Monday, December 20, 2010

Report: Promises to Keep: Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture in US Terrorism Transfers .

Today, Columbia Law School released a report Promises to Keep:  Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture in US Terrorism Transfers .  "Diplomatic assurances" are promises not to torture. The US and other traditionally rights-respecting governments have sought these assurances when sending detainees, usually terrorism suspects, to foreign authorities known for torture. This report, the culmination of several years of research by the Human Rights Institute, presents the evolving evidence and jurisprudence of assurances. Without taking a position on whether assurances can work, it describes elements that are necessary to make assurances plausible: judicial review, public scrutiny, and systematic monitoring.


December 20, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The People of Watsonville 2 - Migrant Head Start By David Bacon Watsonville, CA 9/29/10

Children of migrant farm workers, many of them from indigenous Mixtec families from Oaxaca, begin learning basic reading, writing and social skills in a day care nursery school program run by Migrant Head Start, part of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Children who go through Head Start programs learn much more quickly, and have an easier time making social adjustments, once they begin regular school.

The Migrant Head Start program has been going on for two decades. It tries to provide both childcare and a learning environment for the children of people who work in the fields, including families who travel with the crops. Other families work several months in the U.S., and return to Mexico during the off-season.

Many of the teachers who run the centers were field workers themselves earlier in their lives, and know the difficulties migrant families face introducing children to schools and education. Some teachers speak the same language the children speak, not just Spanish, but Mixteco. They help children to begin learning English as well.

Learning in a home environment has important advantages, according to Teresa Gallegos, whose center is in a Watsonville working-class neighborhood. "Parents who live in this neighborhood can drop their kids off before they have to be at work," she says. Field labor jobs start at 6 or 7 AM, while it's still dark, long before schools open. "Plus we share the same culture and know what's happening in their lives." Karen Osmondsen, a member of the Pajaro Valley school board, goes to every one of the monthly meetings organized for Migrant Head Start parents. "I really love this program, and I'm very close to the families here," she says. "This is what we really need to make sure the children from farm worker families can make it into and through our education system. Like the name says, it's a head start."









December 20, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ICE Seeks to Deport Harvard College Honors Grad, UCSD Grad Student: The Case of Mark Farrales

Check out how ICE is deployong enforcement resources and "making America safer." 


December 20, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Executive Office for Immigration Review Swears in Nine Immigration Judges: Judge Corps Reaches 270 Serving in 59 Immigration Courts

Chief Immigration Judge Brian M. O’Leary invested nine immigration judges during a ceremony held at the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) headquarters on Dec. 17, 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed these nine immigration judges. Guadalupe R. Gonzalez, Amiena Khan, Steven A. Morley, David Neumeister, Lee A. O’Connor, Virginia Perez- Guzman, Aviva L. Poczter and Rachel A. Ruane entered on duty on Dec. 5, 2010, and Andrea H. Sloan entered on duty on Oct. 24, 2010.

The new immigration judges will preside in the immigration courts in Chicago, Ill.; El Paso, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif., Philadelphia, Pa., Newark, N.J.; and Portland, Ore. Biographical information follows.

Guadalupe R. Gonzalez, Immigration Judge, El Paso Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Gonzalez in December 2010. Judge Gonzalez received a bachelor of arts degree in 1974 from University of Texas, El Paso and a juris doctorate in 1978 from University of Michigan Law School. From 2003 to December 2010, she served as chief counsel, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During that time, she also continued to serve as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas, a position she held from 1992 until December 2010. From 1985 to 2003, she served as district counsel for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Office of the General Counsel in El Paso. From July 1981 to 1985, Judge Gonzalez was a trial attorney for INS. From January 1981 to July 1981, she was an associate attorney with Martinez and Robins, P.C., in El Paso. From 1980 to January 1981, Judge Gonzalez was an assistant city attorney with the El Paso City Attorney’s Office. From 1978 to 1979, she was an associate attorney with the Ford Motor Company, Office of the General Counsel, Dearborn, Mich. Judge Gonzalez is a member of the State Bars of Michigan and Texas.

Amiena Khan, Immigration Judge, Newark Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Khan in December 2010. Judge Khan received a bachelor of arts degree in 1983 from New York University Washington Square College of Arts and Science and a juris doctorate in 1987 from the New York Law School. From 1992 to December 2010, she was in private practice in New York, specializing in immigration law. From 1987 to 1992, she was in private practice in New York, practicing general litigation. Judge Khan is a member of the New York State Bar. Steven A. Morley, Immigration Judge, Philadelphia Immigration Court Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Morley in December 2010. Judge Morley received a bachelor of arts degree in 1973 from University of Wisconsin, Madison and a juris doctorate in 1976 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. From 2003 to December 2010, he was a partner with Morley Surin & Griffin, P.C. From 1984 to 2003, Judge Morley was in private practice. From 1976 to 1984, he was a public defender for the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He has taught immigration law courses at Drexel University, Villanova University School of Law and Rutgers School of Law, Camden since 2007. Judge Morley is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.

David Neumeister, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Neumeister in December 2010. Judge Neumeister received a bachelor of arts degree in 1973 and a master of arts degree in English in 1978, both from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a juris doctorate in 1980 from Southwestern University School of Law. From 1980 to December 2010, he was in private practice in Bakersfield, Calif., exclusively practicing immigration law since 1982. Judge Neumeister is a member of the State Bar of California. 

Lee A. O’Connor, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge O’Connor in December 2010. Judge O’Connor received a bachelor of arts degree in 1981 from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctorate in 1984 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. From 1999 to December 2010, he was the directing attorney of the Immigrants’ and Language Rights Center at Indiana Legal Services Inc. From 1994 to 1999, he was senior attorney for the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. During that time, Judge O’Connor was a judge pro tem for the San Diego Municipal Court. From 1998 to 1999, he served as an adjunct professor of immigration law in the paralegal program at Southwestern Community College, Chula Vista, Calif. From 1988 to 1994, he was a staff attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Inc. During that time, from 1993 to 1994, Judge O’Connor was a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Municipal Court. From 1985 to 1988, he was staff attorney for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles. From 1984 to 1985, Judge O’Connor was an associate with Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolf & Levanas in Los Angeles. Judge O’Connor is a member of the State Bar of California and the Indiana State Bar.

Virginia Perez-Guzman, Immigration Judge, Chicago Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Perez-Guzman in December 2010. Judge Perez-Guzman received a bachelor of arts degree in 1993 from Florida International University and a juris doctorate in 1997 from University of Miami School of Law. From 2009 to December 2010, she was in private practice in Miami. From 2002 to 2009, she worked for the Church World Service as director of the Miami Office, Immigration and Refugee Program. From 2000 to 2002, Judge Perez-Guzman worked as a program administrator for the Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women. From 1997 to 2000, she was director and founder of Lucha: A Women’s Legal Program at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Judge Perez-Guzman is a member of the Florida Bar. Aviva L. Poczter, Immigration Judge, New York Immigration Court Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Poczter in December 2010. Judge Poczter received a bachelor of arts degree in 1996 from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and a juris doctorate degree in 1999 from American University, Washington College of Law. From 2002 to December 2010, she worked for the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Immigration Litigation, as a trial attorney from 2002 to 2005, and as a senior litigation counsel from 2005 to December 2010. From 2000 to 2002, she served as an attorney advisor for the DOJ, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), Board of Immigration Appeals. From 1999 to 2000, she was a judicial law clerk for EOIR’s Boston Immigration Court. Judge Poczter is a member of the State Bar of Massachusetts and the New York State Bar.

Rachel A. Ruane, Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court:  Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Ruane in December 2010. Judge Ruane received a bachelor of arts degree in 1997 from Wesleyan University and a juris doctorate in 2001 from Emory University School of Law. From October 2003 to December 2010, she served as deputy chief counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Chief Counsel in Los Angeles, Calif. From 2002 to 2003, she was an attorney advisor for the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in Los Angeles, Calif. From 2001 to 2002, she worked as a judicial law clerk for EOIR in Boston. Judge Ruane is a member of the State Bar of Massachusetts.

Andrea H. Sloan, Immigration Judge, Portland Immigration Court: Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Sloan in October 2010. Judge Sloan received a bachelor of science degree in 1982 and a juris doctorate in 1986, both from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif. From 1998 to October 2010, she worked for the Office of Administrative Hearings, Salem, Ore., in various capacities, including administrative law judge, interim chief administrative law judge and executive/deputy chief administrative law judge. From 1987 to 1991, Judge Sloan served as deputy district attorney, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Eureka, Calif. Judge Sloan is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the State Bar of California.


December 20, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Interview of Merisa Trevino of Latina Lista

From Breakthrough:

Read our newest in the I AM THIS LAND interview series on b-listed with Merisa Trevino, Founder and Publisher of Latina Lista as part of our I AM THIS LAND video contest on diversity.

Latina Lista is a niche news site targeting English speaking Latinas.  With the mantra that "national is local," Latina Lista has created an unprecedented roster of contributors who span not just the United States, but all of the Americas. Marisa says:  "I AM THIS LAND because I was born belonging to four cultures and two languages. My eyes don’t see as much as they reflect the beauty of the variety in the human race, geography, religion, life experiences and even politics."

Full Interview for linking to or cross posting:

About I AM THIS LAND contest at
From now until January 7th, 2011, we are calling on people to make a video on diversity using the phrase “I am this land,” and enter to win a grand prize of $2,500 and more.  In 2010, we watched all the things that happened in 2010: From anti-immigrant actions and racial profiling to bullying and homophobia; from fear mongering to the extreme, divisive rhetoric of the mid-term elections: it’s time for a do over.  We believe that in the new year many people are ready to live in a country that is open-minded and celebrates differences.

Stay tuned for our weekly I AM THIS LAND feature interviews! For questions about I Am THIS LAND contest, contact Crissy Spivey -


Zebunnisa Burki

Breakthrough: building human rights culture
4 West 37th Street, 4th Fl. || New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212.868.6500 || Fax: 212.868.6501


December 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Car Impoundments to Stop in San Jose

Sean Webby writes for the San Jose Mercury News:

In a sudden U-turn after years of complaints, the San Jose Police Department is expected to stop impounding cars for a month when unlicensed drivers are nabbed for minor traffic violations.

Instead, officers will look for alternatives to towing a car, such as letting someone else pick up the car on the spot, when the stops don't involve allegations of drunken driving or other dangerous driving crimes.

While the proposal has raised concern from at least one City Council member, immigrant advocates say the 30-day vehicle holds unfairly target undocumented residents. Latino advocacy groups have long protested that the vehicle seizures deprived working-class people of their cars -- which cost thousands of dollars in charges and fines to retrieve, often exceeding the worth of the car itself. Read more...


December 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Statement on Senate's DREAM Act Failure

From Mark Silverman of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Statement on the Senate’s Failure to Pass the DREAM Act by Mark Silverman, Director of Immigration Policy, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

The vote for the DREAM Act failed   in the Senate to advance the DREAM failed today, December 18th.  A majority of the senators voted for the DREAM Act today.  But the vote of 55-41 in favor of the DREAM Act was five votes short of the 60 required because of the Senates outdated rules which make it possible for a minority of senators to defeat a bill, as happened today.

Thousands of hard-working young immigrants lost today because for the time being they have been denied the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and contribute to our society.

The American people lost today because we will be deprived of the contributions to our economy and society of thousands of educated young people

A number of U.S. Senators also lost today because immigrant, Latino, Asian and many other voters will remember in the future that these Senators voted against the best of our American values by voting against the DREAM Act.

We have hope for the future because we are inspired by the DREAM Act students who led the campaign for this common sense and just legislation.  This campaign to win the DREAM Act has been historic.  It is the first time in American history that the immigrants have led a campaign to bring about a major change in our immigration law.   Tens of thousands of Americans actively supported these young people in this campaign.

The hopes, talents, and dreams of these young immigrants are as strong as ever. They only want the chance to work to make their dreams come true and to contribute to the welfare of all Americans.  We are confident that working together all of us will make this possible in the future.


December 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DREAM Act Vote Fails

The Senate fell 5 votes short to proceed to a vote on the DREAM Act: 55-41. Sixty votes were needed on the cloture vote. This is very disappointing; and it's a sad day in U.S. history. Once again, the Senate and the Nation have failed to do the right thing. Read more...


December 18, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DREAM Act Vote Scheduled for 10:30 AM EST

DREAM Act floor debate began this morning at 9 A.M. EST, with debate divided between Dream and DADT.  The vote will be at approximately 10:30 A.M.

Univision is covering debate and vote LIVE, as is the "Senate" CSPAN channel.


December 18, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Undocumented or Illegal?

Four years ago, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists launched a campaign to change the terms that news organizations use to refer to people who enter the country illegally. Rather than referring to them as "illegal immigrants," as the Associated Press Stylebook recommends, or the more loaded "illegal alien," NAHJ proposed using the term "undocumented immigrant."  "It is much easier to dehumanize and to silence somebody when you're calling them an illegal," says Ivan Roman, executive director of NAHJ. "When you don't give credibility to people, and you don't give respect to people, it is really easy for politicians to not take them into account when they are establishing policy."

The American Journalism Review reports that a recent analysis of the frequency with which "illegal immigrant" turns up in U.S. newspapers and wire services reveals that usage has declined since 2006―but the term still shows up fairly frequently, as it has for decades."


December 18, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 17, 2010

ICE Agrees To Improve Health Care Provided To Immigration Detainees As Part Of Settlement Of ACLU Lawsuit: Lawsuit Charged Lack Of Medical And Mental Health Care Led To Unnecessary Suffering And Death

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have agreed to provide immigration detainees with constitutionally adequate levels of medical and mental health care as part of an agreement to settle an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit charging that deficient care at the San Diego Correctional Facility (SDCF) caused unnecessary suffering and death. As part of the settlement, ICE has also agreed to change its policy on medical care that had led to the denial of what ICE deemed to be "non-emergency" care, including heart surgeries and cancer biopsies.

Among the settlement agreement's provisions are requirements that detainees at SDCF receive health care that meets or exceeds National Commission on Correctional Health Care standards and that an additional full-time psychiatrist and four full-time psychiatric nurses be hired to ensure that detainees receive adequate mental health care. The settlement also requires immigration officials to remove from existing policies all statements suggesting that detainees will receive only emergency medical services and to include in the same policies explicit statements mandating that detainees shall be provided medical care whenever it is necessary to address a serious medical need.

Originally filed in June 2007 by the ACLU, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the law firm Cooley LLP, the complaint stated that detainees at SDCF were routinely subjected to long delays before treatment, denied necessary medication for chronic illnesses and refused essential referrals prescribed by medical staff.

The lawsuit specifically cited the cases of 11 detainees, including several whose bipolar disorders and depression went untreated, a man who was forced to wait more than eight months for eye surgery and nearly suffered permanent disfigurement and detainees who never received medical attention despite suffering from a variety of maladies including Type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, abscessed and broken teeth and severe chest pains.

The lawsuit charged that the refusal of immigration officials to provide appropriate medical care punished immigration detainees in violation of the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on federal detainees. Because SDCF holds civil immigrant detainees not serving a criminal sentence, the Fifth Amendment applies to protect their civil rights.


December 17, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SIJ Status Settlement

The Center For Human Rights in Los Angeles announces that the district court approved the Perez-Olano settlement agreement and it is now in effect.  To read the settlement see: Download FinalPerezSettlement5-4-10  CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved.

December 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Follow the United We Dream Blog

From the University Leadership Initiative:

As you all know the DREAM Vote will be on Saturday. We are documenting actions on the ground in DC in our blog in

Would appreciate if you spread the word.


Loren Antonio Campos
University Leadership Initiative
Follow us @ULItx

December 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Action Alert on the DREAM Act


WASHINGTON, D.C. - As children, we are each taught that if you work hard, you will have the opportunity to succeed.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of immigrant children who were brought here by their parents at a young age work hard to succeed in school and just want the opportunity to go to college or serve in the U.S. Armed Services.

The DREAM Act will help turn these dreams of opportunity into reality!

For the last decade, MALDEF has advocated on behalf of helping these hard-working students achieve their dreams of an opportunity to pursue higher education or service in the armed forces.

On December 8, the DREAM Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but there is still critical work to be done. Before President Obama can sign the bill and the DREAM Act can become law, the bill must pass the U.S. Senate.

The DREAM is Within Reach!

After a long fight, the time for passage of the DREAM Act is near. We are in the final Senate stretch as Senator Harry Reid has pledged to called up the bill to the Senate floor for a vote on Saturday, December 18.

We are only one day away from achieving our goal of passing the DREAM Act!

The DREAM Act, as recently amended, would provide a qualified path to citizenship otherwise not available to roughly 755,000 immigrant youth and young adults, particularly for those completing two years of college or military service.

How You Can Help - Call Key Senators Today!

The following Senators need to hear from you before Saturday.

Make calls TODAY to key Senators to demonstrate broad support for the DREAM Act.
Ben Nelson (D-NE), 202-224-6551
Kay Hagan (D-NC), 202-224-6342
Claire McCaskill (D-MO), 202-224-6154
Mary Landrieu (D-LA), 202-224-5824
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 202-224-5972
Richard Lugar (R-IN), 202-224-4814
Olympia Snowe (R-ME), 202-224-5344
Susan Collins (R-ME), 202-224-2523
George Voinovich (R-OH), 202-224-3353
George LeMieux (R-FL), 202-224-3041
Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), 202-224-5922
Robert Bennett (R-UT), 202-224-5444
Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), 202-224-6665
John Cornyn (R-TX), 202-224-2934
John McCain (R-AZ), 202-224-2235
Jon Kyl (R-AZ), (202) 224-4521
Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 202-224-5251
John Ensign (R-NV), 202-224-6244
Mark Kirk (R-IL), 202-224-2854
Scott Brown (R-MA), 202-224-4543
Judd Gregg (R-NH), 202-224-3324
Sam Brownback (R-KS), 202-224-6521

Reasons the Above Senators Should Vote YES on the DREAM Act

Because the public supports the DREAM Act -- 70%, according to a recent poll by First Focus, and 66 %, according to Lake Research Partners.
Because the military needs the DREAM Act -- Secretary of Defense Bill Gates, Retired Gen. Colin Powell, and many other military leaders support the DREAM Act.
Because taxpayers deserve a return on their investment -- the Congressional Budget Office estimates the DREAM Act would reduce the deficit by $2.2 billion and UCLA estimates that successful DREAM Act-relief holders will generate $3.6 to $1.4 trillion of income (in current dollars) of the next four decades.


December 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DREAM Act Vote Tomorrow

From StudentActivism:

Senate majority leader Harry Reid has scheduled votes on the DREAM Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for this Saturday — apparently defying the White House, which had reportedly been lobbying for the Senate to tackle the START arms control treaty first.

It was announced earlier Thursday that Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden — a crucial vote for both the DREAM Act and DADT repeal — would be missing Senate votes “tomorrow and possibly next week” due to prostate cancer surgery, but his staff clarified that he will be on the Senate floor this weekend. His absence Friday is for pre-surgery testing, not the surgery itself, and will not prevent him from casting DREAM and DADT votes Saturday.

DADT repeal looks like a winner Saturday, with 61 Senators pledged to vote for cloture — one more than the 60 needed. The DREAM Act faces a much tougher road, but is by no means doomed to fail.


December 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Conservative Evangelical leaders from multiple Evangelical denominations united on a telephonic press conference today calling on Senate leaders to pass the DREAM Act and give 500,000 youths the Christmas gift of their American Dreams. The telephonic was convened by Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR) in support of the DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation that enables high-achieving young people – immigrants who have been raised in the U.S, have worked hard in school, and then pursue higher education or serve in the United States Armed Forces – to access a path to legalization and achieve the American Dream.

“The DREAM Act is the most pro-family, pro-military, pro-self-reliance and traditional piece of legislation in years. Opposition to the DREAM act must be interpreted as both politically naïve and morally irreconcilable with any pro-family agenda. By supporting DREAM, Republicans and conservatives stand poised to reconnect with an electorate that continues to distance itself from a party that is perceived now to be anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant,” said Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “2,000 years ago a little boy was born in the manger because there was no room at the inn. In 2010, here’s the question: Is there room at the inn for immigrant children? Is there room at the inn for the innocent? In the spirit of Christmas and with our hearts open to the boy in the manger, I encourage the Senate to pass the DREAM Act. It would be the greatest Christmas gift these children could possibly receive.”

“I strongly believe in the rule of law. However, law has to be just. It cannot be devoid of compassion or morality, otherwise it is a cold instrument of brute force,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “Each year I have the pleasure of putting the hood around those who have graduated from the Liberty University School of Law. On one hand, I have the pleasure of being able to see how those three short years open up incredible opportunities for these students. On the other hand are those children who have been in this country for many years without documentation. They love America, but when the time comes for them to choose where they want to go and where God has called them to exercise their God-given talents to help their fellow brothers and sisters, the door to those opportunities is closed…we are not asking that these children walk through that door with any special treatment. We are asking that that door be opened with the DREAM Act.”

Commenting on Republican criticism of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid potentially calling the Senate back after Christmas, Rev. Jerry Dykstra, Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America said, “Even Jesus, who was a high respecter of the Sabbath, which was the day of complete rest in his culture, said that on the Sabbath we need to do what is right. If doing what is right means working through the Christmas holiday, then we work through the Christmas holiday. I think that we’ve got to set aside partisan politics. We have to deal with the issue before us honestly and quickly, and I think that maneuvering is simply inappropriate.”

Former Hispanic Presidential Campaign coordinator for John McCain and CfCIR cofounder Dr. Juan Hernandez, addressed this point as well: “Members of Congress work for us, the citizens of the United States, and we will be glad to give them Christmas off, we will be glad to give them New Year’s off, but the rest of the days they need to work for us. We have sent them to Congress to work on these difficult issue and they need to do the right thing: Pass the DREAM Act.”


December 16, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Keep the DREAM Alive!

From the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights:

Thank you, friends, for keeping the DREAM alive!  Update below!
Yesterday 100 religious leaders from 10 key states (LA, TX, OH, NC, FL, ME, MO, NH, IL, KS) and DREAM students circled the US Senate Building in a "Jericho March" proclaiming  that now is the time for Senators to show moral courage and break down the barriers obstructing passage of the DREAM Act. This evocative event drew inspiration from the Old Testament story of Joshua, who overcame adversity with faithfulness, marching around the city of Jericho seven times and sounding trumpets until the walls fell.
All across the country, faith leaders are saying 'now is the time.'
Read story here
1)  Last weeks, for the first time in 10 years, the HOUSE voted on, and passed the DREAM ACT- a historic and hugely important win.
2)  Last week the Senate Democrats moved to postpone the DREAM Act vote until AFTER the tax bill to give it a better chance.  There are enough Senate votes to pass in simple majority, but because of Republican filibuster, 60 votes are needed. Still need few more Democrats and Republicans to vote YES to get to 60.
3)  Last night we publically heard from Senators Durbin and Menendez the commitment of Democratic Senators to make sure the DREAM ACT comes up for a vote before the holiday break.  They mentioned Pres. Obama is also making calls to try to get some more votes.  They following bills will likely be voted on first: Tax Bill, START Treaty, Spending Bill. 
They expected a vote may occur on Monday.
Please continue to call your Senators, and tell them how much this means to you and your loved ones and this country.
Ask them to convince their undecided colleagues. 
 The number to call is 1-202-224-3121.

Special focus is on Senators in the following states:
McCaskill: (202) 224-6154
Landrieu: (202) 224-5824
Hagan: (202) 224-6342
Lugar: (202) 224-4814
Bennett: (202) 224-5444
Hatch: (202) 224-5251
Voinovich: (202) 224-3353
Collins: (202) 224-2523
Snowe: (202) 224-5344
LeMieux: (202) 224-3041
Hutchison: (202) 224-5922
Gregg: (202) 224-3324
Brown: (202) 224-2315
Brownback: (202) 224-6521
Graham: (202) 224-5972
Stabenow: (202) 224-4822
Warner: (202) 224-2023
Webb: (202) 224-4024
Manchin: (202) 224-3954
Murkowski: (202) 224-6665
 Thank you! Gracias! Salamat!


December 16, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Chavez Foundation, Tostitos Scholarships for Arizona Latino Students

Tostitos, Chavez foundation set up $500,000 scholarship fund for Arizona Latino students

Eleven annual scholarships, named to honor Arizona native Cesar Chavez, will promote academic success

The Tostitos brand has announced creation of the Tostitos Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund to benefit Latino students across the state of Arizona. Administered in partnership with the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the fund will provide $500,000 over the next five years to qualified Latino students in Arizona in an effort to promote academic success.

The fund will support 11 scholarships awarded annually by Tostitos and the Chavez foundation. Scholarships will be granted based on academic excellence, leadership in extra-curricular activities, commitment to volunteer service in the community and financial need.

"We are so proud to partner with the Cesar Chavez Foundation to recognize Arizona's Latino youth through the creation of the Tostitos Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund," said Justin Lambeth, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America. "The Tostitos brand is all about helping people make connections. Through this scholarship fund, we're helping create one of the most meaningful connections possible for Latino students throughout Arizona: the chance to continue their educations and fulfill their dreams."

“At a time of heightening ethnic and racial tensions, these scholarships will recognize deserving young Latino students who are continuing Cesar Chavez’s legacy of self-sacrifice, diversity, community service and championing equality and respect for all human beings, no matter who they are or where they come from,” said Paul Chavez, Cesar Chavez’s middle son and president and CEO of the Chavez foundation.

The 2011 Tostitos Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund program will be featured during the annual Si Se Puede Gala organized in Phoenix around Chavez’s March 31 birthday. Presented by the Chavez foundation, the gala honors the values, traditions and legacy of the legendary farm labor and civil rights leader who was born on his family’s homestead in the North Gila River Valley near Yuma, Ariz. in 1927.

Upon receipt of their awards, scholarship recipients will be asked to complete 30 hours of service to the PepsiCo/Frito-Lay Adelante Employee Group. Adelante, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is Frito-Lay's employee resource group that works across the company's many locations and business functions to create a more inclusive corporate culture and support the many diverse communities in which Frito-Lay operates.

Tostitos is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo headquartered in Purchase, New York. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, the Snack Chat blog, and on Twitter at

The Cesar Chavez Foundation, a (501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, was founded by the Chavez family in the wake of Chavez’s passing in 1993, to maximize human potential and improve communities by preserving, promoting and applying Chavez’s legacy and universal values. Learn more about the Chavez foundation at its Web site,


December 16, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Education, Immigrant Students, Refugee Students, and English Learners Edited by Christian Faltis and Guadalupe Valdes

NSSE book (1 of 1) 
Education, Immigrant Students, Refugee Students, and English Learners Volume 109, Issue 2 Edited by Christian Faltis and Guadalupe Valdes
This volume draws attention to how teachers at both the elementary and secondary levels teach, advocate for, and learn from and about immigrant students, the children of immigrants, their families, and refugees and their families, many of whom are also English language learners. Common to all of the contributions to this volume is the stance that educators and teachers can improve education for immigrant, refugee, and English language learner students.

December 16, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Announcing Humanity Blog

A new blog has been launched for the new University of Pennsylvania Press journal Humanity. The blog will feature editorials along with journal contributors and invited guests debating the big issues and small in human rights, humanitarianism and development. And of course the site will feature a lively and relevant comments section.


December 16, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)