Friday, July 26, 2013


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

Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the States

For Immediate Release

July 24, 1013
Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases ten new state fact sheets and accompanying infographics, highlighting the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators in each state’s economy. 
Immigrant entrepreneurs add revenue and create jobs. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the innovation economy and to the growth of metropolitan areas. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

To learn more, view the first 10 of our new state-by-state fact sheets:

North Carolina
South Carolina

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

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), established in 2003, is the policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.   

Division of the American Immigration Council.   

Our broken system of teaching English: Opinion

This opinion piece points out problems in the ESL programs and gives some suggestions to help more people learn English.   - - Donna Poisl

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Sean Kennedy

Lost amid the din of the immigration debate are 23 million U.S. adults who cannot speak English adequately. Although most of these adults — 20 million — are foreign-born, the other 3 million are U.S.-born citizens who are classified as Limited English Proficiency. Nearly 1 million live in New Jersey.

For these adults, English matters. For Latinos, limited English contributes directly to dropping out of school and $3,000 in lost wages each year — costing the U.S. economy $38 billion annually. But English proficiency can be as vital and basic as parents communicating with teachers and doctors about their child’s well-being. And despite the rhetoric on both sides, immigrants are highly motivated to learn English. They know English is the key to the American Dream, upward mobility and assimilation.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Paynter: Immigrants boost churches

Here is another part of our culture that is being helped by all the immigrants who are here.    - - Donna Poisl


DALLAS (ABP)—Faith communities in the United States both serve and benefit from immigrants, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter told a conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

“Immigrants have brought renewal to the church and the moral character of our country, and they offer vitality to our culture,” Paynter said in the closing session of the half-day summit titled “What Immigrants Contribute: A Special Event on Immigration, Texas and Economic Growth.”

Paynter was the lone faith leader invited to sit on one of three panels analyzing how immigrants grow the economy, benefits of naturalization and the various ways immigrants serve the United States.
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Great Immigrants, Great Stories: Three Tales of Becoming an American

Read about these three immigrants and add your own story to their site.   - - Donna Poisl


America is a land of immigrants. Their extraordinary journeys and accomplishments strengthen our democracy and help the nation progress in countless ways. And their powerful stories enrich our society.

Every July 4th since 2006, Carnegie Corporation of New York has celebrated the contributions of immigrants with a public-service ad─Immigrants: The Pride of America ─ in The New York Times, featuring outstanding naturalized citizens from all over the world. This year, a companion website was launched, with honorees from 2013 and previous years. The site also has a timeline that traces Andrew Carnegie's remarkable immigrant journey.
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Immigrants are driving the housing recovery

Many Americans leave the big cities and immigrants are moving in and saving the cities and the housing markets.   - - Donna Poisl

By John Feinblatt and Jason Marczak, Special to CNN

(CNN) -- Nearly five years after the housing bubble burst, American homeowners are beginning to see signs of relief as housing markets are finally showing signs of recovery. An untold story of this recovery, however, is the extent to which it is fueled by immigration.

A new analysis of U.S. Census data by Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy shows that immigrants have collectively added $3.7 trillion to U.S. housing wealth. And over the last several years, as many families in cities and rural areas from the Sun Belt to Rust Belt have seen their largest personal asset -- the home they live in -- placed in jeopardy, the inflow of immigrants has been a lifeline for them.
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Open the Door and Let 'Em In

An interesting opinion piece, many of us agree and many won't, I am sure.    - - Donna Poisl

By Rana Foroohar    
From an Economic standpoint, the battle over immigration reform has always been utterly baffling to me. Immigrants, or the children of immigrants, founded 40% of this country's Fortune 500 firms and untold millions of smaller businesses. They are the key reason that the U.S.'s population growth, and thus its economic growth, is predicted to be higher than that of most of the rest of the rich world over the next couple of decades. Immigrants are the difference between an economy growing at a healthy 3% rate and a sluggish 2%. Why wouldn't we want as many of them as we can get?

Sadly, many House Republicans, who have been debating the issue in recent days, don't agree. That means the immigration-reform bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support a few weeks ago is likely to be scuppered. Conservatives continue to insist that creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would unleash a torrent of new low-skilled workers from Mexico that would drive down U.S. wages.
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10 uniquely American things created by immigrants

Read this list, some of you might be surprised! And then do some research, the list is just the tip of the iceberg.   - - Donna Poisl

by Liliana Llamas

From architecture to food, many things we would define as iconically “American” were created by immigrants.
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How an immigrant’s dream of opening gym for Latino children in L.A. became reality

A nice story about this woman who opened a gym, so she could fight obesity in her community.  - - Donna Poisl

by Erika L. Sánchez

Bertha Antaramian, owner of Twister Gymnastics in Los Angeles, was a physical education teacher and gymnast in her native country of Mexico before she came to the United States. Twenty years ago, she traveled here with the intention of returning home, but she decided to stay to work at the YMCA.

“My main concern was the Hispanic people in this country. We don’t have many opportunities in sports,” says Antaramian. “I worked for the YMCA for 11 years and when it closed, all those kids were out in the streets.”
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School District announces 14 schools to get extra money for English-learning programs

More than $39million is being set aside to better teach kids who are learning English.    - - Donna Poisl

By Paul Takahashi

The Clark County School District announced 14 schools that will receive additional state money and resources to help students who don't speak English.

This past legislative session, lawmakers approved a $50 million in state funding to help English-language learner students, who have among the lowest test scores and graduation rates in the state.

There are about 55,000 English-language learner students in the state, the majority of whom are in Clark County.

The majority of the funding — $39.4 million — will go to 14 elementary schools in Clark County over the next two years. These so-called "Zoom to Literacy" schools will offer unique programs and services to help students learn English.
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Legal immigrants seek their reward for years of following the rules

The backlog in the immigration system has caused people to wait 17 years or more to get their green card! The reform package from the Senate will put these people first in line.   - - Donna Poisl

By Julia Preston. New York Times

Angeles P. Barberena has always tried to follow the United States' immigration laws. She dutifully filed her petition to become a resident, complied with the requirements and paid her taxes and fees.

That was 17 years ago. Barberena, who is from Mexico, is still waiting. Her file is inching through a backlog, and she has several years to go before she will receive the green card that will make her a permanent resident.

As Congress debates an overhaul of the immigration system, Barberena often feels like yelling with frustration. "It's been so long and we did everything by the rule," she said, speaking from her home near Nashville, Tenn. "Now it seems everything is about illegal immigrants and nothing is about us."

While stark differences between the Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have centered on border security and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, another major issue is snagged in the dispute: the plight of more than 4.4 million legal immigrants like Barberena who are languishing in a broken system.
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Immigrants Changing American Food Preferences

I think this has always happened, at least in the bigger cities. This piece tells how food manufacturers are catching up now too.   - - Donna Poisl

from Timi Gustafson R.D

It is a well-known fact that immigrants to the United States tend to adapt to our eating habits rather quickly, which is not always to their advantage from a health perspective. But it is also true that our established food preferences are being continuously transformed and expanded due to new influences from around the world.

Of course, America has always been a hodgepodge of different cultures and ethnicities. That makes us the rich and vibrant society we are. However, that hasn’t always fully translated into our culinary achievements. But times are changing.

From 2010 to 2012, sales in ethnic foods rose by 4.5 percent, or nearly $9 billion, according to the Mintel Group, an international market research firm. It predicts additional growth of more than 20 percent over the next five years.
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DREAMers, DACA and the Senate Bill

July 18, 2013

Today, the Legal Action Center releases DREAMers, DACA and the Senate Bill, a fact sheet exploring the relationship between DACA and the DREAM Act provisions of S.744. It notes that S.744 authorizes the DHS Secretary to render the legalization process more streamlined and less costly for DACA recipients as compared to other legalization applicants. It also highlights the differing eligibility requirements for DACA and legalization for DREAMers under S.744.

The fact sheet can be downloaded here: DREAMers, DACA and the Senate Bill.
For more information, please see the LAC's DACA Page and the Immigration Policy Center's DACA Resource Page or contact Patrick Taurel at

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Immigrants learn English from teacher eager to help

Every town and community needs a Michael Terry.  - - Donna Poisl

By  Ken Gordon, The Columbus Dispatch

Michael Terry is helping Somali immigrants strive for a better life — a life he once took for granted.

For the past seven years, the West Side resident has taught English to immigrants at the Somali Center on the Northeast Side.

His desire to help stems from the four years he spent in Uganda in the 1980s with the Volunteer Missionary Movement, a Christian service group.

He taught English as well as construction techniques in a country that was recovering from a civil war.
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Cyclist Champions Immigrants on NY-to-Mexico Ride

This cyclist hopes to raise more awareness in all the towns he rides through from NYC into Mexico.    - - Donna Poisl


Armando Rosales is making a run for the border. Well, a bike ride, actually: The amateur cyclist is pedaling from New York to Mexico to encourage Latino communities in the U.S. to get involved in the debate over immigration reform.

The unusual 2,200-mile journey will take Rosales from New York City to his Mexican hometown of Saltillo. That may sound like a lot, but Rosales -- a photographer and mountain guide -- has the experience, and a mission. Last year, he pedaled from Denver to Saltillo, an 1,100-mile trip.
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Immigrants Are the American Way

This immigrant compares immigrants with issues that were raised in the new Superman movie.  - - Donna Poisl


Superman is not real, but I have met many people like him. Chances are, you have too.

Superman is an immigrant. Born on Krypton, he came to the United States with the promise of Hope -- a symbol he bears on his chest. My own parents came to this country with that same hope when I was only two years old. I am an undocumented American. My story is one of eleven million.

When my friends were all getting licenses and I couldn't, I had hope. When they started applying for scholarships I couldn't apply for, I had hope. When the DREAM Act didn't pass, I still had hope. I have hope because I know this country's history, and to borrow a phrase from Dr. King, I know "[t]he arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."
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Obama Says Immigration Must Be Considered as Package

President Obama does not want immigration reform to be done in pieces, he wants a complete package which includes a path to citizenship.  - - Donna Poisl

By Jared A. Favole

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Tuesday said overhauling the immigration system should be considered as a complete package in Congress, which is at odds with how House Republicans want to approach immigration legislation, and said it didn’t make sense to try to change the system without giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

“The danger of doing it in pieces is that a lot of groups want different things,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with affiliates of the Spanish-language news station Telemundo. He likened breaking up immigration system in pieces to trying to get his children to eat food they don’t like, saying “If you’ve eaten your dessert before you’ve eaten your meal, at least with my children, sometimes they don’t end up eating their vegetables.”
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Share this Video: Immigration reform means great things for the economy

from the White House

Now that lawmakers in the Senate have come together to pass a bipartisan piece of legislation to fix our broken immigration system, it's up to the House of Representatives to do the same.

And that makes this the perfect time to learn more about the issue.

In the days ahead, those members of Congress have to make a choice about the right way to reform immigration -- or if they want to proceed at all. As the national debate begins in earnest, we want to make sure you have information you need to answer questions in your community.

So check out this video, then share it so that people know that immigration reform makes a ton of sense for the economy.
Study shows bilingual children have a two-tracked mind

This study shows that kids can learn two languages as easily as one. I wish adults could do the same.   - - Donna Poisl

by Keith Davis

Adults learning a foreign language often need flash cards, tapes, and practice, practice, practice. Children, on the other hand, seem to pick up their native language out of thin air. The learning process is even more remarkable when two languages are involved. In a study examining how bilingual children learn the two different sound systems of languages they are acquiring simultaneously, Ithaca College faculty member Skott Freedman has discovered insights that indicate children can learn two native languages as easily as they can learn one.

"At first glance, the process of learning a language can seem incredibly daunting," said Freedman, an assistant professor of speech language and pathology and audiology. "Environmental input presented at a fairly rapid rate must be mapped onto detailed representations in the brain. A word's meaning, sounds, and grammatical function all must be extracted from the incoming speech stream. Yet this potentially arduous task is typically executed with little effort by children barely a year old. In fact, studies show that children can learn a word in as little as one exposure."
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Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.

Bush: Immigrants Deserve 'Benevolent Spirit'

One thing President Bush is known and appreciated for is his effort to get immigration reform enacted. Maybe our present president can get it done, but it is not easy.   - - Donna Poisl

by BJ Austin

Former President George W. Bush welcomed 20 immigrants from 12 countries as U.S. citizens this morning, hailing the historic contributions of newcomers and calling for a "benevolent spirit" in the debate over immigration reform.

The citizenship ceremony, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, was the centerpiece of a morning-long event focused on immigrants.

The former president focused on their economic and cultural contributions, saying each generation brings new vitality to America.
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Latino immigrants are neither Democrats nor Republicans, analysis says

Republicans say most new citizens vote Democratic, the facts are a bit different.   - - Donna Poisl

by Brian Latimer and Jacquellena Carrero

Rep. Steve King may have recently claimed that two-thirds of new citizens would vote Democrat, but a new analysis says this is not the case.

The analysis by Latino Decisions showed that three-quarters of eligible Latino citizens do not side with either party. Using raw, empirical data from the 2006 National Latino Survey, researchers found that 72 percent of undocumented Latino immigrants are largely non-partisan.

“We pulled up data and isolated more than 5,000 Latinos in the immigrant population that were Legal Permanent Residents or on the way to citizenship,” says Adrian Pantoia, a Senior Analyst with Latino Decisions and professor of Politics at Pitzer College in California. “Within this data, we found that 71 percent of the population just haven’t picked a party.”
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Study: Undocumented immigrants paid $292M in state, local taxes in 2010

Undocumented workers pay taxes just like the rest of us. And they have no hope of getting the benefits of Medicare or Social Security when they are older.   - - Donna Poisl

By Mike Faulk, Yakima Herald-Republic

 YAKIMA — Undocumented immigrants paid $292 million in state and local taxes in Washington in 2010, according to a new study.

Released this week by the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the study ranks the state 10th in the nation for most taxes paid by undocumented immigrants that year. Nationwide in 2010, the study says undocumented immigrants paid $10.6 billion in state and local taxes.

“Like other people living and working in the United States, undocumented immigrants currently contribute a significant share of their income to state and local taxes,” the Washington, D.C.-based institute wrote in the report.
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App helps Phila. immigrants navigate services

This app sounds like it would be a big help to anyone who needs immigrant services or help translating something for themselves.  - - Donna Poisl

By Summer Ballentine, Inquirer Staff Writer

The Philly311 Mobile App for smartphones has released new features to help immigrants and residents who speak English as a second language navigate city services, city officials announced Friday.

Information about translation programs to help users communicate with city services and a list of community resources are two new features. The app can be translated into 16 languages, including Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese.

Click on the globe icon labeled "Language Assistance" in the Philly311 app to explore resources for other language speakers.
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Readers React: Bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows

Seven readers wrote in with their opinions about undocumented immigrants and what the solution is.   - - Donna Poisl

Opinions from the Wausau Daily Herald

Discussing border security is a political imperative right now, but it is not all that productive to the larger debate and it is surprising that so many seem to see a heavily fortified border as a desirable end state. We already have very substantial security infrastructure and enforcement activity along the Mexican border, for which we are paying billions more than we did just a few years ago. Tying other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform to the future success of that failed approach does not make sense, and adding more money to our losing investment won’t make it pay off.
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Immigration and assimilation: After dislocation, a Hmong refugee finds a fit

This young Hmong American is helping his family make a successful business of their family farm.    - - Donna Poisl

CLOVIS, CALIF. -- Dressed in a red plaid shirt, jeans, and dusty boots, his brow beaded with sweat, Kouei Siong looks every bit the American farmer. Sitting in the shade of his family's roadside produce stand here in the Central Valley of California, he can see his family's 20-plus acres of berries, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, chilies, and eggplant fanning out in orderly rows beyond the parking lot.

Farming is his future, a way of fitting in here in America, Mr. Siong now believes – even if he spent much of his life trying to avoid it. He remembers all too well the teasing that came with being the teenage son of Hmong immigrant farmers in the Central Valley in the late 1990s.

"The white kids would always mock the Asian kids," he says, shaking his head. "You know, 'You guys are a bunch of farmers, a bunch of dumb kids, a bunch of immigrants.' That was tough."
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Teaching the teachers: Careers, literacy and math are among summer topics

A grant has helped fund these classes for teachers. A good idea!   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Stefanie Knowlton, Statesman Journal

Hundreds of Salem-Keizer teachers are back in the classroom, only now they’re on the opposite side of the desk.

They’re learning everything from how to inspire students for college and careers to literacy and math instruction for children who are learning English.

Salem-Keizer School District will offer 95 classes this summer to keep teachers’ skills sharp and current in the latest education trends, but the district might have to scale back next year when the federal grant that pays for them shrinks for the fifth year in a row.
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Kids expand horizons while parents learn English

Mothers are in ELL classes while their kids are involved in different summer activities (gardening, painting, etc.) on the same campus.  - - Donna Poisl

by Tom Joyce, Staff Reporter

It was a sweltering day at L.H. Jones Family Resource Center this past week, but everyone was so busy nobody seemed to notice — with the exception of a reporter who was perspiring heavily.

On one area of the grounds a group of kids, ages 5 to 13, worked in a garden filled with a lush array of herbs such as sweet basil, spicy oregano and cilantro.

In another part of the former school campus, a second bunch of youngsters painted a mural on an outside wall of the J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium, which upon completion will depict children holding hands while encircling the globe.
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(Video) How English sounds to non-English speakers

This is really funny, I hope it isn't quite true, but I'm afraid it might be.   - - Donna Poisl

by JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief

How does English sound to non-English speakers? First, let’s back track:
I worked at learning three languages during my life. The first, was as a schoolkid at Davis Street School in New Haven, CT in the late 1950s. But failed miserably at fourth grade French. The second, was trying to learn Spanish in high school and college. I did OK but mostly retained parts of dialogues and could only say things like “Meatballs again, what did I tell you?….Caramba, I forgot my notebook….I like it less when it has rice.”

Then I went over to India and tried to learn Hindi while doing an independent study project in New Delhi as a senior at Colgate University (I interned on The Hindustan Times in New Delhi). My Hindi wasn’t great or even fluent but I managed to get a C. I returned to India after getting my masters at the Medill School of Journalism — still no luck with Hindi.
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Hispanic leaders say Republican constituencies will play critical role in swaying GOP lawmakers to take action


SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- As the U.S. House Republican Conference convenes today to determine the path forward on immigration reform legislation, leaders of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the largest Hispanic Christian organization representing over 40,000 U.S. churches and more than 16 million Evangelicals, urged the GOP to stand in support for reform.

"Whether this nation secures its borders and values lies in the hands of Republican leaders in the House of Representatives," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC president. "GOP leaders have an opportunity to exhibit prophetic courage by passing immigration reform in a manner that advances an agenda that reconciles the rule of law with a non-amnesty process of integration."

The NHCLC, which is also a part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, applauded the U.S. Senate for its bipartisan efforts in passing immigration reform legislation June 27, and continues to advocate for a non-partisan approach. Just this week, it joined leaders from around the nation in publicly thanking Senators who voted "yes" on immigration reform through a Politico advertisement and also blanketed House members with letters pressing them to move on comprehensive reform.

"Members of the House that embrace reform are poised to make history by reconciling Abraham Lincoln's justice imperative with Ronald Reagan's conviction regarding immigrants," Rodriguez added. "It was Reagan who said that immigrants really embody the future of America. True conservatism means that if we are to conserve the spirit of entrepreneurship, we need to welcome these immigrants. Now is the time!"

Believing immigration reform is as much a religious issue as it is a policy, NHCLC leaders have also 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. Based on the biblical mandate of Matthew 25:35, where Jesus says that by welcoming a stranger, one may be welcoming Him, NHCLC leaders have rallied with Evangelical leaders to educate the Christian community on the importance of reform, based on conviction and commitment to a biblical worldview.

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, developig 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.

Seeking to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham's message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march of prophetic activism, the NHCLC emphasizes "seven directives" of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit

 SOURCE  National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

 Editor's Note: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is available for interview from a studio in San Francisco or via Skype or phone. To schedule, please contact Kristin Cole or Larry Ross at 972.267.1111 ( or

CONTACT: A. Larry Ross Communications,, 972.267.1111, Larry Ross, Kristin Cole
Immigration and assimilation: Feeling global, but being an American

This story tells the story about one immigrant and the things he had to learn about this country while assimilating, including the weather.    - - Donna Poisl

By Stephanie Hanes, Correspondent

SHREWSBURY, MASS. -- One of the first jolts for Mohammed Raziuddin came when it started snowing. In October. The brochures from Syracuse University that he'd read back in Hyderabad, India, had lots of beautiful pictures from the spring and fall, he recalls with a laugh.

When he arrived in upstate New York in 1993, an eager international graduate student seeking a degree in computer science, everything seemed just as described. Then it got cold: "I had never been in a cold climate before. It was a drastic change."

But in his 20s – and thrilled to be delving into the academic side of an up-and-coming industry – Mr. Raziuddin chalked the chill up as another part of this adventure called the United States of America.
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Commentary: Immigrants want chance to assimilate

In our past, immigrants assimilated by the second generation and today's immigrants are the same.   - - Donna Poisl

By Helen B. Marrow and Tomas R. Jimenez, Los Angeles Times

Now that the Senate has passed its immigration bill, the future of reform lies in the hands of the GOP-led House, where the debate will center on allowing a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants living in this country without legal status. Opponents of this path often claim that low-skilled Mexicans, who make up the largest subgroup, are not fitting into U.S. society — that they don’t want to assimilate and are fated to remain a permanent underclass.

Solid evidence suggests these claims are untrue. Many Mexican immigrants and their children have traveled paths to becoming full Americans that, even if slower, are not unlike the paths followed previously by European immigrants. And when parents have legal status, their children do better in school and become fully productive members of American society more quickly.
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North Jersey immigrants bond over the game of cricket

I knew immigrants get together for a soccer game, I didn't know they play cricket too. I'd like to watch this.  - - Donna Poisl


Clutching a shiny red ball on a recent Sunday, Damion Morgan ran toward a batsman who was poised with a paddle the length of a baseball bat, but flat on one side.

Morgan, a bowler, galloped ahead in ever longer strides, his body in a rhythm. His destination was a crease marked on a cloth pitch about 22 yards from the batsman, who was tapping the bat to the ground with anticipation. When Morgan reached peak momentum, he hurled his body forward. In one swift, powerful motion that lifted his feet off the ground, his right arm coiled overhead, releasing the ball at breakneck speed.
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Immigrants rank high as entrepreneurs

This has always been the story about immigrants in our country. The bravest, most entrepreneurial people are always the ones who leave their homes for a new life.    - - Donna Poisl

By Catherine Rampell New York Times

One of the vital economic arguments underpinning the immigration overhaul is that immigrants create jobs – not only because they spend money – but because they tend to be unusually entrepreneurial and innovative and so create job opportunities for the people around them.

Think of Silicon Valley figures like Sergey Brin, Andrew Grove and Vinod Khosla, or the designer Liz Claiborne.

The bill that recently passed the Senate even included special provisions, under Subtitle H, for what is being called a “startup visa,” to be granted to people who start companies that meet certain venture capital, hiring and revenue requirements.
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Explainer: Why It Costs Immigrants $680 to Apply for Naturalization

Some people think the fee of $680 is too high, others think it is fair.  I am sure it is hard for some immigrants to afford, but it will be worth it.  - - Donna Poisl

By Katy Steinmetz

Immigration reform is a numbers game. And one of those numbers is $680—the price of applying for naturalization, the process that turns green card-holders into citizens. Politicians like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are decrying that number, saying the cost is too high. Non-profits, encouraging the country’s 8.5 million permanent residents to go down that path, are subsidizing that fee. So where does that total come from, and where does the money go?

The money goes into the coffers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S. The total of $680 comes from a $595 application fee and a $85 “biometric fee” that is funneled toward background-check costs like fingerprinting.
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Immigrants' stories are key to reform effort

I don't know how anyone could ignore these stories or not be affected by them.    - - Donna Poisl

By Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

LAS CRUCES — Standing before a crowd of more than 500 people and several television crews, Alejandra Gomez choked up as she tried to speak.

The 22-year-old immigrant, a Mexican citizen living in the United States without legal status, raised her left hand to her face and wept. A number of political and religious leaders sat behind her on stage.

The crowd was silent as Gomez took a deep breath, then spoke about the two empty chairs at family gatherings. Some in the friendly crowd at the May 1 event cried with Gomez as she described the hole the deportations of her brothers — Reymundo, 22, and Julio, 20 — leaves in her heart.
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Friday, July 05, 2013

More states let undocumented immigrants drive

Allowing these people to drive legally will make the roads safer for everyone else. They will have passed the test, registered their cars and bought insurance.   - - Donna Poisl

from the Seattle Times

SEATTLE — A year ago, Washington was one of just three states granting driver’s licenses to any person living in the U.S. illegally—holding firm against a nationwide trend.

But across the country this year, a curious thing has happened: A growing number of states are reversing course and seven have now joined the three.

In recent months, all but two states have tweaked their policies to give driver’s licenses to tens of thousands of young people who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children and granted reprieve from deportation and permission to work.
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Mobile App Helps Immigrants Apply for Citizenship

This app is in English and Spanish, and should be a big help.    - - Donna Poisl


Forget about Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. A new mobile app aims to help green card holders apply for American citizenship.

CitizenshipWorks already exists in website form. The site, which is partnered with several immigration advocacy and legal support organizations, prides itself on being a one-stop-shop to help legal permanent residents living in the United States naturalize, and they've got a 2012 Webby award ("Best Law Site of 2012") to back it up. On Tuesday, the information they offer became available on smartphones, too.

The free app is available in English and Spanish. Like the site, it helps people determine whether they qualify for citizenship, find legal help if they need it, and study for the English and civics tests that are part of the naturalization process.
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Great Immigrants, Great Stories: Carnegie Corporation of New York Celebrates What Immigrants Give Back to America

July 4th Public Service Ad, Website Honor Notable Immigrants

NEW YORK, July 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Immigrants who become naturalized citizens are central to the story of America, and this July 4(th) , Carnegie Corporation of New York once again celebrates immigrants whose achievements have helped enrich the fabric of our nation.

This Independence Day, as it has every year since 2006, the Corporation has commissioned a full-page public service ad in The New York Times saluting immigrants who have contributed to the strength of American democracy and the vitality of our national life.

"When immigrants take the oath to become American citizens, that is both a wonderful and a powerful act," said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York and himself a naturalized citizen. "Hence, it is fitting that on July 4(th) , when we commemorate the birth of our nation, we also honor both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship: not only the freedom to pursue our personal goals but also our obligation to contribute to the collective good and participate in the progress of our society."

The 43 naturalized citizens featured in the ad include author Jamaica Kincaid and visual artist Shirin Neshat; philanthropy leader Aso Tavitian; journalists Doualy Xaykaothao and Mohamad Bazzi; scholars Shibley Telhami and Nina Khrushcheva; scientist Joanna Wysocka; jurist Sri Srinivasan, business and technology leaders Sebastian Thrun and Safra Catz, and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono. Carnegie Corporation's founder, steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland, was committed to giving back to America and mankind.

This year, Carnegie Corporation is also launching a companion website, "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America," at, which includes this year's honorees and those celebrated in previous years. The site also features a timeline [] highlighting Andrew Carnegie's experiences as an immigrant.
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97 immigrants from 36 countries become U.S. citizens in Kissimmee ceremony,0,156522.story

New citizens were sworn in on July 4th all over the country.   - - Donna Poisl

By Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel

Jose Emilio Castaneda dressed for the occasion, not the weather, in a dark three-piece suit as he walked slowly with his cane through Thursday's soggy afternoon heat toward the Kissimmee Civic Center.

He was one day out of the hospital, still recovering from colon surgery, but each difficult step brought him closer toward becoming a U.S. citizen on Independence Day.

Born 62 years ago in Mexico City, Castaneda felt he was starting life all over as one of 97 immigrants from 36 countries who received their U.S. citizenship in a naturalization ceremony at the civic center.

"I feel like I am born again, especially on the Fourth of July," said Castaneda, who came to the United States 15 years ago. "Always in my life I want to do the right thing, make the right decision. It makes me a part of this country."
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William McKenzie commentary: Assimilation is part of our American heritage

This piece talks about the things immigrants are constantly adding to our society and culture.   - - Donna Poisl

by William McKenzie

What does it mean to be an American today? That question is at the heart of America’s ongoing struggle to modernize its immigration laws. For some, it’s more than a rhetorical question.

The issue is a deep-seated worry. Some opponents of liberalized immigration laws fear that allowing in more immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, will change what it means to be an American.

This anxiety is actually a healthy one. We should be thinking about how the possible legalization of 11 million illegal immigrants may affect our country’s identity. The same is true for the legal immigrants who would be coming to our towns, cities and states through a revised system.
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Falafel, tacos and the American story

Immigrants built this country and the new ones are fitting in as quickly as the earlier ones did.   - - Donna Poisl


On this Fourth of July, brass bands from California to New York will thump out “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

True blue American music — composed by a child of immigrants.

John Philip Sousa’s father was Portuguese, though born in Spain, and his mother was German, arriving in the United States when she was 20.

Golly, how quickly immigrants learned to fit in back then.
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Monday, July 01, 2013

The American Immigration Council Applauds Senate Passage of Historic Immigration Reform Legislation

For Immediate Release

June 27, 2013

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the U.S. Senate for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744) by a vote of 68-32 (including 14 Republicans). This vote reflects how far the country has come in understanding the significance of immigration reform to the health and well-being of the nation as a whole. Regardless of what may come next, today’s vote reflects the irrefutable fact that the social and economic benefits of immigration reform are tangible and achievable. There will be much work ahead to continue to perfect the policies reflected in this bill. But for the moment, we should thank the Senate, led by the Gang of Eight, for the courage and vision to finally move the country forward on immigration.

“Today’s vote is a game-changer. The debate around immigration reform is forever changed, the notion that the Senate cannot act on immigration is a thing of the past, and now we know that it is possible to find bi-partisan agreement one an issue once deemed toxic,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.

“There is little doubt that today’s vote offers the country a chance to start again on immigration. While the compromises necessary to achieve a significant bipartisan vote were many, this is a lesson for us all in democracy—we can respect deep disagreements on policy grounds, yet still find a way forward. The Senate should be commended for giving us all a chance to change the conversation on immigration,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.
For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524