Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tuition Issue in Florida

Acting like America is part of the global society is tricky territory when it comes to higher education and the Legislature.

Florida lawmakers Tuesday sent out mixed messages on whether it's wise to welcome international students and children of illegal immigrants with an affordable college education.

A bill (HB 205) by Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville, passing 7-2 in the House Education Council, would prohibit foreign students at state universities and colleges from receiving state money. The exception would be graduate students with assistantships or work-study.

A bill (SB 366) by Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, clearing the Senate Education Committee on a 5-2 vote, would let children of illegal immigrants who've been in Florida for three years pay in-state tuition at state universities and colleges. The number of Florida high-school students helped by this proposal may be from several hundred up to 4,000.

Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he is concerned about the concept of higher-education incentives “to take advantage of life in America without going through the legal process.”

However, House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, said, "If the children of illegal aliens performed in high school and made good grades, they should not pay out-of-state tuition."

Post Sept. 11, there was a slump in foreign students coming to the United States, but President George W. Bush recently said he wanted to bring them back by smoothing visa procedures. Locally, Florida State and Florida A&M universities and Tallahassee Community College have rising numbers of international students.

"The dangerous signal it sends to the world is that Florida doesn't welcome international students," said Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, one of two Democrats voting against Kravitz's bill.

Money aiding international students, including those from Third World countries, is scarce already, noted Jesse Lutabingwa, who heads Florida A&M University's international student program.

"It's more of a discouraging posture we are sending out. It's not a lot of money but you lose a lot," Lutabingwa said. "When students go back home, they become important in government and the private sector. Guess who does the decision-making?"

The Kravitz bill would redirect about $6.9 million in universities and $1.3 million in community colleges from international students to Florida students needing financial aid. Yet foreign students plowed $626 million into Florida's economy in 2004-05, according to the Association of International Educators.

Testifying before the Senate committee was Pablo Toro, 20, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA from a high school in South Florida and wasn't accepted as a state resident by Florida Atlantic University. His family came from Colombia seeking political asylum. This aspiring engineer ended up applying to Broward Community College, and "Thanks to God, I was accepted."

"They're good kids," said Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, who wrestled with the illegal immigrant issue before voting for in-state tuition. "The question becomes do you accept these students? Do you give them an opportunity to get an education?"

Source: Tallahassee Democrat, Mar. 15, 2006

bh

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Frist Has An Alternative Ready

With Judiciary Committee members struggling to craft compromises on a host of controversial provisions in their immigration reform package, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has prepared an alternate bill of his own and will bring it to the floor for a two-week full Senate markup following the St. Patrick’s Day recess if the committee cannot complete its bill before week’s end, Senate GOP aides said Tuesday.

An aide to Frist explained Tuesday that while Frist remains hopeful the committee can work out its differences on hot-button issues such as guest worker visas before the end of the week — and has “kidnapped [the Mike Mansfield room in the Capitol Building] for them to be able to finish” the markup during Thursday’s planned budget vote-a-rama — Frist has drafted a “backup [bill] in case there is some sort of inability to finish in Judiciary.”

A committee aide, while unable to comment specifically on the possibility of Frist moving a separate bill to the floor, remained optimistic that option would not be necessary. “Let us see what we can accomplish in the next two days,” the aide said, adding that “Frist’s office [has been] very deferential to the chairman and the committee” throughout the markup process.

Although the committee has approved a number of amendments to the bill during two days of markup hearings, a GOP aide close to the committee said that as of Tuesday afternoon no roll call votes had been taken, and all the amendments that were approved by voice vote were relatively noncontroversial. The aide also warned that when members take up more thorny issues such as the guest worker provision today and Thursday, things would likely become much more difficult.

Despite several weeks of negotiations, Republicans are “still eating their own” on the immigration bill, the aide said, particularly on the question of whether illegal workers must first return to their home countries before being given a visa. Chairman Arlen Specter’s (R-Pa.) bill did not include such a provision, which is vehemently opposed by business interests but backed by anti-immigration groups in the GOP’s conservative voter base.

Although details of Frist’s bill were not available, the aide said the language was drafted in consultation with committee members and will have an emphasis on border enforcement, as well as enforcement of employment and other immigration rules that apply to the “interior” of the country.

“Regardless, we see this as the full Senate marking up the border security bill, and looking to mark up illegal immigration issues, in that two-week period” between the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter recesses, the aide said, quipping, “After all, if there are 100 Members, there are 101 ideas about how to solve the illegal immigration problem.”

source: Roll Call, "the Ides of March"

bh

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brownback-Chambliss Guestworker Proposal Criticized

Reject Chambliss Agricultural Guestworker Proposal

Which Senator Brownback Circulated to Judiciary Committee

The Farmworker Justice Fund, a national advocacy and education organization for migrant and seasonal farmworkers, urges you to oppose Senator Saxby Chambliss’s bill, the “Agricultural Employment and Workforce Protection Act of 2005,” S. 2087. Sen. Brownback has circulated this bill on behalf of Sen. Chambliss to Judiciary Committee members.

This bill is a one-sided, anti-worker proposal to revise the H-2A agricultural guestworker program by reducing governmental oversight, allowing agricultural employers to displace U.S. workers, and subjecting guestworkers and U.S. workers to substandard wages and working conditions with no meaningful ability to enforce their rights.  It includes an unworkable “report to deport” guestworker program with few worker protections and no realistic path to permanent legal immigration status for the majority of hard-working, experienced farmworkers who lack immigration status.  Sen. Chambliss’s bill is similar to the amendment that the Senate defeated 77-21 on April 19, 2005 (SA 432 to HR 1268). 

The Chambliss bill is one-sided in that it contains many of the grower-favorable compromises conceded by farmworker advocates in the AgJOBS legislation, but none of the beneficial changes for farmworkers that are part of that same compromise.  For example, Chambliss' bill would change the H-2A program from a labor certification to a labor attestation program.  While the AgJOBS compromise also would switch H-2A to a labor attestation program, farmworker advocates agreed to this withdrawal of labor protections and government oversight in exchange for important changes favorable to guestworkers and U.S. workers.  For example, AgJOBS would grant H-2A guestworkers the right to enforce their employment contracts in federal court.

The Chambliss bill would slash the H-2A program's already inadequate wage rates by abolishing the longstanding "adverse effect wage rate" of the H-2A program.  The AEWR was created under the Bracero guestworker program as a necessary protection against the depression in prevailing wages that results from guestworker programs (wage rates often stagnate because the guestworkers have little ability to demand higher wages).  Instead, a special "prevailing wage" would apply that could be determined by the employers' own prevailing wage survey.  Sen. Chambliss himself described the effect of the wage provisions as a loss in wages for U.S. and foreign farmworkers at H-2A program employers of roughly $3.00 per hour!! 

The Chambliss bill also would reduce the travel-expense reimbursements to which workers are entitled.  For many years, H-2A program employers have had to reimburse workers for their in-bound transportation costs after one-half of the season has elapsed and then pay for their travel home if they complete the season.  The Chambliss bill would require only that employers pay for travel costs to and from the place from which the worker was approved to enter the U.S., which could be a U.S. consulate hundreds of miles from the worker's home.  In addition, this bill seeks to overrule a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Arriaga v. Florida Pacific Farms, regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act. It would essentially allow H-2A employers to reduce the workers' wages below the federal minimum wage by imposing on the workers the obligation to absorb visa, transportation and other costs related to entering the U.S.

For the few remaining protections available to farmworkers, this bill would limit judicial relief for aggrieved workers, rendering many workers ineligible for representation and leaving them without means to protect their rights.  For example, the bill would prohibit Legal Services Corporation (LSC)'s legal aid programs from representing an H-2A guestworker for violation of his/her rights once the worker is outside the country.  Since H-2A workers only remain in the US for a few months to a few weeks, this effectively means that there can be no representation of H-2A workers whose rights are violated.  The bill would also limit the ability of legal aid lawyers to communicate with workers by prohibiting them from entering upon the property of employers unless they have pre-arranged appointment with a specific worker. In the few instances where legal representation is possible, the legal aid attorneys, unlike any other attorney, would be required to submit a request for mediation before filing a lawsuit for a worker.  Mediation is supposed to be voluntary.

The proposed “blue card” program is unfair and unworkable.  The bill would enable employers to apply for a 2-year nonrenewable guestworker visa for their current qualifying undocumented agricultural employees.  Employers would not use it because they would have to pay a steep $3000 fee for each worker.  Likewise, workers would avoid it because the program would require them to leave the country after only 2 years and there would be few labor protections. 

The AgJOBS compromise (S.359) is a realistic and fair solution to the immigration crisis in agriculture.   Please help provide a solution to the immigration crisis in agriculture by opposing the Chambliss amendment if it is offered in the Judiciary Committee and by bringing AgJOBS to a successful vote in the full Senate.

bh

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Abub Ghraib Photos and Videos

FROM THEODORE COX:

Apparently its not very newsworthy, but

Salon.com

has gotten their hands on hundreds more Abu Ghraib photos and some videos too. The article itself is really worth the read:

http://www.salon.com/news/abu_ghraib/2006/03/14/introduction/index.html

KJ

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Awards Rep. Lantos With First Outstanding American By Choice

USCIS Director Gonzalez awarded Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor serving in Congress, with the first "Outstanding American By Choice" certificate, a new USCIS initiative highlighting the significant contributions of naturalized US citizens and demonstrates the positive impact of immigration by recognizing naturalized citizens who are making a special difference in their communities.

http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2006,0316-lantos.pdf

KJ

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Nice Immigration Law Firm Website

For a nice, clean immigration website for a SF Bay Area immigration law firm, with a succinct page on immigration developments, see http://www.visawolf.com/

KJ

March 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Op-Ed on Rally in Chicago

Immigrants have decided they will no longer be passive punching bags

Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a statewide organization committed to the full participation of immigrants in civic life
Published March 14, 2006

It looks like someone went and kicked the sleeping giant.

Last Friday, Chicago's downtown was paralyzed by an immigrant march estimated at more than 100,000 people. They carried hand-lettered signs saying "My Mexican immigrant son died in Iraq," "I'm a dishwasher--not a criminal" and "Don't deport my parents."

Chicago's march is part of a growing wave of immigrant protest across the nation. Last week, 5,000 Mexicans gathered in Oregon; on March 6, 30,000 Latinos from the Washington area rallied on the U.S. Capitol steps.

The marches are tied to the U.S. Senate's debate on immigration reform. That's the last hope of immigrants eager to win reasonable and workable reforms, to reunite divided immigrant families, to create a guest-worker program for the nation's future labor needs and--most divisively--to include an eventual path to earned citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants working and paying taxes in the U.S.

The marchers also were protesting H.R. 4437, the harshly punitive bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) that takes an "enforcement only" approach to immigration reform. The legislation was hurriedly rammed through the House just before Christmas. This bill would make millions of undocumented dishwashers and nannies "aggravated criminal felons" and turn priests and nurses into criminals for "aiding and abetting" the undocumented.

The Chicago march was the work of emerging Mexican immigrant leaders and lifelong Mexican-American activists. But the Illinoisan most responsible for kicking the sleeping giant, and who has the most to lose in the long term, was not present.

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) made a decision last fall to use "illegal immigration" as the Republican Party's next emotionally charged wedge issue. The political calculation is that the resentment and latent racism felt toward our Mexican neighbors can be demagogued for political advantage this year, dividing the Democrats and keeping the House in Republican hands.

However, in what appears to be an entirely predictable example of the law of unintended consequences, the immigrant communities in general and the Mexican community in particular have declined to allow themselves to be passive punching bags.

There are few communities in the U.S. that work harder at lower pay and in worse conditions than the Mexican community. Mexicans do this with few complaints in exchange for the promise that their children might live better lives. But the community does not appreciate having its hard work denigrated by being called "criminals" or "terrorists." Signs on Friday said it all: "We are America."

The last big spasm of immigrant bashing was in California during the mid-1990s by then-Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and Proposition 187. Mexican immigrants responded by first marching and then becoming American citizens and voting Democratic in record numbers.

Hastert's short-sighted strategy has gored the Republican business community that understands our nation's labor needs and energized a national Roman Catholic immigrant-justice campaign so muscular that last week Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles threatened massive civil disobedience. The anti-immigrant demagoguery also launched an unprecedented national political mobilization by the Mexican and immigrant community. Oops!

A little-noted fact about the 2004 presidential election was that socially conservative immigrant Latinos were 40 percent more likely to vote for President Bush than U.S.-born Latinos. Now Bush's and Karl Rove's carefully crafted and successful Hispanic outreach strategy is shredded lettuce.

What does this mean in Illinois? There are about 348,000 legal immigrants in Illinois currently eligible to become U.S. citizens. If a substantial percentage of these folks now take the steps to become U.S. citizens and the immigrant Latinos are cemented into the "Blue" column of voters, it changes the political balance of power in Illinois for the next generation. Any short-term political gain to be made from the "kick the illegals" strategy will likely lead to disastrous long-term pain for the Republican Party.

And, as if the point needed further emphasis for Hastert (whose district is now 25 percent Latino), fliers distributed at Friday's march announced 10 upcoming workshops to assist immigrants to become citizens. The motto of the march? "Hoy marchamos! Manana votamos!" "Today we march. Tomorrow we vote!"

bh

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Comprehensive Review of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006

Gregory Siskind writes "Important amendments may still be offered and the [Specter] bill still may not pass in the Senate, but we decided to proceed with offering a detailed review of the

305 page piece of legislation."

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0315-siskind.shtm

http://www.visalaw.com/

KJ

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Tidbits

ABA Program on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

http://www.abanet.org/cle/programs/t06imr1.html

United States to Lose Nearly a Billion Annually With New Federal Border Crossing Policies

http://www.besttcoalition.com/files/Zogby_Poll_Analysis.pdf

http://www.besttcoalition.com/files/BESTT_Advisory_Mar_12.pdf

KJ

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rallies in opposition to proposed immigration legislation

Dc A rally was held in Washington DC last week to protest the proposed immigration bills in Congress.  These photos were taken at the rally.  Here, you see a group of kids in T-shirts that read "I am not a criminal."

Dc2 And here, you can see more of the people marching in opposition to the proposed legislation....

Similar rallies were staged across the country.

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Story on Immigration as Depicted in Pop Culture

For a story about a new song and music video "Mojado" by Ricardo Arjona that discusses immigration, see the LA Times article at 

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Policy Report on the Impact of Foreign Workers

Foreign-born workers do not substitute perfectly for, and therefore do not compete with, most native-born workers. Rather, the complementary nature of the skills, occupations, and abilities of foreign-born workers increases the productivity of natives, stimulates investment, and enhances the choices available to consumers. As a result, immigration increases the average wages of all native-born workers, except those who do not have a high-school diploma. Even for the small and shrinking number of native-born workers without a high-school diploma, the decline in wages from immigration is much smaller than some have estimated. A well-balanced immigration policy that attracts foreign-born workers at both ends of the educational spectrum would maximize the economic benefits of immigration for the native-born and build on the traditional appeal of the United States as a country of destination for both highly skilled and less-skilled immigrants. Read the entire report at:

http://www.ailf.org/ipc/infocus/2006_skillswages.shtml

 

KJ

March 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Church Leaders Continue to Oppose Immigration Bill

Today's Christian Science Monitor has another story on the rising tide of opposition among church leaders to pending congressional immigration bills.

"It is none of the government's business who and how religious people serve," says Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, which represents 70 faith traditions. "Would the US Congress have told the Good Samaritan not to help a stranger in the ditch?"

Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles, who leads the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the US, created a stir recently when he said he would order priests under his supervision to defy any federal legislation that requires churches or other social organization to press immigrants for legal papers before giving them help. He also called on Catholics in the archdiocese's 288 parishes to fast, pray, and push politicians for humane immigration reform, inferring that the House reforms fall short in that regard. "The war on terror isn't going to be won through immigration restrictions," Cardinal Mahony said.

The link to the full story is here: http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0314/p01s01-ussc.html

jmc

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Law Student Internships at the Border

The Border Action Network seeks law school student interns during the 2006 school year.

Intern responsibilities include supporting two important campaigns

1) Human & Civil Rights Abuse Documentation Campaign –Intern will assist a legal team in categorizing international human rights and domestic law abuses that are documented by volunteers, (if Spanish speaker) document abuses, help prepare a report analyzing trends and patterns of law enforcement abuses on the border, report abuses to appropriate government agencies, work with human rights lawyer to determine viability of submitting an international human rights petition about rights violations along the border

2) Vigilante groups –Intern will provide support to lawyers working on human rights petition and civil suits against vigilante groups and their activities, use administrative processes to pressure Arizona state land department to revoke a vigilante's grazing lease to state trust lands.

The Border Action Network formed in 1999 as an immigrant and border community organization dedicated to ensuring that our rights are protected, human dignity is upheld and that our communities are safe for everyone. Border Action Network is based in Nogales, Douglas and Tucson, Arizona. We combine community organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and litigation to bring the voices of border and immigrant communities into the local and national policy debates that impact our daily lives.

For more information or to receive an internship application, contact Randall Smith at 520-623-4944 or randall@borderaction.org  Thank you for your interest!

Jennifer Allen, Executive Director

bh

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Tidbits

Immigration bill a concern for construction employers

http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2006/03/13/focus6.html

From www.ilw.com

On March 9th, the DOJ issued a revised press release "BIA Restructuring and Streamlining Procedures"

KJ

http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/press/06/BIAStreamliningFactSheet030906.htm

defending a review process which has been criticized by several federal circuits. The document concludes with the following:

"However, new petitions for review have continued to increase despite the federal courts’ uniform rejection of these challenges. It is possible that eliminating BIA adjudication delays has increased the incentive to file petitions for review in the federal courts in order to postpone deportation and remain

in the United States for as long as possible. The Department

and the Board continue to work closely with the courts and other concerned parties to study this issue.:

Congress has refused to acknowledge the glaring fact that about 10 million aliens peacefully and productively exist in the US. In the long run, Congress will have to come to grips with this reality, and we have no doubt that Congress will eventually learn that providing some form of legal presence for these undocumented aliens is the only way for the law to earn the respect of the country. In the meanwhile, however, Congress has passed the buck on to the other government branches. The executive at DOJ/EOIR is the first place where the buck stops - and DOJ's reaction has been to institute the AWO procedure in the forlorn hope that "deport-em-all" will relieve the pressure on the immigration courts and BIA - not by fixing anything at root of the problem, but by passing the buck on to the judiciary - the federal circuit courts. Predictably, with 1000+ immigration cases per month (and growing), the federal circuits' immigration case load threatens to swamp and eventually sink the federal appellate system. If Americans are content to enjoy the benefits of immigration and permit Congress to pass the undocumented buck thru DOJ to the courts, the price Americans will pay (and to some degree have already begun to pay) is significant delays in federal appellate case review. We once again urge Congress to get this monkey of the federal courts' back, and forthrightly address the undeniable fact that the undocumented are here to stay.

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Job Announcement: Border Partnership Director

The Synergos Institute

Position Announcement:

Director, US-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership

Overview:

The Director, US-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership (BPP), will lead Phase II of the Partnership, a six-year, $15 million collaborative begun in 2002 including 22 border community foundations and eleven national and international Funders. The Synergos Institute is the managing partner of the initiative, providing leadership, coordination and implementation of the Phase II plan. The Director, BPP, will be responsible for the leadership, strategic planning, staff management and oversight of the Partnership. In collaboration with members of the BPP team, the Director is responsible for all aspects of program oversight and implementation, funder engagement, communications, public relations and budget management.

The Border Philanthropy Partnership has been touted as one of the most exciting and innovative initiatives on community philanthropy around the world today. The goal of the Partnership is to build and strengthen 22 US and Mexican border community foundations with the aim of improving quality of life for low-income border families and communities. Phase 1 of the Partnership was primarily focused on building the organizational capacity of individual community foundations, and developing the peer learning network. In Phase II the Partnership will also aim to make an impact on cross-border programmatic issues including family asset building, grassroots development, youth development and community health. The Partnership is supported by an 11-member Funder collaborative and is expected to become an independent support initiative of the border community foundation network by mid-2008. The Partnership is governed by three committees (Executive, Program, and Communications) with equal participation by Funders and border community foundations. Committees are staffed by Synergos. The Phase II Border Philanthropy Partnership goals are to:

·         Improve the Organizational Capacity of Border Community Foundations;

·         Strengthen the Peer Learning, Advocacy and Communications Network of the BPP;

·         Engage Additional Corporate, Government and Foundation Partners in the Border Philanthropy Partnership; and

·         Create a post-Phase II Community Philanthropy Capacity Building Support Infrastructure.

(See document attached for more information on the goals of the BPP Phase II or visit the Partnership website: www.borderpartnership.org)

Reporting Relationship:
The Director, Border Philanthropy Partnership, will report to the Director, Strengthening Bridging Organizations.

Responsibilities:

Leadership and Strategic Planning:

o        Provide vision and leadership in the implementation of the BPP Phase II goals and objectives, ensuring the greatest impact possible for border communities.

o        Design and lead a process to determine the post-Phase II strategy for a continuing support infrastructure for the initiative;

o        Provide overall BPP team leadership (Team includes the Director and Deputy Director, Strengthening Bridging Organizations; BPP Program Officer and Program Assistant in San Diego; ½ time Mexico City-based consultant; part-time additional consultants and part-time additional Synergos headquarters support staff);

o        Supervise BPP Program Officer, BPP Program Assistant and monitor Mexico consultant contract.

o        Develop detailed annual program goals, objectives, timelines and evaluation criteria in collaboration with border community foundations and Funder Collaborative members;

o        Serve as staff liaison for Executive Committee, Program Committee and ad hoc committees for programmatic initiatives.

Community Foundation Capacity Building:

o        Provide or oversee on-going technical assistance support to border community foundations, with specific attention to border community foundations in California, Arizona and New Mexico;

o        In collaboration with the Deputy Director, SBO (Texas community foundations) and Mexico Consultant (Mexican border community foundations) oversee the development of three-year organizational development plans with each border community foundation and monitor and support the implementation of those plans;

Fund Development and Funder Relations:

o        Facilitate and support grant making from members of the Funder Collaborative directly to border community foundations;

o        Assist the Director of SBO in the identification and integration of new members to the Funder Collaborative;

o        Together with Director of the SBO and Synergos development office, develop and write grant proposals and grant reports to new and existing funders.

Communication and Public Relations

o        Supervise the production of BPP communications and public relations materials, including maintenance of the BPP website;

o        Present the work of the BPP at philanthropy fora;

o        Create presentations and reports to BPP members (funders and community foundations)

Learning Network Activities:

o        In consultation with the BPP Program Committee and relevant border community foundations and BPP team, develop content of annual “Learning Communities” and “Thematic Meetings”;

o        Develop, promote and support programmatic collaboration among border community foundations (in the areas of family asset building/grassroots development, youth philanthropic leadership and community health);

o        Supervise knowledge management and learning component, including gathering documentation on the program and information for publications and the website.

Qualifications:

·         Experience in program management and leadership

·         Extensive knowledge of border geography, people and communities

·         Experience implementing organizational assessments, strategic planning and training programs in the areas of foundation board development, grantmaking and asset development;

·         Extensive experience with community foundations in the US, Canada and/or Mexico in a management position;

·         Knowledge of family asset building/grassroots development, youth leadership and community health programs a plus;

·         Personal commitment to strengthening community philanthropy in the border region;

·         Complete oral and written fluency in Spanish and English;

·         Excellent interpersonal skills and experience in building cross-cultural relationships;

·         An advanced degree in the social sciences;

·         Demonstrated commitment to high ethical standards

·         Willingness to travel extensively within the border region and to New York office of The Synergos Institute.

To Apply:
Deadline for submissions is April 3. All resumes should be emailed, mailed or faxed in confidence to:

Shari Turitz, Director, Strengthening Bridging Organizations

The Synergos Institute, 9 East 69th Street

New York, NY 10021, USA

Fax: 212-517-4815. email: sturitz@synergos.org

NO TELEPHONE CALLS PLEASE

About Synergos:
The Synergos Institute is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of effective, sustainable and locally based solutions to poverty. For more information, visit www.synergos.org.

General Description of Phase II Plan

Building on both the successes and identified challenges of the Partnership’s first phase, in Phase II The Synergos Institute has begun to enhance services and support for the majority of (emerging) border community foundations, step up the commitment of established community foundations to improved quality of life for low-income border families, strengthen the community foundation learning and advocacy network and initiate programmatic attention to youth leadership, community health, family asset building (US) and community development (Mexico). The Synergos Institute will also provide learning opportunities for the funder foundations with the aim of engaging funder foundation staff more actively in the partnership. Together The Synergos Institute and its community foundations and funder foundation partners have begun to engage new corporate, government and non-profit partners.

The first Phase II BPP goal is to improve the organizational capacity of border community foundations. To accomplish this goal, Synergos Institute staff has begun to conduct more frequent and in-depth consultations with emerging border community foundations, to provide stronger direction on utilization of technical assistance funds and to develop learning events and workshops tailored to the diverse needs of the border community foundations. Staff will provide the established border community foundations with enhanced technical assistance around the programmatic themes of community health, youth leadership and family asset building/grassroots community development.

The second Phase I BPP goal is to strengthen the peer learning, advocacy and communications network. The activities associated with achieving this goal include facilitation/encouragement of peer learning exchanges, enhanced communications within the partnership and improved external communications to advocate support for community philanthropy, BPP program priorities and attention to the border region.

The third goal is to engage additional corporate, government and foundation partners in the Border Philanthropy Partnership. In addition to providing more immediate increased resources to the border region, engagement of new partners will increase their knowledge of community foundations and border communities. Synergos staff, in collaboration with their border community foundation partners, has begun to improve communications materials and create a higher-profile presence at key conferences, meetings and events. 

The final goal of the BPP is to create a community philanthropy capacity building support infrastructure. In order to sustain the BPP beyond Phase II, there will be a need for (1) on-going technical assistance and coaching to BCFs and (2) continued collaborative work of a border wide network of institutions. During Phase II Synergos staff will work in collaboration with the three governing committees of the BPP to design and implement a sustainability plan for the BPP.

bh

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ninth Circuit Criticizes Proposal to Consolidate Appeals

Ninth Circuit chief judge, Mary Schroeder has labeled as not "constructive" a provision in the Spector bill that would send all future appeals in deportation and asylum cases to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Another provision would assign each incoming case to a single judge, who would decide whether the appeal contained an issue that was serious enough to warrant a hearing before a 3-judge panel. See:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/13/MNGE2HN6N71.DTL

bh

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Protest in Chicago

From http://rwor.org/a/039/chicago-immigrants-defiant-strength.htm

The scene in downtown Chicago on March 10 was remarkable and unprecedented—hundreds of thousands of immigrants marched into the heart of a major U.S. city, stopping all traffic and disrupting business as usual for a whole workday afternoon to demand that their voices be heard. Immigrant protesters left their workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods all over the Chicago region and beyond to converge on the downtown Loop area. And they delivered an unmistakable NO to a draconian new anti-immigrant bill (known as HR4437 or the Sensenbrenner bill) passed by the House of Representatives last December and to other anti-immigrant attacks, like the Minutemen vigilantes who hunt down immigrants at the border.

This historic march sent shockwaves far and wide—throughout this country and worldwide. It is an international call to millions and millions of immigrants everywhere in this globalized world who are dislocated from their homes, kept in the shadows, denied rights, isolated, and superexploited!

KJ

March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Important Survey

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March 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Immigration Reform: What About Immigrant Rights?

From the Center for Constitutional Rights

Protect the Rights of Immigrants

Congress is preparing to pass immigration legislation that could affect millions of people for a decade to come. Some politicians are proposing legislation to severely punish people without documentation and criminalize compassionate action to assist them, turning some asylum seekers and service providers into criminals. These steps may appease hard line anti-immigrant constituencies, but they will not advance comprehensive immigration reform that respects people’s dignity while improving immigration policy. Can you take a moment to tell Congress that immigration reform must include a path to permanent legal residence and respects immigrants' due process rights by filling out the form http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/ccr/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2949

KJ

March 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)