Monday, December 31, 2012

Tour helps ease immigrants' worries about school menus

Immigrant parents have many questions about the school meals their kids are eating, these kitchen tours calm all their fears and even teach them about nutrition.   - - Donna Poisl

Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune

School was out, but for the Somali families touring the St. Paul school's central kitchen on a recent Friday, it was a time to learn -- and to ask important questions.

Mothers went past gleaming kettles and walk-in ovens, and then stopped at a photo display of what looked like pork products, consumption of which is forbidden in the Muslim world.

Questions flew, among them: How could pepperoni be anything but pork? But after being assured that it was chicken or turkey, and that, in fact, St. Paul's menus were entirely pork-free, the women, satisfied, joined a line serving a school lunch for dinner.
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Living history: Jewish immigrants prospered in Magna, aka Ragtown

This is the story of a general store owned by a Russian Jewish immigrant and how it helped build this town of Magna.  - - Donna Poisl

By Eileen Hallet Stone | The Salt Lake Tribune

Lately I’ve been thinking about stories, the kind told by people I’ve known over time — especially when a new year is about to begin, offering both hope and equity in the retelling. Such as those lived by the Matz siblings: Bere­nice, Ruth and Sidney.

"Magna used to be called Ragtown by old-timers maybe because the town was built up from the tailings from the mines," Sidney Matz said in interviews archived at University of Utah’s Marriott Library shortly before dementia robbed him of recollection.
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Owner of Asian Market in Columbia, Missouri Sees Future in New Immigrants

This Asian market has added a section catering to the large number of African immigrants in their community.    - - Donna Poisl


In Columbia, Missouri, the city’s shifting ethnic landscape is changing the city’s culture, including its food culture. And some entrepreneurs, including the owner of the city’s oldest Asian grocery store, see the opportunity to reinvent themselves to cater to the cooking needs of the city’s new immigrant customers.

At Chong’s Oriental Market, in downtown Columbia, Missouri, food shipments arrive from Chicago, about a seven-hour drive away.

The store’s owner is Daewun Sin, whose parents migrated from Korea to Chicago, and finally to Columbia in 1990. Sin’s parents spotted the chance to take over a small grocery store and run the city’s only Asian market at the time, specializing in Korean and Japanese food.
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The door-opener to America
This piece explains the Homestead Act of 1862, the actual beginning of our immigration laws. Very interesting.   - - Donna Poisl

By George F. Will

At the end of this year in which election results reinserted immigration into the political conversation, remember that 2012 is the 150th anniversary of “the first comprehensive immigration law.” This is how the Homestead Act of 1862 is described by Blake Bell, historian at the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Neb., one of the National Park Service’s many educational jewels that make the NPS one of just two government institutions (the other is the U.S. Marine Band) that should be exempt from any budget cuts, for all eternity.

In 1862, the grim year of Shiloh and Fredericksburg, Congress would have been forgiven for concentrating only on preventing national dismemberment. Instead, while defiantly continuing construction of the Capitol dome, Congress continued nation-building. It passed the Pacific Railway Act to provide for the movement of people and goods to and from the new lands in the West, the Morrill Act to build land-grant colleges emphasizing agriculture, and, most important, the Homestead Act, whose provisions were as simple as the problem it addressed was stark.
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America needs more immigrants, and here are four ways to get them

Our country is in great need for certain workers, immigration is the only way to solve this problem.   - - Donna Poisl

By Peter Marber

Immigration, long the backbone of American innovation, entrepreneurism, and human talent, has become a dirty word in recent years.  This is unfortunate, because strategically conceived and well-targeted immigration should be seen as a precision tool for America to insure the best, optimal human capital needed to compete in the 21st century.

While official unemployment stands at 7.7%, the US is critically short in many STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and healthcare areas. While the global economy has evolved, our immigration laws haven’t changed much since 1990. This is why we occasionally see tech titans like Bill Gates testify before Congress urging more visas for foreign students and scientists to help us remain competitive. According to Manpower Inc., the US ranked 5th globally in talent shortages, with 49% of employers surveyed experiencing critical problems versus the 34% average.
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Tutoring in Spanish helps immigrants learn English

These classes are most helpful for people who are not completely literate in their own language, it helps them learn both at the same time.   - - Donna Poisl


Caritina Campos has spent the past three years volunteering to give adults the opportunity her parents did not have.

Campos, 26, is a volunteer for Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center, and though she lends her assistance to several programs, most of her time is spent tutoring adults in the Plaza Comunitaria.

The program, which she assists with on a weekly basis, is a self-paced, online course offered through the Mexican government that helps adults improve their Spanish literacy and complete their Spanish education so they are more successful when learning English.
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Immigrants from Mexico bring holiday celebrations, traditions to Collier

Mexican immigrants are recreating the celebrations their families had in Mexico and everyone is enjoying them.    - - Donna Poisl


 NAPLES — Draped in a light blue veil that skimmed her ankles, 15-year-old Aday Porras sat ramrod straight atop a chocolate-colored donkey, walking down Golden Gate's streets after dark every night last week, a gaggle of carolers in tow.

"Si me ven, si me ven, voy camino de Belen," the group, 200-strong, sang in Spanish Tuesday night. "If you see, if you see me, I'm on my way to Bethlehem."

Las Posadas, a Spanish tradition carried by colonization to Mexico, continues in Collier County on the nine nights before Christmas through a group of immigrant families from St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church.
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

City offering financial literacy classes for immigrants

Along with English literacy, immigrants need financial literacy. With both, they can become more productive and happier residents.    - - Donna Poisl

By Becky Yerak, Tribune staff reporter

The city of Chicago has awarded a $30,000 grant that will be used to give financial literacy classes to immigrants and will help them find free or low-cost checking accounts.

The grant was announced by Stephanie Neely, treasurer of the city of Chicago. The recipient, which was picked from about 15 applicants in a competitive open-bid grant process, is the Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European & Latino Immigrants of Illinois, or CAAAELII.

Established in 1996, the non-profit will use the money to create the curriculum in conjunction with other community groups in Chinatown, Albany Park, West Rogers Park, Pilsen, Little Village and Uptown.
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Poverty and fear of gangs drive young immigrants to U.S.

Young immigrants go through horrible struggles to get here, but say it is better than staying back home.    - - Donna Poisl

By Scott Malone and Tim Gaynor

WORCESTER, Mass./PHOENIX, Arizona (Reuters) - Diego Canil Ordonez was just 16 years old when he realized he needed to get out of Guatemala after gang members arrived at the store where he worked to shake down his boss for money.

His boss didn't show up for work the next day, but the gang members did. They demanded cash from Canil Ordonez, who had seen his job at the store as a step up after spending years shining shoes to support his family, starting at age 9.

"They took me out of the store, and they took the money and they beat me up," Canil Ordonez, now 21, recounted in a recent interview at a social service center in Worcester, Massachusetts. "They were following me everywhere."
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Immigrants Welcomed: A City Sees Economic Promise

Playing soccer with other refugees and immigrants (and some Americans) gives these people a way to fit into their new country and community. And a feeling of "home".   - - Donna Poisl


If there's one common language that some recent immigrants in Dayton, Ohio, seem to share, it's soccer.

The first Dayton World Soccer Games kicked off earlier this year, an initiative hosted by the city to welcome an influx of immigrants. On the field, a rainbow of brightly colored jerseys represented nearly 20 of the different immigrant communities in the city.

"I've been really surprised to see that there's a lot of soccer going on in Dayton," says Adolphe Bizwinayo, who left Rwanda as a refugee.
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Musical offers glimpse into lives of Jewish immigrants

This musical sounds like it would be the story of what happened after "Fiddler on the Roof" ended.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Sally Friedman | For the Courier-Post

For families looking for G-rated holiday entertainment — and a touchstone to Jewish heritage and history — “A Stoop on Orchard Street,” an original play on stage at the National Museum of American Jewish History, offers both.

And you definitely don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it.

This bittersweet look at the life of immigrants to America who came in great waves at the start of the 20th century offers audiences a kind of sequel to what might have happened to Tevye and his family, of “Fiddler on the Roof” fame, as they left their beloved Eastern European village seeking safe haven.
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Why Chinese immigrants choose America

More Chinese emigrate to the US than to other countries. We are the better for this.    - - Donna Poisl

by Benjamin Carlson

HONG KONG — Americans may complain about the quality of their schools, but for the most recent wave of Chinese immigrants, it’s the No. 1 draw.

According to the 2012 Annual Report of Chinese International Migration published this Monday, China is undergoing a mass migration of its citizens overseas, with the United States being far and away the top destination. (Canada and Australia were second and third.) In 2011 alone, nearly 90,000 Chinese were granted US permanent residency.

“Affluent and educated elites are the main force in emigration,” the report said, calling this trend the third large-scale overseas migration in China’s modern history. More than 45 million Chinese were living abroad as of 2010 — the highest such figure in the world. In 2011, roughly 150,000 Chinese obtained permanent residence in other countries.
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OUR VIEW: Politicians embrace immigration compact

This piece shows that politicians in the past were all for immigrants and immigration, we must hope today's politicians can agree on it also.    - - Donna Poisl


Immigrants built this country into the envy of the world. Future immigrants and their offspring may save us from economic despair. If there is one public policy topic on which left and right should find abundant common ground, it’s immigration.

On the right, conservative legend Ronald Reagan was an unapologetic proponent of more immigration. He referred to anti-immigration hysteria as “the illegal alien fuss.”

“Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal alien invasion, or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won’t do? One thing is certain in this hungry world: No regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters.”
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Young Immigrants ‘Relieved’ As They Seek Deferrals

This article tells the stories of young immigrants and their feelings as they get deferred status and work permits.  - - Donna Poisl


ATLANTA—A roomful of activists at a recent immigration conference shared details about getting driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants and if they could attend public colleges.

But for two young people the wonkish talk meant something more than to most. They were so-called “Dreamers,” young people brought to the United States by parents and who are growing up in the only country they have known but without the legal right to be here.

Marco Ouiroga, from Florida, is waiting to hear from the federal government about his application for deferred deportation.  “I felt like a human being for the first time,” he said about filing the documents.
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Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

The American Immigration Council Mourns the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2012

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council mourns the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. As the most senior member of the U.S. Senate, he was a stalwart supporter of immigration reform and spoke eloquently about his support for giving young undocumented youth the opportunity to become fully American.

The American Immigration Council was pleased to award Senator Inouye our “Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award” in the Spring of 2011 - an award given to individuals who exhibit a commitment and dedication to our heritage as a nation of immigrants and to the struggle to create fair and humane immigration policies in the United States.

In December of 2010, Senator Inouye made the following statement after the Senate’s failure to pass the DREAM Act during the lame duck session of Congress:

“The comprehensive immigration reform we claim we want in this country will not occur if we do not allow for the basic education of children and if we do not nurture the patriotic spirit of those brave enough to put on the uniform and fight for this country.  I was once labeled an enemy Alien by this country but we petitioned the government to allow us to fight and by the end of World War II the 442 Regimental Combat team had suffered the most casualties in the European campaign but was also the most decorated unit of its size in the history of the United States military.   By allowing the DREAM Act to sit idle, we extinguish hope for a lot of people and deny too many the opportunity I was given.”
The American Immigration Council sends its condolences to those who knew and loved Senator Inouye. We are a better nation for his service and will stand with those who work to advance the issues he most cared about.

For press inquiries, contact Wendy Sefsaf at or 202-507-7524.
Portland Program Sees To Immigrants' Eye Health

This eye doctor is helping immigrants in his community, many have never been to an eye doctor and definitely need this care.    - - Donna Poisl


One Monday a month, a room at one of Portland’s Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization centers fills with new immigrants from across the world, all brought together by a need for eye care.

Many of them have never seen an eye doctor. Because of this need, Dr. Summy To of Myopic Optometry devotes one morning a month to offering free eye exams to the immigrants supported by the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization or IRCO.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Scholars Gather to Launch Book About Black Immigrant Children in U.S.

Many people think of immigrants as Latino or Asian, but there are many from Africa and some Latino countries who are black. These kids often have other, additional problems.     - - Donna Poisl

by Ronald Roach

WASHINGTON — With the aim of enriching immigration policy discussions and policy development, a Washington-based think tank convened a group of noted scholars and research analysts late last week to launch a book that documents the social, economic and health status of Black immigrant children in the U.S.

The publishing of Young Children of Black Immigrants in America: Changing Flows, Changing Faces by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) represents an effort to bring attention to a cohort of children whom scholars and policy have overlooked, according to MPI officials.

“We think the book is useful because it brings together a wide range of disciplines all the way from education to economics to anthropology. It taps a wide range of data sources from the usual suspects like the American Community Survey to less usual suspects,” said Michael Fix, book co-editor and MPI senior vice president, during a book launch panel discussion.
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Portland immigrants spin tales into book

For the fourth year now, immigrants have written their stories for this magazine. Each story is different and each is inspiring.   - - Donna Poisl

By Tom Bell, Staff Writer

PORTLAND – Sanaa Abduljabbar, 40, who immigrated to Maine from Iraq two years ago, remembers a beautiful mountain valley in northern Iraq that she visited as a child.

Mohamed Elshiekh, 43, from Egypt, recalls his ship passage across the Red Sea to visit Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city in Islam.

Marie-Claire Umurerwa, 46, from Rwanda, recounts the worst day of her life, when her 18-month-old son was scalded after pulling a pan of hot water off a table.
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We Need a Path to Citizenship for All Americans, Not Just Immigrants

Very interesting! This author says we should ALL be more aware of what it is to be a citizen, with rights and responsibilities. Not only immigrants and new citizens should be learning this.     - - Donna Poisl

by Eric Liu

"A path to citizenship." Get used to that phrase: We're going to be hearing it a lot in 2013. Since the Republican Party got hard electoral evidence of its problem with Latino voters (and Asian voters, and basically voters of color and immigrants in general), some GOP leaders have become highly motivated to negotiate a deal for comprehensive immigration reform.

A key part of any such deal will be whether and how undocumented immigrants can step out of the shadows and onto a much-discussed but ill-defined path to citizenship. The DREAMers -- young undocumented immigrants who, under the long-stalled DREAM Act would've been able to earn citizenship by going to the military or to college -- are the hopeful face and voice of reform advocacy. And because they embody an appealing case for reform, they may be able to lead a push that normalizes life for millions of other immigrants, documented or not.
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Thirty immigrants become citizens in Longmont naturalization ceremony

Read these stories about our new citizens; one woman is 73 and failed the test and kept trying. Good for them, welcome!   - - Donna Poisl

By Magdalena Wegrzyn Longmont Times-Call

LONGMONT -- From his father's arms, 1-year-old Matthew Elias watched his mother become a U.S. citizen on Wednesday.

His mom, Rowena Elias, was one of 30 immigrants who became naturalized citizens at a ceremony Wednesday at Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Longmont. The immigrants hailed from 17 countries. One-third came from Mexico.

"This is your day," said Dana Lindauer, acting field director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who presided over the ceremony. "There are 30 different stories out here."

Rowena Elias' husband, Jim, is just glad his family's story has a happy ending. The naturalization ceremony, he said, makes everything permanent.
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Give DREAMers the gift of education

from America’s Voice Education Fund team

DREAMers led our movement in winning our biggest victory in 25 years—protecting over a million young people from deportation with the deferred action policy!  In this holiday season, America’s Voice Education Fund wants to say thank you to these inspiring leaders.

Will you contribute $5 to thank a DREAMer by helping her go to college and pursue her dreams?
An innovative program called “DREAM Summer” offers DREAMers a summer-long internship at a social justice organization, advanced leadership training and a $5,000 stipend that they can use for college tuition.

Every penny of your tax-deductible gift will go directly to a DREAMer.  It’s the perfect way to say thank you to DREAM leaders who have dedicated everything they have (most often working as unpaid volunteers because of their immigration status) to our movement for change.

Over one thousand students from across the country applied to DREAM Summer last year for just 150 spots. We want to help four more students take part this year.

We want to raise $20,000 by December 31st to allow four more students to participate in this one-of-a-kind program.  Will you join us by donating $5?

Deferred action in hand, DREAMers are poised to become the next generation of professional movement leaders.  Your investment will help them begin careers in social justice which will pay dividends to all of us for years to come.

--Adam, Matt, Van, Patty, Mahwish, Kristin and the entire America’s Voice Education Fund team

P.S. Remember, your holiday gift to DREAMers is entirely tax-deductible. Please contribute for yourself or on behalf of someone you love today.

New Year's Resolutions Tips For Hispanic Small Businesses


With the holiday season officially upon us, there are resounding themes of New Year's resolutions regarding health, personal finance and family matters. Small business owners are no different. With economic pressures likely to continue, it is a perfect time of the year for Hispanic small business owners to make positive changes. Here are some essential tips every Hispanic small business owner should consider in 2013! And all other small businesses too.

Running a small business can be stressful enough, and small business owners deserve partners who can ease the burden. For that reason, small business owners should consider a banking partner that wants to understand their business and offers ways for them to easily manage their money. As revealed in a recent survey conducted by TD Bank, Hispanic small business owners stress levels are increasing, and the top stressor is from managing their money. A dedicated banking partner can help ease that stress.

Signing up for a checking account that's the right fit for your business can help ease the stress associated with managing your money. Partner with a bank that offers flexible checking products based on your deposit needs. One checking account doesn't fit all, so take into consideration your average minimum daily balance and monthly transactions.

Small business owners should also talk to their banker about ways to improve their cash flow. A line of credit is a possible solution to help accommodate the ups and downs of your cash flow, and can enable you to purchase inventory in anticipation of future sales. If you have a line of credit, tracking your outstanding receivables closely will help you decide when you should draw on your line to support your cash flow. However, it's important to remember to pay it back once you collect those receivables.

Before the end of the year, schedule time to visit your banker. Share your financial data and discuss growth plans for 2013. Having these conversations will help you and your bank have a better understanding of your business' financial goals. Also, if you're looking to apply for new financing, constant communication can lead to a faster decision on a loan application.

With a dedicated banking partner, small business owners have opportunities to focus more on managing their business and driving for greater results. With a little research, these New Year's resolutions can help you find a bank that is committed and focused on the success of your business.
The fight for citizenship starts now

from Adam Luna, America's Voice Education Fund

A new poll just came out, showing that over 60% of Americans support creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[1]

The American people support it, Democrats promised it, and Republicans need it so they can begin repairing their standing with Latino and immigrant voters.  Now we have have to make our demands crystal clear.

A bipartisan group of eight Senators has just stepped up to create the framework for immigration reform next year and they need to hear from us.[2]

Tell leaders in the Senate: any immigration reform proposal must include a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million people living in the United States without papers.

This year's election sent a clear and decisive message—Latino, Asian, and immigrant community voters are a force to be reckoned with and neither party can afford to delay on immigration reform. The creation of this bipartisan group is the first concrete step toward turning that message into action.

Tell these Senators that they must include a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home.

The only way to ensure that Congress passes the kind of immigration reform proposal we want is to make our demands known every step of the way.

We have our work cut out for us -- some of these Senators voted against the DREAM Act.  But now all eight are saying they want to tackle the issue.  We’re in a new era and our movement has proven that we have the power to win.

I know that we won’t give up until we do,

Adam Luna
America's Voice Education Fund

P.S. The "Gang of 8" Senators are Dick Durbin (D - IL), Chuck Schumer (D - NY), Bob Menendez (D - NJ), Michael Bennet (D - CO), John McCain (R – AZ), Lindsey Graham (R - SC), Mike Lee (R - UT), and Jeff Flake (R - AZ).
Boulder's Intercambio helps 8,000 immigrants find their way

In the past 11 years, people from 45 countries have been helped to fit into their new country and community.    - - Donna Poisl

By Steve Raabe, The Denver Post

Six students in a tiny Boulder classroom sit around a table, holding an intelligent discussion about a magazine article on social media.

The classroom's common language is English, but the accents come from around the globe — China, South Korea, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan.

At the nonprofit Intercambio: Uniting Communities, students are linked by a desire to speak better English and assimilate into American culture.
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Program for new immigrants has everyone talking

Conversations and Coffee is the name of this program to help anyone improve their English skills.   - - Donna Poisl

by Janet Klockenga

A program at the Forest Avenue Library that helps newly arrived immigrants and others practice their English speaking and writing skills is quickly growing.

Librarian Ashley Ansah, who began the free Conversations and Coffee program in September, said the group is attracting about 15 regular visitors each Tuesday. About 10 volunteers work with participants.
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Open the golden door

Immigrant reform is wanted by a majority of Americans, with most wanting a path to citizenship for the people here now.   - - Donna Poisl


The immigration reform debate is over. The nativists lost.

That’s the undeniable conclusion to be drawn from a new Politico/George Washington University poll, and it means there ought to be a stiff wind at President Obama’s back should he embark on a new push to overhaul immigration laws next year.

Fully 62% of those surveyed want to give undocumented immigrants an eventual path to citizenship as part of comprehensive reform. Perhaps most surprising, even Republicans favored a path to citizenship — with 48% saying yes and 45% no.
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The growth of the US immigration system

This is a short history of our immigration system, from 1790 through this year. Very interesting.   - - Donna Poisl

By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff 

1790: The US Naturalization Act provided the first guidelines for the granting of US citizenship.

1798: Congress enacted the first measures to allow for the detention and deportation of noncitizens. The Alien and Sedition Acts permitted deportation of any noncitizen considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States or whose home country was at war with the United States. The acts, passed when the United States was on the brink of war with France, also criminalized any malicious criticism of the US government.
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Baltimore Says, 'Immigrants Welcome'

Like many cities, Baltimore's population is shrinking. And like some of those cities, it is working to get more immigrants to move there.     - - Donna Poisl


Hundreds of people gathered in September at Baltimore's harbor as the wind gusted off the water's edge. Nearly 50 of them were about to be sworn in as U.S. citizens. Some were young, some old. There were uniformed members of the U.S. military, parents and children. There were immigrants from El Salvador, China, Honduras and countries in between. They raised their right hands, recited the naturalization oath to the United States, and were declared fully American.

The national conversation on immigration reform has been stalled for years, and while President Obama says it's a top priority for his second term, Baltimore is moving ahead with its own agenda: It's courting immigrants in an effort to revitalize its shrinking population.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saritha Prabhu: Constant influx of immigrants is the 'American experiment'

This country has always had a constant stream of immigrants; those coming now are making more dramatic changes than in the past. They are all very hard workers, just like in the past and will assimilate just as well.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Saritha Prabhu

America is at the beginning stages of changing from a majority white, Protestant nation to one that is majority nonwhite, non-Protestant. What does this mean for the nation and its people?

The villain in this story is apparently the 1965 Immigration Act, which opened the floodgates to immigrants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. As a result, we now have a polyglot nation, comprising many races, ethnicities and religions.

First, it is perhaps natural for those who have been here several generations to look at the changing country and experience some angst. One world, one people sounds good in theory, but tends not to play out neatly on the ground.
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After "fiscal cliff", immigration next priority for Obama

Immigration reform is next in line, according to most of what we hear.    - - Donna Poisl


Comprehensive immigration reform will top President Obama's to-do list following his inauguration next month, the Los Angeles Times reports, with the administration's hope that a law can be passed before politics of the 2014 and 2016 elections begin to harden party lines.

The initiative - which will include a "social media blitz" - would seek, among other things, a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, strengthened border security, an easier means of bringing in foreign workers under special visas, and stricter penalties for employers who hire illegals, according to the Times. Cabinet secretaries will push the reform's benefits to business, education, health care, and public safety.
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Young illegal immigrants fly kites and dream of freedom

DREAM activists who have immigrated from all countries are using kites in an art project to demonstrate for the DREAM Act.    - - Donna Poisl

By Tara Bahrampour

Marybeth Onyeukwu was nervous.
“Okay!” she said, standing in the frigid air in front of the Washington Monument, holding a spool of string. “So when I feel it, I let go?”

The wind tugged at the string, and, at just the right moment, Onyeukwu, 26, of Temple Hills, started to jog backward. A large white diamond emblazoned with her image lifted jerkily into the air. She giggled excitedly and kept running, as her friends cheered.

Onyeukwu, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States when she was 2, is part of a wave of Dream activitsts — young undocumented immigrants who have recently been stepping forward and identifying themselves in a push for more rights.
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Immigrants become key to state growth and prosperity

Many northern states are relying on immigrants to keep their states prospering, especially since many of their own citizens are leaving.    - - Donna Poisl

Article by: DAVID PETERSON, Star Tribune

Each morning at sunrise, Edinah passes through Edina on her way to work.

The Burnsville resident couldn't have imagined back in Kenya that a town that almost shares her name would become a daily sight -- or that her buddy Doris, whom she knew back in Africa, would be working next door. But it's an apt illustration of a state undergoing a subtle but profound shift in its relationship with its growing immigrant population.

With more native-born residents leaving the state, Minnesota's growth and prosperity depend increasingly upon its unusually strong flow of foreigners, according to a series of new analyses and data, the most recent of which arrived on Thursday.
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Sunday, December 09, 2012

The 'healthy immigrant' effect: For Mexicans, not so true

New studies show that Mexican immigrants might not be very healthy when they come here, they just don't know what their health problems are.  - - Donna Poisl

By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog

The robust good health of newly arrived Mexican immigrants is an article of faith among public health experts--as is the notion that the longer they are in the United States, the unhealthier they become. But the idea that emigrating to the United States is bad for a newcomer's health--possibly because he departs from the healthful eating and exercise habits of his home country--has a major flaw in it, a new study says: These immigrants may not be so healthy to begin with.

They just don't know it--yet.
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help wanted: high-skilled immigrants needed to fill open positions

This consulting firm, owned by an immigrant, is specializing in finding and placing highly skilled immigrants to fill jobs that are begging to be filled. It helps them through all the visa paperwork.    - - Donna Poisl


Twenty years ago, Radhika Reddy traversed the globe to attend Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University packing little more than a visa. Today, the Indian-born Clevelander is cofounder and partner of Ariel Ventures, a thriving consulting firm with nearly $2 million in annual sales.

Reddy came here to learn the language of business, but decided to stay when she realized that she’d found a kindred spirit in the American entrepreneurial way of life. It hasn’t always been easy, of course. Some American norms remain bewilderingly foreign to her, like refraining from asking coworkers about their families, which is commonplace in India but less so here.

Yet Reddy still gets starry-eyed when talking about America’s wide-open highways, and she wouldn’t live anywhere else. Now that she’s earned her success, she wants to help others enjoy the same. She recently opened the Ariel International Center, a regional hub for international businesses, in the former Leff Electric Company building on E. 40th Street.
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Congressional Hispanic Congress Releases Immigration Principles

Last Wednesday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference to release a nine-point list of principles they say must be part of any immigration overhaul. The first principle is a "path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship" for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Other proposed principles include prioritizing family unity, permanent relief for DREAMers, strengthening the economy through STEM jobs, ensuring smart and reasonable enforcement, establishing a workable employment verification system, and providing legal avenues for foreign workers to fill gaps in the U.S. workforce.
Click here to read the principles.
Local petition pushes for protection of immigrants

This petition is to give Guatemalan immigrants protected status after the natural disasters in their country.     - - Donna Poisl

By Amber Parcher / The Daily Item

LYNN — A group of Latin American immigrants have started a petition in Lynn they hope to take all the way to the White House.

The petition asks the federal government to make good on a 2010 request to provide temporary protected status for undocumented Guatemalan immigrants in light of three major storms and earthquakes that have wracked the country over the past two years.

For more information on the petition, or to sign it electronically, visit and click on “Find a petition.”
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Use immigration to spur economic growth: Opinion

Immigrants and immigrant owned businesses are a large percentage of New Jersey and many of our states. They are needed for our economy to improve.   - - Donna Poisl

By Lawrence E. McCullough,  Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

Immigration — legal and illegal — affects every aspect of life in every corner of the United States. It is imperative for national security and economic development that we make it work to our advantage.

The United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than the rest of the world combined. According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are a little less than 40 million foreign-born residents in the United States, accounting for 12.5 percent of the total U.S. population and 16 percent of the labor force.

In New Jersey, immigrants make up 28 percent of the state’s workforce — including 40 percent of our scientists and engineers with higher degrees. A 2009 Governor’s Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy found that one-fifth of New Jersey businesses are owned by immigrant entrepreneurs, accounting for nearly one-fourth of the state’s gross earnings.
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Mexican Americans try to balance language with assimilation

This article is very interesting, telling how opinions and prejudice are formed by what language the immigrants speak; English or not.   - - Donna Poisl

from Bianca Montes, The Shorthorn entertainment editor

Speaking Spanish has become a common false identifier associated with being an illegal immigrant. For Mexican-Americans, it has become an agitator for blanket racism and a reason to separate themselves from their culture.

This type of segregation doesn’t have a name, and it doesn’t neatly fit into the definition of a prejudice: an opinion formed without knowledge.

“A prejudice is an attitude of superiority, and that’s too simple,” said Susan Gonzalez Baker, Center for Mexican-American Studies director. “I would call it a broken bridge of understanding.”
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UNO study: Immigrant workers boost local economy

This study matches what all other studies in the country find; immigrants help the economy. Click on the headline and download the full study next.   - - Donna Poisl


The labor and spending of immigrant workers in three economic sectors supports 34,000 jobs in metropolitan Omaha and Council Bluffs, including many filled by U.S.-born workers, according to a new University of Nebraska at Omaha study.

Those jobs, the study found, include not only the roughly 13,000 jobs filled by immigrant workers in the meat processing, construction and food service sectors of the local economy. They also include employment in enterprises that the immigrant workers support with their labor and spending, the report asserts.

Each year, immigrant workers contribute $1.4 billion to the Omaha-Council Bluffs economy through their spending and the economic activity it generates.
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Latinos did it in 2012; let's do it again in 2013

This year's election decision was decided by the Latino vote— which accounted for 10 percent of the total vote and contributed to victories in battleground states. On November 6, Latinos voted and were the difference in this year's election.

November 6 was just one step towards bettering our communities and our future. The next step is continued participation.

In 2013, many state and local elections will take place in cities like Los Angeles and states like New Jersey. The candidates we elect and decisions we mark on the ballot in these elections have huge impacts on our daily lives.

We need to encourage Latinos to keep the momentum and partake in all aspects of civic engagement to continue to shape our country – from turning out at the polls to participating in town halls and holding elected leaders accountable.

We’d like to hear from you and learn about what you have planned in 2013.
Click here and take a short survey – only a minute long – about your plans in 2013.  

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

Monday, December 03, 2012

Immigrant Focused Program Trains Latinos to be Farmers

from Fox News Latino

Immigrant farmworkers are being helped by this program to own their own farm business. A very good idea.   - - Donna Poisl

SALINAS, Calif. –  Bending over beds of shriveled strawberry plants, former farmworker Domitila Martinez pulls pieces of black plastic row covers in preparation for next season's planting. Except this time, she's the boss.

Martinez, who escaped the civil war in El Salvador three decades ago, used to pack tomatoes and harvest grapes for long hours and little pay in Central California. Then, one day, she heard an announcement on the radio: She could become a grower herself.

She enrolled in a small farmer education program in Salinas that trains farmworkers to establish and manage organic farms. Today, she grows four acres of organic strawberries in the Salinas Valley and sells them to Whole Foods markets.
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New center to assist all immigrant groups

This group has been helping immigrants in Nashville for 10 years and now has a new building and community center.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Brian Haas, The Tennessean

Ten years ago, Conexión Américas was born in a small, donated office to help Latino families integrate into the Nashville area. On Saturday, the organization flung open the doors on the $5 million Casa Azafrán Community Center, which will cater to all immigrant groups to help bring about social, cultural and financial integration.

It may seem like quite a leap in just a decade. But during that time, Nashville’s Hispanic population has exploded, growing faster than that of any other county in the state, according to the U.S. Census. Nearly 1 in 10 Davidson County residents today is Hispanic. And Latino voters were cited as one of the major deciding factors in last month’s presidential election.
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From 'immigrant' to 'American:' assimilating into the mainstream

This is a good question; when does a person stop being an "immigrant"?   - - Donna Poisl


How do some groups make the leap from being identified as "immigrants" to "Americans?" Is it the passage of time or something more?

We wanted to talk about the topic after a recent New York Times Room for Debate.
Ruben Martinez, English professor at Loyola Marymount University, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday.

"I am the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, and I've inherited my elders' ambition to 'make it' it in America as well as their anxiety over whether they would ever really fit in," wrote Martinez in The New York Times. "Ours is not the archetypal mid-20th-century path toward 'assimilation.'"
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Vote to make “undocumented immigrants” TIME’s Person of the Year

from Van Le, America's Voice Education Fund

Voting has started for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year 2012—and “undocumented immigrants” are one of the options on the list!

Vote to make “undocumented immigrants” TIME’s Person of the Year—click here.

Every year, TIME Magazine holds a contest recognizing an individual, group, or item that has made a significant impact on the world that year.  Previous honorees have included Mark Zuckerberg, Ben Bernanke, and Barack Obama.  Undocumented immigrants—new Americans—are currently 4th on the list.  That's AHEAD of President Obama, Stephen Colbert, and Hillary Clinton!

We could really win this.  Vote to make “undocumented immigrants” TIME’s Person of the Year 2012 here.

TIME’s editors will make the ultimate decision, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have our say.  It’s been a fantastic year for our movement, between the announcement of deferred action for DREAMers and the strength of the Latino vote in last month’s election.  Immigrants have changed history this year—and it's time they get recognition for it.  Please vote!

Van Le
America's Voice Education Fund