Monday, December 30, 2013

6 Maps That Show How The United States Has Changed Since 1990

 Very interesting maps, including one that shows foreign born residents. Also a link to the US Census Bureau maps.   - - Donna Poisl

from Hunter Schwarz, BuzzFeed Staff

Using Census Explorer, a tool from the U.S. Census Bureau that allows users to track statistics in states and counties, you can see how things have changed from 1990 to 2000 to 2012. The data is from the 1990 and 2000 census and 2008-2012 American Community Survey.
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Tyler’s teaching, care shines

This woman decided she wanted to be a teacher at age six. This passion has made her such a good teacher.   - - Donna Poisl

by John Dykstra

Lisa Tyler knew she wanted to become a teacher when she was in first grade. Ever since then, the Willson preschool teacher has made a complete circle, as she now teaches in the same room she attended kindergarten in.

“I told Mrs. Gourley I wanted to be a teacher, and she said I could student teach for her if I graduated from college,” Tyler said. “She told me that every time I saw her for about 15 years.”

Tyler’s ambition to learn kept June Gourley’s attention through the years. It also earned Tyler the recognition as a 2013 Journal Review Shining Star.
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Refugees get help learning English through sewing class

 It is so much easier to learn something when you are having a good time doing it, especially a language.  - - Donna Poisl

Written by Kirsten Clark, The Courier-Journal

When refugee women enter the sewing classroom for the first time — most knowing little English — they often don’t know what to expect, said Anna Gray Slagle, one of the women who runs the Stitch program.

“They come in with their eyes down,” Slagle said. “They just have no idea what we’re asking them to participate in.”

But every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Stitch — a sewing class at the Pleune-Mobley Center organized by Highland Presbyterian Church and Kentucky Refugee Ministries — is bringing together more than just pieces of fabric.

In its most basic form, Stitch unites refugee women with English-speaking instructors who teach them the basics of sewing.
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F-1 Student Visa App for IOS Will Help Foreign Students Prepare

from Joseph Tavolacci

The F-1 Student Visa app provides foreign students with the information they’ll need for their F-1 student visa interview.

The app is designed for foreign students who have been accepted into an accredited college or university in the United States and who are in the process of applying and preparing for the F-1 Student Visa and the required Consular Office interview

The app is currently available via the iTunes store, and will be released shortly for Android and Windows 8 devices.

Joseph Tavolacci

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Parents, children see benefits from education program

Parents learn English while their small children are in a preschool learning English and more.    - - Donna Poisl

By James Barragan

On a slightly chilly December morning a group of small children stand in a playground at the El Centrito Family Learning Center and learn some new dance moves.

They wiggle their fingers, shake their hands and nod their heads to the beat of the music on the instructions of their teacher, Sonia Marroquin, as some smiling parents watch and supervise the group.

It's all part of the day's hands-on lesson: to learn body parts through dance.

The children and their parents are part of the Family Literacy Cooperative at El Centrito, which allows parents to attend adult school to learn English while leaving their children in a cooperative preschool environment.
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Why Immigration Reform Matters

The "Fast for Families" has been going since 12 November, many government officials have visited them, including President and Mrs. Obama.    - - Donna Poisl

by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

This week, I visited the “Fast for Families” tent on the National Mall with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to show our support for passing commonsense immigration reform. I was humbled by the courageous men and women we spoke with, who are making a personal sacrifice to end the human suffering they have witnessed as a result of our current immigration system.

The “Fast for Families” was launched by faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders on November 12 and has been ongoing since.  The dedicated leaders who have gathered to fast on the National Mall have been driven by their individual experiences, but they are united in their commitment to seeing Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform.
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'Immigrant suburbs' emerge in latest census sweep

It used to be that suburbs were all white, now they are diverse too.   - - Donna Poisl

Article by: DAVID PETERSON, Star Tribune

Yussuf Shafie admits it wasn’t easy being among the first Somali immigrants to arrive in Burnsville’s schools.

“It wasn’t as diverse as it is today, I’ll tell you that. It was hard to communicate with peers and stuff.”

But now that there’s a “huge Somali population” in the area, he says, things are going swimmingly at his year-old Tawakal Restaurant in the suburb’s downtown. Nor is the place just for immigrants; it functions as an easy point of contact for all kinds of cultures.

“It’s open to everyone who has a wallet,” he cheerfully declares. “If you have a wallet, we can get along!”
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The Faulty Legal Arguments Behind Immigration Detainers

For Immediate Release

December 18, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases The Faulty Legal Arguments Behind Immigration Detainers by Christopher Lasch, Esq. In late June 2012, the Supreme Court struck down three provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 and left a fourth vulnerable to future legal challenge. As has been well-documented, the Court’s rejection of SB 1070 tipped the balance in favor of federal enforcement and away from state and local enforcement of the immigration laws. But this essay explores a less obvious consequence of the Court’s decision: its implications for the viability of a critical federal enforcement mechanism, the immigration “detainer.”

Due to underlying legal problems, many of the “anti-detainer” measures enacted around the country are well-founded. For example, numerous municipalities—including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco—now prevent local jails from honoring immigration detainers unless an arrestee has been charged with or convicted of certain criminal offenses. However, to the extent jurisdictions believe they can selectively honor immigration detainers, they may yet be exposed to civil liability. While legally sound in resisting the notion that the federal government can impose any binding obligation on state and local officials, even selective enforcement of detainers may violate the Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

To view the paper in its entirety, see:
The Faulty Legal Arguments Behind Immigration Detainers by Christopher Lasch, ESQ. (IPC Perspectives, December 2013)

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

Help a refugee begin a new life today

from Mark Hetfield, President & CEO
Dear HIAS Supporter,

As December draws to a close, I reflect on the 250,000 refugee lives HIAS has touched this year with the help of people like you and your steadfast support of our mission. For many of us, the refugee journey strikes a personal chord because it reflects our own family's history; we see ourselves in many refugees' stories.

Take Sinan: A proud father to three girls, ages 8, 11, and 15, Sinan was a professional engineer before fleeing his home country of Iraq. After years of struggle as a refugee, he arrived in Ohio as part of the U.S. Refugee Program.

Supported by HIAS through our local partner, Sinan got his first job just four months later—a managerial position overseeing three teams at the local Target. "I like challenges, and I believe the experiences that I had helped me advance quickly," Sinan says. One year on, he is providing for his family and involved in his community, grateful for the help he received getting started in his new home.

By supporting HIAS, you support refugees like Sinan. 

"This is only the beginning," he beams. "Next, I want to get my Masters degree and start my own construction management company. Then I will get a Ph.D. and ultimately teach at a university." His passion and drive mirror what our country is built on—the opportunity to realize one's potential in safety and freedom, and to give back. "America is a dreamland if you work hard to improve yourself and make use of the opportunities you can have here," Sinan adds.

For every success story like Sinan's, there are hundreds of refugees who need HIAS' help beginning anew. In 2013, HIAS helped nearly 3,000 refugees build new lives in 28 cities across the United States, offering them a warm reception upon arrival, employment training and placement, and ongoing professional advice for particularly vulnerable individuals and families. We can't do this without you.

Won't you join us in aiding more refugees like Sinan?

I hope you will.

With gratitude,
Mark Hetfield, President & CEO

Friday, December 13, 2013

Deer Park High Schoolers Volunteer as Language Study Buddies at Public Library

These high school students are helping young kids in ELL and also their families.    - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Ryan Bonner (Editor)

In Deer Park High School’s ongoing Study Buddy program, high schoolers in the World Language Honor Society volunteer their time to tutor English language learning elementary school students at the Deer Park Public Library.

Some children being tutored are receiving support for their world language classes, but the majority of the WLHS volunteer tutors are using their language skills to communicate with the families of the district’s children who are learning English and to provide these younger students with reading and writing support.
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Immigration status impacts health, especially for the young

Older immigrants may have more health problems than those who came here as young people.    - - Donna Poisl

by Katherine Kahn

Age at immigration and citizenship status may have health implications for immigrants, finds a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Health disparities research has frequently focused on the "health immigration paradox", which finds that recent Latino immigrants are often in better health than their naturalized counterparts, despite lower socioeconomic status. Little previous research has focused on the health status of foreign-born people over the age of 50, who make up over a third of all immigrants.

"We found that older foreign-born people who immigrated as children or young adults and became citizens have better health after age 50 compared to those who did not become citizens," says lead author Zoya Gubernskaya, Ph.D., of the University at Albany, SUNY. "And those who naturalized sooner—within 10 years of immigration—have lower odds of having health limitations in older age compared with those who naturalized later, and with noncitizens."
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Obama to Extend Illegal Immigrant Childhood Amnesty Deadline

Before the deadline next fall, DACA will be extended. I'm sure everyone thought reform would have been enacted by then.    - - Donna Poisl

By Drew MacKenzie

President Barack Obama is planning to extend the amnesty deadline for hundreds of thousands of young people living in the country illegally, according to The Daily Caller.

White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz said Wednesday during an online immigration event with Vice President Joe Biden that Obama is set to extend his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals "mini-amnesty."

"As long as this president" is in power, "you will be able to renew your deferred action," Muniz said during a question and answer session on Skype.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In Novel Md. Program, Children Help Parents Learn English

This is probably fun for the children and also gives them good practice in their own English.   - - Donna Poisl


ASPEN HILL, Md. (Nov. 29, 2013) -- Playing the role of the teacher is not a game of dress-up for 10-year-old Giselle Jimenez. Her English is stronger than her mother’s, Maricela Cabrera, 35, who often needs Giselle’s guidance on homework assigned in a family literacy class they are taking together.

Cabrera and Giselle are teaming up to learn English in a course offered by the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, a novel, inter-generational approach to helping adults with low levels of literacy learn English, by making their children the teachers.

U.S. Department of Education estimates show that 11 percent of Maryland adults aged 16 or older lack basic prose literacy skills — the ability to read and answer questions about readings. With a lack of funding in adult education making it difficult to address the problem, groups like the Literacy Council are filling the gaps left by schools.
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Ukuleles used in ESL at Moss Middle School

This sounds like a fun way to learn a language and an instrument at the same time.    - - Donna Poisl

By CHUCK MASON The Daily News

Adam Vincent, music teacher at Henry F. Moss Middle School, taps his foot slowly on the classroom floor.

Eleven pairs of eyes look at him, the English as a Second Language students switching their attention in milliseconds between Vincent and the ukuleles in their hands.

“You go too fast. Stay with my foot,” Vincent said. “My beat – one, two, one, two.”

The kids start up their ukuleles again.
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Immigrants less prone to violence, 'antisocial' behavior, study says

This study disproves what many people believe.    - - Donna Poisl

By Emily Alpert Reyes

Immigrants are less likely to shoplift, skip work or school, hurt people or engage in other “antisocial” behaviors, despite being poorer, more urbanized and less educated than people born in the United States, a new study based on a sweeping national survey shows.

The study, recently published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, buttresses earlier research based on arrests and crime rates. The intriguing pattern has already challenged conventional theories about the ties between problem behaviors, poverty and other disadvantages.

“It turns traditional theories on their head,” said Michael G. Vaughn, a Saint Louis University professor and one of the authors of the study. “Immigrants often come to the United States with very little. They are socially disadvantaged. But they’re not contributing much to the crime rate.”
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Help Debunk the Myths About Women and Immigration

Women have a huge stake in needing immigration reform, this story proves the facts.    - - Donna Poisl

By Liza Gross, WeNews correspondent

(WOMENSENEWS)--Women's rights activists have long maintained that our national immigration narrative, while purporting to be gender neutral, is in fact fraught with assumptions and stereotypes.

Some of these notions apply to immigrant women with legal status in this country, some to women with no legal status, and some to both.

Scholar and activist Pramila Jayapal is co-chair of We Belong Together, a campaign launched by a coalition of groups seeking to redefine the priorities of the immigration debate and raise awareness on why immigration reform is basically a women's issue.

To that end, here are eight of the most common misconceptions regarding the immigration debate that Jayapal has encountered in her work.
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Ethiopian-owned businesses enliven Baltimore neighborhoods

An Ethiopian immigrant group is adding lots of businesses to a neighborhood, making the area come alive again and helping the economy.  - - Donna Poisl


Wander along the 300 block of Park Avenue, which once was the heart of Baltimore City's Chinatown district, and you will find that a few of its vestiges remain open, such as an Asian grocery store and Zhongshan Restaurant.

But the neighborhood in West Baltimore, about a block from the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, is sprouting businesses from another immigrant community.

Ethiopians own several shops and restaurants in the area. These include Tabor Ethiopian and Gojo restaurants; Kana Mart, which sells a myriad of spices, injera and other food products; and hookah bar Lucy Sports Café. About a dozen blocks away in Pigtown, wine store Espiritas, Cafe Jovial and Ebenezer Ethiopian Restaurant, all thrive under the auspices of Ethiopian-born entrepreneurs.
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Rollins students tutor staff in English

This program sounds like everyone is getting great benefits.   - - Donna Poisl

By Lauren Roth, Orlando Sentinel

Before Yexenia Garcia started learning English through the Project Bridge program at Rollins College, visiting the grocery store was difficult.

"When I go shopping, now I know what to say," said Garcia, a Cuban immigrant who works in housekeeping for the college. "Before, I had to point."

Yexenia and her husband, Yunior, who also works in housekeeping, are among a group of about 30 Rollins employees paired with tutors, mostly Rollins undergraduates, for weekly sessions. They also attend a weekly class that reinforces English basics.

Rollins undergrad Tasha Bianchi-Macaraig started the Project Bridge program after a professor told her she had once offered English lessons to college employees but no longer had time.
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Movies enhance language-learning program

This sounds like a fun way to learn a language.    - - Donna Poisl

By Kellie B. Gormly

Hamsa Daher, an Iraq native who grew up speaking Arabic, speaks fluent English with barely a trace of an accent.

She learned English mostly from watching American television shows and movies, rather than taking classes.

Daher — now chief operating officer of Mango Languages, a company that offers self-guided language-learning systems — says watching popular foreign media, like TV and movies, offers a more fun and engaging learning experience.

Mango's newest product — Mango Premiere — is now available through Pittsburgh-area libraries. The program teaches users language, grammar, vocabulary and culture through foreign movies, which run with subtitles. In the “engage” mode, movie viewers can access learning materials, such as commentary about what they are seeing, the culture surrounding the film and explanations about the grammar.
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Why I didn't eat for 22 days

People who ask how fasting can help a cause should read this piece.   - - Donna Poisl

By Eliseo Medina

Editor's note: Eliseo Medina is former Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union and veteran immigration reform advocate. He just concluded 22 days of fasting on the National Mall where he was visited by President Barack Obama last weekend.

(CNN) -- Fasting and praying for immigration reform is not my story.

It's not the story of three fasters, from different walks of life, who decided to go hungry on the National Mall for what many call an issue that has no hope or prayer in Congress.

No, this is the story of families, of personal sacrifice and hope grounded in faith to truly drive the attention to the suffering and plight of millions of immigrants in our great nation.
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Jose Andres: Immigrants, like me, want to succeed. Congress should let them.

This opinion piece is very interesting, he writes from the viewpoint of one who has lived this.   - - Donna Poisl

by Jose Andres, a chef and restaurant owner

The first time I saw America was from my perch on the mast of a Spanish naval ship, where I could spot the Statue of Liberty reaching proudly into the open, endless American sky. At night, I would often wonder whether that sky was the explanation for the stars on the American flag — put there so the world would know that this is a place of limitless possibility, where anyone from anywhere can strive for a better life.

I recalled that starry sky on Nov. 13, when after 23 years in America, my wife, Patricia, and I were sworn in as United States citizens. The naturalization ceremony in Baltimore, attended by 72 other tearful immigrants from 35 countries, was a moment I had dreamed about since the day I arrived in America with little more than $50 and a set of cooking knives, determined to belong. I eventually settled in Washington, where my partners and I have been fortunate to build a restaurant business that now employs thousands of Americans across the country.
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Immigration vital to Wisconsin agriculture, farmers tell Baldwin

Wisconsin farmers, like all other farmers, know they need immigrants and immigration reform to keep their businesses running. And we need it to keep our food prices down.  - - Donna Poisl


 Immigration reform must ensure a supply of farm workers from other countries to help sustain Wisconsin agriculture, several farmers and ag representatives told U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Friday in La Crosse.

Immigration and reforming crop subsidies in the federal farm bill dominated discussion during a roundtable that the Wisconsin Democrat convened at Dairyland Power Cooperative.

Baldwin’s session with nearly 20 farmers, educators and officials in the ag industry came as a congressional conference committee wrestles with a new five-year farm bill. Negotiators are snagged over the House version, which would cut $40 billion from food stamps over 10 years, and restructuring subsidies.
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Immigration Reform 2013: House Democrats Pen Letter To Obama Urging Suspension Of Deportations

These representatives want the president to suspend more deportations.    - - Donna Poisl

By David Iaconangelo

29 House Democrats led by Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) put their names to a letter which urges President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to suspend deportations for many more of the nation's undocumented immigrants, as immigration reform legislation remains stalled in the Republican-led House.  "We cannot continue to witness potential citizens in our districts go through the anguish of deportation when legalization could be just around the corner for them," wrote the letters' authors.  "Let us not take these policies lightly."

The lawmakers suggested that the president expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Obama created in June 2012 in a memo directing immigration authorities to halt the deportation of many young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children and grew up here.  Since then more than 550,000 people have benefited from the temporary deportation reprieve that memo extended.
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Immigrants glad for temporary Ill. license option
 Only valid in state, it can't be used as ID

As many as 500,000 people could apply for this license. There will be that many more people on the roads who have passed their tests and have insurance! That is good for everyone.    - - Donna Poisl

By Juan Perez Jr. Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Galindo Barrios, 33, wheels the family Chevy back to his apartment near a busy rail line on the far edge of the Logan Square neighborhood.

It’s about 8 p.m., almost bedtime. He and his wife, Laura, watch their pajama-clad children squeal and scurry across the unit’s wooden floors. The living room is largely decorated with a handful of sports trophies, family photos and toys.

In a few hours, the Guatemalan national will step back into the morning’s chill, back to the car and back to his metalworking job. He’ll return to his wife and three U.S.-born children nine or 10 hours later.
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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Latinas are our nation's greatest hope, creator of Mamiverse website says

A new bilingual website with advice, stories, entertainment, food, sports and more. He believes women like his grandmother are the best hope for this country.    - - Donna Poisl

By Joseph Trevino

Tucson-born book editor René Alegría sees his adopted hometown of Manhattan as a hotbed of ideas and trends. But he believes the biggest influence on U.S. culture will be Latinas along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the 2010 Census, Latina mothers accounted for 56 percent of the country’s growth.

Inspired by women like his grandmother — who guided her children to be professionals although she was born in Mexico and never mastered English — he launched Mamiverse, a bilingual website and content provider geared toward women and mothers.
Find Mamiverse at
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