Sunday, July 27, 2014

Clock Ticking for Congress to Act on US Border Crisis



VOAVideo: Clock Ticking for Congress to Act on US Border Crisis

This week is Congress’ last chance to respond to a surge of undocumented children arriving at America’s southern border before U.S. lawmakers leave town for a five-week recess. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, at issue is how much money to appropriate to house and process the juveniles, and whether to alter a 2008 law that entitles non-Mexican arrivals to an immigration hearing.

Also watch: President Asks Central American Leaders to Help Stop Migrants

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fasting 5K Events for Children Take Off in US Cities



VOAVideo: Fasting 5K Events for Children Take Off in US Cities

A group of around 30 people gathered on the National Mall, getting ready for a unique event which combines America’s favorite form of exercise with the teachings of Islam. Fasting 5K is an annual event held simultaneously in five American cities during Islam's holy month of Ramadan. The event, which takes place in Washington, Boston, New York, Houston and Huntington Beach, California, premiered last year, not long after the Boston Marathon bombing. Ariadne Budianto has more for VOA.

Friday, July 25, 2014

USCIS Promising Practices 5: Classroom Naturalization Celebrations



USCIS has posted a series of case studies that highlight the promising practices of some of their grant recipients.  To see all of the case studies, go to USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Promising Practices.

USCIS Promising Practices 5: Classroom Naturalization Celebrations

Learn how to hold a celebration for students who recently passed their naturalization test. Other students gained confidence by hearing a first-hand account of the test and seeing their classmates succeed.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

USCIS Promising Practices 4: Classroom Constitution

USCIS has posted a series of case studies that highlight the promising practices of some of their grant recipients.  To see all of the case studies, go to USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Promising Practices.

USCIS Promising Practices: Classroom Constitution

Established a “class constitution” to teach students about the U.S. Constitution, laws, and voting. The students vote to enact laws and amendments to their class constitution, such as “arrive to class on time” and “no cell phone use during class.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

USCIS Promising Practices 3: Enhanced Integration Tasks


USCIS has posted a series of case studies that highlight the promising practices of some of their grant recipients.  To see all of the case studies, go to USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Promising Practices.

USCIS Promising Practices: Enhanced Integration Tasks
  • Learn about implementing a civic integration component as part of a citizenship class curriculum. Examples include having students apply for a library card and then presenting on their experiences in class or visiting a historical landmark and describing their visit and what they learned. This encourages students to practice their English skills and to be an active member of their community.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

USCIS Promising Practices 2: Expand Citizenship Instruction with MP3 Technology


USCIS has posted a series of case studies that highlight the promising practices of some of their grant recipients.  To see all of the case studies, go to USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Promising Practices.

USCIS Promising Practices 2: Expand Citizenship Instruction with MP3 Technology

  • Learn about a programs that loaned students MP3 players that allow them to listen to the 100 Civics Questions and Answers and watch The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test video during their free time. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

USCIS Promising Practices 1: Telephone Conversation Partners Program

USCIS has posted a series of case studies that highlight the promising practices of some of their grant recipients.  To see all of the case studies, go to USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Promising Practices.

USCIS Promising Practices: Telephone Conversation Partners Program
  • Learn how to develop a “Telephone Conversation Partners” program with a telephone-based curriculum to provide structured citizenship learning and interview practice outside the classroom.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees



VOAVideo: Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.

Friday, July 18, 2014

West Wing Week 07/18/14 or, "Where Are You Going to Go Build Your Widgets?"



wh.gov: West Wing Week 07/18/14 or, "Where Are You Going to Go Build Your Widgets?"

Welcome to Infrastructure & Transportation Week here at West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening infrastructurally and transportationally here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Immigrant Children Live in Numerous US Communities



VOAVideo: Immigrant Children Live in Numerous US Communities

Immigration has been a hot topic in American politics for years. But the recent surge of attention is different. While historically, the debate has been about migrant workers threatening the American job market, now, it's about children coming to the U.S. all alone. And they're being housed around the United States while their legal status is resolved. VOA's Arash Arabasadi has more from Virginia's Prince William County, outside of Washington.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

US Lawmakers Clash Over the Fate of Children Crossing the Border



VOAVideo: US Lawmakers Clash Over the Fate of Children Crossing the Border

U.S. lawmakers are clashing over whether Congress needs to make changes to a law signed in 2008 to protect child victims of sex-trafficking. The "William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection" act is now providing the legal foundation to halt the immediate deportation of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who are crossing the border into the United States. VOA's Cindy Saine reports from Capitol Hill.

Also watch:



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Immigration Debate's Twin Issues | Times Minute | The New York Times



NYTimes: The Immigration Debate's Twin Issues | Times Minute | The New York Times

Published on Jul 8, 2014
As tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors cross into the United States this year, immigration reform is stalled. The issues are related but not the same, Here's why.

Produced by: Christian Roman, Carrie Halperin and Emily B. Hager

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1lR2Lv4

Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get a handpicked selection of the best videos from The New York Times every week: http://bit.ly/timesvideonewsletter

Subscribe on YouTube: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

Monday, July 14, 2014

Congress to Focus on US Border Crisis



VOANews: Congress to Focus on US Border Crisis

Clues could emerge this week whether America's politically-divided Congress will approve funds requested by President Barack Obama to address a surge of immigrants illegally crossing the southwestern U.S. border. VOA's Michael Bowman reports, Obama wants nearly $4 billion to hold and more quickly process tens of thousands of children arriving primarily from Central America, and to boost federal resources at America's long border with Mexico.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

US Charities, Volunteers Help Relieve Immigrant Crisis



VOANews: US Charities, Volunteers Help Relieve Immigrant Crisis

The southern U.S. border is flooded with Central American migrants trying to enter the United States. About 57,000 of them are unaccompanied minors. That influx has filled border detention facilities to capacity. As government agencies are struggling to process hundreds of arrivals daily, faith-based organizations, charities and volunteers are helping to ease the humanitarian crisis. Zlatica Hoke has that stor

Saturday, July 12, 2014

West Wing Week 07/11/14 or, "Responding to Your Letter...In Person!"



wh.gov: West Wing Week 07/11/14 or, "Responding to Your Letter...In Person!"

This Fourth of July week, the President welcomed some newly naturalized Americans, and spent time with middle-class Americans in Denver and Austin, while Dr. Jill Biden wrapped up a week-long trip to Africa.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 5 of LINCS Adult Citizenship Education Discussion With USCIS

July 7-11, 2014  the Literacy Information and Communication System has hosted a conversation on adult citizenship education with Paul Kim (USCIS).  

TEACHERS--Please "mine" this discussion for tips and resources for your own Citizenship classroom.  Here is one of the final posts:

This has been a great opportunity to talk this week about adult citizenship education with everyone. Thank you for sharing your strategies for preparing your students for the naturalization interview and test. I hope we were able to share useful resources and information from the USCIS website. 
You can find the resources I have described this week on the USCIS Citizenship Resource Center. It is our one-stop resource for locating citizenship preparation materials and activities. You can find lesson plans, information about training seminars,professional development tools and materials, as well as supplemental resource links to many excellent instructional resource to help you with your citizenship lessons. You can also learn about the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program to promote civic integration and prepare permanent residents for citizenship. 
Please sign up for free email updates to receive important USCIS news and information (including citizenship and the Citizenship Resource Center) as soon as it’s available; and follow The Beacon, the official blog of USCIS. 
Thanks again for the wonderful week!
--Paul Kim, USCIS

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Obama: Ready to Work on Immigration Crisis



VOAVideo: Obama: Ready to Work on Immigration Crisis

U.S. President Barack Obama says his administration is ready to work on resolving the current immigration crisis, but that a long-term solution will have to include helping Central American countries curb crime and poverty that push their people to take desperate measures. Zlatica Hoke reports.

The President Talks About Immigration Reform



wh.gov: The President Talks About Immigration Reform

Following a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others, President Obama makes a statement on immigration reform in Dallas, Texas, July 9, 2014.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

UPDATE LINCS Adult Citizenship Education Discussion With USCIS

LINCS: July 7-11, 2014 you are invited to join the Literacy Information and Communication System for a conversation on adult citizenship education with the Office of Citizenship within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Great teaching tips--check it out!

Interesting links so far:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Adult Citizenship Education Discussion With USCIS

OTAN: Starting on July 7, 2014 you are invited External link opens in new window or tab to join the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS External link opens in new window or tab) for a conversation on adult citizenship education with the Office of Citizenship within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS External link opens in new window or tab)

USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The agency’s Office of Citizenship is mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to promote instruction and training on citizenship rights and responsibilities, including the development of educational materials.

During this week-long event (July 7-11, 12 noon) the Office of Citizenship will share information and resources designed to help adult learners prepare for the naturalization interview and test. Promising practices from the field will also be highlighted.

This conversation will take place in the LINCS Adult English Language Learners group.

If you are not already a member of this group, please join it in order to participate in the discussion. You can set your desired email notification settings on the group's landing page, and leave the group after the event if you prefer.
Source: LINCS Community External link opens in new window or tab.

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Americans Welcomed on July 4 at Mount Vernon



VOAVideo: New Americans Welcomed on July 4 at Mount Vernon

Taking the oath of allegiance at a naturalization ceremony is a very special day for someone becoming an American citizen -- the culmination of a very long process. But it was even more special for a group of new citizens who took the oath Friday. As VOA's Kokab Farshori reports, they swore allegiance to their new country on its Independence Day -- at the home of one of its Founding Fathers.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

USCIS 100:99 July 4th, Slavery, and Fredrick Douglass



Happy Independence Day Weekend! Today we will listen to an old podcast from uscitizenpod: USCIS 100:99 July 4th, Slavery, and Fredrick Douglass

We will first read about Q99 from the USCIS M638 quick civics lesson. Then we will discuss the Declaration of Independence, the Compromise of 1850, and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass. Then we will listen to a short reading from Fredrick Douglass speech: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” Note that Negro was a common term for Black or African-Americans, but it is not often used today. Let's get started.

DOWNLOAD MP3

exerpt from The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Fredrick Douglass

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim.

To him, your celebration is a sham;
your boasted liberty, an unholy license;
your national greatness, swelling vanity;
your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless;
your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence;
your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery;
your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings,
with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast,
fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages...





TimelessReader1: Meaning of July 4th for the Negro - Frederick Douglass Speech - Hear the Text

Listen to and read text from The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, written by abolitionist and former slave: Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass presented this speech on July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY. This speech concludes with a poem, a peace prayer, written by William Lloyd Garrison

For more info:

See zinnedproject.org: Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom

Watch actor Danny Glover read abolitionist Frederick Douglass's "Fourth of July Speech, 1852" on October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)

Rare Documents Commemorate Fourth of July



VOAVideo: Rare Documents Commemorate Fourth of July


July 4 is the day the American Colonies in 1776 adopted the Declaration of Independence, formally announcing their separation from Great Britain. A rare copy of the Declaration, written by hand by Thomas Jefferson, is on display in New York's main public library. Nearby at another library is one of the very few original copies of the national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner." VOA's Bernard Shusman reports from New York.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fireworks on the National Mall from the White House



wh.gov: Fireworks on the National Mall from the White House

The National Mall fireworks as seen from the South Lawn of the White House. July 4, 2014.

Reading The Declaration Of Independence: A Tradition



NPR.org: Reading The Declaration Of Independence: A Tradition Continues

Archives.gov: The Declaration of Independence: 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. 
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton



Declaration of Independence - An 'Expression of the American Mind' (VOA On Assignment July 4, 2014)



voavideo: Declaration of Independence - An 'Expression of the American Mind' (VOA On Assignment July 4, 2014)

Imran talks with archivist Michael Hussey at the National Archives in Washington, home to the Declaration of Independence, the document ratified on July 4, 1776 that announced that the American colonies would break away from England.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence lesson plan and handouts for literacy students and low beginners covering civics test items 8, 9, 61, 62, 69, 64, 71, 96, 97, 99, 100.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celebrating Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies


USCIS.gov: Celebrating Independence Day with Naturalization Ceremonies

On July 4, Americans celebrate the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. USCIS marks this occasion each year by holding special naturalization ceremonies across the country.

This year, we will welcome nearly 9,000 new citizens during more than 100 naturalization ceremonies between June 30 and July 4. A list of highlighted ceremonies is below.

We welcome you to share your ceremony experiences and photos via Twitter and other social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen. You can also follow @USCIS on Twitter and Facebook.com/USCIS.

Check the Schedule of Naturalization Ceremonies held during the Week of Independence Day