Educators, community organizers and civic leaders interested in engaging your community with service learning projects? Find local organizations committed to immigrant rights, integration and social justice. Please let the Community Education Center know about the projects you are working on in your communities so we can highlight them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to check out our community grant program for grants from $100-$500 dollars to develop and implement service learning projects.
67% of voters said “We would be better off if people who are in the United States illegally became legal taxpayers so they pay their fair share,” vs. 28% who said “We would be better off if people who are in the United States illegally left the country because they are taking away jobs that Americans need.”
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...
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."
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 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.""
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.
"A statement released by her office then said that the credit 'currently costs taxpayers billions', an assertion challenged shortly afterward by Univision analyst Fernando Espuelas in a column for the Hill. Espuelas pointed out that undocumented immigrants often pay taxes using the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), contributing what he described as a “net multibillion-dollar gain for the federal, state and local treasuries, even when factoring in the Child Tax Credit”. The Immigration Policy Center wrote in 2009 that in 2001, the ITIN brought in $300 million in taxes from undocumented filers."