Wednesday, September 10, 2014

136 Leading Experts on Immigration Law Agree:
President Has Legal Authority to Expand Relief to Immigrants
For Immediate Release

September 3, 2014 from the American Immigration Council

Washington D.C. —U.S. law professors sent a letter today to the White House stating that President Obama has wide legal authority to make needed changes to immigration enforcement policy. The president is considering how to use his authority to mitigate the damage caused by our dysfunctional immigration system and protect certain individuals from deportation.

The letter was written by Stephen H. Legomsky, John S. Lehmann University Professor at Washington University School of Law and former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Chief Counsel; Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor at UCLA School of Law; and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar at Penn State Law. It was signed by professors from 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

“As part of the administration’s legal team that ironed out the details of DACA, I can personally attest that we took pains to make sure the program meticulously satisfied every conceivable legal requirement,” said Legomsky. “In this letter, 136 law professors who specialize in immigration reach the same conclusion and explain why similar programs would be equally lawful.” (DACA is the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program the president initiated in June 2012.)

In their letter, the law professors point out that “The administration has the legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for managing resources and protecting individuals residing in and contributing to the United States in meaningful ways.” The letter goes on to explain that presidents from both parties have used prosecutorial discretion to prevent specific, and often large, groups of immigrants from being deported.

“Our letter confirms that the administration has specific legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for protecting an individual or group from deportation,” said Wadhia. “This legal authority served as foundation for prosecutorial discretion policy across several administrations. Historically, this policy has been premised on the twin policy goals of managing limited resources and shielding people with compelling situations from removal.” 

This is the second major letter about prosecutorial discretion that law professors have sent to President Obama. The first letter, sent in 2012, outlined the legal argument for expanded administrative relief, which later became the blueprint for the president’s DACA program. That program allows qualifying noncitizens who came to the United States as children to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization.

“This letter reflects a clear, broad, and informed consensus on two key points,” said Motomura. “First, the president has the legal authority, exercising his discretion as the nation’s top immigration prosecutor, to establish enforcement priorities. Second, the president’s lawful discretion includes the authority to set up an orderly system, modeled on DACA, for granting temporary relief from deportation.”

A copy of the letter is available at

The National Immigration Law Center and the American Immigration Council  helped to distribute the White House letter. Recently, the American Immigration Council also released a report by Professor Motomura, “The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law,” which provides further legal and historical background on this issue.

To learn more about how President Obama can restore order to our dysfunctional immigration system, visit NILC’s Administrative Relief & Prosecutorial Discretion webpage.
# # #

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

The American Immigration Council Launches Its Annual Multimedia Contest for 14-25 Year Olds, With $1,000 First Prize.

The American Immigration Council is seeking submission for its national multimedia competition. The contest, "Change in Motion," challenges young adults to explore the role immigration plays in their everyday lives and communities through creative multimedia projects. Projects should focus on celebrating the diversity of the United States and explore the commonalities that bind our “nation of immigrants” together. Please share these guidelines with those who are interested.

Who is eligible?

Young adults between the ages of 14-25 are eligible. Individual or group entries are permitted; however, there is a single cash prize for first, second and third places.

What do we mean by “multimedia?”

Acceptable entries are videos, photo essays or slideshows. Presentations (video or photographic) should focus on the benefits of immigration.

How technical does my project need to be?

Your story and the way you tell it matter more than how sophisticated your technical abilities are. We encourage you to tell your story and not let a lack of technological expertise prevent you from doing so.

Is there a time limit?

Entries should be no more than five minutes long.

How do we enter the contest?

There are two ways to submit entries.

1) Submit a copy of the multimedia file on a CD or DVD to the American Immigration Council “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest , 1331 G Street N.W. Suite 200, Washington, DC  20005, OR

2) You can also use YouTube to submit your video entry via your own YouTube account. Simply email with the submission date and a link to the submission on your YouTube account, make sure to put 2015 MULTIMEDIA Contest in the subject line. We will add the content on the American Immigration Council’s page on YouTube.

When submitting your videos and pictures, please tag the content with the following tags: “American Immigration Council’s “Change in Motion” Multimedia contest 2015. Please remember to tag your videos, so we are able to find your content.

How will the contest be judged?

The winners will be chosen by the American Immigration Council and a panel of judges.

What criteria will be used to select the winner?

The multimedia entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, story-telling ability and personal impact. The judging panel will also look for the most creative and original entries with the most engaging use of media.

What is the prize?

There will be first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) winners.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is 11:59 EST, January 15, 2015. Winners will be notified on or around March 2, 2015.

For more information, including the rules and terms of the contest, please visit the Multimedia Contest webpage.

Watch the previous award-winning video “Two World’s, One Heart” by Shireen Alihaji.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law

For Immediate Release
August 26, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law by Hiroshi Motomura, a Professor of Law at UCLA.

Professor Motomura’s paper discusses the President’s broad legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation. He makes clear that the President has broad prosecutorial discretion as to setting enforcement priorities, given our current enforcement system in which all 11 million unauthorized immigrants could not practically be deported. Moreover, Motomura shows that providing a system for applying prosecutorial discretion—with formal criteria and a process—is more consistent with the rule of law. Doing so makes discretionary enforcement decisions more uniform and predictable, and forestalls individual agent’s actions based on discrimination or race. The paper rebuts critics that have accused President Obama of overstepping his authority as he considers measures to defer the deportation of millions of families.

To read the paper in its entirety, see:
The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law (August 26, 2014)
For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obama Expected to Take Executive Action on Undocumented Immigrants

The President might use Executive Action, since the legislators have done nothing.    - - Donna Poisl

Michael Bowman

WASHINGTON—  In coming weeks, President Barack Obama is expected to take executive action to address the plight of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States — provoking cheers from immigrant rights groups and condemnation from those who see it as amnesty for law-breakers.

Congress has not passed comprehensive immigration reform or approved funds to deal with a surge of child migrants at America’s southern border.

Immigrant activists have demonstrated outside the White House and engaged in civil disobedience demanding an end to deportations of the undocumented.
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Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim launches website to help immigrants succeed

Acceso Latino, a free website in Spanish.   - - Donna Poisl

By Lorena Figueroa, El Paso Times

Méxican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, one of the world’s richest men, has launched a new website targeting Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

The website aims to provide readers with every piece of information they need to succeed in this country.

The Carlos Slim Foundation last week launched Acceso Latino, a free website in Spanish that provides readers with information on topics such as education, health care, job training and culture.

The site also has other pertinent features, such as English online-courses and information on the federal Dream Act.

“Acceso Latino will put valuable knowledge at the fingertips of everyone who wants to learn new skills and engage with their community. It is a simple but powerful resource that can potentially help millions of people improve their lives,” Slim Helú said in a written statement.
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Unauthorized Immigrants Today: A Demographic Profile
For Immediate Release

August 19, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases Unauthorized Immigrants Today, A Demographic Profile. With Congress gridlocked on immigration reform, all eyes have turned to the White House to implement administrative reforms that will address some of the consequences of years of legislative stalemates. While it remains to be seen what those fixes will be, the central question—as always—will be what to do about some or all of the estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States. Tackling this issue effectively involves overcoming a common misperception that unauthorized immigrants consist primarily of single young men who have recently crossed the southern border and live solitary lives disconnected from U.S. society. The truth, however, is that unauthorized immigrants include adults and children, mothers and fathers, homeowners and people of faith, most of whom are invested in their communities.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety, see:
Unauthorized Immigrants Today, A Demographic Profile (IPC Fact Sheet, August 2014)

To share our infographic on the topic, click here.


For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at
or Amanda Beadle at

Fifty for Fairness **Lawsuit Update!**

from Ben Johnson, Executive Director

A few weeks ago I emailed you about nationwide class-action lawsuit we filed on behalf of thousands of children, challenging the federal government’s failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.

We filed this lawsuit because it is unacceptable to force thousands of immigrant children each year to navigate our immigration court process alone. The government’s failure to provide legal representation to children deprives them of a fair hearing and violates both the U.S. Constitution and the immigration laws.

UPDATE: We’ve just been notified that our first hearing is scheduled for September 3, 2014. We are busy getting ready to stand up for children who are being funneled through the complex immigration court system without representation, but we need your help!

Show your support of the Immigration Council’s litigation strategy and join our “Fifty for Fairness” campaign today!

The American Immigration Council exists to ensure that immigration agencies do not lose sight of the human toll of their inactions and that our nation’s moral and ethical values are reflected in the way we treat immigrants.

Join our “Fifty 4 Fairness” campaign and help us continue our work as the immigration watchdog.

Thank you in advance for your support of our mission and our work. I look forward to updating you on this lawsuit as things develop.

Ben Johnson, Executive Director
Good afternoon and welcome to EnglishClub

Check this site out! It has lots of things to help you learn English or teach English. Everything from lessons for learners to jobs for teachers, including fun pages like games, videos, quizzes and chat

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Immigrants Work in More Arduous Jobs than U.S. Natives, New Study Shows

This proves that immigrants work different (harder) jobs than native born and don't compete for the same jobs.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Guillermo Cantor

One of the reasons often cited to explain the importance of immigrant workers to the U.S. economy is the presumption that immigrants perform jobs that U.S. natives are unwilling to take. Numerous studies show that immigrant workers complement the native-born in various ways. But in spite of the growing evidence, restrictionist groups recurrently argue that inflows of immigrants negatively affect the native-born labor force as a whole, and less-educated working-class individuals in particular.

The reality is that, in general, native-born workers do not compete with immigrants for the same jobs. And to a large extent that is because “unemployed natives and employed recent immigrants tend to have different levels of education, to live in different parts of the country, to have experience in different occupations, and to have different amounts of work experience.” In particular, immigrant workers tend to specialize in occupations intensive in manual, physical labor, while natives tend to work in jobs more intensive in communication and language tasks.
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5 Things to Know About Immigration and the U.S. Economy

A very interesting list and information about each item. Click the headline to read the report.  - - Donna Poisl


A pending decision by President Barack Obama on whether to use his executive powers to make interim immigration reforms because Congress failed to could make the already heated immigration issue even more volatile. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal leaning, non-profit think tank, released a report Thursday aiming to dispel many myths and provide some fundamentals before politics sends things into a frenzy. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the institute's report on immigrants:

1. Less than half of all immigrants are Hispanic or Latino.
2. Immigrants don’t just take low-paying jobs, and they’re not all poor.
3. Unauthorized immigrants are good for state and federal budgets.
4. Deporting undocumented immigrants would be costly for multiple reasons.
5. Immigrants do affect employment and wages – but not always in the ways that you’d think.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the information about all FIVE things to know.

DC school educates parents alongside children

When parents can read to their kids in English, it helps the kids and the parents.    - - Donna Poisl

from the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The images in the book were bright and the words simple, but many of the women in the classroom hesitated as they sounded out each sentence.

“If you can’t read the words, can you talk about the pictures?” teacher Elizabeth Bergner coached. The goal for the women enrolled in Bergner’s adult-education class in the District of Columbia is to learn English, but an equally important target is to help their children learn to read.

In a preschool classroom down the hall a few minutes later, the mothers had a chance to practice. They pulled their daughters and sons onto their laps and opened the book.
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Judge tells California to teach English learners

The ACLU says California is not teaching English to enough of their students.   - - Donna Poisl


LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge Tuesday ordered the state of California to educate all children who don't speak English, saying it needs to take action after reports showed a quarter of school districts failed to meet that state and federal requirement.

Judge James Chalfant said the California Department of Education needed to figure out the best way to enforce the law and make sure English instruction is provided in a state where more than a fifth of students are deficient in English.

"You've got to go ferret this out because you can't have even one child that isn't getting their instructional services," Chalfant said. "You have a report that 20,000 aren't getting their instructional services. That's not good enough."
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You Say You Want Immigrants to Learn English? Put Your Money Where Your Boca Is

There aren't enough classes for all the people who want to learn English. They want to learn it, but can't find a class.   - - Donna Poisl

by Ian Reifowitz

People are lined up, waiting, sometimes for many hours just to get a seat. Are they waiting for Katy Perry tickets? For the new iPhone? Nope. They wait in the hope that they'll be able to register for English classes offered by the New York Public Library, classes that will give non-English speakers the single most important key to unlocking success in this country.

"I need to learn English," said Rafael Villeta, one of 153 people waiting to register for classes at the Bronx library on a hot Tuesday afternoon in July. "Every job, the first question is, 'You know English?'"

The students don't have to pay a dime, and the people who register them don't ask about immigration status. About 60 percent of the $5 million annual cost comes from donated funds, with the rest coming from the federal and city government. Anthony Marx, the library's president, provided the numbers: The program currently offers just under 8,000 seats, compared to 2,500 three years ago. If they had the funding, the library would double its offerings, according to Marx.
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Monday, August 04, 2014

Check out the new HIAS website

from Mark Hetfield, President & CEO, HIAS

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and feel, user-friendly navigation, and updated with the latest information about our work aiding refugees around the globe.

Check Out Our New Website!

We look forward to keeping you informed through our regular communications. Please be sure to add to your contacts to ensure the deliverability of our emails. (Gmail users: Be sure to add us to your "Primary" tab to avoid missing any emails.)

And we urge you to connect to our work in the field on social media by following @HIASrefugees on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All of us at HIAS know that we would not be able to fulfill our urgent mission without the assistance of people like you. Together we will make a difference.

Mark Hetfield
President & CEO
Immigrants at the border: What would Jesus say?

A good question, I think I know the answer.   - - Donna Poisl

By STEVE and COKIE ROBERTS, Guest columnists

Conservatives are quick to embrace religious figures who agree with them on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and the right of business owners to deny contraception coverage to their employees.

“God is a Republican” might as well be their slogan, and church attendance is one of the best indicators of partisan loyalty. In 2012, 58 percent of voters who attended worship services weekly voted for Mitt Romney.

But there’s a catch. Faith leaders are certainly not immune to political calculation, but they tend to be more interested in principle than partisanship. And during the current crisis on our southern border, with more than 50,000 minors seeking refuge here this year, most religious voices have supported the liberal view: Be humane. Be charitable. Take care of the children first.
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More Immigration, Stronger Economy

Our economic and budget problems could be solved with immigration reform being enacted. We need more young people working here legally.   - - Donna Poisl

By Jason Russell

Debate rages in Congress over what to do with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are trying to join their relatives in America. There can be no clearer sign of the need for immigration reform than children putting themselves in physical peril for a better life in the U.S. Increased legal immigration and a simpler, shorter process for crossing the border would have enormous humanitarian benefits.

But these reforms would also help solve America's economic and budgetary problems. The weak recovery and an aging population have labor-force participation hovering around its lowest rate in 35 years. America's birth rate is less than half of what it was a century ago. The cost of programs such as Medicare and Social Security is projected to raise publicly held federal debt to over 100 percent of GDP by 2036. And there is good evidence that immigration could help to address all of this.
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Long lines for classes in English

Americans say "why won't they learn English?" Here is one reason; immigrants often see two to three year waiting lists. It's not as easy as people think.  - - Donna Poisl

By Katheleen Conti

 Upon his arrival in Brockton from Haiti last year, McGinley Paul wasted no time carving his own path to a better future.

He completed a high school equivalency program and immediately began the process of becoming a permanent resident, which will make him eligible to receive financial aid so he can attend college.

Not one to sit idly by during the lengthy visa process, Paul decided he would spend part of his days taking free English classes locally along with his mother and younger sister. It was at that juncture, however, that Paul’s fast-tracked plans nearly derailed.
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Colorado to begin licenses for immigrants

Driver licenses are being issued to immigrants, which will make the roads much safer for everyone. They cannot be used for voting and certain other purposes unless the person is here legally.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by: Colin Jeffery

DENVER (AP) – Colorado will begin issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards to immigrants who are in the country illegally or have temporary legal status.

The documents will start being issued Friday amid high demand. About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days, with more people getting scheduled every day.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story and to see a sample license!

Pittsburgh’s New Immigrants: Tough as nails, Vu finds home, career in Pittsburgh

Vietnamese immigrants are an important part of Pittsburgh, owning businesses and employing many workers.   - - Donna Poisl

By Phuong Tran / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Binh Vu is a pioneer in a business that is now synonymous with Vietnamese immigrants.

She operates a beauty salon and cosmetic nail business, B&T Salon & Spa, Downtown, employing as many as eight people at a time, and during the past 21 years, she has found herself becoming a Pittsburgher.

"This is a beautiful city with a great landscape," she said in a recent interview. "People are friendly. There is less competition, and the income is steady."

Ms. Vu is part of a 40-year-old tradition in America that began when the first Vietnamese immigrants arrived in California after the Vietnam War ended in 1973. Some of the women in those families learned how to apply artificial nails as a way of helping support their families and then got a big boost from actress Tippi Hedren (star of "The Birds"), who volunteered as a relief worker and helped teach manicuring to Vietnamese women in one of California's refugee camps.
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Obama may consider deferring deportation for millions

Since the House told the President he would have to do things on his own, there are a couple ways he can use executive action. We must hope he does it.    - - Donna Poisl


 The White House is reportedly weighing unilateral steps President Obama could take to defer the deportation of anywhere from 550,000 to 4.4 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S., a move that would be sure to infuriate Republicans.

According to the Wall Street Journal, top White House officials have discussed the potential for executive action in a series of meetings with stakeholders who support such a move, including faith leaders and immigrant advocates and some lawmakers.

Two possibilities under discussion would protect people who have U.S. citizen children, the paper reports. Extending protection, and perhaps work permits, to anyone who has children who are legal U.S. citizens (usually because they were born here) could exempt about 4.4 million people from deportation, according to statistics from the National Foundation for American Policy. A more limited path would be to just include parents of children who have been accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
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Bethlehem Area School District allows students to earn money while they learn English

High school students are given the opportunity to work in health careers and learn English at the same time.   - - Donna Poisl

By John Best

Bethlehem Area School District students who want to speak English can earn while they learn as part of the Health Career Exploration Program.

Students enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages curriculum at Liberty High School can apply to participate in the program that offers health career awareness and hands-on learning experiences. The district offers the program in a partnership with St Luke's University Hospital in Fountain Hill.

The district's School-to-Work program started in 1997 with classes during the school day with the goal of exposing young people to opportunities in health careers and offering guidance as they work to achieve fluency in English.
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Mecklenburg’s nonprofits and faith community help fill gaps for poor

As government programs run out of money, other organizations step in and help poor people, many of whom are recent immigrants.    - - Donna Poisl

By David Perlmutt

For years, Mecklenburg County’s nonprofits and faith community have filled some of the gaps for the poor left empty by government programs.

They feed, clothe and help with rent and utility bills. They offer English classes for the newly arrived in hopes it will help them land a job. Some churches adopt schools in their area where there is a high concentration of students who receive free or reduced lunches.

Two weeks ago, Guatemala native David Rivera began taking English classes at Forest Hill Church, which partners with the Harris YMCA and Central Piedmont Community College.

Rivera said learning English is the only way to get ahead “so you can fill out applications and communicate with your manager.”
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They understand:  English, citizen classes make a difference

These women, who work in an elementary school, have learned English in a class in the same school and now have passed their citizenship tests too. - - Donna Poisl

By Regina Ford 

Martha Sarabia came to the United States 17 years ago from Mexico and is now a "very proud" U.S. citizen.

Sarabia, 54, has been employed as a custodian at Sopori Elementary School for seven years. Sopori also serves as Sarabia's classroom once a week when volunteer tutor Chris Schorr drops in for a two-hour English class, made possible by the Amado-Sahuarita Adult Learning Program.

"I learn English because maybe 10 years ago, a teacher would say something in English and I don't understand," Sarabia said. "I feel like different person today because I understand."
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Barrier grief: English issues mistaken for learning disabilities in Boston schools

Many immigrant children are sent to special education classes when all they actually need is more help with English.    - - Donna Poisl

By: Erin Smith, Erica Moura

Even as the state braces for a wave of unaccompanied immigrant children, school systems, including Boston, are failing in assessing and educating non-English speaking students they already have.

More than one in five children of immigrants who are learning English in Boston schools have been placed in special education classes in what advocates say is a costly waste of taxpayer dollars that could also be robbing hundreds of bright students of any chance to go to college and create better lives.

“Part of the problem is the parents don’t speak English or know what’s going on,” said Yael Zakon-Bourke of the Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education. “They’re just being told that their children need extra help. The problem is they may not be getting the extra help they need.”
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Grad talks up value of Waukegan library’s Spanish GED program

This man learned English in this class and now he volunteers to teach others.  - - Donna Poisl

Yadira Sanchez Olson, For Sun-Times Media

As a chemical engineer in Mexico, Pedro Gomez had only one barrier that was keeping him from moving up in the field.

He didn’t speak English.

English is the universal language, he thought, so “where better to learn it than in the United States,” Gomez said.

With that in mind, he made a trip last year, from his native land of Michoacán — a western state in Mexico — to Waukegan, where a casual visit to the Waukegan Public Library has taken him in an unexpected path.
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Immigrants look to help back home

Immigrants from DR Congo in this Illinois city are organizing to send money to their families back home and better their lives.   - - Donna Poisl

By Roberto Hodge, The Register-Mail

GALESBURG — People from the Democratic Republic of the Congo have migrated to the United States in order to better themselves and the lives of those they know in DRC.

The Congolese have lived in the Galesburg-Monmouth area for a number of years and they came together under one roof for their first conference Saturday in the former Weston School on Mulberry Street.

Césaire Murhula, the speaker of the conference who’s originally from Kinshasa, the capital and largest city of the DRC, said he’s lived in the States for two years.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Huge Wins for Immigrants in New York City!

Several programs will receive large grants to help immigrants in NYC.   - - Donna Poisl

from Steven Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition

It has been a month of exciting wins for immigrants in New York City!

Last week, the New York Immigration Coalition was joined by New York City Council’s Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca to announce a landmark $10.3 million dollars to expand several key programs for immigrant communities.

This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law ground-breaking new City Council legislation to create a new municipal ID program for all New Yorkers.

These are major victories for the City’s immigrant communities, which will provide critical help for New York City’s three million immigrants, including:
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the list of six organizations receiving this money.

Immigrants Who Speak Indigenous Languages Encounter Isolation

A very sad story about Mexican immigrants in New York City who don't speak Spanish or English. Most are illiterate, and never attended school as children.  - - Donna Poisl

Kirk Semple, New York Times, July 11, 2014

Laura is a Mexican immigrant who lives in East Harlem, a neighborhood with one of the largest Latino populations in New York City. Yet she understands so little of what others are saying around her that she might just as well be living in Siberia.

Laura, 27, speaks Mixtec, a language indigenous to Mexico. But she knows little Spanish and no English. She is so scared of getting lost on the subway and not being able to find her way home that she tends to spend her days within walking distance of her apartment.

“I feel bad because I can’t communicate with people,” she said, partly in Spanish, partly in Mixtec. “I can’t do anything.”
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Teachers HELP Trains Teachers In English Learner Techniques

While these ESL teachers do not know any other languages, they are taught short cuts and techniques to make it easier for their students to learn English. Very interesting.  - - Donna Poisl


The Teachers HELP (Helping English Language Proficiency) Summer Academy, which is a part of a five year program to offer high-quality English Learner (EL) endorsement and professional development opportunities, opened with a science lesson.

Anjelika Riano, the ESL (English as a Second Language) coach with the Hamilton County Department of Education, lectured the group of in-service and pre-service teachers about the parts of a plant. The “students” were expected to keep up with the lesson and to take notes… all in Russian. This immersion experience was intended to let these teachers feel what an English learner student feels while trying to learn academic content in an unfamiliar language.
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Parents Learn English in Summer ESL Program

After dropping their children at their school, these parents can go to ESL classes themselves in the same school.   - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Mansfield ISD

The Department for English Language Learners (ELL) and Bilingual Education provided a unique summer English language learning program for parents whose children attended the MISD Pre-K/K summer school program at Erma Nash Elementary.

The idea came from Cindy Adkison, ELL/Math Improvement teacher. Adkison, pictured above, who believed the success our district has had in providing a quality English as a Second Language (ESL) program that turns our English Language Learners into fluent English speakers would work for adults.

“Why not provide an opportunity for the parents,” noted Adkinson. “Logistically, it was easy, since the parents could take their children to Erma Nash and then simply walk over to RL Anderson for their own class.”
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Felipe Alou and Orlando Cepeda know how far young players have come learning English

These baseball stars tell what it was like coming to the USA in the 1950s, compared to what the new players experience now.    - - Donna Poisl

By JANIE McCAULEY  AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — Felipe Alou and Orlando Cepeda knew little English when they arrived in the minor leagues in the mid-1950s, putting them among the first wave of Spanish-speaking players thrown into a different culture to play professional baseball, build new lives and send money back home.

It was their chance to make it in the sport they loved, provided they could overcome challenges that often extended beyond the field.

Early on, well before blossoming into a Hall of Famer, Cepeda was told by a manager to go home to Puerto Rico and learn English before coming back to his career in the U.S. Alou had similar experiences and forced himself to speak some English when he arrived from the Dominican Republic, yet he still lacked confidence in the language.
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Friday, July 11, 2014

CHCI Congratulates Julian Castro on His Confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) congratulates San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro on his Senate confirmation today to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). With this confirmation, Sec. Castro will join the top ranks of Latino appointees including Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, and Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta, among others.

Castro will also be the third Latino to serve as Secretary of HUD since the department named its first secretary in 1966. He follows in the footsteps of Henry Cisneros, who also served as San Antonio mayor before serving in President Bill Clinton's administration as the Secretary of HUD, and Mel Martinez, who served as Secretary of HUD under President George W. Bush.

"I am thrilled that the nation will benefit from Mayor Castro's talent and skill as our next HUD Secretary," said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. "In this important role in our nation's government, Castro will serve as an excellent role model to all young, emerging Latino leaders behind him. CHCI applauds the Senate for recognizing his great achievements as a visionary leader and for taking swift action to confirm his nomination."

Mayor Julián Castro, a San Antonio native, earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University with honors and distinction and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. In 2001, at the age of 26, he became the youngest elected city councilman at that time in San Antonio history.

In 2009, Castro was elected mayor and became the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. Among his accomplishments as a three-term mayor, Castro focused on revitalizing the city's urban core, attracting 21st century jobs to the region, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy, and raising the educational attainment of youth of all ages – with a particular focus on working to expand quality pre-kindergarten education. He is the identical twin brother to CHCI Board of Directors member, Rep. Joaquín Castro.

About CHCI
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders. The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771, visit, or join us on Facebook, Twitter (chci), LinkedIn, and YouTube.

SOURCE  Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

CONTACT: Scott Gunderson Rosa, (202) 548-5876,
Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border

from American Immigration Council 
July 10, 2014
Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border, to provide basic information about the situation the U.S. is facing as thousands of young migrants show up at our southern border.

The guide seeks to answer common questions about the child migrants, including who they are and why they are coming, what basic protections the law entitles them to, and what the U.S. government has done so far. Consolidating data, government regulations, and media reports, it addresses a complex situation that President Obama declared an “urgent humanitarian situation” along the southwest border. The federal government’s coordinated response by several agencies has ignited a vigorous debate between advocates for refugees and unaccompanied minors and the government. This guide aims to help those engaging in the debate to understand the key concepts and America’s laws and obligations related to unaccompanied children.

To view the guide in its entirety, see:
Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border (American Immigration Council, July 10, 2014)

For more information, contact Amanda Beadle at or 202-507-7527

Monday, July 07, 2014

World Cup Fervor Shows How USA Has Assimilated to Immigrant Cultures

This writer gives the history of our World Cup fervor over the past 30 years, very interesting.    - - Donna Poisl

by Andres T. Tapia

After nearly a century of fierce and condescending resistance, mainstream American culture has caught World Cup fever and is now just as infected as the rest of the world.

Face and hair painted crowds are overflowing in public squares in places such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Kansas City and riveting audiences in bars and airports across the nation as they hunch over beers or luggage to live the thrill of this action packed, record breaking goal scoring FIFA World Cup 2014 taking place in Brazil over the course of four weeks.

This has precipitated anywhere from benign bewilderment by many older generation Americans ("seems like I should be watching this but I don't know what's going on!") to derisive commentary by people such as anti immigrant provocateur Ann Coulter who claims that the only people watching the World Cup in the US are immigrants.
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5  Key Challenges Immigrants Face in the USA

by Sarah Brooks

The immigration firestorm is heating-up again as border states experience surges in the number of migrants coming into the United States.  Children sent without supervision are specifically growing in numbers, as US officials grapple with the issue.  At the same time, several thousand newly minted United States citizens earned their rights and privileges at customary Independence Day ceremonies.  While the political divide and social elements of immigration are widely known and reported, there is a personal side to the issue, which often flies below the radar.  

The fact is, immigrants face pressures and challenges whether or not they entered the United States legally, so their personal concerns are more immediate than prevailing US immigration policy.  Finding their place within the fabric of U.S. society is difficult for international immigrants, who face some of the same issues whether they are from Europe, Central America or the Middle East.  These and other hurdles stand in immigrants' way, slowing their progress on U.S. soil.

Employment Difficulties
The promise of a prosperous economic future is one of the lures for immigrants relocating to the United States.  And while conditions in the land of opportunity may eclipse the economic climate in their home countries, employment success isn't guaranteed on American soil either.

Even workers able to land employment in the U.S. find limited mobility and end up struggling in the same lower-level employment roles they fill upon arrival.  Common barriers include language difficulties and lack of education for advancement.  And education shortfalls are sometimes defined as lack of United States education, rather than a complete absence of credentials.  Certifications and job experience obtained outside the U.S., for instance, don’t always translate into positive references for U.S employers.  As a result, highly capable and experienced workers often resign themselves to jobs for which they are overqualified.

Cultural Isolation
The American melting pot includes representation from a wide variety of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural traditions.  Yet there really is no place like home, so immigrants detached from their lineage and cultural history sometimes feel isolated in the United States.  Insensitivity and American cultural imperatives sometimes exacerbate the issue for immigrants committed to drastically different ideals than those held by their newfound neighbors.

Access to Housing
Immigrants face a number of housing issues.  For starters, they lack references and credentials to assure landlords, so they are considered risky to rent to.  And since cost is a significant concern for many immigrants getting started in the U.S., their options are limited to begin with.  Public assistance helps some immigrants bridge the gap, but many do not qualify for available programs, resigning them to share living spaces with too many roommates.  In extreme cases, immigrants face pressure from local authorities when occupancy levels exceed allowable standards, forcing them to seek housing they cannot afford.  Like employment, housing difficulties reflect limited mobility for immigrants, who often remain stuck with unsustainable living conditions.

Prejudice and Discrimination
Stereotypes and other social pressures lead to undue discrimination for many immigrants, who are characterized negatively across society.  Arab immigrants and others exhibiting physical characteristics tied to particular groups, for example, face bias due to the radical actions of militant Muslim groups.  And immigrants targeted for discrimination don't enjoy the same legal protections as their United States counterparts, meeting with resistance from law enforcement and justice personnel.

Adequate Education
Immigrant education starts with language, in most cases, requiring access to ESL classes and other educational resources.  While programs exist, they are limited and access is difficult in some parts of the country.  So though many immigrants are committed to mastering English, their progress is slowed by access to instruction.  School aged immigrants also face obstacles in the traditional U.S. education system, experiencing discrimination and indifference from school mates and administrators.  Cultural assimilation stymies immigrants' advancement too, as they struggle with American customs.

Regardless of their national origins, immigrants to the United States each experience some of the same difficulties integrating with American society.  Employment, housing and education can be difficult to obtain, for example, limiting mobility for many immigrants.  And language barriers commonly thwart immigrants' advancement, despite their commitments to learn the language.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from free people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes

July 1, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes by Elizabeth Kennedy.

Based on evidence obtained through 322 interviews with children recently returned to El Salvador, as well as conversations with journalists and local, regional, and government officials, this report sheds light on some of the structural conditions that compel minors to migrate to the United States or other countries in the region. In particular, crime, gang threats, or violence appear to be the strongest determinants for children’s decision to emigrate. The report finds that through the information collected and analyzed to date, violence, extreme poverty, and family reunification play important roles in pushing kids to leave their country of origin.

Kennedy is a Fulbright Fellow currently conducting interviews with child migrants in El Salvador and documenting what drives these children to flee their home, and has been conducting research into the causes of child migration and the effects of child deportation for several years.

To view the report in its entirety, see:
No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes by Elizabeth Kennedy. (American Immigration Council, July 1, 2014)


For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524
America Must Uphold Its Obligations to Protect Children and Families Fleeing Persecution

For Immediate Release

American Immigration Council
June 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - As the numbers of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children crossing our southern border grows, the U.S. government faces a critical test of its historic commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. How we respond will signal to the world whether our commitment to due process and the protection of refugees is real or illusory, and it could have a profound effect on how other countries around the world respond to our call to deal fairly and humanely to refugee crises in places like Syria and the Sudan.

Unfortunately, the initial response by the Administration has been more focused on appeasing its critics with get-tough political messages that prioritize streamlined enforcement over due process and humane treatment. Most recently, the White House has sent a request to Congress asking, among other things, for the authority to process minor children from Central America more expeditiously, and media reports have indicated that their goal is to deport mothers with children as quickly as possible (some reports indicate a goal of 15 days) in order to send a message to the sending countries. This emphasis on speedy removals rather than on determining whether these children and families have a legitimate fear of persecution, and whether or where they may be safely returned to avoid further abuse or exploitation is an abandonment of fundamental principles of due process and fairness - principles that define our judicial system - and undermines the moral authority of our voice in the international community.

Our response must be built on the recognition that many of these children and families can and should be safely returned, but many deserve and have the right to the protections that our laws afford to those who are fleeing violence and persecution. The answer must be to focus our resources on determining what the facts behind these cases are, and to create environments and processes where children are safe from harm and are treated humanely while their cases are reviewed. The deterrent effect, if any, will be no less if we invest in creating a process that takes months instead of days, but the quality of the decisions will be dramatically different. If the process has real integrity and involves a real examination of the safety and well-being of the kids then we can all stand behind any decision that is made, whether it is to return the child or allow them to stay.   

There is universal agreement that the immigration court system - which has long been starved of funding by Congress - can and should function more efficiently. That system must be given the resources it needs to respond, not replaced by a streamlined process that prioritizes speed over accuracy. Finding ways to remove children and mothers quickly without giving sufficient consideration to the circumstances behind why they have fled and what the consequences would be if they were quickly returned to some of the most dangerous places in the world would be disastrous. Any type of action that bypasses the laws put in place by Congress to protect these children and families and to screen them to see if they have an immigration benefit available, cannot be tolerated. A rush to deport children would be unprecedented and would demote the U.S. and its reputation around the world as a leader in protecting refugees.


For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524202-507-7524.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Click the HEADLINE to read stories from this week from the Immigration Policy Center.
Educating Kids ... By Educating Parents, Too

When parents know English, read to their kids, help with school work, etc., the whole family does much better.   - - Donna Poisl

By John Sanchez

The first 26 participants to graduate from a new family learning program in our Mott Haven community consisted of 26 unique stories involving parents and their children helping one another overcome challenges and – for many – experience for the first time true educational achievement.  

The May 29 graduation ceremony recognized the completion of an innovative, intergenerational education and community service program launched at East Side House Settlement (ESH) this spring. Study after study has proven that parents engaged in their children’s learning increases student achievement. And more recent studies also indicate that a parent’s willingness to get involved in their child’s education can greatly benefit and strengthen the parent-child relationship … as well as the entire school and the community as a whole.
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Data Shows Immigrants No Longer Majority of Hispanics in U.S. 

Fewer Latinos are coming to the U.S. and more Latinos are being born here, so they will be in the workforce and voting before very long.    - - Donna Poisl

BY REILLY DOWD, The Fiscal Times

On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released an analysis of government data revealing a dramatic shift in the demographics of the American workforce.

For the first time in nearly twenty years, immigrants no longer make up the majority of Hispanic workers in the U.S., marking a dramatic shift in the demographics of the American workforce.

The data, as analyzed by the Pew Research Center, found that of the more than 22 million employed Latinos in 2013, 49.7 percent were immigrants, a significant decrease from the pre-recession high of 56.1 percent in 2007.
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Remembering My Immigrant Grandparents' Vision and Sacrifice

This is Immigrant Heritage Month and here is an immigrant story; much like many others but different too. - - Donna Poisl

by Danica Oparnica

Growing up in a multi-generational home in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the 1950's, I had no idea how fortunate I was. Despite the smell of the steel mills and the soot in the air, I lived in a rich melting pot composed mainly of eastern Europeans, Greeks, Irish and Germans where ethnic holidays were celebrated with food, music, old world customs, camaraderie and good will. At the time I didn't understand the uniqueness of the melting pot that is America or the sacrifices my family had to make in order to be a part of this country.

My family's immigrant story although unique, is not that different from the story of millions of immigrants who call the United States home. This month we celebrate immigrant heritage month and honor the achievements and contributions of immigrants to the United States.
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Immigrants seek flexibility in driver’s licenses rules

Immigrants are trying to persuade the DMV to accept more documents to show proof of ID.    - - Donna Poisl

by Amy Taxin

LOS ANGELES – As California prepares to issue driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally, residents sounded off Tuesday on what documents should be accepted as proof of identity and residency in the state.

At a packed hearing in Los Angeles, scores of immigrants urged the Department of Motor Vehicles to expand the list of acceptable documents to include church and children’s school records, which may be easier for some people to obtain.

“As a homemaker, we don’t get a membership card or a pay stub,” said Martha Escandon, 42, whose Mexican immigrant family obtained legal papers in the 1980s. Escandon said she volunteers at her South Los Angeles church and knows many mothers who could face a hard time obtaining proof of residency to apply for a license.
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New York City Letting Immigrants Lawyer Up for Free

Maybe other cities will start this also, I'm sure it is needed.  - - Donna Poisl

by Caitlin Dickson

New York City is now the first jurisdiction in the country with a public defender system dedicated solely to providing free legal council to every poor, detained immigrant facing deportation.  On Thursday morning, New York’s City Council approved a $4.9 million budget for a program called the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, following the success of a year-long trial run. That money will cover representation for approximately 1,380 detained immigrants facing deportation in the next year.

‪The Family Unity Project was born from the results of a five-year study by the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, the Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York, and the Immigrant Justice Clinic of Cardozo Law School. The study discovered 67 percent of detained immigrants in New York go through immigration hearings without the help of a lawyer, because they can’t afford one, and of those that represent themselves only three percent do so successfully. According to the study, those same immigrants are 10 times more likely to prevail in immigration court with legal representation.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Buffalo Partnership Project: UB collaboration with Lafayette

This project is helping immigrant students and their schools.   - - Donna Poisl


A unique partnership has unfolded between the University at Buffalo and Lafayette High School. The Buffalo Partnership Project: A Common Core Collaborative is generating new learning methods for teachers as they instruct many of the refugee and immigrant students at Lafayette. In this Focus on Education report, WBFO's Eileen Buckley explores how this effort is aiding one of the city's six failing schools.

Imagine trying to take a standardized test under the new common core learning rigors -without understanding the English language.

"How difficult is it to take some of the tests?," asked Buckley.  "It's difficult because English is not my first language. I mean I really want the Common Core -- it's difficult for us -- English is our second language," said Hodan Ahmed.  Ahmed arrived two years ago from Somalia.  She's a junior at Lafayette.
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Illegal immigration dilemma: Are migrant children refugees or criminals?

Everyone is still trying to figure out what to do with all the children who have crossed our border recently.    - - Donna Poisl

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer

 An overwhelmed US immigration system is trying to figure out the exact legal status of thousands of immigrant children rushing the US border. In one of the most politicized asylum systems in the Western world, that won’t be easy.

The growing crush of vulnerable migrant children crossing the Rio Grande and entering the US through south Texas has put urgency to a vexing question for the US immigration system:

Are children fleeing Central American violence refugees who need asylum or illegal gold-diggers who need to go home?
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New York State Mulls Citizenship for Undocumented Workers

New York is considering a bill to give state citizenship to undocumented immigrants. It probably won't pass now but will open up serious discussion and may pass eventually.   - - Donna Poisl

By Josh Eidelson

While Congress drags its feet on immigration reform, New York State lawmakers are considering an immigration bill of their own. It would grant state citizenship to some noncitizen residents—including documented and undocumented immigrants—allowing them to vote and run for office. Under the New York Is Home Act, introduced on June 16, noncitizens who have proof of identity and have lived and paid taxes in the state for three years could apply for legal status. It would qualify them for Medicaid coverage, professional licensing, tuition assistance, and driver’s licenses, as well as grant state and local—but not federal—voting rights. The responsibilities of citizenship would also apply, including jury duty. “It’s mind-boggling,” says Michael Olivas, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who specializes in immigration law and is in favor of the bill. “I don’t believe there’s ever been a serious attempt to codify so many benefits and opportunities.”
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Iraqi Immigrants Fear for Loved Ones Back Home

The new fighting in Iraq is causing fear for immigrants from Iraq who live here now.   - - Donna Poisl

By JULIE WATSON Associated Press

A sobbing businessman in his 30s called a hotline set up by his fellow Iraqi immigrants, desperate to talk to someone after fearing his father was the man he saw in an online news video of a beheading in northern Iraq.

Another call came in from a mother who was inconsolable after not hearing from her son and daughter-in-law who had a baby a year ago in the besieged city of Mosul.

The anguish caused by the violence thousands of miles away fills the business office in San Diego where volunteers man the hotline to help Iraqi immigrants cope.
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On World Refugee Day, Consider Today’s Migrants Fleeing Violence

Today we honor refugees and asylum seekers all over the world and their lives in their new countries.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Amy Grenier

Governments and organizations around the world mark June 20 by honoring refugees for their struggle and their contribution to their new country with World Refugee Day. As we tackle a humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States, this day is an important reminder of why we offer humanitarian protection to individuals fleeing conflict, and their value to our society once they arrive.

A refugee is defined both internationally and within the United States as someone who is outside of their country of citizenship and “is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion,” according to the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols related to the status of refugees. The United States became a party to this in 1968.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA

For Immediate Release

June 16, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA by Roberto G. Gonzales, Ph.D. and Angie M. Bautista-Chavez. To date, more than 550,000 individuals have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. DACA provides a two-year renewable reprieve from deportation and allows beneficiaries to obtain work permits and, in nearly every state, driver’s licenses. Shortly after the program began, Harvard University Professor Roberto G. Gonzales launched the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP) to assess the impact that DACA has had on some of the young people who have received it.

At DACA’s one-year anniversary, the American Immigration Council released some of the preliminary findings of the NURP study, however, now that the program has been in effect for two years, much more has been learned. The survey results find that DACA beneficiaries have experienced a pronounced increase in economic opportunities, and the newly DACAmented young adults demonstrate a strong work ethic that has significant implications for their new status as contributors to our nation’s economy. The study also uncovers the important role played by community organizations in assisting DACA applicants and in helping them make the most of their benefits. The report also provides recommendations aimed at bolstering DACA’s effectiveness and more fully addressing the needs of immigrant young adults and their families.

To view the report in its entirety, see:
Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA (Special Report, June 2014)

For media inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524202-507-7524

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why Immigration Reform Is So Difficult

This is another article on the report just issued showing that Americans want immigration reform.    - - Donna Poisl

By Robert VerBruggen

Today the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Brookings Institution's Governance Studies program are releasing a report that covers a lot of new immigration polling data. The public's attitudes on this issue could affect both the midterm elections and the potential for a new immigration law in the next Congress.

Why has the debate dragged on so long? This chart might seem to suggest that granting legal status to illegal immigrants is a no-brainer for any self-interested politician:
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Americans still favor immigration reform, despite political friction, study finds

This makes us wonder why the politicians won't follow the majority of the people.    - - Donna Poisl


Despite a year of contentious national debate and several stalled congressional proposals, Americans still overwhelmingly agree that illegal immigrants living in the United States should be allowed to remain in the country and seek some form of legal status, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution, found that 62 percent of Americans favor allowing illegal immigrants a way to become citizens, compared with 63 percent a year ago. An additional 17 percent said in the new poll that illegal immigrants should be able to become legal residents but not full citizens. Nineteen percent said they should be deported.
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Statement by Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), Regarding the Future of Immigration Reform Following Eric Cantor's Defeat


SAN FRANCISCO, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ --

"Among the many complex factors contributing to Eric Cantor's loss in the Virginia GOP primary election Tuesday, June 10, interpreting his defeat as a collective conservative clarion call opposing immigration reform stands as both a political miscalculation and an indication that Republicans continue to suffer from ethno cultural myopia. Simply stated, without immigration reform, the GOP cannot and will not successfully engage the Hispanic American electorate. Republicans have a choice to make as it pertains to this critical demographic: they can either build a bridge by passing comprehensive immigration reform or continue to construct a wall alienating a constituency that supported George W. Bush with 44 percent of the vote.

Correspondingly Tuesday night, non-amnesty immigration reform supporter Senator Lindsey Graham triumphed in his South Carolina Republican primary re-election. In that regard, while a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that there exists a bit of angst amongst conservatives regarding a path to citizenship, the majority of Americans do support a non-amnesty immigration reform solution that legalizes and integrates individuals currently undocumented while simultaneously securing our borders.

Finally, just a few weeks ago, the Tea Party came out in favor of immigration reform, prompting the question, "Is the Republican Party suffering from multi-personality disorder and short-term memory loss?" Now is the time to pass immigration reform - for the good of America, for the good of God-fearing families and for the good of all."

The NHCLC is the largest Hispanic Christian organization representing millions of Evangelicals, 40,118 U.S churches and more than 500,000 churches across the globe. Seeking to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham's message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march of prophetic activism, the NHCLC emphasizes "7 Directives" of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit

SOURCE  National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
CONTACT: Julie Shutley, 972-267-1111,
English-Speaking Ability of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2012
American Community Survey Reports

Click on the HEADLINE above to read the report. 

LULAC sues Texas over learning English in schools

Many schools in Texas are not teaching English according to the requirements of the law. They are underfunded and don't have qualified teachers.   - - Donna Poisl

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit against Texas on Tuesday, alleging that Hispanic English language learners are having their civil rights violated by not receiving adequate instruction in high schools statewide.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a 27-page complaint on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens in the Eastern District of Texas. It argues that the state is violating the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, which says no state can deny students educational opportunities by failing to "take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation" in instructional programs.
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Monday, June 09, 2014

The DACA Renewal Process: Everything You Need to Know

This tells all the rules to renew DACA and work permits.    - - Donna Poisl

Written by Patrick Taurel

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the renewal process for hundreds of thousands of young noncitizens who received a grant of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Renewal of DACA ensures current DACA holders will continue to be safe from deportation for another two year period.  In addition, they will continue to have work authorization and to be eligible to receive a social security number, and, in nearly every state, a driver’s license.

The renewal announcement comes not a moment too soon. Because DACA recipients are encouraged to request renewal between four to five months ahead of their expiration date to avoid a lapse, the earliest major wave of DACA recipients – who received their DACA grants in September and October of 2012 – will need to act right away. Although DACA recipients who seek to renew must complete multiple applications and submit to a background check, most will be pleased to discover that the renewal process is relatively straightforward and that most DACA recipients should qualify for renewal.
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Immigrants may seek renewals of deportation deferrals, work permits

The government is recommending DACA recipients apply for renewal four months before it expires.     - - Donna Poisl

By Jeremy Redmon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Obama administration announced Thursday that immigrants can immediately begin applying for renewals of their deportation deferrals and work permits under a controversial program that started nearly two years ago.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program applies to immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, who have attended school here and who have not been convicted of any felonies. Since it went into effect in 2012, the program has granted two-year deportation deferrals to 553,197 people, according to federal figures through March 31. Of those, 17,356 live in Georgia.

The government is recommending people apply for their renewals — with a new form released Thursday — four months before their approvals expire. First-time applicants are still welcome.
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High-Skilled Immigrants Create Jobs for U.S. Workers, Study Finds

Another study proving that high-skilled immigrants do not take jobs away from Americans.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Sean Hackbarth

Immigration reform opponents claim that high-skilled immigrant workers take jobs away from Americans. A new study by the Partnership for a New American Economy shatters that claim and instead finds that more American workers would be employed in computer-related jobs, and their wages would have grown faster after the recession, if more high-skilled immigrants were allowed to work in the United States.
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New Arrival Center graduates celebrate learning English language

This innovative program has wonderful success teaching English in a short time to the students.   - - Donna Poisl

from Cypress Creek Mirror

Hundreds of students, parents and staff gathered at the Berry Center on May 22 to hear inspirational stories of transformation from graduates of the CFISD New Arrival Centers (NAC).

Students who graduated from one of the district’s 13 NACs told stories, recited poetry, sang songs and thanked teachers for helping them learn the English language after just one year in the program.

“There was a huge barrier between this country and me — that barrier was a language,” said Cypress Falls senior Cesar Cruz, whose family immigrated from Mexico two years ago. “When I came here I didn’t know how to interact and communicate with other people. Then something changed my life — the NAC program.”
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How Music Helps Young Learners Acquire Language

Many things help people learn a language, music is a well known example.   - - Donna Poisl

by Helen Doron

All parents know that a quiet, gentle lullaby can soothe a fussy baby. As adults, a magnificent symphony can make us swell with excitement. But music also can affect the way we learn. Music is one of the few activities that involves using the whole brain. It is inherent in all cultures and can have surprising benefits not only for acquiring language, improving memory and focusing attention, but also for physical coordination and development. 

Music encourages learning and enhances communication. In recent years, we’ve learned a lot about how the brain develops. Babies are born with billions of brain cells. During the first years of life, those brain cells form connections with other brain cells. Over time, the connections we use regularly become stronger. Children who grow up listening to music develop strong music-related connections that in turn strengthen their language skills.
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Philadelphia Library Cooks up Culinary Literacy

This program in the city library teaches literacy while teaching cooking; reading ingredients and recipes, figuring out costs and measurements, etc. Learning while doing, excellent!   - - Donna Poisl

By KATHY MATHESON Associated Press

What's cooking at the Philadelphia public library? Plenty, now that it has a million-dollar kitchen at its main downtown branch.

The library has whipped up an unusual culinary program designed to improve the city's low literacy rate. Some courses will use recipes and nutrition labels to teach language and math, while others are geared toward immigrant restaurant workers learning English.

About 500,000 Philadelphia adults — a third of the total population — don't read above an eighth-grade level, according to library president and director Siobhan Reardon.

"We're looking to raise the bar on the library's approach to dealing with this confounding literacy issue in this city," Reardon said.
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