Newsletter January 2012 – 2011: The Year That Was

119599857IN THIS ISSUE
Keeping Families Together
Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes
“I Have A Dream” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech
The Faces of US Immigrants: Liam John Neeson, Irish-American Actor
Recipes From The Melting Pot: Mandazi: Kenyan Doughnuts
Quote of the Month

2011: The Year That Was

• On January, 2011, USCIS announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with Department of State identified 53 new countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H2-A and H-2B programs.

• On February, 2011 USCIS announced a plan to expedite the processing of Form I-130 petitions. USCIS transferred approximately 36,000 immediate relative petitions from California Service Center to their Texas Service Center to provide a speedier processing of these petitions.

• This year, a computer programming error in the processing of applications at the Diversity Visa or Green Card Lottery Program invalidated the whole selection process, resulting in a lot of disappointment and heartbreak.

• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas joined the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in Pittsburgh to announce “Entrepreneurs in Residence.” This new innovative initiative will utilize industry expertise to strengthen USCIS policies and practices surrounding immigrant investors, entrepreneurs and workers with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities.

• On January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, a lone gunman shot and killed 6 people and wounding others, including U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. We all mourn the loss of Judge John M. Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, and the youngest victim, 9-year old Christina Taylor Green.

Alabama and Georgia enact controversial Immigration Laws and Backlash followed. Salvador Zamora, a Mexican immigrant who became a US Citizen in 2010, began a hunger strike on July 1st, the day Georgia’s new immigration law, House Bill 87, went into effect.

• At least 13 states enact DREAM Act like legislation to help undocumented students live the American Dream, with California being one of the last states to do so in 2011.

• On June 22, 2011, in an article in the New York Times Magazine, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, that his mother sent him to the United States from the Philippines when he was 12 but never joined him and found out later that he was an undocumented immigrant when someone at his local DMV told him his green card was fake.

Joaquin Luna was an 18-year-old high school student, who, on November 25th, shot and killed himself. In letters that he left behind, he stated that he wanted his death to place the limelight on immigration reform.

Let us hope that 2012 brings true Immigration Reform by enacting the federal DREAM Act.

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