IPC Director Mary Giovagnoli was quoted in USA Today's article on Senators Kyl and Hutchison's ACHIEVE Act legislation. Here's an excerpt:
WASHINGTON -- Arizona Sen.Jon Kyl and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation Tuesday to give legal status to young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
The bill by the two Southwest Republicans -- and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- would offer special student and work visas and ultimately permanent legal status to those who earn a college degree or serve four years in the military.
"We need to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm," said Kyl, who, like Hutchison, is retiring in January. "This particular piece of immigration reform seemed a logical place to begin."
Unlike several previous "Dream Act"-style bills, it does not offer a special pathway to citizenship, a conscious omission that is likely to be opposed by immigrant rights' groups and many Democrats.
"I think this is a doubled-edged sword," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, which advocates for immigrants' rights. "On one hand, I think it's great that people are putting ideas out there about how to go forward on immigration. At the same time, I think it's really unfortunate that the choice is being made to put solutions out there that don't include the opportunity for people to become citizens."
In a Huffington Post Op-Ed by James Zogby, the President of the Arab American Institute, cited an IPC report on America's immigrant heritage. He writes:
"Immigrants have always been derided as "lazy," "different and unable to fit in," and a "drain on the economy." This was said of the Irish, the Italians and the Eastern and Central Europeans. In a marvelous study compiled for the Immigration Policy Center, researcher Jeffrey Kaye compares the recent bigoted statements made by politicians in Hazleton, Pennsylvania (who are themselves descendants of immigrants) with the statements made about their ancestors when they first arrived in America, a century ago. They too were defamed as "lawbreakers," " a drain on public funds" and "not able to assimilate.""
Ron Gordon, a native of Lima, Peru, is the owner, CEO and President of ZGS Communications and ZGS Broadcasting. Mr. Gordon arrived in the U.S. almost 30 years ago as a teenager and his entrepreneurial spirit quickly emerged. He began a paper listing the local soccer scores because he missed his favorite sport and realized that many other immigrants like him longed to follow soccer as well.
Mr. Gordon continued with communications work to fill a gap in the Latino community. He considered what he missed from back home in Peru and thought of the Hispanic artists and television shows that he watched as a boy. Mr. Gordon ventured to work in the growing Hispanic news and entertainment industry and to create some of the first U.S. produced television shows for the Latino community.
In 1989, Mr. Gordon formed ZGS Broadcasting, Inc. which consists of three Spanish television stations located in Washington, D.C., Tampa and Orlando, Florida, as well as two Spanish radio stations in Tampa, Florida. The television and radio stations reach more than one million Hispanic people. In 1997, ZGS Communications, Inc. and ZGS Broadcasting, Inc. had combined revenues of approximately $8 million.
As a leading producer of programming with Hispanic content, ZGS Communications was nominated for four Emmys and won two. ZGS is currently one of the leading Hispanic communications firms that assists companies in developing advertising, marketing, and public relations strategies aimed at the Latino community.
The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield political power in Colorado, but are an integral part of the state's economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse.
Jenny Hwang is the Director of Advocacy and Policy for the Refugee and Immigration Program at World Relief. Previous to World Relief, she worked at the largest political fundraising firm in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. Jenny has researched refugee and asylum law in Madrid, Spain through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She is co‐author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate.