Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Western Pa. population growth hinges on immigrants

This area and many others know they need immigrants to grow and be prosperous. Their populations are shrinking.    - - Donna Poisl

By BRIAN BOWLING, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Western Pennsylvania's population growth for the next several years will be from moving vans rather than the stork, experts say.

The region's natural population decline, represented by funerals outpacing baby showers every year, is being offset somewhat by people moving here from other parts of the country and the world.

"Right now, international immigration is much bigger than domestic migration," said Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Social and Urban Research. "How that will forecast out to the future will depend on how the economy goes."
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New Americans turn to goats to address food demand

This is the perfect solution to a problem: dairy farms with baby male goats are selling them to immigrants who want to raise them for goat meat. In the past, they destroyed them.     - - Donna Poisl

LISA RATHKE, Associated Press

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — A bunch of kids in a minivan are solving twin challenges in northern Vermont: refugees struggling to find the food of their homelands and farmers looking to offload unwanted livestock.

The half dozen kids — that is, baby goats — that arrived last week at Pine Island Farm were the latest additions to the Vermont Goat Collaborative, a project that brings together new Americans hungry for goat meat with dairy goat farmers who have no need for young male animals. Some dairy farmers who otherwise would discard bucklings at birth or spend valuable time finding homes for them now can send them to Colchester, where they will be raised and sold to refugees, some of whom have spent full days traveling to Boston or New Hampshire for fresh goat, or have settled for imported frozen meat.
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At Manhattan International, an English learner teaches English learners 
This teacher understands how hard it is to learn English, since she had to learn English fairly recently too.    - - Donna Poisl

by Annette Konoske-Graf

The aim for the day was written in large, cursive letters on the blackboard: “What is poetry and how does it convey truth?”

Cinzia Bontempo, the 12th grade English teacher at Manhattan International High School, sat on the edge of her desk, her sleeves pushed up to her elbows. “What about music?” Bontempo asked her students. “Poetry is found in music all the time. Does anyone know any songs in English?”

“Imagine all the people,” one student belted out in a thick Dominican accent. Some of his classmates joined in, creating—just for a moment—a very international Beatles cover band.
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Minnesota: Language as asset

Instead of thinking of their students knowing another language as a problem, these schools are seeing that it is an asset. Knowing another language is very valuable in today's world.     - - Donna Poisl

Pioneer Press editorial

The growing numbers of multilingual students -- often otherwise known as "English language learners" -- in Minnesota schools are getting attention from educators and lawmakers.

It's the result of thoughtful public policy about the students' future -- and Minnesota's.

"We need every one of our English language learners to do well if we're going to do well as a state," said Rep. Carlos Mariani, a St. Paul Democrat whose work this legislative session is reflective of a shift in thinking about how multilingual students are taught.

It's a shift that considers students' home languages an asset as they pursue their educations, even as they learn English.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Immigrants’ survival story all American

This is an amazing story about this family, barely surviving under the Khmer Rouge, their journey to San Diego and their lives now.    - - Donna Poisl

By Fred Dickey

The father extended his cupped hands in supplication. In them, he held a small amount of discarded rice from the field. He asked the overseer, pleadingly, respectfully, “Uncle, it’s only a little, and my family is hungry.”

The older man made an indefinite gesture of impatience that Youleng Heng chose to interpret as permission. Happily, he took his pittance of a treasure home to his mother, wife and son. It was a small win in the fight to stay alive. But Heng didn’t know he might die for the rice.
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Who are the immigrants currently in the United States?

Check this out, read ALL the cards for the complete story and all the graphs. Very interesting!   - - Donna Poisl

from Vox

As of 2011, roughly 40 million immigrants lived in the United States, according to the American Community Survey. The survey defines immigrant as any US resident who was born in another country.

Of that group, 36 percent were naturalized citizens, 32 percent were legal permanent residents, 4.2 percent were on nonimmigrant visas (including work and student visas), and 27 percent were unauthorized immigrants. That's according to research from the Migration Policy Institute and the Pew Hispanic Trends Project.
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Immigrant-Friendly NYC Mayor Pushes Official IDs for All

Getting a city ID will help these residents live like a normal New Yorker, with bank accounts and driver licenses and more.   - - Donna Poisl

by Adam Phillips

NEW YORK — Immigration advocates in the United States continue to press for sweeping reforms that will clear a path to citizenship for all immigrants, including those without valid visas, and grant them access to many of the benefits and protections that U.S. citizens enjoy. In immigrant-rich New York, the new mayor is hoping to implement a new universal identity card program that will help undocumented immigrants move into the city’s mainstream.

Mere blocks from City Hall, immigration advocates rallied for what organizers billed as “A National Day of Action.”

Nisha Agarwal, New York City’s Immigration Commissioner, represented Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has made sweeping immigration reform a centerpiece of his policy agenda.
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Living History: Greek immigrant found her calling as a midwife

Read this story about a Greek woman who became a midwife and also helped many others in the Utah area she settled in.    - - Donna Poisl

By Eileen Hallet Stone | The Salt Lake Tribune

In the early 20th century, streams of Greek men as young as 14 poured into Utah to work the mines, smelters, mills, rail yards and road beds. Hoping to earn steady wages and return to their homeland, these immigrants lived in tents, powder-box shacks, railroad cars and crowded boarding houses. By 1910 they numbered more than 4,000. Greek women immigrants numbered fewer than 10. Among them was a midwife known as Magerou.

Georgia Lathouris lived in a small Peloponnesian village in southern Greece. One afternoon while walking into a mountain pasture where her family was tending goats, the 14-year-old heard a woman shouting. The woman, pregnant, was harvesting wheat, experienced contractions and was unable to get down the mountain. Taking the mother-to-be into a nearby cave, Georgia delivered a healthy baby and discovered a profession.
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Undocumented immigrants no longer deferring college dreams

More kids are getting their DACA status and going to college. We need these kids to stay here and use their educations to work or start businesses.  - - Donna Poisl

By Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch

Growing up, Paola Benefo thought of herself as a proud adopted American, benefiting because the U.S. is a melting pot of people from different countries, races and religions.

She was born in Italy, the daughter of Ghanaian parents. When she was 5, her family moved to the United States for a life with more education and work opportunities, and they embraced their new home.

Then the Sept. 11 attack changed everything, and Benefo and her family were unable to renew their legal residency. They stayed in the U.S., living in the shadows, fearful of being found out.
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Oral histories tell stories of Mexican immigrants

Many of these stories have never been told; children are learning about the struggles of their parents coming to the US.   - - Donna Poisl


For many children of Mexican immigrants living in Napa, accounts of their family’s often harrowing first border crossings into the U.S. have remained unspoken.

A group of Napa High students is taking the first step in capturing these stories of sacrifice and perseverance through their “Las Voces de los Mexicanos: Napa Valley Oral History Project.”

“Our understanding of this project did not kick in until Melissa (Bravo) and I conducted the first interview,” said student Jesus Sanchez. “During that interview, the woman broke down in tears while sharing how she was forced to leave her parents behind in Mexico.
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Undocumented Immigrants Contribute Billions in Taxes

Many people say undocumented immigrants don't pay taxes, but many pay taxes through their ITIN and all of them pay taxes when they purchase things.   - - Donna Poisl

from Hispanically Speaking News

Death and taxes, according to Benjamin Franklin, are the only things in life that are certain. And despite the prevailing myth perpetrated by nativist groups, there are plenty of undocumented immigrants facing the certainty of taxes on April 15. They pay billions in state and local taxes every year that help to fund benefits they are often unable to receive. Tax Day is a good reminder that if the House passed legislation to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, then it would increase the amount being paid in taxes each year while also creating a more fair system for immigrants.

One way that undocumented immigrants already pay taxes is through the day-to-day taxes of living in this country. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $9.4 billion in the state property and sales taxes that fund schools, police and fire stations, roads, and public services within each state. Everyone who lives in or visits our country pays these taxes when they fill up their gas tank and buy items like a car,  house, or clothes.
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Resident non-immigrants in US: 1 in 4 is from India

A quarter of the foreign students, temporary workers and their families and others in the U.S. are from India.    - - Donna Poisl

Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN

WASHINGTON: Christopher Columbus set out to discover India in the 15th century and ended up in America. Indians, of Asian stock, are heading out in droves - more than from any other country - to study and work in America of the 21st century.

A snapshot of resident non-immigrant population in the US released by the Department of Homeland Security in February this year shows that Indians, more than Mexicans or Chinese or any other nationality, constituted the largest resident non-immigrants in the US - a category that excludes tourists, business travelers, and permanent residents, but includes temporary guest workers (such as those on H1B visas) and students. 
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‘Home: Beyond Geography’ explores immigrants’ stories about coming to Miami

This project to collect immigrants' stories is for an art project and then they will be published as a book.    - - Donna Poisl


Two young immigrants are crisscrossing Miami-Dade County in search of stories from other immigrants for an O, Miami Poetry Festival art project.

Leila Leder Kremer of Argentina and Juana Meneses of Colombia, both visual artists, are asking people from Little Havana to Little Haiti to Homestead to write down their stories and draw their immigration routes on cards that eventually will be published in a book that then will be on public display.

“At the very end of the project we are going to collect all this information and create a larger book,” said Leder Kremer. “After we compile this and after we do all this research, we are planning to put it in an installation, perhaps a museum slash center, archive.”
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