The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. The new Arizona immigration law makes it clear that we must find a way to connect on a human level.
Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives of about 1,000 words each, accompanied by artistic photos. Rather than couching immigration in terms of economics or politics, these stories appeal to the heart.
Each story is as old as the foundation of this immigrant nation, but also reflects the global trends and conflicts of the 21st century: the aspiring dentist who fled war-torn Sudan with just three T-shirts and a pair of shoes; the Caribbean-born orthopedic surgeon facing deportation; the Iraqi bodyguard for U.S. troops blinded by a car bomb; a former Mexican farm worker and school dropout turned high school principal. Arriving from all corners of the globe, coming for work, love, to study or escape persecution, they all share a steely resourcefulness and a fierce love for America. Green Card Stories tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum--out of many, one.Read more...
Chun Wah Chan Known as CW, was born in southern China, but grew up in Hong Kong. He finished college in Hong Kong and came to the U of C in the early 1970s to take up social work. For a number of years he served as the Director of Psychiatric Social Work for the Cook County Hospital. In 1978 he and his close friend Bernie Wong founded the Chinese American Service League to help Chinese immigrants find their way in the street of Chicago.
He speaks three versions of Chinese: Mandarin, Cantonese and Chew Jow, (phonetic) a dialect spoken by many Chinese from Southeast Asia. Because of his language capability, he has been able to cross the different lines of the Chinese community here in the U.S. By a trick of fate, as he tells me, CW moved from social work to business and when his father was tragically killed in a car accident, CW took over the family business. He became the president of the Pioneer Aquaculture Inc. a producer and distributor of freshwater fish. But, perhaps more importantly, he became a political liaison, between Chicago's Chinatown business and city government.
His many years of professional experience in the field of social work made him an extremely valuable leader in the business community in Chinatown. He has held many leadership positions and in fact, was the longest serving President of the Chinatown Chamber in Chicago. He has done much to bring the Chinese business community into America's mainstream CW was quoted as saying, "If you go to Chinatown, do not think of it as a visit to China Because Chinatown is part of the American community, a classic Chicago neighborhood."
AILF is proud to honor Mr. C.W. Chan for his tremendous efforts on behalf of his community and country.
In a recent article, ABC News-Univision mentioned the recently published IPC report "Allies Not Enemies." The article, "How Immigration Reform Could Help Black Workers," said:
"The Immigration Policy Center, a pro-reform group, found that African Americans living in cities with higher rates of immigration from Latin America fared better than those in cities with lower rates."
Katherine Benton-Cohen, Ph.D.is an Arizona native, and now lives in Washington, D.C., where she is associate professor of history at Georgetown University. She is the author of Borderline Americans: Racial Division and Labor War in the Arizona Borderlands (Harvard University Press, 2009), and a former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is currently writing a book about the Dillingham Commission of 1907‐1911, the largest study of immigrants in U.S. history, which led to the immigration restrictions and quotas of the 1920s.
The Dallas Morning News recently cited data from the IPC's report "Who and Where the DREAMers Are, Revised Estimates". The article, titled "Bipartisan Group Announces $25 Million Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students", covered the unveiling of a scholarship fund for undocumented students by San Antonio Democratic activist Henry Muñoz III, former Washington Post CEO Donald E. Graham, and Carlos Gutierrez, a Commerce Secretary under President George W. Bush
"1,000 high-achieving undocumented students will each receive a $25,000 scholarship from the initiative, called TheDream.US. The effort has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Inter-American Development Bank, the Graham family, and other philanthropies. Some of that scholarship money will go to students in Texas.
'In the state of Texas, we live with this every day,” said Muñoz, who serves as national finance chairman for the Democratic Party. 'You’re probably living down the street from someone who is a dreamer and you don’t even know it. They’re are neighbors, they’re the people who work with us.'
Texas has nearly 300,000 dreamers, according to estimates from the American Immigration Council."
With yesterday's bipartisan introduction of the DREAM Act, the House and Senate delivered yet another signal that the political tide for immigration reform is getting stronger. The bill seeks to remedy the predicament of a specific group of undocumented children who are blocked from realizing their full potential. By providing a path to U.S. citizenship, the DREAM Act would allow these children to pursue a higher education and contribute fully to our economy.
Lisa Graybill, Esq., served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas from 2005-2012. Cases which Lisa litigated at the ACLU include ongoing litigation on behalf of immigrant women who were sexually assaulted at an immigration detention center; challenges to successive anti-immigrant housing ordinances in Farmers Branch, Texas; a successful challenge to a South Texas county’s practice of jailing indigent teens for failure to attend school without offering an indigency determination; and litigation challenging the federal government’s practice of detaining immigrant children and their families in substandard conditions. Before joining the ACLU of Texas, Lisa was a Trial Attorney in the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the Special Litigation Section of the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she worked on police misconduct and prison and jail conditions. Lisa is a native Texan; she graduated from Smith College with highest honors in 1991 and received her law degree from the University of Texas with honors in 1999.