Friday, September 25, 2009

Immigration News Roundup - 9/25/09

1. La Migra en Español: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has finally created a Spanish Web portal with information en español on all visa categories, citizenship test preparation materials, etc...Even many of the forms can now be downloaded in Spanish. As someone who has experienced the frustration of trying to find this information in the past and often had to rely on immigration attorneys' Web sites -- they'll provide the translation but it comes with a heavy dose of solicitation -- I am very happy that the government has stepped up to the plate.

2. Number of Foreign-Born U.S. Residents Drops: The Washington Post reports that "the number of foreign-born people living in the United States declined last year, particularly among low-skilled immigrants from Mexico, according to a Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

3. Also from the Bureau of the Census:

4. U.S. Census Uses Telenovela to Reach Hispanics: The New York Times reports that in an episode of “Más Sabe el Diablo” (Telemundo) "Perla Beltrán (played by Michelle Vargas -- photo), a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks in New York, has suffered a great deal lately — her husband, a thief, has been murdered and she has been associating with lowlifes. But she thinks she has found a way out: as a recruiter for the United States Census Bureau"..."With the census story line, “we’re trying to fight the fear,“ Aurelio Valcarcel, an executive producer at Telemundo Studios, said. The campaign is not merely about civic participation. Next year’s count is likely to mean more advertising revenue for Telemundo, a unit of NBC Universal, and other Spanish-language networks over time. Nielsen Ratings sample of television households is directly tied to the census results..."

5. Leader has back-up immigration plan: In an interview with Associated Press reporter Suzanne Gamboa, Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund says that if comprehensive immigration legislation seems unlikely in 2010, Congress should make down payments by passing smaller-scale reforms...Lawmakers could address the need for foreign agricultural workers, provide legal status to high school graduates brought to the country illegally as children, and create equity for same sex partners who want to come to the U.S. or get green cards...Saenz said other priorities for MALDEF are: Countering calls by some in the Latino community for Census boycotts as a way to secure immigration reform and protecting Latino's voting rights when legislatures take up redistricting after the Census.

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