Monday, August 26, 2013

New “Pocket DACA” Mobile App Helps Young Immigrants Apply

 This free app will help young immigrants get through the application for DACA.   - - Donna Poisl


National partnership launches free mobile app to assist immigrants brought to the U.S. as children

Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council (AIC), the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), and the Own the Dream campaign are proud to announce the launch of a new "Pocket DACA" app for smartphones and tablets that will help immigrants brought to this country as children understand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. Through DACA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is granting two-year, renewable reprieves from deportation to eligible young immigrants who meet certain criteria.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.



The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic team was thrilled to receive news last week of a significant U.S. District Court victory requiring the U.S. government to give bond hearings to immigrant detainees.

In Rodriguez v. Robbins, U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter issued a permanent injunction requiring the government to give automatic bond hearings as soon as immigrant detainees have been held for six months to determine if they should continue being detained.  The Clinic — along with co-counsel from the ACLU and Sidley Austin, LLP — have been litigating the case for six years.  Former clinic students Eli Miller, Erin Mohan, Mark Baller, Kimere Kimball, and Michael Kaufman worked on the case.

The ruling follows the Ninth Circuit’s decision affirming a preliminary injunction issued by Hatter late last year. The judge has now held that all immigration detainees held in the Central District of California with pending deportation cases are entitled to a bond hearing at six months, and that such hearings include heightened procedural protections to ensure the hearings are fair.

The Clinic and its co-counsel filed Rodriguez on behalf of the hundreds of immigrants whom the government has imprisoned for more than six months in the Los Angeles area while their deportation cases are being decided. The suit sought the most basic procedural right for detained immigrants – a right to a hearing where they can argue for release on bond. The case has been pending since 2008 and has been extensively litigated, including in two different Ninth Circuit appeals.

The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic is directed by Professor Jayashri Srikantiah.  Lisa Weissman-Ward has recently joined the team as Clinical Supervising Attorney and Lecturer in Law, and will be co-teaching the clinic.  Legal support is provided by Allie Thrall.

Congratulations to all!
Children Of Immigrants Unaware They're Already U.S. Citizens

This is amazing! Many kids are U.S. citizens already and don't know it. If you are in doubt, read this and then check your status.   - - Donna Poisl

from FoxNewsLatino

A large number of Latinos do not know that they are already U.S. citizens and, after living for years as undocumented, discover this fact when they begin the process of regularizing their immigration situation.

"In some cases, the parents returned with their children to their countries of origin and never told them they were born here. In other cases, they know they were born here, but the parents obtained a false birth certificate in Mexico, and so now they have lots of problems proving they were really born in the United States," Lisa Pray, an attorney in Fort Morgan, Colorado, told Efe.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Half of eligible immigrants sign up for deferred deportation program

About half of the young immigrants eligible for DACA have signed up. This is not good news.   - - Donna Poisl

By Cindy Carcamo

TUCSON -- Stifled by a variety of obstacles — from fees to fear — fewer than half of those eligible for immigration relief have taken advantage of an Obama administration program launched a year ago, according to a new study.

About 49% of those eligible have applied for a work permit and a two-year reprieve from possible deportation, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington D.C. that studies the worldwide movement of people.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Study: Vast majority of immigrants want to become citizens, few do

Probably because of high fees and not knowing enough English, this is a sad fact.  - - Donna Poisl

 By Emilie Eaton, Cronkite News Service

WASHINGTON – More than 93 percent of Hispanic immigrants who are in this country illegally say they want to apply for citizenship, but fewer than half of whose who can apply do so, according to research by the Pew Hispanic Center.

A June study by the center found that only 46 percent of Hispanic immigrants eligible to become citizens have applied, compared with 71 percent who are not Hispanic.

Experts said they are not surprised by the numbers, noting that many people are not applying because the application process is costly and cumbersome.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Brazil woman anxious to learn American culture

This young woman is studying in NC now and while learning about Americans, she will be able to teach her new community about Brazil. Everyone wins.    - - Donna Poisl

By Deneesha Edwards, The Dispatch

Since the age of 12 years old, Ana Paula Rezende de Mello's biggest dream in life was to come to the United States.

As part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, de Mello will definitely have the chance to experience American culture this school year at Davidson County Community College.

The native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will be a participant of the program that focuses on refining young educators' teaching skills, increasing their English language proficiency and providing the opportunity for them to learn about the United States' culture.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

More than a quarter of us speak something other than English

This may be the only way our country will become more like other countries; bilingual or trilingual. Although most of those countries teach the other languages, we are importing them.   - - Donna Poisl


Albert DeBono studied Latin in his Catholic school-going youth, he notes dryly — and a whole lot of help that’s been. Spanish is more useful at Benson’s Grocery in Bonita Springs.

Roughly 10 percent of his customers were Spanish-speaking when he bought the business 35 years ago, and now at least half are, he estimated.

This trend has played out across the country to varying degrees and in many languages. More than 27 percent of Floridians ages 5 and up spoke a language other than English at home in 2011, according to a Census Bureau report released in August. That’s a 2% increase from five years earlier.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Digital media not learning students how to write good

This writer worries that texting and tweeting will ruin our written language, even though it has gotten young people to do more writing.   - - Donna Poisl

Editorial, Ledger-Enquirer

Thanks mostly to the proliferation of digital media, American young people are writing more. The problem is that what they're writing sometimes bears little resemblance to English.

The casual jargon of texting and tweeting, many language instructors believe, isn't a problem per se; specialized language variations for special contexts are usually harmless. There have always been different kinds of slang and always will be; people with an adequate understanding of proper language shift gears with little trouble.

The problem with Digitalese, many educators fear, is that it's replacing standard English instead of just providing a contextual alternative to it.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

CBU Summer Camp, Mexican students learn English, first aid in CBU program

This English immersion camp taught middle school kids many things and they learned English too.   - - Donna Poisl

By Elisa Marus Special to My Life

The Physician Assistant Studies students of Christian Brothers University (CBU) provided first-aid training for 31 students from Northern Mexico during CBU’s 12th annual Lasallian Language Camp.

The middle school students, ages 11-13, and their chaperones, who are teachers in the De LaSalle schools in Mexico, were part of the CBU community for three weeks.

The students immersed themselves not only in the English language, but also in the native culture and its norms. During their time here in Memphis, the students attended class for three hours in the morning, where they were exposed to intense instruction of the English language, followed by an afternoon homework session, arts and crafts, sports activities and field trips.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

'Survival English' class taught at Clinton Community College

This sounds like a very sensible way for these people to learn. It will certainly keep them more interested and give them more reason to study and practice.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mary Lou Hinrichsen Herald Staff Writer, The Clinton Herald

CLINTON — Clinton Community College is again offering an evening course for newcomers from other lands to learn what is called “Survival English” — the language skills they need to buy groceries, apply for a job, understand a credit card bill, use an automatic-teller machine or read bus routes.

A recent class had a woman from Vietnam who also speaks Mandarin Chinese, a man from Uzbekistan who also spoke Russian and students from Korea and Mexico.

The class offers a chance to develop whatever English skills the individual needs.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Bilingualism good for the brain

This report gives several reasons why bilingualism is good for us. Besides the practical ones.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jessica Marshall, Discovery News

A growing body of research shows that regularly speaking two languages comes with certain types of improved mental performance.

In a Perspective article appearing in the journal Science, Jared Diamond of the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Guns, Germs and Steel highlights studies of bilingualism that show this effect.

Diamond began wondering about the effects on the brain of multilingualism while camping with New Guinea Highlanders, all of whom could speak between five and 15 languages.

"What are the cognitive effects of such multilingualism?" asks Diamond in the new article.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Singing helps you learn a new language

I think we all remember songs in another language that we learned as children. Using different parts of our brains helps put it all together.     - - Donna Poisl

by Clare Pain, ABC

Singing, rather than saying, phrases in a foreign language makes them easier to remember, and can make learning a second language easier, according to new research.

A new study published in the journal in Memory and Cognition, has found that adults learning phrases in Hungarian were better able to match the words with their English counterparts when they learned the phrase by singing it.

Lead author, linguist Dr Karen M Ludke of the University of Edinburgh, became interested in whether singing could help in learning a language when she was teaching English as a second language in New York.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

First day of school offers challenges for English Language Learners

Starting middle school is a challenge for most kids, these kids are having a much more difficult day. They will never forget it, I am sure. - - Donna Poisl

 By MARGARET REIST / Lincoln Journal Star

First-day-of-school jitters take on a whole new meaning in Valerie Brown’s classroom at Park Middle School.

Just like everybody else wandering Park’s hallways Tuesday morning, Brown’s students spent their first day trying to figure out where they were going and who was in their class, how to open their lockers and navigate the lunchroom.

But they couldn’t ask for help, at least not in English.

Not long ago, home for many of her students was a Thailand refugee camp, or the jungles of Burma, or the desert of Iraq. Some had never been to school before they came to Park, and those who had had learned a different alphabet in a different language in a place immersed in a vastly different culture.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

4 benefits of immigration reform

This commentary sums up what many of us have been saying for years.    - - Donna Poisl

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth 

Why immigration reform? That’s what people are asking their members of Congress in meetings around the country.

Here are four reasons.
1.   Immigration increases the efficiency of the U.S. economy

Immigrants make the economy more efficient by reducing bottlenecks caused by labor shortages, both in the high- and low-skill areas. This, in turn, creates more jobs for native-born Americans. Our immigration system is bureaucratic and time consuming, and needs reform.

Skills of native-born American workers are distributed in a bell-shaped curve. Many Americans have high school diplomas and some college education, but relatively few adults lack high school diplomas and even fewer have Ph.D.s in math and science. In contrast, immigrants’ skills are distributed in a U-shaped curve, with disproportionate shares of adults without high school diplomas who seek manual work and others with Ph.D.s in math and science.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of the reasons! This is only a small part of it.

How DACA is Impacting the Lives of Those Who Are Now DACAmented  Preliminary Findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project 

For Immediate Release

August 15, 2013
Washington D.C. - Today, on the one-year anniversary of USCIS’ implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Immigration Policy Center, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California, releases early findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP)—a longitudinal mixed-methods study of the impact of DACA on the educational, labor market, health, and civic engagement outcomes of young adult immigrants.

While the DACA program does not provide permanent legal status or a path to citizenship, it does provide a two-year renewable grant of deferral from deportation for certain young immigrants and allows them to apply for work permits and social security cards. The research finds that DACA is increasing their opportunities for economic and social incorporation. According to the survey, many recipients also seek further social integration beyond DACA. In fact, almost all DACA recipients indicate that they would apply for U.S. citizenship if given the opportunity. The study also shows that DACA recipients are often fearful that family members and friends could be deported at any time.

Overall, the research indicates that although DACA opens up some economic opportunities for young aspiring Americans, it does not address the constant threat of deportation still facing those closest to them, including mothers, fathers, and siblings.

To view the research summary see:
How DACA is Impacting the Lives of Those Who Are Now DACAmented (IPC/CSII Research Summary, August 15, 2013)

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Immigration Debate and the Ties That Bind Korean Immigrants

This young woman's family immigration story shows why she thinks immigration reform should include more family reunification.    - - Donna Poisl


I often say that immigration policy is a reflection of which families are valued in America. After all, such laws govern who gets the opportunity and privilege to settle here. For Asian American families, that question has long been a contentious one and, as the recent Senate version of immigration reform reflects, continues to be so.

As our nation’s leaders casually pass family unification provisions that exclude adult siblings and children, I think about my own family’s history of immigration and how it is one story of many — of people who arrived in this country with only a dream, and set about making America a stronger nation.

My grandfather, Yu Tae Chu, landed in the United States in 1968, just three years after the Immigration and Naturalization Act repealed racist restrictions that deemed Asians “aliens ineligible for citizenship” and prohibited them from immigrating to this country. He was poor, coming from the rural countryside of Incheon, South Korea, where a failed business had forced his family to borrow scoops of rice on credit.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Staten Island immigrants share experiences, advocate for reform

Immigrants who have been here a long time are certainly the best ones to talk about immigration and their struggles and successes.    - - Donna Poisl

By Judy L. Randall

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A group of immigration reform advocates gathered in New Dorp Monday to speak about their common experiences and "share the faces" of those who immigrated to the U.S. and now call Staten Island home.

"As immigrants, we have so much to contribute to this country," and the same aspirations of those born in America to "own a home, have a business, travel, send our children to school," said Dee Cooper Jones, a member of Clifton's Liberian community.

"The United States is a land of opportunity and I came here to find a better life for myself," said Jose Rosales, who came to Port Richmond 25 years ago.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

St. Louis hopes immigrants will find beauty in Mosaic

The St. Louis Mosaic Project is promoting a more welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs in their city.   - - Donna Poisl

By David Baugher, special to the Beacon

When Jason Jan came to the United States, he traveled a bit, even spent some time in California. But when it was time to settle down and found his own company, the native Malaysian knew just where he wanted to do it.

“I got my bachelor's in finance from UMSL. I met my wife in St. Louis,” said Jan, creator of FroYo, a chain of frozen yogurt stores, as he hands out samples of his enterprise’s signature product in the atrium of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. “It has a good quality of life, good school districts, reasonable cost of living. I can tell you that I love St. Louis. It’s a great place to start a family, a great place to start a business.”
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Irish immigrants fleeing famine came to Butte

This is when my ancestors moved to the U.S. too, although they didn't go to Montana.    - - Donna Poisl

 By John Grant Emeigh of The Montana Standard

One of the darkest periods in Irish history would end up changing the dynamic and history of North America.

Irish speaker Donnchadh O Baoill talked about the impact the Great Irish Famine had on the population of Ireland and immigration to America and to Butte during a presentation at the Butte Archives Saturday as part of the Irish festival.

“It was the most pivotal part of modern Irish history,” he said of the famine.

The An Gorta Mor (The Great Hunger) occurred in Ireland from 1845 to 1852, and was the main cause of Irish migration to the United States. Many of these newly arrived Irish moved on to Butte, he said.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Companies help immigrants obtain US citizenship

Helping their employees who are immigrants get through the citizenship process would be a benefit to both the employers and their workers.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Amy Taxin, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, CALIF. — Some employers are now helping immigrants reach their dream of becoming Americans.

Health clinics, hotels and a clothing factory are pairing up with immigrant advocates to offer on-site citizenship assistance as one of the perks of the job in greater Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Silicon Valley as they aim to make naturalization more convenient for the 8.5 million legal immigrants eligible to become U.S. citizens.

The effort is billed as a win-win for both employee and employers: Workers avoid legal fees and having to shuttle to and from law offices to complete applications; companies create a deeper bond with immigrant workers; and there’s little cost as nonprofits pick up the tab.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

One in five in US don’t speak English at home

Many languages are spoken in U.S. homes, and most of these people also speak English "well" or "very well". Maybe we will become a nation with a large number of our residents being multilingual, like other countries are.   - - Donna Poisl

from Reuters

Washington: The number of people in the United States who speak a language other than English at home has nearly tripled over the past three decades, far outpacing the overall population growth, US data released on Tuesday showed.

While Spanish remains the most widely spoken language after English, other languages, particularly those from South Asia and Africa, have also soared in use, the US Census Bureau said in a report.

Some 60.6 million people, or nearly one in five people in the United States aged 5 or older, spoke a language other than English at home in 2011, according to the report. That is up from 23 million in 1980, or almost one in 11.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Most in U.S. Say It's Essential That Immigrants Learn English

One in five say it is essential that Americans learn a second language

 Read this article and look at all the graphs in it. It breaks down the poll data into many different sub groups.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jeffrey M. Jones

 PRINCETON, NJ -- Seventy-two percent of Americans say it is essential that immigrants living in the United States learn to speak English. Meanwhile, 20% believe it is essential that Americans learn a second language other than English. These views have changed little since Gallup first asked the question 12 years ago.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

TEXAS VIEW: Growing group wants the news

A new cable news channel is aimed at young English speaking Latinos.    - - Donna Poisl

BY: The Dallas Morning News

Later this year, ABC and Univision will launch Fusion, the first 24-hour cable news channel aimed at the rapidly growing audience of English-speaking Latinos.

The idea would have been considered business heresy just a decade ago, when prevailing wisdom was that Hispanics were forever wedded to Spanish-language newspapers, radio and television. But there is a funny thing about prevailing wisdom. Sometimes it’s just dead wrong.

According to a recent Pew Research Hispanic Center survey, news in English is replacing news in Spanish for more and more Hispanic adults in the United States. This shift should not be a surprise: The migration of Hispanic adults toward English-language news tracks the broader and uniquely American story of immigration and assimilation. And it’s an important positive development to note at a time when critics of immigration reform assail immigrants for supposedly clinging to Spanish. Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Enrollees in college's English language classes come from around globe

In classes that used to be mostly Latinos, these classes now have people from many countries.    - - Donna Poisl


Today’s lesson has Dr. Bette Brickman teaching her class the difference between “asked” and “told.” Each student reads a sentence aloud and picks the appropriate word. One sentence has a father talking to a child about cleaning the garage. The choice isn’t so clear.

“It will depend on the family dynamic,” she says to her students, explaining that some parents will ask for help in the garage, while others will command it.

All of Brickman’s students are adults. This is an intermediate-level class at the College of Southern Nevada for those studying English as a second language.

Having taught these types of classes since the ’80s, Brickman has seen the faces and stories of her students change through the years. It used to be her classes were predominantly Latino-populated. Now, students come from Iran, Thailand, Cambodia, Syria, China, Taiwan, Ethiopia and other countries.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Mobile Classroom Brings English Lessons to Immigrants

This converted delivery truck brings an ESL-to-GO program to refugees and immigrants who cannot get to the usual classrooms to go to ESL class.    - - Donna Poisl

by Mike Osborne

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — On a recent Saturday morning in Nashville, Tennessee, students gathered at the Foreign Language Institute for English-as-a-second-language (ESL) instruction.

The students are fortunate. Their English language skills are already quite advanced. Some have a driver’s license and car, others have a friend or family member who can drive them to class.

That’s fortunate because the building where the Institute is located is in a typical American business park; it isn’t designed for pedestrians and there are no sidewalks.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Super Simple Songs'™ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Shines Online

These YouTube channel uses children's songs to teach children another language, in this case, English.    - - Donna Poisl

By Super Simple Learning

SEATTLE, Aug. 1, 2013 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Hitting a rare milestone for YouTube's family-friendly channels, today Super Simple Learning® announced its Super Simple Songs™ channel has received more than one billion views. One of only a few family-friendly channels to hit the billion-view mark, Super Simple Songs is home to popular videos like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Open Shut Them," and more than 70 other children's educational videos.

In celebration, Super Simple Learning is thrilled to premiere a special new YouTube-only video, "Sweet Dreams (Goodnight Song)," as well as announce the release of their first DVD, Super Simple Songs – Video Collection – Vol. 1, which contains a selection of 15 of Super Simple Learning's most popular videos, including "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "BINGO," and "The Alphabet Chant" (available for $16.99 at
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

New approach to literacy

This couple is teaching some illiterate Hispanics to first read in Spanish, so they can then learn English much easier.    - - Donna Poisl


In 2006, when the Rev. David Kaller was pastor at Ingalls Park United Methodist Church, he and his wife Josefina Kaller began offering English as a Second Language classes, which the church still offers.

While doing so, the New Lenox couple realized many Hispanics struggle to learn English because they are illiterate in their native language. So in September, the Kallers, now retired, will offer “Leamos” (Let’s Read), an online literacy course that teaches Spanish-speaking adults the basics of reading and writing in Spanish.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Tackling the Toughest Questions on Immigration Reform: Short Answers to the Most Common Questions

For Immediate Release

July 29, 1013

Washington D.C. - Congress will shortly head home to town halls and constituent meetings, where immigration is sure to be one of the top issues on the table. Throughout 2013, immigration reform has captured public attention. Millions of people followed S. 744 as it worked its way through committee and watched as the Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan. In the next few months, immigration reform will be high on the list of priorities in the House of Representatives. Despite significant public support for immigration reform among members of the public in both parties, many of the most basic facts about immigrants and immigration remain misunderstood. Debunking the myths about immigration and providing short, concise answers to the often complex issues raised by the immigration debate is a challenge. Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases a guide to some of the toughest questions on immigration, providing answers that reflect the best research and analysis available on topics ranging from the economy to crime to legalization.

To view the piece in its entirety, see:

Tackling the Toughest Questions on Immigration Reform:  Short Answers to the Most Common Questions (IPC Special Report, July 29, 2013)

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