Monday, January 28, 2013

Clinic founded by immigrants opens at new location

This clinic is run by first generation immigrants, helping others in their own situation.   - - Donna Poisl

By Kelsey Ryan, The Wichita Eagle

A nonprofit clinic that was started to allow immigrants to give back to their adopted community marked a milestone Friday.

Mayflower Clinic held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at its new location, 209 E. William, Suite 104.

Open since 2010, the health care clinic uses mostly volunteer providers and moved to its new location to expand mental health services.

The clinic’s physicians are originally from several countries, including India, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, Syria and Lebanon.
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Bosnian immigrants find opportunity in Mohawk Valley

Here are a couple success stories of immigrants running from war in their homeland and finding safety, success and happiness here.   - - Donna Poisl

By RON MOSHIER, Observer-Dispatch

UTICA — Nijaz Velic spent much of his early childhood on the run.

He and his family were not alone. They were running for their lives. But while many Bosnians left for Germany, Austria or Italy, and eventually started over again in the United States, Velic and his family stayed in their war-torn country until the bitter end.

Until there was almost nothing left.

“I was one of those – a war child,” Velic said. “I was there during the worst. Everything was getting destroyed so we had to keep moving. Unfortunately, I remember it very well. Thank God it’s over.”
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Concord woman’s photographs of New Hampshire immigrants to be displayed

Read when and where to view this exhibit. It looks very interesting.  - - Donna Poisl

By SARAH PALERMO Monitor Staff

THE WORK of Concord photographer Becky Field will be featured in an exhibit opening Feb. 6 at the UNH-Manchester Library.

Field, a former wildlife ecologist and communications director for the American Red Cross of New Hampshire, began taking photographs in her retirement, and she quickly settled into documenting the lives of immigrants and refugees living in New Hampshire.
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Undocumented Immigrants Push For Military Service Under Deferred Action

We should assume this will be allowed, the military is always looking for more good recruits.   - - Donna Poisl

by Elise Foley

WASHINGTON -- A group of young undocumented immigrants ramped up a push this week for the ability to join the military, with about 20 visiting recruiting offices on Thursday to ask about enlistment.

Undocumented immigrants are barred from enlisting. But these young people all came to the United States as children and are now trying to gain legal status. Under a recent directive called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals they are allowed to work -- now they want President Barack Obama to allow that work to be in the military.

The first groups visited recruiting offices in New York and Hanford, Calif., on Thursday, and others will do the same in other cities in the coming weeks, organized by advocacy groups Dream Action Coalition and Let Us Serve.
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The American Immigration Council Welcomes Senate's Bipartisan Principles on Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, a bipartisan group of eight Senators unveiled a new set of comprehensive immigration reform principles, adding to the growing body of evidence that legislation to fix our nation’s broken immigration system is not only necessary, but possible. Although the framework offers only a very rough outline of what comprehensive immigration reform legislation might look like, the principles are a very strong starting point for legislative negotiations that should now begin in earnest.    

In presenting their proposal, the Senators reflect an understanding of the important role immigrants play in shaping our social and economic futures, and the critical need to create a fair and workable roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals living and working in the United States. Many issues remain to be debated and refined, and elements of the principles raise some real concerns that will need to be addressed in the months ahead.

The following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:

“The American Immigration Council congratulates Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennett and Flake for reaching across the aisle and beginning an honest, bipartisan effort to confront the many difficult issues that must be resolved for immigration reform to become a reality. With the addition of a renewed commitment from President Obama, and the strengthened voices of those whose lives and livelihood have been damaged by the failure to act, the environment is better than it has been in many years for restoring fairness and integrity to our broken immigration system.”


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

Senate Immigration Plan Revealed Today

from Adam Luna, America's Voice Education Fund

Have you heard the news?

Today, a bipartisan group of Senators just released their principles for an immigration reform plan to create a roadmap to citizenship for Americans without papers. [1] And tomorrow, President Obama will outline his vision for immigration reform.

For the first time in years, politicians from BOTH parties are working together on serious immigration reform plans.

Anti-immigrant extremists are in a panic and have begun flooding Congress with messages to try to kill this momentum.  We can’t let this loud, anti-immigrant fringe shape the debate.

Please tell your Members of Congress: the time is NOW to create a roadmap to citizenship for all 11 million Americans without papers.  Our community demands that they don't stop until immigration reform is signed into law.

It is critical that we keep the momentum going and remind leaders that our community demands action now.

The Senate principles include a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. without papers – this core element would protect this community from deportation and lead to full equality.

The fight is far from over. It’s up to us to keep fighting for every family, pushing for an end to the excessive and senseless enforcement practices and making sure that this roadmap to citizenship is clear, direct, and straightforward.  Any proposal that makes citizenship nearly impossible or requires waiting in a generations-long line will be a non-starter.

Please tell Congress: the time for a straightforward roadmap to citizenship is now -- and we demand that you deliver.

Thanks for all you do,
Adam Luna
America's Voice Education Fund

Interested in an internship? Join NALEO

from ya es hora

NALEO Educational Fund, one of our campaign's national partners, announced new internship openings and is accepting resumes to fill these positions immediately. The internships range from supporting the organization's naturalization program, to researching policies that promote participation, to working with a team of creative and savvy people in enhancing and building the campaign's social media strategy.

These internships include:

Citizenship Promotion and Assistance Intern (Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Orlando)
Digital Engagement Intern (Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Orlando)
Election Administration Policy Intern (Los Angeles)
Electoral Engagement Intern (Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Washington, DC)
Field Program Support Intern (Los Angeles, New York City, Houston)
Political Research Intern (Los Angeles)

Click here and learn more about how you can join NALEO Educational Fund and get involved in promoting the full participation of Latinos in 2013.

Questions? For more info, call 888-VE-Y-VOTA / 888-839-8682
Important updated information for Tuesday's State of Play call:

It is clear that the momentum for immigration reform has never been stronger.   In addition to President Obama's announcement tomorrow in Las Vegas, a bi-partisan group of US Senators has released their principles for immigration reform and will hold an event today in Washington DC. Tomorrow's call will be a key moment to discuss what has happened and what we should do in our communities.

Staff from the White House will join us for our State of Play call tomorrow at 6:30 pm eastern / 3:30 pm pacific time.

In addition to the latest briefings from both Las Vegas and Washington DC, we will also have information about the newly-formed Alliance for Citizenship Campaign.

We look forward to having you on the call tomorrow afternoon/evening at 6:30 pm eastern / 5:30 pm central / 4:30 pm mountain and 3:30 pm pacific time.
Please call: 866-952-1906  Your conference title and password is "CAMPAIGN."

It’s begun. The national campaign to pass real immigration reform is underway. Next week there will be events across the country, from Miami and New York City to Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle, and other cities – creating a national echo around an announcement by SEIU, FIRM, NAACP, CASA de Maryland, Asian American Justice Center and others in Washington D.C that our communities are united, and we are on the move, with major events planned for this Spring.

On Tuesday, President Obama will deliver the first major speech of his second term next week in Las Vegas, where he will talk about his vision for immigration reform. Now is the time for all of us to come together to create the momentum to win immigration reform that will keep families together and create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring new Americans.

Committed advocates leading the national coordination effort will discuss this political moment, and how we are re-structuring the national campaign under the name “Alliance For Citizenship” to take advantage of this historic opportunity to drive a winning strategy.

Date: Tuesday, January 29th 2013
Time: 6:30pm Eastern, 5:30pm Central, 4:30pm Mountain, and 3:30pm Pacific
Please call: 866-952-1906
Your conference title and password is "CAMPAIGN."

Please note: This call is closed to members of the press. For press inquiries, please contact Donna De La Cruz at
Looking forward to your participation on Tuesday.

Mehrdad Azemun
Immigration Campaign Manager
Fair Immigration Reform Movement / Center for Community Change
Loan Program Helps Hispanic-owned Businesses Grow

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded loans to several businesses and made it possible for them to grow and prosper.   - - Donna Poisl

by Fernando Del Valle

For 25 years, Dalia Rodriguez dreamed of owning her own building to house her daycare business.

Then, in October, she got a 10-year loan from the city to build a 4,000-square-foot facility. The loan was for $150,000 at 5 percent interest.

Today, her New Beginnings Child Day Care Center is awaiting completion of its new home.

"I was blessed to obtain this money," Rodriguez said. 
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Tapping into untold stories of Greek immigrants

New Queens College project archives the oral history of Greeks in New York City

This oral history project is collecting stories from Greek immigrants during the 1960s and 1970s to NYC.  - - Donna Poisl


The second wave of Greek immigration to New York City between 1965 and 1980 dramatically reshaped the landscape of Queens and turned Astoria into the second largest Hellenic city outside of Athens.

A groundbreaking oral history project, launched Thursday at Queens College, is collecting the stories of those immigrants before they are lost.

“We have to capture this moment,” said Queens College Sociology Professor Nicholas Alexiou. “There is no archive for Greek-Americans.”
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States that turn down Medicaid would leave citizens uninsured while immigrants get covered

I'm sure this will shock some people!  - - Donna Poisl

Article by: RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Governors who reject health insurance for the poor under the federal health care overhaul could wind up in a politically awkward position on immigration: A quirk in the law means some U.S. citizens would be forced to go without coverage, while legal immigrants residing in the same state could still get it.

It's an unintended consequence of how last year's Supreme Court decision changed the Medicaid provisions of President Barack Obama's health care law. The overhaul expanded the federal-state program for low-income and disabled people. The Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional for states, which complicated things.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tom Donohue: America Needs Immigrants

A smart thoughtful opinion piece; lots of good facts in it.   - - Donna Poisl

By Tom Donohue

When it comes to immigration, people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. And the facts are crystal clear: Our current system is broken. It’s not serving the interests of our economy, our businesses or our society.

Our nation can’t compete and win without the world’s best talent and hardest workers. We can’t sustain vital programs for the elderly and the less fortunate without more employees — both low skilled and high skilled — to grow our economy and tax base. We can’t harvest our food, care for our sick or sustain our military without immigrants and temporary workers.
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Learning English a struggle for new immigrants

I'm glad I don't have to learn a new language in a short time, this is hard work.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jim Merkel

About eight months after her father brought her from Peru to the United States, Claudia Pena struggles with speaking English. But she's hoping to get better.

Pena, 25, of Granite City, is one of about 15 students taking a three-hour long English as a Second Language class at the Sam Wolf Granite City campus of Southwestern Illinois College. The class is held four days a week in the mornings. Another class of 10 students are studying a class that's offered two nights a week.

"For me it's hard," Pena said of English, especially speaking. "I like grammar. I like the rules. I come here four days a week. Why? Because I want to learn English."
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Poll: Many Say Let Illegal Immigrants Stay in US

Sixty two percent of Americans think there should be a path to citizenship for the people here.    - - Donna Poisl


More than 6 in 10 Americans now favor allowing illegal immigrants to eventually become U.S. citizens, a major increase in support driven by a turnaround in Republicans' opinions after the 2012 elections.

The finding, in a new Associated Press-GfK poll, comes as the Republican Party seeks to increase its meager support among Latino voters, who turned out in large numbers to help-re-elect President Barack Obama in November.
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From Black Power to Migrants' Power

from Claire Voon

Executive editor of ARTnews Robin Cembalest has written an article on the intersection between art (especially prints and posters) and activism in 3 examples, particularly the struggle for migrant rights.

Please enjoy and pass along to your colleagues in the field! 

Best,  Claire Voon

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Thanks and Reverence We Owe Undocumented Immigrants

People who think immigrants destroy our economy should all read this.   - - Donna Poisl

Pierre Tristam, FlaglerLive’s editor

While the national obsession with guns takes a turn for the hysterical, an interesting duel is taking shape in Washington between Barack Obama and Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio. It involves an issue almost as incendiary as guns. Immigration.

Luckily for us, neither Obama nor Rubio is being hysterical about it. They both recognize that 11 million undocumented immigrants can’t be wished away. Nor will they self-deport, in the unforgettably Stalinist phrase of the late Mitt Romney. And we can’t arrest them all and ship them across the Mexican border. Dwight Eisenhower tried that in 1954 with Operation Wetback, when the casual bigotry of national policy had no problem advertising itself by name. The “Wetbacks” came back, not least because the dirty little secret of chambers of commerce from here to Wall Street’s bottom lines is that they want them here.
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Polish school helps New Bedford immigrants

These language classes are the opposite of what we are used to, and since it is so valuable for anyone to know two languages, the students will benefit.    - - Donna Poisl

By MATT CAMARA, The Standard-Times

 NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — The teacher peppered her four students with questions.

‘‘What day is it? What day is tomorrow? Yesterday?’’ she'd ask each of the students, girls between 7 and 14-years-old, in turn.

The girls answered the teacher’s questions without reverting to English, their responses punctuated by the instructor saying ‘‘dobry’’ — Polish for ‘‘good’’ — and moving on to the next lesson.

‘‘Even though (the students) speak Polish at home, it’s difficult to teach the grammar, the writing,’’ said Renata Morrison, principal of the Polish School of New Bedford, while she walked a reporter through the halls of Holy Family-Holy Name School, where Polish is the language of instruction Saturday mornings. ‘‘We don’t make money on this, it’s just to help our children become fluent in a second language, their native language.’’
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MIT Scholar Vivek Bald uncovers forgotten history of South Asian immigrants' New York City arrival 

This is a fascinating story of an immigrant community that grew and prospered, a group we don't even think about.     - - Donna Poisl


Virtually all Asian immigration to the U.S. was banned when Aladdin Ullah’s father — who left East Bengal to work on a British steamer — jumped ship in the 1920s and settled in New York.

Like hundreds of other Muslim sailors at the time, he found a home in Harlem — marrying a Puerto Rican woman and opening one of the city’s first Indian restaurants. He stayed there until his death in 1983.

“I see, now that I’m older, he kind of romanticized what Harlem was to him,” said Ullah, 44, a comedian and playwright who grew up in the George Washington Carver Houses.

“I think my father looked at Harlem as where, ‘Here is where people greet you, These people embraced me for what I am.’
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How Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Obtain Driver’s Licenses Can Save Lives

This makes perfect sense. I would much prefer that everyone driving along side me passed the tests and has a license.   - - Donna Poisl

By Amanda Peterson Beadle

Unlicensed drivers are three times more likely to cause a fatal car crash compared to licensed drivers, according to a new report from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. And requiring drivers to pass a written test and driving test before they can obtain licenses plays a major rule in reducing traffic fatalities. In California, where the majority of unlicensed drivers are undocumented, this is reviving the debate about whether or not undocumented immigrants should be able to apply for driver’s licenses:

Immigrant rights groups say that granting such licenses would reduce fatalities and costly uninsured motorist claims. Insurance companies paid out $634 million in claims for collisions related to uninsured motorists in 2009, according to the most recent data from the state.
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Census shows Asians eclipse Latino arrivals to California

Many people think most immigrants are Latino or even Mexican, but many are Asian, especially in California.   - - Donna Poisl

By Stephen Magagnini and Phillip Reese

The face of new Californians – once predominantly Latino – is increasingly Asian American, census data show.

A seismic shift in immigration has occurred in California over the last decade, with Asia replacing Latin America as the primary source of the state's immigrants.

"This is a pretty astounding change over a short period of time," said Hans Johnson, co-director of the Public Policy Institute of California, citing census data.
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Seven facts about illegal immigrants in the United States

Read this story, it tells the truth about illegal immigrants, including the numbers to their ages and gender, country of origin and more.    - - Donna Poisl

Ryan Teague Beckwith, Digital First Media

Congress will debate a massive overhaul of the immigration system this year. At the center of Democratic proposals will be a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Here's seven facts you need to know about illegal immigrants in the United States.
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Obama to push for immigration overhaul soon

I hope this happens as fast as they say.  - - Donna Poisl


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week.

Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, the officials said, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces — separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farm workers or highly skilled foreigners — that might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept.
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Bronx Co-Op Gives Female Immigrants Business Savvy Edge

Immigrant women from South Asia are getting help in New York to start businesses, many of them co-ops, owned by several of them together.   - - Donna Poisl

By: Erin Clarke

In a location that would probably go unnoticed by many, immigrants are learning how to become Americans.

"We work with women, many of them are not comfortable in English and are experiencing a lot of the economic issues that many new New Yorkers experience coming from the developing world," Westchester Square Partnership Director Alison Karasz.

Through a number of programs, Westchester Square Partnership addresses social and health-related needs for South Asian women. This month, the organization received a job training grant from the City Council speaker to help in their efforts. Training would specifically teach women how to develop workers' cooperatives.
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Carter Hosts Ga. Immigrants For Oath

President Carter hosted the swearing in ceremony for 40 immigrants last week. I'm sure they'll never forget that day for both reasons.   - - Donna Poisl

By Grant Blankenship   

MACON, Ga -- Thousands of people become new U.S. citizens every year, but not many get to do it while shaking the hand of a former president.

About 40 immigrants became citizens on Thursday at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, the first time such a ceremony has ever been held there.

Former President Carter himself attended. In remarks to the group, Carter said he's never subscribed to the "melting pot model" of U.S. citizenship.

"I think it's much better described as a beautiful mosaic, like a beautiful painting made with different colored tiles for instance," Carter said. "Everyone comes here and forms, collectively, a beautiful America."
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Mayor's office reaching out to Staten Island immigrants impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Bilingual teams are trying to find and help immigrants who don't know what help is available or where to get it.    - - Donna Poisl

By Maura Grunlund/Staten Island Advance

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In an initiative that responds to requests by Staten Island advocacy groups, outreach teams comprising workers from community-based organizations will be going into the neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy and assessing the recovery needs of immigrants in advance of the Jan. 28 deadline for application to FEMA.

The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama on Thursday announced the creation of the non-profit outreach teams, which will be coordinated by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. Funding for the outreach is provided by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Want to attend the Latino Inaugural Concert at the Kennedy Center? We've got you covered.

It couldn't be easier to enter for a chance to win 2 Southwest Airlines round trip tickets and 2 tickets to the Latino Inaugural 2013 in Washington, D.C. All you have to do is go to and tell us why you believe there should be a National American Latino Museum.

All entries will be submitted into a drawing where one winner will be selected.

You can see Eva Longoria LIVE as she hosts “Latino Inaugural: In Performance at the Kennedy Center.” You won't want to miss Latino legends like Rita Moreno and Jose Feliciano as well as special guests Mario Lopez and Prince Royce.

The event is this Sunday, January 20th at 7pm EST, and it will be followed by a reception from 8:30pm-11pm EST.

Our contest closes TOMORROW at 6pm EST, so you have to act fast! Go to for all of the contest details.

Don't worry if you can't make it to Washington, D.C. for the event, we will be livestreaming the concert on our facebook page. Become a fan of our page and you can join in on the fun from anywhere!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Small Changes Could Make Big Difference for Immigrants

Common sense changes to the immigration laws could help a lot of immigrants get legal status and become citizens.   - - Donna Poisl

by Julián Aguilar

 As Congress prepares for what is expected to be a contentious debate over immigration reform, with issues like the DREAM Act and what kind of reforms constitute "amnesty" expected to be at the forefront, immigration lawyers say addressing lesser-known and arcane policies could be just as important and effective.

The White House has reiterated its intent to present a comprehensive immigration reform plan this year, but immigration attorneys are viewing the debate through a pragmatic lens. And they argue that more minor changes to laws enacted almost 20 years ago could affect immigration as much as two major recent immigration policies from the administration: last year's deferred action policy, which grants certain undocumented immigrants a reprieve from deportation proceedings and legal permission to work for two years; and last week’s announcement that the administration in March will allow certain visa applicants who have admitted to being here illegally to obtain a waiver to re-enter the country while their application is being processed instead of being barred from the U.S. for up to 10 years. 
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Immigrants help carry on ancient sport: pigeon racing

Immigrants from many countries get together, near Seattle, for this sport that they brought from their homelands.   - - Donna Poisl

By Sarah Stuteville, Special to the Seattle Times

Eagles are majestic. Doves are romantic. Pigeons, with their tatty wings and street-living ways, are seen by many folks as dumb and dirty, referred to as the "rats of the sky."

But if you ever met a sleek-feathered, iridescent-colored, sharp-eyed racing pigeon, you'd never think of his cousin — that humble creature eating bread crusts in Pioneer Square — the same way again.

Pigeon racing is a centuries-old, worldwide sport thought to have originated in Europe. It attracts enthusiasts from around the world — including a bunch of guys crowded into a Kent basement on a recent Saturday morning, sitting on folding chairs balancing paper cups of coffee and Safeway doughnuts on their laps.
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BlueKite Raises $1.5 Million To Help U.S. Immigrants Pay Bills Abroad

This looks interesting, it might be worth checking out.    - - Donna Poisl


BlueKite, a Miami-based platform for cross-border bill payments, is today announcing $1.5 million in new funding, led by PeopleFund, which contributed $1.3 million of the total raise. The remaining amount was provided directly by BlueKite’s founders.

The startup, officially founded in April 2012, is developing a web-based payments platform that allows users in the U.S. to pay the bills for their families abroad, including things like electricity, water, gas, internet, cable, mobile, and phone bills. The transactions are made possible through integration of BlueKite’s proprietary payments platform with the accounting systems of the service providers worldwide, ofering immediate access to real-time balance information.
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An American education: refugees and new immigrants face challenges to graduation

Mainly because of language issues, immigrants and refugees find it hard to get their education and succeed in this country.   - - Donna Poisl

By Gretchen Krebs, Deseret News

It's a chilly winter morning and eight students sit in Valerie Gates' ESL class for "new arrivals" at West High School. They are enjoying a feast of international flavors including Egyptian basbousa cake, Burmese breakfast rice and Mexican rice with mole.

Gates talks with her students about the dishes they have each brought to share. She speaks slowly and clearly so her students, who only speak a few words of English, have time to hear and translate her words. They answer her questions with shy smiles and short, cautious phrases.

"What time did you wake up to make this rice?"
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Visa cap cuts off immigrants with advanced degrees

This is one part of our immigration mess that has to be fixed soon. We need skilled workers, yet send them out of the country.    - - Donna Poisl

Jens Manuel Krogstad, The Des Moines Register

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kazeem Olanrewaju is scheduled to be deported this summer from Iowa, a place that he has grown to love.

The Nigeria native, who holds an expiring student visa, said the situation confounds him. Olanrewaju, 38, sought to enter the U.S. workforce with engineering expertise in a nation starved for skilled workers.

Yet because of annual caps on the number of work visas, thousands of immigrants with advanced degrees annually face the prospect of being forced to leave the United States. It's a situation that has existed for years and Congress has not yet resolved it.
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Report: Immigrants contribute to state's economy

This new report tells the same thing other states have reported; without immigrants, their economy would be in worse shape.  - - Donna Poisl


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ immigrant population, among the fastest-growing in the nation, has a positive impact on the state’s economy, according to results of a study released Tuesday.

The report, “A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas 2013” commissioned by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, also found that more than 4 in 10 immigrants in the state are undocumented.

The immigrant population here grew by 82 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report, a rate behind only Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.
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Illinois Approves Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

This will make the roads safer for everyone; all drivers will have passed the driving tests and will have insurance.   - - Donna Poisl

By Marla Cichowski, Fox News Latino

Springfield, Ill. –  The Land of Lincoln will become the third state, behind New Mexico and Washington, to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses.

The proposed law breezed through the Illinois House and Senate with bipartisan support, giving 250,000 undocumented immigrants in the state opportunity to have a valid temporary driver’s license.

The licenses cannot be used as a form of government identification.

Supporters say the new law will improve highway safety by decreasing the number of traffic deaths on Illinois roads.
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Hinojosa and Biden Welcome Hispanic Members to Congress

There are 36 members of Congress who are Hispanic, the largest number in its history.    - - Donna Poisl

Staff --

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and Vice President Joe Biden welcomed Hispanic members of the new Congress at a swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 3.

Biden performed the swearing in of the members -- including Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, chairman of the CHCI -- in the East Hall at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Speakers included Biden, Hinojosa, Sen. Robert Menendez and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

"It's no longer about what can be done for the Hispanic community," said Biden. "The question is what the Hispanic community is going to do to take this country to a totally new place."
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

American Latino Museum Champions Organize a Latino Inaugural Celebration at the Kennedy Center!

Co-Chair of the Friends of the American Latino Museum Honorary Board, Eva Longoria, along with her fellow National Museum of the American Latino Commissioners, Henry R. Muñoz III and Andrés W. López, are the Executive Producers of Latino Inaugural 2013 In Performance at The Kennedy Center.

This performance will feature special appearances by legendary Latino artists Rita Moreno, Jose Feliciano, Chita Rivera, and many others. These artists remind us of the need for a National Smithsonian American Latino Museum that would feature their impressive contributions to American film and music.

Tickets are on sale now, and the performance will be livestreamed free on Facebook! Check out the details.
Help, Dreamer Marisela is still detained

from Cinthia Marroquin, North Carolina Dream

Marisela needs your help. She is dream act eligible yet ICE refuses to release her from prison. She hasn't done anything that would make them detain her for the 2-months they've now had her.

Let DREAMer Marisela Go!

Marisela came here when she was just 2-years old. She was detained after ICE came looking for someone else and saw that she had a Consular ID card. Marisela has a 4-year old daughter who doesn't understand why her mom is in immigration prison and neither do we.

TAKE ACTION: Can you pick up the phone and make a quick call and ask for Marisela's release?

Leave a message with national ICE @ 202-732-3000
Leave a message with local ICE @ 704-672-6990

"Hi, I was calling to ask for the immediate release of Marisela (A# 204-304-383) from immigration prison. Marisela is a DACA eligible and should not be detained. Why isn't the North Carolina ICE office cooperating with the daca guidelines? Reunite Marisela with her daughter."

I just got a call from Marisela, she said that ICE is trying to pressure her into signing for her deportation. She really needs your help.

Thank you,
Cinthia Marroquin
North Carolina Dream Team

P.S. After you sign can you join us in getting the word out? Share this on twitter / facebook: ICE refuses to let dreamer Marisela go; sign and call @wwwicegov @ncdreamteam
Why Immigration Reform May Happen This Year

It looks like immigration reform will happen this year and it should help the economy too.    - - Donna Poisl

By: Mark Koba, Senior Editor, CNBC

A long-awaited overhaul of U.S. immigration law has a good chance of happening this year, bringing major changes to the millions of people living here illegally—and perhaps giving the economy a boost.

While details are sketchy right now, the Obama administration last week announced it is launching a major effort to push reforms through Congress soon.

A major goal is to expand the guest worker program to allow more foreign nationals to legally work in the U.S. But the biggest hurdle may be whether to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S.—or deport them.
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Hispanics similar to past immigrants

Many people think today's immigrants are different than earlier ones, but if they look at our history, they will see that they are very similar.   - - Donna Poisl

by Rick Casey

Newspapers here and around the country this week flashed the news as if it were startling. The New York Times put it on the front page Monday: “Hispanic Pregnancies Fall in U.S. as Women Choose Smaller Families.”

Some Americans would see that as good news, and not just those who have hoisted Tea Party signs demanding to “take our country back.” America has always had a love/hate relationship with Lady Liberty and her welcome mat for huddled masses.
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New rule makes residency easier for immigrants with U.S. kin

This is an excellent idea, families can be kept together with this new rule in place.  - - Donna Poisl

By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Illegal immigrants who are immediate relatives of American citizens will have an easier path to permanent residency under a new Obama administration rule that could affect as many as 1 million of the estimated 11 million people unlawfully in the United States.

The rule issued Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security aims to reduce the time illegal immigrants are separated from their U.S. families while seeking legal status, officials said.

Beginning March 4, illegal immigrants who can demonstrate that time apart from an American spouse, child or parent would create "extreme hardship" can apply for a visa without leaving the United States.
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Seven Lessons Americans Can Learn From Immigrants to Live Longer

This new book explains how some customs that immigrants bring with them are helping them live longer in this country.   - - Donna Poisl


It's a phenomenon that's stumped social scientists for years. Hispanics in the U.S. are worse off than their white neighbors by almost every economic measure: poverty rates, dropout rates, access to health care.

Yet they live longer -- two years more than non-Hispanic whites and nearly seven years more than blacks. Other immigrant groups also seem to have better physical and mental health, especially in the first generation after moving to the U.S.
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Latino Immigrants Receive Fewer Unemployment Benefits

A large number of Latinos are eligible for unemployment payments and don't apply for it.   - - Donna Poisl

by Iris Estrada

Federal policy allows immigrants with lawful residency to qualify for unemployment benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Latino unemployment stands at 10% while the national average sits at 7.7%, meaning a large number of Hispanic households could benefit from federal aid.

Yet a recent study by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) released this month shows that Latino immigrants are less likely than their white counterparts to receive unemployment insurance.
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