Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VISANOW Offers Relief to Help American DREAMers


Leading Immigration Firm Helps Chicago's Young Adults Stay in U.S.

CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- In response to President Obama's Executive Order allowing certain young people to remain in the country without fear of deportation, Chicago-based VISANOW (1-855-60-DREAM) has established the first and only online application backed by a team of experienced attorneys and a dedicated customer support team for the two-year waiver, also known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

On August 15, 2012, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), began accepting requests for deportation waivers, thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country flooded their local advocacy offices seeking help and guidance, with more than 14,000 people lining up and around Chicago's Navy Pier, many of whom did not receive the help they sought. Not surprisingly, for many young, undocumented immigrants seeking deferred status the process for obtaining the reprieve is rife with confusion and one that, if not properly filed, could lead to deportation proceedings. It is estimated that nearly 1.7 million young people are eligible for relief.

"The benefits of deferred action are what young, immigrant youth and their families have been hoping for. However, we must help to protect them from notarios and unscrupulous, inexperienced and costly lawyers who may seek to take advantage of the community. VISANOW provides experienced, trusted, successful and affordable assistance to our immigrant youth and families," said Marty Castro, VISANOW spokesperson, a long-time local and national community leader, immigrant advocate and attorney.

At VISANOW, whose attorneys have decades of extensive immigration experience, including representation of clients before the United States Supreme Court, applicants are guided through a comprehensive process that helps them determine first and foremost whether they are eligible for deferred action. Further, they learn about specific eligibility requirements and how each must be fulfilled. Plus, their team of experienced immigration attorneys maintains close communication with the individual throughout the application process. Applicants also receive unrivaled attorney response time, 24-hour access to information worldwide, faster form completion and submittal times, low, fixed costs, and dedicated customer support. In addition, VISANOW boasts a steady 99 percent approval rate. "Following the Navy Pier event VISANOW fielded over 1,000 calls regarding deferred action," said Castro, "and no one had to wait in a long line, since the complete process occurs online."

In addition, given the complexity of immigration law and the unprecedented number of applications, forms are likely to be closely scrutinized by USCIS, which underscores the importance of working with people who are familiar with what, for many, is a very complicated six-page form. "It is crucial for DACA applicants to complete the paperwork with the utmost care and attention," said Robert C. Meltzer, Chief Executive Officer of VISANOW. "Any errors, including insufficient data, on the applications could lengthen one's waiting time. Plus, if an applicant cannot adequately respond to a USCIS request for more information, he or she could be denied the waiver."

VISANOW strongly recommends that people with criminal records have their offenses thoroughly reviewed by an experienced immigration attorney before applying for DACA, since USCIS will be sharing information obtained through the application with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol in order to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, raise national security concerns, or investigate or prosecute a qualifying criminal offense. "A person could, in effect, place himself or herself into removal proceedings by applying for DACA," said Castro.

In addition, USCIS officers reviewing the applications will receive minimal supervision, another reason why each case must be prepared clearly and meticulously. Once a DACA application is denied it cannot be appealed.


Since 1998, VISANOW attorneys have provided tens of thousands of visas to visit, work, or join family members. We specialize in placing foreign nationals in U.S. companies and assisting placement of U.S. employees in foreign locations. We provide comprehensive legal expertise, unparalleled customer service, and patented online technology, to make this process as efficient as possible. According to analyst research, as much as 97% of the immigration process is administrative. Using our patented online process, we have automated the non-legal aspects of this document-intensive process, allowing attorneys to spend more time focusing on important legal issues. Clients experience reduced time commitments and costs, increased responsiveness, and improved access to information.

PACO Ideation

Refugees plant roots in Pittsburgh

This refugee came here in 1983, was helped by Catholic Charities, went to school, got his MBA and now works for a Jewish group helping new immigrants and refugees.   - - Donna Poisl

Jewish Family & Children's Service helps new arrivals acclimate to the area

By Elizabeth Bloom / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It was 1983 when a decades-long civil war broke out in Sudan and displaced Benedict Killang.

He was unable to reach his family members and unaware of their whereabouts for almost two decades. In 1996, he arrived in Nigeria, where he lived in a refugee camp and went to college. After completing his degree, he saw few working opportunities, so he applied for refugee status in the United States and, in 2002, was given a one-way ticket to America.

His destination? Pittsburgh.
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Columbia's American Language Program: 100 Years of Teaching English

I guess the need never lets up, this English program for immigrants has been going strong for 100 years.    - - Donna Poisl

by Meghan Berry

Last May a 52-year-old University custodian received his B.A. in classics after arriving in the United States knowing hardly any English. Gac Filipaj (GS’12), who fled Yugoslavia in 1992 and got a job at Columbia the next year, attributes his success in part to the American Language Program, established a century ago to help immigrants like him.

“Memories of my ALP teachers are still with me,” said Filipaj, who completed his bachelor’s over 19 years and now has his eyes set on graduate school.

Thousands of students from over 100 countries have studied English through the program since its founding in 1912.
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Immigrants can take Action now to avoid deportation later: Local workshop offers information on immigration policy

This workshop is helping young immigrants and their parents understand the details of the deferred action program.   - - Donna Poisl

By Cynthia Beaudette

MUSCATINE, Iowa — It may not be the Dream Act, but a new immigration policy enacted by President Barack Obama is providing young U.S. immigrants with some hope.

Muscatine residents learned about the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy on Tuesday at the Muscatine Center for Non-Profits in downtown Muscatine.
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Seeking Deferred Action, Young Immigrants With Blemished Records Give Pause

Young immigrants are not sure what type of problems on their records will make them ineligible to qualify for deferred action.   - - Donna Poisl

By Mirela Iverac

Dressed in matching grey vest and pants, his black hair neatly spiked, 24-year-old Cecilio set out in the West Village on a recent afternoon to find a job.

Cecilio, a college student who lives in Brooklyn, came to the U.S. from Mexico illegally when he was 13. He used a fake social security number to get a job at a fast food restaurant, where he worked for 10 years, rising up to assistant manager position. But during his recent job hunt, he didn’t use that fake number.

“I just leave this one in blank,” he said, pointing to the line reserved for a social security number on the application for any position at a juice specialty store on West 4th Street. “I don’t put anything, because I don’t have anything.”
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Let immigrants spark growth

This article has solutions for the economy that involve more immigration.   - - Donna Poisl
We need to attract entrepreneurs and skilled workers


Entrepreneurs and inventors create jobs — it’s that simple. Our immigration laws should be that simple, too. The economic history of this country is intertwined with (if not built on) the perseverance, audacity and ingenuity of immigrants.

There’s solid proof of this. According to a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy, more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

After four years mired in a recession, we should recognize and embrace this truth — but, instead, we choose to reject it. Immigration policies remain stringent, even though this is the time when we need innovation and entrepreneurship most.
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Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.
Young immigrants gain shot at petitions

This is an example of another young immigrant and how the deferred action program will change her life, all for the better. She deserves it.    - - Donna Poisl

By Monique Ching

SAN ANGELO, Texas — For most people the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is just another controversial, but abstract, piece of the immigration debate.

For Maria, an Angelo State University student, it's a chance to improve her life. The Standard-Times has agreed not to use her last name because of her lawyer's concerns about possible repercussions.

"It's difficult to make a good living when you can't get a good job," said Maria, who will begin her freshman year at ASU next week.
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Monday, August 27, 2012


Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.

What Happens to US-Born Kids of Deported Undocumented Immigrants?

Read this long article, it tells about some families that have been torn apart by a parent being deported and the citizen children being left behind.    - - Donna Poisl

from FoxLatinoNews

STAMFORD, Conn. –  Alexis Molina was just 10 years old when his mother was abruptly cut out of his life and his carefree childhood unraveled overnight.

Gone were the egg-and-sausage tortillas that greeted him when he came home from school, the walks in the park, the hugs at night when she tucked him into bed. Today the sweet-faced boy of 11 spends his time worrying about why his father cries so much, and why his mom can't come home.

"She went for her papers," he says. "And she never came back."
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Visa Offers Path for Immigrant Youth in State Care

Here is another example of a young immigrant harmed by her mother's deportation and being placed in foster care. Now she has her green card.    - - Donna Poisl


CUMMING, Ga. August 25, 2012 (AP) -- Maria Boudet has no memory of Mexico or how she came to the United States. What she does remember is the year she turned 16 and found out she was living in the country illegally.

Two years ago, her mother was deported, her brother was detained and she was put in foster care. A powerful reminder of all she lost and gained is printed on the top right corner of her green card: "SL6." That's the code for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), the little-known program that allows Boudet and hundreds like her each year to live and work in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident.
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More African immigrants call Alaska their home

The Africans who have moved to Alaska prove how much immigrants want to work and make a life for their families. Moving to a new country is one thing, Africans moving to a state with very cold weather is another.    - - Donna Poisl


ANCHORAGE — On a recent Saturday afternoon, 15 teenage girls lined up on a stage in the Northway Mall with the flags of their homelands: Togo. Nigeria. Ethiopia. Ghana. Sudan.

They were competing to become the first-ever Miss Africa Alaska -- the pageant queen of a growing community of immigrants making their home in Anchorage.

For the talent portion, the girls sang and performed traditional dances. They modeled riotously colorful dresses and polychrome head wraps as their relatives and friends took cellphone videos. Some were born in refugee camps in East Africa. Others were born at Providence Hospital in the U-Med district.
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Poll: Attitudes soften over children of illegal immigrants

Polls show that 41% of Americans think these kids should be able to continue to get public education. It certainly helps no one if they are not allowed in school.    - - Donna Poisl

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY

Political battles over get-tough state immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama may be softening Americans' attitudes toward the children of illegal immigrants, a new poll suggests.

Findings released Wednesday by the public education advocacy group Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) show that four in 10 Americans now favor "providing free public education, school lunches and other benefits" to children whose parents are in the USA illegally.
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GOP draws line on immigration

Next week we will see what the Democrats have on their platform, this is what the Republicans have on theirs.   - - Donna Poisl

by Daniel González and Bob Ortega

Republican leaders have endorsed an immigration-platform plank for next week’s GOP convention that supports Arizona-style laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

The move likely will appeal to conservatives but could alienate Hispanics at a time when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is trying to woo Latino voters.

The immigration plank, which says “state efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked,” was modified late Tuesday to reflect a tougher tone at the urging of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, according to the Hill, a Washington, D.C., newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UNITY Journalists Join The Call For Diverse Moderators Of The Presidential Debates


MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- UNITY Journalists joins the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in calling for the Commission on Presidential Debates to add a journalist of color to its moderators for the presidential debates.

The lack of racial and ethnic diversity among the debate moderators is a problem, and the CPD should take steps to ensure that debate moderators reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States.

Although UNITY is pleased that female journalists will moderate one of the presidential debates, as well as the vice presidential debate, it is time for the CPD to take similar steps in ensuring that journalists of color are represented among the debate moderators.

It has been 20 years since a journalist of color moderated a presidential debate.

In an effort to open dialogue about decision-making processes, NAHJ President Hugo Balta reached out to the commission and has asked for a meeting this week with CPD Executive Director Janet Brown, a request that UNITY strongly urges the commission to grant.

"The moderators for our presidential debates should reflect the diversity of our nation," said Joanna Hernandez, president of UNITY Journalists. "The time for this to occur has come and gone."

About UNITY: Journalists of Color
UNITY Journalists, an alliance of four journalism organizations representing more than 4,000 journalists, is the nation's most diverse journalism organization. It is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color and LGBT issues and aggressively challenges news organizations to increase diversity in whom they employ at all levels of their companies.

Media Contact:
Onica N. Makwakwa, Executive Director
UNITY Journalists
Tel: (703) 854-3594
SOURCE  UNITY: Journalists
Hispanics Become Largest College Minority: Pew Report

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the country and now are the largest in college too.    - - Donna Poisl

Staff --

Hispanics are now the largest minority group at four-year colleges in the U.S., and comprise 25 percent of the nation's public elementary school students, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The report, "Hispanic Student Enrollments Reach New Highs in 2011," written by Richard Fry and Mark Hugo Lopez, shows the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and reached a record 16.5 percent share of all college enrollments. Hispanics have been the country's largest minority group on four-year and two-year college campuses since 2010.
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Central and South American community thrives in the Valley

Many people think of Latino immigrants as all being Mexican, but this community is mostly from Central and South America.    - - Donna Poisl

By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times

It was a tough game that almost came to fisticuffs when one player fouled another. But in the end, it was the red-shirted Salvadorans who beat the Mexicans, 4-2, during a recent adult league soccer game at Delano Recreation Center in Van Nuys.

Giovanni Molina, the top scorer with two goals, celebrated at a sidewalk grill where the Nunez family was frying handmade pupusas, a doughy, cheese-and-bean-filled tortilla sold on every corner back home in El Salvador.
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A nation again embraces its young immigrants

A good piece telling people to put names to the immigrant kids and it means more.   - - Donna Poisl

Opinion from

Real people breathe life into public policy.

Such was the case Wednesday, as President Barack Obama’s executive order of two months ago creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program began in earnest.

The president’s order made it possible for young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents to defer deportation and obtain the necessary paperwork to work and go to school. Critics called it executive branch overreach.
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DMV ponders licenses for immigrants who get national reprieve

All states are making their own decisions, they should know that these people need licenses for jobs and school. And many will drive without them, and also without insurance.    - - Donna Poisl

By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO – Advocates for illegal immigrants sought answers Friday about whether California will issue driver's licenses to those in the state illegally if they qualify for President Obama's two-year reprieve from deportation.

Officials at the state Department of Motor Vehicles told some reporters they would give out the licenses, and a state Assemblyman said Friday that the DMV director had told him that as well.
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A College Lifts a Hurdle for Illegal Immigrants

This is very smart, now these students will almost certainly stay in Colorado and work and start businesses and add to the economy there.    - - Donna Poisl


DENVER — Monday is the first day of the school year for Metropolitan State University of Denver, a compact, urban campus in the heart of the city’s downtown.

It also signifies the dawn of a controversial new policy for this institution of 24,000. Among the crowd of students who will show up for class next week are dozens of illegal immigrants who, as part of a specially tailored tuition rate, can now qualify for a reduced fee if they live in Colorado.
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California community center helps immigrants avoid deportation

Community centers all around the country are helping their people with the paperwork needed for this program.   - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

A community center in Southern California opened in response to the increase in street violence during the 1990s is now helping young undocumented immigrants who want to regularize their status through the federal government's new Deferred Action program.

"We want the elected officials to expand programs like Deferred Action and convert them into a path toward citizenship," Stella Murga, the executive director of the Pasadena Youth Center, an organization that prepares young people for a better future through education, told Efe on Thursday.
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Young illegal immigrants discuss future

This has stories about specific young people applying for this program and their comments. Very interesting.   - - Donna Poisl

from Associated Press writers Amy Taxin, Elliot Spagat, Gosia Wozniacka and Andres Gonzalez

Thousands of young illegal immigrants are preparing to apply for the right to work legally in America without being deported under a recently enacted federal program.

The program could help more than 1 million young illegal immigrants by giving them work permits, though they would not obtain green cards or a path to citizenship. To be eligible, immigrants must prove they arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16, are 30 or younger, have been living in the country at least five years and are in school or graduated or served in the military. They cannot have been convicted of certain crimes or otherwise pose a safety threat.
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Latinos Expected to Dominate Ariz. Politics in Coming Years
This is good news, I live in Arizona, I wish it would happen faster, though.   - - Donna Poisl

by Garin Groff, East Valley Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

While illegal immigration has overshadowed virtually every issue in Arizona for years, it's likely that the only universally known number involving Latino issues is 1070 -- as in the state's famous law.

But a new public policy group is forming this year to produce plenty of other numbers about Latinos as that population grows and eventually dominates Arizona politics in the coming decades.

The Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center will focus on studying the role of Hispanic voters in the future of Arizona's politics, education, economy and more.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Young immigrants line up for break from deportation threat

Thousands of young immigrants lined up for many hours all around the country to apply for this reprieve. This will let them get on with their lives, at least if this President stays for another term and might be able to enact the DREAM Act.   - - Donna Poisl

By Susan Carroll

Thousands of young illegal immigrants hoping for a reprieve from deportation are scrambling to gather required paperwork, standing in long lines at consulates and seeking legal help in anticipation of the application process opening Wednesday.

The line of applicants for passports and consular identification cards at the Mexican Consulate in Houston's Midtown stretched for blocks Tuesday morning, snarling traffic.
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With Hispanic Voters Set To Exert More Political Influence Than Ever In The 2012 Elections, The USHCC Launches Speak Our Language Spanish Political Media Project


Holding candidates and campaigns accountable for their commitment to reaching Hispanic voters through Spanish-language media

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Today, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) announced a new initiative to track and analyze Spanish-language political ad spending in 10 top target states leading up to the November elections. Using comprehensive data on local television advertising from Kantar Media's CMAG, the Speak Our Language project will both showcase the campaigns with a strong level of commitment to Spanish-language media and highlight those who ignore this critical demographic with their paid advertising.

"This election, Latino voters have the power to exert more influence, decide more races, and cast more votes than ever before, and there's no doubt that political candidates and committees are fighting to capture that vote," said Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the USHCC. "But historically, political candidates and the various organizations that support them have largely ignored the media platforms Hispanic voters consume most: Spanish-language TV, radio, print and online outlets.  The USHCC will be working to hold 2012 campaigns accountable for their commitment to the country's Hispanic communities."

CMAG's research shows that overall, in 2008, an average of just 4.03 percent of all political TV ad spending across 28 top markets went to Spanish-language stations. In 2010, just 3.9 percent went to Spanish-language stations.

At the same time, the percentage of the electorate that is Hispanic continues to grow. In 2008, 40 percent of all new voters were Hispanic. In 2012, the number of registered Hispanic voters is expected to exceed 14 million.

"In almost every one of the 28 markets we examined over the last three elections, the share of political TV ad spending dedicated to Spanish-language stations was significantly lower than the share the stations received of the general market," said Ken Goldstein, President of Kantar Media's CMAG.   "For example, in 2010 in Miami, Spanish language stations garnered 31 percent of all non-political television advertising, but only 12 percent of the political advertising and in Denver, Spanish language stations attracted 14 percent of all non-political advertising, but just a little more than one percent of political ad spending."

One of the most important ways campaigns connect with voters is through television advertising. No matter how one feels about political ads, the fact is that in America today ads are the primary vehicle through which candidates from the presidential level down to the local level communicate their message and seek the support of voters. 

"Political candidates and committees know that they need Latino voters in order to win, but they have to back up their words with real action and direct communication in order to mobilize the key Hispanic communities and garner those votes," said Palomarez.

50.5 million: Number of Latinos in the United States (out of 308.7 million people)
16: Percentage of the total U.S. population in 2010 that was Latino.
29: Projected percentage of the U.S. population that will be Latino in 2050.
43: Percent increase since the 2000 census of the Latino population in the United States, according to the 2010 census.
14 million: Projected number of registered Hispanic voters in 2012.
21: Percentage of the population of swing-state Florida is Hispanic.
17: Percentage of potential voters in swing-state Colorado that is Hispanic.

Full Study available at

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 over 3.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate in excess of $465 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE  United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
CONTACT: Chadwick Vale, Communications Associate, USHCC,, +1-202-286-2709

 DREAMers’ Relief

from Dominique Medina, New Media Director, PAZ

 "This has already brought new hope for me and my sister. My sister just enrolled in school, and I’m ready to start college...This will open doors for me,'' Milca C., a volunteer with Adios Arpaio, said about the opportunities in applying for deferred action.

Right now, DREAMers like Milca can start working towards their futures by applying for deferred action. The Department of Homeland Security will start accepting applications for the program on August 15.

This is a chance for DREAMers and other undocumented people in our communities to reach their full potential - by either utilizing their college degrees through entering the workforce or returning to school after laws like Prop 300.
Be one of the first to find out how this affects you by visiting our DREAMers Relief page.

There are still many unanswered questions about how this affects our movement and our work. But we know it’s a small step towards the progress that we’ve fought so hard for, and we know there is more to come.

Please read through the application carefully. We urge everyone to use these online resources as a guide and be aware of scams.

Find important information and the application here. If you have questions visit our website or send us an email at

Best regards,
Dominique Medina
New Media Director
The application is out!

from Celso Mireles, Online Organizer, United We Dream

This is the moment we were waiting for. The application was released yesterday and today is the first day you can apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Raymond Jose from Rockville, Maryland just filled out his application and describes that he will “have the means to overcome this obstacle [of being undocumented].” He plans to help his parents and his community by pursuing an education in the nursing profession.

Will you help every DREAMer and immigrant family you know by sending them an email (click here) with details on how they can apply for DACA? You can be the lifeline for your friends.

Evelyn Rivera applied for DACA today. She described it as bringing a sense of relief to her parents, “they can finally stop worrying about me.” She feels like she can now spend all her energy fighting for our community which includes those not covered by DACA: our friends and parents.

Will you share the application with all your friends so this information gets to every DREAMer out there?

Celso Mireles
Online Organizer
United We Dream
Immigrants get the job done for the U.S. economy

Immigrants are known for being entrepreneurial, they are starting many new companies and helping our economy.  - - Donna Poisl


The greatest resources for turning around the U.S. economy are newly arrived to our shores. They are immigrants, whose drive and energy have them punching far above their weight.

Consider: New business creation, a huge source of jobs, is at a 30-year low among native-born Americans, but among immigrants, it’s booming.

Between 1996 and 2011, the job-creation rate among immigrants grew more than 50% while dropping 10% among those born in the U.S.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Immigrants lag well behind native-born Americans economically

This is terrible, we must figure out a way to help immigrants assimilate and make better progress in this country.   - - Donna Poisl

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a study which examined all U.S. immigrants -- both legal and illegal, in addition to their U.S.-born children younger than 18, immigrants tend to make economic progress the longer they live in the U.S. However - they continue to lag well behind native-born Americans in terms of poverty, health insurance coverage and home ownership.

Based on 2010 and 2011 census data, the study found that 43 percent of immigrants have been in the U.S. at least 20 years were using welfare benefits. This rate is nearly twice as high as native-born Americans and nearly 50 percent higher than recent immigrants.
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Deferred Action Q&A and Other Updated Resources
For Immediate Release
August 13, 2012

Washington D.C. - On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security will officially begin accepting applications for “deferred action” from young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and meet other specific requirements. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is releasing an updated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: A Q&A Guide outlining the basic facts about the initiative, including eligibility requirements and important information on process and timing.

IPC also recently released estimates on who is elgibile and where they live in its fact sheet, Who and Where the DREAMers Are: A Demographic Profile of Immigrants Who Might Benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative. This analysis breaks down the population potentially eligible for deferred action by nationality and age at the national and state level, as well as the congressional district level.

The Legal Action Center (LAC) has released a practice advisory analyzing DHS guidance regarding the eligibility criteria and application process for the initiative. It also offers strategic advice for attorneys representing individuals who may qualify for deferred action under this initiative.  The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

To view these resources, see:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: A Q&A Guide (IPC Fact Check, August 13, 2012)

Who and Where the DREAMers Are: A Demographic Profile of Immigrants Who Might Benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative (IPC Fact Check, July, 31, 2012)

Practice Advisory for Attorneys on Deferred Action (LAC, Practice Advisory, August 13, 2012)

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

Roberts: Celebrating our immigrant Olympians

Immigrants add wonderful things to all parts of our country and culture and also to our Olympic teams.   - - Donna Poisl

By Cokie and Steven Roberts/Syndicated columnists
 Leo Manzano is the son of an undocumented farmworker from Mexico. Meb Keflezighi and his family fled civil war in Eritrea. Danell Leyva's stepfather defected from Cuba's gymnastics team during a meet in Mexico and swam across the Rio Grande River to reach America.

 More than 40 foreign-born athletes are representing the United States in the London Olympics. (Manzano and Keflezighi are runners; Leyva, a gymnast.) And that total does not include the children of immigrants, including the entire women's table tennis team -- Ariel Hsing, Erica Wu and Lily Zhang -- who are all Chinese-Americans.
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Illegal Immigrants See Opportunity in New Rule

This is an opportunity for the country also; all these educated young people can get better jobs and pay more taxes and buy more "stuff" from our stores.    - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON — The work permits that young illegal immigrants can begin applying for next week under a new government policy will let American employers tap a generation of educated workers who have been confined until now to the shadowy corners of the economy, experts on immigration policy say.

One of those could be Juan Escalante, a 23-year-old Venezuelan who has been in the country illegally since age 11 and is among those enthusiastic about the new opportunity. Not long ago, Mr. Escalante said, he feared that he might spend the rest of his life working as an assistant manager in an ice cream shop despite earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs at Florida State University.
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Immigration bill urged in Democrats’ platform

Candidates from New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada want the DREAM Act added to the platform.    - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON — In an appeal to Hispanic voters, three Senate candidates in the Southwest are calling on delegates to the Democratic National Convention to make support of a bill to help young illegal immigrants gain citizenship a part of the party platform.
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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Undocumented Immigrant Can be Lawyer, Florida Bar Says

 The Florida Supreme Court will make the final decision soon, the Florida Bar is okay with it.   - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  The Florida Board of Bar Examiners says that an undocumented immigrant born in Mexico appears to qualify for a law license, but it still wants an advisory opinion from the state Supreme Court before making a final decision.

The board initially denied Jose Godinez-Samperio's admission to the bar but asked the justices to decide whether being an illegal immigrant disqualifies applicants. The new findings submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday are the result of a request by Godinez-Samperio to consider new information related to his character and fitness before the Supreme Court makes its decision.
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30,000 Illegal Indian Immigrants to Benefit From U.S. Policy

I'm sure most people think everyone came from Mexico, but this shows that some came from India and the same number from Korea.    - - Donna Poisl


Washington: At least 30,000 Indians would be among the 1.76 million undocumented illegal immigrants who would benefit from US President Barack Obama's new policy to defer deportation of illegal immigrants for two years, a new study said.

Using Current Population Survey data from the US Census Bureau, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that as many as 1.76 million people, under the age of 31, could be at risk of being deported in the future or who are currently in removal proceedings could gain deferred action as a result of the Obama administration policy announced on June 15.

Of these 1.76 million illegal immigrants an estimated 30,000 each are from India, and Korea - the two top countries of origin outside Latin America, MPI said adding that two in three unauthorised immigrants potentially eligible for deferred action came from Mexico (1.17 million, or 65 per cent).
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Ag leaders push for immigration reform
California agriculture can't survive without foreign-born workers, leaders say

I think this story is the same in all states, all farmers need these workers and can't survive without them.    - - Donna Poisl

By DONNA JONES - Santa Cruz Sentinel

WATSONVILLE - In California, 98 percent of farm laborers are immigrants and two-thirds lack authorization to work in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Labor statistics underscore the reason the California State Board of Food and Agriculture spent more than four hours on the topic of immigration reform Tuesday at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

The lack of reform and heightened enforcement, along with barriers to housing and transportation, are putting California's nearly $40 billion agricultural industry at risk, speakers told the board.
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350k more immigrants eligible for late deportation

This is great, an additional 350,000 more will be able to stay and become educated, skilled permanent residents of our country.   - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON (AP) — About 350,000 more illegal immigrants than previously thought could earn an extra two years in the U.S. when President Barack Obama's new policy takes effect next week, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, students age 30 or younger who are enrolled in school on the day they apply will now be eligible for a two-year reprieve from deportation if they demonstrate that they came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday; lived there for the past five years; and have not been convicted of certain crimes or pose a national security threat.
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Immigration Laws Passed Less Frequently In 2012

Let's hope there are fewer laws in the future too.  - - Donna Poisl

Elise Foley

WASHINGTON -- After a recent climb, the number of immigration bills and resolutions passed by state legislatures fell significantly in the first half of this year, with 20 percent fewer pieces of legislation passed and 40 percent fewer introduced, according to a report released Monday by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

That's not to say immigration bills have disappeared: Legislatures enacted 114 laws and adopted 92 resolutions that dealt with immigration in the first half of 2012. Those bills and resolutions came from 41 states. Although that's still a large number of bills and resolutions, the numbers were a 20 percent drop from the first half of 2011, when state lawmakers passed 257 laws and resolutions.
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Senate Passes Extension of Religious Worker Visa Program

from HIAS

On August 2nd, the U.S. Senate passed a three-year extension of a program that allows U.S. religious denominations to fill non-clergy religious jobs with qualified workers from abroad. Jewish congregations, particularly in remote areas with small Jewish communities, rely on rabbis, cantors, kosher butchers, Hebrew school teachers, and other foreign workers who come to the U.S. through the Religious Worker Visa Program (RWVP). Without them, many Jewish communities would find it more difficult to sustain the institutions and practices essential to Jewish religious and communal life. This program was enacted in 1990 and is currently set to expire on September 30, 2012. The House still needs to pass the extension in order for it to become law.
Learn more about HIAS' advocacy on this issue.

DREAMers; Get help with the application process 

from Adam Luna,  America’s Voice Education Fund

Today, DREAMers, along with legal and community organizations, launched the “We Own the DREAM” campaign to offer trustworthy information, direct help with the application process, and access to free or low-cost qualified attorneys to eligible immigrant youth. 
Text “OwnIt” to 877877 or for Spanish, text "Únete” to 877877 for more information.
DREAMers must meet all of these criteria to apply

from Adam Luna, America’s Voice Education Fund

I’m excited to report that on Friday, the Obama Administration released guidelines for the President’s decision to provide qualifying DREAMers with a two year work permit and temporary relief from deportation.

This relief is without a doubt the most significant victory our movement has seen in decades, and it could not have happened without you. Now, with less than two weeks to go until August 15th - the day DREAMers can begin the application process -- we need to get the word on how to apply out to every single eligible DREAMer.  Please circulate this email to your family, friends and anyone you think may benefit.

Below are the basic requirements outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Agency. DREAMers must meet all of these criteria in order to apply. 

However, each person’s story is different, so if you or anyone in your community has a question or concern, please consult with a qualified immigration attorney before applying. DREAMers, you may request consideration if you:

Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

It is important to remember that if you or anyone you know has any questions about these requirements, please consult with a qualified immigration attorney before applying.

This is a big deal -- thank you for doing your part in getting us to this historic moment!

Adam Luna
America’s Voice Education Fund

P.S. Today, DREAMers, along with legal and community organizations, launched the “We Own the DREAM” campaign to offer trustworthy information, direct help with the application process, and access to free or low-cost qualified attorneys to eligible immigrant youth.  Text “OwnIt” to 877877 or for Spanish, text "Únete” to 877877 for more information.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Democrats launch national effort to help Dream Act kids stay legally in US

This national effort is warning immigrants about scams, trying to educate them about who is eligible and pleading with them to accept the help that is there for them.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mike Lillis
Democrats in both chambers have launched a national effort to enroll young illegal immigrants in a new program letting them stay in the country without threat of deportation.

With the Obama administration's "deferred action" program set to take effect Aug. 15, the Democrats are organizing outreach programs nationwide to help potential beneficiaries navigate applications, understand fees and avoid expensive scams.

"We suspect that most of the 1 million eligible [people] will not need a lawyer," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Congress's most vocal immigrant-rights advocate, said Thursday during a press briefing at the Capitol. "If you see a lawyer, and they're calling you, and they're offering you something and they're asking you to write a check, run away!"
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IMMIGRATION: Advocates seek solutions to migrant deaths in Arizona

About 200 people die crossing the desert in the heat every year, many are never identified. People put water out for them, and groups are looking for more ways to help them.     - - Donna Poisl


TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION, Ariz. ---- In late April, a Vista father of five children died in the Arizona desert trying to re-enter the country illegally and became one of the nearly 200 people who die each year in that stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Authorities recovered the remains of 191 people along the Arizona border with Mexico in fiscal year 2010-11, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. Nearly half of the deaths occur in the Tohono O'odham Nation, an Indian reservation about the size of Connecticut that shares 76 miles of desolate, desert border with Mexico.

Human rights groups in Arizona have been trying to stem the number of deaths by placing water along the desert trails and providing food and medical assistance to the migrants. But the advocates say federal immigration authorities and the Tohono O'odham tribal government should do more to help prevent the deaths.
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IMMIGRATION: Law change offers new opportunity

This young woman is a terrific example of the people that the new immigrant plan will help.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Deborah Gates, Staff Writer

SALISBURY -- Bernice Cruz was like any other teenager, living a normal life with her parents, graduating on time from high school in Baltimore, starting out in the world.

Then reality set in. She was living the American dream as an illegal immigrant. With no Social Security card or driver's license, the notion of getting on with her life as most of her classmates was a dream to be deferred.

Until now. Starting Aug. 15, illegal immigrants who qualify may begin requesting applications for a temporary status that would allow them to work and protect them from deportation.
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Iowa sees evolving immigrant workforce

Latinos used to be the majority of the immigrants in Iowa, not it is changing to people from Southeast Asia. There are new problems and new opportunities.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Jens Manuel Krogstad

The face of Iowa’s meatpacking towns is changing once again, as communities that adapted to new residents from Mexico and other Latino countries now see a surge of refugees from Southeast Asia.

The shift has prompted some businesses that catered to Latinos to close and has introduced unprecedented language barriers in these rural communities. But it’s also bolstering rural populations and creating new opportunities for businesses that serve the newcomers.
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Immigration Scams Blossom As Relief Nears For Undocumented Young People

Warnings are being posted about all the scams on young immigrants that are starting up. Warn your friends and family to check the USCIS website for the list of scams.   - - Donna Poisl

by Janell Ross

NEW YORK -- Days after President Barack Obama in June said his administration would grant relief to certain young, undocumented immigrants, a Southern California business posted flyers and mailed postcards laying out a very Los Angeles option.

Pay $6,000 and your name could be one of just a few on a priority list that federal officials evaluating applications would then approve. There were just a few problems: The government's deferred action directive doesn’t include the administrative equivalent of a velvet rope or a VIP room. The federal agency that will ultimately decide who gets to claim a two-year, renewable deportation reprieve and work permit hasn’t released an application form and won’t do so until Aug. 15. And, until late Friday, it wasn’t even clear exactly who would be eligible to apply.
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Young Immigrants Can File to Defer Deportation Aug. 15

Young people can start applying for this deferment the middle of next week.   - - Donna Poisl


Obama administration officials said Friday that they would begin on Aug. 15 to process applications from hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants expected to seek two-year deferrals of deportation. Applicants will be charged $465 for each request.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that will handle the anticipated avalanche of paperwork, provided the first logistical details since President Obama announced on June 15 that he would halt deportations of illegal immigrants who came to the United States when they were children.
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Please join - THUR 8/09: National Call on Relief for DREAMERS: What you need to know
from Shuya Ohno, National Field Organizer, National Immigration Forum

Please mark your calendar and join us this Thurs, August 9th at 1pm Eastern for an important national State of Play conference call on the relief for DREAMERS through deferred action.

Right now in communities across the country, there is not only great excitement, but also much confusion, as immigrant families clamor for more information about DHS' new process to take requests for deferred action from DREAMERS starting August 15th.

Please call in and participate on this important national call, as experts and advocates who will be directly affected share the latest information about policy, legal representation, communications, and field outreach strategies on the "deferred action' relief for DREAMERS.

Speaker will include experts and leaders from United We DREAM (UWD), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Immigrant Advocates Network (IAN), National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA).

Join us this Thursday, Aug 9th at 1p.m. Eastern, 12 noon Central, 11am Mountain, and 10am Pacific.

Please call: 1-800-894-5910. Your conference title and password is "DREAM."

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 Thursday.

Shuya Ohno
National Field Organizer
National Immigration Forum
DHS Announcement on Deferred Action

from Celso Mrieles, Online Strategy, United We Dream

We want to give you this information as fast as possible. DHS made an announcement on Deferred Action and they gave us some important information.  

Sign up for updates.

This is what our friends at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) summarized about the announcement:

A new form will be available on August 15. All Deffered Action requests will require payment of the standard $85 biometric fee, but no additional fee will be charged. Persons who wish to receive work authorization must pay, with limited exemptions, the current employment authorization document fee of $365.

Information provided on the form will be kept confidential, including information relating to applicants’ family members or legal guardians, meaning it will not be used for immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the applicant meets current USCIS criteria for referral to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court.

DHS will deem “significant” any misdemeanor, regardless of the sentence imposed, involving burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession of firearms, driving under the influence, or drug distribution or trafficking. In addition, DHS will deem significant any other misdemeanor for which an applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail, not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to immigration detention. Minor traffic offenses and convictions for immigration-related offenses classified as felonies or misdemeanors by state laws (e.g. Arizona SB 1070) will not be considered.

We are committed to giving you the best information there is, because we know that there are people out there that will take advantage of our friends and parents.

Yours For The Cause,

Celso Mrieles
Online Strategy
United We Dream

Friday, August 03, 2012

Using SAVE's Immigration Data for Voter Eligibility Verification Raises Questions

For Immediate Release
August 2, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today the Immigration Policy Center releases Using the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program for Voter Eligibility Verification a fact sheet that explores how the SAVE program works and if it is a useful tool for voter eligibility verification. Some states have asked the federal government for access to immigration data in order to determine whether non-citizens are on the voter registration rolls. After initial refusals, in July 2012, the Director of USCIS advised the Florida Secretary of State that states, under limited circumstances, may use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program for verification of the citizenship status of registered voters. Since then, other state have expressed an interest in using SAVE for this purpose.

Yet what’s been lost in the struggle over these voter purges is that the SAVE Program was not designed to verify whether an individual is eligible to vote, and using SAVE for this purpose may lead to denying U.S. citizens the right to vote. The SAVE program is an electronic, fee-based system operated by USCIS to verify that a person actually has the immigration status his documents indicate or that the immigration information he has provided is accurate. It is used to help verify eligibility for government benefits and licensing agencies or other lawful purposes. It is NOT a database or list of all non-citizens. There is no national database of all citizens that states can check to prove U.S. citizenship or voter eligibility. The SAVE program can only verify information contained in immigration records.

Clearly there are many unanswered questions about the use of SAVE to purge voter registration rolls. This fact sheet seeks to answer those questions.

To view the fact sheet in its entirely see:
Using the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program for Voter Eligibility Verification (IPC Fact Check, August, 2012)
For more information contact Michele Waslin at 202-507-7521 or
U.S. Olympic team shows diversity of immigrant community

Many immigrants are on the U.S. team and not just Hispanics, I have noticed others too.   - - Donna Poisl

By Maria Peña. latino.foxnews

More than 30 foreigners are on the team representing the United States at the London Olympic Games, and all are living examples of how much immigrants are contributing to their adopted country.

The presence of numerous Hispanic surnames on the team reflect not only the immense demographic changes in recent decades, but also the determination of these athletes to overcome adversity and live the "American dream."
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National Pastimes: Immigrants Bring Kabaddi To Queens Fields

This game is 4,000 years old in Asia and is coming to some parts of this country by immigrants.   - - Donna Poisl

By: Ruschell Boone

Many immigrants spend their pastime playing cultural sports most Americans know nothing or very little about. They're popular in Queens, the borough known for its diversity. One little-known Indian sport spans thousands of years.

It looks like a good old-fashioned game of tag. But this is no traditional American game. It's Kabaddi, a mix of rugby, tag and wrestling. It's a favorite among Punjabi immigrants who play at Victory Field.

"We have a lot of fun playing this," said player Sembeep Singh. "That's our cultural game."

The 4,000-year-old game is wildly popular in Asia and it has a huge following in the Queens Indian community. Every summer, you see players from the New York Sports Kabaddi Club practicing in Ozone Park.
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Milford church hosts workshops for immigrants on citizenship

Citizenship assistance workshops are being held here, the paperwork and tests are not easy to get through.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mike Gleason/Daily News staff, MetroWest Daily News
MILFORD — Area immigrants came to the Freedom Life Church on Main Street Saturday to take the first step to becoming American citizens.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) hosted a citizen assistance session at the church as part of a national campaign called "Welcoming America."

Cristina Aguilera, of MIRA, is the local coordinator of the effort, called "Welcoming Massachusetts" in the state. She said her group is trying to establish a Milford chapter.

"We're trying to integrate immigrants and non-immigrants in a dialogue," she said. "We feel that there's lots of misunderstanding about the immigration process."
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Rego: U.S. immigrants took 'paper names' to skirt anti-Chinese exclusion laws

When Chinese immigrants were not allowed in this country, many of them used other names to get around the law. Some of them are getting their original names back.   - - Donna Poisl

By Nilda Rego, Contra Costa Times Correspondent

When Bock Guey Yee turned 18, he left Guangdong province in China for the United States and lost his name. He didn't get it back for almost 60 years.

"His official name for immigration and all legal purposes was the 'paper name' he used to get into the country," says son Jordan Yee, of Fremont, "His paper surname on all his legal documents was Mr. Lam G. Tuck. When my dad was in his late 70s, we had his name officially changed by the court back to his real name."

The use of a paper name was a way to get around the anti-Chinese exclusion laws first passed in the 1870s. By the time the senior Yee came to the States in 1930, the laws had been on the books for more than 50 years.

"Conditions in southern China would have been pretty bad. In that period China was experiencing the civil war. ... My father said it was remittances from America that kept him going and afforded him to go to school. Despite this the U.S. still offered economic opportunities. And in the context of my family, his father and his grandfather had established a family tradition of going to the U.S. for economic opportunity."
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