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A Salvadoran Immigrant Story

May 29, 2010
Countless demonstrations have taken place in a national effort to bring attention to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act , also known as The Dream Act. In solidarity with the Dream Act, and the countless students who would benefit from this legislation, I share with you my own journey from a small country in Central America to the vast urban jungle of Los Angeles. From 1980 - 1992, my country of origin, El Salvador, was deeply entangled in a civil war. Financially supported by the U.S. government under President Carter and President Reagan, the Salvadoran government was...

MANA Calls For Immigration Reform to Protect Children and Families

May 29, 2010
There is no doubt that the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is complicated. It is about land resources; securing our borders, north and south; managing our country's abilities to progress; and, it is especially about how we as a country value our human resources. In practice, the issues in Arizona are not new to the millions of Mexican Americans whose families have lived in the southwest since it was part of Mexico and before the territory became part of the United States. Neither is it new for Mexican Americans to be terrorized by those who think they have ownership of the United...

The DREAM Act: Securing America’s Future in Education

May 29, 2010
What is the DREAM act? The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (S. 729), introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), is bi-partisan legislation that provides certain immigrant students who grew up in the U.S. with increased access to higher education and an earned pathway to obtaining legal status. The companion bill in the House of Representatives is the American Dream Act (H.R. 1751) and was introduced by Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). The bill was re-introduced in March 2009...
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The Story Behind My Film "Entre Nos"

May 29, 2010
I remember the unrelenting hope my mother gave our family; hope from a woman who dreamt for a better life for her family. Twenty years ago, my mother Liliana immigrated came to the United States with nothing but dreams for her and for her family. But her strength and hope helped us overcome hardship. My name is Paola Mendoza and because of my mother’s dream and hard work, I grew up to realize my dream of becoming a filmmaker and an actor. My mom’s story is the inspiration behind my new film, Entre Nos , which I’ve dedicated to her and to all mothers who dream of making a better life for their...
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Movie Review: La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)

May 29, 2010
Here's my most important advice should you see this film: Bring Kleenex. So I like a good tearjerker as much as the next gal, but I really thought my sobbing-at-the-movies days were far behind me. After all, I'm no longer a melodramatic teenager...I'm a grown-ass woman! But when a movie revolves around the painful, wrenching separation of a mother from her son and his against-all-odds Dickensian quest to reunite with her, all bets are off. The Mexican film La Misma Luna is the story of 9-year-old Carlitos, played by the astonishing Adrian Alonso. His mother Rosario (famed telenovela actress...

Video: African American Ministers Leadership Council Signs Immigration Reform Covenant

May 29, 2010
People For has been documenting the dangerous and divisive Right Wing rhetoric surrounding immigration reform….rhetoric that has led to, among other things, Arizona’s new civil liberties-smashing anti-immigrant law. But, despite the overwhelmingly cynical national dialogue on immigration reform, there remain individuals and groups who insist on treating immigrants and the issue of reform with reason and respect. One of those groups is the African American Ministers Leadership Council, a project of PFAW Foundation. On Cinco de Mayo, several representatives of AAMLC gathered on Ellis Island to...

Arizona’s law is a social and racial sin

May 29, 2010
The harshest enforcement bill in the country against undocumented immigrants recently passed the Arizona state legislature and was signed into law by Governor Janet Brewer. This law requires law enforcement officials in Arizona to investigate someone’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might be undocumented. I wonder who that would be, and if anybody who doesn’t have brown skin will be investigated. Those without identification papers, even if they are legal, are subject to arrest; so don’t forget your wallet on your way to work if you are Hispanic in...

Arizona's New Immigration Law and the "92 Percent Situation"

May 28, 2010
Co-authored by Elisa Batista. The conversation is everywhere -- Arizona has a new immigration law that requires police officers to detain anyone who "looks like" an illegal immigrant and fails to produce proof of American citizenship. And legislators in seven other states are now debating similar bills as are gubernatorial candidates in several more states who have promised to enact similar legislation if they are elected. While news stories out of Arizona are describing the chilling effect the new law is having on men and women of Latino origin, what's not being adequately covered is the...
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Heartland Moms Go to K Street for Showdown

May 14, 2010
Heartland moms are participating in the Showdown on K Street on May 16 & 17! This is a story of a a fellow mother, woman and female consumer who will make the trip to Washington DC with me to tell Congress to support sound financial policies that work for the people not against them. You can take action on your own and support all mothers who are heading to K Street to fight for financial reform. Written by Ro bin Acree, executive director, GRO-Grass Roots Organizing: As a divorcee, single mom, grandma and female consumer it took me a long time to earn and build my own credit history...

Marching for My Mother

April 30, 2010
Op-ed written by Karn Saetang, Youth Organizer at Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago. Picture yourself as a young woman, born and raised in Thailand, and the only language you know is Thai. You have a job at a bank, and the money you make goes to your large family. Every Sunday, you go to the wat (temple), and pray for a better life for your family. You fall in love with a man in Bangkok; he wants to pursue an American dream. You've never even left town, but now he is asking you to go to the other side of the globe – a place you’ve only seen on television. You...