about racial profiling.”

As we know, this law is all about racial profiling.

Under this law anyone “reasonably suspect” of being here without immigration status has to be asked by law enforcement to produce their papers.  If allowed to go into effect, citizens and immigrants alike, especially Latinos, will be treated as a suspect class.

What happens if the Supreme Court rules against us?  There is hope.  We saw it on the steps of the Court, where more than a thousand people rallied for justice in the hot sun.  On the other side was a small band of 20 or so angry SB 1070 supporters screaming "nobody invited you here!" and "go back to your Third World armpit!"  Our crowd was big, diverse, young and hopeful.  The other group was none of these.

Changing the course of history has never been easy, and the fight for immigrant justice is no different.  But the truth is that the number of angry extremists in this country is relatively small, and their days of blocking humane and sensible immigration reform are numbered.

Whatever radicals in Arizona or the Supreme Court decide, we will prevail.  Let’s keep up the fight.  Let’s continue to build the political power we need to win.  And let’s know in our hearts that victory is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

In solidarity,
Frank Sharry
America’s Voice Education Fund
State of Play Nat'l Call on Supreme Court SB1070 hearing

from Shuya Ohno, National Field Organizer, National Immigration Forum

The discussion was led by moderator, Jeanne Butterfield, Special counsel at the Raben Group. We were joined by Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-7) who spoke about what he witnessed inside and outside the Supreme Court. Arguments at the Supreme Court yesterday. Omar Jadwat from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) summarized the oral arguments that were presented, and Linton Joaquin, General Counsel, National Immigration Law Center (NILC) discussed the pending cases on racial profiling and discrimination.

Jen Smyers, Associate Director at Church World Service described all the impactful actions undertaken by communities of faith during and leading up to the Supreme Court hearing, and Rich Stolz, Senior Organizer with the Center of Community Change (CCC) summarized the collaborative organizing efforts that saw close to 1000 people gather in peaceful protest against SB1070.

You can listen to the recording of the call here: (Please note: This discussion is off the record, and is not attributable for press. For press inquiries, please contact Katherine Vargas at .)

What do we need to do now?

- Demonstrate the real world impact of Arizona-style laws. Gather stories on the impact of these laws in Arizona, Alabama and other states, and move them into the media.

- Continue to protest and demonstrate.  We need one law, not 50.  Discriminatory laws like SB1070 must be struck down.

- Be ready for the ruling: we'll need to respond immediately (whatever the court decides).  In the event of a negative ruling, be prepared to respond by bringing the point home that elections matter, and holding politicians accountable for their grandstanding against immigrants and their families.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

LULAC Speaker Says Latinos Need To Understand How Companies Look At Them

Because they have much higher purchasing power than in the recent past,  Latinos are being courted by businesses and they should be aware of it.    - - Donna Poisl

by Tommy Magelssen

Consumers -- especially young Latinos -- need to realize how the media and corporations sometimes look at them: as walking wallets.

Texas Tech's League of United Latin American Citizens hosted the 2012 West Texas Young Adult Summit on Saturday in the Texas Tech School of Law, giving a variety of talks about issues facing Latinos in the U.S.

Kent Wilkinson, regents professor in Hispanic and International Communication in Tech's College of Mass Communication, gave a presentation about how Latinos are represented in the media, touching on stereotypes, advocacy groups and changing media trends.
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Hispanic Community Grant Initiative Launches in Chicago and Houston

Anyone can register and vote for the organizations in Chicago and Houston that can receive grants.    - - Donna Poisl

Staff -- HispanicBusiness Inc.

Valoramás, a Hispanic-focused online membership club, will be awarding grants totaling $150,000 to 16 Latino-serving community organizations in Chicago and Houston. The Valoramás Founders' Grants Initiative awards will be allocated based on the results of an online vote by Valoramás members, according to a news release.

Voting will take place April 27-May 20. The company will waive its $25 annual membership fee to allow community members to vote. Interested parties can register at Valoramas, using the promotional code "FOUNDERS2012."

"We are excited to make a positive difference in Latino communities by giving Valoramas' members the final say in which Latino community groups will get the lion's share of our $150,000 Founders' Grants Initiative," said Alejandra Garza, president of Valoramás.
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Why Arizona's Controversial Immigration Law Is Bad For Business

It is good to see Forbes, a business magazine, with this view. Read the whole article, there are many examples to back up this view.   - - Donna Poisl

by Erik Kain

The architect of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law, Republican state senator Russell Pearce, was voted out of office in a historic recall election last November. The conservative immigration hawk represented the deep red legislative district 18 that spans across most of Mesa, AZ.

Pearce had previously served as a sheriff’s deputy under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, where he received a Medal of Valor after being shot by gang members. He also served as the Director of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Devision prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2000. He was serving as the Senate President when he was ousted from office by Republican Jerry Lewis in 2011.
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Calling All Artists!- 2012 Design Contest Deadline Extended to May 15th!

We are giving our very talented supporters the opportunity to win a trip to Las Vegas! On April 2, 2012, we launched our first Campaign Design Contest to ensure we are a reflection of our community as we represent this campaign to create the first national American Latino Museum in activities and events planned throughout the year. The winner of this design will receive recognition as part of this historic movement, and the artist will be profiled in our social media outlets. We will also embark on a national media campaign that will culminate in an unveiling event during the NCLR Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the winning artist will be provided with transportation and hotel accommodations to attend the event.

The design will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people nationwide. For more information and to submit your design go here. Don’t forget the deadline has been extended to May 15th!
Members of Congress rally support for the Museum in upcoming bill

Passionate advocates for the American Latino Museum, Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) gathered support from 22 other Members of Congress and sent a letter of support to their respective Appropriations Subcommittees on the Interior. The letter called for inclusion of language in support of the museum in the upcoming appropriations bill. We are proud of these 24 Members of Congress and thank them for pursuing the next step to bring us closer to the day we can open the doors to a national American Latino Museum on the National Mall.

The House of Representatives letter can be found here, and the Senate letter. (PDF)

Moving the American Latino Museum forward is a top priority for Congressional leadership. In a recent Congressional Quarterly article Senators Menendez and Reid state that they are “working hard” to get the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act passed in the “remainder of the [legislative] session.”
Vt. immigrant students talk about inequality

These high school kids are talking about inequality and racism because they are immigrants and they are not getting the school help they need.  - - Donna Poisl

By Wilson Ring

MONTPELIER, Vt.—A group of immigrant students from two Chittenden County high schools told Vermont lawmakers Thursday they feel they're victims of racism almost every day, and that many educational services they receive don't meet their needs.

In a wide-ranging meeting with the House Education Committee, the students from Burlington and Winooski high schools told of how they felt they were being held back by being forced to remain in classes to teach them English, and that teachers didn't respond when they complained of insensitive or racist comments from other students.
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Tide Shifts on Mexican Immigration

Several things are happening and Mexican immigration is changing. This will affect our labor force in a couple years.   - - Donna Poisl

by Haya El Nasser

Mexican immigration to the United States is on the brink of a historic reversal: More Mexicans may be going back to Mexico than coming in, a Pew Hispanic Center report says.

The influx of Mexicans, which has dominated U.S. immigration patterns for four decades, began to tumble in 2006 and 2007 as the housing bust and recession created a dearth of jobs. At the same time, the number of Mexicans returning to their native country along with their U.S.-born children soared.

Stricter border enforcement, more deportations and tough state immigration laws such as the Arizona statute being challenged before the Supreme Court on Wednesday probably also contributed to the shift, says Jeffrey Passel, lead author of the report out Monday. The study analyzed data from censuses and a variety of other sources in both countries.
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Fellowship Announcement

May 1, 2012

(Applications Must Be Received by May 15, 2012)

The Immigration Policy Center, (IPC) a division of the American Immigration Council is seeking applications for a two-year fellowship that will focus on the intersection of immigration, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic policy.

This fellowship will initially focus on two key challenges that face America in its development of a 21st century immigration policy:

1)  The importance of devising policies that permit American companies to competitively recruit and retain the best and brightest from around the world, and 

2)   The growing importance of immigrant entrepreneurship in reviving economies and rebuilding communities throughout America. 

In keeping with the IPC philosophy of active engagement in the immigration policy debate, the fellow would be expected to conduct original research, as well as build a network of academics and business people who can provide actual examples of immigrant innovation, growth, and entrepreneurship that make the contributions of immigrants real to the public. In addition to independent research products, the fellow will produce fact sheets, blog posts, and other materials that provide our target audiences with the tools they need to engage in a well-informed and rational discussion of immigration policy.

Applicants must have attained an undergraduate degree with a demonstrated background in economics, business, community development or other relevant field. An advanced degree in law, public policy, economics or business with specialization in immigration or related field is preferred. Strong writing skills and quantitative or qualitative data analysis experience are required. The incumbent must have at least three years’ experience that demonstrates competence in addressing both business and policy issues and indicates the likelihood of initiating and sustaining successful research. Experience in employment based immigration or employment and/or economic immigration issues are preferred. Exposure to non-profit setting, as well as experience in business situations is a plus. 

Interested parties are required to submit their resume and letter(s) of interest to The letter must include a summary of how the interested party’s background, knowledge, skill and ability relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position, as well as their salary requirement.

Behavioral Studies Debunk Myth that Most Immigrants Will Self-Deport

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2012

Washington D.C. - In the past week, news has spread that migration from Mexico has hit net zero. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that the number of Mexicans coming into the United States is equivalent to the number who leave the country. Pew assumes that most Mexicans who leave are doing so as a result of the bad U.S. economy, increased job opportunities at home, and ramped up deportations. However, for the approximately three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants who have been here for more than a decade, and the unauthorized parents of 4.5 million native-born, U.S.-citizen children, the calculation is very different.

Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases, The Myth of Self-Deportation: How Behavioral Economics Reveals the Fallacies behind “Attrition through Enforcement by Alexandra Filindra, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral economics who argues that those unauthorized immigrants who have put down substantial roots in the United States are unlikely to leave. In fact, preliminary evidence from studies conducted in states where strong enforcement laws have been enacted shows that immigration restrictionists have gotten it wrong. Immigrant populations in these states have remained in place and the predicted exodus has never materialized. This report uses important research findings from cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to explain why people do not behave the way that immigration restrictionists expect them to.

To view the report in its entirety, see:

 The Myth of Self-Deportation: How Behavioral Economics Reveals the Fallacies behind “Attrition through Enforcement by Alexandra Filinda, Ph.D. (IPC Special Report, April, 2012)

 Study Shows Self-Deportation is Irrational Behavior and a False Premise (Blog Post,, April 30, 2012)


For more information, contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.
One in Three Americans Fail Immigrant Naturalization Civics Test

Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream Shows as Americans Prepare to Exercise Civic Duty This Fall, Too Many Remain Uninformed


CINCINNATI, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the midst of the Presidential election, a new national survey from Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream reveals one in three native-born citizens failed the civics portion of the naturalization test, in stark contrast to the 97.5% pass rate among immigrants applying for citizenship.

Passing means answering 6 out of 10 questions correctly.  If the pass rate were 7 out of 10, one half of native-born Americans would fail.

The Center's nationwide survey tested adult Americans on 10 random questions taken directly from the naturalization test.  In a concurrent survey, the Center found that 77% of native-born citizens agreed that all Americans should be able to pass the test.  Furthermore, 60% agreed that high school students should have to pass the naturalization test as a requirement for graduation.

The Center's research persistently shows a strong distrust of our public institutions, particularly government and our political leaders, yet 59% of survey respondents could not name one power of the federal government, 77% could not name one power of the states, and 62% could not name the Governor of their state.

"Civic illiteracy threatens the American Dream because it threatens the freedoms we treasure.  Civic illiteracy makes us more susceptible to manipulation and abuses of power," said Michael Ford, the Center's Founding Director.

The survey found that native-born citizens do best with elementary school level questions such as: "What is the name of the President of the United States?", "What is the capital of the United States?", "Where is the Statue of Liberty?", "Who was the first President?", "When do we celebrate Independence Day?", and "What are the two major political parties in the United States?". However, the highest incorrect scores consistently concern the US Constitution, and the governmental, legal and political structure of the American republic and basic facts related to current political life and identification of key political decision-makers.

For example, when asked questions about our government and political leaders, the survey results found:

85% did not know the meaning of the "the rule of law."
82% could not name "two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence."
75% were not able to correctly answer "What does the judiciary branch do?"
71% were unable to identify the Constitution as the "supreme law of the land."
68% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.
63% could not name one of their two US Senators.
62% could not identify "What happened at the Constitutional Convention?"
62% could not answer "the name of the Speaker of the US House."
"We certainly don't expect everyone to know all the answers. For example, does it matter if we don't know how many amendments there are? No. But almost 60% don't even know what an amendment is," explained Ford.

The survey results did reveal a deep division among education levels. Only 44% of respondents with a high school education or less passed in contrast with an 82% pass rate among college graduates---a 38% gap.  Compared to the immigrant passage rate of 97.5%, college graduates underperform by 15%, while high school graduates underperform by 53%. The numbers were consistent among red states and blue states.

"The issue is not about sensationalizing who passed and who failed. It's about what vote-eligible Americans specifically know and do not know in the midst of an important presidential election, after 12-18 years of school and 24/7 exposure to unfiltered multi-media," explained Ford.

About the survey: From February 29-March 11, 2012, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3) conducted telephone interviews with 1,023 native born U.S. citizens age 18 and older using a Random-Digit Dial sample of landlines and cell phones.  The margin of error for the sample is +/-3.1%. The methodology was designed to replicate the US Citizen and Immigrations Services civics examination.

For more information about the survey, or to view the Executive Summary, log onto Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream site. Follow the Center on Twitter for up-to-date information and new survey data each month: @XUAmericanDream and "Like" the Center's Facebook page.

Xavier University ( is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the university is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks it No. 4 among master's-level universities in the Midwest, and The Princeton Review names it as one of the "Best 376 Colleges in America."