Thursday, September 30, 2010
VOANews: For Some, Free Citizenship Classes; For Others, a Dream Delayed Again
U.S. increases funding to help legal immigrants, but a bill to aid undocumented children is halted for now EDUCATION REPORT (download mp3)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
VOAVideo: American Voters Rate Economy, Jobs as Major Concerns
Americans will go to the polls November 2 to select all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and more than one-third of the 100-member Senate. In survey after survey, Americans rate the economy as their top concern. Voters say they are looking for candidates who will spur job creation and restore prosperity. (read more, especially about California's upcoming election)
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
vhns: Tahirih Justice Center
VOANews: US Activist Defends Immigrant Women Against Gender-Based Violence
Layli Miller-Muro's Tahirih Justice Center has protected more than 10,000 women and girls
USCIS 100:77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
- fought for women’s rights
- fought for civil rights
Monday, September 27, 2010
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Announces Final Rule Adjusting Fees for Immigration Benefits
USCIS.gov: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Announces Final Rule Adjusting Fees for Immigration Benefits
New Fees starting Nov. 23, 2010 (read about all changes)
- I-130 Petition for Alien Relative old: $355; new: $420
- I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker old: $475; new: $580
- I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status old: $930 new: $985
- I-698 Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of Public Law 99-603) old: $1,370; new: $1,020
- I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence $465 $505
- I-765 Application for Employment Authorization old: $340; new: $380
- I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits old: $440; new: $435
- N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention old: $235; new: $250
- N-336 Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $605 $650
- N-400 Application for Naturalization old: $595; new: $595 **NO CHANGE**
- Biometrics Capturing, Processing, and Storing Biometric Information old: $80; new: $85
- (read more)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
VOAVideo: US Government to Fund Citizenship Classes for Immigrants
Saturday, September 25, 2010
VOAVideo: Dream Act Dies in U.S. Senate
The Dream Act (short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) addresses the plight of some 2 million illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children by their undocumented parents. The provision would allow them to earn their green cards if they maintain "good moral character," graduate from high school and complete two years of college or serve in the military. The legislation is supported by the U.S. military and the president, but it won't be moving forward for now. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.
Friday, September 24, 2010
WH.gov: West Wing Week: 9/24/10 or "Immeasurable Courage and Uncommon Valor"
Welcome to West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step by step with the President as he announces that Elizabeth Warren will lead the effort to get the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau off the ground, participates in a live CNBC town hall, awards Chief Master Sergeant Richard L. Etchberger, U.S. Air Force, the Medal of Honor posthumously for the valor he displayed in combat, travels to New York for the United Nations General Assembly and much more...
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
VOAVideo: Immigration Issue Divides US Republican Hispanics
A new law in the southwestern border state of Arizona requires police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. A federal judge's ruling now blocks key provisions of the law, but it remains a controversial issue, especially within Arizona's Hispanic community ahead of upcoming state and federal elections. VOA's Greg Flakus reports.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act") would benefit students who are currently undocumented in the United States of America. The Dream Act is based upon earned legalization. The DREAM Act is Education for our future generation of leaders.
This week the U.S. Senate will vote to attach the Dream Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act. This is our chance to pass the Dream Act now! Take the next ten minutes to make yourself count by calling the following key senators:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) email
Sen. George LeMieux (R-Florida) email
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) email
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) email
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) email
en. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) email
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) email
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) email
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) email
If busy, call switchboard directly at 1-202-224-3121.
Ask to speak with one of the senators on the list and you will be transferred.
Say or leave a message:
"Hi, I am calling to ask that Senator _______ vote for the DREAM Act amendment to the Defence Authorization Act. It is the common sense approach to revitalizing the economy and strengthening our armed forces."
Make no mistake, every single call counts!
Spread the word with your friends and family.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The 'Torn Apart' project
For decades the nation has endlessly debated how to solve the problem of illegal immigration. One side calls for aggressive enforcement of existing laws. The other side calls for "comprehensive immigration reform." But while the debate rages, millions of American children are left with the real possibility that their undocumented parents will be detected and deported.
For the past year, a Mercury News reporter and photojournalist followed a San Mateo family on their emotional journey through the U.S. immigration system. Both parents came here as illegal immigrants, but all six of their children are American citizens.
Read more: San Mateo family struggles to stay together as U.S. deports dad, tries to deport mom By Ken McLaughlin firstname.lastname@example.org Posted: San Jose Mercury News 09/18/2010 11:55:15 PM PDT
Sunday, September 19, 2010
from the US Census Dept
VOANews: American Volunteering in Civic Activities Remains Strong
This year marks the first federal government report on Civic Life in America.
USCIS 100:55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
- join a political party
- help with a campaign
- join a civic group
- join a community group
- give an elected official your opinion on an issue
- call Senators and Representatives
- publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
- run for office
- write to a newspaper
Saturday, September 18, 2010
VOAVideo: Arabic, Farsi Fluency Considered 'Critical' to US National Security
Summer vacation is ending and students at American schools and colleges are getting ready to head back to class. In previous years, many of them would have been taking French or Spanish as a second language. But as VOA'S Mana Rabiee reports, knowledge of Arabic or Farsi is now considered "critical" to U.S. national security and more Americans are learning these languages today than ever before.
More Americans learning these languages today than ever before (read more)
Friday, September 17, 2010
WH: West Wing Week: 9/17/10 or "Back to School"
Welcome to West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step by step with the President as he travels to Arlington, Virginia to attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, celebrates the start of a new school year with his second annual 'Back to School' speech in Philadelphia, and holds a Cabinet meeting looking for ways for the Federal Government's agencies to work together to improve the economy.
09/17/2010--In honor of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, the USCIS officially launched the Citizenship Resource Center—a Web-based portal that centralizes citizenship resources for immigrants, educators and organizations. This free, easy-to-use website will help users better understand the naturalization process and gain the necessary skills to be successful during the naturalization interview and test.
Since the beginning of the semester, Milpitas Adult School has been studying the US Constitution in preparation for signing the Constitution on Constitution & Citizenship Day, September 16-17, 2010.
Constitution Quiz Based on the USCIS 100
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Arago: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on Stamps
Today's Topic: The 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments
After the Civil War, the 15th Amendment gave the right to vote to all male US Citizens.
However, some communities refused to allow certain minorities to vote.
Women could not vote until the 19th Amendment (1920).
The Chinese Exclusion Act which took away the right to vote from US native-born citizens of Asian ancestry was repealed in 1943.
Jim Crow laws in the Southern United States which strongly discouraged African-Americans to vote was repealed by the 24th Amendment, 1964 & the Voting Rights Act 1965.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave suffrage (the right to vote) to women.
VOANews: Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906: She Led the Fight to Gain Equal Rights for Women, Including the Right to Vote
The nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution won final approval in 1920 but she did not live to see it. Transcript of radio broadcast: 14 June 2008
24th Amendment made it illegal to make a citizen pay a voting fee. It is illegal to make a citizen take a reading test to vote. The 24th Amendment (1964) and the Civil Rights Movement led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. crushed Jim Crow laws which discriminated against African Americans.
VOANews: Civil Rights Movement: In the '60s, a Struggle for Equality in US: Activists marched, held sit-in protests and led "freedom rides" to demand better treatment of black Americans. Martin Luther King Junior lived by the idea of nonviolence, but his murder led to riots in more than 100 cities.
26th Amendment: US citizens who are 18 years old or older have the right to vote. 1971.
VOANews: Nixon Promises to 'Bring the American People Together' After '68 Win
Richard Nixon lost the 1960 election to John Kennedy, but he was known for his ability to fight, to lose, and to keep trying. Those skills would soon be tested.
- 48. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
- 49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?*
- 50. Name one right only for United States citizens.
- 54. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?*
- 55. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
- 77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
- 84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
- 85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?*
More activities from USCitzenPod:
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition.
Freedom of speech
A person can say or think anything they want.
Freedom of religion
A person can practice any religion or no religion. The government cannot establish a national religion.
Freedom of assembly
People can come together to have peaceful meetings, rallies, marches, or demonstrations.
Freedom of the press
A person can read, write, publish, or broadcast anything they want.
Right to petition
People can ask the government to change the law.
Here is a (.pdf) or (.doc) of this webpage:
The First Amendment.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Today's Topic: The Preamble
The Premble lists the reasons that the 13 original colonies separated from their mother ountry, and became an independent nation.
We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union, good government
establish Justice, good laws
insure domestic Tranquility, peace in our homes
provide for the common defence, national security
promote the general Welfare, healthy communities
and secure the Blessings of Liberty freedom
to ourselves and our Posterity, children
do ordain and establish give power to
this Constitution the supreme law of the land
for the United States of America.
Here is class handout of the Preamble Puzzle pdf
Here is class handout of a Summary of the US Constitution.
Direct download: const-summary.pdf
Monday, September 13, 2010
Here is a slide show of the US Constituion.
Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal holiday that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution. Citizenship Day also recognizes all who have become citizens due to either coming of age or naturalization. It is celebrated on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.
Before Constution Day, students study the US Constitution, focusing on the rights and responsibilites of American Citizenship. On Constitution Day, students sign a large copy of the Constitution and are given pocket-sized copies of the Constitution. Many Adult Schools honor the students who were naturalized as American citizen during the previous school year. The school also encourages the students who are preparing for naturalization during the upcoming school year.
For more info, see:
America Reads the Constitution
The National Constitution Center held the first “America Reads the Constitution” on September 17, 2004. A diverse group of people read the Constitution from start to finish, from “We the People” to the final words of the 27th Amendment. “America Reads the Constitution” pdf includes the words of the Constitution for 100 readers.
ELCivics.com: The US Constitution
Learn about the US Constituion with Pictures, Easy Lessons, and Fun Activities
ESLPOD English 92
LISTEN to the Preamble to the US Constitution.
The National Archives
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. The National Archives and Records Administration celebrates this important day in our nation's history by presenting the following activities, lesson plans, and information. We encourage teachers and students at all levels to learn more about our Constitution and government.
National Constitution Center: Home
The National Constitution Center, located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, is the worlds only museum devoted to the US Constitution.
NCC: We the People
Resources to help you celebrate Constitution Day – the birthday of your government – featuring over 200 activities, lessons, books, DVDs and more from over 30 different providers. Plan your Constitution Day celebration here!
US Citizenship Podcast
Check back every day for updated materials for Constitution Day. Here are some pictures from last year's celebration 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
VOAVideo: President Obama Addresses Quran Controversy, Relations With Muslims
In a White House news conference Friday, President Barack Obama said that nine years after the 2001 terror attacks on the United States, he wants Muslims around the world to understand that America is not at war with Islam. VOA chief White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports, Mr. Obama spoke about controversies involving religion, the planned closing of the US facility at Guantanamo Bay, upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the US economy - during a long exchange with the media.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The President, The First Lady and the Vice President attend memorial ceremonies in remembrance of September 11th. The emotional ceremonies are conducted at Twin Tower site in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the Flight 93 crash site, a National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.
VOAVideo: September 11 Victims Said to Include More Than 60 Muslims
The ongoing controversy over construction of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York has focused attention on Islam and Muslim Americans. But few Americans are aware that more than 60 Muslims are believed to have perished in the September 11 attacks, most of them in the World Trade Center.
Friday, September 10, 2010
West Wing Week: 9/10/10 or "The Year 5771"
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, walk step-by-step with the President as he celebrates Labor Day in Milwaukee, welcomes the Secretary-General of NATO, outlines plans to grow the economy in Cleveland and much more.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
VOANews: California and Its People
Many people consider California the land of dreams; the state population grew almost five percent between 2000 and 2003. 30 January 2005
Archived audio files take a couple of minutes to load. Please be patient!
Here is handout about the State of California.
Also see EL Civics.com's excellent lessons on the State of California.
Monday, September 6, 2010
VOAVideo: Labor Day Holiday in US Sets Stage For Ideological Debate
As the Labor Day (September 6) holiday approaches in the US, two widely differing views arethe subjects of an intense debate about the state of American workers. The US Chamber of Commerce claims the Obama administration's economic policies have created barriers to job creation. But prominent labor groups blame corporate greed and lax regulations for hurting the prospects of middle class Americans. Mil Arcega reports.
VOANews: Domestic, Global Economic Shifts Force US Organized Labor to Change
Monday is Labor Day in the United States, a day set aside to honor American workers and the dignity of labor. The organized labor movement of the late-19th century that spawned the national holiday has waxed and waned over the years. (read more)
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The 2nd Annual National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) will be held in Boston, Massachusetts September 29-Oct 1, 2010. The 1st NIIC was an extremely successful event bringing together over 300 stakeholders: policy makers and community based organizations, service providers and the government sector. The Denver conference focused on moving integration efforts forward at the local, state, and national level. The Boston conference will have a similar focus, emphasizing promising practices around integration initiatives, citizenship, language, workforce development and public education. Outstanding leadership will explore the impact of immigrants on the economy, public schools, public safety and elections among a host of keynote speeches and workshops. A fun city for a fall conference, Boston invites you to discover its ethnic neighborhoods and historic sites and take part in a naturalization ceremony held at the opening reception on Wednesday, September 29.
Our Changing Environment
- How is immigrant integration emerging as a national agenda?
- With an increasing number of states and municipalities addressing their changing demographics, what are the successful practices and positive impacts emerging from communities across the country?
- What are the implications of the current federal government priorities for addressing immigrant integration and immigration reform?
- What does an uncertain fiscal environment mean for integration efforts?
- Why is the naturalization rate relatively low and what can or should be done?
- What is an American and who is shaping the next generation?
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The United States honors Constitution Day and Citizenship Day each year on September 17. I can't think of a better opportunity to celebrate our newest citizens and the importance of citizenship to this nation... The USCIS plans to dedicate the month of September to the celebration of citizenship. Throughout the month, the USCIS has several special events and announcements scheduled. A few highlights include:
- The launch of a free online Citizenship Resource Center to help applicants and educators prepare for the naturalization process and test.
- Special naturalization ceremonies at national park sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, Grand Canyon National Park, and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO.;
- The announcement of approximately 50 new grant recipients as part of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program; and
September promises to be an exciting month. Please join us in celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day this year and take a moment to reflect on the enduring promise of America and what it means to you.
Friday, September 3, 2010
WH.gov: West Wing Week: "Dispatches from Iraq"
This week the President announced the end of America's combat mission in Iraq and West Wing Week takes you there, on the ground, with an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the change of mission. We spent a week on the ground with our troops and civilians , some coming home, some staying for the next mission, training and supporting the Iraqis now that they have the lead in protecting their own country.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
VOAVideo: US Combat Operations Come to Close in Iraq
A change of command ceremony was held in Baghdad Wednesday (September 1) to mark the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq. Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary William Gates were on hand to mark the transition to what the military calls stability operations. VOA's Jeff Swicord reports.