Monday, February 25, 2013

Are steep fees discouraging immigrants from becoming US citizens?

I'm sure this is daunting to most immigrants, it is probably the same as their rent and they might have more than one person who has to pay it.   - - Donna Poisl

by Leslie Berestein Rojas

Just in the last 15 years, the cost of becoming a U.S. citizen has risen dramatically. The application fee has risen from $95 in 1997 to almost $600 today. For many immigrants, this represents a big financial sacrifice. And it could be one of the main reasons why more of them don't pursue citizenship, a new report points out.

The report from the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration connects the steep cost of obtaining U.S. citizenship to the nation's 8.5 million legal permanent residents who are eligible to apply for naturalization, but haven't done it.

With reference to related studies, it points out that in 2007, about 52 percent of legal permanent residents who were eligible to naturalize were low-income.
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Study: Immigrants Fill Healthcare Worker Shortage

Immigrants make up 28 percent of all in-home healthcare workers, and many of them are undocumented. - - Donna Poisl


The population is rapidly aging, unemployment is high, and millions of illegal workers in the U.S. are waiting to see how Congress will act on immigration reform.

At the intersection of those three very different topics is the question of who will continue to care for aging Americans. A new report says that immigrants, including many illegal workers, are staving off a labor shortage in this field, but those on the other side of the debate have a different view.

As of 2010, the most recent year for available data, there were 3.4 million U.S. direct care workers, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute. Direct care workers include personal care attendants, nursing assistants, and other similar positions.
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Children of Immigrants Are More Educated Than Their Peers

This is very good news, for the families and for the country.  - - Donna Poisl


The kids are doing all right.

At least that's the case for the adult children of immigrants who were born and raised in the United States, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. The comprehensive report shows that in many ways, second-generation Americans are not only more successful than foreign-born residents of the United States, but they're doing better than the overall population of the country.

They are less likely than both the foreign-born and general populations to live in poverty and they are more educated. They have virtually the same rate of homeownership and the same median household income as the general population, and they beat first generation immigrants on all of those markers.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jose Antonio Vargas testifies for illegal immigrants

Some of the testimony at the immigration reform hearing on Wednesday.    - - Donna Poisl

By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times

 At the witness table at Wednesday’s Senate hearing on immigration reform sat the head of the labor union for immigration enforcement agents. Two seats away, at the same table, sat an illegal immigrant — testifying without fear of deportation thanks to President Obama’s new policies.

Together they captured two truths about the immigration debate: America is a nation of laws, and a nation of immigrants. And sometimes those two cannot be easily reconciled.

“Before we take your questions here, I have a few of my own. What do you want to do with me?” Jose Antonio Vargas, the illegal immigrant, asked the SenateJudiciary Committee. “To me, the most important question, as a student of American history, is this: How do you define American? How do you define it?”
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HIAS Urges Congress Not to Leave Refugees Out of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Posted on

(New York, NY) – HIAS today released Resettlement at Risk: Meeting Emerging Challenges to Refugee Resettlement in Local Communities, a special report on the increasing resistance to refugee resettlement in communities across the country. The report, the first of its kind on the subject, was funded by a special grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

This report comes on the heels of the President’s call for immediate comprehensive immigration reform and the bi-partisan framework proposed by eight senators, both put forth in the last two weeks.

“As Congress and the President work to fix the broken immigration system, they shouldn't neglect the refugees who immigrate to this country" said HIAS President & CEO Mark Hetfield. “In order to ensure that local communities remain welcoming to refugees, we need to update our outdated laws, reverse chronic underfunding, better prepare refugees for life in America, and—for the first time—create clear goals for successful refugee integration. We also need to do a better job explaining the benefits of refugee resettlement. The humanitarian act of saving and resettling refugees not only benefits the refugees themselves, but the local communities where they resettle and the country as a whole—both of which gain so much from these newcomers.

“We’re extremely grateful to the J.M. Kaplan Fund for recognizing the urgency of this problem and commissioning this report,” said Hetfield. “We’re also thankful to the national and local experts who provided their time, perspectives on anti-resettlement activity across the country, and context for the backlash.”

Resettlement at Risk: Meeting Emerging Challenges to Refugee Resettlement in Local Communities, written by Melanie Nezer, HIAS Senior Director, US Policy & Advocacy, provides an overview of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and some of the new ways refugee resettlement has affected communities. It explores the recent rise in anti-refugee sentiment in three states. The report also includes recommendations aimed at mitigating anti-refugee sentiment when it emerges and strengthening the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The goal of the recommendations is to ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in providing a safe haven for refugees; integrating newcomers successfully; and creating and maintaining diverse, thriving communities that are a model for the rest of the world.
Do Illegal Immigrants Actually Hurt the U.S. Economy?

This report shows that high school dropouts are hurt a bit by the undocumented workers, but the impact on everyone is definitely positive.  - - Donna Poisl


Earlier this month I met Pedro Chan at his small apartment above an evangelical church in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. Chan, who shares the place with three others, is short and muscular. He has a quiet voice and a patient demeanor that seems to have served him well on his journey to New York. In 2002, he left his Guatemalan village for a long trip through Mexico and, with the help of a smuggler, across the Texas border. In 2004, he made it to Brooklyn, where his uncle helped him find work on small construction crews.

These days, Chan helps skilled (and fully documented) carpenters, electricians and stucco installers do their jobs by carrying heavy things and cleaning the work site. For this, he earns up to $25,000 a year, which is considerably less than the average entry wage for New York City’s 100,000 or so documented construction workers. Chan’s boss, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that unless he learned a specialized skill, Chan would never be able to move up the income ladder. As long as there are thousands of undocumented workers competing for low-end jobs, salaries are more likely to fall than to rise.
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LULAC Applauds President Obama's Call for Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform


WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In last night's State of the Union Address, LULAC was encouraged to see that the President's call for comprehensive immigration reform received support from both Republicans and Democrats.  The President laid out a blueprint for immigration reform that included stronger enforcement, a pathway to citizenship, and a streamlined immigration process. LULAC's civic engagement efforts have included working with business, labor, and faith communities to pass comprehensive immigration reform in order to fix our broken immigration system.  In addition, LULAC commends the President for creating the "Voting Rights Commission," a nonpartisan group that will offer recommendations to remove existing obstacles to electoral participation.  LULAC was part of a group of national civil rights organizations that put forth the recommendation for establishing such commission.

"As the President said last night, the time for immigration reform is now, and LULAC will be at the table to ensure that the legislation meets the needs of our community," said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. "At present there are bipartisan groups in both the House of Representatives and the Senate working on legislation and it is our hope that there will be significant movement on this issue in the coming months."

As part of the 16th Annual Legislative Conference which takes place during LULAC Week, our members gather in our nation's capital to meet with Members of Congress and agency leaders to discuss the issues of critical impact to our community. In the last couple of months, LULAC has collected over 10,000 petitions from its membership urging congressional support for critical immigration reform and will be meeting with Members of Congress tomorrow advocating for passage of critical legislation that will have significant affect on our communities.

LULAC united the voices of business, labor, and faith in a blog carnival available at the LULAC blog, The carnival will be live at today's gala.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

SOURCE  League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

CONTACT: Paloma Zuleta, +1-202-833-6130,
Overhauling Immigration Law:  A Brief History and Basic Principles of Reform

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2013

Washington D.C. – Immigration reform has become one of the top priorities for the country, but making sense of  the current debate can be daunting, especially given the complexity of immigration law itself.  With this in mind, the Immigration Policy Center’s Mary Giovagnoli has written a short perspectives piece on the current debate,  “Overhauling Immigration Law:  A Brief History and Basic Principles of Reform.”

This overview, based on Giovagnoli’s seventeen years of experience in immigration law and policy, offers a snapshot of the current immigration system, providing a short summary of the key events and issues that have shaped the laws, offers context for the current debate, and discusses the key principles guiding immigration reform.

If you are new to immigration, or if you are just looking for a brief refresher to put the debate into context, you can find the IPC’s latest primer here.

To view the Perspectives Piece on Overhauling Immigration Law, click here:
Overhauling Immigration Law:  A Brief History and Basic Principles of Reform.

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage: Adult immigrants being trained to help students learn English

This seems like a program every community should have; the "teachers" will understand all the problems, first hand.   - - Donna Poisl

By Christopher Magan

Anisa Amin moved to the U.S. from Somalia a decade ago, so she knows the challenges immigrants face. And she wants to help.

That's why the Bloomington resident enrolled in a class offered by the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district that trains people like her to become teaching assistants. The three-month adult education course is designed to help bilingual adults obtain state certification to become teaching assistants, also called paraprofessionals.

"I like working with kids," said Amin, who hopes to one day be a teacher. "I want to help other immigrants. I want to help children improve their language and learning."

Burnsville developed the training program out of necessity after the district struggled to find bilingual employees to help teachers with the growing number of English language learners in their classrooms. Nearly a quarter of the district's elementary students have limited English proficiency.
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Undocumented immigrants do pay their taxes

This opinion piece makes a good point, instead of saying "immigrants must pay back taxes", we should add "if they owe any". Most do not owe any back taxes.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Robert Parham

President Obama wants to change the federal immigration law more than he seemingly wants to change the national ethos related to the undocumented. The same could be said of the bipartisan group of senators that has introduced a good statement of principles supporting immigration reform.

Changing the former without changing the latter leaves the nation divided. It breeds resentment.

Obama calls for comprehensive immigration reform while he uses language that nourishes negative narratives about the undocumented, narratives that dominate our culture, one of which is that the undocumented must pay their taxes — as if they don’t pay their taxes.
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Where's your family from?

from Jose Magana

I was brought to this country from Mexico when I was 2 years old.

I am an undocumented immigrant -- and I am living proof that our immigration system is broken.

For the first 17 years of my life, I slept on a couch. My mom worked three jobs to support our family.

I worked hard, too. I did my homework, participated in class, and earned the opportunity go to college. But after I enrolled, state law changed and many undocumented immigrants were forced to drop out. Suddenly they could no longer afford the education they were eager to work for.

We started organizing. We'd go up to people on campus, and ask them if they'd heard about the DREAM Act, which would allow hard-working immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to earn a path to citizenship. For those who opposed it, we'd tell them what happened to us.

It was amazing: Just telling our stories would change people's minds.

This is exactly how we're going to persuade people across the country to get behind President Obama's plan for comprehensive immigration reform.

Everyone has a story -- I'm sure you do, too. As the President said last week, "Unless you're one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you."

At this critical moment, will you share your immigration story? Organizing for Action will use these stories to move the conversation forward.

Now, almost six years later, I've completed law school and was fortunate to receive deferred action. I consider myself an American, and I want to play by the same rules as everyone else. But, as it stands, I can never become a citizen. I can't adjust my status. For most of my life, I could have been arrested, detained, and deported.

I'm not alone. Millions of undocumented immigrants like me live in fear of being deported permanently to a country we may have never even visited. Our entire lives could be erased.

You might not live under the same shadow. But the best thing about this country is that we are more alike than we are different. We all have a story of a mother, or grandfather, or great-great grandparent who came here to find opportunity or safety.

Through this grassroots movement, we can raise our voices, tell our stories, and make sure Congress and all Americans better understand the ties that bind us. Our stories can drive our organizing. Share your own story today, and help Organizing for Action get the word out on why this matters:

The majority of Americans agree we need to fix our badly broken system, and we saw major progress last week. But it's on us to keep up the momentum and make sure it gets done.

Thanks for speaking up.

Jose Magana
Second-generation immigrants better off than parents

All these people are paying taxes and starting businesses and sending their kids to college; all are helping our economy.   - - Donna Poisl

from Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

Second-generation immigrants are faring far better than their parents, earning more money, owning more homes and getting more college degrees, according to a report released Thursday.

The median annual household income for the U.S.-born children of immigrants is $58,100, a marked improvement over the $45,800 their parents generated and nearly as high as the $58,200 median income for all U.S. adults, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.

As President Obama and members of Congress consider an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws that could grant a path to citizenship to some of the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., the economics of that plan has become an integral part of the debate.
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Black Immigrants Absent from National Debate

I'm not sure this is true, the government is not only working for the Latino immigrants. But since Latinos are the largest number, they get the most press.    - - Donna Poisl

By Charles D. Ellison for the Philadelphia Tribune

Suddenly pressed by political imperative and rapidly shifting post-election demographic winds, the U.S. Senate “Gang of Eight” huddled intensely over the most daring attempt at comprehensive immigration reform since 2010. It was an aggressive effort, the scope of which rattled many longtime Hill observers. By week’s end, the most ardent pessimists were forced to acknowledge that a potential breakthrough could be on the horizon.

As Democrats and Republicans wrangled over the details in closed-door sessions, one calculation was clear: it was all about who could win the hearts and minds of Latino voters first. Democrats need that vote to continue dominating the presidential election landscape while hoping to retake the House during Congressional midterms in 2014. Republicans, however, are in a more desperate war for the demographic, recognizing they will need Latino voters if they plan on surviving as a viable national political party.
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LGBT Immigrants: An Untold Story

LGBT immigrants are often overlooked in the talk about immigration reform, but they are a part of the story and mustn't be forgotten.   - - Donna Poisl

From Donna Red Wing

A few days ago I spoke to a friend about the need for immigration reform in this country, reform that would honor and respect both this nation and those who seek citizenship here. My friend asked me why, as an advocate for LGBT equality, I would care about immigration. He could not fathom how migrant rights might affect me. This is my response.

Three of my grandparents came to Ellis Island fleeing crop failures, famine and starvation in their home country. They were Lady Liberty's tired and poor. They were young and unskilled, and their road to citizenship was built simply on difficult and laborious factory or housekeeping work and a desire for full citizenship. My family lived what used to be the American dream: Come to this country, work hard, send your children to school and create your own providence.
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Study: Legal Mexican immigrants become U.S. citizens at a lower rate than others

The cost of the application and not knowing English well enough are the biggest reasons.  It seems that those things could be solved somewhat easily.   - - Donna Poisl

By Tara Bahrampour

Only about a third of the 5.4 million Mexican immigrants who are eligible to become U.S. citizens have done so, a rate much lower than that of other legal immigrants, according to a report released Monday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Mexicans are the largest pool of eligible immigrants, accounting for almost a third of the 12 million legal permanent residents in the United States. But while 68 percent of eligible non-Mexican immigrants have become citizens, only 36 percent of eligible Mexicans have, said the report, titled “The Path Not Taken.”
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Tom Still: Immigrants good for Wisconsin, report says

This report shows another state that owes much of its good economical health to its immigrant residents.   - - Donna Poisl

by TOM STILL | Wisconsin Technology Council |

Here's an eye-opening statement about Wisconsin's workforce woes that explains why Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., may finally come together over the issue of immigration reform.

"… Even if we are able to retrain Wisconsin's entire unemployed population and match them with available jobs, we will still fall well short of filling the projected 925,000 jobs created or replaced between 2008 and 2018. This is because our working-age population already peaked in 2010 and is projected to continue declining through at least 2035."

That's from a recent report to Gov. Scott Walker from a working group headed by Tim Sullivan, the former Bucyrus International chief executive officer who was asked to study Wisconsin's workforce needs. The conclusion: Immigration is good for the U.S. economy and Wisconsin shouldn't miss the chance to attract talent it needs to remain competitive.
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Should illegal immigrants become citizens? Let’s ask the founding fathers.

Very interesting, this show the beliefs the founding fathers had and how they apply to us.    - - Donna Poisl

By Elizabeth Cohen

Who deserves to be a U.S. citizen?

It’s a question President Obama and Congress are trying to answer. But it’s also one we’ve been grappling with since our country’s earliest days. The founders had a clear answer: People who immigrated and spent years building lives in this country deserved citizenship. They were also keenly aware that making new immigrants wait a long time for citizenship denied them the very rights that Americans had just fought to claim for themselves.

Today’s complex visa system and lengthy wait times, which for many people stretch from 10 to more than 20 years, stray from these roots.
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                                  New Infographic from the American Immigration Council
The Dividends of Citizenship: Why Legalization Must Lead to Citizenship

For Immediate Release
February 7, 2013

Washington D.C. - The most concrete proposals for immigration reform thus far in 2013 include earned legalization with a path to U.S. citizenship for unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States. This is a process that essentially permits unauthorized immigrants to come forward and receive a provisional legal status that—after paying taxes, proving they understand English and civics, passing all criminal and other background checks, and showing they are committed to the United States—allows them to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs). 

From there, like other LPRs before them, they will have to decide whether or not to make the final commitment to their adopted country by becoming American citizens. Some critics of the new proposals argue that citizenship is too good for unauthorized immigrants, or that legal status is really all they need to thrive in this country. But that kind of short-sighted thinking ignores some very important facts: more than half a century ago the U.S. finally abandoned the idea that there should be a second-class status for any group by denying them citizenship and, in fact, today the vast majority of Americans support a path to citizenship.

The Immigration Policy Center has prepared a fact sheet that highlights the eligibility guidelines and responsibilities that go with American citizenship, as well as the public’s view on it.

To view the fact sheet see:
The Dividends of Citizenship: Why Legalization Must Lead to Citizenship (IPC Fact Check, February 7, 2013)

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

Volunteer with the ya es hora Campaign

from ya es hora

Jamie believes strongly in public service. He first became passionate about citizenship and immigration when he was a caseworker for Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.

But Jamie’s interest in citizenship is rooted in very personal ties. His grandfather migrated to the U.S. decades earlier in pursuit of a better life for his family. And Jamie’s future mother-in-law went through the naturalization process by herself.

Jamie, a baseball enthusiast and avid Dodger fan, volunteers because he wants to help immigrants like his grandfather become U.S. citizens and continue to contribute to their local communities.
Join Jamie and volunteer your time helping eligible Legal Permanent Residents begin the process to become U.S. citizens.
Click here to sign up and join our campaign.  Join the campaign today and volunteer your time in helping us strengthen our democracy!
Join the State of Play call: Wednesday this week

from Susan Chinn, Campaign Manager, Alliance for Citizenship

Tomorrow, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before the joint Chambers of Congress. Senator Marco Rubio will immediately follow with the Republican response, speaking in English and Spanish. Two weeks ago, in his speech in Vegas, the President declared that immigration reform is his priority issue as he begins his new term. In the meantime, Senator Rubio has stepped into the spotlight, making immigration his signature issue. The momentum is growing.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on immigration reform. Janet Murgia, President of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a partner organization in the Alliance for Citizenship, will be a prominent speaker, testifying before the Committee.

After these key events in Washington this week, members of Congress will be back in their home district offices next week.

To make sense of everything that will be said in Washington this week, and to know what you need to do next week when your Senators and Representatives are back in your districts, please join us for the next State of Play call Wednesday, Feb 13th, 2013 at 6:30pm Eastern, 3:30pm Pacific.

Please call: 785-424-1825 or 1-866-952-1906

Please make sure to call in a few minutes in advance to give yourself ample time to check in. There will be a Q&A at the end of the call so that you will be able to ask your questions directly to the experts on the call.

The State of Play call is for advocates supporting immigration reform that keep families together and promotes a clear road map to citizenship for the 11 million, aspiring to be Americans. The call is closed to members of the media. If you are a member of the media and would like to schedule an interview with experts or speakers, please contact Felipe Benitez, Deputy Dir of Communications at .

Looking forward to your participation on Wednesday.

Susan Chinn
Campaign Manager
Alliance for Citizenship

Friday, February 01, 2013

What If Undocumented Immigrants Had Voted in 2012?

This could explain why this has been such a hard thing to accomplish, although it will take a few years before new immigrants are eligible to vote.    - - Donna Poisl


If every undocumented immigrant had cast a vote for President Obama in 2012, he would have won Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, and he would have beaten Mitt Romney by nearly 11 percentage points nationally, instead of three.

Only citizens can vote, however, and 11.2 million unauthorized residents didn't get the chance.

But with immigration overhaul on the table, legalizing new Democratic voters looms as a threat for conservatives who don't want to hand their political foes a potential windfall of 11.2 million new voters with the creation of a pathway to citizenship -- and to voting rights -- with a comprehensive bill.
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Economists: Immigrants Actually Boost Wages

Experts have always said this, maybe more people will finally start believing it.   - - Donna Poisl


With lawmakers finally coming together to talk about immigration reform, the debate over who exactly should be allowed into the country is heating up. One of the most common arguments in this debate is that immigrants hurt native-born American workers. But economic research shows that immigration may in fact boost the paychecks of U.S.-born workers.

The argument seems to fly in the face of economics 101: a greater supply of labor shouldn't raise the price of labor. But not all workers are created equal, so when foreign-born workers fill particular spots in the labor market where there is a necessity for work, it frees up U.S.-born workers to take other positions.
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All LGBT Immigrants Need to Be Considered in Immigration Reform

This group is working to make sure LGBT immigrants are taken care of in the new reform package when it is agreed on.    - - Donna Poisl


This week the debate on comprehensive immigration reform took real shape with the Senate introducing a bipartisan framework on principles on Monday and the president making a statement on Tuesday.

The National Queer Asia Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) commends the Senate and the president for taking this initial, bipartisan step. Immigrants' rights and the need for comprehensive immigration reform are a top priority for our Asian and Asian Pacific Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrant communities.
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HIAS Welcomes President Obama's Plan for Immediate Immigration Reform


Posted on Tue, Jan 29, 2013

(New York, NY) — HIAS, the global migration agency of the American Jewish community, applauds President Obama for his critically important speech today in Las Vegas. The President stated that “most Americans agree that it’s time to fix the system that’s been broken for way too long.” HIAS is appreciative that his plan includes dealing with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally with an earned pathway to citizenship and modernizing our legal immigration system so that families do not have to wait years to be united.

The fact sheet released by the White House following President Obama’s address highlights the need to better protect “those fleeing persecution by eliminating the existing limitations that prevent qualified individuals from applying for asylum.” It also emphasizes the importance of encouraging integration by promoting “earned citizenship and efforts to integrate immigrants into their new American communities linguistically, civically, and economically.”

HIAS President and CEO (Interim) Mark Hetfield stated: “We are thrilled that the President acknowledges that comprehensive immigration reform is an opportunity to fix a broken system that adversely affects immigrants in the U.S., including refugees and asylum seekers. Immigration laws enacted in 1996, intended to crack down on undocumented migration, also included all kinds of artificial, technical barriers that deny asylum to persecuted people who have already fled to the United States. Now is the time to fix the laws that have undermined America’s leadership in providing safe haven to the persecuted.

“With this announcement from President Obama—and a similarly positive bipartisan announcement yesterday on a Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform—we in the immigration and refugee community are more encouraged than we have been in years that our leaders will finally create a just system for immigrants and refugees.”
Why Naturalizing Immigrants Won't Make You Poorer (Unless You're an Immigrant)

Very interesting facts and figures in this article, with easy to understand graphs.   - - Donna Poisl

By Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic

With Congress and the president diving into the immigration reform debate this week, we can expect a little fear-mongering about cheap migrant workers stealing American jobs and holding down wages. So every time you hear a line along those lines, remember this handy little chart from the Hamilton Project at Brookings. It show that immigrants might make most American workers a bit richer in the long run.

The graph covers the impact of immigration between 1990 to 2006, when our country's Mexican population soared. The purple bars are drawn from an economic model crafted by George Borjas and Lawrence Katz, while the light blue ones come from the work of Gianmarco Ottoviano and Giovani Peri.
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Good Question: How Do Immigrants Become Legal Citizens?

This article tells all the steps; very complicated and very, very slow. When many of our ancestors came here, all they did was register at Ellis Island.    - - Donna Poisl

Reporting: Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It can be a long process, and it’s far more complicated than most of us realize.

Nearly 700,000 immigrants became legal citizens in 2011, the last year on record. In that year, nearly half of the legal naturalized citizens came from Asian countries, followed by Mexico and the Caribbean, according to the Office of Immigration Statistics.

But according to President Barack Obama, there are approximately 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States right now.

So what is the path to becoming a legal citizen?
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Searching for a Way Out of Limbo

Here are some personal examples of people who will be helped by immigration reform and also DACA.    - - Donna Poisl


Here was a detail, Tania Gordillo thought, that could have been lifted directly from her own living room. It was about 10 minutes into the speech on immigration reform President Obama delivered Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas.

A high-school boy in Nevada, the president had said, “watched his friends come of age, driving around with their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall.” These were things, Mr. Obama said, that the boy couldn’t do because he had been brought illegally by his parents to the United States as a child.
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Hispanic immigrants are assimilating just as quickly as earlier groups

This article, with the help of some very interesting charts and graphs, shows that Hispanics are no different than all the other immigrant groups in our history.   - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Dylan Matthews

Proponents of immigration reform tend to spend a lot of time emphasizing the need for immigrants to assimilate into American culture.

One of the provisions in the Senate’s bipartisan plan on immigration reform tasks immigrants with “learning English and the basics about America’s history” before attaining permanent residency, as Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) emphasized Monday afternoon when the senators unveiled their blueprint. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) noted that this was a first in American history.

Immigration reform critics often cite this as a major sticking point for reform. Some, like the late political scientist Samuel Huntington, have argued that the latest wave of Latino immigration is fundamentally unlike waves of European workers.
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Joint Statement By USCM President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, USCM Vice President Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith And USCM Second Vice President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on White House, Bipartisan Senate Immigration Reform Proposals

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Today, the top leaders of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, President and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Vice President and Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith and Second Vice President and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson released the following joint statement in reaction to immigration reform proposals offered this week by the President and a bipartisan group of Senators led by Arizona Senator John McCain and New York Senator Charles Schumer.

"There is some hope today that the broken immigration system that has slowed the economic and social progress of our nation and its people for far too long will be repaired.

"This week a bipartisan effort to break the political gridlock that has stymied reform has been launched. On Monday in Washington a bipartisan group of Senators announced a set of principles designed to guide reform.

"Today in Las Vegas President Obama discussed his principles for immigration reform and his intention to work with Congress on bipartisan legislation.

"Both are calling for further strengthening border security, creating an effective employer verification system, reforming the legal immigration system, and allowing the 11 million people residing in the country illegally to get right with the law and earn a pathway to citizenship.

"These principles are similar to those established in policy by The U.S. Conference of Mayors. We may not agree with every detail that is being proposed, but the important thing is that the conversation has begun in earnest.

"The nation's mayors intend to be a part of that conversation and to work with Congress and the Administration to see legislation enacted this year. We will be involved, as will our immediate Past President Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Chair of our Task Force on Immigration Reform, Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, and other mayors from across the nation. Together, we can push our national leaders to enact reform that is good for our families, our cities, our economy, and our country."

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

SOURCE The U.S. Conference of Mayors

CONTACT: Elena Temple- Webb, +1-202-286-1100 (; Lina Garcia +1-202-341-6113 (
LIUNA Applauds Bipartisan Immigration Reform, Urges Full Measures to Combat Unscrupulous Employers

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Terry O'Sullivan, General President of LIUNA - the Laborers' International Union of North America – issued the following statement on bipartisan efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform championed by President Obama:

"It is encouraging to see the President and Senators from both parties working together in support of comprehensive immigration reform. I look forward to working with the White House and policymakers from both parties to achieve true immigration reform that strengthens our nation and enables millions of undocumented workers to step out of the shadows and into the American workforce.

"LIUNA believes in establishing a clear path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States who have violated no law other than their lack of documentation. Our current immigration policy leaves far too many undocumented workers vulnerable to employer pressure and permits wholesale worker exploitation that drives down wages and corrodes working conditions for all similarly employed workers - citizens and immigrants alike.

"Comprehensive reform can only be achieved by addressing our archaic visa policy, failed guest worker programs, inefficient employment verification systems and bureaucratic backlogs that keep families apart and create the conditions that allow unscrupulous employers to thrive in our current system.

"LIUNA offers its full support to the President and Congress in building a stronger America for us all through comprehensive immigration reform."

The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.

SOURCE  Laborers' International Union of North America

CONTACT: Richard Greer, +1-202-942-2262,
Tell Congress: Support the path to citizenship!

from Donna De La Cruz, Reform Immigration FOR America

Major immigration news this week: President Obama and Senate leaders have each introduced their own plan for comprehensive immigration reform. At the center of both plans is a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans.

This didn't happen by accident. It came as a result of years of action and agitation by people like you. We set the agenda, we called for more than just talk, and we demanded that our leaders rise to the challenge to make real and lasting reform a reality.

But this fight is not over -- in fact it’s only getting started. We need to let our Congressional leaders know that their work is not over until they finally pass comprehensive immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans.

Not all of our legislators believe we need such reform. A small but vocal group of anti-immigrant bullies would rather see 11 million people rounded up and deported than have a chance at the American dream. They have done everything in their power to keep our country from taking up the cause of just and humane reform -- but our movement demands action.

Just as we made our voices heard during the election in November, we need to make sure once more that we are the loudest voice in Washington. Once more we will show our strength by holding Congress accountable and calling on our legislators to ensure justice and equality for our families.

Add your name now to our national sign-on letter and tell Congress we demand nothing less than a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants working and living in our communities.

We will deliver your signature along with those of thousands of other immigrant rights activists across the country, and ensure that your message is heard loud and clear.

Add your name today.

With hope,
Donna De La Cruz
Reform Immigration FOR America