Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tech group releases immigration app

A new app has been developed by some DREAMers that will help immigrants keep up-to-date on immigration reform.    - - Donna Poisl


The advocacy group funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is out with a new technological tool in its push for immigration reform: an app that lets you earn “points” for contacting your representative in Congress. unveiled its Push4Reform app on Thursday. It is the product of a hackathon in November that featured so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Created by three DREAMers, Push4Reform won “Best Advocacy” at the hackathon.
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Drive offers immigrants free help in US naturalization

Immigrants are getting help to get through the citizenship process, it's not easy.  - - Donna Poisl

By Harvey I. Barkin, US Bureau

SAN JOSE, California – A campaign to help legal immigrants become US citizens held its first ethnic media roundtable on Friday, Jan. 24 to encourage legal permanent residents to naturalize.

The New Americans Campaign (NAC) initiated in 2012 by a network of businesses, nonprofit organizations and grant-makers exhorted the assembled group of ethnic media representatives and community leaders to educate their audiences on the value and benefits of becoming a US citizen.

To become US citizens, applicants must have been legal residents for five years. Their children become naturalized as a consequence of their own naturalization.
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Immigration reform advocates to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union

Everyone is anxious to hear if the president has news about immigration reform for us.   - - Donna Poisl

By Griselda Nevarez

President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, and five members of the Illinois delegation want immigration reform advocates to be there for it.

Democratic Reps. Luis GutiƩrrez, Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, and Bill Foster have each invited an immigration reform advocate, including two who are undocumented, to hear the president firsthand deliver his State of the Union address.

“This year, we joined together to invite people whose stories illustrate the importance of immigration reform and to make clear that passing comprehensive immigration reform should be at the top of the to-do list,” the House members said in a joint statement.

All five House members have been active in pushing the House to pass immigration reform legislation that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Among the guests they’ve invited are two undocumented immigrants who stand to benefit from immigration reform.
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Michigan to seek visas to lure immigrants to Detroit

Detroit needs people, maybe this will help it.   - - Donna Poisl

By David Eggert-Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will announce a plan Thursday to ask the Obama administration to set aside thousands of work visas to entice talented immigrants to live and work in bankrupt Detroit.

The Republican governor told The Associated Press in an interview he is seeking 50,000 work visas solely for the city over five years. The type of visas involved currently are not allocated by region or state, and go to legal immigrants with advanced degrees or who show exceptional ability in certain fields.
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Latino Immigrants Find A Better Life In U.S., Poll Says

Listen to this interview (or read the transcript) and find out how they researched this.    - - Donna Poisl



This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away.

But first, Latinos are expected to become the largest nonwhite racial group in the U.S. by the year 2050. And many of them are immigrants who come to the U.S. in search of a better life. Now research shows most of them are finding it. That's according to a new poll out this month from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. Joining us to talk about this new data is Robert Blendon, codirector of the poll and a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard University School of Public Health. He joins us from Boston. Also with us is Rey Junco, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He joins us from the studios of WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana. Welcome to both of you.


HEADLEE: Robert, let's start with your poll that shows Latino immigrants are actually happier here than in their home countries and report having better lives here in the U.S. How exactly did you measure this happiness and better life?
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Immigrant High-Tech Workers Not Costing US Jobs

This study should ease some concerns.    - - Donna Poisl


Many high-tech companies in the United States look overseas to fill talent gaps in their employment ranks by hiring skilled immigrants, often sponsoring the visas these workers need to live in this country. Critics say this can create an unpleasant fallout effect,the pushing out of older workers with higher salaries.

But new research indicates that although many tech firms do tend to favor employing younger workers, older native workers are not losing their jobs in droves directly as a result of the immigrants who are coming in.

“We don’t find rampant evidence of this idea that when a new immigrant comes in, the older worker is shown to the door,” said Harvard Business School Associate Professor William R. Kerr, who recently cowrote a working paper called Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of US Firms with Sari Pekkala Kerr of Wellesley College and William F. Lincoln of Johns Hopkins University.
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Minneapolis school tries new path to accelerate immigrant learning

Somali immigrants in this school are getting specialized help in "newcomer classrooms", which will get them ready for the regular classrooms.    - - Donna Poisl

Article by: STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune

Shuttling between classrooms at Anne Sullivan school in Minneapolis, teacher James Kindle noticed that classroom teachers were stretched mightily to serve the wide range of abilities in a school with many immigrants.

A teacher might be showing one group of students how to measure the angles in a triangle, while other students in the same class were just learning that “triangle” is the word for a three-sided polygon.

Kindle did some research, talked to other teachers and together they went to school district officials. The result is a pair of “newcomer classrooms” and a concentrated effort to jump-start the adjustment of Somali students in American schools.

The timing is good for Sullivan and other schools receiving a surge of Somali refugees.
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Program at School of the Arts opens doors to learning and life for deaf students

These deaf kids are learning English at the same time as learning sign language.  Wow!- - Donna Poisl

by Jennifer Berry Hawes

The mostly silent but highly animated razzing among four deaf and hard-of-hearing high schoolers is interrupted by a teacher's question:
How much sign language do your parents know?

All four move their hands in the universal so-so gesture with facial expressions that indicate this to be a generous estimate.

It's why many students arrive here, at the Charleston County School District's Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program, without knowing a first language at all. Deaf children cannot learn English through hearing conversations. They learn what someone specifically tells them.
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Study says English boosts young Hispanics' self-esteem

The results of this study make a lot of sense.    - - Donna Poisl


Young Latinos with a good command of English and who converse easily with non-Latinos improve their academic performance and raise their self-esteem, because these social skills allow them to access resources and information that promote their economic and social mobility, according to a recent studay.

"Cross-cultural Adaptation of Hispanic Youth: A Study of Communication Patterns, Functional Fitness, and Psychological Health," published online in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Monographs, studies a sample of young Latinos from South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Researchers led by Kelly McKay-Semmler, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of South Dakota, interviewed 112 young Hispanics and concluded that young people who are best able to communicate reap greater psychological and educational rewards.
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Learning Out Loud: Getting First Graders To Master English

These kids are being followed in the "Class of 2025" and some of them are learning English now.   - - Donna Poisl

from OPB

Reading, math, science — they’re all priorities for today’s public schools. But there’s something more basic that young students have to master first.

Oregon teachers like Maria Popii see language as a necessary foundation to meet rising standards, which culminate in the state’s goal that all students should finish high school, starting in 2025.

“Because we’re humans and we need language to interact. And that’s how we take in information and we output information. They don’t have the language in order to perform academically,” Popii says.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Study finds immigrants make up larger share of Queens neighborhoods

People from many different countries are living in Queens, almost half of the population are foreign born; this is a very diverse county.    - - Donna Poisl

By Rich Bockmann

In the borough that prides itself as the most diverse county in the nation, almost half of Queens’ 2.2 million residents were born in another country.

Between 2000 and 2011, Queens’ population became increasingly foreign-born, according to a recent report by the Department of City Planning analyzing census data.

Immigrants accounted for 48.5 percent of the borough’s overall population in 2011, compared to 46.1 percent in 2000.
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Immigrants' kids use the power of education, hard work to realize the American dream

This is a fairly typical American family: parents work hard in factories, putting all their children through college. The difference is that it is a Latino family and the parents never went to high school, but they know how important education is for their kids.    - - Donna Poisl

By Julie Anderson / World-Herald staff writer

It's a typical night in the Cortes family's spotless home on a quiet Bellevue cul-de-sac.

Claudia Cortes, president of her senior class at Bellevue West High School, pores over an inch-thick calculus book. Sister Daniela, a junior who's also heavily involved in school activities, alternates between an AP psychology book and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Brother Luis Fernando Cortes, a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, washes dishes and laughs and chats with mom, Rosa, as she starts dinner. Dad Luis Cortes pops in to chop tomatoes and peppers for pico de gallo. Only Roxana, 23, is missing. She's in Lincoln, where she has a full ride to study law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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California Lawmaker Pushes Bill Extending Obamacare To Undocumented Immigrants

This will be something to watch, to see if it goes through. Then other states would follow.    - - Donna Poisl

from Fox News Latino

A California state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to have access to government health insurance plans.

The lawmaker, state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, said if the current focus of healthcare reform is make sure everyone has access to coverage programs, the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States cannot be omitted.

“We’ve made enormous strides to reduce California’s uninsured population with the implementation of the [federal] Affordable Care Act, but we won’t have a truly healthy state until everyone has access to quality, affordable coverage,” said Lara, head of the state Latino legislative caucus, in a press release. “Immigration status shouldn’t bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy.”
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Snyder to promote immigration for job growth in annual address

Michigan's Governor is trying to attract more immigrants to his state, they are needed to spur the economy.  - - Donna Poisl

By Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau

LANSING — Harking back to his first State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder will propose measures in his latest address on Thursday to help attract and retain more immigrants with advanced degrees — and spur job growth — he said Tuesday.

Snyder, in an interview with the Free Press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, gave few details, but said the need for more immigrants will be a featured topic.

“We have so many great foreign students coming to get advanced degrees,” Snyder said. “They come to get their education and our federal policy is to tell them to get out when they’re done, and that’s dumb.”

Snyder said such immigrants create jobs in Michigan, they don’t take them away.
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1,200-plus immigrants get Illinois driver’s licenses

Illinois roads will be safer now, many more people are driving legally, with insurance.   - - Donna Poisl


SPRINGFIELD – More than 1,200 immigrants living in the U.S. illegally have so far received special Illinois driver’s licenses under a new state law, an Illinois Secretary of State’s office spokesman said Wednesday.

However, more than 30,000 appointments have been scheduled for applicants who want to take the test to obtain the new licenses, said Secretary of States spokesman Dave Druker.
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Shrewsbury Library receives grant for English learning program

This library has a Conversation Circle program; adult English learners meet and practice speaking to other immigrants, learning about all cultures and making friends.    - - Donna Poisl

Posted by Community Advocate Staff

 Shrewsbury – The New Year began with great news for the Shrewsbury Public Library, as it procured a $4,000 discretionary grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF) for the English Conversation Circle program. This is the fourth year the library has been offering the program and the second year in a row that the library has been the recipient of a GWCF grant. The grant will help continue the popular program through 2014.

The free English Conversation Circle program is for adult learners who wish to practice speaking English in an encouraging environment. There are four sessions a week – two for beginners and two for intermediate learners – facilitated by experienced and dedicated teachers.

The Conversation Circle is a forum for new immigrants to meet people, make friends, learn about American culture, and share stories about their own culture. Participating in the Conversation Circle helps them acclimate to American society; gain confidence to go to school and pursue formal training; seek employment; and become productive members of the community.

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Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority welcomes Chinese students as part of cultural exchange program

This must be amazing for these kids from China to spend a week with families in Alabama and then go home again.   - - Donna Poisl

By Christopher Edmunds, Special to The Tuscaloosa News

The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority on Wednesday welcomed 14 Chinese students as part of a cultural exchange program in a ceremony at the Faucett Brothers Center in Northport.

The students, ranging in age from 11 to 14, are from the city of Kumming, in the southwestern region of China.

The exchange was arranged by camp coordinator Richard Davis, who has traveled extensively in China.

"It was our goal to bring the two cultures together," Davis said. "This is the fourth one we've done. This time the students are older, and that opens a lot of doors because they can speak a little bit better and communicate with the host families."
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Former Soviet Refugee Gives Back

This man and his property management company are helping refugees the same way he and his family were helped 23 years ago as refugees, themselves.    - - Donna Poisl

Posted by HIAS – NY

Twenty-three years on, Roman C., 30, a former Jewish refugee from Moldova, still remembers his first time at an arcade in the U.S., staring longingly at the “insert a coin” slot on a video game message and knowing he couldn’t possibly afford to play. A woman came over and handed him a quarter. “I was completely baffled by the act of kindness,” he says. The memory has always stayed with him.

When Roman was only seven years old, he and his family fled religious persecution in the former Soviet Union to begin a new life in the U.S. With only $600 and two pieces of luggage per person, the family of four traveled from Kishinev, Moldova to Buffalo, New York.

From day one, Roman found many things strange. “Not having to ask for official permission for every little thing; having colored pencils at school; teachers not being allowed to hit you; having to change clothes every day; and, of course, the enormous supermarkets full of so many different kinds of food …” were all amazing to him.
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Revitalization in the Heartland of America: Welcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs for Economic Development

For Immediate Release

January 15, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Revitalization in the Heartland of America: Welcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs for Economic Development by Paul McDaniel, Ph.D.

A potent combination of declining population growth and economic stagnation has led many cities and metropolitan regions to rethink how to reinvigorate their communities. The Midwest is a prime example of this trend. According to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, “the Midwest cannot hope to keep up with other regions or international competitors without a vital entrepreneurial sector.” The Council notes that “immigrants, risk takers by nature, are unusually successful entrepreneurs, more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start their own firms.” As a result, immigration is one of the strategies to which communities are repeatedly turning to fuel economic growth.

A budding place-based awareness of the important contributions that new and existing immigrants make to neighborhood revitalization is seen in the increasing number of cities pursuing a nexus of immigrant welcoming, integration, and economic development initiatives. In this report, we focus on the journeys of three places—two cities and one state—in their efforts to implement strategies for future economic success that depend on immigration. The initiatives are taking place against a backdrop of tepid progress toward comprehensive federal reform of the U.S. immigration system.

To view the report in its entirety, see:
Revitalization in the Heartland of America: Welcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs for Economic Development by Paul McDaniel, Ph.D. (IPC Special Report, January 2014)
To read a post on the report visit our blog,

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

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Infographic titled “The Educated Class”

This graphic and the lists at the end show how important a good education is and how people who attended different colleges and universities succeed differently.

Very interesting.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Talk like a pirate among language courses at Greenwood Public Library

This system sounds like a good investment for all libraries, card holders can use it at their own pace.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Vic Ryckaert

Arr, blow me down! The Greenwood Public Library is launching a new digital learning system offering classes in more than 40 languages, including pirate.

The library will unveil its new Mango language database in January. Reference librarian Susan Jerger said there has been growing demand for online language materials, particularly among patrons learning to speak English.

“We’ve been interested in foreign language assistance for English speakers and also for non-English speakers for several years now,” Jerger said. “Of course we had to wait until we were in a good financial place to do something like this.”
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New immigration laws split America in two

This is a good illustration of how the two parties view immigration reform.    - - Donna Poisl

By Benjy Sarlin

It may come next week or maybe six months from now, but House Republicans will decisively determine whether to kill immigration reform or make a real attempt at passing it. No one would be surprised if Speaker John Boehner chose the former option.

But the longer Boehner takes to decide, the more ground he cedes to states dominated by single party politics and eager to craft immigration laws in the face of a crippled Congress.

Congressional inaction has left millions of families increasingly living in two parallel universes. Republican-run states turn cops into border patrol agents and cut undocumented immigrants off from housing, school, employment, and private charities. But in states dominated by Democrats, the same immigrants are gaining access to drivers’ licenses, better wages and college educations for their children.
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Top immigration reform events of 2013

This article lists MANY events in 2013 that helped immigration reform get closer.   - - Donna Poisl

By Griselda Nevarez

There was a wide consensus that 2013 would be the year Congress passed immigration reform legislation. Though that didn’t happen, momentum for immigration reform reached a new high.

A diverse coalition of business, faith and civil rights leaders came together to advocate for legislation that would reform the nation’s immigration system and offer undocumented immigrants a chance to become U.S. citizens. Together, they held a number of rallies, civil disobedience actions and hunger strikes hoping to move the issue forward.

VOXXI compiled a list of events that made a big impact in the immigration reform debate this year.
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Ditch politics in immigration reform

New surveys say immigrants want legal residency more than citizenship, maybe this much can be agreed on.    - - Donna Poisl

By Esther J. Cepeda / Syndicated Columnist

CHICAGO – Immigration reform is not dead – it’s just waiting for lawmakers to drop the politics, strike a compromise and get it done.

The Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project seems to back up the idea that a pathway for achieving citizenship is not a make-or-break provision to getting an immigration reform deal. Insisting on citizenship only serves to keep 11.7 million people in a state of terrifying limbo for the sake of appeasing those who care only about scoring points in a future election.

Based on two surveys fielded multilingually in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Pew found that 55 percent of Hispanics say that being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important for unauthorized immigrants than a pathway to citizenship, which garnered 35 percent support.
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Christmas a time for immigrants to share beloved customs

Christmas holiday season goes from 12 Dec. all the way to 2 Feb. for many immigrants who are celebrating their home customs.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Sharyn Jackson

Kneeling on the floor at his father-in-law’s house in eastern Des Moines, in front of a manger filled with miniature figurines of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus, Juan Carlos Oropeza helps his sons, nephews and niece write letters in Spanish to the Three Kings.

“How do you spell ‘I’?” Agustin Cruz, 9, asks his father.

“Yo: Y. O.”

The pronoun comes before “quiero ”— “want” — and precedes a list of extravagant gifts that might come from a zookeeper rather than a biblical wise man: a panda, two lions and one cat.
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America’s New Irish Immigrants

This article tells about another group of undocumented immigrants, not Latinos, who most people think of when they think of immigrants.   - - Donna Poisl

Aidan Lewis, BBC News,

Ireland may no longer need bailout money as its economy emerges from recession, but a wave of emigration that began in 2008 is continuing. And as in the 1980s, many thousands of those moving to the US may be becoming illegal immigrants.

Of America’s Irish neighbourhoods the one that spans the border between the Bronx and Yonkers in New York may be the most colourful.

Old-fashioned Irish bars line the road. Grocery stores offer boiled bacon, oatmeal and tea. The Shamrock Gift Shop sells woollen sweaters, Waterford crystal, and statuettes of angels holding Celtic crosses.

Irish immigrants have been settling in the area for decades, driven by recurring economic crises back home. On the main streets, Irish accents predominate.
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