Thursday, September 27, 2012

The U.S. Needs More Immigrants to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs

Immigrants create jobs, they are usually very entrepreneurial. People who have a dream and can't reach it in their own country are the most likely to go where they can do it.   - - Donna Poisl

By Matthew Denhart, The George W. Bush Institute

"They're stealing our jobs."

This anti-immigrant argument posits that immigrants coming to the United States harm native citizens by taking jobs that otherwise would be filled by Americans. The implication -- sometimes more explicitly expressed -- is that we should limit immigration because doing so would result in more jobs for the 8.1% of unemployed American workers who desperately need them. The problem with this argument, however, is that it forgets that immigrants bring new skills that help grow our economy, creating new jobs that benefit us all.
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Alabama Immigration Law Has Surprise Result

As most people know, Americans don't want these jobs and the immigration law only caused horrible labor shortages. Refugees (mostly from Africa) from other states had to be brought in to fill the jobs.    - - Donna Poisl

By Margaret Newkirk and Gigi Douban

Esene Manga, an Eritrean refugee living in Atlanta, hadn’t heard of Albertville, Alabama until a recruiter offered him a job there. Now Manga, 22, earns $10.85 an hour cutting chicken breasts on a poultry-plant night shift, an unexpected beneficiary of a year-old law designed to drive out illegal Hispanic immigrants.

This isn’t what the law’s backers said would happen. Republican state Senator Scott Beason, a sponsor, said at a news conference last year that the restrictions on undocumented workers would “put thousands of native Alabamians back in the work force.”
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New Bay Area immigrants moving beyond 'melting pot' vs. 'salad bowl' debate

Most new citizens are trying to understand what it means to be American, how much of their own culture to give up and change, etc.    - - Donna Poisl

By Matt O'Brien, Bay Area News Group

When she founded the International Institute more than a century ago at a time of increasing anxiety over immigration, social reformer Edith Terry Bremer proposed a novel concept: To be American, you didn't have to forsake everything you left behind.

Bremer has fallen into obscurity, but her philosophy still guides immigrants such as Haile Negussie, who enjoys a comforting support network in the Bay Area's strong Ethiopian community even as he tries to "learn different things" and "meet different people."

His story is common in the Bay Area, where nearly 1 out of every 3 people was born in another country, and where many immigrants have successfully integrated themselves into the region's civic and economic fabric even as they sustain a polyglot web of cultures and languages.
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US Voter ID Laws Could Bar 10M Hispanics

Some say this is the intention of the new laws; to stop minorities, elderly and students from voting. People died to give voting rights to everyone, this is wrong.   - - Donna Poisl


Controversial new voter identification laws in nearly two dozen U.S. states could disenfranchise 10 million eligible Hispanic voters in the upcoming election, according to a study released Monday.

Hispanics comprise the largest ethnic minority in the country. Their vote is critical to the election, with Latino turnout on Nov. 6 potentially determining the outcome in key battleground states such as Florida and New Mexico.

Recent polls show Hispanics supporting President Barack Obama by more than two to one over Republican Mitt Romney, and critics of attempts to implement stricter regulations say they are aimed at suppressing the votes of minority groups which historically vote more Democratic than Republican.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Latino Voter Will Decide the Next President -- if They Vote

from Arturo Vargas

NALEO Educational Fund projects that more than 12.2 million Latino voters will head to the polls on Election Day. As the second largest population in the United States, Latinos will again play a decisive role in the Presidential, statewide and local elections across the country. Latinos have the ability to decide who the next President of the United States will be, but they have to vote!

Today, the NALEO Educational Fund, along with Mi Familia Vota, National Council of La Raza, Entravision Communications, Inc., impreMedia, and Univision, launch the second phase of the ya es hora campaign to empower and galvanize Latinos across the country to own this election.

This launch coincides with National Voter Registration Day. Today, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations (including NALEO Educational Fund) from all over the country are hitting the streets in a coordinated effort to register people to vote, while creating awareness of voter registration opportunities. Our outreach is about celebrating our right to vote and making sure we arm our community with the resources to be able to vote on November 6th.

We encourage you to take the first step right now and register to vote online here.

- Arturo Vargas

Arturo Vargas is the Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund. The NALEO Educational Fund facilitates the full participation of Latinos into the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Follow Arturo on Twitter at @ArturoNALEO.

Questions? For more info, call 888-VE-Y-VOTA / 888-839-8682

Monday, September 24, 2012

National Voter Registration Day, September 25, 2012

Are you ready to vote on November 6th?

from - ya es hora campaign

The first step to being heard on Election Day is registering to vote, and tomorrow we'll be participating in National Voter Registration Day, which is a movement encouraging people to register to vote.

Whatever your issue is - jobs, the economy, education, immigration, health care, or something else - you need to register to vote to speak to what matters most to you.

If you moved, or changed your name or party affiliation, re-register to vote today by clicking here. And if you're already registered to vote, forward this message to your friends and family and make sure they're registered too.

Tomorrow, join the effort and promote voter registration on Facebook or join our Twitter Party from 7-8 pm Eastern with the hashtag #liberatuvoz. We'll be talking about registering to vote, protecting your vote, and making your vote count this November. You can also find a local NVRD event near your community and volunteer.

Remember, registering to vote doesn't begin or end on tomorrow. Encourage everyone you know to register to vote today, tomorrow, and every day leading up to the close of registration.

It's our collective effort that can make the difference for our community and our country.

It's time.

- ya es hora campaign
Woman's immigration status puts dreams on hold

This young woman came here as a 6 month old infant, the deferred action program is perfect for her. If she were deported, where would she go?    - - Donna Poisl


Tijuana is just a word to Ruby Gaytan. Just a place like any other place she doesn't know, even though it's where her parents once lived and where she was born. San Diego, across the Mexican border, holds more meaning.

It's where her parents moved when she was 6 months old. It's where she and the other Spanish-speaking kids never learned English until they started third grade. It's where her mother lives again. Omaha means home.

It's where the family moved when Gaytan was 10. Where she earned her high school diploma, and fell in love, and gave birth to her two daughters.

But since she graduated from Omaha Central High School in 2011, it's where part of her life came to a halt. The part that dreams and aspires to do more has stopped because of her status as an illegal immigrant.
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Immigrants becoming a political force even in Iowa’s small towns

Convincing people that their vote is valuable and important is a big job some places, they have to get registered first though.   - - Donna Poisl


STORM LAKE --- Sabrina Martinez starts canvassing for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign next weekend.

The 25-year-old aspiring medical student will target the Hispanic neighborhoods in the small northwestern Iowa city where she's lived for the past four years because she's bilingual and, she says, because it should be the most effective use of her time.

"The DREAM Act is a huge deal," Martinez said. "When you have time to explain it to people, they are really interested."
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Jose Antonio Vargas Crosses Picket Line To Deliver Charged Speech On Immigration To Journalists

People had mixed response to this; the speech was good, crossing the picket line was not.   - - Donna Poisl

by Dave Jamieson

Jose Antonio Vargas, the widely known journalist-turned-immigration-activist who penned the story "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" for The New York Times magazine, delivered a speech to the Online News Association (ONA) on Friday in which he challenged journalists to stop using the word "illegal" when referring to undocumented immigrants.

Vargas, 31, told the conference-goers at the annual gathering that it was time all news outlets dropped their use of what he described as a politicized smear.

"I have a really personal message to deliver," Vargas said at the start of his speech. "The message is it's time we retire the word and the term 'illegal immigrant' in referring to people. It is not only an inhumane term -- it is a political term, it is an unfair term, it is an inaccurate term."
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It's Politics: Immigration and possibility

This is a perfect example of immigrants and the American Dream. It is about possibilities.   - - Donna Poisl

by Brian Charles

On Sept. 21, 1962 Monica Charles, my grandmother, arrived in New York City from Trinidad and Tobago with eight of her children.

Fifty years ago this week, my grandmother gambled on the American Dream and the possibility of this country. The arrival of my grandmother, my father and my aunts and uncles was celebrated by the surviving members of my father's family Friday. My dad remembered the day as one of the greatest of his life.

America, my dad says, is about possibilities.

The family settled in Brooklyn, an improvement from the poverty of 1960s Trinidad. He attended schools where they taught science and social studies, not just reading, writing and arithmetic. 
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Free naturalization help for Mass. immigrants

I hope lots of cities have volunteers helping this group.    - - Donna Poisl


BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — Volunteers pushing for the integration of immigrants in New England are offering free help to foreign-born residents applying for U.S. citizenship in Massachusetts.

Immigration lawyers, law students, interpreters and other volunteers gathered in Brockton on Saturday to screen naturalization applicants for eligibility.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition said its volunteers are also helping qualified legal permanent residents in completing their applications for citizenship.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

SBA Increases Support for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Small businesses are the backbone of this country's economy, here is more help for immigrants to succeed.   - - Donna Poisl


The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) are teaming together on a pilot program in eight states to broaden the impact of the agency's programs among Hispanic entrepreneurs.

"An economy built to last includes boosting entrepreneurship opportunities in Hispanic American communities," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "The SBA is having a powerful impact in this sector, with a billion dollars in loans to Hispanic-owned businesses last year alone. The pilot program we are announcing today will help us do better.

"Combining our resources with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will spur new business growth, drive competitiveness and innovation, and strengthen our economic recovery and growth," Mills said.
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Young Arizona immigrant gets deferred action

This young man can finally use his engineering degrees and get a real job. Congratulations!   - - Donna Poisl

by Daniel González - The Republic

Carlos Martinez has two engineering degrees from the University of Arizona, but he has never been able to use them because he is an illegal immigrant.

But soon, the Tucson resident will be able to work legally after becoming one of the first undocumented immigrants in the country to be approved for a work permit under President Barack Obama's controversial deferred-action program.

Martinez, 30, said he was notified Friday that he had been granted permission to stay in the country temporarily for two years and that his work permit was being processed. He received a second notification on Tuesday that his work permit had been mailed. He expects to receive it as early as today, clearing the way for him to apply for jobs as a computer-software engineer, his dream job.
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Congress looks to increase number of highly skilled immigrants

We certainly need these immigrants to stay here after they are educated in our universities. I don't think they should replace other immigrants though, they should be added to the quota.    - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON _ The United States can no longer afford to train foreign scientists and engineers and then send them back home to work for the nation's competitors, say lawmakers who are expected to vote Thursday on whether to grant thousands of visas to highly skilled foreign-born graduates.

As an example, more than 20 percent of graduate students at Duke University in North Carolina are from other countries. Students from India, China and South Korea do ground-breaking research on cancer research, electromagnetics and space physics, among other fields.

"And the minute they graduate, we send them home," said Christopher Simmons, associate vice president of federal relations for Duke University. "For as long as I've been in higher ed, there has always been a conversation about why do we do this. We're going against our self-interest as a country."
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Michigan's immigrant population rises slightly, survey shows

Michigan doesn't have a huge immigrant population, but is unique in that half of them are from Asia and the middle East.   - - Donna Poisl

By Niraj Warikoo and Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Michigan's immigrant population has slightly increased during the past decade but still is small compared with other states, according to new census figures released today.

The state's immigrant population is unique: Almost half have roots in Asia and the Arab world -- the highest percentage in any mainland state. Only Alaska and Hawaii have immigrant populations with a higher percentage from Asia.

Overall, there are more than 600,000 immigrants in Michigan out of a population of less than 10 million. Mexico is the country from which immigrants in Michigan are most likely to hail, followed by India, Iraq and Canada.
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Elk Grove Unified Gets Federal Grant To Help Immigrants

USCIS has awarded $160,000 to this program which will help immigrants get through their applications for citizenship.    - - Donna Poisl

By  Steve Milne

Sacramento, CA --  Elk Grove adult education instructors like Diane Villanueva have been teaching civics and English as a Second Language classes to immigrants for decades. But they haven't been able to assist with the naturalization application paperwork.  

"It's always been kind of nerve-wracking because we can teach the content but we can't help the students who need the help with legal issues."
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September 17, 2012

FRIENDS update community and national leaders during 35th Annual CHCI Policy Conference

Washington, D.C. – Last Wednesday, the Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS), a 501(c)(3) created to push forward the American Latino Museum initiative, hosted its annual reception in conjunction with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) 2012 Public Policy Conference. With sponsorship from Time Warner Cable, AARP, and CHCI, FRIENDS gathered Board members, Congressional leaders, administration officials, policy makers, and museum supporters to discuss the museum’s legislative progress and FRIENDS community engagement efforts.

Legislation to designate a location for the museum on the National Mall, the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act, is still pending in Congress, yet grassroots support has remained strong and continues to build steadily. Through a combined effort of social media and direct community engagement, FRIENDS have amassed a base of over 300,000 fans, followers, and supporters of the cause. In addition, the FRIENDS have amassed a bipartisan list of over 50 members of the House and Senate who support the museum initiative. That list will continue to be a focus for the remainder of the year with the goal of hitting 100 members of Congress.

FRIENDS used the event to call Washington’s political leaders to action. Passing the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act would designate space along the National Mall to the project and create a landmark to the culture and contributions of the Latino community to the founding and strengthening of our nation.

“This event is another exciting milestone in the journey toward an American Latino Museum,” said Jonathan Yorba, chair of FRIENDS. “We call on members of the House and Senate to support the museum legislation, and we call on all Americans who support this project to join our effort on our website or social networks. An historic achievement like this one does not come quickly or easily, but through the hard work of our supporters, this museum is closer than ever to becoming a reality.”

The reception featured the historic photographs of Jesus Manuel Mena Garza, The Chicano Photographer is known for documenting movements and leaders like Cesar Chavez and Corky Gonzales that empowered the Latino community over the last few decades. Garza made remarks during the reception noting that despite being approached by other cultural institutions, he is “holding out for a National American Latino Museum to show case my work.” Attendees of the reception also received the 2012 American Latino Museum Campaign Poster, the contest-winning poster created by the Latino-owned firm, UNO Branding found here.

Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino
Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc., a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.

Estuardo Rodriguez

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Immigrants enrich Rochester, America

This writer works with schools, medical clinics and police as a consultant, helping with the immigrant community.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by TONY T. TRAN, Guest Essayist

Did you know that there are dozens of different languages spoken by students in Schools 5 and 15 in Rochester? Recently, our region has become the immigrant hub in New York state with people from all over the world having chosen Rochester as their home; and in return our community must welcome them with open arms and a warm heart; after all they will be our community members for a long time to come.

America has always been the country of immigrants. Rochester does not have the problem of illegal Hispanic immigrants; rather, we have been blessed with the immigrant situation from all over the world with no specific sub-group domination.

The immigrants in our area have contributed significantly to our community economy, lifestyle and culture. If you visit our local hospitals or medical clinics, you will notice that many medical staff personnel are from Asia.
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A New Economic Growth Strategy for the Election Year: Integrate Immigrants

This seems obvious to some of us: help immigrants get better jobs, become business owners, get involved in their communities and it will lead to economic growth for them and the country.   - - Donna Poisl


This election season, I have a suggestion for strengthening our economy that might not be something typically heard on the campaign trail: immigrant integration. Yes... you read that right.

A recent analysis -- the California Immigrant Integration Scorecard -- conducted by my team at USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration scores ten of the Golden State's regions by their ability to integrate their newcomers. And we couldn't help but notice that it was regions with the most resilient economies - Santa Clara topped the list -- that also scored high on immigrant integration.

For those of us in this field, this isn't particularly surprising -- and it's not just a matter of stronger economies attracting immigrants (although that can play a role). Previous research looking at immigrant presence and metropolitan economies has found that the share of the foreign-born at the beginning of a period is associated with more rapid GDP growth in the years that follow.
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Immigration movement: 'Dreamers' organize CLOUD group to help others avoid deportation

This young man has started a group in collaboration with Catholic Charities to help the "Dreamers" learn the program and also working for complete immigration reform.   - - Donna Poisl

By Theresa Harrington, Contra Costa Times

RICHMOND -- When Carlos Martinez was 11 years old, he jumped the border in Arizona between Mexico and the United States and made his way across a desert for four days and three nights with his younger sister and a group of about 20 other immigrants, led by a "coyote," a person paid to smuggle people into the country. After the journey, Martinez and his sister joined their mother in Salinas.

He attended schools in the community and wanted to go to college but was told by his high school counselor that he couldn't, because he was undocumented.

"I was the first in my family to graduate from high school, so that was a big thing for my mom," the soft-spoken 23-year-old said recently. "But I didn't know what was my future. So, I worked cutting lettuce in the fields for six or seven months."
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Young Mexican immigrants bridge 'here' and 'there' with mural

Look at this website and see the pictures of the murals. They are wonderful.   - - Donna Poisl

By Elisabeth Perez-Luna

In the past 10 years or so, South Philadelphia has been transformed by Mexican immigrants. They opened stores and restaurants, right next to ones opened by earlier waves of Italian and Irish immigrants. This summer, a group of Mexican immigrant teens has been working on telling their stories of migration and displacement though a mural.

Freddy Argulla, 19, grew up between two cities -- Puebla and Philadelphia. He moved here when he was 11 and left behind a grandmother he called "mi mama." He never saw her again, and he never forgot.

It's not a story he liked to tell, so he kept quiet. But now it's there for all to see in a large panel he designed and painted for a mural at Sixth and Dickinson streets.
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Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants Could Be A Big Benefit Of DACA In California

If these young people can drive legally, they can work, go to school and would have insurance too.    - - Donna Poisl


FRESNO, Calif. -- When 17-year-old Alondra Esquivel needs to get from her rural central California home to classes at Fresno State University 20 miles away, she must rely on rides from her relatives or her boyfriend.

Most Californians her age can drive. But Esquivel, a college freshman, was brought illegally to the United States from Mexico when she was 7. And California has denied driving privileges to immigrants lacking legal status since 1993.

"Without a license ... I have to depend on others to do the basic things," said Esquivel, who lives in rural Parlier, Calif., has classes at the college four times a week in Fresno. "It's a big inconvenience."
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Mass. celebrates immigrants in "Welcoming Week"

Every state should do this, I wonder how many do.    - - Donna Poisl


BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick continues a push to reach out to immigrants living in Massachusetts, this time by signing the ‘‘Welcoming Week’’ proclamation that is part of a national initiative intended to help foreign-born residents integrate into local communities.

The ‘‘Welcoming Week’’ starts Saturday and runs through Sept. 23.
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Obama administration approves first 29 work permits for young illegal immigrants

Some young immigrants are getting through the process, maybe more will make it soon too.  - - Donna Poisl

By Matt O'Brien, San Jose Mercury News

While some remain wary about coming forward, 82,000 young illegal immigrants sought work permits from the Obama administration in the past month, and a small group of 29 people learned their applications were approved in recent days.

Soon, Mayra Gomez could join them. She and her husband, a private and mechanic in the U.S. Army Reserve, received a letter at their East Palo Alto home on Monday from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services telling Gomez to come to the agency's San Francisco office to get her fingerprints taken.

Once a sign of a looming deportation, this fingerprint check was a message to Gomez she had one final step before she can get a work permit.
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Latino Immigrants as Job Creators
Most cities have the same story, immigrants from all countries run many of the small businesses and are helping the economy.    - - Donna Poisl

by Shannon K. O'Neil

CFR’s Renewing America initiative just released a new report by Alexandra Starr, a fellow at the New America Foundation, titled “Latino Immigrant Entrepreneurs: How to Capitalize on Their Economic Potential.” Through statistics and personal stories, the report explores Latino immigrant entrepreneurs’ growing contributions to the U.S. economy.

Contrary to many who assume Latino immigrants just take away American jobs, Hispanic immigrants have played an important role in helping to revive small U.S. towns. While many come to find work, they often create the positions themselves, opening up new restaurants, storefronts, and services that line small-town Main Streets. Big cities are no different. In fact, almost half of New York City’s small businesses are immigrant-run.
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Two weeks left to join the Immigration Hotspot Campaign!

from American Immigration Council

For a recurring donation of $25/month, we will donate a copy of Green Card Stories to an immigration hotspot!

This is your opportunity to help break immigration stereotypes through education, awareness, and the power of story telling. Green Card Stories contains 50 vignettes about the journeys of immigrants from all over the world, reminding readers that immigrants are not just numbers and facts. With hateful rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate, it is more important than ever to show the human face of the issue. Immigrants are important to our past and will continue to be in our future.

We have sent books to a variety of hotspots including libraries, community centers, museums, offices of Congress, and schools. There is no limit as to where a Green Card Stories can make a difference!

Click here to join the campaign TODAY!

Thank you for your continued support!
Citizenship Day 2012: Realizing the Potential of the Immigrant Vote

For Immediate Release

September 17, 2012

Washington D.C. - For many aspiring immigrants, achieving citizenship means full participation in civic life—and that means the right to vote. Every year, thousands of immigrants become naturalized U.S. citizens and exercise their new right. In the 2010 national elections, naturalized citizens comprised 6.4% of all voters. The voter registration rate among immigrants as a whole has risen since 2000. Just as importantly, a growing number of U.S.-born children of immigrants are now coming of age and becoming voters.

However, the full potential of the immigrant vote has not been reached. There are more than eight million legal immigrants in the United States who are eligible to naturalize but have not yet done so. The latent electoral power of these voters-in-waiting is enormous. In many parts of the country their votes could potentially swing elections. As described in a series of Immigration Impact blog posts by Rob Paral, there are numerous counties across the country where the number of Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have arrived since 1985 exceeds the margin of victory in the Obama-McCain election. Moreover, the voter rolls of many counties would grow dramatically if LPRs who are eligible to naturalize actually did so and registered to vote. Although this could not happen in time for the 2012 election cycle, it could make a difference in future elections.

To view the data see:
Citizenship Day 2012: Realizing the Potential of the Immigrant Vote (IPC Fact Check, September 17, 2012)

For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524
Celebrate National Day of Citizenship

from  ya es hora campaign

Today, there are more than 8.3 million Legal Permanent Residents who are eligible to become U.S. citizens, and the road to citizenship is a meaningful journey for those who embark on it.  These journies carry with them rich stories, and are inspired by a multitude of motivations. Like Miguel who started his application so he can help his daughter have access to the resources she needs to pursue her dream of attending college. Or Katia,  a 23-year-old college student, who one day dreams of becoming a psychologist.

These dreams are American dreams and today we invite you to celebrate citizenship with us by sharing your story of what citizenship means to you on Facebook. For those considering U.S. citizenship, we invite you to begin this journey, and join us as we celebrate citizenship across the country.

Naturalization is one aspect of citizenship; another is registering to vote. We are 49 days away from this year's election, and we urge all U.S. citizens 18 and over to register to vote. If you already are, encourage your friends and family members to register to vote. This year's election is not about the candidates or their positions; this year's election is about you - register to vote today.
- ya es hora campaign

Questions? For more info, call 888-VE-Y-VOTA / 888-839-8682

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's time to show our strength! Register to VOTE!

from Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Our movement for humane, comprehensive immigration reform has just surpassed one million members.

That's one million members taking action to stop deportations, turn out in thousands for rallies, and support initiatives to create real opportunities for our families, like deferred action for DREAMers. It's true that there is strength in numbers -- now it's time to show it.

The most effective way to show our power is for our community to turn out at the polls in record numbers this November. If we want reform to become a reality, we must do our part to vote for those candidates who support our cause.

That’s why you need to make sure you’re registered to vote. You can register right now online.

For those who cannot join us at the polls, we must represent our movement's demands for equality, unity and justice.

The only thing more important than voting on November 6th is registering to vote today. Take a few minutes right now and register to vote in this historic election.

With hope,

Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America

P.S. Know any potential voters? Forward this page to family and friends to make sure they reigster themselves as well!

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

Report: South Bay, East Bay best at integrating immigrants

Another article about immigrant integration and the economy, with a list of the top regions of California.   - - Donna Poisl

By Matt O'Brien, Bay Area News Group

Silicon Valley and the East Bay rank tops in the state in a new report that measures how well California's regions integrate immigrants into their economic and social fabric.

Santa Clara County earned the top score in the University of Southern California report grading regions on the warmth of their welcome and on the immigrant community's civic engagement and economic well-being.

"It's not just the mix of immigrants in the region," said Vanessa Carter, a data analyst for USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, referring to the South Bay. "It's also that the region itself is very welcoming to immigrants."
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Study: Immigrants face hurdles in welcoming spots

This article shows how immigrant integration and the community's economical success are related.  - - Donna Poisl


SANTA ANA, Calif.—The most welcoming spots in California for immigrants may not have always been the best places for them to thrive economically, according to a report released Wednesday.

Traditionally immigrant-friendly hubs like San Francisco and Los Angeles have struggled in some instances to support immigrants due to high living costs, while suburbs with strong economies—like Orange County and the East Bay—have seen immigrants achieve markers of economic success, according to a new scorecard on immigrant integration published by the University of Southern California.
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On solemn 9/11, immigrants celebrate new lives as American citizens

These new citizens will have a happy reason to remember and celebrate this date.    - - Donna Poisl

By David Grant, Staff writer

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - What a difference 11 years makes. Ibrahim Kamara came to the United States from Sierra Leone in August 2001, hoping to get an education and escape his nation’s decade-long civil war.

Just two weeks later, he watched the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on television in Texas.

“It was scary,” says Mr. Kamara. “The fact that I just came from a war – I felt like I was going to come into another one.”
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Fiestas Patrias Celebrates Cultures of Latin America

If you are in Seattle this weekend, this should be a good event to go to.   - - Donna Poisl

by Madeline McKenzie

Fiestas Patrias this weekend celebrates the September Independence Days of Mexico, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Chile -- and the cultures of all Latin American countries -- with events in South Park and at Seattle Center.

Saturday's community parade with dancing horses, floats, cars, marching bands and children in traditional Latin American attire winds through the South Park neighborhood to South Park Community Center for a community fiesta and health fair. Horses from the parade will be on display at the community center's outdoor field starting at 12:30 p.m., part of the all-day event with entertainment, food vendors, informational displays, door prizes and games and activities for kids and families.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thousands of Mass. immigrants set for citizenship

A huge group of immigrants are being sworn in at one ceremony and they can register as voters the same day when it is over.  - - Donna Poisl


BOSTON (AP) — Thousands of immigrants living in Massachusetts are set to swear allegiance to the United States during a naturalization ceremony in Boston.

Nearly 2,400 immigrants from 132 countries will take the Oath of Allegiance at TD Garden on Tuesday afternoon.
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L.A. to consider multi-use library cards for illegal immigrants

The L.A. City Council is studying a proposal to issue library cards with pictures and other information which could be used as IDs in banks and other offices.  - - Donna Poisl

By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles officials are considering a plan to turn the library card into a form of identification that the city's large illegal immigrant population could use to open bank accounts and access an array of city services.

The City Council unanimously voted recently to consider the proposal, which would have Los Angeles join the growing number of cities across the nation that offer various forms of identification to undocumented workers and others who cannot get driver's licenses because of their immigration status.
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Opinion: Not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you less Latino

Some people think that if a citizen is not fluent in Spanish, he/she is not Latino. This opinion piece gives many instances where this comes up.   - - Donna Poisl

by Raul A. Reyes

At last week’s Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro stepped into the spotlight with a rousing keynote address. Suddenly everyone wants to know more about him. The broad outlines of his life are intriguing; Castro grew up in a single parent home, the son of a fiery community activist. He is handsome, with a broad smile and an identical twin brother. But aside from his impressive speech, the media has zeroed in on Castro’s language ability, or rather, his lack of it.  He is not fluent in Spanish, which merited headlines in The Daily Caller and The Huffington Post.  The New York Times called it “a fact he isn’t eager to advertise.” The implication seems to be that Castro is less than authentic because he doesn’t speak perfect Spanish. However, it is pointless and misguided to use language as a litmus test of whether Castro is “really” Latino. The truth is that he is fully emblematic of his generation of Hispanics.

It is not unusual for a Latino politician to not speak Spanish. Like the rest of us, some do, some don’t. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) are bilingual. Texas Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz told Fox News “My Spanish is lousy.” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval does not speak Spanish either.
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New immigration laws help foreign entrepreneurs get a start

Here is a good explanation of how the H-1B visa helps some immigrants and especially our country.   - - Donna Poisl

KARL BAKER, The Seattle Times

SEATTLE - In the 1920s, architects designed the 23-story art deco Exchange Building in downtown Seattle to house a stock exchange. Those plans ended when the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929.

More than 80 years later, the building will finally host an exchange company -- an online one. Denis Kiselev, an entrepreneur from Russia, is setting up shop there with the help of a new U.S. immigration policy.

His startup company, SnapSwap, was able to sponsor his H-1B visa

"I was lucky because until recently only well-established companies like Microsoft were able to sponsor working visas for employees," Kiselev said. "Immigration opened a special door for startup companies."
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22 immigrants becomes U.S. citizens at Rockwell Museum

People from 16 countries became citizens this week.  Congratulations and Welcome!  - - Donna Poisl

By Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle Staff

STOCKBRIDGE -- Amid tears, cheers and whoops of joy, 22 Berkshire County residents gained U.S. citizenship at an emotional naturalization ceremony held at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, co-hosted by the Pitts field-based Berkshire Immigrant Center.

Presiding over the 45-minute special event attended by at least 100 relatives, friends, political leaders and area residents was Berkshire County District Judge Fredric D. Rutberg, who had been sworn in as a judge in the same gallery of the museum in 1994.

Rutberg administered the oath of allegiance to the group of 22, who responded in unision, line by line.
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Report: Illegal immigrants boost Arizona economy

I live in Arizona, I believe this.  - - Donna Poisl

By Cronkite News

WASHINGTON -- A new report challenges the argument that illegal immigrants are a drain on Arizona's economy. In fact, said the author of "The Consequences of Legalization Versus Mass Deportation in Arizona," the state could be throwing away millions in potential tax revenues by trying to drive illegal immigrants out.

"There is a real mass confusion and distortion on the reality of immigrant contribution," said Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, the director of the North American Integration and Development Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of the report.

Hinojosa-Ojeda's report for the Center for American Progress argues that if every illegal immigrant in Arizona were legalized, the state could gain up to $540 million in taxes every year. If they were all deported, on the other hand, it would cost the state $2.4 billion in sales, income, motor vehicle and other taxes, he estimated.
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Bills aimed at immigration stall in Missouri and Kansas

Fewer bills were introduced and passed this year; maybe after the election the federal government can start working on reform.   - - Donna Poisl

by BRAD COOPER, The Kansas City Star

The red-hot immigration debate cooled in statehouses this year as lawmakers focused their attention on budgets, redistricting and, most significantly, the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case on the issue.

Lawmakers still passed 208 immigration-related bills this year, but that’s the fewest in any year since 2006, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Perhaps most notably, there were just five states — including Kansas and Missouri — that introduced sweeping bills this year that contained measures aimed at curtailing illegal immigration. No bill passed.
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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Help the Deferred Action Waiver Fund

from Mohammad Abdollahi,

Today we are launching a fund to help DREAMers pay for their deferred action filing fee. Each month we are going to select two activists and award each of them a check for $465; enough to apply for deferred action.

The Deferred Action Waiver Fund (otherwise known as “DACAF”) is a fund set up to award undocumented activists with a scholarship to cover their Deferred Action fee. We recognize that many of the activists we work with on a daily basis do not have the financial means to apply for Deferred Action and so this fund will try to meet the needs of these activists.

Sponsor a DREAMer for $15, $25 or $35 - Support the DACA Fund

The Deferred Action announcement by president Obama has propelled DREAMers from across the country to come out. Just yesterday Benita Veliz became the first ever undocumented person to address the Democratic National Convention. We first met Benita 3 years ago when she was fighting her deportation; not only did she stop it but she is still here to represent us on a national stage! ICE messed with the wrong DREAMer!

Our goal for the month is to raise $930, enough to award two fee waivers. That means we just need 60 people to donate at least $15 each and we are there. Can you support the DACA Fund this month?

In addition to trying to provide as many fee waiver scholarships as possible we'll also be partnering with qualified immigration attorneys and advocates to provide other services. So if in one month we don't have the donations to cover an activist's entire fee, then maybe we'll instead have an attorney willing to file the application for free.

Will you help us sponsor a dreamer like Benny for just $15!

Thank you for helping us keep this fight going.

Much Love,
Mohammad Abdollahi

P.S. If you work with an attorney firm or an organization and would like to make a matching contribution let us know!
Illegal immigrant makes history, addresses Democratic convention

This was a very good speech, she told her life story. Read this article if you missed it.   - - Donna Poisl

By Hector Becerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was a short speech, but when Benita Veliz stepped up to the lectern at the Democratic National Convention, she made history. The 27-year-old from San Antonio became the first illegal immigrant to address a national political convention.

“Like so many Americans of all races and backgrounds, I was brought here as a child,” she told the crowd Wednesday night. “I’ve been here ever since.”
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Police release illegal immigrants after protest at DNC

The 10 undocumented immigrants who were on the bus that crossed the country were arrested and now are released.   - - Donna Poisl

By Brian Bennett

WASHINGTON – Immigration officials have decided not to detain 10 illegal immigrants who were arrested by police for blocking traffic during a protest near the entrance to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday.

The immigrants were part of a group of more than 35 protesters that has crisscrossed the nation to pressure politicians to create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
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Illegal immigrants' children eligible for in-state Florida tuition

Here is another state helping its kids to get a college education.   - - Donna Poisl


MIAMI — Students at Florida's public colleges and universities cannot be charged higher out-of-state tuition simply because their parents are in the U.S. illegally, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore determined the policy violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by forcing those students to unfairly pay three times as much as Florida residents. Children born in this country are citizens whether or not their parents have legal immigration status.

"The state regulations deny a benefit and create unique obstacles to attain public post-secondary public education for U.S. citizen children who would otherwise qualify for in-state tuition," Moore wrote.
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Effort restarts in state to give illegal immigrants college aid

Now that these kids can go to college, WA is trying to get them financial aid. This country needs these kids to have a good education.   - - Donna Poisl


With the federal government giving young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a chance to stay in the country, advocates in Washington state are relaunching efforts to open state financial aid to college students who don't have documents.

"Now these kids can live and work here without fear of deportation," said Ricardo Sanchez, chairman of the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project, the main group behind the effort. "The financial aid makes more sense."
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Democrats unveil their national platform

Read this article to see what is on the Democratic platform this year. Immigration is listed.    - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON - Democrats unveiled a party platform at their national convention Monday that echoes President Barack Obama's call for higher taxes on wealthier Americans while backing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

Delegates will vote Tuesday to adopt the platform that reflects the president's argument that his work is unfinished and he deserves another four years to complete the job.

"Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together again to continue what we started," the platform said.

The document is a sharp contrast from the policy statement that the Republican Party adopted at its convention last week.
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Did you see it? a DREAMer at the Convention

from Mahwish, America's Voice

History was made by a DREAMer again last night when Benita Veliz, an aspiring citizen from Texas, became the first undocumented person ever to address a national political convention. It’s a true testament to the growing political power of the immigrant youth movement.

Before her speech, Benita told Univision anchor Mariana Atencio:
I almost feel like the last 19 years of my life have been in preparation for this moment, in the sense that I’ve spent the last 19 years of my life learning to be undocumented, living in the United States, learning what it’s like to feel American in every sense of the word — and yet, not being able to call yourself an American on paper. And I think all of those experiences have shaped and molded my life into being able to stand up and voice the dreams of many young people who find themselves in this very same situation.

If you missed Benita's historic speech last night, you can watch a recording of it by clicking here.

We'll be in touch,
America's Voice

Monday, September 03, 2012


Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.
With Asian immigration rising, candidates seek national office

This fast growing ethnic group has 17 people running for Congress this year. This is excellent news.   - - Donna Poisl

By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times

Brutal, burning images inspired Sukhee Kang to jump into politics.

In 1992, as he watched televised footage of immigrant shops and dreams crumble to the ground during the Los Angeles riots, he knew he "had to do something — to make connections — to people, with people, across different groups."

The father of two and owner of three shoe stores started simply. He raised money for scholarships. He signed up with the Korean American Coalition, pushing those like him to get involved in civic life and civil rights. He mobilized volunteers, helping torched Korean American businesses rebuild.
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Clinic guides immigrants hoping for reprieves

Boston free clinics are helping young immigrants prepare and register for the new program.   - - Donna Poisl

by Martine Powers

They came bearing documents. Passports, school transcripts, medical records, rent receipts, cellphone bills, bank statements, middle school diplomas — anything to prove they had lived in the United States since 2007.

Some even brought glowing recommendations from high school teachers.

“We haven’t been including those,” said a smiling Paige Gunning, a volunteer with Greater Boston Legal Services. “But it shows how enthusiastic these people are.”
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Navarrette: Economics of immigration

Many industries would suffer greatly without illegal immigrants working for them, everyone in the country would suffer without them too.     - - Donna Poisl

By Ruben Navarrette

SAN DIEGO -- Got illegal immigrants? The nation's dairy industry does, and it wouldn't last long without them.

Now that Wisconsin's Paul Ryan has been picked by Mitt Romney for the Republican ticket, let's pour ourselves a glass of milk and have a discussion that we've been none too eager to have.

We need to talk about immigration not as an emotional issue but as an economic one. Like other dairy states -- i.e., California, New York, Vermont -- Wisconsin depends heavily on the dairy industry. And the industry depends heavily on illegal immigrant labor. It's that simple.
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Hispanic Voting Preferences to Be Tracked in National Poll

This should be interesting, getting real results instead of guesses and hype. I hope the enthusiasm numbers are high.  - - Donna Poisl


Hispanic news and information company impreMedia today announced the launch of a weekly national tracking poll of Latino voters done in conjunction with Latino Decisions. For the next 11 weeks, impreMedia will report on Hispanic voter preference, candidate favorability, outreach and enthusiasm among this critical voter group.

"This is a very exciting research project, and builds on previous tracking polls between impreMedia and Latino Decisions," said Gary Segura of Latino Decisions. "This current project marks the first ever tracking poll of Latinos during a presidential election that will provide an accurate sample of Latinos on a weekly basis."
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