Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bilingual program exceeding goals

Many people don't like bilingual classes, but this school district is having success.    - - Donna Poisl


For Deming Public Schools' Bilingual Program, validation of six years of hard work has arrived.

Earlier in October, Michael Chavez, director of bilingual education, proudly released new data from the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment that shows students in grades three through eight who began as English Language Learners (non-English as their native language) and have progressed to "English Proficient" are scoring on par and sometimes higher than their peers in Mathematics and Reading.

"We have closed the achievement gaps in our Bilingual Programs," he said. "We know what we're doing is working."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

JP Neighborhood Organizations Offer Chance to Learn ‘Business English’

Many small businesses are owned by immigrant entrepreneurs, this organization is helping these owners speak better Business English.    - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Bret Silverberg (Editor)

Three Jamaica Plain neighborhood business organizations have teamed up to help local merchants who speak languages other than English to brush up on their English business speak.

Egleston Square Main Street and Jackson Hyde Square Main Street have partnered with the YMCA of Greater Boston’s International Learning Center (ILC) and it’s Egleston Square branch to launch Boston’s first ever  "Business English for Speakers of Other Languages."

“It’s frustrating to lose business just because of an accent, and it’s ultimately hurting my bottom line,” said Rosana Javier, Dominican Republican-born general manager of Latino’s Beauty Salon, in an emailed statement.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

YP Spotlight: Librarian Ashley Molzen helps immigrants learn English

This librarian has a class called Conversations and Coffee, teaching conversational English to immigrants in her community.  - - Donna Poisl

Written by Josh Hafner

The name cards scattered on a table last week at the Forest Avenue Library represented a world’s worth of stories. Each carried a name of a person and a country that person left at some point, for some reason, to eventually come here, to Des Moines.

Clemente, El Salvador. Yasmin, Sudan. Ivetta, Russia. Beuline, Burundi. More than 35 immigrants in all. Some came to the United States more than 20 years ago. Others, two weeks ago. Some came as refugees from war-torn countries. Others did not. But each came here to pick up the card, meet with librarian Ashley Molzen and have a conversation.

“Oh, you want to learn the phone today? Right over there,” said Molzen, pointing an older man to a table across the room.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Dr. Samuel Rodriguez Initiates 40-Day Fast on behalf of Immigration Reform; Urges Expediency

NHCLC President asks others to join in fast & prayer during holiday season 

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- To stress the need for immediate action by Congress on immigration reform, Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the nation's largest Christian Hispanic organization representing more than 40,000 churches, will begin a 40-day fast on Monday, Nov. 4 that will last through one of the most indulgent national holidays, Thanksgiving.

"In the spirit of Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other leaders who have acted on the moral imperative to do justice, as well as our ultimate example found in Jesus, I likewise sense an urgent conviction to engage in the spiritual exercise that in my faith narrative produces great results," said Rodriguez. "Starting today, I will be engaging in a personal fast and call others to join me as we pray for the vital importance of immigration reform now."

Rodriguez has committed to fast for 40 days but is willing to extend it until immigration reform is passed.

Believing immigration reform is as much a religious issue as it is a policy, Rodriguez and NHCLC leaders have been actively rallying support from the Evangelical Christian community, which was once hesitant to embrace reform but now believes it is necessary to heal communities, usher in peace and promote righteousness and justice.

NHCLC supports reform focused on three main elements that puts an end to all illegal immigration. First, increasing border protection, including using infrared, satellite, and other technologies in addition to border patrols. Second, creating a market-driven guest-worker program that provides clear avenues by which millions of undocumented families can obtain legal status in a manner that reflects the Judeo-Christian value system on which this nation was founded. And finally, developing standards for undocumented residents without a criminal record who are earning citizenship status to go to the back of the citizenship line and receive a financial penalty, while acquiring civic and language proficiency and serving the local community.

Individuals interested in joining Rodriguez in the 40-day fast can email him at or message him on Twitter (@nhclc), Instagram (@pastorsamuelrodriguez) or Facebook ( using the hashtag #Fast4Reform.

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the nation's largest Christian Hispanic organization, which serves millions of Hispanics and represents more than   40,000 churches, emphasizing "seven directives" of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit

SOURCE  National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

CONTACT: A. Larry Ross Communications, Julie Shutley, 972.267.1111,
Learning English key for meatpacking workers

These English classes are held for workers of the poultry plant at a time and location that is convenient for them.    - - Donna Poisl

by Abbie Fentress Swanson, KBIA/Harvest Public Media

Three days a week, First Baptist Church in Noel, Mo., becomes a school for about 100 immigrants and refugees who work at the Tyson poultry plant. English language and citizenship classes are held in four small rooms in a building behind the church. One of the youngest students here, Soe Soe, is an 18-year-old Burmese refugee who debones chicken at the plant from 4:30 PM until 2 or 3 each morning.

“I really don’t like it. I’d like to go to school and learn more English. But I have problems, like nobody working in my house, nobody paying for rent,” he said.

There is no shortage of refugees like Soe Soe in this tiny remote town who probably should be in high school but are instead working at the Tyson poultry plant to support their families. For them, the free English classes being offered at the church are a lifeline. Soe Soe hopes they will give him the English skills he needs to one day leave the plant and become a translator, doctor, nurse or hotel worker.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Blog Launched to Tell the Stories of Ellis Island Immigrants

Some terrific stories on this blog. Check it out!   - - Donna Poisl

The following announcement was written by Statue Cruises:

New York, NY – In honor of the reopening of Ellis Island on Monday, October 28, 2013, Statue Cruises is pleased to announce the launch of a new blog to tell the stories of the immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island.

Inspired by the stories of their own employees’ families, Statue Cruises has launched Heartbreak & Hope: The Stories of Ellis Island to tell not only those stories but the stories of the many descendants of over 14 million people who found their way to the U.S. through the Ellis Island Immigration Station.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration: California Republican Rep. Denham backs overhaul bill

I guess one-at-a-time is better than none.  Maybe this will inspire more.  - - Donna Poisl

By Richard Simon

WASHINGTON — California Rep. Jeff Denham is the first House Republican to join Democrats in co-sponsoring a broad immigration overhaul bill that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

"We can’t afford any more delays," the Central Valley lawmaker said in a statement Sunday. "I support an earned path to citizenship to allow those who want to become citizens to demonstrate a commitment to our country, learn English, pay fines and back taxes and pass background checks."

The Republican from Turlock called the legislation "a common-sense solution to our broken system."

Denham signed onto a bill House Democrats introduced this month, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. It mostly parallels the bill passed by the Senate in June.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants Injecting Life Into the Rust Belt

Immigrants have always helped this country, now they are especially helping cities that have lost much of their populations and are in decline.- - Donna Poisl

By Andrew Wainer

Amid the debate over potentially the biggest reform of immigration law in 50 years, American communities struggling with decades of population loss and economic decline are being revitalized by newcomers. The economic contribution of immigrants in high-skilled fields is relatively well known, but less acknowledged are the contributions that blue-collar immigrants play in revitalizing depressed communities and economies, both as manual laborers and small-business entrepreneurs.

Andrew Wainer is a senior immigration-policy analyst for the Bread for the World Institute.In Rust Belt places such as Baltimore, Detroit, and rural southeastern Iowa, immigration has slowed—and in some cases reversed—decades of population loss. In July 2012, after 60 years of population decline, the Census Bureau reported an increase in Baltimore's population. The increase was attributed in part to growing international migration. Detroit is infamous for its population decline, which has continued since 1950. But it would be worse if it were not for the influx of immigrants from Latin America. Between 2000 and 2010 Detroit lost 237,000 residents—25 percent of the total population in just 10 years. But the city's southwest immigrant neighborhoods, an area known as "Mexicantown" actually increased in population. While the city lost 41,000 whites and more than 185,000 blacks during this decade, it gained 1,512 Latinos.
  Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
Immigration reform cannot wait for partisanship

Immigration reform needs bipartisan support, one side can't do it alone.  - - Donna Poisl

By James Baker, COLUMNIST

After the government shutdown ended, President Barack Obama has been pursuing a new part of his agenda — immigration reform.

Immigration reform is much needed in this country, and the bill being presented has qualities that would improve immigration laws.

But people on both sides of the political spectrum are turning this into a partisan issue.

House Republicans wish to debate and edit what could be more specific in the bill, but President Obama refuses to debate on it, according to an article in the Washington Post.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

For Somali Immigrants, All Politics Really Is Local

These immigrants have learned how America works; communities have their local issues and the community is listened to.  It helps tremendously if their own people are elected officials.- - Donna Poisl

CONTRIBUTED BY: Alan Greenblatt

 Politics in Minneapolis is about to change.

Not only is the city electing a new mayor on Nov. 5, but it’s possible a majority of the members of the city council will be freshmen as well.

Among their number could be Abdi Warsame, who would be the first Somali American elected to the city council there — or anywhere else.

“The community has realized we can turn to each other to address issues of education, housing and health, which are mainly controlled by the politicians,” says Muhamud Noor, a Wasame ally.

Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Immigrants build the nation

This U.S. Congressman tells his family story as immigrants and how hard they worked to raise their children. He is pushing for immigration reform and trying to get his fellow legislators to work with him.    - - Donna Poisl

By Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

I am the oldest of eight children, and my parents used to take me out to the fields — las piscas — to be with them, as they worked in the hot sun. 

Some of the earliest photos of me as a young child are black-and-whites together with my parents in the fields.

My father was a migrant worker from Guerrero, Mexico, who came to America not for handouts, but to work. He worked as a laborer when he met my mother.

My father and mother only reached a second and sixth grade level of education, respectively, but they instilled in their children a powerful sense of family, a strong work ethic, and the promise that if we worked hard, got an education, and played by the rules, our level of achievement would be limited only by our effort.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Elegant stories from Bay Area immigrants - young and old - about their rich experiences

Immigrants' stories going back more than 100 years have surprising similarities, regardless of the country they came from.  - - Donna Poisl

By Sharon Noguchi

PALO ALTO -- The land of endless transformation and rebirth often has greeted newcomers abruptly: with imprisonment on Angel Island, sudden vistas of wealth, and often mixed and confused identities.

On Sunday afternoon, eight storytellers distilled the mosaic of immigrants' lives in an afternoon program at the Mid-peninsula Community Media Center in Palo Alto.

"Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys" was part of the Media Center's "Made Into America" history project, which invites the community to post family stories online -- to preserve and share them and to build understanding of immigrants. On Sunday, project director Elliot Margolies said, it "gives us a chance to walk in someone else's shoes for a while."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Digital Release of Made in L.A.!

Check out this award winning documentary film about immigrants working in the garment sweatshops of Los Angeles.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why America Needs Immigrants

Foreign students are getting trained in our universities and finding it impossible to start businesses here, so they are taking their new skills back home.   - - Donna Poisl


If there's one fact that Americans take for granted, it's that other people want to live here. As President Barack Obama noted in his speech on immigration earlier this week, the U.S. has always attracted strivers from every corner of the globe, often willing to risk great hardships to get here.

During the 20th century especially, America became a magnet for the bright and ambitious. Millions of talented foreigners, from Alfred Hitchcock to Sergey Brin, flocked to our universities and benefited from our financial capital and open culture.

There are signs, however, that the allure of America is fading. A new study by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, Duke and Harvard has found that, for the first time, a majority of American-trained entrepreneurs who have returned to India and China believe they are doing better at "home" than they would be doing in the U.S. The numbers weren't even close: 72% of Indians and 81% of Chinese said "economic opportunities" were superior in their native countries.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Maryland bishops encourage immigration reform

Catholic Bishops are urging their congregation to urge their House representatives to pass the Senate bill on immigration reform.    - - Donna Poisl

By: WMAR Staff

Maryland bishops are urging Congress to pass immigration reform “as soon as possible,” according to a release from the Maryland Catholic Conference .

"We applaud the U.S. Senate for passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and we urge all members of Maryland's delegation in the House of Representatives to support efforts to pass a similar measure as soon as possible," the bishops wrote in a release.  "It is time to fix our broken immigration system and bring from out of the shadows those who labor in our fields, care for our elderly, build and maintain our homes and lawns, and who work tirelessly at jobs many Americans refuse to fill."

The bishops called on 1.2 million Catholics living in Maryland to press lawmakers to pass the reform.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigration Reform 2013 News: President Obama Looks to Push for Vote on Immigration Bill

President Obama wants to push immigration reform as soon as the debt limit and budget are agreed to. The Senate passed a bill, the House has it now, let's hope the House works on it and will call for a vote.  - - Donna Poisl

By Jean-Paul Salamanca

Even with the nation still gripped in a fiscal crisis with Congress still arguing over the debt ceiling, President Obama told the nation Tuesday that he would push for a vote on immigration reform.

In a sit-down interview with Spanish-language network Univision, President Obama said that the stalled issue of immigration reform, which currently remains frozen in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, would become a top priority for him once Congress can agree on a deal regarding the debt limit.

"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told Univision, as noted by Reuters.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

7 Tips For Raising Bilingual Children

This article gives excellent tips for immigrant parents to use to make sure their children keep their native language when learning English in school.    - - Donna Poisl


For many generations, immigrants to the United States wanted their kids to learn English, and English only. For them, total assimilation into American culture was the key to success. But in an increasingly diverse and globalized country, being bilingual is now more often seen as an asset.

A recent story in Time Magazine highlighted the latest research that shows that the multilingual brain is “nimbler, quicker, better able to deal with ambiguities, resolve conflicts and even … resist dementia.”

Even if you’re bilingual, though, it’s not always easy to pass your language on to your child.  That’s particularly true when your child starts attending school.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Prosperity Center to aid community members in job search

This new Center is helping people find work and if the people need help with English, they will be helped with that also.    - - Donna Poisl

by Courtney Griffin

A memorandum of agreement was signed Thursday morning for the first Prosperity Center in Horry County located in the Myrtle Beach Family Learning Center on Oak Street.

The Horry County Literacy Council, Horry County Schools Adult Education, United Way of Horry County, and Goodwill Industries are the four core organizations that decided to put efforts toward creating the Prosperity Center.

The primary focus of the center is to offer free educational services to anyone looking for work.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Innovative program in Minneapolis helps Somali children ease the transition to school

This very interesting article tells how Somali immigrant children are learning English in their school. Many of these middle-school kids have never been to school and don't know how to read their native language.    - - Donna Poisl

By Beth Hawkins

 A folk tale is a story that is passed on. One generation tells it to the next, which recounts it in turn to another. The process contains the germs of much: language, culture, identity, customs and relationships, among other things.

As the human brain develops, folktales — as well as nursery rhymes, songs and other forms of word play — allow it to both categorize all of the aforementioned things and to relate them to one another.

Earlier this week Stephany Jallo and Miriam Adam took turns reading a folktale to a group of Somali children who have been in the United States, with one exception, for less than six months. The teachers read the story, “Wiil Waal,” in English and Somali, respectively.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants seeking a green card must navigate a minefield of application fees

Two fees must be paid to the U.S. State Dept. and a third to USCIS to get their green card. Read the questions and answers in this article.  - - Donna Poisl

from Allan Wernick

Recent changes in fee-paying procedures are causing great consternation for immigrants and their families. Let’s see if I can help.

In family immigration cases, two fees must be paid to the U.S. Department of State before the applicant gets his or her immigrant visa: the fee to process the required affidavit of support and an immigrant visa application fee. Once the consul issues the person an immigrant visa, he or she must pay a USCIS Immigrant Visa fee. An agent or representative can pay the first two fees. Only the immigrant can pay the USCIS Immigrant Visa fee, and has up to a year to pay it.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

University-area church talks immigration

Church groups all over the country are discussing immigration reform, this one talked about the problems immigrants face and how they can help.    - - Donna Poisl

By Alexandria Chhith

As an immigrant from Malawi, Wenson Masoka has faced societal barriers in coming to Minneapolis.
“Don’t judge me by my accent,” he said. “You speak, you have an accent.”

Masoka, who is a chaplain intern at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, spoke at the University Lutheran Church of Hope on Saturday, where church and community members discussed issues immigrants face and ways to help resolve them.

Immigration reform has heated up on the national level in recent weeks. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis, was arrested Tuesday on the National Mall for occupying a street for an immigration reform protest.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Do Women Have More to Lose If Immigration Reform Dies?

There are provisions in the reform bill to especially protect women, another reason for this bill to be passed.    - - Donna Poisl

by Von Diaz

For 10 years Juanita Flores struggled to find her way out of an abusive marriage. She was undocumented, had two small children, no opportunities for legal employment, and lived in constant fear of her husband’s physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Five years ago, the last time she saw him, he put her in the hospital with a skull fracture. The next day she left Dallas. But it was only this year that she was able to get a special visa that could help her remain in the U.S.

Flores, who declined to give her real name for fear her husband would continue to threaten her family, is one of thousands of immigrant women who live in the U.S. in dangerous situations because of a lack of protections that address violence against women.

The Senate-backed immigration bill currently being considered by Congress and the newly introduced bill both include provisions that address the unique needs of women and families. 
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Group Aims To Mobilize Immigrant Entrepreneurs

This sounds like a good idea, it will help these people in their businesses and help the economy of their city.    - - Donna Poisl

By DANIELA ALTIMARI, The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD – Can taco truck owners, Asian grocers and barbers from Bosnia help to spark an economic revival in Hartford?

A new group dedicated to helping immigrant entrepreneurs launch small businesses is banking on the notion. International Hartford aims to become a clearinghouse for immigrant merchants, providing them with information and resources to realize their dreams--and revive Connecticut's struggling capitol city in the process.

"We are and will continue to be a city of immigrants,'' Mayor Pedro Segarra said at the new group's kickoff event, held Thursday morning at Hartford City Hall. "It is immigrants that have basically built the city.''
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants Create Jobs

This writer explains how "unskilled" immigrants create jobs and are successful.    - - Donna Poisl

By Matthew Yglesias

I went last night to eat some Chinese food in Cleveland's "Asiantown" neighborhood, an area of mostly unused warehouses that's now occupied by several Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants plus what looked like a couple of Asian grocery stores. I had a meal there that probably exceeds any Chinese cooking you can find in DC proper and would count as quite good even by the standards of the more immigrant-heavy suburbs in Rockville or Northern Virginia.

It was tasty, but also a great example of how even the oft-derided "unskilled" immigrants can be job creators. The key point is that while "can make some cumin lamb or sichuan cold noodles" doesn't necessarily count as the highest-level skill in the world, it's certainly not a skill that's in abundance among the native-born population of Cleveland. To some extent the existence of this kind of restaurant may crowd out dining at other eateries in Cleveland, but mostly it serves to generate a whole new class of products—authentic Chinese cooking—that otherwise wouldn't exist in the area.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Get the Facts: Five Reasons Why Immigrants Are Vital for the Future of the U.S. Health Care Industry

from the AS/COA Immigration and Integration Initiative

With baby boomers retiring in increasing numbers and the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the health care industry is set to grow dramatically and will need an expanding, quality workforce to meet demand. This fact sheet—the seventh in AS/COA’s series on immigrants and the economy—details five reasons why immigrants are critical for health care in the United States.

Download a PDF of the fact sheet.
Access AS/COA’s Get the Facts series

Five Reasons Why Immigrants Are Vital for the Future of the U.S. Health Care Industry:
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the FIVE reasons!

A Paradox That Starts Before Birth

Immigrant groups have different health issues to deal with when they live in the U.S.   - - Donna Poisl


It’s party time in the lobby of an AltaMed obstetrical clinic in Central Santa Ana, where pregnant women in their third trimester have gathered for a combination health class and baby shower.

Amid cupcakes and streamers, the women are briefed in Spanish on the importance of dental care during pregnancy and the advantages of breastfeeding. A hospital rep promises diaper giveaways to the moms-to-be delivering at her facility.

Chances are the deliveries will go smoothly, particularly among the patients from Mexico. Data show the rates of infant mortality and birth complications such as preterm delivery and low birth weight are low among Mexican-born women in the U.S.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.
The Paradox of Latino Health

Immigrant groups have different health issues to deal with when they live in the U.S.   - - Donna Poisl


Like any truth that is counterintuitive, the medical theory known as the “Latino health paradox” doesn’t seem to make sense at first.

The theory is that even though better health is usually linked to wealth and education, low-income Mexican immigrants with little formal schooling — ninth grade on average — are healthier than the overall U.S. population, according to a number of measures, including certain cancers, heart disease and mental health. In addition, immigrant Latinos have lower rates of smoking, drug use and sexually transmitted diseases, according to experts.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Asian Immigrants Both Confirm and Complicate OC's Health Paradox

Immigrant groups have different health issues to deal with when they live in the U.S.   - - Donna Poisl


Sitting in a neighbor’s home in Westminster, 68-year-old Bay Vo discusses what it takes to manage her type 2 diabetes, a condition she’s had for 15 years. She pinches her thumb and index finger together to suggest the size of the needle that she inserts into her midriff twice a day.

Does it sting? “Like an ant bite,” she says.

The shots are becoming the least of her problems, as she is now experiencing one of the most dreaded complications of diabetes, impaired vision. She also has to take special care of her feet, which for most diabetics are vulnerable to infection and ulcers that sometimes lead to toe or foot amputation.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Iowa View: Immigrants are helping our state

This opinion piece tells how immigrants in Iowa are making that state strong. The writer wants the rest of the country and the federal government to pay attention.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by KEN D. SAGAR

Congress, we need to talk.

You’re just not doing the business of the people lately. Instead of fixing our crumbling infrastructure, creating jobs, helping main street America, addressing immigration, or anything else for that matter, you’ve chosen to shut our federal government down.

The shame in what you’re doing is that there are real families, workers and businesses in Iowa right now that need you to address these issues. Take immigration reform, as an example.

Over the summer, the Network for Immigration Reform Now, a broad coalition of labor, faith, community, Latino and many other groups, has been busy calling on Iowa’s members of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

From Coast to Coast, Immigrants Drive Local Economies

Across the country, immigrants are helping to keep the economy going and in many cases it is thriving because of them. This is the way our country has always been.    - - Donna Poisl

by Paul McDaniel

Immigrant entrepreneurship has transformed Atlanta’s northeastern suburbs along and near Buford Highway into “International Village” – an area filled with immigrant restaurants, markets, specialty stores, and other businesses. Through ventures such as Chinatown Square, Asian Square Mall, and Plaza Fiesta immigrants have “economically and socially revived an area that faced economic stagnation and population decline.” As one researcher noted, “the five-mile stretch of highway running through Chamblee, Doraville, and Norcross constitutes the greatest concentration of ethnic-owned businesses in the southeastern U.S.”

Throughout the country, examples of the role immigrants play in promoting economic growth and community development abound:
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the examples in several states! This is only a small part of the story.

A Guide to H.R. 15: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

For Immediate Release
October 11, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases A Guide to H.R. 15: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. On October 2, 2013, Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed an immigration reform bill addressing border security, legalization of the undocumented, interior enforcement of immigration laws, and fixes for our dysfunctional legal immigration programs. The bill is based on S.744, the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate by a vote of 68-32 on June 27, 2013. However, the bill removes the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment and replaces it with the bipartisan House border security bill, H.R. 1417, which was passed unanimously by the Homeland Security Committee in May 2013.

To view the guide in its entirety see:
A Guide to H.R. 15: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (IPC, October 2013)

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

E.S.L. classes teach computer skills while improving language learning

This is a good idea, it is so much easier to learn while doing something, not just from a book. These people will learn computers and English at the same time and will remember both.    - - Donna Poisl


The Literacy Services department at Fort Bend County Libraries will begin a 6-week series of ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language) and computer classes in October for adults who would like to learn how to speak English and to use a computer. Each class is designed to improve English-speaking, reading and writing abilities while teaching basic computer skills.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Learning a new language has benefits

This piece gives several reasons why learning another language is good for you, even making you more wealthy and healthy! - - Donna Poisl
by Antwanise Jackson, Staff Writer

For many of us, a foreign language course has been a requirement for most majors. I’m sure some of you, like myself, were probably wondering why this is so important. Actually, there are a lot of benefits to learning a second language.

I recently have become obsessed with Spanish and I believe that the benefits to learning another language will be worth it in the long run. Here’s a look at why you should too.

Well, for starters, it makes you smarter. According to a study by The New York Times, speaking another language challenges the brain to recognize meaning and communicate in different language systems. This is helpful because it allows you to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks. 
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

As student population grows, so grows diversity

This article explains all the changes taking place in Ohio's and most schools and some of the problems. Along with the struggles, everyone learns about other cultures and that is a VERY good thing.   - - Donna Poisl

By JILL REINHART, Dublin City School District
The Dublin City School District's student enrollment has grown every year for the past 36 years and there is no end in sight to that long-term trend.

In the fall of 1977, district enrollment was 1,899. This fall, enrollment is expected to push toward 15,000 students when the official October count is taken.

During that time, the district has grown from one central campus on Bridge Street, to 20 school facilities located throughout the district's 47-square miles.

Dublin City Schools is the 12th largest in Ohio and has more students enrolled than Dayton City Schools, Canton City Schools, and Youngstown City Schools.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Selma students redesignated as English speakers

Congratulations to these students, they are well on their way to success in this country.  - - Donna Poisl

By Michael Kincheloe

Twenty-two Selma High School students are being redesignated as fluent English speakers during the fall semester, which will better prepare them for college or career opportunities. Students whose native language is not English are classified as English Language Development Students, and are given an annual assessment called the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). To be redesignated, students must be proficient or advanced on state tests; have at least a 2.0 GPA;  have passed the California High School Exit Exam; and score early advanced or advanced in the CELDT.

“The redesignation of students classified as English learners is a big accomplishment for them and their parents,” said Enedina Reed, Selma High’s ninth grade learning director and program manager. “Sometimes, it takes many years for them to meet all of the requirements.”

One of the students redesignated is ninth grader Daisy Gonzalez.

“I never give up,” said Daisy when asked what she does to be successful. “I always try my best in school and do the best for myself and my parents.”
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Masks bridge cultures and languages

Halloween and El Día de los Muertos are two days apart and both use masks. This course will teach students in English and Spanish about the holidays and they'll make some masks too.  - - Donna Poisl

Written by Gloria Hatrick

Halloween masks may be scary, but speaking in a foreign language can be even scarier — which is why fun is such an important part of learning a new language, according to Cyndi Turtledove, artistic director of LESTA (Learn English/Spanish Through the Arts).

On Saturday, Oct. 5, Turtledove will begin teaching a five-week mask-making course in which, in addition to designing masks, students will cross cultures and gain comfort and confidence interacting in both English and Spanish. The course will build to a performance, celebrating both El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and Halloween.

El Día de los Muertos falls on Nov. 2, just two days after Halloween. The celebrations take very different approaches to the spirits of the dead, Turtledove said.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Thousands Rally Nationwide in Support of an Immigration Overhaul

Rallies across the country were held for immigration reform.    - - Donna Poisl


Thousands of supporters of an immigration overhaul held rallies on Saturday at more than 150 sites in 40 states, trying to pressure Congress, despite the partisan turmoil in Washington, to focus on passing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally.

Hoping to display the wide reach of their movement, advocates held larger rallies in immigrant strongholds like Los Angeles, San Diego and Boston, with smaller demonstrations in places where immigrant groups have grown recently, including Atlanta; Rogers, Ark.; and Yakima, Wash. Organizers described the events, and a large rally they have planned for Tuesday on the National Mall in Washington, as their major show of force this year.

On what they called a “National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect,” supporters said more than 50,000 people had turned out nationwide. 
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants achieve dream of citizenship

More new citizens, congratulations!  - - Donna Poisl

by Alan Riquelmy, Staff Writer

Andersson Buiatti worked for four years to reach Rome’s federal courthouse Friday morning.

Immigration documents by his side, he waited along with about 35 others to stand and take the oath that would make him an American citizen.

Moments later newly minted American voices sang “God Bless America.”

“I love this country,” said Buiatti, 33, of Brazil. “I want to stay here.”

Sebastian Franco, 36, of Colombia, feels the same way.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Illegal immigrants can get driver's licenses under new California law

This new law will make driving in CA safer for everyone; 1.4 million more people with driver's licenses and insurance.   - - Donna Poisl

By Sharon Bernstein

(Reuters) - Illegal immigrants living in California will be eligible to apply for driver's licenses under a law signed on Thursday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, in the latest action to expand privileges for such immigrants in the most populous U.S. state.

The legislation marks a major victory for Latino and other immigration rights activists, who have fought for decades for such a law. The state says it is expected to spur 1.4 million people to apply for licenses over three years.

The law, passed with substantial Republican support, marks a significant departure from past policy in California, which will join at least nine other states that allow undocumented immigrants to drive legally when the law takes effect in 2015.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Bilingual education: Why gutting it hurts us all

This article gives all sides of the bilingual education discussion and shows how budget cuts are hurting the programs in many schools.    - - Donna Poisl

By John Benson

Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect opportunity to explore how bilingual education positively or negatively affect our children.

Despite study after study showing that bilingual education benefits students and communities, budget cuts and xenophobia nationwide have led to many dual-language programs being cut in Florida, Texas and California.

Most recently, for example, the Irving Independence School District outside of Dallas gutted its program, which for years was championed by newly retired school board member Ronda Huffstetler.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Affordable Care Act: How immigrants are affected

This report gives a summary of which immigrants can apply for the new insurance.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jessica Peres

TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) -- Enrollment is now open for medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Central California is home to tens of thousands of immigrants, but whether you're documented or undocumented is a huge factor in whether you're eligible for the Affordable Care Act. ABC30 talked to both about what this new law means to them and whether it will help them.

Cristina Zamorano is an immigrant living in Tulare County. She says many who like her are living in the country illegally and are scared to speak up when it comes to learning about the Affordable Care Act -- the new federal law requiring every person who's in the U.S. legally to sign up for health insurance. 
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

House Dems Offer Immigration Bill, Fate Uncertain

Now we wait to see if the House Republicans will approve this new bill.    - - Donna Poisl

By DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled an immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightens border security, and they warned of political fallout if House Republicans fail to act.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and more than a dozen Democrats said they were ready to move on overhauling the nation's immigration system. Their bill combines major elements of a bill the Senate passed in June with bipartisan border security legislation that won unanimous support in the Homeland Security Committee in May.

Speaking in English and Spanish, Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., said the legislation wasn't perfect but urged Republicans to back the measure.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

For Immigrants, Language and Knowledge are Barriers in Obamacare Enrollment

Many patients at these health clinics do not know anything about the new health insurance law and workers are helping them get information and apply.  - - Donna Poisl

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Carrying Spanish-language brochures, outreach worker Sandra Pena walked around a crowded health clinic in Bell Gardens in Southern California early Tuesday morning.

“Have you heard of the program Obamacare?” Pena asked a group of patients. A few nodded. Others stared blankly.

As enrollment began around the nation, the scene at this Wesley Health Center underscored one of the major challenges facing officials – overcoming the lack of awareness.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrant Savings and Charity: Are They Better Than We Are?

The World Bank reports that U.S. immigrants save more money and give more to help others than the rest of us do.    - - Donna Poisl


Let's face it: we judge. Our bosses judge us and we judge each other (and them). Even our children can tell us who is popular by first grade. So how do we judge immigrants? They are at the bottom of the barrel, right? Who wants to be a poor immigrant, especially an undocumented one? But maybe we are being hasty. What if immigrants are, in fact, better than us in several important ways?

Among the traits we recognize in a good citizen are prudence with money (saving it) as well as generosity with it. Turns out immigrants do better than us in both regards.

The World Bank estimates that immigrants living in the U.S. saved more than $120 billion in 2011 to send home to relatives living in poverty, of which about $25 billion is saved and sent by undocumented immigrants. Called remittances, these payments show not only that immigrants manage their money better than we do, but are also more generous.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Schools offer new English acquisition program

This school district has changed the way they teach English to immigrant kids and it seems to be working.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jennifer Smith

A shift in how Littleton Public Schools teaches kids who are learning English is going smoothly, say administrators.

Rather than pulling students out of regular classrooms to focus on language acquisition, LPS is piloting co-teaching at two of its schools. Under that model at Field Elementary and Goddard Middle School, a second teacher comes into a classroom to work on English acquisition.

“With our old pull-out model, students were spending lots of time in transition,” said Andrea Scott, an English-language acquisition teacher at Field. “They were leaving during tier-one instruction, not finishing the tasks in the classroom and then coming back into the classroom as lost little lambs, trying to catch up with what they missed. Now instruction feels more seamless. Students are a part of the magic that happens in the classroom.”
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Learning center opens its doors in old South Omaha library building

This center has classes for immigrants with children ages 4-7 in public school. It will enable the parents to help their kids with school work and working with their teachers.   - - Donna Poisl

By Joe Dejka / World-Herald staff writer

The Learning Community officially opens its newly renovated South Omaha learning center today.

The 7,000-square-foot building provides triple the classroom space for teaching adult immigrants the skills they need to help their children succeed in school.

With its simple exterior, original brick walls and bright, airy interior, the building gives the Learning Community a long-­term presence in the commercial and cultural heart of Omaha's Latino community.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

House Democrats Unveil Comprehensive Immigration Reform Proposal
For Immediate Release

October 2, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, in an important effort to keep the conversation and momentum on immigration reform moving forward in the House, a group of centrist Democrats introduced their version of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Although the full text has not yet been made available, it is said to be a modification of the bipartisan Senate bill of the same name adopted earlier this year. Among other reported changes, the House bill takes a different path on border security, incorporating a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Mike McCaul which passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Homeland Security in May of 2013. The House sponsors—including Representatives Garcia, Chu, Polis, DelBene, and Horsford—adopted provisions of the McCaul-Thompson bill as a replacement for the costly, controversial “border surge” strategy adopted by the Senate under the Corker-Hoeven amendment. 

Substantively, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today reflects a series of bipartisan policy and political compromises made during deliberations in the Senate. The original co-sponsors represent diverse interests from within the Democratic Party, including the New Democrats Coalition, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

The following is a statement from the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson:
“The introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House presents an important opportunity for bipartisan cooperation and is a reminder that Congress can and must work on more than one issue at a time. The bill’s co-sponsors have demonstrated a willingness to take a fresh look at the decidedly imperfect Senate bill and use it as a starting point for shaping truly bipartisan legislation. To succeed, Republicans must either seize the opportunity to turn this into a truly bipartisan moment for moving immigration reform forward, or put forward an alternative vehicle for fixing our broken immigration system.”

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

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

U.S. Army Reinforces Commitment to Developing Next Generation of STEM Leaders


-- Army Leaders Mentor Students at the 25th Annual HENAAC Conference

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The U.S. Army and Great Minds in STEM™ (GMiS) have renewed their mutual commitment to preparing Hispanic youth for education and career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Army will partner with GMiS at the 25th Annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC), Oct. 3-5 in New Orleans. As a proud supporter of GMiS for nearly ten years, the Army will continue to work with GMiS to provide students with resources, information and mentorship to help them achieve their academic and career goals.

Economic analysts predict that in order for the U.S. to remain a competitor in the STEM fields, approximately one million more STEM professionals will have to be trained over the next decade. To help address this challenge, the Army will highlight its numerous education resources and career opportunities during the HENAAC conference. Army representatives will highlight the more than 40 free education programs it provides to students, teachers and parents, including March2Success, a free online tool that enhances learning and prepares students for standardized tests.

The Army will also host an interactive exhibit featuring advanced military technologies with Soldiers on-hand to answer questions about STEM careers in the Army. Understanding that mentorship is crucial to developing future leaders, Army representatives will conduct seminars on developing leadership skills, and will participate in the conference's Protege Mentorship Track to discuss interview tips and professional development with students.

The Army is committed to ensuring their officer corps reflects the face of our nation, and partnerships like this one are very important to this mission.

To learn more about Army's educational and career opportunities, please visit

To learn more about the 2013 HENAAC Conference, please click here

About Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG)
The Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) is the U.S. Army's national marketing, marketing research and analysis and accessions analysis organization. The AMRG develops innovative and effective ways to: connect with the American public and make the Army more accessible and understood; increase awareness of both the benefits and value of Army service; and motivate the most qualified candidates to choose the Army as their service of first choice.

CONTACT: Eileen Suarez, Phone: +1-469-375-0226, E-mail: